Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE ÆOLIAN HARP.

72

But when a more pervading force compels Their sweetness into strength, -and swiftly swells Each tenderer tone to fulness,—what a strange And spirit stirring sense that fitful change Wakes in my heart!— Visions of days long past, Hope-joy-pridempain-and passion-with the

blast
Come rushing on my soul,--till I believe
Some strong enchantment, purposed to deceive,
Hath fix'd its spell upon me, and I grieve
I
may

not burst its bonds !-Anon the gale
Softly subsides,—and whisperings wild prevail
Of inarticulate melody, which seem
Not music but its shadow ;-what a dream
Is to reality;

—or as the swell
(Those who have felt alone have power to tell)
Of the full heart where love was late a guest
Ere it recovers from its sweet unrest!
The charm is o'er! Each warring thought flits by,
Quell’d by that more than mortal minstrelsy!
Each turbulent feeling owns its sweet control,
And peace once nore returns, and settles on my soul !

Harp of the winds! thy ever tuneful chords, In language far more eloquent than words Of earth's best skill'd philosophers, do teach A deep and heavenly lesson! Could it reach, With its impressive truths, the heart of man, Then were he bless'd indeed ; and he might scan His coming miseries with delight! The storm Of keen adversity would then deform No more the calm stream of his thoughts, nor bring Its wonted grisly train ;' but, rather wring Sweetness from out his grief,—till even the string On which his sorrows hung, should make reply, However rudely swept, in tones of melody!

CONSUMPTION.

BY JAMES G. PERCIVAL.

There is a sweetness in woman's decay,
When the light of beauty is fading away,
When the bright enchantment of youth is gone,
And the tint that glow'd, and the eye that shone,
And darted around its glance of power,
And the lip that vied with the sweetest flower,
That ever in Pæstum's * garden blew,
Or ever was steep'd in fragrant dew,
When all that was bright and fair is Aed,
But the loveliness lingering round the dead.

O! there is a sweetness in beauty's close,
Like the perfume scenting the wither'd rose;
For a nameless charm around her plays,
And her eyes are kindled with hallow'd rays,
And a veil of spotless purity
Has mantled her cheek with its heavenly die,
Like a cloud whereon the queen of night
Has pour'd her softest tint of light;
And there is a blending of white and blue,
Where the purple blood is melting through
The snow of her pale and tender cheek;
And there are tones, that sweetly speak
Of a spirit, that longs for a purer day,
And is ready to wing her flight away.

In the flush of youth and the spring of feeling,
When life, like a sunny stream, is stealing
Its silent steps through a flowery path,
And all the endearments that pleasure hath
Are pour'd from her full, o'erflowing horn,
When the rose of enjoyment conceals no thorn,

Biferique rosaria Pæsti.-Virg.

LYRE.

74

CONSUMPTION,

In her lightness of heart, to the cheery song
The maiden may trip in the dance along,
And think of the passing moment, that lies,
Like a fairy dream, in her dazzled eyes,
And yield to the present, that charms around
With all that is lovely in sight and sound,
Where a thousand pleasing phantoms flit,
With the voice of mirth, and the burst of wit,
And the music that steals to the bosom's core,
And the heart in its fulness flowing o'er
With a few big drops, that are soon repress’d,
For short is the stay of grief in her breast :
In this enliven’d and gladsome hour
The spirit may burn with a brighter power;
But dearer the calmr and quiet day,
When the Heaven-sick soul is stealing away.

And when her sun is low declining,
And life wears out with no repining,
And the whisper, that tells of early death,
Is soft as the west wind's balmy breath,
When it comes at the hour of still repose,
To sleep in the breast of the wooing rose;
And the lip, that swell’d with a living glow,
Is pale as a curl of new-fallen snow;
And her cheek, like the Parian stone, is fair,
But the hectic spot that flushes there,
When the tide of life, from its secret dwelling,
In a sudden gush, is deeply swelling,
And giving a tinge to her icy lips,
Like the crimson rose's brightest tips,
As richly red, and as transient too,
As the clouds, in autumn's sky of blue,
That seem like a host of glory met
To honour the sun at his golden set:
O! then, when the spirit is taking wing,
How fondly her thoughts to her dear one cling,

As if she would blend her soul with his
In a deep and long imprinted kiss ;
So fondly the panting camel flies,
Where the glassy vapour cheats his eyes,
And the dove from the falcon seeks her nest,
And the infant shrinks to its mother's breast.
And though her dying voice be mute,
Or faint as the tones of an unstrung lute,
And though the glow from her cheek be fled,
And her pale lips cold as the marble dead,
Her
eye

still beams unwonted fires
With a woman's love and a saint's desires,
And her last fond lingering look is given
To the love she leaves, and then to Heaven,
As if she would bear that love away
To a purer world and a brighter day.

TO THE

AUTHOR OF THE SORROWS OF ROSALIE.

BY L. E. L.

They tell me, lady, that thy face

Is as an angel's fair,
That tenderness is all the trace

Of earth thy features wear;
That we might hold thee seraph still,

But sighs with smiles unite,
And that thy large dark eyes will fill

With tears as well as light.

They tell me that thy wit when gay

Will turn to sad again-
The likeness of the lightning ray,

That melts in summer rain;

76

TO THE AUTHOR OF ROSALIE.

And that the magic of thy words

Is even as thy song-
The sweetness of the sea-shell chords

The night winds bear along.

I will believe all they can say

Of fairy charm is thine-
My lips are murmuring now thy lay,

My tears on thy last line:
I've drank the music, sweet and low,

Waked by thy graceful hand;
I must speak of thee--I am now

“ Beneath the enchanter's wand."

I dream thee beautiful and bright,

Amid the festal crowd,
With lip and eye of Aashing light,

Thy own self disavow'd.
They see the loveliness that burns,

The splendour round the shrine-
But not the poet soul which turns

Thy ture to divine.

I dream thee in thy lonely hour,

Thy long dark hair unbound,
The braiding pearl, the wreathing flower,

Flung careless on the ground;
The crimson eager on thy cheek,

The light dark in thine eye-
While from thy parted lips there break
Sweet sounds, half song,

half sigh.

A tale of feminine fond love,

The tender and the tried,
The heart's sweet faith, which looks above,

Long after hope has died.

« PreviousContinue »