Page images
PDF
EPUB

There came an eve of festal hours-
Rich music filled that garden's bowers:
Lamps, that from flowering branches hung,
On sparks of dew soft colours flung,
And bright forms glanced-a fairy show-
Under the blossoms to and fro.

But one, a lone one, midst the throng,
Seemed reckless all of dance or song:
He was a youth of dusky mein,
Whereon the Indian sun had been,
Of crested brow, and long black hair-
A stranger, like the Palm-tree there.

And slowly, sadly, moved his plumes,
Glittering athwart the leafy glooms:
He passed the pale green olives by,
Nor won the chesnut flowers his eye;
But when to that sole Palm he came,
Then shot a rapture through his frame!

To him, to him, its rustling spoke,
The silence of his soul it broke!
It whispered of its own bright isle,
That lit the ocean with a smile;
Aye, to his ear that native tone
Had something of the sea-waves moan .

His mother's cabin home, that lay
Where feathery cocoas fringed the bay;
The dashing of his brethren's oar,
The conch-note heard along the shore;
All thro' his wakening bosom swept:
He clasped his country's Tree and wept!

Oh! scorn him not!—the strength, whereby
The patriot girds himself to die,

Th' unconquerable power, which fills
The freeman battling on his hills,

These have one fountain deep and clear-
The same whence gushed that child-like tear!

THE MEETING OF THE BROTHERS.

The voices of two forest boys,
In years when hearts entwine,
Had filled with childhood's merry noise
A valley of the Rhine.

To rock and stream that sound was known,
Gladsome as hunter's bugle tone.

The sunny laughter of their eyes

There had each vineyard seen; Up every cliff whence eagles rise,

Their bounding step had been ;
Ay! their bright youth a glory threw
O'er the wild place wherein they grew

But this, as day-spring's flush, was brief
As early bloom or dew ;—

Alas! 'tis but the withered leaf

That wears the enduring hue!

Those rocks along the Rhine's fair shore, Might girdle in their world no more.

For now on manhood's verge they stood,
And heard life's thrilling call,

As if a silver clarion woo'd

To some high festival;

And parted as young brothers part,
With love in each unsullied heart.

They parted-soon the paths divide
Wherein our steps were one,
Like river-branches, far and wide
Dissevering as they run,

And making strangers in their course
Of waves that had the same bright source.

Met they no more?-once more they met,
Those kindred hearts and true!
"Twas on a field of death, where yet
The battle-thunders flew,

Though the fierce day was well-nigh past,
And the red sunset smiled its last.

But as the combat closed, they found
For tender thoughts a space,
And ev'n upon that bloody ground
Room for one brief embrace,
And pour d forth on each other's neck
Such tears as warriors need not check.

The mists o'er boyhood's memory spread All melted with those tears

The faces of the holy dead
Rose as in vanish'd years :
The Rhine, the Rhine, the ever blessed
Lifted its voice in each full breast!

Oh! was it then a time to die?
It was!-that not in vain

The soul of childhood's purity

And peace might turn again. A ball swept forth-'twas guided wellHeart unto heart those brothers fell.

Happy, yes, happy thus they go!
Bearing from earth away
Affections, gifted ne'er to know
A shadow-a decay,

A passing touch of change or chill,
A breath of aught whose breath can kill.

And they, between whose sever'd souls, Once in close union tied,

A gulf is set, a current rolls

For ever to divide,

Well may they envy such a lot,
Whose hearts yearn on—but mingle not.

FINIS.

« PreviousContinue »