Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

and even,

I thought of our little quarrels and strife, The world is filled with folly and sin,

And the letter that brought me back iny ring; And love must cling where it can, I say : And it all seemed then, in the waste of life, For beauty is ensy enough to win ; Such a very little thing!

But one is n't loved every day. For I thought of her grave below the hill,

And I think, in the lives of most women and men, Which the sentinel cypress-tree stands over :

There's a moment when all would go smooth And I thought, “ Were she only living still, How I could forgive her and love her !”

If only the dead could find out when

To come back and be forgiven.
And I swear, as I thought of herthus, in that hour, But 0, the smell of that jasmine flower !
And of how, after all, old things are best,

And O, that music ! and O, the way
That I smelt the smell of that jasmine flower

That voice rang out from the donjon tower, Which she used to wear in her breast.

Non ti scordar di me,

Non ti scordar di me! It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet,

ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON (Owen Meredith).
It made me creer, and it made me cold !
Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet
Where a mummy is half unrolled.

THE PORTRAIT.
And I turned and looked : she was sitting there, Midnight past! Not a sound of aught
In a dim box over the stage ; and drest

Through the silent house, but the wind at his In that muslin dress, with that full soft hair,

prayers. And that jasmine in her breast !

I sat by the dying fire, and thought

Of the dear dead woman up stairs.
I was here, and she was there ;
And the glittering horseshoe curved between !

A night of tears ! for the gusty rain
From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair

Had ceased, but the eaves were dripping yet : And her sumptuous scornful mien,

And the moon looked forth, as though in pain,

With her face all white and wet : To my early love with her eyes downcast,

Nobody with me, my watch to keep, And over her primrose face the shade,

But the friend of my bosom, the man I love : (In short, from the future back to the past,)

And grief had sent him fast to sleep There was but a step to be made.

In the chamber up above. To my early love from my future bride

Nobody else, in the country place One moment I looked. Then I stole to the door,

All round, that knew of my loss beside, I traversed the passage ; and down at her side

But the good young Priest with the Raphael-face, I was sitting, a moment more.

Who confessed her when she died.
My thinking of her, or the music's strain, That good young Priest is of gentle nerve,
Or something which never will be exprest,

And my grief had moved him beyond control;
Had brought her back fronı the grave again, For his lip grew white, as I could observe,
With the jasmine in her breast.

When he speeded her parting soul.
She is not dead, and she is not wed !

1 sat by the dreary hearth alone :
But she loves me now, and she loved me then ! I thought of the pleasant days of yore :
And the very first word that her sweet lips said, I said, “The staff of my life is gone :
My heart grew youthful again.

The woman I loved is no more.
The marchioness there, of Carabas,

“On her cold dead bosom my portrait lies, She is wealthy, and young, and handsome still ; Which next to her heart she used to wear — And but for her — well, we 'll let that pass ; Haunting it o'er with her tender eyes She may marry whomever she will.

When my own face was not there. But I will marry my own first love,

“It is set all round with rubies red, With her primrose face, for old things are best ; And pearls which a Peri might have kept. And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above For each ruby there my heart hath bled : The brooch in my lady's breast.

For cach pearl my eyes have wept."

[blocks in formation]

When new desires had conquered thee,

And changed the object of thy will, It had been lethargy in me, Not constancy, to love thee still.

Yea, it had been a sin to go

And prostitute affection so,
Since we are taught no prayers to say
To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou glory in thy choice,

Thy choice of his good fortune boast ;
I 'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice,
To see him gain what I have lost ;

The height of my disdain shall be,

To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
To love thee still, but go no more
A begging to a beggar's door.

SIR ROBERT AYTON.

TRANSIENT BEAUTY.

FROM " THE GIAOUR." As, rising on its purple wing, The insect-queen of Eastern spring, O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer, Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower, A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye; So Beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wind as wild; A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betrayed, Woe waits the insect and the maid : A life of pain, the loss of peace, From infant's play and man's caprice ; The lovely toy, so fiercely sought, Hath lost its charm by being caught ; For every touch that wooed its stay Hath brushed its brightest hues away, Till, charm and hue and beauty gone, "T is left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing or bleeding breast, Ah! where shall either victim rest? Can this with faded pinion soar From rose to tulip as before ? Or Beauty, blighted in an hour, Find joy within her broken bower ? No; gayer insects fluttering by Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that die, And lovelier things have mercy shown To every failing but their own, And every woe a tear can claim, Except an erring sister's shame.

BYRON.

LADY CLARA VERE DE VERE.

LADY Clara Vere de Vere,

Of me you shall not win renown; You thought to break a country heart

For pastime, ere you went to town. At me you smiled, but unbeguiled

I saw the snare, and I retired : The daughter of a hundred Earls,

You are not one to be desired.

Lady ('lara Vere de Vere,

I know you proud to bear your name ; Your pride is yet no mate for mine,

Too proud to care from whence I came. Nor would I break for your sweet sake

A heart that dotes on truer charms. A simple maiden in her flower

Is worth a hundred coats-of-arms.

WOMAN'S INCONSTANCY. I LOVED thee once, I 'll love no more,

Thine be the grief as is the blame ; Thou art not what thou wast before, What reason I should be the same?

He that can love unloved again,

Hath better store of love than brain : God sends me love my debts to pay, While unthrifts fool their love away.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

Some meeker pupil you must find, For were you queen of all that is,

I could not stoop to such a mind. You sought to prove how I could love,

And my disdain is my reply. The lion on your old stone gates

Is not more cold to you than I.

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown,

If thou hadst still continued mine ; Yea, if thou hadst remained thy own, I might perchance have yet been thine.

But thou thy freedom didst recall,

That if thou might elsewhere inthrall; And then how could I but disdain A captive's captive to remain ?

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

You put strange memories in my head. Not thrice your branching limes have blown

Since I behelal young Laurence dead. O your sweet eyes, your low replies :

A great enchantress you may be ; But there was that across his throat

Which you had hardly cared to see.

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« VorigeDoorgaan »