And as the loving servant weeping stood,
Loath to awake her to her evil doom,
She opened her large violet eyes, and gazed
Upon the morning sunlight stealing in;
The clear light trembling, growing on the wall,
And as she looked, her eyes grew like the eyes
Of blessed angels looking on their Lord.
And high toward Heaven she lifted up her hands,
Then clasped them in content upon her breast,
And cried out in a glad voice, “oh, my heart!”
And with such glory lighting up her face,
As if the flood of joy had filled her heart,
And overrun her lips with blissful smiles
She left the world, and saved her sire from shame.
Lift up your brown eyes, darling,
Not timidly and shy,
As in the fair, lost past, not thus
I’d have you meet my eye.
But grave, and calm, and earnest,
Thus bravely should we part,
Not sorrowfully, not lightly,
And so farewell, dear heart.
Yes, fare thee well, farewell,
Whate’er shall me betide
May gentlest angels comfort thee,
And peace with thee abide;
Our love was but a stormy love,
’Tis your will we should part—
So smile upon me once, darling,
And then farewell, dear heart.
But lay your hand once on my brow,
Set like a saintly crown,
It will shield me, it will help me
To hurl temptations down.
God give thee better love than mine—
Nay, dear, no tears must start,
See, I am quiet, thou must be,
And now farewell, dear heart.
Clear shone the moon, my mansion walls
Towered white above the wood,
Near, down the dark oak avenue
An humble cottage stood.
My gardener’s cottage, small and brown,
Yet precious unto me;
For there she dwelt, who sat by me
That night beside the sea.
So sweet, the white rose on her neck
Was not more fair than she,
As silently her soft brown eyes
Looked outward o’er the sea.
So still, the muslin o’er her heart
Seemed with no breath to stir,
As silently she sat and heard
The tale I told to her.
“It was a knight of Normandy,
He vowed on his good sword
He would not wed his father’s choice,
The Lady Hildegarde.
“Near dwelt the beauteous Edith,
A lowly maiden she—”
Ah! still unmoved, her dark sweet eyes
Looked far away from me.
“Dearer to him one blossom small
That had but touched her hand,
Than all the high-born beauties—
The ladies of the land.
“Dearer to him,” quick came my breath
As I looked down on her,
But the white roses in her hand
No lightest leaf did stir.
Ah! wistfully I read her face,
Full gently did I speak,
No light dawned in her tender eye,
No flush stole o’er her cheek.