She placed the rose on her bloodless breast,
And dizzy and faint she reached the tower,
And her strange eyes looked out again on the west,
And a wave dashed up, as she looked from the tower,
Like a hand, and lifted the roots of the flower,
And swept it—carried it out to the west,
From the Lady Cecile.
And like death was her face, when suddenly,
Strangely—a tremulous golden gleam
Pierced the pile of clouds, high-massed and gray,
And the shining, quivering, golden beam
Seemed a bridge of light—a gold highway
Thrown o’er the wild waves of the bay;
And the Lady Cecile
Did eagerly out of her lattice lean
With her glad eyes bent on that bridge gold-bright,
As if some form by her rapt eyes seen,
Were beckoning her down that path of light,
That quivering, shining, led from sight,
Ending afar in the sunset sheen.
And the Lady Cecile
Cried with her lips that erst were dumb
“See! am I not true? your flower I wore,”
And her thin hand eagerly touched the flower,
“He is smiling upon me! yes, love, I come.”
And a pleasant light, like the light of home,
Lit her eyes, and life and pain were o’er
To the Lady Cecile.
A spirit is out to-night!
His steeds are the winds; oh, list,
How he madly sweeps o’er the clouds,
And scatters the driving mist.
We will let the curtains fall
Between us and the storm;
Wheel the sofa up to the hearth,
Where the fire is glowing warm.
Little student, leave your book,
And come and sit by my side;
If you dote on Tennyson so,
I’ll be jealous of him, my bride.
There, now I can call you my own!
Let me push back the curls from your brow,
And look in your dark eyes and see
What my bird is thinking of now.
Is she thinking of some high perch
Of freedom, and lofty flight?
You smile; oh, little wild bird,
You are hopelessly bound to-night!
You are bound with a golden ring,
And your captor, like some grim knight,
Will lock you up in the deepest cell
Of his heart, and hide you from sight.
Sweetheart, sweetheart, do you hear far away
The mournful voice of the sea?
It is telling me of the time
When I thought you were lost to me.
Nay, love, do not look so sad;
It is over, the doubt and the pain;
Hark! sweet, to the song of the fire,
And the whisper of the rain.
STEPS WE CLIMB.
Like idle clouds our lives move on,
By change and chance as idly blown;
Our hopes like netted sparrows fly,
And vainly beat their wings and die.
Fate conquers all with stony will,
Oh, heart, be still—be still!