But lo, at last he comes with crowded sail!
Lo, o’er the cliff what eager figures bend!
And hark, what mingled murmurs swell the gale!
In each he hears the welcome of a friend.
—’Tis she, ’tis she herself!
she waves her hand!
Soon is the anchor cast, the canvass furl’d;
Soon thro’ the whitening surge he springs to land,
And clasps the maid he singled from the world.
Immota manet; multosque nepotes,
Multa virum volvens durando saecula, vincit. VIRG.
Round thee, alas, no shadows move!
From thee no sacred murmurs breathe!
Yet within thee, thyself a grove,
Once did the eagle scream above,
And the wolf howl beneath.
There once the steel-clad knight reclin’d,
His sable plumage tempest-toss’d;
And, as the death-bell smote the wind,
From towers long fled by human kind,
His brow the hero cross’d!
Then Culture came, and days serene,
And village-sports, and garlands gay.
Full many a pathway cross’d the green;
And maids and shepherd-youths were seen,
To celebrate the May.
Father of many a forest deep,
(Whence many a navy thunder-fraught)
Erst in their acorn-cells asleep,
Soon destin’d o’er the world to sweep,
Opening new spheres of thought!
Wont in the night of woods to dwell,
The holy druid saw thee rise;
And, planting there the guardian-spell,
Sung forth, the dreadful pomp to swell
Of human sacrifice!
Thy singed top and branches bare
Now straggle in the evening sky;
And the wan moon wheels round to glare
On the long corse that shivers there
Of him who came to die!
Dear is that valley to the murmuring bees.
The small birds build there; and, at summer-noon,
Oft have I heard a child, gay among flowers,
As in the shining grass she sate conceal’d,
Sing to herself.
* * * * *
There is a streamlet issuing from a rock.
The village-girls, singing wild madrigals,
Dip their white vestments in its waters clear,
And hang them to the sun. There first I saw her.
Her dark and eloquent eyes, mild, full of fire,
’Twas heav’n to look upon; and her sweet voice,
As tuneable as harp of many strings,
At once spoke joy and sadness to my soul!
TWO SISTERS. [Footnote]
Well may you sit within, and, fond of grief,
Look in each other’s face, and melt in tears.
Well may you shun all counsel, all relief.
Oh she was great in mind, tho’ young in years!
Chang’d is that lovely countenance, which shed
Light when she spoke; and kindled sweet surprise,
As o’er her frame each warm emotion spread,
Play’d round her lips, and sparkled in her eyes.