Page images
PDF
EPUB

window, and beckoned for them to come should choose so hard a lot, she rememin. Harold, delighted with so much mag- bered the crown that was laid up for her. nificence, jumped quickly into the coach, At last the angel, called Death, came without even kissing Edric or his dear for these children; and as he approached, little sister Maude, who were not as bold as his shadow, Sickness, came before. It their brother, but were afraid of the grand went first to Harold, to whom the princess princess. The carriage passed rapidly on, had given many coffers of gold; but he and had scarcely disappeared, when a was so afraid of losing his treasure, that youth resting on a ball that carried him he kept it in a deep vault, and hardly as swiftly as the wind, approached them, dared look at it for fear of being discovand said, “Come! and have glory and ered. Whenever a human face met his, honor! Come! and obtain homage and he trembled for his gold ; they might susapplause! Come! and be famous—be pect, he thought, and steal his treasure. great !" And before the wondering Maude It caused him constant unhappiness ; and could imagine what the youth had meant, when Sickness came to warn him of Death, Edric was riding away from his sister on his misery increased sevenfold ; he could the swift ball.

not, would not part with his beloved gold; And now Maude sat down on a rock, he was not ready for Death; nevertheless quite alone ; it

grew darker each moment, Death came, and the wretched Harold was and the great waves moaned sadly ; but obliged to leave his treasure. Maude was not frightened, for her inno- The shadow then passed over Edric ; cent heart had power to protect her from he had become very famous : but there harm, as she folded her hands and sat lived one who was yet above him in glory; quite still, thinking so deeply of her dear and this rival he only aspired to surpass ; brothers, that she heard no approaching then he would be perfectly happy. From foot-fall ; and when she lifted her eyes, a the time that the figure on the ball, who serene, beautiful face was turned to hers; was the spirit of Fame, had beguiled him by her side sat a man whose garments from his sister, he had been aiming at were dusty, and who appeared to have only one step higher; but, alas ! he was traveled from a far country. He tenderly never contented with that which had pretook the little hands of Maude between his viously been to him the ideal of perfect own, and said, “Dear child, will you fol- happiness. He begged to live just long low me? You can neither have riches nor enough to look down on his superior ; but honor, but trials and scorn, perhaps, in- Death was unyielding; and after all his stead; yet you will have a friend, always struggles for glory, he had not attained true, always willing and able to bestow the greatness to which he had aspired. all you need. His arms will be around Then came Death and his shadow to you ; he will bear all your griefs, and I Maude, not as a terrible enemy, not as am he.” While saying these words, his an inexorable tyrant, as he had seemed to countenance became as sweet and radiant her brothers; but a white-winged messenas the face of the saint on the chancel at ger of good-tidings—a guide to the portal sunset. The golden head of Maude was of heaven. The shadow did not darken bent upon her breast; her gentle face was her soul, for she thought continually of wet with tears : but with a low, quivering those shining ones, and of her crown jewvoice, she said, “ Yea, Lord !” And then eled with stars; and when Death came, she heard her friend say, “Look up, she opened her arms and welcomed him ; Maude! look up!” She raised her tear- and he led the child away from the thorny ful but glad eyes ; and there before her path in which she had so meekly walked, stood her Friend, clothed in robes of right- and left her at the entrance to heaven. eousness, surrounded by shining ones, and And there, lifting up her eyes, she saw, holding a crown of greater beauty than standing within the portal, the holy and ever her simple heart had imagined ; and beautiful form which once appeared to her she heard these blessed words : “Be thou as she sat upon the rock; his robes were faithful unto death, and I will give thee a not now soiled, but white as the light ; crown of life.”

he extended his arms and she fell upon Maude followed her friend closely; she his bosom. He bore her into the midst walked in his footsteps; and while some of the holy ones, and gave her as a comridiculed, and others wondered that she | panion to them forever.

[graphic][merged small]

OW

those who inhabit the green hamlets of affection which they wore on earth ; yet and populous cities of the dead! They more lovely, more radiant, more spiritual ! need no antidote for care, — no armor He spoke well who said that graves are against fate. No morning sun shines in the footsteps of angels! It was in an hour at the closed windows and awakens them, of blessed communion with the souls of nor shall unto the last great day. At most, the departed, that the sweet poet Henry a straggling sunbeam creeps in through Vaughan wrote those few lines which have the crumbling wall of an old, neglected made death lovely.Hyperion. tomb—a strange visitor, that stays not They are all gone into a world of light, long. And there they all sleep, the holy

And I alone sit lingering here ! ones, with their arms crossed upon their Their very memory is fair and bright, breasts, or lying motionless by their sides, And my sad thoughts doth clear. -not carved in marble by the hand of It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast, man, but formed in dust by the hand of Like stars upon some gloomy grove, God. God's peace be with them! No Or those faint beams in which the hill is dress'd, one comes to them now, to hold them by

After the sun's remove. the hand, and with delicate fingers to I see them walking in an air of glory, smooth their hair. They need no more

Whose light doth trample on my days, the blandishments of earthly friendship.

My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,

Mere glimmerings and decays. They need us not, however much we may need them. And yet they silently await O holy hope and high humility,

High as the heavens above! our coming. Beautiful is that season of These are your walks, and you have show'd life when we can say, in the language of Scripture, Thou hast the dew of thy To kindle my cold love. youth." But of these flowers death Dear, beauteous death! the jewel of the just ! gathers many. We shall see them all Shining nowhere but in the dark ! again, blooming in a happier land.

What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust, Yes, death brings us again to our

Could man outlook that mark ! friends. They are waiting for us, and He that hath found some fledged bird's nest we shall not long delay. They have gone

may know,

At first sight, if the bird be flown; before us, and are like the angels in heav- But what fair field or grove he sings in now, en. They stand upon the borders of the That is to him unknown.

Vol. V.-6

them me,

[graphic][merged small]

And yet as angels, in some brighter dreams, But still thy sword, O vengeful justice ! falls Call to the soul when man doth sleep,

Full late at times upon the plundering crew; So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted The orphan's cry—the widow's wail appalls themes,

The honest heart, whose hand, though poor, And into glory peep!

is true.

Still retributive Justice has a settling day, If a star were confined into a tomb,

When all accounts must balance to a hair; Her captive flame must needs burn there; And though the wavering scales to selfish moBut when the hand that lock'd her up gave

Our souls are surety for the just repair : She'd shine through all the sphere.

Hard hands may wring the heart's blood from

tives sway,

room,

the poor,

O Father of eternal life, and all

Created glories under thee!
Resume thy spirit from this world of thrall

Into true liberty.

But, 0! like Abel's, once, it crieth at their

door,

Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill

My perspective, still as they pass,
Or else remove me hence unto that hill

Where I shall need no glass.

[For the National Magazine. ]

MERCY.
01 meek-eyed Mercy! messenger of God,

Sweet is thy presence to the trembling soul-
To thee stern Justice yields her vengeful rod,

Repentance blesses meekly thy control.
She pleads to God, weak, erring man to spare;

Her tears arrest the master's iron hand :-
Then how shall they, who turn a listless ear,

The God of mercy in their turn withstand ?
For he that feels no mercy for his slave,
Shall plead in vain when death himself shall

come;
There's no repentance past the gloomy grave,

There is no mercy in the silent tomb; Then, O, be merciful to those that sue ! While God his mercy still extends to you.

S. H. D.

SONNETS:-JUSTICE-MERCY.

JUSTICE.
ALL hail to thee! thou friend of honest men,

Whose hand inclines not to the rich or poor;
Thy ready sword is up to strike again

The selfish slaves it often struck before ;

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

WE
E now come to the consideration of

crown of martyrdom, but for the favor of the third Crusade, and of the causes the lovely. which rendered it necessary. The epi It is not necessary to enter into a detail demic frenzy, which had been cooling ever of the events by which Saladin attained sinte the issue of the first expedition, was the sovereignty of the East; or how, after now extinct, or very nearly so, and the a succession of engagements, he planted nations of Europe looked with cold indif- the Moslem banner once more upon the ference upon the armaments of their battlements of Jerusalem. The Christian princes. But chivalry had Aourished in knights and population, including the grand its natural element of war, and was now orders of St. John, the Hospitallers, and in all its glory. It continued to supply the Templars, were sunk in an abyss of armies for the Holy Land when the popu- vice, and, torn by unworthy jealousies and lar ranks refused to deliver up their able- dissensions, were unable to resist the wellbodied swarms. Poetry, which, more than trained armies which the wise and mighty religion, inspired the third Crusade, was Saladin brought forward to crush them. then but “caviare to the million,” who had But the news of their fall created a painother matters, of sterner import, to claim ful sensation among the chivalry of Euall their attention. But the knights and rope, whose noblest members were linked their retainers listened with delight to the to the dwellers in Palestine by many ties, martial and amatory strains of the min- both of blood and friendship. The news strels, minnesängers, trouvéres, and trou- of the great battle of Tiberias, in which badours, and burned to win favor in ladies' Saladin defeated the Christian host with eyes by showing prowess in the Holy terrible slaughter, arrived first in Europe, Land. The third was truly the romantic and was followed in quick succession by era of the Crusades. Men fought then, that of the capture of Jerusalem, Antioch, not so much for the sepulcher of Jesus, Tripoli, and other cities. Dismay seized and the maintenance of a Christian king- upon the clergy. The Pope, Urban III., dom in the East, as to gain glory for them- was so affected by the news that he pined selves in the best and almost only field away for grief, and was scarcely seen to where glory could be obtained. They smile again, until he sank into the sleep fought, not as zealots, but as soldiers ; not of death. His successor, Gregory VIII., for religion, but for honor ; not for the felt the loss as acutely, but had better

OR A

REDERIC

DEI

strength to bear it, and instructed all the at the same time that a tax, called Salaclergy of the Christian world to stir up the din's tithe, and consisting of the tenth part people to arms for the recovery of the of all possessions, whether landed or perHoly Sepulcher. William, Archbishop of sonal, should be enforced over ChristenTyre, a humble follower in the path of dom, upon every one who was either unable Peter the Hermit, left Palestine to preach or unwilling to assume the cross. The to the kings of Europe the miseries he had lord of every feoff, whether lay or ecclesiwitnessed, and to incite them to the rescue. astical, was charged to raise the tithe The renowned Frederick Barbarossa, the within his own jurisdiction ; and any one Emperor of Germany, speedily collected who refused to pay his quota, became by an army, and passing over into Syria with that act the bondman and absolute propless delay than had ever before awaited erty of his lord. At the same time the a crusading force, defeated the Saracens, greatest indulgence was shown to those and took possession of the city of Iconium. who assumed the cross; no man was at He was unfortunately cut off in the mid- liberty to stay them by process of any dle of his successful career, by imprudently kind, whether for debt, or robbery, or murbathing in the Cydnus* while he was over- der. The king of France, at the breaking heated, and the Duke of Suabia took the up of the conference, summoned a parliacommand of the expedition. The latter ment at Paris, where these resolutions

were solemnly confirmed, while Henry II. did the same for his Norman possessions at Rouen, and for England at Geddington, in Northamptonshire. To use the words of an ancient chronicler, (Stowe,)“ he held a parliament about the voyage into the Holy Land, and troubled the whole land with the paying of tithes toward it.”

But it was not England alone that was troubled" by the tax. The people of France also looked upon it with no pleas

ant feelings, and appear from that time NVO

forth to have changed their indifference for the Crusade into aversion. Even the

clergy, who were exceedingly willing that did not prove so able a general, and met

other people should contribute half, or

even all their goods, in furtherance of their with nothing but reverses, although he was enabled to maintain a footing at Antioch favorite scheme, were not at all anxious until assistance arrived from Europe.

to contribute a single sous themselves. Henry II. of England and Philip Au- Millot relates that several of them cried gustus of France, at the head of their the clergy of Rheims were called upon to

out against the impost. Among the rest, chivalry, supported the Crusade with all their influence, until wars and dissensions pay their quota, but sent a deputation to nearer home estranged them from it for a

the king, begging him to be contented time. The two kings met at Gisors in with the aid of their prayers, as they were Normandy in the month of January, 1188, Philip Augustus knew better, and by way

too poor to contribute in any other shape. accompanied by a brilliant train of knights of giving them a lesson, employed three and warriors. William oť Tyre was pres- nobles of the vicinity to lay waste the ent, and expounded the cause of the

Church lands. The clergy, informed of cross with considerable eloquence, and the whole assembly bound themselves by oath the outrage, applied to the king for redress. to proceed to Jerusalem. It was agreed monarch condescendingly, “ and will en

I will aid you with my prayers,” said the • The desire of comparing two great men has treat those gentlemen to let the Church tempted many writers to drown Frederick in the alone.” He did as he had promised ; but river Cyduus, in which Alexander so impru- in such a manner that the nobles, who apdently bathed, (Q. Curt. lib. iii, c. 4, 5;). but, preciated the joke, continued their devasfrom the march of the emperor, I rather judge that his Saleph is the Cacadnus, a stream of less tations as before. Again the clergy apfame, but of a longer course.— Gibbon.

plied to the king. “What would you have

AR

SEAL OF BARBAROSSA.

66

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »