Page images

No queen, before a shouting crowd,

Led on in bridal state,
E’er struggled with a heart so proud,

Entering her palace gate:
Rejoiced to bid the world farewell,

No saintly anchoress
E'er took possession of her cell

With deeper thankfulness.

“Father of all, upon thy care

And mercy am I thrown; Be thou my safeguard !”—such her prayer

When she was left alone,
Kneeling amid the wilderness

When joy had passed away,
And smiles, fond efforts of distress

To hide what they betray!

The prayer is heard, the Saints have seen,

Diffused through form and face,
Resolves devotedly serene;

That monumental grace
Of Faith, which doth all passions tame

That Reason should control;
And shows in the untrembling frame

A statue of the soul.


'Tis sung in ancient minstrelsy

That Phoebus wont to wear
The leaves of any pleasant tree

Around his golden hair;
Till Daphne, desperate with pursuit

Of his imperious love,
At her own prayer transformed, took root,

A laurel in the grove.

Then did the Penitent adorn

His brow with laurel green;
And ’mid his bright locks never shorn

No meaner leaf was seen;
And poets sage, through every age,

About their temples wound
The bay; and conquerors thanked the Gods,

With laurel chaplets crowned.

Into the mists of fabling Time

So far runs back the praise
Of Beauty, that disdains to climb

Along forbidden ways;
That scorns temptation ; power defies

Where mutual love is not;
And to the tomb for rescue flies

When life would be a blot.

To this fair Votaress, a fate

More mild doth Heaven ordain Upon her Island desolate;

And words, not breathed in vain, Might tell what intercourse she found,

Her silence to endear; What birds she tamed, what flowers the ground

Sent forth ber peace to cheer.

To one mute Presence, above all,

Her soothed affections clung,
A picture on the cabin wall

By Russian usage hung-
The Mother-maid, whose countenance bright

With love abridged the day;
And, communed with by taper light,

Chased spectral fears away.

And oft, as either Guardian came,

The joy in that retreat
Might any common friendship shame,

So high their hearts would beat;
And to the lone Recluse, whate'er

They brought, each visiting Was like the crowding of the year

With a new burst of spring.

But, when she of her Parents thought,

The pang was hard to bear;
And, if with all things not enwrought.

That trouble still is near.

Before her flight she had not dared

Their constancy to prove,
Too much the heroic Daughter feared

The weakness of their love.

Dark is the past to them, and dark

The future still must be,
Till pitying Saints conduct her bark

Into a safer sea-
Or gentle Nature close her eyes,

And set her Spirit free
From the altar of this sacrifice,

In vestal purity.

Yet, when above the forest-glooms

The white swans southward passed,
High as the pitch of their swift plumes

Her fancy rode the blast;
And bore her toward the fields of France

Her Father's native land,
To mingle in the rustic dance,

The happiest of the band !

Of those beloved fields she oft

Had heard her Father tell
In phrase that now with echoes soft

Haunted her lonely cell ;
She saw the hereditary bowers,

She heard the ancestral stream;
The Kremlin and its haughty towers

Forgotten like a dream!


в в


The ever-changing Moon had traced

Twelve times her monthly round, When through the unfrequented Waste

Was heard a startling sound;
A shout thrice sent from one who chased

At speed a wounded deer,
Bounding through branches interlaced,

And where the wood was clear.

The fainting creature took the marsh,

And toward the Island fled,
While plovers screamed with tumult harsh

Above his antlered head;
This, Ina saw; and, pale with fear,

Shrunk to her citadel;
The desperate deer rushed on,

and near
The tangled covert fell.

Across the marsh, the game in view,

The Hunter followed fast,
Nor paused, till o'er the stag he blew

A death-proclaiming blast;
Then, resting on her upright mind,

Came forth the Maid—“In me
Behold,” she said, " a stricken Hind

Pursued by destiny !

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »