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With murmurs of the cushat-dove,
That tell the secret of her love :
And pleasant therefore all day long,
From earliest dawn to even-song,-
Supremely pleasant was this wild
Sweet garden to the woodsman's child.-
The whirlwind came with fire and flood
And smote the garden in the wood ;
All that was form'd to give delight
Destruction levell’d in a night;
The morning broke, the child awoke,
And when she saw what sudden stroke
The garden which she loved bad swept
To ruin, she sat down and wept.
Her grief was great, but it had vent;
Its force, not spared, was sooner spent;
And she bethought her to repair
The garden which had been so fair.
Then roam'd she through the forest walks,
Cropping the wild flowers by their stalks,
And divers full-blown blossoms gay
She gather'd, and in fair array
Disposed, and stuck them in the mound
Which had been once her garden-ground.
They seem'd to flourish for awhile,
A moment's space she seem'd to smile;
But brief the bloom, and vain the toil,
They were not native to the soil.
That other child, beneath whose zone
Were passions fearfully full-grown,-
She too essay'd to deck the waste
Where love had grown, which love had graced,
With false adornments, flowers not fruit,
Fast-fading flowers, that strike not root, -
With pleasures alien to her breast,
That bloom but briefly at the best,
The world's sad substitutes for joys
To minds that lose their equipoise.
On Como's lake the evening star
Is trembling as before ;
An azure flood, a golden bar,
There as they were before they are,
But she that loved them—she is far,
Far from her native shore.
No more is seen her slender boat
Upon the star-lit lake afloat,
With oar or sail at large to rove,
Or tether'd in its wooded cove
'Mid gentle waves that sport around
And rock it with a gurgling sound.
Keel up, it rots upon the strand,
Its gun wale sunken in the sand,
Where suns and tempests warp'd and shrank
Each shatter'd rib and riven plank.
Never again that land-wreck'd craft
Shall feel the billow boom abaft;
Never, when springs the freshening gale,
Take life again from oar or sail :
Nor shall the freight that once it bore
Again be seen on lake or shore.
A foreign land is now her choice,
A foreign sky above her, And unfamiliar is each voice
Of those that say they love her. A prince's palace is her home, And marble floor and gilded dome, Where festive myriads nightly meet, Quick echoes of her steps repeat. And she is gay at times, and light From her makes many faces bright; And circling flatterers hem her in, Assiduous each a word to win, And smooth as mirrors each the while Reflects and multiplies her smile. But fitful were her smiles, nor long She cast them to that courtly throng; And should the sound of music fall Upon her ear in that high hall, The smile was gone, the eye that shone So brightly, would be dimm'd anon, And objectless would then appear As stretch'd to check the starting tear. The chords within responsive rung, For music spoke her native tongue.
And then the gay and glittering crowd
Is heard not, laugh they ne'er so loud;
Nor then is seen the simpering row
Of flatterers, bend they ne'er so low;
For there before her where she stands,
The mountains rise, the lake expands;
Around the terraced summit twines
The leafy coronal of vines ;
Within the watery mirror deep
Nature's calm converse lies asleep;
Above she sees the sky's blue glow,
The forest's varied green below,
And far its vaulted vistas through
A distant grove of darker hue,
Where mounting high from clumps of oak
Curls lightly up the thin gray
And o'er the boughs that over-bower
The crag, a castle's turrets tower-
An eastern casement mantled o'er
With ivy, flashes back the gleam Of sun-rise—it was there of yore She sate to see that sun-rise
pour Its splendour round—she sees no more,
For tears disperse the dream.
Thus seized and speechless had she stood,
Surveying mountain, lake, and wood,
When to her ear came that demand
Had she forgot her native land ?
'Twas but a voice within replied
She had forgotten all beside.
For words are weak and most to seek
When wanted fifty-fold,
And then if silence will not speak,
Or trembling lip and changing cheek,
There's nothing told.
But could she have reveal'd to him
Who question'd thus, the vision bright That ere his words were said
dim And vanish'd from her sight, Easy the answer were to know
And plain to understand,
That mind and memory both must fail,
And life itself must slacken sail, And thought its functions must forego, And fancy lose its latest glow,
Or ere that land Could pictured be less bright and fair To her whose home and heart are there! That land the loveliest that eye can see The stranger ne'er forgets, then how should she !
-Cease the soft sounds, the mellow voice is mute, And quivers to a close that plaintive lady's lute.Pass we to matters masculine ; to strains Where weightier themes may pay the reader's pains. Again disclose we counsels of the wise, Deeds of the warlike :-let the Curtain rise.