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And that she nursed him in a Cave;
And how his Madness went away
When on the yellow forest leaves
A dying Man he lay;
His dying words—But when I reached That tenderest strain of all the Ditty, My falt'ring Voice and pausing Harp
Disturbed her Soul with Pity!
All impulses of Soul and Sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve,
The Music, and the doleful Tale,
The rich and balmy Eve;
And Hopes, and Fears that kindle Hope,
An undistinguishable Throng !
And gentle Wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherished long !
She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love and maiden shame ;
And, like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.
Her bosom heaved—she stepped aside ;
As conscious of my Look, she stepped
Then suddenly with timorous eye
She fled to me and wept.
She half inclosed me with her arms,
She pressed me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head looked up,
And gazed upon my face.
'Twas partly Love, and partly Fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful Art
That I might rather feel than see
The Swelling of her Heart.
I calmed her fears; and she was calm, And told her love with virgin Pride. And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous Bride!
Her eyes are wild, her head is bare,
The sun has burnt her coal-black hair,
Her eye-brows have a rusty stain,
And she came far from over the main.
She has a baby on her arm,
Or else she were alone;
And underneath the hay-stack warm,
And on the green-wood stone,
She talked and sung the woods among;
And it was in the English tongue.
“Sweet Babe! they say that I am mad,
But nay, my heart is far too glad;
And I am happy when I sing
Full many a sad and doleful thing:
Then, lovely Babe, do not fear!
I pray thee have no fear of me,
But, safe as in a cradle, here,
My lovely Baby! thou shalt be,
To thee I know too much I owe;
I cannot work thee any woe.
A fire was once within my brain ;
And in my head a dull, dull pain ;
And fiendish faces one, two, three,
Hung at my breasts, and pulled at me.
But then therè came a sight of joy;
It came at once to do me good;
I waked, and saw my little Boy,
My little Boy of flesh and blood;
Oh joy for me that sight to see !
For he was here, and only he.