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Yes! thou hadst follow'd me through fear and fight;
Thou wouldst have follow'd had my pathway led
Even to the scaffold; had the flashing light
Of the raised axe made strong men shrink with dread,
Thou, 'midst the hush of thousands, wouldst have been
With thy clasp'd hands beside me kneeling seen,
And meekly bowing to the shame thy head-
-The shame!-oh! making beautiful to view
The might of human love-fair thing! so bravely true !
There was thine agony—to love so well
Where fear made love life's chastener.-Heretofore
Whate’er of earth's disquiet round thee fell,
Thy soul, o’erpassing its dim bounds, could soar
Away to sunshine, and thy clear eye speak
Most of the skies when grief most touch'd thy cheek.
Now, that far bightness faded ! never more
Couldst thou lift heavenwards for its hope thy heart, Since at Heaven's gate it seem’d that thou and I must part.
Alas! and life hath moments when a glance
(If thought to sudden watchfulness be stirr’d,)
A flush-a fading of the cheek perchance,
A word-less, less—the cadence of a word,
Lets in our gaze the mind's dim veil beneath,
Thence to bring haply knowledge fraught with death!
-Even thus, what never from thy lip was heard
Broke on my soul.-I knew that in thy sight
I stood-howe'er beloved—a recreant from the light !
Thy sad sweet hymn, at eve, the seas along,
-Oh! the deep soul it breathed !—the love, the woe,
The fervor, pour’d in that full gush of song, ,
As it went floating through the fiery glow
Of the rich sunset !—bringing thoughts of Spain,
With all her vesper-voices, o'er the main,
Which seem'd responsive in its murmuring flow.
-“ Ave sanctissima ! "-how oft that lay Hath melted from my heart the martyr-strength away!
'Tis night-fall on the sea ;
Ora pro nobis !
Our souls rise to thee !
Watch us, while shadows lie
O'er the dim water spread; Hear the heart's lonely sigh,
-Thine, too, hath bled!
Thou that hast look'd on death,
Aid us when death is near ! Whisper of Heaven to faith ;
Sweet mother, hear!
Ora pro nobis ! The wave must rock our sleep,
Ora, mater, ora ! Thou star of the deep !
" Ora pro nobis, mater!”- What a spell
Was in those notes, with day's last glory dying
On the flushi'd waters !-seem'd they not to swell
From the far dust, wherein my sires were lying
With crucifix and sword ?-Oh! yet how clear
Comes their reproachful sweetness to mine ear!
“ Ora !”—with all the purple waves replying,
All my youth's visions rising in the strain- And I had thought it much to bear the rack and chain !
Torture !—the sorrow of affection's eye,
Fixing its meekness on the spirit's core,
Deeper, and teaching more of agony,
May pierce than many swords -and this I bore
With a mute pang. Since I had vainly striven
From its free springs to pour the truth of heaven
Into thy trembling soul, my Leonor !
Silence rose up where hearts no hope could share: -Alas! for those that love, and may not blend in prayer !
We could not pray together ʼmidst the deep,
Which, like a floor of sapphire, round us lay,
Through days of splendour, nights too bright for sleep,
Soft, solemn, holy! We were on our way
Unto the mighty Cordillera-land,
With men whom tales of that world's golden strand
Had lured to leave their vines.-Oh! who shall say
What thoughts rose in us, when the tropic sky
Touch'd all its molten seas with sunset's alchemy?
Thoughts no more mingled !—Then came night—th'
Dark blue—the burning stars !-I saw thee shine
Once more, in thy serene magnificence,
O Southern Cross ! 16 as when thy radiant sign
First drew my gaze of youth.—No, not as then;
I had been stricken by the darts of men
Since those fresh days, and now thy light divine
Look'd on mine anguish, while within me strove
The still small voice against the might of suffering love.