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CORONATION OF INEZ DE CASTRO.

31

Stept Prince and Chief, 'midst the hush profound,

With homage to her hand.
Why pass'd a faint, cold shuddering

Over each martial frame,
As one by one, to touch that hand,

Noble and leader came?
Was not the settled aspect fair ?

Did not a queenly grace,
Under the parted ebon hair,

Sit on the pale still face?
Death! Death! canst thou be lovely

Unto the eye of Life?
Is not each pulse of the quick high breast

With thy cold mien at strife?
-It was a strange and fearful sight,

The crown upon that head,
The glorious robes, and the blaze of light,

All gather'd round the Dead !
And beside her stood in silence

One with a brow as pale,
And white lips rigidly compress’d,

Lest the strong heart should fail :
King Pedro, with a jealous eye,

Watching the homage done,
By the land's flower and chivalry,

To her, his martyr'd one.
But on the face he look'd not,

Which once his star had been;
To every form his glance was turn'd,

Save of the breathless queen:

Though something, won from the grave's embrace,

Of her beauty still was there,
Its hues were all of that shadowy place,

It was not for him to bear.

Alas! the crown, the sceptre,

The treasures of the earth,
And the priceless love that pour'd those gifts,

Alike of wasted worth !
The rites are closed :- bear back the Dead

Unto the chamber deep!
Lay down again the royal head,

Dust with the dust to sleep!

There is music on the midnight

A requiem sad and slow,
As the mourners through the sounding aisle

In dark procession go;
And the ring of state, and the starry crown,

And all the rich array,
Are borne to the house of silence down,

With her, that queen of clay!
And tearlessly and firmly

King Pedro led the train,
But his face was wrapt in his folding robe,

When they lower'd the dust again. 'Tis hush'd at last the tomb above,

Hymns die, and steps depart:
Who call'd thee strong as death, O Love?

Mightier thou wast and art.

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In the deep hour of dreams,
Through the dark woods, and past the moaning sea,

And by the star-light gleams,
Mother of Sorrows! lo, I come to thee.

Unto thy shrine I bear
Night-blowing flowers, like my own heart, to lie

All, all unfolded there,
Beneath the meekness of thy pitying eye.

For thou, that once didst move,
In thy still beauty, through an early home,

Thou know'st the grief, the love,
The fear of woman's soul; to thee I come!

Many, and sad, and deep,
Were the thoughts folded in thy silent breast;

Thou, too, couldst watch and weep-
Hear, gentlest mother! hear a heart oppress'd!

There is a wandering bark
Bearing one from me o’er the restless waves;

Oh ! let thy soft eye mark
His course ;-be with him, Holiest, guide and save!
My soul is on that way;
My thoughts are travellers o'er the waters dim,

Through the long weary day,
I walk, o'ershadow'd by vain dreams of him.

Aid him, and me, too, aid !
Oh! 't is not well, this earthly love's excess!

On thy weak child is laid
The burden of too deep a tenderness.

Too much o'er him is pour'd
My being's hope-scarce leaving Heaven a part;

Too fearfully adored,
Oh! make not him the chastener of

my

heart! I tremble with a sense Of grief to be; I hear a warning low

Sweet mother! call me hence! This wild idolatry must end in woe.

The troubled joy of life, Love's lightning happiness, my soul hath known;

And, worn with feverish strife, Would fold its wings;-take back, take back thine

own !

Hark! how the wind swept by! The tempest's voice comes rolling o'er the wave

Hope of the sailor's eye, And maiden's heart, blest mother, guide and save!

TO A DEPARTED SPIRIT.

35

TO A DEPARTED SPIRIT.

From the bright stars, or from the viewless air,
Or from some world unreach'd by human thought,
Spirit, sweet spirit! if thy home be there,
And if thy visions with the past be fraught,

Answer me, answer me!

Have we not communed here with life and death?
Have we not said that love, such love as ours,
Was not to perish as a rose's breath,
To melt away, like song from festal bowers?

Answer, oh! answer me!

Thine eye's last light was mine—The soul that shone Intensely, mournfully, through gathering hazeDidst thou bear with thee to the shore unknown, Naught of what lived in that long earnest gaze?

Hear, hear, and answer me!

Thy voice—its low, soft, fervent, farewell tone Thrill'd through the tempest of the parting strife, Like a faint breeze :-oh! from that music flown, Send back one sound, if love's be quenchless life,

But once, oh! answer me !

In the still noontide, in the sunset's hush,
In the dead hour of night, when thought grows deep,
When the heart's phantoms from the darkness rush,
Fearfully beautiful, to strive with sleep-

Spirit! then answer me!

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