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THE SISTERS OF SCIO.

As our hearts, our way is one,
And cannot be divided. Strong affection
Contends with all things, and o'ercometh all things.
Will I not live with thee? will I not cheer thee?
Wouldst thou be lonely then ? wouldst thou be sad ?

JOANNA BAILLIE,

“ SISTER, sweet Sister! let me weep awhile !

Bear with me-give the sudden passion way! Thoughts of our own lost home, our sunny isle,

Come, as a wind that o'er a reed hath sway; Till my heart dies with yearnings and sick fears ;Oh! could my heart melt from me in these tears!

“Our father's voice, our mother's gentle eye, Our brother's bounding step — where are they,

where? Desolate, desolate our chambers lie!

-How hast thou won thy spirit from despair ? O'er mine swift shadows, gusts of terror, sweep :I sink away-bear with me— let me weep!”

“ Yes ! weep, my Sister! weep, till from thy heart

The weight flow forth in tears; yet sink thou not! I bind my sorrow to a lofty part,

For thee, my gentle one! our orphan lot To meet in quenchless trust; my soul is strongThou, too, wilt rise in holy might ere long.

THE SISTERS OF SCIO.

57

“A breath of our free heavens and noble sires,

A memory of our old victorious dead, These mantle me with power! and though their fires

In a frail censer briefly may be shed, Yet shall they light us onward side by side ;Have the wild birds, and have not we, a guide ?

“ Cheer, then, beloved ! on whose meek brow is set

Our mother's image—in whose voice a tone, A faint sweet sound of hers, is lingering yet,

An echo of our childhood's music gone ;Cheer thee! thy Sister's heart and faith are high; Our path is one— with thee I live and die !"

BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.

The celebrated Spanish champion, Bernardo del Carpio, having made many ineffectual efforts to procure the release of his father, the Count Saldana, who had been imprisoned by King Alfonso of Asturias, almost from the time of Bernardo's birth, at last took up arms in despair. The war which he maintained proved so destructive, that the men of the land gathered round the King, and united in demanding Saldana's liberty. Alfonso, accordingly, offered Bernardo immediate possession of his father's person, in exchange for his castle of Carpio. Bernardo, without hesitation, gave up his strong hold, with all his captives; and being assured that his father was then on his way from prison, rode forth with the King to meet him. “ And when he saw his father approaching, he exclaimed,” says the ancient chronicle, “Oh, God ! is the Count of Saldana indeed coming ?' — Look where he is,' replied the cruel King, “and now go and greet him whom you have so long desired to see.' The remainder of the story will be found related in the ballad. The chronicles and romances leave us nearly in the dark as to Bernardo's history after this event.

The warrior bow'd his crested head, and tamed his

heart of fire, And sued the haughty king to free his long-impris

on'd sire; “I bring thee here my fortress keys, I bring my

captive train, I pledge thee faith, my liege, my lord !-oh, break

my father's chain!”

BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.

59

Rise, rise ! even now thy father comes, a ransom'd

man this day; Mount thy good horse, and thou and I will meet

him on his way.Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded on

his steed, And urged, as if with lance in rest, the charger's

foamy speed.

And lo! from far, as on they pressid, there came a

glittering band, With one that 'midst them stately rode, as a leader

in the land; “ Now haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in very

truth, is he, The father whom thy faithful heart hath yearn’d

so long to see.”

His dark eye flash'd, his proud breast heaved, his

cheek's blood came and went; He reach'd that grey-hair'd chieftain's side, and there,

dismounting, bent; A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand

he took,What was there in its touch that all his fiery spi

rit shook ?

That hand was cold—a frozen thing-it dropp'd

from his like lead,He look'd up to the face above- the face was of A plume waved o'er the noble brow - the brow was

the dead!

fix'd and white;He met at last his father's eyes—but in them was

no sight!

Up from the ground he sprang, and gazed, but who

could paint that gaze? They hush'd their very hearts, that saw its horror

and amaze; They might have chain’d him, as before that stony

form he stood, For the power was stricken from his arm, and from

his lip the blood.

“ Father!” at length he murmur'd low-and wept

like childhood then,Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of

warlike men !He thought on all his glorious hopes, and all his

young renown,He flung the falchion from his side, and in the dust

sate down.

Then covering with his steel-gloved hands his darkly

mournful brow, “No more, there is no more," he said, “to lift the

sword for now. My king is false, my hope betray'd, my Father

oh! the worth, The glory, and the loveliness, are pass'd away from

earth!

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