Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.

61

“ I thought to stand where banners waved, my sire!

beside thee yet, I would that there our kindred blood on Spain's free

soil had met, Thou wouldst have known my spirit then,- for thee

my fields were won,And thou hast perish'd in thy chains, as though thou

hadst no son!”

Then, starting from the ground once more, he seized

the monarch's rein, Amidst the pale and wilder'd looks of all the cour

tier train; And with a fierce, o'ermastering grasp, the rearing

war-horse led, And sternly set them face to face,- the king before

the dead!

“ Came I not forth upon thy pledge, my father's

hand to kiss ? Be still, and gaze thou on, false king! and tell me

what is this! The voice, the glance, the heart I sought — give

answer, where are they?If thou wouldst clear thy perjured soul, send life

through this cold clay!

“ Into these glassy eyes put light—be still ! keep

down thine ire,Bid these white lips a blessing speak - this earth is Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my

not my sire! Vol. VI. - 6

blood was shed,– Thou canst not-and a king ?— His dust be moun

tains on thy head!” He loosed the steed; his slack hand fell, - upon the

silent face He cast one long, deep, troubled look,—then turn'd

from that sad place: His hope was crush'd, his after-fate untold in mar

tial strain, His banner led the spears no more amidst the hills

of Spain.

THE

TOMB OF MADAME LANGHANS.

1

To a mysteriously consorted pair
This place is consecrate ; to death and life,
And to the best affections that proceed
From this conjunction.

WORDSWORTH.

How many hopes were borne upon thy bier,
O bride of stricken love! in anguish hither!
Like flowers, the first and fairest of the year,
Pluck'd on the bosom of the dead to wither;

At Hindelbank, near Berne, she is represented as bursting from the sepulchre, with her infant in her arms, at the sound of the last trumpet. An inscription on the tomb concludes thus: “ Here am I, O God! with the child whom thou hast given me."

TOMB OF MADAME LANGHANS.

63

Hopes, from their source all holy, though of earth, All brightly gathering round affection's hearth.

Of mingled prayer they told; of Sabbath hours; Of morn's farewell, and evening's blessed meeting ; Of childhood's voice, amidst the household bowers; And bounding step, and smile of joyous greeting ; But thou, young mother! to thy gentle heart Didst take thy babe, and meekly so depart.

How many hopes have sprung in radiance hence ! Their trace yet lights the dust where thou art sleep

ing!

A solemn joy comes o’er me, and a sense
Of triumph, blent with nature's gush of weeping,
As, kindling up the silent stone, I see
The glorious vision, caught by faith, of thee.

Slumberer! love calls thee, for the night is past; Put on the immortal beauty of thy waking ! Captive! and hear’st thou not the trumpet's blast, The long, victorious note, thy bondage breaking ? Thou hear'st, thou answer'st, “God of earth and

Heaven! Here am I, with the child whom thou hast given!”

THE EXILE'S DIRGE.

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious Winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages.

Cymbeline.

I attended a funeral where there were a number of the German settlers present. After I had performed such service as is usual on similar occasions, a most venerable-looking old man came forward, and asked me if I were willing that they should perform some of their peculiar rites. He opened a very ancient version of Luther's Hymns, and they all began to sing, in German, so loud that the woods echoed the strain. There was something affecting in the singing of these ancient people, carrying one of their brethren to his last home, and using the language and rites which they had brought with them over the sea from the Vaterland, a word which often occurred in this hymn. It was a long, slow, and mournful air, which they sung as they bore the body along: the words "mein Gott,"mein Bruder,” and “Vaterland,” died away in distant echoes among the woods. I shall long remember that funeral hymn. Flint's Recollections of the Valley of the Mississippi.

THERE went a dirge through the forest's gloom.
- An exile was borne to a lonely tomb.

“ Brother!” (so the chant was sung
In the slumberer's native tongue)
“ Friend and brother! not for thee
Shall the sound of weeping be:

THE EXILE'S DIRGE.

65

Long the Exile's woe hath lain
On thy life a withering chain;
Music from thine own blue streams,
Wander'd through thy fever-dreams;
Voices from thy country's vines,
Met thee 'midst the alien pines,
And thy true heart died away;

And thy spirit would not stay."
So swell'd the chant; and the deep wind's moan
Seem'd through the cedars to murmur “Gone !"

“ Brother! by the rolling Rhine,
Stands the home that once was thine-
Brother! now thy dwelling lies
Where the Indian arrow flies !
He that blest thine infant head,
Fills a distant greensward bed;
She that heard thy lisping prayer,
Slumbers low beside him there;
They that earliest with thee play'd,
Rest beneath their own oak shade,
Far, far hence !-yet sea nor shore
Haply, brother! part ye more ;
God hath callid thee to that band
In the immortal Fatherland!”

The Fatherland !— with that sweet word A burst of tears 'midst the strain was heard.

“ Brother! were we there with thee,
Rich would many a meeting be!
Many a broken garland bound,
Many a mourn'd and lost one found !

« ForrigeFortsæt »