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THE TRAGEDY OF THE LAC DE GAUBE IN THE PYRENEES.
The marriage blessing on their brows,
Across the Channel seas
And lands of gay Garonne, they reach
The pleasant Pyrenees:-
He into boyhood born again,
A son of joy and life,-
And she a happy English girl,
A happier English wife.
They loiter not where Argelés,
The chestnut-crested plain,
Unfolds its robe of green and gold
In pasture, grape, and grain;
THE TRAGEDY OF THE LAC DE GAUBE.
But on and up, where Nature's heart
Beats strong amid the hills,
They pause, contented with the wealth
That either bosom fills.
There is a lake, a small round lake,
High on the mountain's breast,
The child of rains and melted snows,
The torrent's summer rest,-
A mirror where the veteran rocks
May glass their peaks and scars
A nether sky where breezes break
The sunlight into stars.
Oh! gaily shone that little lake,
And Nature, sternly fair,
Put on a sparkling countenance
To greet that merry pair;
How light from stone to stone they leapt,
How trippingly they ran;
To scale the rock and gain the marge
Was all a moment's span!
"See, dearest, this primæval boat,
So quaint, and rough, I deem
Just such an one did Charon ply
Across the Stygian stream:
Step in,—I will your Charon be,
And you a Spirit bold, ---
I was a famous rower once
In college days of old.
" The clumsy oar! the laggard boat !
How slow we move along -
The work is harder than I thought,
A song, my love, a song !
Then, standing up, she carolled out
So blithe and sweet a strain,
That the long-silent cliffs were glad
To peal it back again.
He, tranced in joy, the oar laid down,
And rose in careless pride,
And swayed in cadence to the song
The boat from side to side;
Then clasping hand in loving hand,
They danced a childish round,
And felt as safe in that mid-lake
As on the firmest ground.
One poise too much!—he headlong fell,
She, stretching out to save
A feeble arm, was borne adown
Within that glittering grave:-
One moment, and the gush went forth
Of music-mingled laughter,-
The struggling splash and deathly shriek
Were there the instant after.
Her weaker head above the flood,
That quick engulfed the strong,
Like some enchanted water-flower,
Waved pitifully long :-
Long seemed the low and lonely wail
Athwart the tide to fade;
Alas! that there were some to hear,
But never one to aid.
Yet not, alas! if Heaven revered
The freshly-spoken vow,
And willed that what was then made one
Should not be sundered now,--
THE TRAGEDY OF THE LAC DE GAUBE.
If She was spared, by that sharp stroke,
Love's most unnatural doom,
The future lorn and unconsoled,
The unavoided tomb!
But weep, ye very rocks! for those,
Who, on their native shore,
Await the letters of dear news,
That shall arrive no more;
One letter from a stranger hand,
Few words are all the need;
And then the funeral of the heart,
The course of useless speed !
The presence of the cold dead wood,
The single mark and sign
Of her so loved and beautiful,
That handiwork divine!
The weary search for his fine form
That in the depth would linger,
And late success,-Oh! leave the ring
Upon that faithful finger.
And if in life there lie the seed
Of real enduring being ;
If love and truth be not decreed
To perish unforeseeing;
This Youth, the seal of death has stamped,
Now time can wither never,
This hope, that sorrow might have damped,
Is fresh and strong for ever.
In the far south, where clustering vines are hung
Where first the old chivalric lays were sung;
Where earliest smiled that gracious child of France,
Angel and knight and fairy, called Romance,
I stood one day. The warm blue June was spread
Upon the earth; blue summer overhead,
Without a cloud to fleck its radiant glare,
Without a breath to stir its sultry air.
All still, all silent, save the sobbing rush
Of rippling waves, that lapsed in silver hush
Upon the beach; where, glittering towards the strand,