페이지 이미지

I saw her writhe in Darnley's arms as in a serpent's fold: The coward! he was pale as death, but would not loose his . hold.

And t hen the torches waved and shook, and louder grew the din,

And up the stairs and through the doors the rest came trooping in.

But Mary Stuart brushed aside the burning tears that fell: "Now for m v father's arm!" she gasped;" my woman's heart, farewell!"

The scene was changed. It was a lake with one small lonely isle,

And there within the prison walls of its baronial pile. Stern men stood menacing their queen till she should stoop to sign

The traitorous scroll that snatched the crown from her an' cestral line.

"My lords, my lords," the captive said, " were I but once more free,

With ten good knights on yonder shore to aid my cause and me,

That parchment would I rend and give to any wind that blows,

And reign a queen, a Stuart yet, in spite of all my foes!" A red spot burned upon her cheek—streamed her rich tresses down,

She wrote the words; she stood erect—a queen without a crown!

The scene was changed. A royal host a royal banner bore, And the faithful of the land stood round their smiling queen

once more;

She checked her steed upon a hill, she saw them marching by,
She heard their shouts, she read success in every flashing eye.
The tumult of the strife begins; it roars, it dies away,
And Mary's troops and banners now—oh, where and what
are they!

Scattered, struck down or flying lar, defenseless and urndone—

Ah, me! to see what she has lost, to think what guilt has won! Away, away! her gallant steed must act no laggard's part; Yet vain his speed to bear her from the anguish at her heart

Last scene of all. Beside the block a sullen headsman stood, Gleamed in his hand the murderous axe that soon must drip with blood.

With slow and stately step there came a lady thro' the hall, And breathless silence chained the lips and touched the hearts of all:

Kich were the sable robes she wore; her white veil round her fell,

And from her neck there hung a cross—the cross she loved so well!

I knew that queenly form again, though blighted was its

bloom— Though grief and care had decked it out, an offering for the


I knew the eye, though faint its light, that once so brightly shone;

I knew the voice,still musical, that thrilled with every tone;
I knew the ringlets, almost gray, once threads of living gold;
I knew that bounding step of grace, that symmetry of mold.
And memory sought her far away in that calm convent aisle,
Could hear her chant her vesper-hymn, could mark her holy

Could see her as in youth she looked upon her bridal morn,
A new star in the flrmanent to light and'glory born!
Alas, the change! her daring foot had touched a triplr

Now seo her on the scaffold stand, beside the block, alone!
A little dog that licks her hand the lust of all the c rowd
Who sunned themselves beneath her glance or round het

footsteps bowed! Her neck is bare—the axe descends—the soul has passed

away I

The bright, the beautiful, is now a bleeding piece of clay


It was the holy twilight hour, and clouds in crimson pride, Sailed through the golden firmament, in the calm evening tide,

The peasants' cheerful song was hushed, by every hill and glen,

The city's voice stole faintly out, and died the hum of men, And as night's sombre shades came down, o'er day's resplendent eye,

A faded face, from a prison cell, gazed out upon the sky; For to that face the glad bright sun of earth, for aye had set, And the last time had come to mark eve's starry coronet ooc

Oh! who can paint the bitter thoughts, that o'er her 6piri, stole

As her pale lips gave utterance to feeling's deep control! While, shadowed from life's vista back, thronged mid hei falling tears,

The phantasies of early hope, dreams of departed years. When pleasure's light was sprinkled, and silver voices flung Their rich and echoing cadences, her virgin hours among; When there came no shadow on her brow, no tear to dim her eye,

When there frowned no cloud of sorrow, in her being's festal sky.

Perchance at that lone hour the thought of early vision came, Of the trance that touched her lip with song at love's mysterious flame,

When she listened to the low breathed tones of him—the

idol one, • Who shone m her imaginings first ray of pleasure's sun. Perchance the walk in evening hour, the impassioned kiss

or vow,

The warm tear on the kindling cheek, the smile upon the brow—

But they came like flowers that wither, and the light of all had fled,

As a hue from April's pinion, o'er earth's budding bosom shed.

And thus as star came after star into the boundless Heaven, Were her deep thoughts, and eloquent, in pensive numbers given,

They were the offerings of a heart, where grief had long held sway,

And now the night, the hour had come to give her feelings way;—

It was the last dim night of life; the sun had sunk to rest, And the blue twilight liaze had crept o'er the far mountain's breast;

And thus as in her saddened heart, the tide of love grew strong,

Poured her meek quiet spirit forth, this flood of mournful song.

"The shades of evening gather now o'er this mysterious earth,

The viewless winds are whispering in wild capricious mirth, The gentle moon hath come to shed a flood of glory round, That, through this soft and still repose, sleeps richly on the ground,

lnd in the free sweet gales that sweep along my prison bar 'leem borne the pure deep harmonies of every kindling star.

I see the blue streams glancing in the mild and chastened light,

And the gem-lit fleecy clouds, that steal along the brow of night.

'Oh! must I leave existence now, while life should be like spring,—

While joy should cheer my pilgrimage with sunbeams from his wing?

Are the songs of hope forever flown? the syren voice which flung

The chant of youth's warm happiness from the beguiler's tongue?

Sha.l I drink no more the melody of babbling streams or bird, Or the scented gales of summer, as the leaves of June are stirred?

Bhall the pulse of love wax fainter, and the spirit shrink from death,

As the bud-like thoughts that lit my heart, fade in its chilling breath?

"I have passed the dreams of childhood, and my loves and

hopes are gone, jLnd I turn to Thee, Redeemer! O thou blest and Holy One! Though the rose of health has vanished, though the mandate

has been spoken, And one by one the golden links, of life's fond chain are


Yet can my spirit turn to Thee, thou chastenerl and can bend

In humble suppliance at thy throne, my father, and my friend!

Thou, who hast crowned my youth with hope, my early days with glee,

Give me the eagle's fearless wing—the dove's to mount to Thee!

"I lose my foolish hold on life, its passions, and its tears, How brief the yearning ecstasies, of its young, and careless years!

I give my heart to earth no more, the grave may clasp me now; The winds whose tone I loved, may play in the cypress bough!

The birds, the streams, are eloquent; yet I shall pass away, And in the light of Heaven shake off, this cumbrous loud of clay,—

I shall join the lost, the loved of earth, and meet each kindred breast,—

'Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are •trest.'"

A NIGHT OF TERROR.—Paul Louis Coram.

I was one day traveling in Calabria; a country of peopls who, I believe, have no great liking to anybody, and are particularly ill-disposed towards the French. To tell you why would be a long affair. It is enough that they hate us to death, atid that the unhappy being who should chance to fall into their hands would not pass his time in the most agreeable manner. I had for my companion a worthy young fellow; I do not say this to interest you, but because it is the truth. In these mountains the roads are precipices, and our horses advanced with the greatest difficulty. My comrade going first, a track which appeared to him more practicable and shorter than the regular path, led us astray. It was my fault. Ought I to have trusted to a head of twenty years? We sought our way out of the wood while it was yet light; but the more we looked for the path, the further we were off it.

It was a very black night, when we came close upon a very black house. We went in, and not without suspicion. But what was to be done? There we found a whole family of charcoal-burners at table. At the first word they invited us to join them. My young man did not stop for much ceremony. In a minute or two we were eating and drinking in right earnest—he at least; for my own part I could not help glancing about at the place and the people. Our hosts, indeed, looked like charcoal-burners,- but the house! you would have taken it for an arsenal. There was nothing to be seen but muskets, pistols, sabres, knives, cutlasses. Everything displeased me, and I saw that I was in no favor myself. My comrade, on the contrary, was soon one of the family. He laughed, he chatted with them; and with an imprudence which I ought to have prevented, ho at once said where we came from, where we were going, and that we were Frenchmen. Think of our situation. Here we were among our mortal enemies—alone, benighted, and far from all human aid. That nothing might be omitted that couid tend to our destruction, he must, forsooth, play the rich man.

« 이전계속 »