페이지 이미지

The other pale and lovely as the moon

Serenely smiling in a cloudiess sky, While in her face a contemplative air

Cast a deep shadow on her thoughtful eye. A sable robe around her loosely thrown

Fell in rich folds, yet still I could descry The outline of a fair and noble form,

Matchless alike in grace and symmetry.

They seated them upon a knoll, whose feet

The silver river laved with murmurings low; Above their heads the soaring lark poured forth

His strains in rich and undulating flow. Around them lay so calmly in repose

The valley guarded by tall hills of blue, Upon whose sides the grazing flocks were seen,

And near whose summits giddy swallows flew.

At length Mirth spoke, upon whose brow the crown

Of mauy a revel and gay dance he wore, “ Fair sister, weep not, dry thy falling tears,

And bid thy heart be merry evermore. All is not sorrow, though the hour be dark,

And angry clouds of fortune gather near, Let not their gloomy influence chill thy soul,

Nor wring thy bosom with their blight full sere."

“Unhappy dreamer," Melancholy said.

“Thy worldly vanities are empty show; Fade they all must; what in the coming gloom

Can cheer the solitude we then shall know. Some higher thoughts be ours, some nobler theme

Than that which mirth inspires ns to feel, Teach us devotion holy, calm, and pure,

And to the soul its heavenly aim reveal.”

“ I do not dream,” said Mirth—“O that I could !

Such gorgeous visions should my brain then fill That waking, if one gleam with me remained,

Mankind should happy be, and know no ill.
I'd teach, although no monitor am I,

And apt to linger in life's idle way,
Lessons so fraught with tenderness and love,
years should

pass as happy as a day.

I often leave a gay and lighted hall

To sit unseen beside a peasant's fire,
I love to see the merry little brood

Play sad disasters with their willing sire.
I could not for my life restrain their pranks,

Nor loose for worlds the tiny little chain,
Their arms make round his neck-O gentle thrall,

It warms my heart, and I am young again:

“ Then on long summer nights, when sleeps the world,

And Heaven has crown'd with stars departed day, Near to some maiden's shady bower I roam,

Where flitting moonbeams through the branches play. If on her bosom pensive thoughts do dwell,

And long past pleasures to her memory cling, Love-songs like this to free her heart from care,

Beneath her casement I make bold to sing

"''Tis good to be loving, come forth, come forth,

All earth is gay, and her carpet green; The ruined abbey, so lone and dim,

Looks glorious, flooded with silver sheen. Night is the hour when shines the moon,

For young warm hearts to dream of love ; Haste, haste, for the hours wane all too fast,

And a lover awaits in yonder grove.

“ 'Tis good to be loving, come forth, come forth,

Like fairy revels our dance shall be,
In the soft moonlight, so calm and bright,

We'll carol love songs, neath the old elm tree.
To-morrow may come, and sorrow may fling

Its darts around us, but what care we?
In the calm moonlight, so merry and light,

We'll dance a gay dance round the old elm tree.'

Then Melancholy said, “ Who talks of love

Knows not the canker at the core ; He who so blindly can be led will find

Tears fill the place where smiles were wont before. A flower so frail as love not long endures

Born but to wither, blossoming to fade, A sunbeam playing on the earth an hour,

Ere night approaches with its sombre shade."

Just then a band of laughing reapers came,

With the last load, which they in trophy bore; Adown the lane their jocund voices rang,

And echo answered to their tuneful roar. Mirth heard the strain, and started like a fawn,

Who hears afar the dreaded hunter's cry, “ Those sounds to me, when young, were joy, he said,

And more than ever now breathe extacy.

Go, then,” said Melancholy, pensively and sad,

" Join their loud clamour as the gibe goes round; But learn too late the blessedness of peace

Can ne'er amid the busy world be found." She leaned her head upon her gentle hand,

While Mirth, half feeling that the words were true, Paused in his merriment with comic grace,

And spoke, as awkwardly he waived adieu,

“ Without me what would be this harvest home?

The jest would find no laugh were I not there ; No loving cronies would their stories tell;

Nor flirtings firmer bind the plighted pair.
The song unsung would be, the lively dance,

That happy, happy, fertile source of love,
Would ne'er be named, alike the night's round game

A dreary piece of merriment would prove.

I saw him join them, and I heard the shout

That hailed his coming, as he joined their play, A dozen girls flew to their prize at once,

And bore him laughing in their arms away. How long he tarried, needs not to be told,

Nor will I trace the frolics of that night, For set the sun, and evening came apace, And closed the busy revel from my sight.

W. B. A.







As if to make amends for the misery we had suffered over night, the sun rose in all his splendour on the following day, and truly glad was I in seizing the first opportunity that day-light afforded for quitting my restless couch, where, in spite of all fatigue, I found it utterly impossible to obtain sleep.

By what means I was effectually kept awake I leave to the suggestion of my readers, and those to whom a Spanish Venta may be familiar will not fail in speedily arriving at a correct conclusion.

Bright as the morning was, we were destined to undergo disappointment, for scarcely had the greater portion of the party arrived at the Venta de los Domajos than the rain descended in torrents.

After a miserable and thoroughly wet drive we at length drew near the town of Loxa, and slightly prepossessing as was its appearance, when viewed amid a heavy fall of rain, there was not one among the party who did not joyfully hail the spot destined for our shelter and repose.

A good dinner will effect wonders, not only by invigorating the frame, but also in adding fresh force and animation to the mind; and if a man harbours within his bosom the least tendency towards communion with his fellow-mortals, it is at that period he will cast aside the accustomed reserve of his nature, and launch forth into friendly converse, with an opennesss and zest foreign to his more cautious hours.

[ocr errors]

It was under some such inspiring influence that our party gaily laughed on recurring to the miseries they had suffered, yet, although they made light of the difficulties surmounted, not an individual present expressed the least anxiety for a second encounter, and to obviate so dreaded an annoyance it was unanimously agreed that the whole cavalcade should remain where it then was, be the period ever so protracted, until the weather promised a more agreeable journey.

That point settled, the next question was, in what way the time could be passed, and as the ladies declared seeing sights in the rain at Loxa was quite a different affair to prosecuting our journey in the wet towards Granada, it was impossible to overrule so convincing an assertion, and a guide for the following morning was accordingly engaged in our service.

There were few objects worthy of visitation that escaped our prying scrutiny next day, and so determined were we to behold all that could be shewn, that, ere noon arrived, our guide was sadly at a loss where to turn for further novelties, in order to appease what he justly regarded as the most extraordinary mania for sight-seeing that ever afflicted those whom it had been his fortune to escort.

“Mateo !” exclaimed one of our party, after a long ramble, “Mateo, what are you to shew us now? for my part I am completely tired; and though we have walked all day, nothing have I seen in any degree sufficient as re-payment for such exertion,—where are you taking us now, Mateo ?”

“Wherever you please, Senor,"replied the obsequious cicerone, I will show you whatever you please.”

“ But what else is there to see;" exclaimed another of the group, "you have promised most liberally I allow, but how have you redeemed your word ? Badly to-day, Mateo,” he continued, laughing, “come confess that nothing remains to be shewn, and you will save your conscience the weight of telling an untruth, and relieve us from much additional fatigue,—come, Mateo, confess.”

“Ah! Senors," replied the cunning Spaniard, “you are so impatient you will not give me time; how can I show everything in a moment ? Impossible! there is much yet to be seen, I can assure you,” and here the poor guide, unwilling to lose such good customers, cast his eyes around, as if hoping that some extraordinary phenomena might arise to justify his assertion. “I can confidently assure you, Senors," he continued, “there is much more to excite your astonishment yet; and now I think of it,” he added, his countenance brightening as some lucky thought crossed his prolific brain, “now I think of it, Senors, you have never visited the Church of Saint Juan--a splendid

« 이전계속 »