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I play'd a sad and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving storyAn old rude song that fitted well

That ruin wild and hoary,

She listen'd with a fitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace; For well she knew, I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand;
And how for ten long years he wood

The ladie of the land:


DARK LADIE. The following poem is intended as the introduction to a somewhat longer one. The use of the old ballad word Ladie for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is prosessedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity (as Camden says) will grant me their pardon, and perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it. A heavier objection may be adduced against the author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties erplode around us in all directions, he should presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love: and five years ago, I own I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas! explosion has succeeded explosion so rapidly, that novelty itself ceases to appear new; and it is possible that now even a simple story, wholly uninspired with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the hubbub of revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest whispering becomes distinctly audible.-S. T. C.

Dec. 21, 1799.

I told her how he pined: and ah!

The deep, the low, the pleading tone With which I sung another's love,

Interpreted my own.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace ; And she forgave me, that I gazed

Too fondly on her face !

O LEAVE the lily on its stem;

O leave the rose upon the spray ;
O leave the elder bloom, fair maids !

And listen to my lay.
A cypress and a myrtle-bough

This morn around my harp you twined, Because it fashion d mournfully

Its murmurs in the wind.
And now a tale of love and wo,

A woful tale of love I sing;
Hark, gentle maidens, hark ! it sighs

And trembles on the string.
But most, my own dear Genevieve,

It sighs and trembles most for thee!
O come and hear what cruel wrongs

Befell the Dark Ladie.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,

My hope, my joy, my Genevieve!
She loves me best, whene'er I sing

The songs that make her grieve.

But when I told the cruel scorn

That crazed this bold and lonely knight, And how he roam'd the mountain woods,

Nor rested day or night; And how he cross'd the woodman's paths,

Through briers and swampy mosses beat; How boughs rebounding scourged his limbs,

And low stubs gored his feet;
That sometimes from the savage den,

And sometimes from the darksome shade, And sometimes starting up at once

In green and sunny glade ;
There came and look'd him in the face

An angel beautiful and bright;
And how he knew it was a fiend,

This miserable knight!
And how, unknowing what he did,

He leapt amid a lawless band,
And saved from outrage worse than death

The ladie of the land !

And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees;

And how she tended him in vain And meekly strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain :


At midnight by the stream I roved,
To forget the form I loved.
Image of Lewti! from my mind
Depart; for Lewti is not kind.

And how she nursed him in a cave;

And how his madness went away, When on the yellow forest leaves

A dying man he lay:

His dying words—but when I reach'd

That tenderest strain of all the ditty, My faltering voice and pausing harp

Disturbid her soul with pity!

The moon was high, the moonlight gleam

And the shadow of a star
Heaved upon Tamaha's stream;

But the rock shone brighter far,
The rock half-shelter'd from my view
By pendent boughs of tressy yew
So shines my Lewti's forehead fair,
Gleaming through her sable hair.
Image of Lewti! from my mind
Depart; for Lewti is not kind.

All impulses of soul and sense

Had thrillid my guiltless Genevieve; The music and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve; And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,

An undistinguishable throng, And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherish'd long!

She wept with pity and delight,

She blush'd with love and maiden shame; And, like the murmurs of a dream,

I heard her breathe my name.

I saw a cloud of palest hue,

Onward to the moon it pass'd;
Still brighter and more bright it grew,
With floating colours not a few,

Till it reach'd the moon at last :
Then the cloud was wholly bright
With a rich and amber light!
And so with many a hope I seek,

And with such joy I find my Lewti:
And even so my pale wan cheek

Drinks in as deep a fush of beauty ! Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind, If Lewti never will be kipd.

I saw her bosom heave and swell,

Heave and swell with inward sighs I could not choose but love to see

Her gentle bosom rise.

Her wet cheek glow'd: she stept aside

As conscious of my look she stepp'd: Then suddenly, with timorous eye,

She flew to me and wept.

She half-enclosed me with her arms,

She press'd me with a meek embrace ; And bending back her head, look'd up,

And gazed upon my face. 'Twas partly love, and partly fear,

And partly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel than see

The swelling of her heart.
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,

And told her love with virgin pride ; And so I won my Genevieve,

My bright and beauteous bride.

The little cloud-it floats away,

Away it goes ; away so soon?
Alas! it has no power to stay ;
Its hues are dim, its hues are gray-

Away it passes from the moon !
How mournfully it seems to fly,

Ever fading more and more, To joyless regions of the sky

And now 'tis whiter than before ! As white as my poor cheek will be,

When, Lewti! on my couch I lie, A dying man for love of thee. Nay, treacherous image! leave my mindAnd yet thou didst not look unkind.

And now once more a tale of wo,

A woful tale of love I sing: for thee, my Genevieve! it sighs,

And trembles on the string. When last I sang the cruel scorn

That crazed this bold and lonely knight And how he roam'd the mountain woods,

Nor rested day or night:

I saw a vapour in the sky,

Thin, and white, and very high ; I ne'er beheld so thin a cloud

Perhaps the breezes that can fly

Now below and now above,
Have snatch'd aloft the lawny shroud

Of lady fair—that died for love.
For maids, as well as youths, have perish'd
From fruitless love too fondly cherish'd.
Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind
For Lewti never will be kind.

I promised thee a sister tale

Of man's perfidious cruelty : Come, then, and hear what cruel wrong Befell the Dark Ladie.

Hush! my heedless feet from under

Slip the crumbling banks for ever: Like echoes to a distant thunder,

They plunge into the gentle river. The river-swans have heard my tread, And startle from their reedy bed.

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O beauteous birds ! methinks ye measure Easily caught, ensnare him, 0 ye nymphs,

Your movements to some heavenly tune! Ye Oreads chaste, ye dusky Dryades ! O beauteous birds ! 'tis such a pleasure

And you, ye earth-winds ! you that make at morn To see you move beneath the moon,

The dew-drops quiver on the spider's webs ! I would it were your true delight

You, O ye wingless airs ! that creep between To sleep by day and wake all night.

The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze,

Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon I know the place where Lewti lies,

The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bed When silent night has closed her eyes:

Ye, that now cool her feece with dropless damp, It is a breezy jasmine bower,

Now pant and murmur with her feeding lamb. The nightingale sings o'er her head :

Chase, chase him, all ye says, and elfin gnomes ! Voice of the night! had I the power

With prickles sharper than his darts bemock That leafy labyrinth to thread,

His little godship, making him perforce And creep, like thee, with soundless tread, Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog's I then might view her bosom white

back. Heaving lovely to my sight,

This is my hour of triumph! I can now As these two swans together heave

With my own fancies play the merry fool, On the gently swelling wave.

And laugh away worse folly, being free.

Here will I seat myself, beside this old, 0! that she saw me in a dream,

Hollow, and weedy oak, which ivy-twine And dreamt that I had died for care ;

Clothes as with network : here will I couch my All pale and wasted I would seem,

limbs, Yct fair withal, as spirits are !

Close by this river, in this silent shade, I'd die, indeed, if I might see

As safe and sacred from the step of man Her bosom heave, and heave for me!

As an invisible world—unheard, unseen, Soothe, gentle image! soothe my mind! And listening only to the pebbly brook To-morrow Lewti may be kind.

That murmurs with a dead, yet tinkling sound; 1795.

Or to the bees, that in the neighbouring trunk
Make honey-hoards. The breeze that visits me
Was never love's accomplice, never raised

The tendril ringlets from the maiden's brow,

And the blue, delicate veins above her cheek; RESOLUTION.

Ne'er played the wanton-never half-disclosed THROUGH weeds and thorns, and matted under- The maiden's snowy bosom, scattering thence wood

Eye-poisons for some love-distemper'd youth, I force my way ; now climb, and now descend Who ne'er henceforth may see an aspen grove O’er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot Shiver in sunshine, but his feeble heart Crushing the purple whorts; while oft unseen, Shall flow away like a dissolving thing. Hurrying along the drifted forest leaves,

Sweet breeze! thou only, if I guess aright,
The scared snake rustles. Onward still I toil, Listest the feathers of the robin's breast,
I know not, ask not whither! A new joy,

That swells its little breast, so full of song,
Lovely as light, sudden as summer gust,

Singing above me, on the mountain ash.
And gladsome as the first-born of the spring, And thou too, desert stream! no pool of thine,
Beckons me on, or follows from behind,

Though clear as lake in latest summer eve,
Playmate, or guide! The master-passion quell'd, Did e'er reflect the stately virgin's robe,
I feel that I am free. With dun-red bark

The face, the form divine, the downcast look
The fir trees, and th' unfrequent slender oak, Contemplative! Behold! her open palm
Forth from this tangle wild of bush and brake Presses her cheek and brow! her elbow rests
Soar up, and form a melancholy vault

On the bare branch of half-uprooted tree, High o'er me, murmuring like a distant sea. That leans towards its mirror! Who erewhile

Here wisdom might resort, and here remorse ; Had from her countenance turn'd, or look'd by Here too the lovelorn man who, sick in soul,

stealth, And of this busy human heart aweary,

(For fear is true love's cruel nurse,) he now Worships the spirit of unconscious life

With steadfast gaze and unoffending eye, In tree or wild-flower. Gentle lunatic!

Worships the watery idol, dreaming hopes If so he might not wholly cease to be,

Delicious to the soul, but neeting, vain, He would far rather not be that, he is;

E’en as that phantom world on which he gazed, But would be something that he knows not of, But not unheeded gazed ! for see, ah! see, In winds, or waters, or among the rocks !

The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks But hence, fond wretch! breathe not contagion The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow, here!

Lychnis, and willow-herb, and fox-glore bells :
No myrtle-walks are these: these are no groves And suddenly, as one that toys with time,
Where love dare loiter! If in sullen mood Scatters them on the pool! Then all the charm
He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore Is broken-all that phantom world so fair
His dainty feet, the brier and the thorn

Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread,
Make his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird And each misshapes the other. Stay a while,

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Poor youth, who scarcely darest lift up thine eyes! Holds loosely its small handful of wild-flowers,
The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon Unfilleted, and of unequal lengths.
The visions will return! And lo! he stays: A curious picture, with a master's haste
And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms Sketch'd on a strip of pinky-silver skin,
Come trembling back, unite, and now once more Peel'd from the birchen bark! Divinest maid !
The pool becomes a mirror; and behold

Yon bark her canvass, and those purple berries
Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there, Her pencil! See, the juice is scarcely dried
And there the half-uprooted tree-but where, On the fine skin! She has been newly here;
O where the virgin's snowy aim, that lean'd And lo! yon patch of heath has been her couch-
On its bare branch ? He turns, and she is gone! The pressure still remains! O blessed couch!
Homeward she steals through many a woodland For this mayest thou flower early, and the sun,

Slanting at eve, rest bright, and linger long
Which he shall seek in vain. Ill-fated youth! Upon thy purple bells! O Isabel !
Go, day by day, and waste thy manly prime Daughter of genius! saateliest of our maids !
In mad love-yearning by the vacant brook, More beautiful than whom Alcæus wood,
Till sickly thoughts bewitch thine eyes, and thou The Lesbian woman of immortal song!
Behcid'st her shadow still abiding there,

O child of genius! stately, beautiful,
The Naiad of the mirror !

And full of love to all, save only me,
Not to thee,

And not ungentle e'en to me! My heart,
O wild and desert stream! belongs this tale: Why beats it thus ? Througlı yonder coppice-wood
Gloomy and dark art thou—the crowded firs Needs must the pathway turn, that leads straight-
Spire from thy shores, and stretch across thy bed,

way Making thee doleful as a cavern-well:

On to her father's house. She is alone! Save when the shy kingfishers build their nest The night draws on-such ways are hard to hitOn thy steep banks, no loves hast thou, wild And fit it is I should restore this sketch, stream!

Dropt unawares, no doubt. Why should I yearn This be my chosen haunt--emancipate

To keep the relic? 'twill but idly feed From passion's dreams, a freeman, and alone, The passion that consumes me. Let me haste! I rise and trace its devious course. O lead, The picture in my hand which she has left, Lead me to deeper shades and lonelier glooms. She cannot blame me that I follow'd her; Lo! stealing through the canopy of firs,

And I may be her guide the long wood througli.
How fair the sunshine spots that mossy rock,
Isle of the river, whose disparted waves
Dart off asunder with an angry sound,
How soon to reunite! And see! they meet,

Fach in the other lost and found : and see
Placeless, as spirits, one soft water-sun

Throbbing within them, heart at once and eye!

With its soft neighbourhood of filmy clouds,
The stains and shadings of forgotten tears,

You loved the daughter of Don Manrique !
Dimness o’erswum with lustre ! Such the hour
Of deep enjoyment, following love's brief feuds ;

Loved ?
And hark, the noise of a near waterfall!

1 pass forth into light--I find myself
Deneath a weeping birch, (most beautiful

Did you not say you woo'd her ?
Of forest-trees, the lady of the woods,)
Hard by the brink of a tall weedy rock

Once I loved
That overbrows the cataract. How bursts

Her whom I dared not woo!
The landscape on my sight! Two crescent hills
Fold in behind each other, and so make
A circular vale, and land-lock'd, as might seem,

And woo'd, perchance,
With brook and bridge, and gray stone cottages, One whom you loved not!
Half hid by rocks and fruit trees. At my feet
The whortleberries are bedewed with spray,
Dash'd upwards by the furious waterfall.

0! I were raost base, How solemply the pendent ivy masz

Not loving Oropeza. True, I woo'd her, Swirgs in its winnow: all the air is calm.

Hoping to heal a deeper wound; but she The smoke from cottage chimpeys, tinged with Met my advances with impassion’d pride, light,

That kindled love with love. And when her sire, Rises in columns; from this house alone,

Who in his dream of hope already grasp'd Close by the waterfall, the column slants, The golden circlet in his hand, rejected And feels its ceaseless breeze, But what is this? My suit with insult, and in memory That cottage, with its slanting chimney smoke, Of ancient feuds pour'd curses on my head, And close beside its porch a sleeping child, Her blessings overtook and baffled them! His dear head pillow'd on a sleeping dog- But thou art stern, and with unkindly countenance One arm between its fore-legs, and the hand Art inly reasoning whilst thou listenest to me.







I would exchange my unblench'd state with hers.

Friend! by that winding passage, to that bower Anxiously, Henry! reasoning anxiously,

I now will go—all objects there will teach me But Oropeza

Unwavering love, and singleness of heart.

Go, Sandoval! I am prepared to meet herBlessings gather round her! Say nothing of me—I myself will seek herWithin this wood there winds a secret passage,

Nay, leave me, friend! I cannot bear the torment Beneath the walls, which opens out at length

And keen inquiry of that scanning eye. Into the gloomiest covert of the garden

[Earl Henry retires into the wood. The night ere my departure to the army,

SANDOVAL, (alone.)
She, nothing trembling, led me through that gloom,
And to that covert by a silent stream,

O Henry! always strivest thou to be great
Which, with one star reflected near its marge,

By thine own act-yet art thou never great Was the sole object visible around me.

But by the inspiration of great passion. No leaflet stirr'd; the air was almost sultry;

The whirl-blast comes, the desert-sands rise up So deep, so dark, so close the umbrage o'er us!

And shape themselves: from earth to heaven they No leaflet stirr'd ;-yet pleasure hung upon

stand, The gloom and stillness of the balmy night-air.

As though they were the pillars of a temple, A little further on an arbour stood,

Built by Omnipotence in its own honour ! Fragrant with flowering trees—I well remember

But the blast pauses, and their shaping spirit What an uncertain glimmer in the darkness Is fled: the mighty columns were but sand, Their snow-white blossoms made—thither she led And lazy snakes trail o'er the level ruins !

me, To that sweet bower! Then Oropeza trembledI heard her heart beat-if 'twere not my own.

TO AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN, SANDOVAL. A rude and scaring note, my friend !




0! no!
I have small memory of aught but pleasure.
Th' inquietudes of fear, like lesser streams
Still flowing, still were lost in those of love:
So love grew mightier from the fear, and nature,
Fleeing from pain, shelter'd herself in joy.
The stars above our heads were dim and steady,
Like eyes suffused with rapture. Life was in us :
We were all life, each atom of our frames
A living soul-I vow'd to die for her:
With the faint voice of one who, having spoken,
Relapses into blessedness, I vow'd it:
That solemn vow, a whisper scarcely heard,
A murmur breathed against a lady's ear.
0! there is joy above the name of pleasure,
Deep self-possession, an intense repose.

SANDOVAL, (with a sarcastic smile.)
No other than as eastern sages paint,
The god, who floats upon a lotos leaf,
Dreams for a thousand ages; then awaking,
Creates a world, and smiling at the bubble,
Relapses into bliss.

MYRTLE-LEAF that, ill-besped,

Pinest in the gladsome ray,
Soil'd beneath the common tread,

Far from thy protecting spray!
When the partridge o'er the sheaf

Whirr'd along the yellow vale,
Sad I saw thee, headless leaf!

Love the dalliance of the gale.
Lightly didst thou, foolish thing!

Heave and flutter to his sighs,
While the flatterer, on his wing,

Wood and whispered thee to rise.
Gayly from thy mother-stalk

Wert thou danced and wafted high-
Soon on this unshelter'd walk

Flung to fade, to rot, and die.




MAIDEN, that with sullen brow

Sittest behind those virgins gay,
Like a scorch'd and mildew'd bough,

Leafless 'mid the blooms of May !

Ah! was that bliss
Fear'd as an alien, and too vast for man?
For suddenly, impatient of its silence,
Did Oropeza, starting, grasp my forehead.
I caught her arms; the veins were swelling on

Through the dark bower she sent a hollow voice,
0! what if all betray me? what if thou?
I swore, and with an inward thought that seem'd
The purpose and the substance of my being,
I swore to her, that were she red with guilt,

Him who lured thee and forsook,

Oft I watch'd with angry gaze,
Fearful saw his pleading look,

Anxious heard his fervid phrase.
Soft the glances of the youth,

Soft his speech, and soft his sigh ;
But no sound like simple truth,

But no true love in his eye.

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