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From its white walls the very tendrils wreathing
Seem with soft links to draw the wanderer back.
There am I loved, - there prayed for, there my mother
Sits by the hearth with meekly thoughtful eye;
my young sisters watch to greet their brother
Soon their glad footsteps down the path will fly.
There, in sweet strains of kindred music blending,
All the home-voices meet at day's decline;
One are those tones, as from one heart ascending:
There laughs my home, - sad stranger! where is thine?
Ask'st thou of mine? -In solemn peace 't is lying,
Far o'er the deserts and the tombs away;
'Tis where I, too, am loved with love undying,
And fond hearts wait my step. - But where are they?
Ask where the earth's departed have their dwelling:
Ask of the clouds, the stars, the trackless air!
I know it not, yet trust the whisper, telling
My lonely heart that love unchanged is there.
And what is home and where, but with the loving?
Happy thou art, that so canst gaze on thine!
My spirit feels but, in its weary roving,
That with the dead, where'er they be, is mine.
Go to thy home, rejoicing son and brother!
Bear in fresh gladness to the household scene!
For me, too, watch the sister and the mother,
I will believe-but dark seas roll between.
11. INVOCATION. Mrs. Hemans.
ANSWER me, burning stars of night! where is the spirit gone,
That past the reach of human sight as a swift breeze hath flown?
And the stars answered me, "We roll in light and power on high;
But, of the never-dying soul, ask that which cannot die."
O! many-toned and chainless wind! thou art a wanderer free;
Tell me if thou its place canst find, far over mount and sea?
And the wind murmured, in reply, "The blue deep I have crossed,
And met its barks and billows high, but not what thou hast lost."
Ye clouds that gorgeously repose around the setting sun,
Answer! have ye a home for those whose earthly race is run?-
The bright clouds answered, "We depart, we vanish from the sky;
Ask what is deathless in thy heart for that which cannot die."
Speak, then, thou voice of God within, thou of the deep, low tone! Answer me, through life's restless din, where is the spirit flown? And the voice answered, "Be thou still! Enough to know is given, Clouds, winds and stars, their part fulfil,—thine is to trust in Heaven."
12. LOCHINVAR.- Sir Walter Scott.
O, YOUNG Lochinvar is come out of the West,-
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapons-had none,
He rode all unarmed and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He staid not for brake, and he stopped not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.
So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,
'Mong bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all :
Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword
(For poor craven bridegroom said never a word),
O, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"
"I long wooed your daughter, - my suit denied ;
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide;
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."
The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar, -
Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.
So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
And the bridemaidens whispered, "Twere better, by far,
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."
One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
When they reached the hall door, and the charger stood near; So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung! "She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur; They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.
There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan; Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode, and they ran;
There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne 'er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
13. MARMION TAKING LEAVE OF DOUGLAS. -Sir Walter Scott. THE train from out the castle drew; But Marmion stopped to bid adieu :
"Though something I might 'plain," he said,
"Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your King's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I stayed,
Part we in friendship from your land,
And, noble Earl, receive my hand.”
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:
My manors, halls and bowers, shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my King's alone,
From turret to foundation-stone;
The hand of Douglas is his own;
And never shall in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp!"
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire,
And "This to me!" he said;
"An 't were not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head!
And first I tell thee, haughty Peer,
He who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate!
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,
Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here, in thy hold, thy vassals near
(Nay, never look upon your Lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword!),
I tell thee, thou 'rt defied!
And if thou saidst I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied!
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage
O'ercame the ashen hue of age;
Fierce he broke forth: "And darest thou, then,
To beard the lion in his den,
The Douglas in his hall?
And hopest thou hence unscathed to go?
No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no!
Up drawbridge, grooms!-what, warder, ho!
Let the portcullis fall."
Lord Marmion turned, well was his need,
And dashed the rowels in his steed;
Like arrow through the archway sprung,
The ponderous gate behind him rung:
pass, there was such scanty room,
The bars, descending, razed his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise:
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim:
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clenchéd hand,
A shout of loud defiance pours,
And shakes his gauntlet at the towers!
14. THE DEATH OF MARMION.- Scott.
AND soon straight up the hill there rode
Two horsemen, drenched with gore,
And in their arms, a helpless load,
A wounded knight they bore.
His hand still strained the broken brand,
His arms were smeared with blood and sand;
Dragged from among the horses' feet,
With dinted shield and helmet beat,
The falcon-crest and plumage gone,
Can that be haughty Marmion?
Young Blount his armor did unlace,
And, gazing on his ghastly face,
Said "By Saint George, he 's
The spear-wound has our master sped:
An see the deep cut on his head!
Good-night to Marmion!"
"Unnurtured Blount! thy brawling cease;
eyes," said Eustace; "peace!"
When, doffed his casque, he felt free air,
Around 'gan Marmion wildly stare;
"Where's Harry Blount? Fitz Eustace, where? Linger ye here, ye hearts of hare?
Redeem my pennon!— charge again!
Cry, Marmion to the rescue!'. - Vain!
Last of my race, on battle-plain
That shout shall ne'er be heard again!
Must I bid twice?— hence, varlets! fly!
Leave Marmion here alone- to die."
With fruitless labor, Clara bound,
And strove to stanch the gushing wound.
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now, trebly thundering, swelled the gale,
And "Stanley!" was the cry;
A light on Marmion's visage spread,
And fired his glazing eye;
With dying hand, above his head
He shook the fragment of his blade,
And shouted, Victory!"
"Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on!" Were the last words of Marmion.
15. THE DEATH OF BERTRAM.-Sir Walter Scott.
THE outmost crowd have heard a sound,
Like horse's hoof on hardened ground;
Nearer it came, and yet more near,
The very death's-men paused to hear.
"T is in the churchyard now the tread
Hath waked the dwelling of the dead!
Fresh sod, and old sepulchral stone,
Return the tramp in varied tone.
All eyes upon the gateway hung,
When through the Gothic arch there sprung
A horseman armed, at headlong speed
Sable his cloak, his plume, his steed.
Fire from the flinty floor was spurned,
The vaults unwonted clang returned!
One instant's glance around he threw,
From saddle-bow his pistol drew.
Grimly determined was his look!
His charger with the spurs he strook,
All scattered backward as he came,
For all knew Bertram Risingham!
Three bounds that noble courser gave;
The first has reached the central nave,
The second cleared the chancel wide,
The third he was at Wycliffe's side!
Full levelled at the Baron's head,
the bullet sped,
Rang the report,
And to his long account, and last,
Without a groan, dark Oswald past.