Page images

But o'er his frame

Too fast the strong tide rush'd—the sudden shame,
The joy, th' amaze!-he bow'd his head--it fell
On the wrong'd bosom which had lov'd so well;
And love still perfect, gave him refuge there,—
His last faint breath just wav'd her floating hair.



Who should it be?-Where shouldst thou look for kindness?

When we are sick where can we turn for succour,
When we are wretched where can we complain;

And when the world looks cold and surly on us,

Where can we go to meet a warmer eye

With such sure confidence as to a mother?


"My child, my child, thou leav'st me!-I shall hear

The gentle voice no more that blest mine ear
With its first utterance; I shall miss the sound
Of thy light step amidst the flowers around,

*Originally published in the Literary Souvenir for 1828.

And thy soft breathing hymn at twilight's close,
And thy "Good-night" at parting for repose.
Under the vine-leaves I shall sit alone,

And the low breeze will have a mournful tone
Amidst their tendrils, while I think of thee,

My child and thou, along the moonlight sea,
With a soft sadness haply in thy glance,

Shalt watch thine own, thy pleasant land of France,
Fading to air.—Yet blessings with thee go!

Love guard thee, gentlest! and the exile's wo
From thy young heart be far!-And sorrow not
For me, sweet daughter! in my lonely lot,
God shall be with me.-Now farewell, farewell!
Thou that hast been what words may never tell
Unto thy mother's bosom, since the days

When thou wert pillow'd there, and wont to raise
In sudden laughter thence thy loving eye

That still sought mine :-these moments are gone by,
Thou too must go, my flower!--Yet with thee dwell


peace of God!-One, one more gaze-farewell!”

This was a mother's parting with her child,

A young meek Bride on whom fair fortune smil'd, And wooed her with a voice of love away

From childhood's home; yet there, with fond delay She linger'd on the threshold, heard the note

Of her caged bird thro' trellis'd rose-leaves float, And fell upon her mother's neck, and wept, Whilst old remembrances, that long had slept, Gush'd o'er her soul, and many a vanish'd day, As in one picture traced, before her lay.

But the farewell was said; and on the deep,
When its breast heav'd in sunset's golden sleep,
With a calm'd heart, young Madeline ere long
Pour'd forth her own sweet solemn vesper-song,
Breathing of home: thro' stillness heard afar,
And duly rising with the first pale star,

That voice was on the waters; till at last

The sounding ocean-solitudes were pass'd,

And the bright land was reach'd, the youthful world
That glows along the West: the sails were furl'd
In its clear sunshine, and the gentle bride

Look'd on the home that promis'd hearts untried
A bower of bliss to come.-Alas! we trace
The map of our own paths, and long ere years
With their dull steps the brilliant lines efface,
On sweeps the storm, and blots them out with tears.
That home was darken'd soon: the summer breeze
Welcom❜d with death the wanderers from the seas,
Death unto one, and anguish how forlorn!
To her, that widow'd in her marriage-morn,
Sat in her voiceless dwelling, whence with him,

Her bosom's first belov'd, her friend and guide,
Joy had gone forth, and left the green earth dim,

As from the sun shut out on every side,

By the close veil of misery!-Oh! but ill,

When with rich hopes o'erfraught, the young high heart

Bears its first blow!--it knows not yet the part

Which life will teach-to suffer and be still,

« PreviousContinue »