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But still and thoughtful, at her knee,
Her children stood that hour,
Their bursts of song and dancing glee,
Hush'd as by words of power.
With bright, fix'd, wondering eyes that gaz'd
Up to their mother's face,
With brows thro' parted ringlets rais'd,
While she-yet something o'er her look
The glorious numbers read;
Its light on evil years;
His of the gifted pen and sword,*
It is scarcely necessary to recall the well-known Italian saying, that Tasso with his sword and pen was superior to all men.
She read of fair Erminia's flight,
Which Venice once might hear
Sung on her glittering seas at night,
By many a Gondolier
; Of him she read, who broke the charm
That wrapt the myrtle grove ;
Of Godfrey's deeds, of Tancred's arm,
Young cheeks around that bright page glow'd,
Young holy hearts were stirr'd;
And the meek tears of woman flow'd
Fast o'er each burning word.
And sounds of breeze, and fount, and leaf,
Burst on the gentle scene.
The mother turn'd--a way-worn man,
Of stately mien, yet wild and wan,
But drops which would not stay for pride,
"Am I so changed ?--and yet we two Oft hand in hand have play'd ;This brow hath been all bath'd in dew,
From wreaths which thou hast made; We have knelt down and said one prayer, And sung one vesper-strain ; My soul is dim with clouds of careTell me those words again!
"Life hath been heavy on my head,
I come a stricken deer,
Bearing the heart, midst crowds that bled,
To bleed in stillness here."
She gaz'd-till thoughts that long had slept,
She fell upon his neck and wept,
Her brother's name !-and who was he,
He was the bard of gifts divine
He of the sword and pen!
ULLA, OR THE ADJURATION.
Yet speak to me! I have outwatch'd the stars,
"THOU'RT gone!--thou'rt slumbering low,
With the sounding seas above thee;
It is but a restless wo,
But a haunting dream to love thee! Thrice the glad swan has sung,
To greet the spring-time hours, Since thine oar at parting flung The white spray up in showers.