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They moved before me but as pictures, wrought Each to reveal some secret of man's thought, On the sharp edge of sad mortality, Till in his place came one-oh! could it be? -My friend, my heart's first friend!-and did I gaze on thee?
On thee! with whom in boyhood I had played, At the grape-gatherings, by my native streams; And to whose eye my youthful soul had laid Bare, as to Heaven's, its glowing world of dreams; And by whose side 'midst warriors I had stood, And in whose helm was brought-oh! earned with blood!
The fresh wave to my lips, when tropic beams Smote on my fevered brow!-Ay, years had passed,
Severing our paths, brave friend!-and thus we met at last!
I see it still-the lofty mien thou borest-
We rent our way, a tempest of despair! -And thou hadst thou but died with thy true brethren there!
I call the fond wish back-for thou hast perished More nobly far, my Alvar!-making known The might of truth;(4) and be thy memory cherished
With theirs, the thousands, that around her throne
Have poured their lives out smiling, in that doom Finding a triumph, if denied a tomb!
-Ay, with their ashes hath the wind been sown, And with the wind their spirit shall be spread, Filling man's heart and home with records of the dead.
Thou Searcher of the Soul! in whose dread sight Not the bold guilt alone, that mocks the skies, But the scarce-owned, unwhispered thought of night,
As a thing written with the sunbeam lies; Thou know'st-whose eye through shade and depth can see,
That this man's crime was but to worship thee,
Like those that made their hearts thy sacrifice, The called of yore; wont by the Saviour's side, On the dim Olive-Mount to pray at eventide.
For the strong spirit will at times awake,
Our hope, if man were left to man's decree alone?
But this I felt not yet. I could but gaze On him, my friend; while that swift moment threw
A sudden freshness back on vanished days, Like water-drops on some dim picture's hue; Calling the proud time up, when first I stood Where banners floated, and my heart's quick blood
Sprang to a torrent as the clarion blew,
And he-his sword was like a brother's worn, That watches through the field his mother's youngest born.
But a lance met me in that day's career, Senseless I lay amidst th' o'ersweeping fight, Wakening at last-how full, how strangely clear, That scene on memory flashed!—the shivery light,
Moonlight, on broken shields-the plain of slaughter,
The fountain-side-the low sweet sound of wa
And Alvar bending o'er me-from the night Covering me with his mantle!—all the past Flowed back-my soul's far chords all answered to the blast.
Till, in that rush of visions, I became
As one that by the bands of slumber wound, Lies with a powerless, but all-thrilling frame, Intense in consciousness of sight and sound, Yet buried in a wildering dream which brings Loved faces round him, girt with fearful things! Troubled e'en thus I stood, but chained and
On that familiar form mine eye to keep-Alas! I might not fall upon his neck and weep!
He passed me-and what next?—I looked on two,
Following his footsteps to the same dread place,
Unheard by day. It seemed as if her breast Had hoarded energies, till then suppressed Almost with pain, and bursting from control. And finding first that hour their pathway free:
For the same guilt-his sisters !(5)-Well I knew-Could a rose brave the storm, such might her
The beauty on those brows, though each young
For the soft gloom whose shadow still had hung On her fair brow, beneath its garlands worn, Was fled; and fire, like prophecy's had sprung Clear to her kindled eye. It might be scornPride-sense of wrong-ay, the frail heart is bound
By these at times, even as with adamant round, Kept so from breaking!-yet not thus upborne She moved, though some sustaining passion's
Lifted her fervent soul-a sister for the brave!
Her father sat, where gleamed the first faint star-Look down! man brings thee, Heaven! his Through the lime-boughs; and with her light|
She, on the greensward at his feet reclined, In his calm face laughed up; some shepherd-lay Singing, as childhood sings on the lone hills at play.
brother's guiltless blood!
Hear its voice, hear!-a cry goes up to thee, From the stained sod;-make thou thy judgment known
To do beneath that Temple, and profane
And thee, and Inez! bowing thy fair head,
And Alvar, Alvar!-I beheld thee too, Pale, steadfast, kingly; till thy clear glance fell On that young sister; then perturbed it grew, And all thy labouring bosom seemed to swell With painful tenderness. Why came I there, That troubled image of my friend to bear Thence, for my after-years?-a thing to dwell In my heart's core, and on the darkness rise, Disquieting my dreams with its bright mournful eyes?
Why came I? oh! the heart's deep mystery!-
In man's last hour doth vain affection's gaze
To the dimm'd eye-balls freezing, as they glaze?
But mine was fettered! mute in strong amaze, I watched his features as the night-wind blew, And torch-light or the moon's passed o'er their marble hue.
The trampling of a steed!—a tall white steed, Rending his fiery way the crowds amongA storm's way through a forest-came at speed, And a wild voice cried "Inez!" Swift she flung The mantle from her face, and gazed around, With a faint shriek at that familiar sound, And from his seat a breathless rider sprung, And dashed off fiercely those who came to part, And rushed to that pale girl, and clasped her to his heart.
And for a moment all around gave way
Pressing out joy by thine immortal power,
Around thee ever? Leave me not, mine own! Slowly his failing arms dropped from the form they
Or earth will grow too dark!-for thee alone, Thee have I loved, thou gentlest! from a child, And borne thine image with me o'er the sea, Thy soft voice in my soul!-Speak-Oh! yet live for me!"
She look'd up wildly; there were anxious eyes
They forced him from that spot.-It might be
That the fierce, reckless words by anguish wrung
Against the smitten heart; its breaking strings