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* And all the fields look'd lovely in the spring ;
“More frequent now “ Sought I the converse of poor Madelon, “ For much she needed now the soothing voice “ Of friendship. Heavily the summer pass'd “ To ber a joyless one, expecting still “Some tidings from the war; and as at eve " She with her mother by the cottage door “ Sat in the sunshine, I have seen her eye, “ If one appear'd along the distant path, “Shape to the form she loved his lineaments,
" Her cheek faint flush'd by hope, that made her heart “ Seem as it sunk within her. So the days “And weeks and months pass'd on, and when the leaves “ Fell in the autumn, a most painful hope "That reason own'd not, that with expectation “ Did never cheer her as she rose at morn,
Still lingered in her heart, and still at night "Made disappointment dreadful. Winter came, 5 But Arnaud never from the war return'd, " He far away had perish'd ; and when late " The tidings of his certain death arriv'd, “Sore with long anguish underneath that blow “She sunk. Then would she sit and think all day "Upon the past, and talk of happiness
That never would return, as tho' she found " Best solace in the thoughts that minister'd " To sorrow: and she loved to see the sun “Go down, because another day was gone,
And then she might retire to solitude "And wakeful recollections, or perchance
“To sleep more wearying far than wakefulness, « For in the visions of her heart she saw “Her husband, saw him as escaped the war, • To his own home return'd. Thus day nor night “Reposed she, and she pined and pined away.
“ Bitter art thou to him that lives in rest
"O Death! and grievous in the hour of joy “ The thought of thy cold dwelling ; but thou comest “ Most welcome to the wretched, a best friend “ To him that wanteth one, a comforter, “ For in the grave is t peace. By the bed-side
to Death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions, unto the man that hath nothing to vex him, and that hath prosperity in all things ; yea unto him that is yet able to receive meat!
O Death, acceptable is thy sentence unto the needy, and unto him whose strength faileth, that is now in the last age, and is vexed with all things, and to him that despaireth, and hath lost patience!
Ecclesiasticus, xli. 1. 2.
« Of Madelon I sat, when sure she felt • The hour of her deliverance drawing near, " I saw her eye kindle with heavenly hope, “I had her latest look of earthly love, “ I felt her hand's last pressure. Son of Orleans ! “I would not wish to live to know that hour, " When I could think upon a dear friend dead,
" I remember as her corse
“ Went to the grave, there was a lark sprung up “And soaring in the sunshine carold loud “ A joyful song ; and in mine heart I thought “ That of the multitude of beings, man “ Alone was wretched.
“ Then my soul awoke, " For it had slumber'd long in happiness, “ And never feeling misery, never thought “ What others suffer. I, as best I might, “ Solaced the keen regret of Elinor ; " And much my cares avail'd, and much her son's,
« On whom, the only comfort of her age
It chanc'd as once « Beside the fire of Elinor 1 sat, « The night was comfortless; the loud blast howl'd, “ And as we drew around the social hearth, “We heard the rain beat hard : driven by the storm “ A warrior mark'd our distant taper's light. “We heapt the fire: the friendly board was spread : " The bowl of hospitality went round. “ The storm beats hard;" the stranger cried : “safe hous'd “ Pleasant it is to hear the pelting rain. “ I too were well content to dwell in peace,
Resting my head upon the lap of Love,