Imágenes de páginas

The world was now before them, they enter'd in its coil, Like the serpent's rainbow circles, and with as deadly spoil;

He wedded with another, I know not of his bride,
I only speak of her who grew in girlhood at his side.

Her hair was glistening blackness, a sort of golden gloom, Like sunshine on the raven's wing, a softness and a bloom ; Dark, like the nightfall, on her cheek the dusky eyelash lay, But the sweet eyes beneath were blue as April or as day.

Her cheek was pale as moonlight, that melancholy light,
When the moon is at her palest, grown weary of the night;
Pale, sad, and onward looking, as if the future threw
The shadow of the coming hours it felt before it knew.

My God! the utter wretchedness that waiteth on the heart, That nurses an unconscious hope, to see that hope depart ; That owns not to itself it loves, until that love is known, By feeling in the wide, wide world so utterly alone.

No face seem'd pleasant to her sight, one image linger'd there,

The echo of one only voice was on the haunted air.

Speak not of other sorrow, life knoweth not such pain, As that within the stricken heart, which loves, and loves in vain.

Yet she, too, at the altar gave up her wan cold hand, That shudder'd as they circle it with an unwelcome band ; Ah! crime and misery both, the heart-on such a die to set, The veriest mockery of love is striving to forget.

She stands before her mirror, it is her wedding day,
But she hath flung aside in haste her desolate array;
Down on the ground her bridal wreath is dash'd in bitter


That hour's impassion'd agony, alas! it must be borne.

And long years are before her, long, weary, wasting years; Though tears grow heavy on the lash, she must suppress

those tears;

The past must be forgotten, and 'tis the past that gives
The truest and the loveliest light in which the future lives.

Such is a common history, in this our social state,
Where destiny and nature contend in woman's fate;
To waste her best affections, to pine, to be forgot,

To droop beneath an outward smile—such is a woman's lot.



How d'ye do-how d'ye do, my sweet Jane,

I have volumes to tell you, indeed

I'm enchanted to see you again—

What a life we young ladies do lead!

To be sure, since your poor father's death,

You've been locked up and blocked up at home,

Like a sword left to rust in the sheath,

Like a plant left to pine in the gloom.

After all, I'm a bit of a blue,


you fail not I hope to remark—

And half a philosopher too,

Since I know plants can't thrive in the dark!

Any more than young ladies can bloom,

From society's bright haunts apart,

In the dull cloudy climate of home,

Where they're pierced by cold ennui's vile dart.

Now your hair always hangs out of curl,

All unconscious of riband or wreath;

You are grown quite a different girl,
Since your poor gouty father's sad death.

But I'm come now your spirits to raise,

And to cheer you, and soothe you awhile;
Shall we talk of balls, operas, and plays,
What, no look, and no word, and no smile?

Ah! I know what you're dying to hear,
Well, you shall hear all, all that I know,
I came but your spirits to cheer,

Which seem dreadfully nervous and low!

Dearest creature! alone for your sake,
I've gone every where lately, in truth,
And I'll grant you that Lord Arthur Lake
Is a dear irresistible youth!

Out of love to my Jane I have tried

To encourage him every where, still;

And, indeed, truth to say, on his side

You must know there's no lack of good will.

But I speak to him still in your praise,

For these men are such creatures, you know, When removed from the world's busy ways, They forget us at once-'tis still so!

Now he swears you wear loads of false hair,

And I vow to him, love, 'tis your own, And assure him that sorrow and care

Have now mixed some grey hairs with the brown.

He protests, too, you rouged—so I say

That if ever you did, you don't now—

For your colour is quite gone away,

And like parchment your cheek and your brow.

He declares your made up in all ways—

That your eyebrows are black mole-skin strips; That your arm a strange whiteness betraysThat you stain both your lashes and lips.

And he says 66 women ne'er should use art," (And I own that I think that is true); Then I ask-ever taking your part—

[ocr errors]

Why, now, what are poor women to do?"

My sweet Jane's not so young as she was;
Thirty-two she'll see never again;
And beauty and freshness will pass-
Ay-even from my exquisite Jane !"

Then I tell him your mind's the same still
As it was at vain, giggling eighteen,
And say, if I have judgment or skill,
'Tis as childish as e'er it hath been.

In short, I do all that I can

To make him still love my own Jane; But, alas! so provoking is man,

I do fear 'tis my heart he would gain.

But I never will leave him alone,

Till I make him adore as I ought;

For I see you're grown all skin and bone,

Though such vile men are scarce worth a thought.

This inconstancy's horrid indeed,

I wonder from whence it can rise;

(Oh! it makes my heart ache, love, and bleed, To look on your dull, heavy eyes.)

'Tis a proof of men's follies and crimes, Sure we women are woefully blind ; And a sign, too, I think, of the times,

"Tis the mode now to alter one's mind!

Well, good bye, now good bye, I am gone,
I came but your spirits to raise;
But Lord Arthur is coming at one,
To show me his new team of bays.

And, oh dear! I must fly; for beside

I must order my new habit home, For Lord Arthur with me is to ride

Before three-would that you, too, could come.

Good bye, then, good bye, my dear pet,

To the Opera to-night I must go;

Would you lend me your sweet turquoise set? You don't want such fine things now you know.

Well, good bye, I'll come shortly again,

For a friendship like mine ne'er decays;

I do wish I could longer remain-
I but came just your spirits to raise !

« AnteriorContinuar »