Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

And with a piteous moaning vainly seek “To fly the death to come. I have look'd back “ Upon the cottage where I had partook “ The peasant's meal, and seen it wrapt in flames; . “ And then I thank'd my God that I had burst “ The stubborn ties that fetter down the soul “ To selfish happiness, and on this earth “ Was as a t pilgrim.--Conrade! rouse thyself!

hamlets were fortified by these robbers, English, Bourguega nons and French, every one striving to do his worst : All men of war were well agreed to spoile the countryman and merchant. Even the cattell, accustomed to the larume bell, the signe of the enemy's approach, would run home of themselves without any guide by this accustomed misery.

This is the perfect description of those times, taken out of the lamentations of our ancestors, set down in the original, says De Serres. But amidst this horrible calamity, God did comfort both the King and realme, for about the end of the yeere, he gave Charles a goodly sonne by Queen Mary his wife.

+ O my people, hear my word : make you ready to the battle, and in those evils, be even as pilgrims upon the earth.

2 Esdras, xvi. 40.,

* Cast the weak * nature off I a time like this
“ Is not for gentler feelings, for the glow
“Of love, the overflowings of the heart;
* There is oppression in thy country Conrade!
“ There is a cause, a holy cause, that needs
“ The just man's aid. Live for it, and enjoy
“ Earth's noblest recompense, thine own esteem;
Or die in that good cause, and thy reward
“ Shall sure be found in Heaven.”

He answer'd not,
But clasping to his heart the Virgin's hand,
Sped rapid o'er the plain. She with dim eyes,
For gushing tears obscur’d them, follow'd him
Till lost in distance. With a weight of thought
Opprest, along the poplar-planted Vienne

11

* Let go from thee mortal thoughts, cast away the burdens of man, put off now the weak nature,

And set aside the thoughts that are most heavy unto thee, and haste thee to flee from these times.

2 Esdras, xiv. 14, 15.

m

Awhile she wandered, then upon the bank
She laid her down, and watch'd the tranquil stream
Flow with a quiet murmuring, by the clouds
Of evening purpled. The perpetual flow,
The ceaseless murmuring, lull'd her to such dreams
As Memory in her melancholy mood
Most loves. The wonted scenes of Arc arose ;
She saw the forest brook, the weed that waved
Its long green tresses in the stream, the crag
That overbrow'd the spring, and the old yew
That thro' the bare and rifted rock had forced
Its twisted trunk, the berries chearful red,
Starring its gloomy green. Her pleasant home
She saw, and those who made that home so dear,
Her loved lost friends. The mingled feelings fillid
Her eye, when from behind a voice address d her,
“ Forgive the intrusion, Lady! I would ask
“ Where I night nieet that Heaven-commission'd Maid,
« Call'd to deliver France."

The well-known tones

Thrill'd her; her heart throbb’d fast, she started up, And fell upon the neck of Theodore.

“Oh! I have found thee !" cried the enraptur'd youth, And I shall dare the battle by thy side, “ And shield thee from the war ! but tell me, JOAN, “ Why didst thou brood in such strange mystery, “ Over thy Heaven-doom'd purpose ? trust me, Maiden “ I have shed many tears for that wild gloom “ That so estranged thee from thy Theodore ! “ If thou couldst know the anguish I endur'd “ When thou wert gonel in sooth it was unkind To leave us thus !"

Mindless of her high call,
Again the lowly shepherdess of Arc,
In half-articulated words the Maid
Express'd her joy. Of Elinor she ask'd,
How from a doting mother he had come
In arms array'd.

“ Thou wakest in my mind

" A thought that makes me sad,” the youth replied, « For Elinor wept much at my resolve, “And, eloquent with all a mother's fears, “ Urged me to leave her not. My wayward heart “Smote me, as I look'd back and saw her wave “ Adieu ! but high in hope I soon beguild These melancholy feelings, by the thought That we should both return to cheer her age, Thy mission well fulfill'd, and quit no more “ The copse-embosom'd cottage.”

But the Maid . Soon started from her dream of happiness, For on her memory flash'd the faming pile. A death-like paleness at the dreadful thought Wither'd her cheek; the dews on her cold brow Started, and on the arm of Theodore Feeble and faint she hung. His eager eye Concentring all the anguish of the soul, And strain'd in anxious love, on her wan cheek Fearfully silent gazed. But by the thought

« AnteriorContinuar »