Page images
PDF
EPUB

now.

And I am all a tempest, whirl'd around The trembling spy had heard the solemn vow, By dreadful thoughts, that fright me and And need and vengeance both inspired them

confound ;I would I saw him on the earth laid low! The keeper early had retired to rest I wish the fate, but must not give the blow! For brief repose; - sad thoughts his mind So thinks a man when thoughtful; he prefers

possess'd; A life of peace till man his anger stirs, In his short sleep he started from his bed, Then all the efforts of his reason cease, And ask'd in fancy's terror: Is he dead? And he forgets how pleasant was that peace; There was a call below, when James dwoke, Till the wild passions what they seek obtain, Rose from his bed, and arms to aid him took, And then he sinks into his calm again. Not all defensive !—there his helpers stood,

Arm'd like himself, and hastening to the wood.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Now met the lawless clan,-in secret met,
And down at their convivial board were set; Why this ? he said, for Rachel pour’d her tears
The plans in view to past adventures led,

Profuse, that spoke involuntary fears :
And the past conflicts present anger bred;

Sleep,that so early thou for us mayst wake, They sigh'd for pleasures gone, they groan’a And we our comforts in return inay take;

for heroes dead : Sleep, and farewell! he said, and took his way, Their ancient stores were rifled , — strong She slept

not nor well fared, but restless dwelt

And the sad wife in neither could obey;

desires Awaked, and wine rekindled latent fires.

On her past life, and past afflictions felt; It was a night such bold desires to move,

The man she loved the brother and the foe Strong winds and wintry torrents fill'd the Of him she married! It had wrought her woe;

Not that she loved, but pitied, and that now

grove; The crackling boughs that in the forest fell, Was, so she fear'd, infringement of her vow: The cawing rooks, the cur's affrightend James too was civil, though she must confess

yell;

That his was not her kind of happiness; The scenes above the wood, the floods below, That he would shoot the man who shot a bare Were mix’d, and none the single sound could Was what her timid conscience could not bear;

know;

But still she loved him-wonder'd where he Loud blow the blasts, they cried, and call us

stray'd as they blow.

In this loud night! and if he were afraid. In such a night—and then the heroes told

More than one hour she thought, and dropWhat had been done in better times of old ; In sudden sleep,cried loudly: Spare him, men!

ping then How they had conquer'd all opposed to them, By force in part, in part by stratagem;

And do no murder !--then awaked she rose, And as the tales inflamed the fiery crew,

And thought no more of trying for repose. What had been done they then prepared to do;

'Twas past the dead of night, when every 'Tis a last night! they said-the angry blast

sound And roaring floods seem'd answering 'tis a

That nature mingles might be heard around; last! But none from man,-man's feeble voice was

hushid,

Where rivers swelling roar'd, and woods James knew they met, for he had spies about,

were crush'd; Grave, sober men, whom none presumed to Hurried by these, the wife could sit no more,

doubt;

But must the terrors of the night explore. For if suspected they had soon been tried Softly she left her door, her garden-gate, Where fears are evidence, and doubts decide: And seem'd as then committed to her fate; But these escaped — Now James companions To every horrid thought and doubt a prey,

took,

She hurried on, already lost her way; Sturdy and bold, with terror-stirring look; Oft as she glided on in that sad night, He had before, by informations led, She stopp'd to listen, and she look'd for light; Left the afflicted partner of his bed; An hour she wander'd, and was still to learn Awaked his men, and through plantations Aught of her husband's safety or return:

wide,

A sudden break of heavy clonds could show Deep woods, and trackless ling, had been A place she knew not, but she strove to know;

their guide;

Still further on she crept with trembling feet, And then return'd to wake the pitying wife, With hope a friend, with fear a foe to meet: And hear her tender terrors for his life. And there was something fearful in the sight, But in this night a sure informer came, And in the sound of what appear'd to-night; They were assembled who attack'd his game; For now, of night and nervous terror bred, Who more than once had through the park Arose a strong and superstitious dread;

She heard strange noises, and the shapes And slain the dappled breed, or vow'd to

she saw slay ;

of fancied beings bound her soul in awe.

made way,

men.

The moon was risen, and she sometimes since this their morals have been more shone

correct, Through thick white clouds, that flew tu- The cruel spirit in the place is check'd;

multuous on, His lordship holds not in such sacred care, Passing beneath her with an eagle's speed, Nor takes such dreadful vengeance for a hare; That her soft light imprison'd and then freed; | The smugglers fear, the poacher stands in awe The fitful glimmering through the hedge- of Heaven's own act, and reverences the law;

row green

There was, there is a terror in the place Gave a strange beauty to the changing scene; That operates on man's offending race; And roaring winds and rushing waters lent Such acts will stamp their moral on the soul, Their mingled voice that to the spirit went. And while the bad they threaten and control, To these she listen'd; but new sounds were Will to the pious and the humble say,

heard,

Yours is the right, the safe, the certain way, And sight more startling to her soul appear’d; 'T'is wisdom to be good, 'tis virtue to obey. There were low lengthen’d tones with sobs

between, And near at hand, but nothing yet was seen; So Rachel thinks, the pure, the good, the meek, She hurried on, and : Who is there? she cried. Whose outward acts the inward purpose A dying wretch!-was from the earth replied.

speak; It was her lover-was the man she gave, As men will children at their sports behold, The price she paid, himself from death to And smile to see them, though unmoved and save;

cold, With whom, expiring, she must kneel and Smile at the recollected games, and then

pray,

Depart and mix in the affairs of men : While the soul fitted from the shivering clay So Rachel looks upon the world, and sees That press’d the dewy ground, and bled its It cannot longer pain her, longer please, life away!

But just detain the passing thought, or cause
This was the part that duty bade her take, A gentle smile of pity or applause ;
Instant and ere her feelings were awake; And then the recollected soul repairs
But now they waked to anguish; there came Her slumbering hope, and heeds her own
then,

affairs.
Hurrying with lights, loud-speaking, eager
And here, my lord, we met-And who is here?
The keeper's wife-Ah! woman, go not near!
There lies the man that was the head of all-
See, in his temples went the fatal ball!

воок

XXII. And James that instant, who was then our guide,

THE VISIT CONCLUDED. Felt in his heart the adverse shot, and died ! It was a sudden meeting, and the light No letters, Tom ? said Richard-None to-day. Of a dull moon made indistinct our fight; Excuse me, Brother, I must now away; He foremost fell !—But see, the woman creeps Matilda never in her life so long Like a lost thing, that wanders as she sleeps. Deferr'd — Alas! there must be something See, here her husband's body, but she knows

wrong! That other dead! and that her action shows. Comfort! said George and all he could he lent; Rachel! wby look you at your mortal foe? - Wait till your promised day, and I consent; She does not hear 18-Whither will she go? Two days, and those of hope, may cheerNow, more attentive, on the dead they gazed,

fully be spent. And they were brothers : sorrowing and And keep your purpose, to review the place,

amazed,

My choice; and I beseech you do it grace: On all a momentary silence came,

Mark each apartment, their proportions learn, A common softness, and a moral shame. And either ise or elegance discern; Seized you the poachers? said my lord — Look o'er the land, the gardens, and their They fled,

wall, And we pursued not, -one of them was dead, Find out the something to admire in all; And one of us; they hurried through the And should you praise them in a knowing wood,

style, Two lives were gone, and we no more pur- I'll take it kindly-it is well-a smile.

sned. Two lives of men, of valiant brothers lost! Enough, my lord, do hares and pheasants cost!

Richard must now his morning-visits pay,

And bid farewell! for he must go away. So many thought, and there is found a heart He sought the Rector first, not lately seen, To dwell upon the deaths on either part; For he had absent from his parish been;

[ocr errors]

Farewell! the younger man with feeling cried, Has he not told us of the lively joy Farewell! the cold but worthy priest replied; He takes — forgive us — in the Brother-boy? When do you leave us? - I have days but He is alone and pensive; you can give

two!

Pleasure to one by whom a number live 'Tis a short time—but, well-Adien, adien! In daily comfort ----sure for this you met, Now here is one, said Richard, as he went That for his debtors you might pay a debtTo the next friend in pensive discontent, The poor are call'd ungrateful, but you still With whom I sate in social, friendly ease, Will have their thanks for this—indeed you Whom I respected, whom I wish'd to please ;

will. Whose love profess'd I question'd not was

true, And now to hear his heartless: Well! adieu ! Richard but little said, for he of late But 'tis not well—and he a man of sense, Held with himself contention and debate. Grave, but yet looking strong benevolence; My Brother loves me, his regard I know, Whose slight acerbity and roughness told

But will not such affection weary grow? To his advantage; yet the man is cold! He kindly says: defer the parting day; Nor will he know, when rising in the morn, But yet may wish me in his heart away ; That such a being to the world was born. Nothing but kindness I in him perceive, Are such the friendships we contract in life? In me 'tis kindness then to take my leave; 0! give me then the friendship of a wife! Why should I grieve if he should weary be? Adiens, nay, parting-pains to us are sweet, There have been visitors who wearied me; They make so glad the moments when we He yet may love, and we may part in peace,

meet.

Nay, in affection --novelty must cease For though we look not for regard intense, Mar is but man; the thing he most desires Or warm professions in a man of sense, Pleases awhile-then pleases not—then tires; Yet in the daily intercourse of mind George to his former habits and his friends I thought that found which I desired to find, Will now return, and so my visit ends. Feeling and frankness--thus it seem'd to me, Thus Richard communed with his heart; but And such farewell!--Well, Rector, let it be!

still He found opposed his reason and his will,

Found that his thoughts were busy in this of the fair Sisters then he took his leave,

train, Forget he could not, he must think and grieve, And he was striving to be calm in vain. Must the impression of their wrongs retain, These thoughts were passing while he yet Their very patience adding to his pain;

forbore And still the better they their sorrows bore, To leave the friends whom he might see no His friendly nature made him feel them more.

more. Ile judged they must have many a heavy hour When the mind suffers from a want of power; When troubled long we find our strength Then came a chubby child and sought relief,

decay'd,

Sobbing in all the impotence of grief; And cannot then recal our better aid; A full fed girl sho was, with ruddy cheek, For to the mind ere yet that aid has flown, And features coarse, that grosser feelings Grief has possess'd and made it all his own;

speak, And patience suffers,till, with gather'd might, To whom another miss, with passions strong, The scattered forces of the soul unite. And slender fist, had done some baby-wrong. But few and short such times of suffering On Lucy's gentle mind had Barlow wronght

To teach this child, whom she had labouring In Lucy's mind, and brief the reign of care.

tanght Jane had, indeed, her flights, but had in them with unpaid love-this unproductive brain What we could pity but must not condemn; Would little comprehend, and less retain. For they were always pure and oft sublime, A farmer's daughter, with redundant health, And such as triumph'd over earth and time, And double Lucy's weight and Lucy's wealth, Thoughts of eternal love that souls possess, Had won the man's regard, and he with her Foretaste divine of Heaven's own happiness. Possess’d the treasure vulgar minds prefer; Oft had he seen them, and esteem had sprung A man of thrift, and thriving, he possess'd In his free mind for maids so sad and young, What he esteem'd of earthly good the best; So good and grieving, and his place was high And Lucy's well-stored mind had not a charın In their esteem, his friendly brother's nigh, For this true lover of the well-stock'd farm, But yet beneath ; and when he said adieu! This slave to petty wealth and rustic toil, Their tone was kind, and was responsive too. This earth-devoted wooer of the soil:Parting was painful; when ndien be cried, But she with meekness took the wayward You will return? the gentle girls replied ;

child, You must return; your Brother knows you And sought to make the savage nature mild.

But Jane hier judgment with decision gaveBut to exist without you knows not how; Train not an idiot to oblige a slave.

now,

were

near

And where is Bloomer? Richard would have Each of his Brother took a steady view,said,

As actor he, and as observer too. But he was cautious, feeling, and afraid ; And little either of the hero knew, And little sought-he might be married too. Richard, whose heart was ever free and frank, Now to his home, the morning - visits past, Had now a trial, and before it sank : Return'd the guest—that evening was his He thought his' Brother-parting now 80

last.

Appear'd not as his Brother should appear; He met his Brother, and they spoke of those, He could as much of tenderness remark From whom his comforts in the village rose; When parting for a ramble in the park. Spoke of the favourites, whom so good and Yet, is it just? he thought; and would I see

kind

My Brother wretched but to part with me? It was peculiar happiness to find:

What can he further in my inind explore ? Then for the sisters in their griefs they felt, He saw enough, and he would see no more: And, sad themselves, on saddening subjects Happy himself, he wishes now to slide

dwelt.

Back to his habits-He is satisfied; But George was willing all this woe to spare, But I am not—this cannot be denied. And let to-morrow be to-morrow's care:

He has been kind,-

,-80 let me think him still; He of his purchase talk'd—a thing of course, Yet he expresses not a wish, a will As men will boldly praise a new-bought horse. To meet again! - And thus affection strove Richard was not to all its beauty blind,

With pride, and petulance made war on love: And promised still to seek, with hope to find : He thought his Brother cool, he knew him The price indeed — Yes, that, said George, And there was sore division in his mind.

kind is high; But if I bought not, one was sure to buy, Who might the social comforts we enjoy, And every comfort lessen or destroy. Hours yet remain,—'tis inisery to sit We must not always reckon what we give, With minds for conversation all unfit; Bat think how precious 'tis in peace to live; No evil can from change of place arise, Some neighbour Nimrod might in very pride and good will spring from air and exercise: Hlave stirr'd my anger, and have then defied; Suppose I take the purposed ride with you, Or worse, have loved, and teased me to ex- And guide your jaded praise to objects new,

That buyers see?—And Richard gave assent By his kind care to give me happiness; Without resistance, and without intent: Or might his lady and her daughters bring He liked not nor declined, — and forth the To raise my spirits, to converse, and sing:

Brothers went. 'Twas not the benefit alone I view'd, Bat thought what horrid things I might ex- Come, my dear Richard ! let no cast away

clude.

All evil thoughts,-let us forget the day, Some party - man might here have sat him And fight like men with grief till we like down,

boys are gay, Some country-champion,railing at the crown, Thus George, – and even this in Richard's Or some true courtier, both prepared to prove,

mind Who loved not them, could not their coun- Was judged an effort rather wise than kind; If we have value for our health and ease,

This flow'd from something he observed of

late, Should we not buy off enemies like these? And he could feel it, but he could not state: So pass'd the evening in a quiet way, When, Jo! the morning of the parting day.

He thought some change appear’d, — yet

fail'd to prove, Even as he tried, abatement in the love;

But in his Brother's manner was restraint Each to the table went with clouded look, That he could feel, and yet he could not paint. And George in silence gazed upon a book; That they should part in peace full well he Soraething that chance had offer'd to his

knew, view,

But much he fear'd to part with coolness too: He knew not what, or cared not, if he knew. George had been peevish when the subject Richard his hand upon a paper laid, His vacant eye upon the carpet stray'd ;

And never fail'd the parting to oppose ; His tongne was talking something of the day, Name it, and straight lois features cloudy And his vex'd mind was wandering on his way.

grew They spake by fits,--but neither had concern to stop the journey as the clouds will do ;In the replies,--they nothing wish'd to learn, and thus they rode along in pensive mood, Nor to relate; cach sat as one who tries Their thoughts pursuing, by their cares To baffle sadnesses and sympathies :

pursued.

cess

try love:

rose,

Richard, said George, I see it is in vain And 'tis from thee and from thy looks I gain By love or prayer my brother to retain; This painful knowledge — 'tis my Brother's And, truth to tell, it was a foolish thing

pain; A man like thee from thy repose to bring And yet that something in my spirit lives, Ours to disturb-Say, how am I to live Something that spleen excites and sorrow Without the comforts thou art wont to give ?

gives, How will the heavy hours my mind afflict,- I may confess,—for not in thee I trace No one t'agree, no one to contradict, Alone this change, it is in all the place: None to awake, excite me, or prevent,

Smile if thou wilt in scorn, for I am glad To hear a tale, or hold an argument, A smile at any rate is to be had. To help my worship in a case of doubt, But there is Jacques, who ever seem'd to And bring me in my blunders fairly out.

treat Who now by manners lively or serenc Thy Brother kindly as we chanced to meet; Comes between me and sorrow like a screen, Nor with thee only pleased our worthy guide, And giving, what I look'd not to have found, But in the hedge-row path and green-wood A care, an interest in the world around?

side, There he would speak with that familiar ease

That makes a trifle, makes a nothing please. Silent was Richard, striving to adjust But now to my farewell,—and that I spoke His thoughts for speech, — for speak, he With honest sorrow,—with a careless look,

thought, he must: Gazing unalter'd on some stupid proseSomething like war within his bosom His sermon for the Sunday I suppose,–

strove-

Going ? said he: why then the Squire and yon His mild, kind nature, and his proud self- Will part at last - You're going? — Well, love:

adieu ! Grateful he was,and with his courage meek,— True, we were not in friendship bound like But he was hurt, and he resolved to speak:

those Yes, my dear Brother! from my soul I grieve Who will adopt each other's friends and foes, Thee and the proofs of thy regard to leave: Without esteem or hatred of their own,Thou hast been all that I could wish,-my But still we were to intimacy grown;

pride

And sure of Jacques when I had taken leare Exults to find that I am thus allied : It would have grieved me, - and it ought Yet to express a feeling, how it came,

to grieve; The pain it gives, its nature and its name, But I in him could not affection trace, I know not, but of late, I will confess, Careless he put his sermons in their place, Not that thy love is little, but is less. With no more feeling than his sermon-ease. Hadst thou received me in thy present mood, | Not so those generous girls beyond the Sure I had held thee to be kind and good;

brook,But thou wert all the warmest heart could It quite unmann'd me as my leave I took.

state, Affection dream, or hope anticipate; I must have wearicd thee yet day by day,- But, my dear Brother! when I take at night, Stay! said my Brother, and 'twas good to In my own home, and in their mother's sight,

stay;

By turns my children, or together see But now, forgive me, thinking I perceive A pair contending for the vacant knce, Change undefined, and as I think I grieve. When to Matilda I begin to tell Have I offended ?-Proud althongh I be, What in my visit first and last befellI will be humble, and concede to thee: Of this your village, of her tower and spire, Have I intruded on thee when thy mind And, above all, her Rector and her Squire, Was vex'd, and then to solitude inclined ? llow will the tale be marr'd when I shall 0! there are times when all things will molest

end Minds so disposed, so heavy, so oppress'd; I left displeased the Brother and the friend? And thine, I know, is delicate and nice, Sickening at folly, and at war with vice: Then, at a time when thou wert vex'd with Nay, Jacques is honest—Marry, he was then

these,

Engaged-What! part an author and his pen? I have intruded, let affection tease, Just in the fit, and when th' inspiring ray And so offended.-Richard, if thou hast, Shot on his brain, t'arrest it in its way! 'Tis at this instant, nothing in the past : Come, thou shalt see him in an easier vein. No,thon art alla Brother's love would choose; Nor of his looks nor of his words complain: And, having lost thee, I shall interest lose Art thou content?- If Richard had replied, In all that I pos6l88: I pray thce tell I am, his manner had his words belied : Wherein thy host has fail'd to please thee Even from his Brother's cheerfulness he well,

drew Do I neglect thy comforts? - 0! not thou, Something to vex him – what, he scurrely But art thyself uncomfortable now,

knew :

« PreviousContinue »