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And sorrow, worst of all—yet still her mien
Held its original sweetness. Piety,
And gentleness, and charity, and faith,
Shone there, and from her soften'd eyes heam'd forth
Serenity which was not of the earth.
And all around that venerable form
Beautiful creatures floated—cheeks of bloom,
And eyes of watery light, on her alone
Fix'd with such fond and beaming earnestness,
That I might know their owners had no thought
Beyond that gentle lady's happiness.
My dream was darken'd. In that ancient house There was a deathlike silence—one alone Of all those young and lovely forms remain'd, And she was traversing the silent hall, With wild and hurried footsteps. Very pale She look'd, and in her tremulous voice was sorrow Mingled with dread—and yet she shed no tears. There seem'd a settled spirit at her heart, Triumphant o'er calamity,—a firm And holy strength ; yet ever and anon Her lips, compress'd convulsively, betray'd The struggle of her soul with agony, Methought one told me that o'er that old house Disease had spread his pinions, and that she, That gentle mother, and her youngest child, Were fading in Death's shadowy arms. Alone That maid, the ruling image of my dream, Tended their feverish beds, and sleeplessly
Was comforting the agonies of each.
My dream pass'd darkly on. Methought I stood With her, the ruling image of the Vision,
Beneath the waning twilight— * *
Again my dream grew dark. We stood by night,
The winds, in rapid and tumultuous flight,
My dream was brighten'd. Sounds of love andjoy, And hymeneal songs, and rustic mirth, Mix'd with the music of the village bells, Broke gaily on my ear. From that old house There pass'd a merry wedding rout; the bride Was that young maiden whom I late beheld Pining in hopeless sickness; holy love, And chaste connubial raptures, fill'd her eyes, Smiling through silent tears. And then I saw That maid, the ruling image of my dream, And she was leaning on a young man's arm Whom I knew not; but in their eyes I read That each was to the other all in all.
My Vision changed its aspect. Youth's bright
Had pass'd from all the faces which I loved,
Throughout my being throbb'd. I stood begirt
There lean'd a radiant form upon my bosom,
SONG TO THE SPRING BREEZE.
Oh! Spirit of the Breeze,
Who singest in the trees, Making low music, while the young leaves dance;
Unveil, unveil to me
Thy heauty silently,
Let me thy bright eyes view, and dovelike countenance.
Oft doth my Fancy's eye
The Naiads fair espy,
And glisten as it sees
The green-rob'd Dryades,
Or Oreads dancing nightly by their Queen's pale beam.
And I, on nights of June,
Have watch'd beneath the Moon, The gambols quaint of many a gamesome Fay,
Around the tiny throne
Of mirthful Oberon,