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THE LEGEND OF THE FORGET-ME-NOT.

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Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulld with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god! why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch,
A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell ?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude, imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafʼning clamours in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ?
Canst thou, O partial Sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down !
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Shakespere.

THE LEGEND OF THE FORGET-ME-NOT.

FAREWELL ! my true and loyal knight! on yonder battle

field Many a pearl and gem of price will gleam on helm and

shield : But bear thou on thy silver crest this pure and simplo

wreath, A token of thy lady's love-unchanging to the death. They seem, I know, these fragrant flowers, those fairy

stars of blue, As maiden's eyes had smiled on them, and given them

that bright hue, As only fitting but to bind a lady's hair or lute, And not with war or warrior's crest in arméd field to suit. But there's a charm in every lcaí, a deep and mystic spell ; Then take the wreath, my loyal knight-our Lady shield

thee well;

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THE LEGEND OF THE FORGET-ME.NOT.

And, though still prouder favours deck the gallant knights

of France, Oh, be the first in every field, LA FLEUR DE SOUVENANCE ! How bland, how still this summer eve—sure, never gentler

hour For lay of love, or sigh of lute, to breathe in lady's bower; Then listen with a lover's faith, as spell-bound to the spot, To the legend of my token flower, the charmed FORGET

ME-NOT. Young Albert led his Ida forth, when the departing sun Still lingered in the golden west, and shone like treasures

won

From some far land of old romance—some genii’s diamond

throneAs wreck of bright, enchanted gems, in triumph overthrown. “Love, look towards those radiant clouds, so like to fairy

bowers : How proudly o'er a sea of gold are raised their ruby towers; And now, as if by magic spell, a bright pavilion seems, With its folds of sapphire light, where the panting sun-ray

gleams.” To that bright heaven with smiles she looked ; one gleam

of her blue eyes, And Albert's heart forgot the clouds, and all their radiant

dyes ; All, all, but that young smiling one, whose beauty well

might seem A fairy form of loveliness imagined in a dream. She took a chaplet from her brow, which, gleaming soft

and fair, Like orient veil of amber light streamed down her silken

hair, Shedding fragrance and emitting brightness from its glit

tering rings, As if halo'd by Love's breath, and the glancing of his wings. « These maiden roses, love, appear like pearls kissed by

the sun With last rich gleam of crimson ere his western throne be

won ;

THE LEGEND OF THE FORGET-ME-NOT.

117

But should there not be some bright flower to deck our

bridal wreath, Whose hue might speak of constancy, unchanging to the

· death ?”

“My Ida ! from a thousand wreaths, thy owu sweet fancy

chose, For pure unfading loveliness, this garland of the rose : And what can speak of truer faith, my own beloved one, Than the flower whose fragrance lasts even when its life is

gone ? “Look to yon lone enchanted isle, which ’mid the silvery

foam Of the blue water seems to float, the wild swan's elfin home; A very cloud of azure flowers in rich profusion bloom : Winds of the lake! your passing sighs breathe of their

rich perfume. “ In nameless beauty all unmasked, in solitude they smile, As if they bloomed but for the stars, or birds of that lone

isle : For never yet hath mortal foot touched that enchanted

shore, Long hallowed by the wildly imagined tales of yore. “ Full well I love those distant flowers, whose pure and

tender blue Seems fitting emblein of a faith, unchanging as their hue; And wouldst thou venture for my love as thou wouldst for

renown, To win for me those azure flowers, to deck my bridal crown?"

One parting kiss of his fair bride, and swiftly far away, Like the wild swan whose home he sought, young Albert

met the spray Of rising waves, which foamed in wrath, as if some spirit's

hand Awoke the genii of the lake to guard their mystic land. The flowers were won, but devious his course lay back

again ; To stem the waters in their tow'ring rage he strove in vain :

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Fondly he glanced to the yet distant shore, where in despair His Ida stood with outstretched hands, 'mid shrieks and

tears and pray’r. Darker and fiercer gathered on the tempest in its wrath, The eddying waves with vengeful ire beset the fatal path : With the wild energy of death he well-nigh reached the spot, The azure flowers fell at her feet_“IDA, FORGET-ME-NOT !” The words yet borne upon his lips, the prize seem'd almost When ʼmid the rush of angry waves he sank-for ever gone! Within a proud cathedral aisle was raised a costly tomb, Whose pure white marble like ethereal light amid the gloom Shone-and no other trace it bore of lineage or of lot, But Ida's name, with star-like flowers ensculped FORGET

ME-NOT. There Ida slept, the desolate, the last of all her name, Parted from him who perished for her love 'mid dawn of

fame; But when shall their fond legend die ? or when shall be

forgot The flower that won its name in death, Love's theme FORGET-ME-NOT?

Anon.

ORISKA.

FAR in the west, where still the red man held
His nights unrifled, dwelt an aged chief,
With his young daughter. Joyous as a bird
She found her pastime 'mid the forest shades,
Or with a graceful vigour urged her skiff
O'er the bright waters. The bold warriors mark'd
Her opening charms, bnt deem'd her still a child,
Or feared from their grave kingly chief to ask
The darling of his age.

A stranger came
To traffic with the people, and amass
Those costly furs which in his native clime
Transmute so well to gold. The blood of France

ORISKA.

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Was in his veins, and on his lips the wile
That wins the guileless heart. Ofttimes at eve
He sought the chieftain's dwelling, and allured
The gentle girl to listen to his tale,
Well framed and eloquent. With practised glance
He saw the love-flush on her olive cheek
Make answer to him, though the half-hid brow
Drooped ’mid its wreath of tresses.

66 Ah! I know
That thou dost love to please me. Thou hast put
Thy splendid coronet of feathers on :
How its rich crimson dazzles 'mid thy locks,
Black as the raven's wing! Thy bracelets, too!
Who told thee thou wert beautiful ? Hast seen
Thy queenly features in yon mirror'd lake?
Bird of the Sioux ! let my nest be thine,
And I will sing thee melodies that make
Midnight like morn."

With many a spell he charm'd
Her trusting innocence; the dance, the song,
The legend, and the lay of other lands;
And patient taught his pupil's lips to wind
The maze of words with which his native tongue.
Refines the thought. The hoary chieftain frown'd;
But when the smooth Canadian press'd his suit
To be adopted by the tribe, and dwell
Among them, as a brother and a son ;
And when the indulgent sire observant read
The timid pleading of Oriska's eye,
He gave her tenderly, with sacred rites,
In marriage to the stranger.

Their sweet bower
Rose like a gem amid the rural scene,
O’ercanopied with trees, where countless birds
Carol'd unwearied, the gay squirrel leaped,
And the wild bee went singing to his work,
Satiate with luxury. Through matted grass,
With silver foot, a frolic fountain stole,
Still track'd by deepening greenness, while afar
The mighty prairie met the bending skies,
A sea at rest, whose sleeping waves were flowers.

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