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XV.

Judge both Fugitives with knowledge:

In those old Romantic days
Mighty were the soul's commandments

To support, or strain, or raise.
Foes might hang upon their path, snakes rustle near,
But nothing from their inward selves had they to fear.

XVI.

Thought infirm ne'er came between them,

Whether printing desert sands
With accordant steps, or gathering

Forest-fruit with social hands;
Or whispering like two reeds that in the cold moon-

beam Bend with the breeze their heads, beside a crystal

stream.

XVII.

On a friendly deck reposing

They at length for Venice steer;
There, when they had closed their voyage,

One, who daily on the pier
Watched for tidings from the East, beheld his Lord,
Fell down and clasped his knees for joy, not uttering

word.

XVIII,

Mutual was the sudden transport;

Breathless questions followed fast,
Years contracing to a moment,

Each word greedier than the last;
Hie thee to the Countess, friend ! return with speed,
And of this Stranger speak by whom her Lord was

freed.

XIX.

Say that I, who might have languished,

Drooped and pined till life was spent,
Now before the gates of Stolberg

My Deliverer would present
For a crowning recompense, the precious grace
Of her who in my heart still holds her ancient place,

XX.

Make it known that my Companion

Is of royal eastern blood,
Thirsting after all perfection,

Innocent, and meek, and good,
Though with misbelievers bred; but that dark night
Will holy Church disperse by beams of gospel

light.”

XXI.

Swiftly went that gray-haired Servant,

Soon returned a trusty Page
Charged with greetings, benedictions,

Thanks and praises, each a gage
For a sunny thought to cheer the Stranger's way,
Her virtuous scruples to remove, her fears allay.

XXII.
And how blest the Reunited

While beneath their castle-walls,
Runs a deafening noise of welcome ! -

Blest, though every tear that falls
Doth in its silence of past sorrow tell,
And makes a meeting seem most like a dear farewell.

XXIII.

Through a haze of human nature,

Glorified by heavenly light,
Looked the beautiful Deliverer

On that overpowering sight,
While across her virgin cheek pure

blushes strayed, For every

tender sacrifice her heart had made.

XXIV.

On the ground the weeping Countess

Knelt, and kissed the Stranger's hand;
Act of soul-devoted homage,

Pledge of an eternal band :
Nor did aught of future days that kiss belie,
Which, with a generous shout, the crowd did ratify.

XXV.

Constant to the fair Armenian,

Gentle pleasures round her moved,
Like a tutelary spirit

Reverenced, like a sister, loved.
Christian meekness smoothed for all the path of life,
Who, loving most, should wiseliest love, their only

strife.

XXVI.

Mute memento of that union

In a Saxon church survives,
Where a cross-legged Knight lies sculptured

As between two wedded Wives-
Figures with armoria! signs of race and birth,
And the vain rank the pilgrims bore while yet on

earth.

A WREN'S NEST.

AMONG the dwellings framed by birds

In field or forest with nice care, Is none that with the little Wren's

In snugness may compare.

No door the tenement requires,

And seldom needs a labored roof; Yet is it to the fiercest sun

Impervious, and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,

In perfect fitness for its aim, That to the Kind by special grace

Their instinct surely came.

And when for their abodes they seek

An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye

For shadowy quietness.

These find, 'mid ivied abbey-walls,

A canopy in some still nook ; Others are pent-housed by a brae

That overhangs a brook.

There, to the brooding bird her mate

Warbles by fits his low clear song; And by the busy streamlet both

Are sung to all day long.

Or in sequestered lanes they build,

Where, till the flitting bird's return, Her eggs within the nest repose,

Like relics in an urn.

But still, where general choice is good,

There is a better and a best; And among fairest objects, some

Are fairer than the rest ;

This, one of those small builders proved

In a green covert, where, from out The forehead of a pollard oak,

The leafy antlers sprout;

For She who planned the mossy lodge,

Mistrusting her evasive skill, Had to a Primrose looked for aid

Her wishes to fulfil ;

High on the trunk's projecting brow,
And fixed an infant's

span

above The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest

The prettiest of the grove!

The treasure proudly did I show

To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things; but once

Looked up for it in vain:

"T is gone-a ruthless spoiler's prey,

Who heeds not beauty, love, or song, 'T is gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved

Indignant at the wrong.

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