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'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel, than see,
The swelling of her heart.
I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous Bride.
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace,
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Oh welcome, bat and owlet gray,
Thus winging low your airy way!
And welcome, moth and drowsy fly,
That to mine ear come humming by!
And welcome, shadows dim and deep,
And stars that through the pale sky peep!
O welcome all! to me ye say,
My woodland Love is on her way.
Upon the soft wind floats her hair;
Her breath is in the dewy air;
Her steps are in the whispered sound,
That steals along the stilly ground.
O dawn of day, in rosy bower,
What art thou to this witching hour?
O noon of day, in sunshine bright,
What art thou to the fall of night?
She was a queen of noble Nature's crowning,
A smile of her's was like an act of grace;
She had no winsome looks, no pretty frowning,
Like daily beauties of the vulgar race;
But if she smiled, a light was on her face,
A clear, cool kindliness, a lunar beam
Of peaceful radiance, silvering o'er the stream
Of human thought with unabiding glory;
Not quite a waking truth, not quite a dream,
A visitation, bright and transitory.
But she is changed,-hath felt the touch of sorrow;
No love hath she, no understanding friend;
Oh grief! when heaven is forced of earth to borrow
What the poor niggard earth has not to lend ;
But when the stalk is snapt, the rose must bend. 15 The tallest flower that skyward rears its head,
Grows from the common ground, and there must shed Its delicate petals. Cruel fate, too surely,
That they should find so base a bridal bed,
Who lived in virgin pride, so sweet and purely !
She had a brother, and a tender father;
And she was loved, but not as others are,
From whom we ask return of love,-but rather
As one might love a dream; a phantom-fair
Of something exquisitely strange and rare,
Which all were glad to look on, men and maids,
Yet no one claimed—as oft, in dewy glades
The peering primrose, like a sudden gladness,
Gleams on the soul, yet unregarded fades ;—
The joy is ours, but all its own the sadness.
'Tis vain to say-her worst of grief is only
The common lot, which all the world have known;
To her 'tis more, because her heart is lonely,
And yet she hath no strength to stand alone ;-
Once she had playmates, fancies of her own,
And she did love them. They are past away,
As fairies vanish at the break of day;
And like a spectre of an age departed,
Or unsphered angel wofully astray,
She glides along the solitary-hearted.
Proud Maisie is in the wood,
Walking so early;
Sweet Robin sits on the bush,
Singing so rarely.
'Tell me, thou bonny bird,
When shall I marry me?'
-When six braw gentlemen
Kirkward shall carry ye.'
'Who makes the bridal bed,
Birdie, say truly?'
'The gray-headed sexton
That delves the grave duly.
'The glowworm o'er grave and stone
Shall light thee steady;
The owl from the steeple sing,
AN HOUR WITH THEE.
An hour with thee !-When earliest day
Dapples with gold the eastern gray,
Oh, what can frame my mind to bear
The toil and turmoil, cark and care,
New griefs, which coming hours unfold,
And sad remembrance of the old ?-
One hour with thee!-When burning June
Waves his red flag at pitch of noon;
What shall repay the faithful swain
His labour on the sultry plain ;
And more than cave or sheltering bough,
Cool feverish blood, and throbbing brow?—
One hour with thee.
One hour with thee!-When sun is set,
Oh, what can teach me to forget
The thankless labours of the day,
The hopes, the wishes, flung away,
The increasing wants, and lessening gains,
The master's pride, who scorns my pains?—
One hour with thee.
The waters are flashing,
The white hail is dashing,
The lightnings are glancing,
The hoar-spray is dancing-
The whirlwind is rolling,
The thunder is tolling,
The forest is swinging,
The minster bells ringing-
The earth is like ocean,
Wreck-strewn and in motion:
Bird, beast, man, and worm,
Have crept out of the storm-
'Our boat has one sail,
And the helmsman is pale;-
A bold pilot I trow,
Who should follow us now,'