« 前へ次へ »
"Amid the village playmates of my youth
"Was one whom riper years approved a friend.
"A gentle maid was my poor Madelon,
"I loved her as a sister, and long time
"Her undivided tenderness possess'd,
"Till that a better and a holier tie
"Gave her one nearer friend; and then my heart
"Partook her happiness, for never lived
"A happier pair than Arnaud and his wife.
"Lorraine was call'd to arms, and with her youth "Went Arnaud to the war. The morn was fair, "Bright shone the sun, the birds sung cheerfully, "And all the fields look'd lovely in the spring; "But to Domremi wretched was that day, "For there was lamentation, and the voice "Of anguish, and the deeper agony "That spake not. Never will my heart forget "The feelings that shot thro' me, when the horn "Gave its last call, and through the castle-gate
"The banner moved, and from the clinging arms
"More frequent now "Sought I the converse of poor Madelon, "For now she needed friendship's soothing voice. "All the long summer did she live in hope "Of tidings from the war; and as at eve "She with her mother by the cottage door "Sat in the sunshine, if a traveller "Appear'd at distance coming o'er the brow, "Her eye was on him, and it might be seen "By the flush'd cheek what thoughts were in her heart, "And by the deadly paleness which ensued "How her heart died within her. So the days "And weeks and months pass'd on, and when the leaves "Fell in the autumn, a most painful hope "That reason own'd not, that with expectation "Did never cheer her as she rose at morn, "Still linger'd in her heart, and still at night
"Made disappointment dreadful. Winter came,
"But Arnaud never from the war return'd,
"He far away had perish'd; and when late
"The tidings of his certain death arrived,
"Sore with long anguish underneath that blow
"She sunk. Then would she sit and think all day
"Upon the past, and talk of happiness
"That never would return, as tho' she found
"Best solace in the thoughts which minister'd
"To sorrow: and she loved to. see the sun
"Go down, because another day was gone,
"And then she might retire to solitude
"And wakeful recollections, or perchance
"To sleep more wearying far than wakefulness,
"Dreams of his safety and return, and starts
"Of agony; so neither night nor day
"Could she find rest, but pin'd and pin'd away.
"Death! to the happy thou art terrible, "But how the wretched love to think of thee! "O thou true comforter, the friend of all
"Who have no friend beside! By the sick bed
"Of Madelon I sate, when sure she felt
"The hour of her deliverance drawing near;
"I saw her eye kindle with heavenly hope,
"I had her latest look of earthly love,
"I felt her hand's last pressure. . .Son of Orleans!
"I would not wish to live to know that hour,
"When I could think upon a dear friend dead,
"And weep not.
"I remember as her bier "Went to the grave, a lark sprung up aloft, "And soar'd amid the sunshine carolling "So full of joy, that to the mourner's ear "More mournfully than dirge or passing bell, "His joyful carol came, and made us feel "That of the multitude of beings, none "But man was wretched.
"Then my soul awoke, "For it had slumber'd long in happiness,
"And never feeling misery, never thought
"What others suffer. I, as best I might,
"Solaced the keen regret of Elinor;
"And much my cares avail'd, and much her son's,
"On whom, the only comfort of her age,
"She center'd now her love. A younger birth,
"Aged nearly as myself was Theodore,
"An ardent youth, who with the kindest cares
"Had soothed his sister's sorrows. We had knelt
"By her death-bed together, and no bond
"In closer union knits two human hearts
"Than fellowship in grief.
"It chanced as once "Beside the fire of Elinor I sate, "The night was comfortless, the loud blast howl'd, "And as we drew around the social hearth, "We heard the rain beat hard: driven by the storm, "A warrior mark'd our distant taper's light; "We heapt the fire, and spread the friendly board. "The storm beats hard," the stranger cried: "safehous'd