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How shall I speak of sadness,
And seem not thankless to my God and thee ?
How can the lightest wish but seem to be
The very whim of madness ?
Yet, oh, there is a boon thy love beside-
And I will ask it of thee-in my pride!
List, while my boldness lingers !
If thou hadst won yon twinkling star to hear thee--
If thou couldst bid the rainbow's curve bend near
If thou couldst charm thy fingers
To weave for thee the Sunset's tent of gold-
Wouldst in thine own heart treasure it untold ?
If thou hadst Ariel's gift,
To course the veined metals of the earth-
If thou couldst wind a fountain to its birth-
If thou couldst know the drift
Of the lost cloud that sailed into the sky,
Wouldst keep it for thine own unanswered eye?
It is thy life and mine !-
Thou in thyself, and I in thee, misprison
Gifts like a circle of bright stars unrisen-
For thou, whose mind should shine
Eminent as a planet's light, art here-
Moved with the starting of a woman's tear!
I have told o'er thy powers
In secret, as a miser tells his gold;
I know thy spirit calm, and true, and bold :
I've watched thy lightest hours,
And seen thee, in the wildest flush of youth
Touched with the instinct ravishment of truth.
Thou hast the secret strange
To read that hidden book, the human heart;
Thou hast the ready writer's practised art;
Thou hast the thought to range
The broadest circles Intellect hath ran-
And thou art God's best work—an honest man !
And yet thou slumberest here
Like a caged bird that never knew its pinions,
And others track in glory the dominions
Where thou hast not thy peer —
Setting their weaker eyes unto the sun,
And plucking honour that thou shouldst have won.
Oh, if thou lov’dst me ever,
Ernest, my husband! If th’ idolatry
That lets go heaven to fling its all on thee-
If to dismiss thee never
In dream or prayer, have given me aught to claim-
Heed me-oh, heed me! and awake to Fame !
· Her lips Closed with an earnest sweetness, and she sat Gazing into his eyes as if her look Searched their dark orbs for answer. The warm blood Into his temples mounted, and across His countenance the flush of passionate thoughts Passed with irresolute quickness. He rose up
And paced the dim room rapidly awhile, -
Calming his troubled mind, and then he came
And laid his hand upon her orbéd brow,
And in a voice of heavenly tenderness
Answered her :-
Before I knew thee, Mary,
Ambition was my angel. I did hear
For ever its witch'd voices in mine ear;
My days were visionary,
My nights were like the slumbers of the mad,
And every dream swept o'er me glory-clad.
I read the burning letters
Of warlike pomp, on History's page, alone ;
I counted nothing the struck widow's moan ;
I heard no clank of fetters;
I only felt the trumpet's stirring blast,
And lean-eyed Famine stalked unchallenged past !
I heard, with veins of lightning, The utterance of the Statesman's word of power
Binding and loosing nations in an hour
But while my eye was brightening, A masked detraction breathed upon his fame, And a curst serpent slimed his written name.
The Poet rapt mine ears
With the transporting music that he sung.
With fibres from his life his lyre he strung,
And bathed the world in tears~
And then he turned away to muse apart,
And Scorn stole after him and broke his heart !
Yet here and there I saw One who did set the world at calm defiance, And press right onward with a bold reliance ;
And he did seem to awe The very shadows pressing on his breast, And, with a strong heart, held himself at rest.
And then I looked again,
And he had shut the door upon the crowd,