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BY THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.
Fru. many dreamy summer days,
Full many wakeful summer nights, Fair Rosalie had walked the ways
Wherein young Love delights.
Love took her by the willing hand—
And oft she kissed the smiling boy— He led her through his native land, The innocent fields of Joy.
As oft the evening tryste was set,
In cedarn grottoes far apart. That young and lovely maiden met The Minstrel of her heart.
Then Time, like some celestial barque,
With viewless sails and noiseless oars,
And once he sang enchanted words,
Learned music from his voice.
He sang to her of charmed realms,
Of streams and lakes discerned by chance,
Of vales, of purple mountains far,
With flowers below and stars above, And of all homelier things that are Made beautiful by Love;
Of rural days, when harvest sheaves
Along the heated uplands glow,
He sang how evil evermore
Keeps ambush near our holiest ground, But how an angel guards the door Wherever Love is round.
Even while he sang new flowers had bloomed,
New stars looked through the river mist,
And with those flowers he crowned her there,
Oh, moon and stars, oh leaves and flowers,
Ye heard thnir plighted accents then— And heard within those sacred bowers The tramp of armed men!
Her father spake: his angry word
The youth returned in keener heat; But when replied the old man's sword, The youth lay at his feet. ?OL. VI. 3
And as a dreamer breathless, weak,
From some im measured turret thrown,
They raised her in her drowning swoon,
And placed her on a palfrey white; A statue, paler than the moon,
They bore her through the night.
Loud rang the many horses' hoofs.
Like forging hammers, fast and full; To her they seemed to tread on woofs Of deep and noiseless wool.
And like a fated bridal flower,
From some betrothed bosom blown. They bore her to her prison tower, And left her there alone.
And when the cool auroral air
Had won her tangled dreams apart, She found the blossoms in her hair— Their memory in her heart.
She rose and paced the chamber dim,
And watched the dying moon and stars, Until the sun's broad burning rim
Blazed through the lattice bars.
About her face the warm light stole.
There streamed no morning sun.
The day went by; and o'er the vale
She saw the rising river mist; And like a bride, subdued and pale, Arrayed her for the tryste,
In nuptial robes, long wrought by stealth.
With opals looped, pearl-broidered hems:
The stars came out, and by degrees
She hoard her name, and knew the call:
At once the noiseless doors swung wide; She passed the shadowy stair and hall— And One was at her side.
One, whose dear voice had charmed her long,
And wooed her spirit to delight, With airs of wild unwritten song, On many a summer night.
They passed the village hand-in-hand!
They gazed upon the minster towors,
Age blessed them as they gaily passed,
And rosy cbildren danced before, Until with trembling hearts at last They gained the chapel door.
But music in its triumph brings
New courage unto old and young;
And while the anthem, loud or low,
Swung round them like a golden cloud. They walked the aisle, subdued and slow, And at the altar bowed.
And sacred hands were o'er them spread. And blessings passed away in prayer; And then the soul of music sped
Once more throughout the air.
It swelled and dropped and waving rose.
With flights for ever skyward given, Like birds whose pinions spread and close, And rise thereby to heaven.
A murmur, like the soft desire
Of leafy airs, went up the skies,
Bright angels all encompassed her.
An angel In the altar stood,
The chapel walls dissolved and swept
IN A GRAVE-YARD.
BY HUs. J. L. GRAY.
[In the grave-yard of the First Presbyterian Church, inEaston, Pa., there is a simple, modest tomb-stone with this inscription, "Otm Little Johnwt." This tomb, which marks the resting-place of a sweet, precocious boy, is the scene of the following verses, written by his Mother.—Ed.]
'Tis past, 'tis o'er, my beautiful hath faded—
The grave now holds my treasure, and the sod
Rests on this bosom's idol I Hare I made it
My soul's deop worship, and forgot my God ?—
If so, 0 Mightiest, to thy chastening rod
I bow submissive. *Neath this churchyard stone
'Tis well that thus my prized, my gifted lies
Down in that dark, cold, silent bed alone,
Mourned by the night-wind's sad and fitful sighs;
Watched by the wakeful stars' soft, pitying, pensive eyes.
0 ye pure orbs, why steal ye thus at even So voiceless and so mournful? Have you all Forgot the exulting shout that rang through heaven. When first among you rolled this glowing ball, Warm from God's hand? Where now thejoyous call Of his glad sons? Yo bright ones, that adorn Yon cloudless firmament, my anxious ears List for your hymns in rain; and coming morn. In her bright robe, that hides your fading spheres, 8hows me Earth's graves all wet, all glittering with your tears.
Why weep you thus for her in night and sadness?
Are there no graves but hers? Has she alone
Lost her primoval lustre? Shall not gladness
Visit again tins lone, this stricken one?—
How is hor beauty changed, her splendour gone!—
Daughter of heaven, thy glorious brow is clouded—
Tombs are thy children's birthright—death their dower!
0 lost, degenerate one, in darkness shrouded,
Dimmed is thy gold, bright pageant of an hour;
And sin's dread serpents hiss within thy fairest bower.
Weep on, ye pitying orbs, though vain your weeping;—
'Tis rain, all rain: yet hath she consolation:
Weep not, thou stricken one, though darkness o'er thee,
And sin, and hell, haro cast this mournful pall;
Fair, bright, unnumbered years are yet before thee;
Arise, and shine, thou holiest of them all!
Thy rery dust shall liro. Forth from the thrall
Of the dark tomb thy slumbering ones shall rise'. I Hark I the Archangel's voice, the trumpet's call!
Earth shall be made a heaven, the joy of joys, j The ransomed of her God, the wonder of the skies!
Who that ever saw her, could forget her? That serene face—in which benignity lent its radiance to classic features, marked by strength of purpose and resolute action; that figure— the very ideal of the Roman Matron—that, clad in the sober habit of the Quaker, assumed no stateliness of carriage, but moved to the inborn grace and dignity of a Scripture prophetess; while the snowy kerchief folded across her bosom, seemed the brooding wing of the dove, whose pure and peaceful spirit dwelt within. She looked not over forty when I first saw her; but had been called Aunt Rachel by the reverent villagers for many years, as she came among tbem in the sacred character of a preacher; had won all ears by her truthful, melodious tones, and all hearts by the love that overflowed her own, and like an ever-living spring, made green all her pleasant borders. The term aunt, in her case, was evidently one of respect and endearment; not as applied to the doctress, nurse, or spinster-gossip of the village. It was used in part as a compromise for the Mrs. or Madam, that would have offended her Yea and Nay sect, as the atmosphere of sacredness that surrounded her, to a conventional people, quite forbade the oriental Rachel, even though it brought to mind, in its simplicity, the beautiful Scripture heroine; for Aunt Rachel's admirers were not confined to the Society of Friends; she recognised numerous friends among "the world's people" also. Nor were her ministrations limited to her own sect: wherever a sick-bed was approachable, there was found Aunt Rachel; not with the budget of nostrums and loud voice of expostulation; but moving, like a noiseless spirit, to smooth the sufferer's pillow—whispering in gentle tone the consoling word, or sending the voiceless prayer to Heaven, whose response was peace, nestling silently to the heart of the dying. To the young people of the neighbourhood, Aunt Rachel was emphatically "a mother in Israel." Her inexpressibly gentle manner, united with a keen perception, and delicate appreciation of all their pleasures, pains, and prospects, gained confidence unasked, and love unstinted. Thus without the remotest characteristic of an intermeddler, she became the repository of all heart-secrets—the mother-confessor of the youthful community. Aunt Rachel was not a maiden lady: by some unaccountable accident, or some imperceptible affi
nity, her fortunes had in early life been united to "a small pattern of a man" in every sense of the adjective. She obeyed, to the letter of the law, the divine mandate, "Let the wife see that she reverence her husband ;" while, by an irresistible law of mind, her weaker half was quietly guided by the stronger. The illmatched but peaceful pair owned and occupied one of the amplest dwellings of the village, and were the possessors of a flourishing farm some three miles distant. Thus Aunt Rachel's purse, though not as large as her heart, often added to her unuttered prayers its untrumpeted alms. Her house was the home of hospitality, and while her immediate family consisted only of hor passive spouse, herself, and servants, she generally headed a large well-filled board. Teaching the Scriptures at home, and preaching wherever and whenever the spirit moved, were considered a divine right with which her meek Jeremiah never interfered. The good Book was placed beside her daily at the breakfast-table, and after the meal was over, her family and guests enjoyed a scriptural feast, enriched by the modulations of her heaventoned voice.
Aunt Rachel's, was a name familiar not only to the neighbouring towns, but to the cities also; and dearly was it revered in the "city of Brotherly Love," whose "yearly meetings"— despite their inevitable rainy accompaniment, she always attended. Whenever moved by the spirit to preach at a distance, the male memJ bers of the meeting to which she belonged j awaited her bidding, vying with one another I for the honour of conducting her to the ap'pointed place. Thus without egotism, assumption or strife, she swayed all hearts, as gently and caressingly as the sweet southwest moves the vernal grove, or the rejoicing flowers.
Among the young people of the village, was a beautiful maiden, who attached herself to Aunt Rachel at first sight, and became, in the course of time, to her as a daughter. The affection between them, exceeding even the ties of nature, could only be compared to the attachment of Naomi and Ruth. Indeed Alice became so enthusiastic in her love at one time, that she would fain have forsaken her home and sect, declaring to Aunt Rachel, "Where thou livest, I will live—thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God!" Bat the kind | expostulation of her less impassioned friend, prevailed over her impulses so far as to prevent a public renunciation of her religion, and she endeavoured to content herself, by listening in private to the inspired lessons of her sacred teacher: or hand in hand with her, leaving in spirit the tumultuous world, and "getting into the quiet," as Aunt Rachel defined their seasons of silent worship. Alice was the daughter of a retired merchant, who had left the city to finish his days in seclusion, competence, and the free air of the country. The lovely companion of his youth had yielded her life in presenting him a daughter, and grief once settled on his heart, like a bird of night, departed not till sho hatched a melancholy brood, that lived a fluttering life, but never forsook their secret nest. He became stern and morose, and even the smiles of his motherless daughter had no sunshiny influence to draw forth the gloomy fledglings that he cherished in his bosom. Alice's nature, ever brimming with love, needed only the touch of sympathy to overflow, and her affection for Aunt Rachel was the outgushing of a heart whose deep had never till then been stirred. What a scene for a painter was it, when she sat at the feet of her spiritual teacher, her blue eyes—like dewy violets opening to the light of heaven—looking up to the countenance where "majestic sweetness sat enthroned"—whose sublime beauty formed a fitting contrast to the poetic loveliness of the fair creature beside her!
One regret mingled with their daily communion: it was on the part of Aunt Rachel, that her only child — her darling son — had married just previous to her acquaintance with Alice; that she could not take the lovely girl to her bosom as a daughter literally as well as spiritually. She was the realization of the fair, ideal-bride she had depicted for her son; and he—she said it with the self-consciousness that becomes true greatness, and is not in opposition to humility, for she had trained him —was the noble being that could have appreciated and cherished the confiding Alice! But Aunt Rachel's son, who lived at a distance from her. had 1! friend, who was the companion of his youth: they had grown up to manhood together, and now were united in a professional business. Next to her son, he was dearest to her heart, and was as yet unmarried. No wonder then, that the Quakeress often spoke of him in the highest terms to Alice, and even intimated the fond wish that, when they should meet, an attachment might spring up between them. To such intimations the maiden responded with natural enthusiasm: for in her love for Aunt Rachel, and the romance of hor nature, she. began to indulge aoft dreams of a lordly and loving being whose ardent soul would
commingle with her own, and whose manly beauty would fill her admiring eye, as the embodiment of her early imaginings. After a while, this project became a subject of daily conversation between the Friend and her prollgtt—an idea that took such hold of their imaginations, that it seemed something actually settled. Aunt Rachel's belief that they were designed by heaven for each other, gave a sacredness to the subject; and to her partial eye both parties were so nearly perfection, that she never dreamed they could be anything less in each other's eyes. Whether she mentioned the matter in her letters, we cannot say; but may safely infer that this pet plan was not concealed from her darling son, and that he had no secrets to keep from his friend.
One spring morning, as Alice was gathering wild flowers in her father's woodland, she was surprised by a sudden apparition crossing her path, whose form and face corresponded so entirely with her ideal of Wallace—as Aunt Rachel called her uramated mate—that she started, and inadvertently uttered some exclamation that drew the stranger's attention; when her agitation so increased, that she had j to support herself against a tree. The gentle: man taking her excitement for alarm, stepped towards her, and bowing respectfully, apologized for his intrusion, adding that the in| viting spring atmosphere had led him farther I from his duties than he intended; when, mo! destly begging her to add some flowers he had j himself been gathering, to her bouquet, he bade her good morning, calling her name, much to her surprise : while she scarcely recovered herself sufficiently to receive with graciousness either the apology, or the flowers; but stammering out, "Not at all,"—" Thank you, sir!" she watched him as he left the wood in the direction of the village. He was out of sight before Alice recovered her composure, and long did she sit, pondering over what seemed more like a vision than a reality. "And he spoke my mime," thought she. "It cannot be that Wallace has come to the village unknown to Aunt Rachel—yet it must be he; or why did I feel so when he appeared? and why did his voice thrill through me, like the music of my dreams? Perhaps he surprised me purposely, preferring such to a formal first-meeting. Possibly Aunt Rachel sent him to the wood, thinking I might be there. She is right—a person of such appearance must have a noble mind and nature! How strikingly he is what I imagined Wallace to be' But I must hasten home; there is, no doubt, a message for me there from Aunt Rnchel." Here the young lady made a sudden start, and with it, a new idea seemed to strike her mind and produce a change of expression on her countenance. As she walked