« 上一页继续 »
She leaned against the arméd man,
The statue of the arméd knight :
Amid the lingering light.
My hope, my joy, my Genevieve !
The songs that make her grieve. I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story-
The ruin wild and hoary.
Upon his shield a burning brand :
The Lady of the Land.
The low, the deep, the pleading tone,
Interpreted my own.
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
Too fondly on her face !
Which crazed this bold and lovely knight, And that he crossed the mountain woods,
Nor rested day nor night; .
And sometimes from the darksome shade, And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,
There came and looked him in the face,
An angel beautiful and bright;
This miserable knight!
He leaped amid a murderous band,
The Lady of the Land ;
And how she wept and clasped his knees,
And how she tended him in vainAnd ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain;
And that she nursed him in a cave ;
And how his madness went away,
A dying man he lay.
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
Disturbed her soul with pity. All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve,
The rich and balmy eve;
An undistinguishable throng!
THE PRINCE ALBERT.
When the Princess Victoria, in 1837, succeeded to the throne of England, she was only eighteen years of age. She had received a careful education, and was well qualified to undertake the duties of her high position ; but the situation was subjected to dangers and temptations, extremely hazardous for a princess of such tender years to encounter. Accordingly, the statesmen who at that time directed the affairs of this country, were desirous that the youthful queen should choose a husband who might be able to assist Her Majesty in the execution of her high functions, and give stability to her throne. Leopold, King of the Belgians, the uncle of the Queen, and the Duchess of Kent, Her Majesty's mother, agreed that the young Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg was well qualified by his birth, education, and disposition, for the position of husband to the Queen. As a general rule, the gentle. man requests the lady to become his wife; but in this case, the high position of the Queen made it necessary for the first advances in the matter to come from herself. This duty she performed in such a gracious manner that the Prince writes: “Victoria is so good and kind to me, that I am often at a loss to believe that such affection should be shown to me.” The Queen regarded the Prince's acceptance of her proposal as “ a sacrifice" on his part, because he would have to resign the rightful position of a husband as master of the household of his wife, and merely act as Her Majesty's companion and adviser. The Prince resolved to blend as much as possible his own existence with that of the Queen, and instead of striking out an original and independent course, to labour quietly and
earnestly to render Her Majesty what assistance he could, in matters which were left to the sovereign's judgment to decide. Writing on this subject in a work recently published, Her Majesty states : “A worse school for a young girl, or one more detrimental to all natural feelings and affections, cannot well be imagined, than the position of a queen at eighteen, without experience, and without a husband to guide and support her. This the Queen can state from painful experience, and she thanks God that none of her dear daughters. are exposed to such danger." | Whatever difficulties might exist were readily conquered by the mutual love and devotion which animated the youthful pair. The Prince loved the Queen, and the Queen was devoted to the Prince. Seldom have we read of such a really happy home within the walls of a palace. Writing to her uncle, King Leopold, Her Majesty states, concerning Prince Albert: “How I will strive to make him feel as little as possible the great sacrifice he has made.. I love him more than I can say, and I shall do everything in my power to render this sacrifice (for such in my opinion it is) as small as I can." | The Queen and the Prince were married in 1840, and lived a life of unbroken felicity till 1861, when the Prince, after a short illness, expired at Windsor Castle, in the forty-second year of his age. Since that time Her Majesty, while giving constant attention to the duties of her high position, has felt an inability to take her accustomed part in popular processions and court festivities. The English people, who are great lovers of home virtues, respect and reverence the great depth and duration of Her Majesty's sorrow, and are not desirous that she should move in festive scenes, her solitary appearance in which only remind her the more keenly of her great bereavement. It should be remembered that the Prince wisely determined to take no part in politics, but endeavoured to interest himself in measures of social improvement, such as improving the cottages of the labouring poor, establishing a system of exhibitions in which the industry of the universe can be displayed, and carrying on a model farm, in which the land should be cultivated with all the instruments which modern science has made applicable to the purpose.