Page images

Might fall, and thus within

My soul as softly sink ! Yet if there be a more propitious hour, 'Tis when the moon from out the pearly east

In chasten'd splendour beams,

And sheds o'er thee, and o’er The tranquil earth, her mild and holy light: A shadowy grandeur then invests the scene,

While through the willing mind

A pleasing sadness steals. O fond remembrance ! say, what boots it now To sing of absent charms ? The morn, the eve

Return; but thee, sweet lake,

I must not see again! Yet brighter eyes,

and innocent as bright, Shall long upon thy various beauties gaze;

And young and dewy limbs

Delight in thee to lave.
And science, haply, on thy banks shall rear
Her proudest domes; and, emulous of fame,

Bards, yet unborn, shall chant
In lofty verse thy praise.




The fearful strife of feeling now is o'er,
The bitter pang can rend my heart no more;
A martyr spirit now within me burns,
And love that spurns
All thought of self is waking, till its power
Can conquer e’en the anguish of this hour.

Yes! for thy sake I can resign e'en thee,
My noble husband ! though there yet may be
Enough of woman's weakness, in my heart,
To bid tears start,
Yet not one murmur of reproach shall swell,
Amid the accents of my last farewell.

I loved thee in thy lowliness—ere fame
Had shed her halo round Napoleon's name ;

In the veil'd lightnings of that falcon eye,
I read the high
And godlike aspirations of a mind,
Whose loftiest aim was power to bless mankind.

When queens

And when thy name through all the earth was known,
When monarchs quaked before thy triple crown,

beheld me, in mine hour of pride,
Thy glorious bride,
No selfish vanity my heart could swell-
I shared a throne, but would have shared a cell.

Like thine, my soul was form’d for glorious fate;
I loved thee as the eagle loves its mate;
Nor did I seek with borrow'd strength to climb
The height sublime,
Where thou hadst built thine eyry; 'twas for me
Enough that thou wert there, I follow'd thee.

And in thy toils too have I borne a part;
In scenes where might have quail'd man's sterner

When dark rebellion rear'd his hydra crest,
My hand caress'd
And soothed the dreaded monster till he smil'd,
And bow'd him down submissive as a child.

Though all untaught the warrior's brand to wield,
Yet went my spirit with thee to the field


Where charging squadrons met in fierce array;
Nor, ʼmid the fray,
Awoke one terror for a husband's life-
Such fear were idle in Napoleon's wife.

Alas! how has my pride become my shame!
I saw thee mount the rugged steep of fame,
And joy'd to think how soon thy mighty soul
Would reach its goal;
Nor ever dream'd, ambitious though thou art,
That thy last step would be upon my heart.

Vain sacrifice ! no second of thy race
Shall wield the world's dread sceptre in thy place;
Rude nature might have taught how false must be
Such hope to thee;
For lofty minds but with like minds should wed-
Not in the dove's soft nest are eaglets bred.

Our’s was the soul's high union; and the pain
That wears my spirit down, breaks not its chain ;
No earthly hand such fetters could untwine :
And I am thine,
As fondly, proudly thine, in exile now,
As when thy diadem begirt my brow.


Would'st thou mark the Susquehanna's course,

When 'tis boldest and best to see?
Then come, when it swells from its mountain source,

And foams in its furious glee,
And bounds away, like a wild war horse,

In its strength exulting free!
When it sweeps, with the wealth of its farthest shore,

So rapidly to the deep;
Or rests awhile, 'neath the glancing oar,

In the hills' dark shade to sleep;
Or its lilied surface lingers more

Where its island birch trees weep.

O come to the Susquehanna's shades

Ere the balmy spring goes by!
Ere the poplar's tulip garden fades

From its breezy bed on high;
While the sycamore, with the dark elm, aids

The locust to charm the eye!

« PreviousContinue »