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“THE RASH VOW.”
A BED, four walls, and a swart crucifix-
They brought me here
Never again that interchange of looks,
Last May I roved with her into the woods :
Who calls ? “Good brother, you are new as yet ;
Thos. HERBERT LEWIN.
On Mona's desolate shore, in a cavern well, loves me no more, nor seemeth to by the sea, there dwelt long ages ago heed me, and I have given him my the last of the Druids. None knew father's crown, and loved him with my whence he came or how long he had whole heart. What must I do to lived there alone; some said it was for awaken his love ?" a hundred years, and others that it was And the second suppliant spake and for a time far beyond the age of man, said :and that the Druid was no other than “O Druid ! I am a knight and I loved Merlin himself, who had seen Arthur a lady who once gave me her troth; and die, and had dwelt in the halls of I have borne it on my helm through Caerleon, and worshipped in yet re- many a bloody field, and I have brought moter time in the sun-temple of Stone- her back glory and fame ; yet she loves henge. Men and women travelled far me no more. What must I do to awaken to visit the solitary cavern where the her love?”. Druid dwelt, and to ask him to reveal And the third suppliant spake and to them the mysteries of life and death; said : and kings came to consult him regarding “O Druid ! I am a rich man, and I war and the polity of states, and priests loved my brother, and divided with asked him concerning eternal things; him my lands and gold ; but he loves and to all of them the Druid made re- me no more. What must I do to awaken sponse, and his words were wise and his love ?” deep, and were treasured in many souls. And the fourth suppliant spake and
Now it came to pass one evening in said :the later autumn, when the air was still “O Druid ! I am a bard, and I loved and shrouded, and the sere leaves were not one man only, but all the good and slowly dropping from the trees, and the wise, and I poured out my soul in song; salt green sea cast its tribute of wrack but they loved me not, nor responded to and shells at the door of the Druid's my words. What must I do to awaken cave, that there came up together from their love ?” different lands many suppliants, and And the fifth suppliant spake and they all entered into the cavern to en- said :treat the seer to answer their questions “O Druid! I am a seeker of knowand give them counsel. And behold ledge, and I love my race, and have imthe Druid sat on a stone in the depths parted to them the truths I have read of the cave, and the red firelight shone in the stars and gathered from the ends on his white raiment, and his hair and of the earth; but they love me not, nor beard were white as snow, but his eye regard my lessons. What must I do to was blue and calm and sweet, and none awaken their love ?". who looked on him felt any more fear. And the sixth suppliant spake and And the suppliants drew near and saluted said :him reverently; and he bowed his head “O) Druid ! I am not great, nor wise, in token that they should speak, and nor rich, nor beautiful ; I am but a poor each of them in turn spake; and the maiden, and I love not only the good first said unto him :
and learned, but also the weak and the “O Druid ! I am a queen of far-off ignorant, and I give them all my tears, islands, and my king, who loved me and all my life; but they love me not, and, because they love me not, I cannot each of them passed by the couch of serve them as I would. What must I Love, and strove to waken him with do to awaken their love ? ”
kisses and with tears. And some tried And the seventh suppliant spake and hollow smiles, though their eyes were said :
dim; and others were seen to wring "O Druid ! I am a mother, and I love their hands and kneel at his feet in my only son; and I had no crown, agony; and others brought him crowns, or honour, or lands, or art, or wisdom, and sceptres, and gold, and gems, and to give him ; but I gave him what was stars of honour, and wreaths of fame, more precious than them all—a mother's and they cried with exceeding bitter love. Yet he loves me not. What cries, “O Love, awake! awake !" But must I do to awaken his love ?”
Love slumbered on, nor heeded any, and Then the seven suppliants stood silent, his sleep was unbroken alike by their and the Druid sat still for a little space. kisses, or gifts, or tears. And the night had fallen while they Then there came forth from the mist spake, and the fire had burned low, and another form, pale and cold, and dressed the cave of the Druid was dark. And in the cerements of the grave; and it it came to pass, as they waited patiently, passed slowly nearer and nearer to the that the depth of the cavern seemed to couch, till its shadow fell like the shadow become light, as if a luminous mist were of a cloud over Love as he slept filling it. And, as they gazed at the Then Love sprang up with a wild and mist, behold! as if reclining on clouds, terrible cry, and held forth his arms for lay a form as of a beautiful youth, more those to return who had striven to waken beautiful than any of the children of him so long, but who now were passed men; and he lay asleep. And the Druid away beyond his reach for ever. And spake to the suppliants and said : the Druid turned mou mfully to the “Behold now, and see how Love sleepeth; suppliants and said :—“Only this solace and how heavy are his slumbers; and have I for your aching hearts, SLEEPING who is he that shall awaken him ?” LOVE WILL WAKEN WHEN OVER HIN And lo! there came through the FALLS THE SHADOW OF DEATH !" mist a train of beautiful forms, and
BY THE AUTHOR OF "DOCTOR ANTONIO."
PART I. HAPPENING last autumn to make a short stay in the Riviera, one of my first thoughts was to go and pay a visit to Sanremo. I never fail to do so when I am in the neighbourhood.
'I am very fond of Sanremo. I hope you have already an acquaintance with it; if not, let me tell you that it is as lovely a bit of land as any that graces the lovely western Riviera of Genoa; full at all seasons of sun, of warmth, of colour, of palm, and lemon, and orange trees. Ariosto had Sanremo in his mind
when, describing the voyage of Gano's galley, he brings it in sight of
..."i monti Ligustici, e Riviera Che con aranci e sempre verdi mirti, Quasi avendo perpetua primavera, Sparge per l'aria i bene olenti spirti.” Sanremo's patent of beauty, you see, does not date from yesterday, nor is it signed by an obscure name. Between you and me, the verses quoted above are not among the most felicitous of the poet, but they are to the point, and therefore Itranscribe them. What greater praise can be bestowed upon any spot than to say that it enjoys a perpetual
spring? By-the-bye, do not look for As for the joys which I found at my quotation in the pages of the far- Sanremo—our stay there varied from a famed Orlando Furioso, but rather in minimum of two to a maximum of four the first of the less-known Cinque Canti, days—at this distance of time I am which Ariosto intended as a continuation sorely puzzled to determine the elements of his celebrated poem.
of which they were composed. The Sanremo was the first romance of my palms certainly must have been one of boyhood. To it I owe some of the the principal—the palms, the sight of strongest and pleasantest emotions of which stirred within me all the poetic my young life. My uncle, the canon, feelings of which I was possessed—the had a friend there, to whom he occasion- palms, on which I doated. As for the ally paid a visit, taking me with him. rest of the components of my happiness, Now from Taggia to Sanremo it is only they were most likely the excitement of an hour-and-a-half's drive; but such was novelty, the break in a dreary routine, the fuss made about it, and the time of the exemption from all scholastic tasks, it, and the mode of it—so multifarious and a quant. suff. of liberty of movewere the conditions to which its realiza- ment. Had the picturesqueness of the tion was subjected—that it could not but landscape, the glorious expanse of the assume very remarkable proportions in sea, the soft mellowness of the air, anythe rather excitable imagination of a thing to do with my enjoyment of Sanboy of eight years old. Indeed, had I remo? I suppose they had, though I had to cross the great Desert, I could might not be conscious of it; the condinot have set out with a keener sense of tions of climate, and the natural beauties travelling in right earnest, that delight of the cosy valley close by—my temporary of all delights at my age, than I did on home-were too little inferior, if so at these occasions, especially the first two all, to those of Sanremo, for me to feel or three of them. Habit lessened, but the difference; and, as to the sea, of which did not wear out the impression.
we had only a distant glimpse from our Each of the trips formed quite an house, it was too familiar an object to epoch in my life. I dreamed of nothing the eyes of one born and brought up in else for a whole fortnight previous— a sea-port town, to produce any overand oh! how my heart would leap into powering impression on me. I took it my mouth at every cloud that rose on for granted, in my innocence, that the the sky, lest it might interfere with our whole world was made in the same starting; and I dreamed of nothing else image as our infinitesimal one. It was for a whole fortnight after. I can still only after a long tasting of the piercing imagine what must have been the pe fogs of the Thames, and of the bitter culiar joys of the road—the glory of a blasts of the Seine, that, restored to the seat by the side of Bacciccin, the vettu- land of the myrtle and orange-tree, the rino-a glory bought at the price of a boy, now a mature man, could appreciate fib (the fib that I felt sick inside); then thoroughly the blessings of these mild the possession of the aforesaid Bacciccin's Italian skies, and sunny bowers, where whip, and the consequent sweet delusion winter is only a name, and where, if one that I was really driving; the patronizing was wise, one ought to settle, and refresh of the respectful peasant boys, who ac- both body and mind during at least six knowledged my superiority as they passed, months of the year. and the pulling faces at the disrespectful Would I might say that I had been ones, who refused any such homage—nay, that wise man, as I should now be spared who dared to make fun of me; and last, the mortification of confessing that my not least, the trying my skill in making last visit to Sanremo dates as far back ducks and drakes in the sea during the fre- as 1857, full seven years ago! The fact quenthalts of Bacciccin, who was continu is, we do not shape our lives : force of ally struggling to mend the harness, which circumstances and habit do it for us, not 'Was continually breaking, and such like. rarely at the cost of our own inclinations;