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“ THE RASH VOW."

A BED, four walls, and a swart crucifix-
Nought else, save my own brain and four small words !
Four scorpions ! which, instead of cloistered death,
Have stung me into life! How long may't be
Since silver censers flung their incense up,
And in full choir a sound of voices rose,
Chaunting their even-song, and praising God -
“ In that our brother here was dead, and lives ?."
Then came the organ's surging symphony,
And I, a unit 'midst the tonsured crowd,
Passed on, a monk ; while in my ear there rung
Those four short, burning words, “She was not false !”
Oh ! fiend incarnate, that could urge me on,
E'en to the very brink and see me plunge-
Then, seeing, whisper what would else have saved
A life-long misery.

They brought me here
To pray, and keep the Vigil of St. John;
To make thanksgiving-What was it he said,
The reverend preacher who discoursed to-day?
“Many indeed are called, but chosen few.”
Chosen ! and this the Vigil of St. John,
When trembling maidens to the fountain come
To view their future husbands mirrored there :
She, too, perhaps, may be amidst the throng?
Ah! me, I shall go mad. How long is it
Since I have grovelled here? It seems to me
Well nigh a life-time since they came and brought
The dim oil-lamp, that flickers near my head.
How heavily their flabby, naked feet
Came whilom flapping through the corridor !
“Our brother prays,” quoth one; the other said,
(Poking the lamp's wick with his finger-tip)
“In truth I marvel not that he is moved ;
An angel's self might have been stirred to hear
My Lord the Bishop as he preached to-day.”
Poor souls ! if they could but have read my heart,
It would have seared even their inert gross flesh
Into a flame of fear. I recollect,
On my young sister Isa's wedding day,
Our mother'smiled, and said it brought to her
Again the freshness of her buried youth.
Great God! see! here is my own youth, unspent,
Living a death. Alas! no more for me
The silvery laughter of fair mirthful girls,
Like distant bells across the breezy downs ;
No more the soft hands' thrilling touch, that sends
The young hot life-blood rushing through the veins;

« leaf;

Never again that interchange of looks,
The key-note of two souls in unison.
“Out! puling mourner,” cries the moralist :
“ Is it a crumpled rose-leaf in thy path'
O'er which thou wailest ?—what is youth and love ?-
Hast thou not in thee something more than these
Thy soul, immortal, indestructible?”
The words are but too true ; though 'tis no
'Tis the whole flower I mourn, and mourn alone.
A young rose, dewy, budding in the morn-
I weep its fragrance lost, its beauty gone.
Life without love is naught,—'tis even as
The body without soul-a fleshy case
To carry aches and pains in. Soon will come
The first white hair, the harbinger of change,
To

say, Time is, Time was, and Time is past.
Ay, past ; for, love extinct, our life remains
(As 'twere a hearth where fire had blazed anon)
In ashes, and my youth is left to me
Like a pressed violet in a folded book ;
A remnant of its fragrance breathing still,
To tell of spring-time past, ne'er to return.

Last May I roved with her into the woods :
The winter season o'er, the tender buds
Were shooting on the ash; the scent of Spring
Was round us, over us, and in our hearts ;
The firmament a tender turquoise blue;
The cushat-dove was cooing in the grove;
All nature seemed as wooing, where we strayed
Along the sylvan glade. We passed the cairn,
The old grey, lichen-covered, mossy stones,
Where conies sport and graze, and at the foot
Of a tall chestnut-tree, upon a couch
Bedecked with primroses and branching ferns
(I at her feet), we sate.

Anon there came
Athwart the thick and leafy canopy
Above us spread (now rich with vernal bloom),
A golden sunbeam, whose bright quivering ray,
Touching her brow with living amber glow,
And glancing on her deep, dark, liquid eyes,
Well-springs of truth and maiden purity-

Who calls ? “Good brother, you are new as yet ;
'Tis time for matins. All the brotherhood
Are now assembled, and the Prior waits :
Will’t please you come ?”

Thos. HERBERT LEWIN. SHADOW OF DEATH.'

BY FRANCES POWER COBBE.

of

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 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 60 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 “() 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 mournfully 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

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PART I.

when, describing the voyage of Gano's

galley, he brings it in sight ofHAPPENING last autumn to make a short

“i monti Ligustici, e Riviera stay in the Riviera, one of my first Che con aranci e sempre verdi mirti, thoughts was to go and pay a visit to Quasi avendo perpetua primavera, Sanremo. I never fail to do so when I

Sparge per l'aria i bene olenti spirti." am in the neighbourhood.

Sanremo's patent of beauty, you see, 'I am very fond of Sanremo. I hope does not date from yesterday, nor is it you have already an acquaintance with signed by an obscure name.

Between it; if not, let me tell you that it is as you and me, the verses quoted above lovely a bit of land as any that

graces are not among the most felicitous of the the lovely western Riviera of Genoa; poet, but they are to the point, and full at all seasons of sun, of warmth, of therefore Itranscribe them. What greater colour, of palm, and lemon, and orange praise can be bestowed upon any spot trees. Ariosto had Sanremo in his mind 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-myteniporary 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. 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;

It was

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