O, beloved as thou art!
O, lift me from the grass!
I die, I faint, I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast:
O, press it close to thine again,
Where it will break at last!
Very few perhaps are familiar with these lines, yet no less a poet than
Shelley is their author. Their warm, yet delicate and ethereal
imagination will be appreciated by all, but by none so thoroughly as by
him who has himself arisen from sweet dreams of one beloved to bathe in
the aromatic air of a southern midsummer night.
One of the finest poems by Willis, the very best in my opinion which he
has ever written, has no doubt, through this same defect of undue
brevity, been kept back from its proper position, not less in the
critical than in the popular view:
The shadows lay along Broadway,
'Twas near the twilight-tide--
And slowly there a lady fair
Was walking in her pride.
Alone walk'd she; but, viewlessly
Walk'd spirits at her side.
Peace charm'd the street beneath her feet,
And honor charm'd the air;
And all astir looked kind on her,
And called her good as fair--
For all God ever gave to her
She kept with chary care.
She kept with care her beauties rare
From lovers warm and true--
For heart was cold to all but gold,
And the rich came not to woo--
But honor'd well her charms to sell,
If priests the selling do.
Now walking there was one more fair--
A slight girl, lily-pale;
And she had unseen company
To make the spirit quail--
Twixt Want and Scorn she walk'd forlorn,
And nothing could avail.
No mercy now can clear her brow
From this world's peace to pray,
For as love's wild prayer dissolved in air,
Her woman's heart gave way!--
But the sin forgiven by Christ in Heaven,
The abbey was amply provisioned.Page 1
It was in this apartment, also, that there stood against the western wall, a gigantic clock of ebony.Page 2
a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to harken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused revery or meditation.Page 3
The dreams are stiff-frozen as they stand.Page 4
The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave.Page 5
There was a sharp cry--and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero.