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They lighten up her chestnut eye, they mantle' o'er her cheek,
She thought of that quiet convent's calm, its sunshine, and its flowers?
The scene was changed. It was a bark' that slowly held its way,
The tranquil convent's hushed repose, and the splendours of a throne:
The past was bright, like those dear hills' so far behind her bark:
The scene was changed. It was an eve! of raw and surly mood,
The weight of royalty! had pressed too heavy on her brow;
She thought of all her blighted hopes-the dreams' of youth's brief day,
And summoned Rizzio' with his lute, and bade the minstrell play
And swords are drawn, and daggers' gleam, and tears! and words! are vain,
The ruffian steel is in his heart-the faithful Rizzio's slain! Then Mary Stuart' brushed aside the tears that trickling fell: "Now! for my father's arm!" she said; "my woman's heart' fare
The scene' was changed. It was a lake, with one small! lonely isle,
"My lords, my lords!" the captive said, "were I but once more free,
With ten good knights! on yonder shore, to aid my cause and me,
She wrote the words—she stood erect—a queen' without a crown!
The scene was changed. A royal host' a royal banner! bore,
She stayed her steed upon a hill-she saw them' marching by-
The scene was changed. Beside the block! a sullen headsman! stood,
And gleamed the broad axe' in his hand, that soon' must drip with blood.
With slow and steady step! there came a lady' through the hall, And breathless silence' chained the lips, and touched the hearts of all;
Rich were the sable robes' she wore-her white veil' round her! fell
And from her neck! there hung the cross-the cross she loved so well!
I knew that queenly form again, though blighted' was its bloom-
Her neck is bared-the blow is struck-the soul' is passed away;
H. G. BELL.
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
[THOMAS GRAY, a celebrated English poet, was born in London in 1716, and died in 1771. His life was spent chiefly at the University of Cambridge, in which he held the situation of Professor of Modern History. As a poet he is energetic and full of classic grace, and hls lyrics, though few, have been rarely, if ever, surpassed. His principal odes are "The Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard," "The Progress of Poesy," and "The Ode on Eton College."]
THE Curfew! tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd' winds' slowly! o'er the lea,
Now fades the glimmering landscape' on the sight,
Save, that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet' sleep.
The breezy call! of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
No more shall rouse them! from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth' shall burn,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss' to share.
Oft did the harvest' to their sickle yield,
Their furrow! oft' the stubborn glebe has broke;
How' bowed the woods' beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition' mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys' and destiny obscure;
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth' e'er gave,
The paths of glory' lead-but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud! impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb' no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault, The pealing anthem' swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion' call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice! provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull' cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot' is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed, Or waked' to ecstasy! the living lyre:
But Knowledge' to their eyes' her ample page,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark' unfathomed caves of ocean' bear; Full many a flower' is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness' on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
The applause of listening senates' to command,
And read their history' in a nation's eyes,
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined!Forbade to wade' through slaughter to a throne, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;
The struggling pangs of conscious truth' to hide,
With incense' kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife—
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet even these bones, from insult to protect,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture' decked,
Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse,
To teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb Forgetfulness! a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind?
On some fond breast' the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops! the closing eye requires; Even from the tomb' the voice of Naturel cries, Even in our ashes' live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of the unhonoured dead,
Some kindred spirit' shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain' may say--
There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots! so high,
Muttering his wayward fancies' he would rove;
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love. "One morn! I missed him' on the accustomed hill, Along the heath' and near his favourite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood' was he:
"The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne:-Approach, and read (for thou canst read) the lay Graved on the stonel beneath yon aged thorn."
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,
A Youth, to Fortune' and to Fame! unknown: Fair Science' frowned not on his humble birth, And Melancholy' marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul' sincere;
Heaven did a recompense! as largely send; He gave to Misery! all he had, a tear;
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.
No further! seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties' from their dread abode, (There they alikel in trembling hopel repose)
The bosom of his Father' and his God.