Harriet Acton.

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The joyless heart a resting-place at last

For all its warm affections ; yet whose course

Is not with our's ; whose brightness does but glad

Each lonely spot, to make that spot more lone,

When it has passed away. 'Twas thus with us.

We twined our lightsome hearts with love's fresh

And cherished each young heart as young hearts can.
How should we dream of change ? and yet it came ;
We parted, and stern time brought, on his dark,
Dull wings, our meed of care; and on our souls
He cast his lights and shadows ; but he brought
No change of love for thee ! I loved thee best
When there was left but memory of thee here !
Time hath passed by to rob us of some joys,
To cast a saddened shade upon each brow ;
But he hath scattered pleasures in his flight,
Hath lighted once again the eye with mirth ;
Hath given gladness to repay these pangs ;
Hath brought thee back to joy our hearts at last !


And dearest, may his baud, as on lie flies,
Be gently laid on thy still laughing brow;
Sweeping no trace, save that of sorrow thence,
Leaving but lightly there its blighting touch,
Turning care from thee; and above all these,
Granting our love's fresh wreaths may yet bloom on,
Where they were twined in childhood's happy days,
Where they hove clung so trustingly erewbile,
Where they will cling till our life's sun hath set.

R. A.


'Twas a holly all so lonely,

In a winter garden grew,
Never sunbeam on it resting

E 'en a passing brightness threw ;
Coldly sombre 'neath the gushing

Of the golden noonday light,
Dark and gloomy when 'twas shaded

By the coming hues of night.


Crocus bright, and polyanthus,

From its presence shrank with dread,
As amid their dewy-blossoms

High it rear'd its chilling head ;
And the leaves that deck'd the border

Turn'd their graceful stems with fear
From the frosty breath and bearing

Of the prickly stranger near.

But it chanc'd, one bitter morning,

When the driving snow fell fast,
And each bud crouch'd low for shelter

From the keen and cutting blast,
That a pale and tender snow-drop,

Newly-risen from its birth,
Bow'd its head beneath the whirlwind

To the hard and frozen earth.

From the storm that swept the garden

Naught could sbield the fragile flower
When the holly, downward bending,

Lent its succour in that hour :
'Neath its boughs the snow-drop rested,

Safely shelter'd on tbe ground
From tbe wind that raged with fury,

And the snow that fell around.

90 toems.

And the holly nestled o'er it

Through the weary winter's day,
Till the sky was bright and glowing,

And the storm had passed away.
There are some in Life's wide garden,

Who, with chilling look and tone,
'Mid the sweets that bloom around them

Seem to wander on alone.

Pause, oh mortals! ere ye judge them ;

For ye know not but may dwell
Kindly thought and noble feeling

Deep within their bosom's cell.
Like the holly, 'neath their coldness

There may lurk a vein of gold,
Which, when sought by helpless sorrow,

Priceless treasure shall unfold.





Would ye spells round your home ? Oh ! the fairies;
have vanished
Who crossed o'er our threshold and stood hy our
hed ;
The child who then watched for their coming is sleep-
His golden locks paled to the snow-covered head.
Oh ! never hy hrooklet, in lone mossy hower,
'Neath the whispering trees, shall their ring he now

found ;
No more shall the peasant there pause in his singing,
To e;aze down in awe on the fay-hallowed ground.

Would ye ask of the daughters of magic to lighten

The hours of dull care which arise to ye now ?
Would ye give to their keeping your heart's choicest

To be laid as a spell on each clearly -loved brow ?
Oh ! no, in your own souls lies holier magic,

And thence rise the spells which a mortal may cast
Round the homes of his brethren, to till them with

And brighten each spot as in fairy-times past.

92' roEMs.

Then ask ye not spells ! for 'tis given ye ever

To cast a bright light where a shadow hath been,
In the care-burdened soul of some sorrowing mortal,

That joy's hidden form may within it be seen.
'Oh ! the kind word hath pow'r to link spirits unto ye,

The firm trust hath magic to win for ye love ;
And there needeth no fairy-guard kept o'er your
household —

'Tis watched by an eye that is sleepless, above !

R. A.


The homeward bound ! what an?dous hope

Within each bosom sleeps,
While the gallant ship, 'mid storm and sun,

Her way still proudly keeps.
0, for the first long-pray 'd for sight

Of the chalky cliffs, that tell
To the wand'rer's heart with wild delight,

Whore the absent lov'd ones dwell.


'Neath an awning on the stately deck

A pallid girl doth lie,
Gazing upon the crested waves

That bear her home to die ;
And ever and anon she turns

Her glance across the main,
For a vestige of the home she yearns

To look upon again.

Home ! at that thought the faint rose steals

Once more across her cheek ;
And the light within her eyes shows forth

More joy than words could speak :
Sweet tones, from kindred voices, seem

To whisper in her ear,
Telling, as in a happy dream,

The bliss that draweth near.

" Speed thee, good ship ! oh, speed thee on!"

Is still her changeless cry,
While swift beneath the vessel's track

The glancing waters fly.
Onward, still onward, night and day,

Till, like a distant star,
The home so pin'd for when away

Gleams faintly from afar.


Then fails the strength that bore her up

When now the goal seems won —
Fadeth the colour from her cheek

As clouds before the sun.
The eye doth lose its sunny gleam,

While closer smiles that shore
Whose shadow she was wont to deem

Would bring her health once more.

Onward ! still onward ! voices burst

Upon her list'ning ear ;
Her glance doth light on kindred forms,

With joyous greeting near :
And then — aye, then — the slender thread

That stays her trembling breath,
Breaks with such rapture, and her head

Bows to the touch of death !

So is it with some earthly thing

For which our spirit yearns,
To which our heart through weary years

With changeless fondness turns.
Perchance our longing eyes may meet

The joy we prize so much,
And see the blessing at our feet

To crumble at the touch !

11. A



There is a name, a magic name,

That bringeth visions bright,
And calleth lasting memories up,

With fire each eye to light.

Familiar as a household word,

Who loveth not its sound
Whene'er it comes, with smiles or tears,

Its spell to cast around ?

Steals there not ever o'er our souls,

Beneath its sway, a gleam
Of noble thoughts and stirring truths,

As 'twere a sunny dream ?

Whose, then, that name so widely known,

To which with pride we how ?
Whose, then, the mighty hand that strikes

A chord untouched till now ?


Who, in the ever-varied page

Of trying woe or mirth,
Hath roused our hetter self to aid

The lowly ones of earth ?

Friend of the humble and the poor !

Oh ! proud may England be,
'Mid princely wealth and high renown.

To boast of one like thee.

Ne'er shall the Christmas holly green

Our festal board entwine,
But 'twill recall, with deathless voice,

Each thrilling word of thine.

Ne'er shall we feel the winter blast,
Or hear the tempest wild,

But thy remembrance will invoke
Our aid for Sorrow's child.

Pass, then, upon thy proud career,
Still wider fame to seek ;

Thy hand hath pointed out the tear
On Poverty's wan cheek.

Shine ever from thy lofty height,

As doth a brilliant star ;
Yet hast thou nobly sought and won

A brighter glory far.


The erring and the hardened heart,
That, touched by thee, hath turned

To aid, in penitence and tears,
The misery it spurned.

The prayers and blessings of the poor,

That greet thee day by day,
These, these shall twine for thee a wreath

That fadeth not away.

H. A.


Relic of ancient splendour,

Remnant of olden pride,
Spells rest thee round, lest aught of ill

Thy pillared walls betide.

Many an eye hath marked thee,
Now closed in death's long sleep ;

Gay hearts have ceased their laughter,
The sad have ceased to weep.


All, all hath changed around thee,

But thou'rt unaltered yet ;
And long must time pass o'er thee

Ere thy heauty we forget.

Hast thou no gentle legend
Of courtly dame and knight,

Whose joyous voices, long since hushed,
Have filled thee with delight ?

Thou bearest on thy portal

The symbol of a name,
Whispered with strange misgiving ;

Deathless in crime-wrought fame.

Say, hath no gentle being

Passed o'er thy polished floor,

With sigh of bitter meaning,
Lip that would smile no more ?

Say, hath no weary watcher
Rested thy casement near ;

Marking the Leicester's absence,
By many a blighting tear ?

Surely thou canst not tell us,
Thou hast looked down at last,

On scenes as dark as story

Hath brought us from the past !

poems. 99

For we would gaze around thee,
And picture hearts of mirth,

And fancy they are laid to sleep,
Watched hy their parent earth.

Rather than know thy fame to he
Such scene of terror wild ;

The tomh of ev'ry cherished hope
Raised hy earth's fairest child !

Oh ! nohle spot ! Long o'er thee

Be cast a magic spell !
Kind fairies tread thee lightly,

And guard thy beauty well !

Still, still endure to gladden
The hearts within thee now,

And cast a gleam of pleasure
Upon thine owner's brow !

Still be to them a relic

Of a calm and happy past ;

The brightness of its sunny hours,
Recalling to the last !

R. A.





On the dark forest trees the dew lay sleeping ;

Sunset had tinged with gold each fleecy cloud,
When her lone watch an Indian girl was keeping.

Where a tall pine had cast its shadow proud.

Nairla, the stern Manhatta's lovely daughter,
Brightest and best amid thy dark-browed race,

Linger not still thus by the lake's blue water,

Else will they miss thee from the greenwood chase.

Oh ! she is not alone ! through wood and brake,
Parting the boughs that o'er his pathway fall,

An aged man his feeble way doth take,
And waves a welcome to the maiden's call.

Swift as a deer she flies his steps to meet,
And lead him 'neath the stately forest tree,

And then the maiden kneeling at his feet,
Bowed her young brow in bitter agony.

" Father," she cried, "look on these waving trees,
This silver lake. Is it not passing fair ?

Yet, oh ! my father, death is in the breeze.
That steals e'en now to play within thine hair.

POEMS. 101

" Thou from thy distant land, with gentle speech
And patient look, hath wandered here alone,

The red man in his forest wild to teach,
And win him to a worship not his own.

" And thou hast taught me from thy holy book
Things that do make me scorn the life I've led :

His daughter's change Manhatta cannot brook,
Alas ' his wrath will fall upon thy head.

" They say thou hast bewitch'd me, turn'd my heart
From all it used to love in days of yore ;

That in their rites I cease to take a part,

And join them in their festive sports no more.

" And they will kill thee, father ! aye, this night ;

Perchance this hour ! Oh ! fly ere yet too late !
See ! my canoe rides o'er the waters bright :

Swift shall it bear thee from thy cruel fate.

" Oh ! fare thee well ! thou must no longer stay."
But calmly did the missionary stand —

*' Weep not, my child : I will not flee away,
Though bonds and cruel torture be at hand !"


" Father, 'tis madness ! they are rushing on !

Quick to the bark ere they can gain the spot.
Alas ! it is too late ! one hope hath gone.

They've tracked thee here, yet Nairla leaves thee not."



Round the old man the Indian maiden clung,
Her dark locks twining with his snowy hair ;

Clasping, as in her sorrow wild she hung,

His feeble hands that joined in fervent prayer.

And onward ! onward ! came the band of death,
Swiftly, yet surely, like a mighty flood,

Trampling the flowers that seemed, with balmy
To stay their footsteps from the deed of blood.

Near, and yet nearer, till, with vengeful cry,
Manhatta marks his prey before him rise.

Through the still air the fatal arrows fly,

Then starts he back with horror and surprise.

He sees two victims wrapp'd in last embrace ;

His heart grows cold ! what form his eye doth
meet ?
Why does he dread to look upon the face

Of her who sleepeth in her beauty sweet ?

Lo ! with the blighted flower upon his breast,

The aged martyr in the forest lay.
The dart that gave his earthly spirit rest,

Hath call'd the Indian maiden's soul away.



Pass wc, the frantic woe too late to save ;

The wailing dirge, the stricken chief's despair.
1 11 the far west there is a hallow'd grave,

Sheltered hy trees — Nairla is sleeping there !

H. A.


[As the remains of Camphell were being lowered
into the grave, a Polish nobleman who attended
the funeral took a handful of earth which had
been brought from the tomb of Kosciusko, and
scattered it over the coffin of him who had so
warmly pourtrayed the wrongs and woes of Poland].

There sweepeth through the abbey proud

A low and solemn sound ;
A mourning train in sorrow bowed,

The dead are gathered round ;
And sadly on the listening ear
The parting words come o'er the bier,

A mighty mind hath gone !

The hiofh and learned of the land,

In honour to the dead,
Are mingled with the kindred band,

Wbo mourn the spirit fled.

104 POEMS.

For he who cold in death doth lie,
Hath left a name that shall not die,

But still live proudly on.

And some are there whose hearts beat high

To feel how wide his fame ;
Compelled their native land to fly,

They venerate the name
Of him, the gifted son of song,
Who nobly felt their country's wrong,

And dared its friend to be !

And forth stands one amidst the band,

A tribute of the brave,
To scatter, with a trembling hand,

Dust from a patriot's grave ;
The relics of a spirit bold,
Whose deeds the sons of Poland hold,

In hallowed memory.

And o'er the cold and senseless clay

The honoured shower fell,
And hearts beat warm as there it lay

Beneath a gushing spell ;
A passing gleam, a vision bright
Of courage high and deeds of might,

Swept on with magic breath.



And who could seek a prouder spot,

On which that dust to shed,
O'er him, whose verse that dieth not,

Hath sung the mighty dead ?
The gifted poet sleepeth here,
The patriot's spirit hovers near,

A union still in death !

H. A.


Stay ! ere you doom the symbol of your mirth,
So lately cherished 'mid each joyous scene ;

Can it not be in memory verdant — yet

The drooping boughs no more be tinged with

green ?

'Twas but ere now each faded leaf was prized,

Was sought, where flow'rs of beauty were passed

Oh ! if you cherished then have pity now ;
You cannot love and doom remorselessly.

106 POEMS.

Think, like these houghs, how oft a noble heart
Hath been a toy in beauty's sunny day ;

And, like these, now neglected, hath been spurned,
When all that Time can change hath passed away.

Could you not weep at such sad tale, of what
Is but the fate of many a trusting heart ?

Then can you doom what hath been lovely too,
And view, with altered eye, each charm depart ?

No ! for you know not that your path will be

E'er crossed by those whom time will leave the
same ;

Within whose hearts its hand may not efface,
As years roll on, ev'n memory of your name '

Oh ! spare then, as you would, in turn, be spared !

Prize, as you would be prized, when all is past
That can attract the fickle smiles of those

Whom you may live to learn and 3corn at last !

R. A.




There hung an ancient mirror

Within a stately hall,
And many a year had pass'd since first

It graced the pictured wall ;
And eyes that once with glances bright,

Had gazed its face upon,
Shone forth no more like stars of night,

Their light was quenched and gone.

Oh ! sadly yearned the mirror

For the graceful forms of yore,
That came with hooded hawk on wrist,

To gladden it no more.
Its princely home was desolate,

And passing to decay ;
While echoless beside the gate,

The Warder's bugle lay.

Yet once a lovely child there came,
Who laughed with joyous glee,

Within its wrought and gorgeous frame,
Her sunny face to see ;



And ever when the summer days
Called forth each hue of light,

That fairy child stole in to gaze
Upon the mirror bright.

And theu she came no more ! and lone

The mirror seemed again ;
No bounding feet, no laughing tone,

Disturbed its still domain :
And year by year each lofty room

Was wrapped in shadows tall,
And silence reigned with mournful gloom

Within that stately hall.

Yet cheer thee, ancient mirror,

Thy absent lord has come,
Now years have pass'd, from distant lands

To a long forsaken home ;
And yearnings for thy glories gone,

Shall sadden thee no more ;
For his lovely child must wed with one

Whose wealth will all restore.

And soon the mirror from the wall
Looked down on beauty bright ;

And beaming eyes lit up the hall,
To grace the bridal night :

POEMS. 109

And fairest in the dance's maze,

'Mid lord and queenly dame,
Shone forth the child of other days,

The same, yet not the same.

A shade was on her brow of snow,

A tear within her eye ;
Her cheek had lost its sunny glow,

Her Up had learned to sigh :
And sadly in the mirror old,

She gazed with mournful air ;
Alas ! her tearful glances told

A breaking heart was there.

And music soft, with dulcet strain,

Woke up each echo glad ;
And as it filled the hall again,

No heart save one was sad.
And dance and festal, far and wide,

Were kept the coming day ;
They recked not that the pallid bride

Was passing fast away.

Ay ! soon a change came o'er the scene,

Glad tones were heard no more ;
The rooms that filled with light had been,

Were cheerless as before :

110 POEMS.

No flowers bright the mirror graced,

And beauty o'er it flung ;
But cypress dark each bud replaced,

And sadly round it hung.

And she was laid on dying bed,

Tbe ancient glass beneath,
Who late upon her graceful head

Had worn the bridal wreath ;
And on its face with failing look,

The mirror saw her gaze ;
As if a sad farewell she took

Of lov'd and bygone days.

And sunset filled that stately ball,

With all its glories bright,
And bathed the mirror on the wall

In gushing floods of light,
And lingered o'er the snowy brow

It softly fell upon ;
But the throbbing heart was silent now,

The pure bright spirit gone !

H. A.



Frail crumbling monument ! existing yet
'Mid nature's ruins. Grey-grown in the strife
Of thy stern fortune's elements, and, it may he,
The last enduring pillar of a time-razed house,
Thou yet upstandest, hy thy scars, to tell
Tales of unholy warfare ! There are lines,
Deeper far traced hy sorrow's searing hand,
Than can the advent of old age bring on ;
And these were won thee, soldier, in thy fight,
For home, thy children, freedom, and thy faith !
Life's fire is quenched, yet there is left a spark
In the sunk eye once strained to watch o'er these.
There is a ling'ring vision of a spot,
Passed o'er and blighted by war's fiery course ;
Once the fair home of gladness, now marked out alone
By the wild weeds of ruin ! Whilst thou dream 'st
Oppression, tyranny, but names unknown,
Unheard, as once, 'neath roofs that sheltered wo»th,
And in sweet fancy look'st on vanished joys,
Feeling their sunshine melt thy sorrow's snow,
There is reality's stern hand upraised
To wake thee from thy slumber. Sleep no more !

112 POEMS.

Remembrance must return of those fair flow'rs
Torn from around thee in thy country's cause ;
And thou, poor martyr ! now, as tlwn thou didst,
Hold to thy heart the only shield can quench,
Can turn away from thee despair's fierce darts !
Oh ! thou shoiddst gaze on it ev'n now, and find,
As 'twere of old, a chain for thy proud heart ;
Lest in these memories it rash to sin,
Hiding the brave man's wrongs in felon guilt :
Crushing thy virtue rather than thy foe r
Thus, in thine armour, down the shortened path
Of thine embittered years, pass on in peace ;
There is a time, tho' distant, shall arrive,
When kings and thou shalt stand where worth is rank ;
When every sob now grief-wrung from thy breast,
Shall tell thy tale, where truth is masked no more.
This be thy solace when thou look'st around,
Vainly for one yet left to clasp thine hand ;
This be thy solace — they have passed in faith
To where the right shall triumph ; where the soul,
Freed from its earthly fetters, shall arise to light,
Made the more glorious for its sorrows past

R. A.

POEMS. 113


What changeful years have o'er me passed

Since first thy worth I knew !
Since first my youthful spirit felt

Thy priceless friendship true :
I treasure in my bosom's shrine
The years that finked my fate with thine.

Time hath rolled on since those young days,

Fraught both with joy and woe ;
Smiles for the heart's fresh spring time bright ;

Tears for its hopes laid low.'
Yet 'mid our fortune, good and ill,
Thy love doth cling around us still.

To share those joys when pleasure smil'd,

To soothe the soul's distress ;
How can my feeble words pourtray

Thy care and tenderness !
Thy heart so warm for kindly deed,
Thy ready hand in time of need.

114 POEMS.

And now on this thy natal day,

Would that my wish could bring
Joy to thy heart, and keep thee free

From grief and suffering ;
Would that a spell-like pow'r were mine,
To realize each hope of thine.

No magic charm, alas! I own,

Thy path to shield from care ;
Yet all my warmest hopes could give

Dwells in my earnest prayer,
That bright each coming day may be
To thee, my youth's lov'd friend — to thee !

H. A.

POEMS. 115



(From ' The last of the Mohicans.")


Starting from thy reverie,

Crouching as thou listeth there,

Trace we in thy noble form

Thy dauntless race — young Delaware !

Were they sounds of Mingoe's tread,
Woke that stern expectant gaze ?

Calling to thine eye a light

Rivalling thy watch-fire's blaze.

Indian ! there is on thy brow,
Fiercest passion's deepest shade ;

Yet its trace can pass away,

And that eye's stern lustre fade.

Glaring with revenge's fire,

When the foe is at thy feet ;

Uncas ! 'Tis not lighted thus,

The pale-faced maiden's smile to meet.


116 POEMS.

Loveliest daughters of thy land

Deck in vain their forms, for thee ;

Thou art clinging to a hope
Doomed to hring thee misery !

Revel in thy dear-hought joys !

Deem the vision true as bright,
That the wonder-worshipped one

Ne'er will vanish from thy sight !

Hope still on ! The heart is cold,

Its beatings o'er when hope is past !

Trust, until the bitter truth
Burst upon thee at the last.

Then, a warrior as thou art,

Turn thy nature once again !
Spurn remembrance of the past

As a vision wild and vain.

Tell thy Mingo foe, that grief

Left thee still a Delaware !
Tho', should e'er thy heart be his,

He'd find the name of " Cora " there.

R. A.




There is mingled joy and sorrow

In that oft repeated word,
Yet when we say " To-morrow "

How lightly it is heard !

Perchance, " To-morrow," on its wing

May trouble hear away,
Or to the sear'd in spirit hring

A faint, yet cheering ray.

Perchance, To-morrow's coming light
May tinge with health the cheek,

Watch 'd through the long and sleepless night
With grief no words could speak.

The poor man Dent with want and care,

No brighter beacon hath,
Than that To-morrow's advent fair

May smoothe his thorny path.

118 POEMS.

And it is well for those whose hours

Pass as a sunny dream,
Who find no thorns among the flowers

That round their pathway gleam.

'Tis well for those so blest — so bright !

To think, 'mid scenes of mirth,
To-morrow in its course may blight

All that they prize on earth.

Ere, then, the present passeth by,

Oh, child of fortune, cheer
The spirit bow'd by misery,

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