Landon in The New Monthly 1836/Rienzi showing Nina

Landon in The New Monthly 1836 (1836) by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Rienzi showing Nina the Tomb of his Brother
2397459Landon in The New Monthly 1836 — Rienzi showing Nina the Tomb of his Brother1836Letitia Elizabeth Landon

III.

Rienzi showing Nina the Tomb of his Brother.

It was hidden in a wild wood
    Of the larch and pine;
It had been unto his childhood
    Solitude and shrine,—
There he dream'd the hours away.
On the boughs the wood-dove hover'd
    With her mournful song;
And the ground with moss was cover'd,
    Where a small brook danced along
Like a fairy child at play.
Thither did Rienzi bring
    The loved and lovely one;
There was the stately Nina woo'd,
    There was she won.

Reeds and water-flags were growing
    By the green morass;
While the fresh wild flowers were blowing
    In the pleasant grass,
Cool and sweet, and very fair.
Though the wild wind planted them
    With a careless wing,
Yet kind Nature granted them
    All the gifts of Spring.
Nought they needed human care.
They grew lovelier in the looks
    Of that lovely one;
While the Roman maid was woo'd,
    While she was won.

In the pines, a soft bewailing
    Stirr'd the fringed leaves,
Like a lute whose song is failing,
    Loving, while it grieves
So to die upon the wind.
Ivy garlanded the laurel,
    Drooping mournfully;
Poet—warrior—read the moral
    Of the victor's tree,
Lonely still amid its kind!

Yet what dreams of both are blent
    In the soft tale now begun,
Which the radiant Nina woo'd,
    And which Nina won.

There a cypress raised to heaven
    Its sepulchral head,
Like a stately column given
    By the summer to the dead;—
There the young Rienzi slept.
In that grave his brother laid him,
    'Neath the evening star;
While revenge and sorrow made him
    What earth's great ones are;—
Long, drear vigils there he kept.
Now a sweeter one was lit
    By the setting sun;
While that lady bright was woo'd,
    While she was won.

By the grey cross o'er his brother,
    By his heart's first care,
Did Rienzi ask another
    In that heart to share.
To that maiden's feet he brought
All his early youth's affection,
    All his early years;
All whose tender recollection
    Only speaks in tears.
Thus to share his soul he sought:
All life's loveliest feelings grew
    Round that lovely one;—
Thus was the bright Nina woo'd,
    Thus was she won.

Ah! the glorious mind's aspiring
    Needeth some repose—
Some sweet object for desiring,
    Where its wings may close.
Wrapp'd in purple shadows, Rome
Rose afar off like a vision—
    Stately, dark, and high;
But a softer one had risen
    'Neath that twilight sky.
While the full heart found a home,
There were mighty words and hopes
    Shared with his beloved one;—
Thus was the bright Nina woo'd,
    Thus was she won.