4532925Poems — The FestivalEliza Gabriella Lewis

"There have been roses round my lute, but now
I must forsake them for the cypress bough."


(From an Ancient Song of the Troubadour's, or Trouvèrès.)

The sound of merry minstrelsy breathes from yon lofty hall,
Light-moving footsteps glide along re-echoing music's call,
And many a young and joyous heart beats 'neath the silken dress,
That shadows yet reveals so much of maiden loveliness.
But she, the fairest and the loved—amid that joyous throng,
Whose life seemed hut one pleasant dream of perfume and of song,
Seemed weary; with impatient look she glanced her eyes around—
Ah! like the Ark's fair Dove—no green, nor resting place they found.

Gone was the echo of the dance—fled mirth and minstrelsy—
Nought hut a clear and placid stream, could that sweet lady see,
No sound, but sounds of tenderness, from one, whose manly tone
And noble bearing, won the heart that beat for him alone;
And he was bending on his knee, right by that pleasant stream.
(Oh! wonder not in grandeur's hall, came such a simple dream,
For Love will enter in as well as in the humble cot—
Then wealth seems poor and power is vain, and worldly thoughts forgot.)

A sudden spell hath caught her;—now she wakes from her wild trance,
The brightest in the glittering throng—the gayest in the dance.
For who may read that lady's eye—and mark the secret there?
Or trace the serpent's trail were flowers and perfume showered are?
You've marked the blossom on the bush, the leaf upon the tree,
And knew not that the hidden worm was working silently;
You've seen, e'er from the tree it fell, the leaf's rich gorgeous hue,
Nor recked that summer ne'er again, with its sweet healing dew,
Can bring the beauty to the bud—the freshness to the leaf.
So fades the cheek—so withers all, beneath the touch of grief.
And love, all fearful in its course—a love that might not bless,
Had thrown its shadow o'er her brow, and dimmed its loveliness.


Ah! tear the serpent from thine heart, the wreath from off thy brow,
And in thy closet bend the knee with a more holy vow;
And clothe thine heart with purity, with penance and with prayer;
Sow not the whirlwind, reap not thou repentance and despair.