And Palmer, grey Palmer, by Galilee's wave,
Oh! saw you Count Albert, the gentle and brave,
When the crescent waxed faint, and the red cross rushed on,
Oh! saw you him foremost on Mount Lebanon.
The ladye sat in her lonely tower,—
She woke not her lute, she touched not a flower;
Though the lute wooed her hand with its silver string,
And the roses were rich with the wealth of spring:
But she thought not of them, for her heart was afar,
It was with her knight in the Holy war.
She look’d in the west;—it was not to see
The crimson and gold of the sky and sea,
Lighted alike by the setting sun,
As rather that day than night were begun;
But it was that a star was rising there,
Like a diamond set in the purple air,
The natal star of her own true knight—
No marvel the maiden watched its light:
At their parting hour they bade it be
Their watch and sign of fidelity.
Amid the rich and purple crowd
That throng the west, is a single cloud,
Differing from all around, it sails,
The cradle of far other gales
Than the soft and southern airs, which bring
But the dew and the flower-sigh on their wing;
Like some dark spirit's shadowy car,
It floats on and hides that lovely star,
While the rest of the sky is bright and clear,
The sole dark thing in the hemisphere.
But the maiden had turned from sea and sky,
To gaze on the winding path, where her eye
A pilgrim's distant form had scann'd:
He is surely one of the sacred band
Who seek their heavenly heritage
By prayer and toil and pilgrimage!
She staid not to braid her raven hair,
Loose it flow'd on the summer air;
She took no heed of her silvery veil,—
Her cheek might be kiss'd by the sun or the gale:
She saw but the scroll in the pilgrim's hand,
And the palm-branch that told of the Holy Land.
L. E. L.