The Mariner’s Return.*

A Description.

Blest be each grain of sand beneath my feet,1
And blest these shells so bright and beautiful,2
On which ’twere sin to tread ! Pedro, behold3
How like a troop of gay and laughing friends,4
Greeting some exiled man on his return,5
With eager haste and voice most musical,6
Flow the sweet waves of this delightful bay !7
Fly not away, ye birds of loveliest plumes !8
Calm is the air,—the ocean and the shore9
Are calm as calm may be,—and love ye not,10
Fair Haleyons ! Ocean in his hours of rest !11
Well may the Sun in all his glory bathe12
Yon stately mount, that in the clear blue sky,13
Rock-crested, like an airy citadel,14
Spreads gorgeously abroad his olive-groves.15
See where yon towers and temples, through the mist16
Of the great city, sporting with the light,17
Now burn like fire above the brightening woods,18
And now, soft-sinking in the haze so dreamily,19
Lie imaged still within my gazing soul !20
Pedro ! we two have sail’d around the world,21
And many a strange and beauteous thing have seen22
On continent or isle,—yet saw we not,23
Methinks, through that our five years’ voyaging,24
A paradise like this ! But yesternight,25
Stretch’d on the deck, I dreamt of this same land,26
Bleak, desolate, and wild ;— henceforth, no more27
Trust I in foolish dreams.
In foolish dreams !28
Nay ! then it is good time for men like us,29
To live dull landsmen on the sluggish shore ;30
Seafaring men, who, in our swinging cots,31
Sailing along through darksome solitude,32
’Mid shoals, sands, rocks, some single fathom deep33
Below our rushing keel, yet haply dream,34
Even in the shadow of Eternity,35
Of all most peaceful in this world,—of bays,36
Calm and serene as the untroubled light37
Within the crescent moon imparadised,38
Where proudly riding at her anchorage,39
Our good ship streams her proud emblazonry40
High o’er the island-woods,—of verdant lawns,41
Where suddenly our white pavilions42
Smile to the sea,—and of a glorious shew43
Of plumed princes, tall and beautiful,44
Marching with green boughs——
By the blessed rood !45
Pedro, thy phrase is right poetical.46
Ere long, accordant to the gay guitar,47
Thow’lt sing love-ditties by the wan moonlight,48
Beneath some lattice-window——
Be it so—49
The like hath been with wiser men than I.50

* Four or five lines, perhaps, in this composition, are versified from a passage in a
prose article by the same author, published in this Magazine a good many years ago,
entitled, “ Singular Preservation from Death at Sea.”
Yet, Julian, thus to hear the Sailor’s creed51
Scoff’d at by one himself a mariner,52
Did stir the heart within me ! ’Tis most true53
That dreams descend from heaven !
It is most true.54
God brought us here—I breathe the gales of heaven.55
Here would I wish to live—here wish to die !56
I touch yon green cliff with my magic wand,57
And lo ! exhaling, like a wreath of dew58
That girdles the fresh bosom of the morning,59
Uprises mine own dwelling from the height ;60
But whether resting on this earth of ours,61
Or on the tender, soft-embracing air,62
My soul scarce whispers to its happiness !63
Shame on this sighing mood ! The scene is fair,64
As needs must be where the great Ocean65
Walks monarch-like along his subject shores66
In calm or storm. But hast thou lost so soon67
All memory of those refulgent Isles68
lar in the West, where our delighted crew69
(And none more eager, Pedro ! than thyself)70
Would fain have sojourn’d, and their numerous tents71
Pitch’d, ne’er to strike them more ? There was the land72
Worthy indeed thy blessing, as it stretch’d73
Beyond the ken of searching telescope,74
Smooth, hard, and shelving gradual to the main,75
Till underneath our anchor’d ship it smiled76
Sparkling to us, who, from the idle deck,77
Hung gazing down ! There might your startled eyes78
Have worshipped a league-long wreath of shells,79
O’er which the billows, in their merry march,80
Blush’d crimson as they murmur’d—there, in sooth,81
Good cause there was for fond Idolatry,82
Where birds, like some celestial fruitage, hung83
On every large-leaved bough, or from the waves84
Rose meteor-like with soft zene plumes,85
Or on our rigging swung like magic lamps,86
Taming our Pendant’s lustre, though it shone87
With the proud arms of Spain. These olive-groves88
Are green and fresh, and breathe a summer-feeling89
But in my soul I see a Forest frown,90
Beneath whose shadow our top-gallant mast91
Shrinks to the mimic tackling of some skiff92
By burgher launched on the Venetian seas,93
The pride and glory of the gay Regatta !94
Not undelightful, Pedro, is the dream95
Of all those fairy Islands, as they lie,96
Clustering like stars, amid a heavenly sea,97
Each in itself a solitary world98
Serene as sleep, where hermit well might build99
His bower, nor in that far tranquillity100
Hear the faint whisperings of his mortal nature !101
Or where the homeless dweller on the deep,102
Soul-stunn’d and heart-sick with the endless roll103
Of waves, waves, waves, a weary world of waves,104
And still his lonely ship, where’er she sail,105
The centre of that world of weariness,—106
Why, he might leap ashore in ecstasy,107
Fast pitch his tent, or build his summer-bower,108
Dismantle his proud ship, and fondly swear109
For aye to sojourn there ! And such a man110
Was I ! But yon bright spire of burnish’d gold111
Gleams o’er my native city, and, ere noon,112
I hope to say my prayers upon my knees113
Within my father’s house !
These gushing tears,114
That sobbing voice, and solemn countenance,115
And clasped hands hard-press’d convulsively !116
My soul is touch’d within me—Yet I feel117
More sorrowful than glad thus to behold118
My friend in such a trance of happiness.119
Thy father’s house ! No wonder that kind heart120
Should weep. Nay, troth, these tears so womanlike121
Are follow’d fast by mine ; yet in their graves122
My father and my mother, side by side,123
Slept, ere their orphan child had memory124
To keep the dead alive within his soul !125
God love thy tender heart !— To me most dear126
My father’s silver locks, and may they long127
His honour’d temples shade !  Yet may a son,128
Without offence to filial piety,129
Own one sight holier than the holy snow130
That crowns his father’s head with reverend age.131
Then listen to me, Pedro ! while I strive132
To tell my friend the story of my life,133
The reason of these blessed tears, and all134
That tearless agony oft witness’d by him ;135
Whether, when sitting speechless at his side136
In our dim cabin, or in horrid mirth137
Singing and shouting through the solitude138
Of the huge Indian forest. Since the dawn, 139
The glorious dawn of this refulgent morn,140
My spirit burns within me to reveal141
Secrets, that tomb-like it so long hath kept,142
Not only, Pedro, to thy pitiful heart,143
But to that gentle sea, those skies serene,144
And those hush’d listening woods. All nature calls145
For my confession ; and the weight of joy146
So presses on my soul, that I must break147
With grateful words this universal calm,148
Too heavenly to be borne !
And I will listen to thee, like a brother150
Who for the first time knows his brother’s heart.151
When first I came upon our warlike deck152
Thou well remember’st. Chain’d unto the oar,153
While you fierce boarders like a whirlwind swept154
The shrieking Pirate, all unarm’d I sat155
A wretched galley-slave. Three moons before,156
Sailing through sunshine in my war-ship’s barge,157
(Thou must have heard her not inglorious name—158
The Salvador,) a Moorish schooner bore159
Down on our beam, and nearing, hoisted straight160
Her bloody ensign. There was with me on board161
A fair and delicate lady, who my name162
Three little weeks had borne, my peerless bride.163
I saw her lying dead among the oars—I heard164
The plunge of her sweet body in the sea !165
And some days after, as a fellow slave166
Informed me, I woke as from the dead,167
Sitting in chains among a ghastly crew,168
Each ghastlier than the toiler at his side,169
What misery tore my being, God forbid170
That I should strive to tell thee—let it pass-171
With the forgotten clanking of my chains !172
I said unto myself that I would live,173
Till God in his good mercy should demand174
My not unwilling soul ; and so I sail’d175
Away from Spain, as I believed, for ever ;176
Though now, sweet Spain ! with reverential lips177
I kiss thy soil once more !
And was despair178
The heart-companion of my Julian,179
Even when we stood together on the deck,180
Watching the stars that shone conspicuous181
Below as up above,—or in the shrouds182
Hung near each other, near although unseen,183
When storm at midnight laid the straining ship184
I’ the trough of the mad sea !  All—all the crew185
At all times happy—Thou at all times curst !186
Aye ! many a thousand leagues we sail’d along187
For days before the wind, our gallant prow188
As in a cataract of thundering foam189
Buried, or in close contest with the storm,190
Even like an eagle to his mountain-cliff191
Steering on his broad vans majestical,192
Right through the broken hurricane, we bore193
The tempest’s fury on our slanting sails194
Close-reet’d, while high above the naked mast195
One solitary ensign through the gloom196
Like shivering gleams of lightning danced and play’d.197
I thought of nothing but our glorious ship !198
Save sometimes when she slacken’d in her course,199
Amid the sudden pause a sense confused200
Of irremediable misery :201
Seem’d shaken from the flapping of her sails.202
In truth that fever, and the midday-toil203
I suffer’d in my slavery, had touch’d,204
Most strangely touch’d, my brain ; and though I knew,205
And wept to know, that some sweet one had died,206
Whom I when well most tenderly had loved,207
Yet was her name unknown, her place of birth,208
Where I had loved her, and where she had died !209
Oft, I remember, did I climb the mast,210
And gazing on the Ocean, who no bound211
Felt to his vastness but the walls of heaven,212
’Mid his eternal thunder I forgot213
The far-off silence of that thing call’d land,214
All human beings but our crew alone ;215
And as she slowly wafted us along216
Through the pure ether, I believed our ship217
Not built by human hands, but gliding there218
On—on for aye—some product of the sea.219
At last, one morning, as I stood alone,220
Ne’er thinking on myself, nor aught around,221
All on a sudden the thick night of mist222
Ascended from my soul—as I have seen223
A shroudlike vapour from some mountain-vale224
Drawn up to heayen, and a resplendent lake,225
With steadfast woods and hanging palaces,226
Seeming immortal in their depth of rest.227
By heaven ! I was most happy, and I blest228
Sea, heaven, and ship, and pray’d that she might float229
For everlasting o’er those golden waves !230
Hast thou forgot Theresa ?” a small yoice231
Breathed sadly from the sea ! and looking down,232
I saw her lying with her pale still face233
Under the wave that with a gentle mist234
Just dimm’d the snow-white stillness of her shroud.235
Then knew I, as that Vision disappear’d,236
All that had happen’d ! I had strength to crawl237
Down to my cabin, where I pass’d the day ;238
But never more, except in mockery,239
Had I the heart to smile.
Thus Nature leaves240
Oft desolate her holiest worshippers,241
While millions upon millions gladden on242
Through Life’s bright voyage prosperous to the last,243
Who care no more for all her sanctities244
Than the poor mute cares for the sound of Psalms245
Chanted round his numb ear in a cathedral,246
By the voice of praise and prayer ! ’Tis even so.247
No ! Pedro ! Nature, gracious and benign,248
Ne’er leaves the immortal spirit that she framed249
Utterly destitute, else had I perish’d,250
Self-plunged into the sea. Soon reconciled251
To life, for life’s mere sake—I next began,252
At least by daylight and among the eyes253
Of creatures round me moving to and fro,254
To enjoy that life, though seemingly of all255
That makes up joy bereft ;— until erelong256
I could endure the silent majesty257
Of night rejoicing in her moon and stars.258
And not to wrong the Holy Power that made me,259
I will say, “ I was happy!” By these tears,260
Most truly happy, Padro, in thy love,261
And in my deep return of thy affection,262
That told me I had yet a human heart.263
Moments I felt so free from selfishness,264
That, looking outwards from myself, I loved265
My fellow Christians for no other cause266
Than that they were my brethren ;— yet had I267
Fallen overboard at night, I could have sunk268
Without a struggle—scarcely with a sigh !269
What ! though I cared not for myself ! Our ship,270
Was she not beautiful ? And was our crew271
Not worthy of a corner in the heart272
Even of despair ? From many thousand brave273
Chosen for their bravery, each bold soul a lyre274
Yielding its music only to the blast.275
Yes ! oft at stormy midnight, at the wheel276
Sole-sitting, when the watcher’s awful voice277
Proclaim’d the safety of five hundred souls,278
I pray’d unto Old Ocean with a voice279
Low as his humblest breeze, that he would fold280
His hoary arms in love around our ship,281
About to sail where ship had never sail’d,282
Nor e’er might sail again ! Need I narrate283
How my soul kindled, when on the New World284
I was the first to stand ? Through all my being285
Rush’d the Great Spirit of that continent286
With one wild forest-roar, and swept away287
The dwindled image of my native clime.288
Why should I own not, as thou now didst say,289
That none of all our crew surrender’d up,290
With lower prostration, hope and memory,291
Than my own wretched self, when o’er our tents,292
On some stream-water’d lawn pavilion’d,293
Hung the far shadow of primeval woods294
Awful, even mid the changeful melodies295
Of the mad mock-bird’s song ? And when, at night,296
In honour of the Ocean-King, out came297
To the wild chime of woodland instruments,298
Nymphs moving graceful in some figure-dance299
Processional, with such robes as the loom300
Might vainly emulate, by their own hands301
Framed from the rind of palm-tree, and bedew’d302
With the bright lustre sleeping in the shell,303
With shells their black hair braided, and with plume304
Confusedly nodding through the interchange305
Of many rainbow dies, while rising oft306
In chorus steep’d in a strange harmony,307
Yet like no earthly tune, their voices shook308
The blossoms from the boughs above their heads,309
Till their steps sunk in fragrance,—I could gaze310
Delighted on these lovely Islanders,311
And saw their beauty pure and passionless,312
As in a soft-toned picture, while the Ghost313
Of One more beauteous far across the lawn314
Glided close by me, and then disappear’d,315
Like smiling moonlight, in the noiseless woods !316
What man could have felt wretched—could have help’d317
The wave of joy from rising in his soul,318
Though in a fire or earthquake he had lost319
Wife, children, parents, friends, and stood alone320
In the wide lonesome world, who had beheld,321
As I beheld, and with a seaman’s eye,322
The ocean laden with a thousand barks,323
Cresting his foamy billows gloriously,324
Or in the hollow of his playful wrath325
Hanging, like creatures of the element,—326
Canoe and skiff, indebted to no sails,327
But by the virtue of the savage arm328
Shot swifter than the wind, and like a grove329
Of living palm-trees moving o’er the main,330
Betokening pease yet ready for the war.331
While, proudly station’d in his war-canoe,332
Upon a stately platform lay the King,333
The Island-King, surrounded by a guard334
Of nobles in their war-mats standing grim,335
And motionless all save their nodding plumes ?336
Pedro ! as rush’d that hundred-oar’d canoe337
Swift as a sunbeam past our lingering ship,338
That linger’d ne’er before, my roused soul,339
Expanding like a rainbow, seem’d to fold340
Heaven, air, and ocean, in its bright’ning joy !341
There spake the sailor’s heart. Thou still wert happy.342
Oh ! what are some few moments of real joy,343
Peace, or indifference, mid the long, long hours,344
Days, nights, weeks, months of unknown wretchedness,345
That crowd themselves into five endless years !346
What mean some eo of animal delight347
To man’s immortal soul ! Can eye or ear348
Bring comfort to the haunted solitude,349
That weighs at midnight on the hopeless heart ?350
Oh ! what drear moonless nights of agony,—351
Eternal nights, whose blackness ne’er would end,352
Enclosed me in my cabin as a tomb !353
Impious repinings sicken’d in my blood ;354
Impious I felt them, yet I clung to them355
With something like an atheist hardihood,356
Because that they were wicked. Then the grave357
Commanded me to sit down on a stone,358
And mid the churchyard moonlight, ghostly-wan,359
To read one word—one little dreadful word—360
Theresa.” I could bear that misery,361
But who on earth might bear the tenderness362
That drown’d my spirit, wholly for her sake,363
Who was not ! Sure when Pity weeps the dead,364
Feeling that Death hath done a woful wrong365
To happy Innocence, she feels her tears366
More insupportable than dry despair.367
This was not all I suffer’d ; often rose368
My youth’s existence radiant and undimm’d,369
To shew what now I was ; as the sweet moon,370
Serenely gliding past some dungeon-bars,371
Reveals to the condemned prisoner372
His fetters and his straw. But worse than all,373
The consummated curse of wretchedness,374
I lost all hope in my immortal soul,375
At times believed that she for whom I wept,376
Extinct through all eternity, would lie377
A senseless clod ! and that this troubled world378
Was but some juggling demon’s mockery.379
Groans have I sometimes, Julian, heard by fits380
Rending thy sleep,—groans of articulate words381
But all disjointed, rapture with despair382
Alternating most wildly, hate with love,383
Curses with prayers,—while laughter suddenly,384
Such laughter as a maniac howls, wrung out385
Against the struggles of thy fetter’d will,386
In midnight-hush most horrible, awoke thee387
Back to the waking world, with all its woes,388
Oh ! not so dismal as the world of dreams !389
The dreams of sleep, though dreadful, are unreal,390
And therefore no one pities them ; but I391
Found no relief from waking, for a weight,392
Heavier than ever hung on fantasy,393
Awaited me on opening of my eyes ;394
And then I knew that no imaginings395
Could ever be so woful as the truth.396
But be those years and all their agonies397
Extinguish’d in this morn ! Oh ! hear me now,398
For, Pedro ! I could sing aloud for joy,399
If joy like mine were not by gratitude400
Subdued down to an ecstasy divine !401
Just as the sun was rising from the sea,402
While yet our gallant ship at anchor hung403
’Mid the dim beauty of the verdant waves,404
I left my berth, and on the dewy deck,405
Ghostlike, I took my solitary stand.406
I dared to look around me.—I beheld407
A thousand friends, on ocean, earth, and sky,408
Which I from youth had loved. Oh ! all unchang409
They hung in glory, or in glory roll’d,410
Sound, silence, stillness, motion, form, and hue,411
The same that usher’d in the stately morn412
That saw Her my bright Bride. The flaming sun,413
Loving alike the ocean and the sky,414
Each worthy of the god, in the same train415
Of gorgeous clouds involved his majesty,416
And bade the swift beams of his orient light417
Smite the same billows kindling suddenly418
O’er all the foamy deep. The braided heavens,419
With the same marbled beauty blent their blue,420
Blue, purple, crimson, and that mingling light421
Too glorious to be named. A noble sweep422
Of shore, shaped to a crescent, there embay’d423
Our ship between its horns, and many a league424
Distant, I knew each wooded precipice,425
And almost wept to hear the melodies426
Of my own olive-groves. I raised my eyes,427
And with the inward senses of my soul428
Looking and listening, I forgot awhile429
Our voyage round the wonders of the world,—430
Forgot that I, by fate a mariner,431
Was doom’d to dwell for ever on the deep.432
I look’d again, and as I look’d, the sun433
Seem’d nothing but a beamless orb—the sea,434
Array’d before in dazzling happiness,435
Was now but water—water and no more ;436
And that same shore I could have kiss’d with tears,437
Fond grovelling on its breast, its very name438
Had lost its music— “ Barcelona !— Spain !”439
My ear now heard them like a tuneless song.440
I could have cursed mine own identity,441
It bore so like the downfall of a storm442
Upon my hopeless heart—while all I knew443
Of native Spain or its inhabitants,444
Was, that one Tomb was there ! And, dismal dream !445
That among all so many million things446
Alone had my Theresa ceased to be !447
I gazed intently on the sullen waves,448
And felt them moaning on me to leap down,449
Even with one plunge into eternity ;450
And God forgive me, but the impious thought451
Was gathering power for deed,—when looking up,452
Bright in the sun and streaming to the breeze,453
I saw the Spanish Standard float in heaven.454
Ceased now the morning-watch, and on the deck455
Five hundred men, erect and beautiful,456
Walk’d with a mien and aspect that defied,457
With something like a guarded amity,458
The ever-awful sea. Their stirring feet,459
Gay voices, laughter loud, and cloudless eyes,460
Whose lights, as all the crew moved to and fro,461
Had made a coward brave, all roused my soul,462
As at a trumpet’s sound, and glorified463
My country’s Banner flying at the main.464
Soon was our ship surrounded as thou knowest,465
With many a barge that twinkled to the sun466
Her oars of glancing gold, and with her green467
Silk awning idly strove to emulate468
The foam-crown’d beauty of the emerald sea,—469
With many a mimic ship, whose snow-white sail470
All proudly lifted its fantastic flag471
High as our gunwale,—flag most deftly framed472
By lady’s lovely hand, where fancy mix’d473
Arms of all nations peacefully combined,474
Christian and Turk, Corsair and Maltese knight ;475
While, rising oft at intervals, the sound476
Of instrumental music, clarion clear,477
Soft-breathing flute, and heaven-ascending horn,478
Cheer’d by the clashing cymbal, or subdued479
By hollow sounding of the muffled drum,480
Gave motion to our vessel,—so it seem’d,481
Though her storm-anchor bound her to the sea.482
Pedro ! thou smilest to hear a seaman laud483
The gauderies of these landsmen, and, in sooth,484
I cared not for them, more than for the motes485
Then twinkling in the sun ; yet was I blind486
To all that show through foolish misery ;487
For, on my soul, they were most beautiful—488
That fairy fleet light glancing o’er the bay !489
Climbing our ship-side a delighted band490
Of maids and matrons, ’mid our swarthy crew491
With steps like falling snow along the deck492
Glided with mantling smiles ;— apart I stood,493
With something of a stern misanthropy494
Mix’d with the joy that mint not be withstood.495
When, by the Holy Virgin ! a pale face,496
Too beautiful for grief, yet all too sad497
For joy !— a face that long had smiled in heaven,498
Else what fond wretch were I !— seem’d looking up,499
Beyond our top-mast, as to catch the light500
Of our far-floating standard !  No ! her eyes501
Look’d far beyond that vain emblazonry,502
And as serenely on the serene heavens503
They dwelt and fed, that deep blue silence fell504
Through the large dewy orbs into her heart.505
I thought her tomb was built upon the shore !506
For five long years by day and night that tomb507
Enclosed me in its walls—but on thy breast,508
O Pedro ! let me lay my dizzy brain,509
For in yon city, by all eyes beloved,510
Theresa is alive !— mine own sweet wife—511
Alvarez’ daughter—Barcelona’s pride—512
Castille’s fair lily once ! the star of Spain !513
Heaven purchased by five years of misery !514
Cheap, although destined only to endure515
One single day !  Oh ! fatal ignorance516
Of God’s continual feednese, like a cloud517
Self-wrapp’d around our hearts, that in the darkness518
Go groping on for every hideous shape519
Of death, and sin, and shame, and sorrow, blind520
To the fair star of Hope, that in the sky521
Might still be seen a little lucid point,522
Far, far away, if that our filmy eyes523
Were purged by Faith !— But now my friend is happy !524
Happy ! O tame and unexpressive word !525
By what sweet-sounding airy syllables,526
Breathings held sacred in the hour of prayer,527
When, communing with God, the soul devout528
Chooses insensibly the holiest names529
For earthly things, as if they were of heaven !530
How, Pedro ! may I tell thee that my spirit,531
Late dark and desolate as the midnight hold532
Of sinking ship that springs a leak at sea,533
Where land is none—no rock amid the waves—534
Now dances through the sunshine, like that ship535
Rescued from wreck, with all her radiant sails536
Spread fearlessly before Old Ocean’s eye,537
Her ensigns holding in their pride of place538
Dominion o’er the winds, me as she stoops539
Queenlike in stately dalliance with the gale,540
Throwing the foam-spray from her roaring prow,541
The martial band is sounding on her deck,542
Music recording glorious victory ;543
Till, at the anthem’s close, the signal-gu544
Sends far its thunder o’er the echoing deep,545
And with the sunshine blends the sudden flash546
Of harmless lightning !— Such a bark am I !547
So bear I onwards to the Port of Peace !548
To sail the seas no more !
Oh ! Pedro !— friend !549
When the first shock of blessedness was past,550
I could, have smiled to see her widow’s weeds551
Braided so meekly o’er a frame that shew’d552
Life’s loveliest prime, though touch’d as by the breat553
Of slow-consuming sorrow for my sake !554
Behind the mast her long-wept husband stood,555
And, in the cowardice of sudden bliss,556
Scarce dared I longer to behold her face557
Angelical, the hush’d grief in her eyes !—558
What sawst thou in that banner ? Didst thou dream559
Of thy own Julian’s triumphs, when from top560
Of watch-tower thou of yore didst feed thy sight561
With the first glimpse of his victorious flag562
Above the horizon, till, as she approach’,563
Stately and slow, with all her bravery on,564
The Sallee-rover, or the Pirate-bark,565
In sullen silence dragg’d along her wake,566
Lower’d the bloody ensign, and the Moon567
Trail’d in dishonour on the Christian’s deck !568
Oh ! why should Pride thus blend with Joy and Love ?569
Thou art alive ! And whether on thy heart570
My image is, or wasted Memory571
Survive not Hope,—and they oft die together,—572
Blessed am I beyond all blessed things,573
In His great goodness made on earth by God !574
Pale art thou, Julian ; and thou tremblest. Didst thou575
Not dare reveal thyself ?
I reason’d not576
What then were best to do, but I obey’d577
The bidding of my spirit, and was silent ;578
And stood apart, even like some guilty man579
Returning to his country, terrified580
By every eye that seems to search his face.581
No meeting of your eyes ?
Yes. Once there was,582
And mine grew blind. But when my sight return’d,583
Hers I beheld turn’d oo to the skies,584
And my Theresa wept ! Just then there rose585
A Vision at her knees ! Its head was bright586
As any star, the colour of its hair587
The same as hers that day she was my bride !588
It wept not—no, it smiled—and such a smile589
Could belong only to Theresa’s child.590
Though as an angel’s beautiful, that face591
A likeness had to mine, and all at once592
I knew that my Theresa had been happy,593
Though, during all our five years’ voyaging,594
Believing I was dead !
How may we break595
To her the shock of such dread blessedness ?596
Oh ! Pedro ! what if these long years—(how long,597
How like a life itself ! when creeping on598
On the slow feet of Sorrow)—haye so dimm’d599
My image, that the mourner scarcely knows600
Why, and for whom, she weeps !  What ! if her grief601
Hath brought its own unconscious remedy,602
And, almost happy in her widowhood,603
She hopeth, wisheth not that one called Julian604
Were now alive !  Yet, angels bless her soul—605
The calm pure waters of her gentle soul,606
Though Julian’s face be not reflected there !607
Is she not living ? Breathes she not the air ?608
Falls not her gentle shadow in the sun,609
Gentle as silent thought ?  The seasons breathe610
Their buds, flowers, leaves, before her living steps,611
Gladdening her heart, although she think it not ?612
Hears she not human voices ? And her own,613
(Oh, me ! it singeth in my memory614
More like the echo, than the voice itself)615
Each morn and evening breathes it not in prayer ?616
So long have I believed Theresa dead,617
That I could almost shudder when I think618
Upon her face—yet beautiful in life !619
Pedro ! such thoughts have sanctified my being,620
And if need were, methinks this very night621
From Barcelona I could sail away,622
And all life long keep wandering o’er the seas,623
Just knowing in the silence of my heart624
That she was well and happy !  O Pedro ! think,625
With what a right grave solemn face give out626
Your doctors in Love’s Court their shallow saws,627
By the poor worldling’s miserable soul628
Most eagerly imbibed, because they fit629
Aptly his changeful nature, and thus seem630
To fond self-love divine philosophy.631
If Love be not eternal, then doth Hope632
Cast out her anchor on the shifting sand ;633
And we poor voyagers o’er Life’s dim sea634
Must, spite of mystic magnet, chart, or pole-star,635
Be shipwreck’d all at last. But thou, O Sun,636
Beheld’st Theresa on my breast a bride !637
And by the sanctities that God and nature638
Breathe o’er the virgin and the wife, I fear not,639
Pedro, that any man of woman born,640
Though as an angel bright, might ever stand641
Between me and the shadow of her love !642
—But, hark ! the tinkling of the gay guitar !643
And, lo ! Roderigo, Beauty’s paramour,644
High up among the rocks, abstracted sits,645
And to the green-hair’d mermaid frames a song.646
Let us ascend unto the Poet’s cliff,647
And though his brain with its own fantasies,648
Aerial or marine, be busy all,649
Yet Roderigo hath a heart as tender650
As if it ne’er had left a human home !651
Let me to him again divulge my bliss,652
That I may be enabled to endure it,653
And you and he must go to my Theresa,654
And let her spirit comprehend by glimpses655
That ’tis within the ordinance of nature656
That I may be alive, though long deem’d dead ;657
So when I stand before her she may shriek not,658
Seeing her husband’s ghost.659