BETA

The Destinies.

I saw two beings in the hues of youth—
I have a passion for the name of Mary.
Byron.
Last of an ancient house ! sole relic left1
Of an ennobled line—th’ enkindling ray2
Destined to warm into a lustrous day3
The time-worn honours of her race—bereft4
Of kindred ties—her orphan footsteps roam5
Uncheck’d around her venerable home.6
Crowding her lonely path—above, below,7
Lay scatter’d fragments of the vanish’d past ;8
What reck’d she then if mournful clouds o’ercast9
Her fading name ? —its budding fortunes grow10
Link’d with a costlier wreck—that loveliest form11
That latest blossom still survives the storm !12
To those dark halls her joyous spirit lent13
A radiant glow—its dreary echoes came14
Fraught with wild harmonies—yet to that name15
(Love’s breathing spell) her heart’s soft instrument16
Gave back no sympathy—its chords were mute,17
And vainly sigh’d th’ impassion’d master-lute.18
Oft wander’d they when Time’s unruffled wing19
Brush’d lightly o’er her fair and sunny brow20
And young cheek rich in summer bloom—when now21
His soul, impetuous, spurns life’s tardy spring,22
Whose lingering footsteps check the bursting seeds23
Of ripen’d manhood’s most adventurous deeds !24
But oh ! she loved him not—and withering sunk25
That consciousness into his heart’s deep core ;26
Hope’s fairy spell dissolved could wake no more27
Of love’s delicious wave his soul had drunk ;28
The dregs were poison—in that lake of fire29
The reckless minstrel plunged his burning lyre.30
Yet that charmed sound, that “ one-loved name,”31
Fond memory listen’d with untiring ear ;32
The star of some untrodden hemisphere,33
It lit his soul to distant fields of fame :34
To every thought it was the master-key35
Last in complete, unchanged vitality !36
A stricken deer was she who scorn’d him—track’d37
Far from her haunts, with eyes whose wandering light38
Glanced like the antelope’s unmeasured flight,39
By rushing steed and quivering spear attack’d ;40
Till in the hopeless conflict droops at length41
The panting victim of unequal strength.42
And he—the scorn’d one—had a living throne43
O’er many a prostrate soul ; and he did reign,44
Magician-like, o’er that enchanted plain !45
His muse the oracle, whose slightest tone46
Could, from the waters of oblivion, save47
Feelings and thoughts long buried ‘neath their wave.48
And he, the idol of whole nations, died49
The death of freedom, and a glorious shrine50
Rose o’er his ashes ; even the star malign51
Which ruled his destiny had quench’d the pride52
And power of Genius, Error’s fruitful nurse.—53
He died—and sternest hearts forgot to curse.54