Farewell, sweet Eva ! o’er yon brow1
See where the beams of morning glow !2
Farewell till softer hours shall come,3
And lure me to thy moon-lit home.4
I may not, love—I dare not stay5
Dare not !— Oh ! fond one, but for thee6
This arm should cleave our onward way7
Through hosts but Eva should be free !8
Nay see not ; thy will shall be9
Sovereign o’er mine, come weal or woe :10
Oh, while that bosom beats for me11
Shall I e’er wound that bosom ?—No !12
I swear it by yon Heaven ! by all13
Our cherish’d joys, our hopes most dear !14
Farewell, sweet love ! when shadows fall,15
By this—and this—expect me here !”16
One last embrace—they part : she turns17
To where her taper lonely burns18
To where a mother sleeps within,19
Unconscious of a daughter’s sin.20
Oh, not for thee that blessed sleep,21
Eva—’tis thine to watch and weep :22
To watch for days that ne’er shall glow ;23
To weep o’er one unguarded hour,24
That yielded for a fragile vow25
A priceless gem—thy maiden dower !26
In accents sweeter than the gale27
That shakes the bells in Eva’s bower,28
Flow’d on her ear the impassion’d tale ;29
Till Eva, snared in love’s soft spell,30
Listen’d—believed—confided—fell !31
The morn arose ; the summer-day,32
Bright, but for her slow wore away :33
Pale evening came, and whisper’d rest ;34
Yet ere the lady left her hall,35
Her kneeling child she fondly prest.36
I know not why these tear-drops fall,37
Save that in thee, my hope, my all,38
Some trace of silent grief appears ;39
Oh that thy mother could recall40
The rainbow hues of former years,41
When joy laugh’d through my Eva’s tears42
Like smiling showers of blossom’d spring ;43
And love—oh, my prophetic fears !44
And have I waked the slumbering string !45
Yet if thy heart—but no—not now ;46
I will not search that tell-tale brow,47
O’er whose bright mirror like a glass48
Thy bosom’s swift emotions pass.49
Enough, thou know’st that there is one50
Thy smile must never beam upon ;51
Foe to our race—nay, tremble not,52
My hope, my trust, are firm in thee :53
Be not thy mother’s words forgot,54
And all may bright and blessed be.”55
Bright ! blessed !— no, that hour is past !”56
Low murmur’d Eva : “ to our foe57
Fond love hath given—oh fatal haste !58
All that a maiden could bestow.59
Yet will not he the feud forego,60
He, for whose sake fame, fortune, all,61
I scorn’d, abjured, content to know62
In him my fate—alas ! my fall ?”63
Dim night beheld pale Eva stealing64
Where arching boughs, her path concealing,65
Oped on a spot so bright, so fair,66
The sternest heart had soften’d there.67
It was a glen, where from on high68
A shining rill slow winding fell ;69
Amid such witching tracery,70
It seem’d the work of fairy spell ;71
And the soft moonlight blended well72
With rocks, where flowers and foliage wreathing,73
Now trembling into light and shade,74
As o’er the leaves the moonbeams play’d,75
Around that lone romantic dell76
Balm and delight were breathing.77
Beneath, the mingling waters lay,78
Like diamond sparks, their mimic spray79
Pale showering in the beam ;80
And every tree that loves the wave81
Low bent its weeping boughs to lave82
Amid the silvery stream,83
Which tranquil now as loye’s repose84
Through that sequester’d valley flows,85
While imaged earth and heaven imprest86
Shine forth upon its lucid breast.87
And oh that Eva’s days might glide,”88
Low breathed the fair, “ like yon pure tide,89
Where beam and shade, one moment seen,90
Pass like a dream that ne’er hath been !91
Vain, flattering hope !— it may not be ;92
The hour is past—yet where is he ?93
Love brooks not love’s delay ;94
Perchance that in the sibyl’s grot,95
His vows, his Eva, all forgot,96
He wastes the hour away !97
I’ll seek him ;— no—yet what is here ?98
A scroll !— his hand !” —one burning tear99
Fell on it as she read :100
Eva, farewell ! forget the past ;101
Our joys were all too bright to last :102
Time wanes, and they are fled.103
A fonder maid, a fairer brow,104
Claim from my lips the nuptial vow ;105
Love is a changeful dream !106
Yet if again thy breast shall glow107
With passion’s fire—ne’er trust a foe108
Beside a moonlight stream.”109
The morn return’d—the lady sought110
Her Eva’s bower ; that bower was lone.111
Oh, what a ruin love hath wrought !112
Where is my child, my treasure, gone ?”113
Through the lone vale she wildly roved114
Each woodland haunt that Eva loved,115
Tracing her light step on the dew,116
Till near the sibyl’s gtot she drew :117
Then trembles as her starting eyes118
Seek the dark sod where Eva lies,119
In death’s embrace, as marble pale,120
Clasping the’scroll that tells her tale !121
The lady gazed on her lovely form,122
And tears were lost in passion’s storm :123
Eva, my child, I cannot weep for thee ;124
His burning towers thy funeral pyre shall be !”125
The skies were red at the midnight hour,126
And the craven had fled from his blazing tower ;127
Had wildly fled o’er the crimson’d heath,128
Where the foemen were dealing the work of death.129
Oh, guilt is fearful!—ne’er till now130
Sat terror on his dewy brow,131
Who onward speeds, unknowing’ whither ;132
Fate seems above, around, beneath.133
Oh what hath led the wanderer hither,134
Here, where his victim sleeps in death !135
He starts, he shrieks, he gasps for breath136
Eva, pale—dead !— oh righteous Heaven !137
Have I not twined that funeral wreath,138
And shall her murderer be forgiven ?139
No ; vainly now would life atone,140
Yet, Eva, I can die for thee141
For thee, whose beauty never shone142
So dear as now it smiles on me.143
Come, my true sword, my spirit free,”144
His trembling limbs her name repeat ;145
One parting kiss—it may not be—”146
He falls and dies at Eva’s feet.147
Loud are the shouts on the midnight air :148
We have track’d the foe to his secret lair149
We have track’d him where he cannot fly150
And the craven chief must do or die :151
Sweet Mary, what a sight is here !”152
Back they shrink like frighted deer,153
But the lady onward her course pursued,154
And fearless gazed on that scene of blood.155
And is it thus !” —her spirit changed156
Eva, thy wrongs are all avenged ;157
Our feud is o’er ; whom death unites,158
No mortal hand shall sever :159
One tomb shall crave earth’s holy rites,160
And twine their loves for ever !161
Vengeance for injuries dark and deep162
Hath dread atonement given ;163
’Tis ours, my friends, their fate to weep,164
And leave the rest to Heaven !”165