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But the war-storm came on the mountain gale,

And man's heart beat high, though his cheek was pale,

For blood and dust lay on the white hair,

And the maiden wept o'er her last despair;

The hearth was cold, and the child was prest

A corpse to the murdered mother's breast;

And fear and guilt, and sorrow and shame,

Darkened wherever the war-fiend came.

IT stood beneath a large old chesnut-tree,

And had stood there for years;--the moonlight fell

Over the white walls, which the vine had hung

With its thick leaves and purple fruit; a pair

Of pigeons, like the snow, were on the roof

Nestled together; and a plaining sound

Came from a fountain murmuring through the wood,

Less like the voice of sorrow than of love:

Tall trees were gathered round--the dark-green beech;

The sycamore, with scarlet colours on,

The herald of the autumn; dwarf rose-trees,

Covered with their last wealth; the poplar tall,

A silver spire; olives with their pale leaves;

And some most graceful shrubs, amid whose boughs

Were golden oranges; and hollow oaks,

Where the bees built their honey palaces.

It was a silent and a lovely place,

Where Peace might rest her white wings. But one came

From out the cottage,--not as one who comes

To gaze upon the beauty of the sky

And fill his spirit with a calm delight;

But with a quick though noiseless step, as one

Who fears the very echo of that step

May raise a spectre. When he reached the fount

He sat down by its side, and turned to gaze

Upon the cottage: from his brow the sweat

Poured down like summer rain; there came no sound

From his white lips, but you might hear his heart

Beating in the deep silence. But at length

A voice came to his sorrow:--"Never--never

"Shall I look on their face again! Farewell!

"I cannot bear that word's reproach, nor look

"On pale lips breathing blessing which the tears

"Belie in speaking! I have blighted all--

"All--all their hopes, and my own happiness!"

"LEANDRO!" said a sweet and gentle voice;

And a soft hand prest on his throbbing brow,

And tears like twilight dew feel on his cheek.

He looked upon the maiden;--'twas the one

With whom his first pure love had dwelt,--the one

Who was the sun and starlight of his youth!

She stood beside him, lovely as a saint

Looking down pity upon penitence--

Perhaps less bright in colour and in eye

Than the companion of his infancy:--

But was that cheek less fair because he knew

That it had lost the beauty of its spring

With passionate sorrowing for him? She stood

One moment gazing on his face, as there

Her destiny was written; and then took

A little crucifix of ebony

And placed it in his bosom from her own:--

"And this, LEANDRO!--this shall be thy guide!

"Thy youth has been a dream of passion; guilt

"And even have been round thee:--go thy way!

"The showers of thy youth will clear to summer.

"My prayers be with thee!"--"Prayers!--oh!

nothing more?

"Have I then lost thy love--thy precious love?

"The only green leaf of my heart is withered!"

She blushed a deep-red blush; her eloquent eyes

Met his almost reproachfully, and her face

Was the next moment hidden on his bosom.

But there was happiness even in that farewell,

Affection and deep confidence,

Tenderness, hope--for Love lights Hope,--and tears,

Delicious tears! the heart's own dew.

They parted.

LEANDRO kept that little cross like life:

And when beneath the sky of Mexico,--

When earth and even Heaven were strange to


The trees, the flowers, were of another growth;

The birds wore other plumes; the very stars

Were not those he had looked upon in boyhood.

'Tis something, if in absence we can see

The footsteps of the past:--it soothes the heart

To breathe the air scented in other years

By lips beloved; to wander through the groves

Where once we were not lonely,--where the rose

Reminds us of the hair we used to wreathe

With its fresh buds--where every hill and vale,

And wood and fountain, speak of time gone by;--

And Hope springs up in joy from Memory's ashes.

LEANDRO felt not these:--that crucifix

Was all that wore the look of other days--

'Twas as a dear companion. Parents, home,

And, more than all, BIANCA, whose pure reign,

Troubled by the wild passions of his youth,

Had now regained its former influence,--

All seemed to hear the vows he made for her,

To share his hopes, feel for his deep remorse,

And bless him, and look forward.

And at last

Once more the white sail bore him o'er the sea,

And he saw SPAIN again. But war was there--

And his road lay through ruined villages.

Though cold, the ashes still were red, for blood

Had quenched the flames; and aged men sat down

And would not leave the embers, for they said

They were too old to seek another home.

LEANDRO met with one whom he had known

In other days, and asked of his own valley:--

It yet was safe, unscathed by the war-storm.

He knelt down in deep thankfulness; and then,

Through death and danger, sought the grove once


His way had been through a thick beechen wood;

The moon, athwart the boughs, had poured her light,

Like Hope, to guide him onwards.

One more turn and he should gaze upon his home!

He paused in his heart's overflowing bliss,

And thought how he should wake them from their


Perchance of him!--of his BIANCA's blush!

He heard the music of the fountain come--

A sweet and welcome voice upon the wind--

He bounded on with the light steps of hope,

Of youth and happiness. He left the wood,

And looked upon--a heap of mingled blood

And blackened ashes wet upon the ground!

He was awakened from his agony

By the low accents of a woman's voice;--

He looked, and knew BIANCA. She was laid

Beside the fountain, while her long black hair

Hung like a veil down to her feet: her eyes,

So large, so dark, so wild, shone through the gloom,

Glaring like red insanity. She saw

Her lover, shrieked, and strove to fly--

But fell:--her naked feet were gashed with wounds.

"And have I met thee but to see thee die?"

LENADRO cried as he laid the pale face

Upon his breast, and sobbed like a young child.

In vain he dashed the cold stream on her face,--

Still she lay like a corpse within his arms.

At length he thought him of a giant tree,

Whose hollow trunk, when children, they had oft

Called home in playfulness. He bore her there;

And of fresh flowers and the dry leaves he made

A bed for his pale love. She waked at last,

But not to consciousness: her wandering eyes

Fixed upon him, and yet she knew him not!--

Fever was on her lip and in her brain,

And as LEANDRO watched, his heart grew sick

To hear her rave of outrage, wrongs, and death;--

How they were wakened from their midnight sleep

By gleaming steel--curses--and flaming roof!

And then she groaned, and prayed herself to die!

It was an evening when through the green leaves

Of the old chesnut shot the golden light

Of the rich sunset; into the fresh air

LENADRO bore the maiden he had nurst

As the young mother nurses her sick child.

She laid her head upon his heart, and slept

Her first sweet quiet sleep: the evening-star

Gleamed through the purple twilight when she


Her memory aroused not to the full--

Oh, that was mercy!--but she knew her love;

And over her pale face a calm smile shone,--

Fondly though fainly breathed and blest his name!

That night the moonlight shone upon LEANDRO,

And in his arms--a corpse! ****

He lived in one deep feeling--in revenge:

With men he mingled not but in the battle;--

His mingling there was deadly! When the GAUL

Was driven from the land which he had spoiled,

That dark Chief sought BIANCA's grave!--a Cross