Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything


Books Menu

Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog


- Tales - 4/52 -

The boyish champion would his choice attend In every sport, in every fray defend. As prospects open'd, and as life advanced, They walk'd together, they together danced; On all occasions, from their early years, They mix'd their joys and sorrows, hopes and fears; Each heart was anxious, till it could impart Its daily feelings to its kindred heart; As years increased, unnumber'd petty wars Broke out between them; jealousies and jars; Causeless indeed, and follow'd by a peace, That gave to love--growth, vigour, and increase. Whilst yet a boy, when other minds are void, Domestic thoughts young Alien's hours employ'd. Judith in gaining hearts had no concern, Rather intent the matron's part to learn; Thus early prudent and sedate they grew, While lovers, thoughtful--and though children, true. To either parents not a day appeard, When with this love they might have interfered. Childish at first, they cared not to restrain; And strong at last, they saw restriction vain; Nor knew they when that passion to reprove, Now idle fondness, now resistless love. So while the waters rise, the children tread On the broad estuary's sandy bed; But soon the channel fills, from side to side Comes danger rolling with the deep'ning tide; Yet none who saw the rapid current flow Could the first instant of that danger know. The lovers waited till the time should come When they together could possess a home: In either house were men and maids unwed, Hopes to be soothed, and tempers to be led. Then Allen's mother of his favourite maid Spoke from the feelings of a mind afraid: "Dress and amusements were her sole employ," She said--"entangling her deluded boy;" And yet, in truth, a mother's jealous love Had much imagined and could little prove; Judith had beauty--and if vain, was kind, Discreet and mild, and had a serious mind. Dull was their prospect.--When the lovers met, They said, "We must not--dare not venture yet." "Oh! could I labour for thee," Allen cried, "Why should our friends be thus dissatisfied; On my own arm I could depend, but they Still urge obedience--must I yet obey?" Poor Judith felt the grief, but grieving begg'd delay. At length a prospect came that seem'd to smile, And faintly woo them, from a Western Isle; A kinsman there a widow's hand had gain'd, "Was old, was rich, and childless yet remain'd; Would some young Booth to his affairs attend, And wait awhile, he might expect a friend." The elder brothers, who were not in love, Fear'd the false seas, unwilling to remove; But the young Allen, an enamour'd boy, Eager an independence to enjoy, Would through all perils seek it,--by the sea, - Through labour, danger, pain, or slavery. The faithful Judith his design approved, For both were sanguine, they were young, and loved. The mother's slow consent was then obtain'd; The time arrived, to part alone remain'd: All things prepared, on the expected day Was seen the vessel anchor'd in the bay. From her would seamen in the evening come, To take th' adventurous Allen from his home; With his own friends the final day he pass'd, And every painful hour, except the last. The grieving father urged the cheerful glass, To make the moments with less sorrow pass; Intent the mother look'd upon her son, And wish'd th' assent withdrawn, the deed undone; The younger sister, as he took his way, Hung on his coat, and begg'd for more delay: But his own Judith call'd him to the shore, Whom he must meet, for they might meet no more; - And there he found her--faithful, mournful, true, Weeping, and waiting for a last adieu! The ebbing tide had left the sand, and there Moved with slow steps the melancholy pair: Sweet were the painful moments--but, how sweet, And without pain, when they again should meet! Now either spoke as hope and fear impress'd Each their alternate triumph in the breast. Distance alarm'd the maid--she cried, "'Tis far!" And danger too--"it is a time of war: Then in those countries are diseases strange, And women gay, and men are prone to change: What then may happen in a year, when things Of vast importance every moment brings! But hark! an oar!" she cried, yet none appear'd - 'Twas love's mistake, who fancied what it fear'd; And she continued--"Do, my Allen, keep Thy heart from evil, let thy passions sleep; Believe it good, nay glorious, to prevail, And stand in safety where so many fail; And do not, Allen, or for shame, or pride, Thy faith abjure, or thy profession hide; Can I believe his love will lasting prove, Who has no rev'rence for the God I love? I know thee well! how good thou art and kind; But strong the passions that invade thy mind - Now, what to me hath Allen, to commend?" "Upon my mother," said the youth," attend; Forget her spleen, and, in my place appear, Her love to me will make my Judith dear, Oft I shall think (such comforts lovers seek), Who speaks of me, and fancy what they speak; Then write on all occasions, always dwell On hope's fair prospects, and be kind and well, And ever choose the fondest, tenderest style." She answer'd, "No," but answer'd with a smile. "And now, my Judith, at so sad a time, Forgive my fear, and call it not my crime; When with our youthful neighbours 'tis thy chance To meet in walks, the visit, or the dance, When every lad would on my lass attend, Choose not a smooth designer for a friend: That fawning Philip!--nay, be not severe, A rival's hope must cause a lover's fear." Displeased she felt, and might in her reply Have mix'd some anger, but the boat was nigh, Now truly heard!--it soon was full in sight; - Now the sad farewell, and the long good-night; For see!--his friends come hast'ning to the beach, And now the gunwale is within the reach: "Adieu!--farewell!--remember!"--and what more Affection taught, was utter'd from the shore. But Judith left them with a heavy heart, Took a last view, and went to weep apart. And now his friends went slowly from the place, Where she stood still, the dashing oar to trace, Till all were silent!--for the youth she pray'd, And softly then return'd the weeping maid. They parted, thus by hope and fortune led, And Judith's hours in pensive pleasure fled; But when return'd the youth?--the youth no more Return'd exulting to his native shore; But forty years were past, and then there came A worn-out man with wither'd limbs and lame, His mind oppress'd with woes, and bent with age his frame. Yes! old and grieved, and trembling with decay, Was Allen landing in his native bay, Willing his breathless form should blend with kindred clay. In an autumnal eve he left the beach, In such an eve he chanced the port to reach: He was alone; he press'd the very place Of the sad parting, of the last embrace: There stood his parents, there retired the maid, So fond, so tender, and so much afraid; And on that spot, through many years, his mind Turn'd mournful back, half sinking, half resign'd. No one was present; of its crew bereft, A single boat was in the billows left; Sent from some anchor'd vessel in the bay, At the returning tide to sail away. O'er the black stern the moonlight softly play'd, The loosen'd foresail flapping in the shade; All silent else on shore; but from the town A drowsy peal of distant bells came down: From the tall houses here and there, a light Served some confused remembrance to excite: "There," he observed, and new emotions felt, "Was my first home--and yonder Judith dwelt; Dead! dead are all! I long--I fear to know," He said, and walk'd impatient, and yet slow. Sudden there broke upon his grief a noise Of merry tumult and of vulgar joys: Seamen returning to their ship, were come, With idle numbers straying from their home; Allen among them mix'd, and in the old Strove some familiar features to behold; While fancy aided memory: --"Man! what cheer?" A sailor cried; "Art thou at anchor here?" Faintly he answer'd, and then tried to trace Some youthful features in some aged face: A swarthy matron he beheld, and thought She might unfold the very truths he sought: Confused and trembling, he the dame address'd: "The Booths! yet live they?" pausing and oppress'd; Then spake again: --"Is there no ancient man, David his name?--assist me, if you can. - Flemings there were--and Judith, doth she live?" The woman gazed, nor could an answer give,' Yet wond'ring stood, and all were silent by, Feeling a strange and solemn sympathy. The woman musing said--"She knew full well Where the old people came at last to dwell; They had a married daughter, and a son, But they were dead, and now remain'd not one." "Yes," said an elder, who had paused intent On days long past, "there was a sad event; - One of these Booths--it was my mother's tale - Here left his lass, I know not where to sail: She saw their parting, and observed the pain; But never came th' unhappy man again:" "The ship was captured"--Allen meekly said,

Tales - 4/52

Previous Page     Next Page

  1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10   20   30   40   50   52 

Schulers Books Home

 Games Menu

Dice Poker
Tic Tac Toe


Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything