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    II.   Table of Contents     IV.

Bibb, Eloise

- III.


Oh, list! to sounds that cheer the heart;
Stay! 'Tis the clarion's peal;
The harp is mingled with the tones
That make the senses reel.
And from the water's surface blue
I hear the light guitar;
Some knight of Venice sings of love
That is his guiding star.

And why this song and merriment?
Count Dido gives a ball,
And his adopted daughter stands
Admired by one and all.
And oh, who would not love to gaze
Into those liquid eyes!
To clasp that slender, rounded form
Would seem like paradise.

But Mariann knows nought of this,
She see one form, one face,
She hears the music of one voice.
She notes the air of grace
That marks her hero from the rest.
Lord Allsmere owns her heart,
And she not his?--Oh, dreadful thought
That makes the tear-drops start.

But see! he, too, has stood apart
From that gay company,
And notes with eyes lit up with love,
The charms that others see.
"Ye stars! I've never loved before,"
Lord Allsmere cries amazed.
"I thought I loved the Lady Clare,
But pshaw! My brain was crazed.

"I've loved a score of times, and more ,
But 'twas not love like this .
My heart's on fire with doubt and fear,
Yet 'tis a state of bliss.
Oh, love, that wrings the human heart
Who has not felt its pain!
Who does not know its bitter sweets,
That madden soul and brain!"

Lord Allsmere smiles on Mariann,
And begs a moonlight walk.
Her gentle hand is on his arm,
And soon engrossed in talk--
They near the famed Rialto's arch,
He finds for her a seat,
And lays his sore and bleeding heart
With fervor at her feet.

And Oh! the joy that thrills her soul,
To know she owns his heart.
Such heaven, ah, yes! 'tis paradise!
Will bliss like this depart?
Two arms she lifts, such perfect limbs;
Her hands are clasped in prayer.
But oh! What is that blood-red mark
He sees imprinted there?

He grasps the slender wrist, and looks
Upon the lovely arm;
And there a tiny leaf is traced
Quite like a stately palm
"The babe I drowned!" Lord Allsmere
"Say! how can this be true?
Explain!--I'm dazed!--Long years ago!
I sought to murder you!

"Aha! You've crossed my path again;
The sage then spoke aright.
Plebian! Ah, no! you'll ne'er be mine,
I'll slay you, sure , to-night!
And who is Destiny that dares
Choose beggar for my bride;
Ye powers above, I pluck this thorn
That lingers in my side!"

"Oh, spare! Oh, spare! I thee implore,
I'll hide myself airway.
On thy dear face I'll never look,
Nor see the light of day.
I love thee! Ah, my heart is sore,
Why dost thou hate me so?
And what is this that thou dost speak?
Pray tell, I fain would know."

"Alas! I cannot do the deed,
My heart a traitor proves.'
He slowly hides his sword from view,
And from his hand removes
A brilliant ring with opals set,
And lustrous stones that shine.
"See here ! this ring will noir decide
If you will e'er be mine.

"If e'en in days that are to come,
I see your treacherous face,
And on that hand I loathe and spurn,
This ring finds not its place,
I swear to you this night in truth--
I swear I'll have your heart !
And if, instead, you wear this ring,
We'll wed, no more to part."

He throws the ring far in the deep,
The water's sink it low.
He leaves her with, an angry oath,
To bear this dreadful blow.
Weep not, O maid! Dost thou not know
That thou art led by fate?
And it decreed e'er thou wast born
That thou shouldst be his mate?

    II.   Table of Contents     IV.