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But the vision faded and all was still,
PICTURES IN THE FIRE.
ZHAT is it you ask me, darling? ?
All my stories, child, you know;
I have no strange dreams to tell you, Pictures I have none to show.
Tell you glorious scenes of travel ?
Nay, my child, that cannot be,
Marvels none on land or sea.
Yet strange sights in truth I witness,
And I gaze until I tire;
As I look into the fire.
There, last night, I saw a cavern,
Black as pitch ; within it lay Coiled in many folds a dragon,
Glaring as if turned at bay.
And a knight in dismal armour
On a winged eagle came,
And his crest was all of flame.
As I gazed the dragon faded,
And, instead, sate Pluto crowned, By a lake of burning fire;
Spirits dark were crouching round.
That was gone, and lo! before me,
A cathedral vast and grim; I could almost hear the
organ Roll along the arches dim.
As I watched the wreathèd pillars,
A thick grove of palms arose,
And a group of swarthy Indians
Stealing on some sleeping foes.
Stay; a cataract glancing brightly,
Dashed and sparkled; and beside Lay a broken marble monster,
Mouth and eyes were staring wide.
Then I saw a maiden wreathing
Starry flowers in garlands sweet; Did she see the fiery serpent
That was wrapped about her feet?
That fell crashing all and vanished;
And I saw two armies close-
And the shouting of the foes.
They were gone; and lo! bright angels,
On a barren mountain wild, Raised appealing arms to Heaven,
Bearing up a little child.
And I gazed, and gazed, and slowly
sad tears, And the fiery pictures bore me
Back through distant dreams of years.
Once again I tasted sorrow,
With past joy was once more gay, Till the shade had gathered round me
And the fire had died away.
WO stranger youths in the Far West,
Beneath the ancient forest trees,
Pausing, amid their toil to rest, Spake of their home beyond the seas ; Spake of the hearts that beat so warmly,
Of the hearts they loved so well, In their chilly northern country.
“Would,” they cried, “ some voice could tell Where they are, our own beloved ones !”
They looked up to the evening sky Half hidden by the giant branches,
But heard no angel-voice reply.
Silent were the ancient trees;
Of the summer breeze,
The acacia trees.
And did no warning spirit answer,
Amid the silence all around; “ Before the lowly village altar
She thou lovest may be found, Thou, who trustest still so blindly,
Know she stands a smiling bride! Forgetting thee, she turneth kindly
To the stranger at her side. Yes, this day thou art forgotten,
Forgotten, too, thy last farewell, All the vows that she has spoken,
And thy heart has kept so well. Dream no more of a starry future,