O'er the wide heath now moon-tide horrors hung,
And night's dark pencil dimm'd the tints of spring;
The boding minstrel now harsh omens sung,
And the bat spread his dark nocturnal wing.
At that still hour, pale Cynthia oft had seen
The fair Eliza (joyous once and gay),
With pensive step, and melancholy mien,
O'er the broad plain in love-born anguish stray.
Long had her heart with Henry's been entwined,
And love's soft voice had waked the sacred blaze
Of Hymen's altar; while, with him combined,
His cherub train prepared the torch to raise:
When, lo! his standard raging war uprear'd,
And honour call'd her Henry from her charms.
He fought, but ah! torn, mangled, blood-besmear'd,
Fell, nobly fell, amid his conquering arms!
In her sad bosom, a tumultuous world
Of hopes and fears on his dear mem'ry spread;
For fate had not the clouded roll unfurl'd,
Nor yet with baleful hemlock crown'd her head.
Reflection, oft to sad remembrance brought
The well known spot, where they so oft had stray'd;
While fond affection ten-fold ardour caught,
And smiling innocence around them play'd.
But these were past! and now the distant bell
(For deep and pensive thought had held her there)
Toll'd midnight out, with long resounding knell,
While dismal echoes quiver'd in the air.
Again 'twas silence--when from out the gloom
She saw, with awe-struck eye, a phantom glide:
'Twas Henry's form!--what pencil shall presume
To paint her horror!----HENRY AS HE DIED!
Enervate, long she stood--a sculptured dread,
Till waking sense dissolved amazement's chain;
Then home, with timid haste, distracted fled,
And sunk in dreadful agony of pain.
Not the deep sigh, which madden'd Sappho gave,
When from Leucate's craggy height she sprung,
Could equal that which gave her to the grave,
The last sad sound that echo'd from her tongue.