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The past was bright, like those dear hills so far behind her


The future, like the gathering night, was ominous and


One gaze again—one long, last gaze—" Adieu, fair France, to thee!"

The breeze comes forth-she is alone on the unconscious


The scene was changed. It was an eve of raw and surly mood,

And in a turret-chamber high of ancient Holyrood

Sat Mary, listening to the rain, and sighing with the winds, That seemed to suit the stormy state of men's uncertain


The touch of care had blanched her cheek-her smile was sadder now,

The weight of royalty had pressed too heavy on her brow; And traitors to her councils came, and rebels to the field; The Stuart sceptre well she swayed, but the sword she could not wield.

She thought of all her blighted hopes-the dreams of youth's brief day,

And summoned Rizzio with his lute, and bade the minstrel


The songs she loved in early years-the songs of gay Navarre,

The songs, perchance, that erst were sung by gallant Chatelar:

They half beguiled her of her cares, they soothed her into smiles,

They won her thoughts from bigot zeal, and fierce domestic

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But hark! the tramp of armèd men! the Douglas' battle


They come-they come-and lo! the scowl of Ruthven's

hollow eye!

And swords are drawn, and daggers gleam, and tears and

words are vain,

The ruffian steel is in his heart-the faithful Rizzio's slain! Then Mary Stuart brushed aside the tears that trickling


"Now for my father's arm!" she said; "my woman's heart, farewell!"

The scene was changed. It was a lake, with one small lonely isle,

And there, within the prison-walls of its baronial pile, Stern men stood menacing their queen, till she should stoop to sign

The traitorous scroll that snatched the crown from her ancestral line :

"My lords! my lords!" the captive said, "were I but once more free,

With ten good knights on yonder shore, to aid my cause

and me,

That parchment would I scatter wide to every breeze that


And once more reign a Stuart Queen o'er my remorseless foes!

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A red spot burned upon her cheek-streamed her rich tresses down,

She wrote the words-she stood erect-a queen without

a crown!

The scene was changed. A royal host a royal banner bore, And the faithful of the land stood round their smiling queen once more;

She stayed her steed upon a hill-she saw them marching


She heard their shouts-she read success in every flashing


The tumult of the strife begins-it roars-it dies away; And Mary's troops and banners now, and courtiers-where are they?

Scattered and strewn, and flying far, defenceless and un


O God! to see what she has lost, and think what guilt has won !

Away! away! thy gallant steed must act no laggard's


Yet vain his speed, for thou dost bear the arrow in thy heart.

The scene was changed. Beside the block a sullen headsman stood,

And gleamed the broad axe in his hand, that soon must drip with blood.

With slow and steady step there came a lady through the hall,

And breathless silence chained the lips, and touched the hearts of all;

Rich were the sable robes she wore- -her white veil round

her fell

And from her neck there hung the cross-the cross she loved so well!

I knew that queenly form again, though blighted was its bloom

I saw that grief had decked it out-an offering for the


I knew the eye, though faint its light, that once so brightly


I knew the voice, though feeble now, that thrilled with every tone

I knew the ringlets, almost grey, once threads of living


I knew that bounding grace of step-that symmetry of mould!

Even now I see her far away, in that calm convent aisle,
I hear her chant her vesper-hymn, I mark her holy smile—
Even now I see her bursting forth, upon her bridal morn,
A new star in the firmament, to light and glory born!

Alas! the change! she placed her foot upon a triple throne, And on the scaffold now she stands-beside the block,


The little dog that licks her hand, the last of all the crowd Who sunned themselves beneath her glance, and round her footsteps bowed!

Her neck is bared-the blow is struck-the soul is passed away;

The bright-the beautiful-is now a bleeding piece of

clay !

The dog is moaning piteously; and, as it gurgles o'er,

Laps the warm blood that trickling runs unheeded to the


The blood of beauty, wealth, and power-the heart-blood of a queen

The noblest of the Stuart race-the fairest earth hath


Lapped by a dog! Go, think of it in silence and alone; Then weigh against a grain of sand the glories of a throne!



My beautiful! my beautiful! that standest meekly by, With thy proudly arched and glossy neck, and dark and

fiery eye,

Fret not to roam the desert now with all thy winged


I may not mount on thee again,- thou art sold, my Arab


Fret not with that impatient hoof, snuff not the breezy


The farther that thou fliest now, so far am I behind.

The stranger hath thy bridle rein-thy master hath his


Fleet-limbed and beautiful! farewell: thou'rt sold, my steed, thou'rt sold.

Farewell! these free untirèd limbs full many a mile must roam,

To reach the chill and wintry sky, which clouds the stranger's home.

Some other hand, less fond, must now thy corn and bed

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The silky mane I braided once, must be another's care. The morning sun shall dawn again, but never more with


Shall I gallop through the desert paths where we were wont to be.

Evening shall darken on the earth, and o'er the sandy


Some other steed, with slower step, shall bear me home


Yes, thou must go, the wild free breeze, the brilliant sun

and sky,

Thy master's home, from all of these, my exiled one must fly.

Thy proud dark eye will grow less proud, thy step become

less fleet,

And vainly shalt thou arch thy neck, thy master's hand to meet.

Only in sleep shall I behold that dark eye glancing bright; Only in sleep shall hear again that step so firm and light; And when I raise my dreaming arm, to check or cheer thy speed,

Then must I starting wake to feel thou'rt sold, my Arab steed.

Ah! rudely then, unseen by me, some cruel hand may


Till foam-wreaths lie, like crested waves, along thy panting


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