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Bring back the chain! that I may think
"Tis that which weighs my spirit so;
And, gazing on each galling link,

Dream-as I dreamt-of bitter woe!
My days are gone ;-of hope, of youth,
These traces now alone remain;
(Hoarded with sorrow's sacred truth)
Tears, and my iron chain!

"Freedom! though doomed in pain to live,
The freedom of the soul is mine;
But all of slavery you could give

Around my steps must ever twine.
Raise up the head which age hath bent:
Renew the hopes that childhood gave;
Bid all return kind Heaven once lent,-
Till then-I am a slave!"



I LOOKED far back into other years, and lo! in bright array, I saw, as in a dream, the forms of ages passed away.

It was a stately convent, with its old and lofty walls, And gardens, with their broad green walks, where soft the footstep falls;

And o'er the antique dial-stones the creeping shadow passed,

And all around the noonday sun a drowsy radiance cast. No sound of busy life was heard, save, from the cloister


The tinkling of the silver bell, or the sisters' holy hymn. And there five noble maidens sat beneath the orchard trees, In that first budding spring of youth, when all its prospects


And little recked they when they sang, or knelt at vesper


That Scotland knew no prouder names-held none more dear than theirs ;

And little even the loveliest thought, before the Virgin's


Of royal blood, and high descent from the ancient Stuart line;

Calmly her happy days flew on, uncounted in their flight, And as they flew they left behind a long-continuing light.

The scene was changed. It was the court-the gay court of Bourbon

And 'neath a thousand silver lamps, a thousand courtiers throng;

And proudly kindles Henry's eye-well pleased, I ween,

to see

The land assemble all its wealth of grace and chivalry :Grey Montmorency, o'er whose head has passed a storm of


Strong in himself and children stands, the first among his


And next the Guises, who so well fame's steepest heights assailed,

And walked ambition's diamond ridge, where bravest hearts have failed

And higher yet their path shall be, stronger shall wax their


For before them Montmorency's star shall pale its waning


Here Louis, Prince of Condé, wears his all-unconquered


With great Coligni by his side-each name a household word!

And there walks she of Medicis-that proud Italian line, The mother of a race of kings-the haughty Catharine!

The forms that follow in her train, a glorious sunshine


A milky way of stars that grace a comet's glittering wake; But fairer far than all the rest, who bask on fortune's tide, Effulgent in the light of youth, is she, the new-made bride! The homage of a thousand hearts—the fond, deep love of


The hopes that dance around a life whose charms are but begun

They lighten up her chestnut eye, they mantle o'er her


They sparkle on her open brow, and high-souled joy be


Ah! who shall blame, if scarce that day, through all its brilliant hours,

She thought of that quiet convent's calm, its sunshine, and its flowers?

The scene was changed. It was a bark that slowly held its


And o'er its lee the coast of France in the light of evening


And on its deck a lady sat, who gazed with tearful eyes
Upon the fast-receding hills, that dim and distant rise.
No marvel that the lady wept-there was no land on earth
She loved like that dear land, although she owed it not her


It was her mother's land, the land of childhood and of friends

It was the land where she had found for all her griefs


The land where her dead husband slept-the land where she had known

The tranquil convent's hushed repose, and the splendours of a throne:

No marvel that the lady wept-it was the land of FranceThe chosen home of chivalry-the garden of romance!

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


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

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?

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