Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

Ignez De Castro.From The Portuguese

Far from her Royal lover, by Mondego’s sunny tide,
Does the Lady Inez wander, Don Pedro’s lovely bride;
Her long hair fell around her, like a veil of a golden light,
And the jewelled zone that bound her in the noontide sparkled bright.

But heavy showers are falling fast adown her azure eyes,
As on Heaven with anguish calling, she lifts them to the skies.
Where is her princely lover? Is there none to save her nigh?
Does he know that King Alonzo hath sworn that she shall die?

She trembles at each murmured sound that’s wafted on the breeze:
It is the murderer’s footstep that rustles through the trees;
But wearily, all wearily, with watching and with weeping,
She sank in troubled slumber, while her maidens guard were keeping.

She dream’d that in the palace, by her Royal lover’s side,
She sat upon the high throne, as his crownéd Queen and bride;
And words of love he murmured, and the crowd knelt down to praise,
And she proudly took their homage, but blushed beneath his gaze.

Fair cloth of silver brighter than the sunbeam’s woven light,
And marble pillars whiter than the pale queen of night—
Flowers and odours blending, all loveliest lovliest things were there,
Incense‐clouds upsending, for her—the beautiful, the fair!

Her robes of tissue golden outvied her golden tresses,
As she lay enfolden in her lover’s soft caresses;
But brighter than the diamonds that circled round her brow,
Were the flashing eyes beneath them—he murmured with a vow.

And redder than the rubies that enclasped her jewelled zone,
Were the roses on her cheek when he whispered—Thou’rt mine own.
And he stooped his plumed head gently to kiss her—so she dreamed
But his lips were icy cold, like the touch of death it seemed.

And she started from her slumber all tearfully and pale,
For hurrying steps and voices were heard, and woman’s wail
“O God! the hour has come,” they cried—“the murderers are near!
Why weep ye so, my maidens, now?—your cheeks are blanched with fear.

“I see—I see their shadows—down the marble steps they run;
I see their daggers gleaming in the red light of the sun
O Pedro! Pedro! save me!”—help from God nor man is nigh:
All vainly to her murderers for mercy did she cry.
Then she raised her eyes to Heaven, and threw back her golden hair,
And in the streaming sunlight calm and saintly stood she there;
While upon her snowy bosom she meekly crossed her hands
You’d take her for an Angel as she there in beauty stands.

What! shrink ye now, false cravens!—do ye fear yon pale faced girl?
Tigers, traitors, as ye are, dare ye touch one golden curl?
King Alonzo’s gold is tempting, yet fain ye now would fly
From the calm and holy glance of that tearful azure eye.

It was but for a moment’s pause—the next their daggers gleam,
And she falls, the young and lovely, by Mondego’s fated stream;
Like red rain on the young flowers, pours forth life’s crimson tide
And softly murmuring, Pedro! she looked to Heaven, and died.
140 Total read