Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

The Waiwode.From The Russian

Secretly by night returning,
Jealous fears within him burning,
The Waiwode seeks his young wife’s bed,
And with trembling hand, uncertain,
Backward draws the silken curtain
Death and vengeance—she has fled!

With a frown like tempest weather,
Fierce he knits his brows together,
Tears his beard in wrathful mood
Roars in thunder through the castle,
Summoning each trembling vassal,
“Ho there! slaves—ye devil’s brood!
“Who left the castle gate unguarded,
And slew the hound?—some hand unbarr’d it!
Quick! prepare ye sack and cord!
My arms here, fellows—loaded, ready!
Now, slave, your pistols, follow—steady
Ha, traitress! thou shalt feel this sword
Close in the murky shadows hiding,
Slave and master, onward gliding,
Reach the garden. There, indeed,
Listening to the soft appealing
Of a youth before her kneeling,
Stands she in her white naridd.
Through the marble fountain’s playing,
Passion’s words they hear him saying
“How I love thee, yet thou’st sold
All thy beauty’s glowing treasures,
All this soft hand’s tender pressures,
For the Waiwode’s cursed gold.
“How I loved, as none can love thee;
Waited, wept—if tears could move thee
Ah! and is it thus we meet?
He ne’er strove through tears and troubles,
Only clang’d his silver roubles,
And thou fallest at his feet.
Yet once more, through night and storm,
I ride to gaze upon thy form,
Touch again that thrilling hand;
Pray that peace may rest upon thee
In the home that now has won thee,
Then for ever fly this land.”

Low she bendeth o’er him weeping,
Heeds not stealthy footsteps creeping,
Sees not jealous eye‐balls glare
“Now, slave, steady,—Fool, thou tremblest
Vengeance if thy heart dissemblest
Kill her as she standeth there.”
“Oh, my Lord and master, hear me
Patience yet, or much I fear me
I shall never aim aright.
See, the bitter night wind’s blowing
Numbs my hand, and brings these flowing
Icy tears to dim my sight.”
“Silence! thou accurséd Russian.
Hold—I’ll guide the pistol’s motion;
See’st thou not her gleaming brow?
So, steady—straight before thee—higher
When I give gave the signal, fire
Darker doom awaits him—Now!”
A shot, a groan, and all is over;
Still she standeth by her lover
’Tis the Waiwode falleth dead!
Was ever known such sad disaster?
The bungling slave hath shot his master
Straight and steady through the head.
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