Josias Homely


Castle Starnhauff

(A Ballad of Poland.)

They are weaving flowers—they are weaving flowers
In Castle Starnhaufi''s sunny bowers;
And the Vistula's waters with foam-drops white
Are dancing along in the bright sun light,
And fair Agatha gives to bold Trenmor's son
The rich prize which his patriot valour has won,
And the hand of the lovely to day will reward
Him,who bravely has fought Poland's freedom to guard.

There's a sound of dread—there's a sound of dread.
Like a coming host !—like the war-steed's tread !
No. The bender of pines, the breeze of the hills.
Has shaken the boughs o'er the forest rills.
And bending each wild flower's fragile stem,
Sighs aloud at the thought of leaving them.
The wine cup fill, let each heart be gay.
Like the flower of field we pass away.

'Twas a martial note—'twas a martial note
Which then on the forest echoes smote !
No. The hunter returning with belt and spear.
From the toil of the chase is drawing near ;
He is bringing spoils from the upland and fell,
And is hastening home to the festival.
The wine cup drain—let each heart be gay—
Like the leaves of the forest we pass away.

The priest is cloth'd in his vestments white,
The lovely and valiant with joy to unite—
But the hosts of the tyrant are there—forever
Asunder the valiant and lovely to sever,
For a slave had breath'd in the tyrant's ear,
And the heart of the spoiler had melted with fear.
And exile and chains were decreed to the brave
Through the poison'd breath_of the coward slave.

They are weaving flowers —they are weaving flowers
In Castle Starnhauff''s moon-lit bowers ;
And the Vistula's waters with foam-drops white
Are dancing along in the soft moon light,
But the bridal wreath on the bier is spread,
And the bride at the altar lies cold and dead;
At morn—like the rose in its bloom was the bride,
At even—'tis withered and cast aside.

There's an oath of dread—there's an oath of dread,
It was breath'd o'er the face of the lovely dead.
Far holier than relic, or cross, or book
Seem'd the pathos deep of that silent look ;
'Tis an oath of the soul, unwritten, unsaid.
Yet the thrones of the earth has it shaken with dread,
'Tis enshrin'd in the hearts of the manly brave,
'Tis—Death to each tyrant and coward slave.
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