Felicia Hemans in The New Monthly Magazine Volume 14 1825/An Hour of Romance

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For other versions of this work, see An Hour of Romance.

The New Monthly Magazine, Volume 14, Pages 228-229


There were thick leaves above me and around,
And low sweet sighs, like those of Childhood's sleep,
Amidst their dimness, and a fitful sound,
As of soft showers on water: dark and deep
Lay the oak-shadows o'er the turf, so still,
They seem'd but pictured glooms!—a hidden rill
Made music, such as haunts us in a dream,
Under the fern-tufts; and a tender gleam
Of emerald light, as by the glow-worm shed,
Came pouring through the woven beech-boughs down,
And steep'd the magic page wherein I read
Of royal Chivalry and old Renown;
A tale of Palestine!—Meanwhile the bee
Swept past me with a tone of summer hours,
A drowsy bugle, wafting thoughts of flowers,
Blue skies, and amber sunshine: brightly free
On filmy wings, the purple dragon-fly
Shot glancing like a fairy javelin by;
And a sweet voice of sorrow told the dell
Where sat the lone wood-pigeon.—
But ere long,
All sense of these things faded, as the spell
Breathing from that high gorgeous tale grew strong
On my chain'd soul!—'twas not the leaves I heard—
—A Syrian breeze the lion-banner stirr'd
Through its proud floating folds!—'twas not the brook
Singing in secret through its grassy glen—
—A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen
Peal'd from the Desert's lonely heart, and shook
The burning air!—Like clouds when winds are high,
O'er glittering sands flew steeds of Araby,
And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear
Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear,
Shadow'd by graceful palm-trees!—Then the shout
Of merry England's joy rang freely out,
Sent through an Eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue
And harps were there—I heard their sounding strings,
As the waste echoed to the mirth of Kings!

—The bright masque vanish'd!—unto life's worn track
What call'd me from its world of glory back?
—A voice of happy Childhood!—and they pass'd,
Banner, and harp, and Paynim trumpet's blast!
Yet might I scarce bewail the splendours gone,
My heart so leap'd to that sweet laughter's tone!F. H.