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Poem by Lucretia Maria Davidson


The Parting of Decourcy and Wilhelmine


(Written in her fourteenth year.)

Lo! enthron'd on golden clouds,
Sinks the monarch of the day;
Now yon hill his glory shrouds,
And his brilliance fades away.

But as it fled, one ling'ring beam
Play'd o'er yon spire, which points on high;
It cast one bright, one transient gleam,
Then hast'ned from the deep'ning sky.

Lo! the red tipp'd clouds remain
But to tell of glories past;
Mark them gath'ring o'er the plain,
Mark them fade away at last.

The lake is calm, the breeze is still,
Nor dares to whisper o'er a leaf;
And nothing save the murm'ring rill,
Can give the vacant ear relief.

Around yon hawthorn in the vale,
White garments float like evening mist;
'Tis Wilhelmine, and cold and pale
A simple marble stone she kiss'd.

She knelt her by a lowly tomb,
And wreath'd its urn anew with flowers;
She taught the white rose there to bloom,
And water'd it with sorrow's showers.

Like raven's wing, her glossy hair
In ringlets floated on the gale,
Or hung upon a brow as fair
As snow-curl crested in the vale.

And her dark eye which rolls so wild,
Once brightly sparkled with hope's light,
For Wilhelmine was pleasure's child,
When fortune's smiles shone sweetly bright.

Decourcy lov'd Ч the morn was clear,
And fancy promis'd bliss;
For now the happy hour was near,
Which made the maiden his.

And Wilhelmine sat smiling sweet
Beneath the spreading tree,
Her nimble foot was quick to meet,
Her glancing eye to see.

Decourcy came upon his steed,
His brow and cheek were pale;
Speak Ч speak, Decourcy, cried the maid,
'Tis sure a dreadful tale.

My love, my Wilhelmine, cried he,
Be calm and fear thee not;
In battle I will think on thee,
And oh, forget me not.

Adieu! he clasp'd her to his breast,
And kiss'd the trickling tear
Which 'neath her half-clos'd eyelids prest
And ling'ring glist'ned there.

He gazed upon that death-like face,
So beautiful before;
He gazed upon that shrine of grace,
And dared to gaze no more.

He trembled, press'd his burning brow,
And clos'd his aching eyes;
His limbs refuse their office now,
The maid before him lies.

But hark! the trumpet's warlike sound
Echoes from hill to vale;
He caught the maiden from the ground,
And kiss'd her forehead pale.

Why should Decourcy linger there,
When the bugle bids him speed?
One long last look of calm despair,
And he springs upon his steed;

He strikes the sting of his bloody spur
In his foaming courser's side,
And he gallops on where the wave of war
Rolls on with its bursting tide.

Whose was the sword that flashed so bright,
Like the flaming brand of heaven?
And whose the plume, that from morn till night
Was a star to the hopeless given?

'T was thine, Decourcy! that terrible sword
Hath finished its work of death,
And the hand which raised it on high is lowered
To the damp green earth beneath.

The sun went down, and its parting ray
Smiled sorrow across the earth,
The light breeze moaned Ч then died away,
And the stars rose up in mirth.

And the timid moon looked down with a smile
On the blood-stained battle ground,
And the groans of the wounded rose up the while,
With a sad heart-rending sound,

While the spectre-form of some grief-worn man,
Steals slowly and silently by,
Each corpse to note Ч each face to scan,
For his friend on that field doth lie.

But whose is the figure dimly seen
By the trembling moon-beam's light?
'T is the form of the weeping Wilhelmine,
And she kneels by the slaughtered knight.

Weep not for the dead, for he died 'mid the din,
And the rapturous shouts of strife,
And the bright sword hath ushered his soul within
The portals of future life.

Weep not for the dead! who would not die
As that gallant soldier died?
With a field of glory whereon to lie,
And his foeman dead beside.

A year passed by, and a simple tomb
Rose up 'neath a willow tree,
'T was decked with flowers in vernal bloom
As fresh as flowers could be;

And oft as the twilight's dusky gleam
O'er the scene was gently stealing,
The form of the sorrowful maid was seen
By the grave of her lover kneeling.

But wild is the glance of her dove-like eye,
And her cheek, oh how pale and fair!
And the mingled smile, and the deep drawn sigh,
Show that reason's no longer there.

Another year passed, and another grave
'Neath the willow tree is seen;
By the side of her lover, Decourcy the brave,
Lay the corpse of Wilhelmine.



Lucretia Maria Davidson


Lucretia Maria Davidson's other poems:
  1. Morning Melody
  2. To a Departing Friend
  3. The Good Shepard
  4. On Reading a Fragment Called The Flower of the Forest
  5. To Mamma


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