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Blended with praise of that parental love,
the Maiden grew
THE RUSSIAN FUGITIVE.
[EARLY in life this story bad interested me, and I often thought it
would make a pleasing subject for an opera or musical drama.]
Like harebells bathed in dew,
And veins of violet hue;
A likening to frail flowers;
For seasons and for hours.
Through Moscow's gates, with gold unbarred,
Stepped One at dead of night,
From meditated blight;
As doth the hunted fawn,
Appeared unwelcome dawn.
Seven days she lurked in brake and field, Seven nights her course renew
ewed, Sustained by what her scrip might yield,
Or berries of the wood;
When lowly doors were shut,
Her Foster-mother's but.
“ To put your love to dangerous proof
I come," said she, “from far; For I have left
No second look she cast,
Embracing and embraced.
She led the Lady to a seat
Beside the glimmering fire, Bathed duteously her wayworn feet,
Prevented each desire :-
And on that simple bed,
When she, whose couch bad been the sod,
Whose curtain, pine or thorn,
Who comforts the forlorn;
While over her the Matron bent
Sleep sealed her eyes, and stole Feeling from limbs with travel spent,
And trouble from the soul.
Refreshed, the Wanderer rose at morn,
And soon again was dight
Through long and perilous flight;
“My thanks with silent tears Have unto Heaven and You been paid : Now listen to
"Have you forgot"—and here she smiled
“The babbling flatteries
Disporting round your knees ?
Your star, your gem, your flower;
In many a cloudless hour!
“The blossom you so fondly praised
Is come to bitter fruit;
I spurned his lawless suit,
You, Foster-father dear,
may not tarry here!
"I cannot bring to utter woe
Your proved fidelity.”“Dear Child, sweet Mistress, say not so! For
both would die."
And cheek embrowned by art;
With courage will depart."
“But whither would
Man's counsel take;
A thought for your dear sake;
be led Forth to a safe abiding-place,
Where never foot doth tread."
THE dwelling of this faithful pair
In a straggling village stood,
A dangerous neighbourhood;
With thickets rough and blind;
Impervious to the wind.
And there, sequestered from the sight,
Was spread a treacherous swamp,
As from a lonely lamp;
A single Island rose
Adorned, and shady boughs.
The Woodman knew, for such the craft
This Russian vassal plied, That never fowler's
From all intrusion free;
For perfect secrecy.
With earnest pains unchecked by dread
Of Power's far-stretching hand, The bold good Man his labour sped
At nature's pure command;
While, in a hollow nook,
Above a murmuring brook.
His task accomplished to his mind,
The twain ere break of day Creep forth, and through the forest wind
Their solitary way;