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THE ever-changing Moon had traced Twelve times her monthly round, When through the unfrequented Waste Was heard a startling sound;

A shout thrice sent from one who chased
At speed a wounded deer,

Bounding through branches interlaced,
And where the wood was clear.

The fainting creature took the marsh,
And toward the Island fled,
While plovers screamed with tumult harsh
Above his antlered head;

This, Ina saw; and, pale with fear,

Shrunk to her citadel;

The desperate deer rushed on, and near

The tangled covert fell.

Across the marsh, the game in view,
The Hunter followed fast,

Nor paused, till o'er the stag he blew
A death-proclaiming blast;
Then, resting on her upright mind,
Came forth the Maid-"In me
Behold," she said, "a stricken Hind
Pursued by destiny!

"From your deportment, Sir! I deem
That you have worn a sword,
And will not hold in light esteem

A suffering woman's word;
There is my covert, there perchance
I might have lain concealed,
My fortunes hid, my countenance
Not even to you revealed.

"Tears might be shed, and I might pray,
Crouching and terrified,
That what has been unveiled to day,
You would in mystery hide;

But I will not defile with dust

The knee that bends to adore
The God in heaven;-attend, be just;
This ask I, and no more!

"I speak not of the winter's cold,
For summer's heat exchanged,
While I have lodged in this rough hold,
From social life estranged;

Nor yet of trouble and alarms:

High Heaven is my defence; And every season has soft arms For injured Innocence.

"From Moscow to the Wilderness
It was my choice to come,
Lest virtue should be harbourless,
And honour want a home;

And happy were I, if the Czar
Retain his lawless will,

To end life here like this poor deer,
Or a lamb on a green hill."

"Are you the Maid," the Stranger cried
"From Gallic parents sprung,
Whose vanishing was rumoured wide,
Sad theme for every tongue;
Who foiled an Emperor's eager quest ?
You, Lady, forced to wear
These rude habiliments, and rest
Your head in this dark lair!"

But wonder, pity, soon were quelled;
And in her face and mien

The soul's pure brightness he beheld
Without a veil between:
He loved, he hoped,—a holy flame
Kindled 'mid rapturous tears;
The passion of a moment came
As on the wings of years.

"Such bounty is no gift of chance,"
Exclaimed he; "righteous Heaven
Preparing your deliverance,

To me the charge hath given.
The Czar full oft in words and deeds
Is stormy and self-willed;

But, when the Lady Catherine pleads,
His violence is stilled.

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Leave open to wish the course,
And I to her will go;

From that humane and heavenly source,

Good, only good, can flow."

Faint sanction given, the Cavalier
Was eager to depart,

Though question followed question, dear

To the Maiden's filial heart.

Light was his step,-his hopes, more light,
Kept pace with his desires;

And the fifth morning gave him sight
Of Moscow's glittering spires.

He sued:-beart-smitten by the wrong,
To the lorn Fugitive

The Emperor sent a pledge as strong
As sovereign power could give.

O more than mighty change! If e'er
Amazement rose to pain,

And joy's excess produced a fear

Of something void and vain ;

'Twas when the Parents, who had mourned

So long the lost as dead,

Beheld their only Child returned,

The household floor to tread.

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Meek Catherine had her own reward;

The Czar bestowed a dower;

And universal Moscow shared
The triumph of that hour.

Flowers strewed the ground; the nuptial feast

Was held with costly state;

And there, 'mid many a noble guest,

The Foster-parents sate; Encouraged by the imperial eye,

They shrank not into shade;

Great was their bliss, the honour high
To them and nature paid!


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