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Beyond the reach and needing not the aid
Of a son's love to feed it, in itself
For ever fed by Nature's mystic springs,
In their warm gushings inexhaustible,
And freezing only in the frost of death.

Unquestioning Happiness had embraced the Boon. Her speech had been restored that she might breathe Prayers audible to her own grateful heart,

That she might blessings pour herself could hear
On that undrown'd and dazzling head of his
That bore upon it the whole light of heaven.
She knew not of his life upon the sea
Save of his shipwrecks of his life on land
Save of the cells of his captivities.
That he did love the Orphan-sisters well,
And that they well did love her Unimore
She knew, and happy often was to think
That he who was a Brother to them now
Would be a Father when their Mother died.
She saw the Naiad dancing out of day,

And had no fears. "Mid-summer gales," he said,
"Blow softly ever mid the Hebrides,

And the young moon some gentle night will see
My Bark returning gaily up the glen,
All ended then her ocean-voyagings

In the home-haven of Loch-Unimore."

She told her Daughters all that day to leave
Their Mother to herself-and when at eve
They had been carried in a dying state
Into the Castle from the Oratory,
That dismal trial had her soul been spared;
For like a shadow on a sunny place
Had death fall'n on the quiet of her Bier,
And while the Orphans dree'd their agonies
Her heart was hush'd-her spirit was in heaven.

'Tis midnight now-and on to-morrow morn
Which is the Sabbath,-they have chosen well
Her burial-day,-soon after dawn the Bier
Will be borne down into the Glen of Prayer,
And Funeral-service in the Oratory
Read o'er it by the humbled Priest, whose age
By one short week appeareth laden sore
With weight worse than of years, the Body then
Within the Cemetery of the Isle of Rocks
Will be interred, while in the Western Tower
A lonely watch is o'er the Orphans kept

That they may rise not from their restless beds,
And walk in fond delirium to the grave.

Fair Ghosts! who through the Castle glide by nights, Haunting its long-drawn corridors obscure,

And always visiting this noiseless room

At the same hour, with love that erreth not,
It is so spiritual, and so true to time

The sacred impulses that reign in sleep!
Fair Ghosts of them still living! Not with fear-
Though on their steps mysterious waiteth awe
And wonder-not with fear do we behold
The pale-faced Orphans walking in their dreams!
Unclosed their eyelids, but their eyes as sweet,

Fixed though they be, as when in wakefulness
They used to watch beside their mother's bed!
Deep reconcilement hath now link'd their souls,
Else never had their bodies glided thus
In sleep's celestial union, up and down
The castle-gloom and glimmer sanctified
By saintly shew of such exceeding love!

Who wrought the shrouds in which ye snow-white walk!
Who for the tomb adorn'd you with pale flowers

By pity gather'd in the shady nooks

Of forest-woods where loveliest leaves are dim,
And wither as they smile-as ye do now,

In dying beauty visiting the dead!

Your own hands wrought the shrouds-your own hands dropt

The rathe flowers here and there upon the folds;

As they had done unto the flowery shroud
Of her ye come to kiss now in your sleep.
What reverential kneelings at the bier!
And what love mingled with the reverence!
Divided only by your mother's corse
You kneel, nor yet in that communion know
How near to one another! Unimore
Is now forgotten as he ne'er had been ;
His image is permitted not to come
On worship such as this; again your life
In maiden innocence unstain'd flows on
Through the still world of melancholy dreams;
And in delusion breath'd from heaven you weep
For sole sake of your mother, who has died,
You think, without a glimpse of her lost son.
Lo! each alternately a kiss lets fall

On the shut eyes, and cheeks and forehead swath'd,
Nor fears the white lips, nor their touch though cold
Refuses, as they seem to meet with theirs

In unexpired affection! But no word

The one or other speaks-serenely mute;
Then satisfied with filial piety,

The kneelers slowly rise up to their feet,
And of each other's presence unaware,

Though all the while their fix'd eyes fill'd with love
Straight on each other's faces seem to look,
First one and then the other on her breast
Doth fold her hands, and gently bows her head
Towards the Bier; then ghostlike glide away
Both to their chamber in the Western Tower.
And when they lie down in each other's arms,
May all good angels guard the Orphans' couch!

The Moon is in meridian-and in full.

In the whole sky were not a single star
Midnight would yet be bright; but there are stars
In thousands; all the Fix'd Array is there

In ranges

loftier in infinitude

And loftier as you gaze; while nearer earth
Burn the large Planets, objects of our love
Because placed in their beauty more within
The reaches of our souls when roaming heaven,,:
Look! look unto the Castle battlements!
There are the Orphans walking in their sleep.
Dreadless along the precipice they glide
Above the coignes that hide the marten's nest;
But down the depth they gaze not, all their eyes

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Are fixed afar upon the starry Loch.
See on the Western Tower is sitting lone
The dark-haired Orphan, and that dark hair hangs,
Escaping from the fillet round its braids,

In sable shadows o'er the snow-white shroud.
Why didst thou leave the Orphans, Unimore?
Thou shouldst have staid with us a little while,
And seen the wretches laid into their graves!"
Lying upon the Eastern Battlement,

All heedlessly diffused as if in dreams

Among the sunshine on the greensward brae,
The bright-haired Orphan, with her golden locks
Dim in the piteous moonlight, sings a song
Of human love, as holy as a hymn

Of love divine, and still at every close
Pathetic, breathes the name of Unimore.

At the same time they cease their singing wild,
And passing to and fro along the edge
Of death, unconscious of th' abyss profound,
Still as they meet, but meeting never touch,
They blend their mournful voices into one,
Hymning the same strain to the Throne of Grace,
The same strain they did at the Altar sing,
Kneeling together in the Oratory

The day that witness'd Unimore's Return.

Mute, motionless the gazers all below;
No stir, no whisper; for they dread to wake
The shrouded Sleepers safe now in their sleep,
But were it broken, what a fearful fall

Instant would dash their bodies into death!

There stands apart the melancholy Seer,

And in humiliation there the Priest;

There maidens stand who from the mountains came

To tend the dying Orphans, or to weep

Their unavailing tears; and clansmen there
In moody silence thinking on their Chief,

And wondering in their feälty that one

So bright and brave, and like his blameless sire,
Could so have sinn'd; yet after him their prayers
Are sent to guard his Ship upon the sea.

Lo! gliding o'er the greenward esplanade
In front of the old Castle, side by side,
Yet touching not their figures nor their hands,
Shadowy and strange the shrouded Sisters go,
And carry now their snow-white beauty dim
Away to the dark woods! Then disappear,
Each by a well-known pathway of her own,
Into the Glen of Prayer. All follow them
With reverential footsteps still'd by fear
And by love hasten'd, down the shaggy depth,
At whose base roars a river bridged with trees
Storm-laid across the chasms, by their old roots
Held fast, and on the opposing precipice
Green their top branches, living bridges bright
With mossy verdure, but their shaking stems
Hanging unledged o'er foamy waterfalls.

A perilous place! But oft their sportive feet Have glided o'er these bridges, as the fawns Fearless behind their dam, when she instructs

Their steps in danger, ere the hunter's horn
Startle her lonely lair; and they have learnt
To look down o'er the chasms, like youngling birds
All unafraid within their hanging nests
Above the spray of cataracts; their eyes
Familiar with the foam that floats below
As with the clouds that sail along the sky.
And on these bridges oft hath Unimore
Led them along, a Sister on each side,

For so he then would call them-and sometimes
There glided with him only one, alone

With her Destroyer,-then she was his Bride!

The Group is gather'd on the Isle of Rocks;
And lo! across the giant pine-tree flung
From cliff to cliff across a chasm, midway
Between the blue air and the water black,
The Orphans walk, and as they walk they meet,
And meeting they awake. The dismal noise
Below them of the boiling cataract,
The horrid glimmer of the swimming cliffs,
And dim affrightments of the hideous chasm
Enveloping their being all at once

In what now seemeth death, a shrilly shriek
From both their bosoms wrench insanely out,
"O God of mercy-save us, Jesu! save!"
And yet each fearing for the other more
Than for herself, with mutual clasp they clutch
Each other's bodies in a last embrace,

And from the pine-tree swerving, not a hand
Stretch'd from on high to save, into the Pool
Raging below they drop, and whirl'd a while
Like weeds or branches round about on foam,
They disappear, while all the Isle of Rocks
Is one wild outcry vainly piercing heaven!

Despair may seek to lift the coffin-lid
As if it madly dreamt life might be there!
Despair may go into the mouldy vault
And strive to think the echo of its feet
The stirring of the shrouded. But Despair
May shoot not down that chasm its blinded eyes,
And know not that the Orphans are with God.

There is no shrieking now; upon their knees
Around the kneeling Priest drop one and all;
All but the Seer-and he his wither'd hands
Uplifts, and with wild wavings down the Glen
Motions the Clansmen, who arise and go
Where'er he wills; for he obeys his Dreams,
And they believe that in the wilderness
Dreams shadow the whole imagery of Death.
The River, splinter'd on the Isle of Rocks,

Through separate chasms goes boiling, all unseen;
But reappearing as the Isle slopes down
Into a silvan scene, where all is peace,
Gently it flows along the Cemetery
That in the quiet water hangs its tombs.
Thither they go, and on the bank sit down
Like men in idlesse gazing on the foam;
When lo faint-whitening in a lucid pool

With a strong current, moving slowly on
All eyes at once behold the blended shrouds !
No need to drag them from the water-they
Are on the silver sand. With tenderest hands
They lift the Orphans and their bodies lay,
Weeping, for men are not ashamed to weep
When pity bids them, on a greensward bed
Warm'd by the earliest touches of the dawn,
For all the Stars have faded, and the Moon
Is gone, although they knew it not till now,
And almost perfect day has filled the skies.

All there have often seen the face of death,
And almost always 'tis the face of peace.
But this is not the face of death and peace,
It is the face of an immortal joy.

Fear left it falling o'er the precipice,

And Love bestowed her beauty on the eyes
Though they are shut, and on the lips, though they
Are white almost as forehead or as breast,
And these are like the snow. One Face it seems;
While each is lovely, both the calm of Heaven!

Where art thou, Unimore? Thou art forgiven
By them who died for thee-Oh! may thy sins
Find mercy, though no mercy thou didst shew
Unto these loving Orphan-Innocents!
Perhaps, even now, a dream assails thy Ship
Shewing this sorry sight-this greensward bed-
These bodies-of these bright, these sable locks
Most mournful mixture-this death-fast embrace
Not even to be unlocked within the tomb.
"Judge not, lest thou be judged!" the Scriptures say.
Lodged in that mystery is celestial light;
Let man seek in the Bible and he finds
What Mercy means, and what is Conscience,
And what it is that puts out or that dims
That light which is a law to all the race;
For evil-thoughts and evil-doings, all
That is by God forbidden, bring on death
On those we love, as if we hated them;
Nor halts the sinner upon shore or sea
Till he lets perish his immortal soul!

Down from the Castle comes the Lady's Bier;
And all together shall the Three repose

Within one grave. Sleep-walking is there none,-
Though superstition sees it in the gloom

And tells of unlaid ghosts,-when" dust to dust"
Hath once been said by holy lips, and seal'd
The Tomb's mouth with a melancholy stone
Inscribed, when Love has sacred leisure found
From weeping over it, by moonlight nights,
With Grief and Pity.

The whole Clan is there;
And now the Funeral-rites are all perform'd;
And dying daisies, with their whitening leaves
Ere mid-day to be wither'd, on the turf
Are almost all that tells it was disturbed,
So perfect is the peace that seals the grave
And gives the sleepers to oblivion.

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