Henry and Mary

The sun was sinking in the west,
When Mary sought the birken grove;
In snowy lawen simply drest,
She came to meet her own true love.

To meet her own true love she came,
Just at the hour of gloamin' gray,
To light anew her virgin-flame,
And blend with his her softer ray.

The dewy breath of evening blew,
And rustled through the spangled brake;
On wings of down the west-wind flew,
And lightly curled the placid lake;

Around on ilka brier and bush,
The throstles sung their evening lay,
And hoarsely swelled the torrent's rush,
As down the glen it swept away.

Through trembling boughs, that met the gale,
And danced in wanton sportiveness,
Light-waving streaks of lustre pale
Shone on her maiden loveliness.

As o'er her glowing cheek they played,
They tinged it with a heavenly hue,
And made the tear that down it strayed
Smile like a pearl of Eden's dew.

She rested on the mossy bank,
And leaned upon a birken tree,
Whose roots the crystal water drank,
And swept its pure translucency.

Why steals the tear along her cheek?
Why seeks her eye the parting ray?
She came her own true love to meet,
But ah! her love was far away.

The hand of death has closed his eye,
And laid him in the soldier's grave;
On honor's bed I saw him lie,
And sleep the slumber of the brave.

And ne'er shall Mary meet her love,
And press him to her heaving breast;
The dart of grief has pierced that dove,
And death has hushed her woes to rest.

She leant upon that birken tree,
And saw the sun's departing beam,
She saw the latest twilight flee,
That silvered o'er that mountain stream.

Her tears she mingled with the wave,
And “Henry” trembled on her tongue;
A voice cried, “Henry's in the grave,
His corpse is cold, his knell has rung.”

She started from her sorrowing trance,
'T was Henry's spirit caught her eye;
He cast on her one pitying glance,
Then melted in the evening sky.

She shrieked,—an ashy hue o'erspread
Her cheek,—she plunged beneath the wave,
The waters circled o'er her head,
And gave her broken heart a grave.
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