'Twas at a merry festival.
His eyes glanced darkly in the hall;
He met me, and my hand he prest,
A sudden dullness seized my breast;
I shivered, and my hand grew cold,
As if my mortal hour were told;
I would it had been ! but his smile,
Like sunshine beaming, cheered the while;
And when I saw he smiled on me,
My heart knelt in idolatry!
I know not how it then could brook
One glance from him,—his smile, and look,—
But for such madness, and such pain,
I would not live that hour again.
O ! why was woman made to feel
Emotions strong, and not reveal?
Or, like the Phoenix, in the fire
Her heart hath made, it should expire.
A few wild words he spake—and then
A burning thought flashed through my brain;
It passed—but like the lightning's wing
All hopes seared with its fiery sting.
It passed—I would that very hour
That I had faded like a flower,
A flower which heaven's soft tears had cherished.
But when the wild blast came, had perished.
'Twill not be so with me ; for grief
Will strew the flowret leaf by leaf.
Thus living, what is life but breath?
The dull departing of a ray,
A wasting of the soul away;
O God! O God! 'tis living death!
That thought—I dare not name it now—
My brain throbs with it yet—my brow
Is burning strangely, and my ear
Rings with a voice I would not hear.
He left the hall of revelry,
And wished good night and peace to me;
All eyes were fixed on him, but mine
Nor dared to rise, nor dared to shine—
Something had glazed them o'er—but no—
I scorned my weakness thus to show;
I looked around, but he was gone;
And then I felt he was the one,
The only one who was to be
The ruler of my destiny.