University of Virginia Library


In northern clime how tender show
The meads beneath heaven's humid Bow
When showers draw off and dew-drops cling
To sunset's skirt, and robins sing
Though night be near. So did the light
Of love redeem in Ruth the trace
Of grief, though scarce might it efface.
From wider rambles which excite
The thought, or study's lone repose,
Daily did Clarel win the close.
With interest feminine and true


The matron watched that love which grew;
She hailed it, since a hope was there
Made brighter for the grief's degree:
How shines the gull ye watch in air
White, white, against the cloud at sea.
Clarel, bereft while still but young,
Mother or sister, had not known;
To him now first in life was shown,
In Agar's frank demeanor kind,
What charm to woman may belong
When by a natural bent inclined
To goodness in domestic play:
On earth no better thing than this—
It canonizes very clay:
Madonna, hence thy worship is.
But Ruth: since Love had signed with Fate
The bond, and the first kiss had sealed,
Both for her own and Agar's state
Much of her exile-grief seemed healed:
New vistas opened; and if still
Forebodings might not be forgot
As to her sire's eventual lot,
Yet hope, which is of youth, could thrill.
That frame to foster and defend,
Clarel, when in her presence, strove
The unrest to hide which still could blend
With all the endearings of their love.
Ruth part divined the lurking care,
But more the curb, and motive too:
It made him but love's richer heir;
So much the more attachment grew.
She could not think but all would prove
Subject in end to mighty Love.
That cloud which in the present reigned,
By flushful hope's aurora stained,


At times redeemed itself in hues
Of shell, and humming-bird, and flower.
Could heaven two loyal hearts abuse?
The death-moth, let him keep his bower.