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Sweet Eva of Desmond

Crossed over the sea, The Bride of the Strongbow,

Earl Pembroke, to be.

a chain that bound me to a silence so painful and ignominious is snapped, broken suddenly, awfully, but thoroughly : I am called away at once, but I must speak to you, though not to the world before I go. Theo, will you be my wife when I come back, as I shall soon, free ?”

She gave a low cry, and held her hands out towards him. He did not take them at first, but repeated,

“Will you trust me? will you be my wife when I come back, my darling, to whom I dare not even yet show all the love I feel ? ”

“O, Harold, tell me," she began, but he stopped her by saying:

“What this chain was ? no, not yet. Forgive me; I dared not risk leaving you with this untold, though all may not be told yet.” Then he took her hand and just pressed his lips to it, whispered, “I have your heart's promise, my darling,” and was gone.

There was no need to tell Kate what had transpired, she fathomed all the instant she saw Theo,

“ He did not stay long. What is this fresh mystery?” Kate asked, and Theo auswered :

I don't know ; he told me not to ask till he came back and made me his wife.” Then the feminine desire for a confidant obtained possession, and she added, -—“He seemed afraid to be with me, and kissed my hand as if I har! been a duchess instead of what I am to be to him, you know.”

(To be continued.)

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Men of old, men of old,
Rude and earnest, fierce and bold,

Ye had changed to tigers fell,

But for woman's gentle spell
Your passions back to hold.
Quoth Octar the Jarl,

As he strode in the roar
Of the North Sea, in thunder

Belab'ring the shore,
“Have ye heard of the maiden

Who cross'd oe'r the sea,
The Bride of the Strongbow,

Earl Pembroke, to be ?
'Twas Eva of Desmond,

Whom I wooed of yore,
In the court of her fatber,

Mac Murrogh the Mure;
By the thunder of Odin !

'Twere better that she
The bride of the god-born

Jarl Octar should be.
Not an earl of them all

Such a lineage can show;
In my bark I've a spear

That's a match for his bow,
To Earl Pembroke's broad lands

Sone bounds there must be,
But his realın hath no bounds

Who is King on the Sea;
His realm hath no bounds

Who is King on the Sea. “ Ho ! ho ! ye shall come, friends,

And visit me there,
My wine ye shall drink

And ny venison shall share ;
Ye shall dance down the leugth

Of proud Estrigoil Hall,
Where your footsteps with Eva's

In cadence shall fall.
I'll look for your sails

On the Hafren full soon,
And a beacoa l'll light you

More bright than the moon ;
It sball guide you to me

With a sky-raking glow,
It shall welcome you too,

Spite of tempest or foe;
And of all the proud beads

In that land ye shall see,
The loftiest the head

Of Jarl Octar sball be;
The loftiest the head

Of Jarl Octar shall be."

EARL STRONGBOW'S BEACON.*

FAIR Eva of Desmond

Hath crossed o'er the sea,
The Bride of the Strongbow,

Earl Richard, to be ;
In Estrigoil towers

There's daneing and song,
And the festival months

Have but thickened the throng ;
Not alone with the high-born,

The brave, and the fair,
Not alone with the wealthy,

Their riches they share,
But the poor and the maimed,

And the halt and the blind,
In the balls of Earl Richard

In comfort you'll tiud.
'Twas a blessing to all

When, like Saint Charity,

Men of old, men of old,
Strong and daring, fierce and bold,

Worse were ye than tigers fell,

When by woman's fervid spell Quickened, not controlled.

country.

Up to the eleventh century the piratical visits of the Black Pagans (the Danes) to the Bristol Channel were not infrequent, though they do not appear ever to have made any permanent settlement amongst the inhabitants of the

Strongbow, Earl Pembroke, who led the way to the Conquest of Ireland, had large possessions contigrous to the Channel, and amongst them the Castle of Estrigoil or Striguil (hodie Chepstow), a fortress of great strength and

He married the daughter of an Irish prince, and in her right assumed the title of King of Leinster

after her father's death. The jealousy, however, of Henry II. reduced this to a mere honorary distinction. Strongbow died A.D. 1176.

importance.

The banners are waving

In Estrigoil Hall, And the warriors crowd inward,

Knight, noble, and all; There's a stir through the land,

For the Dane bath come down, And the brow of Earl Richard

Is dark witb a frown ;

.

There are dents on his helm,

jority of undergraduates. We had gainei There is blood on his sword,

wisdom enough to look back with regret upon And his liegemen keep still

wasted time and ill-used opportunities. We When they look on their lord. Black Octar is there,

were grateful for our preservation through that The proud Jarl from the North,

part of life's journey in which we took no Who came to bear Eva

heed, and that our eyes had been opened to With victory forth ;

the prospect before the sun was low upon our And Eva is there For Jarl Octar to see,

way. We had not ceased to like all the purBut Octar bears chains

suits and pleasures of the old careless days ; Whilst Earl Penubroke is frec,

but we enjoyed the superadded satisfaction of Jarl Octar bears chains

evil habits discarded, sound principles cultiWhilst Earl Pembroke is free.

vated, and duties recognised and, to some ex“ Now tell me, Earl Richard,

tent, fulfilled. My friend had married since I Oh what may this be,

last saw him, and his wife was a strauger to On the headland that looketh

me until this visit. I found her one of the So far on the sea ? You have piled logs of fir-tree,

few wives who practically recommend marriage And trunks of the pine,

to their husbands' unmarried friends. This And deluged the fabric

she did, in a great measure, by the sense of With fierce turpentine."

reliableness as a wife - I don't know how I can “Oh ! that is my Beacon

better describe it—which she conveyed. Her To guide from the west The kinsmen and liegemen

husband evidently had faith in her, in small Jarl Octar loves best;

matters as in great. It was plain that he He hath promised them dances

trusted to her doing a thing as he would like Down Estrigoil Hall, Where their footsteps with Eva's

to have it done, and that they had become one In cadence sball fall.

in the details of every-day experience as they There is pine, there is fir,

were one in heart. And we'll kindle it soon,

Assuredly, hers was a very pleasant face, 'Twill shine towards the west, love,

with its setting of beautiful hair and its rare More bright than the moon. The long track of light

eyes—eyes which stand the test of a heightened To the pirates shall show

colour—becoming neither dull, nor uncertain, The road to Jarl Octar,

nor metallic, but only warmer toned, as The road they should go.

Nature becomes in a summer sunset,
"Twere not easy to miss bim,
As I'll mark the way,

hostess—a position affording such opportuni. Let them come in the night,

ties of making or marring the comfort of a Let them come in the day,

guest_Mrs. Frank Blundell was eminently For the sky-raking flames,

the “ right woman in the right place.”
As they roar from below,
On the head of the pyre

Oakleigh is in the heart of Kent, where
All their splendour shall throw, hops, cherries, and filberts are at home, and
And that head seen the loftiest

orchard apples eatable. The cottage was deAnd farthest at sea,

lightfully placed, looking southward across a By the cross of the Man-god ! Jarl Octar's shall be ;

valley upon plantations of sweet chestnuts, then By the cross of the Nan-god !

fast crimsoning ; for it was the season, so enJarl Octar's shall be."

joyable in the country, between the very out

doorishness of Men of old, men of old,

summer and the permanent Strong and vengeful, fierce and bold,

adoption of fires. There was plenty of amuseWhisper, little bird, and tell

ment-walks and drives in the charming neighShould we grow as fierce and fell

bourhood, and visits to the hop-gardens, where Led by Passion uncontrolled ?

armies of hop-pickers, with their pioneers the C. H. W.

pole-pullers, were advancing, leaving desolation FRANK BLUNDELL'S REVELATION.

in their track : a scene which no artist has fairly

pictured, but which everybody ought to see. It was my last evening at Oakleigh Cottage. Then we had some good fishing in the Medway, I had been spending a month with my friend far up above the coal barges. Frank Blundell. We had met, after an in- Well, as I have said, it was my last evening terval of some years, in his country home. at Oakleigh Cottage. We were sitting together, He and I had been near neighbours at St. Blundell and I, after dinner, when he said, Margaret's, and constant companions during " There's a fire in my room ; I vote we go our last year thero. Both of us were changed there till Mary is ready for tea." since then, We had experienced the realities So we went, and talked from our easy-chairs of life which are so little known by the ma- through a perfumed cloud. It soon became

As a

man

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Women,

or I

evident to me that my friend had “something bridge for a moment, and try to recall a Trinity on his mind.”

named Horner-Handsome Horner' He let his pipe out, and relighted it. Pre- they called him.” sently he put it down, and, saying “ Excuse I remember him perfectly,” I said. “He me a minute,” went out.

was in the second Trinity, and rowed seven He soon came back, and on my inquiring in their first boat when they' bumped’ us in whether anything was the matter, replied, the ‘Long Reach.' A broad-shouldered man,

but I have something to say to with curly chestnut hair and white arms. you, and, as it can't be said in a few words, I “ Regardless of grammar I cry, "That's thought I would tell Mary we should not want him,'” was the reply. “ He and I had a slight tea for an hour or so, and she need not wait acquaintance at the University, in the last for us; but she is up with baby, and says Term when we both read with Smith ; and that she is in no hurry, so we will join her meeting in town after we took our degree, we beby-and-by."

came very good friends. Some time after this, I was rather perplexed by all this prepara- he wrote to ask me to go and see them at his tion ; but only assured him of my readiness to father's rectory in Surrey. I went and saw listen. Then be began.

the dear old rector and Horner's mother, and, “ In all our talks together about old times more than all, I saw his sister. Recalling her since you have been here,” he said, “we have brother-fancy him a woman—refined, brightnever touched upon a topic that was a frequent ened, intensely beautified, and you can form one at our sittings after Hall and Chapel. I some slight idea of Mary Horner. It is imsuppose some delicacy of feeling—for I verily possible for me to describe fitly the effect she believe you have a little of it-has prevented produced upon me from the first. My acyour beginning the subject.”

quaintance had included some very pretty I was going to protest against this modified

I might have said of myself, if it form of compliment, and to ask a question, were not conceited, Militavi non sine gloriâ ; when I was stopped by

not as a flirt though, mind ; but Mary Horner “ Don't bother, that's a good fell

was a new experience. She fascinated me, shall never get to my story. You remember and I was a gone graduate. You may be sure well enough, I have no doubt, how I used to that I did not get any better the longer I talk of Mary Percival."

stayed within the charmed circle. I got on “ Yes,” I said, “and I have often wondered famously with all the people down there, what it all came to. The Christian name is a and fancied that I was not disliked by her, "household word' here. Was it Mary-?" You know what I mean.

But I could never I was checked again by Blundell's look. detect anything like symptoms of—what shall

“You promised to listen,” he growled, " and I call it ?—reciprocity of affection. (Don't now you are cross-examining. Have a little laugh, there's relief in such a way of putting patience, and forgive me too, if I repeat what it.) On the contrary, she treated me with I have already told you. Mary Percival and cordial but thoroughly self-possessed friendliI were friends from infancy. Our mothers

She was not the sort of woman to were friends before us, aud my earliest recollec- encourage any lover, however acceptable in tions are associated with her and hers. When ocular demonstration' and that kind of thing, we came to be man and woman we read and and it never occurred to me to try it on ; and argued and were happy together, as we had then the exercise, and the general atmosphere played and quarrelled and made up again of the place, were so conducive to health and in our childhood. The old friendship had in- spirits that the lady had no reason, on that creased, but had not changed its character ; at first visit, to suspect from my appearance the least I can speak for myself. You remember condition of my heart. This was in the what Tennyson says in ‘Dora'

summer ; but the following winter found me

again at Shallowford Rectory. I met some the youth, because He had been always with her in the house,

pleasant people there whom I had not seen Thought not of Dora.

before ; among others, Mr. Horner's curate, Charles Oxenden.

He was

a really good It was something like this with me. Yet I fellow, heartily devoted to his work, as well as admired Mary very much, and loved her, after an accomplished man and an agreeable coma fashion,' very dearly, and would have done or panion. All this I could but acknowledge, in suffered almost anything to give her pleasure or spite of the shadow of a consciousness that to spare her pain. You have beard all this

there was something' in the confidential rebefore. I don't mean to inflict any more of lationship subsisting between him and Mary it on you. Now take yourself back to Cam- Horner. But then I consoled myself with the

ness,

6

710

ONCE A WEEK.

(Dec. 17, 1864.

6

thought that they had a common interest in complain at all, which I hadu't any.' I had parish matters, which involved a good deal of never told my love. I am not prepared to discussion. And there was nothing in the state that on this second visit I might not conduct of either that I could complain of as have, almost involuntarily, betrayed myself ; loverlike, even if I had possessed any right to but there had never been the slightest ap

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proach to what I believe is called a “declara- should probably never have done if our intition. Our friendly intercourse had reached macy had dated from our Cambridge days), and the stage of our calling one another by our she naturally fell, as indeed all the family did, Christian names.

Her brother called me Frank into the same habit. Equally natural it seemed habitually, as I called him Fred (which we for me to call her Mary. My stay at this time

was his

was short. We were an unbroken circle at word of hope. Let me have but that word, home at Christmas ; and I left, with my secret and I will be with you. In any case, I feel undivulged, a few days before Christmas Day. that you will deal tenderly as well as truthBut I ought to have told you that I had seen fully with me. “ Yours, devotedly, the Percivals frequently between these visits to

" FRANK." Surrey. They were living then near London, the mother and daughter. Mrs. Percival had “ In that same hour,” he continued, “I been a widow for some years, and I had talked decided to tell Mary Percival of what I had to Mary a little about my admiration of the done. There is a pretty accurate copy of my other Mary. Mary Percival was interested in letter to her.” the subject, and seemed often inclined to re- It ran thus :turn to it. It was not a topic of conversation that I by any means objected to ; but I didn't

London, Jan. 3rd. half enjoy it under the circumstances. There “I know, dear Mary, that I do not look in was something unlike herself about Mary, a vain for sympathy from you.

I need it greatly certain constraint not to be concealed. It was to-day. You will believe this when I tell you not very noticeable ; but I, who knew her so what I have done. I have written to ask some well, noticed it, or rather felt it, and was un- one to give me her heart. Can you guess who comfortable accordingly. At the same time I it is ? I am not hopeful, but I am not despairwas perfectly sure that my friend was sincere ing. I cannot say more now than that in all both in the interest she expressed and in her my fortunes I am confident of your sisterly manner towards me.

regard. “ Yours, affectionately, There was no affectation in Mary Percival

"FRANK.” far from it. Looking back from a later day upon the events and feelings of that time, When I had read this without remark, I was more wise to know the truth. Then I Blundell went on with his narrative. was only a selfish man who was not a coxcomb. I had finished these letters and folded Let me see, where was I ? I told you I went them, when there was a rap at my door, folhome before Christmas. I was entered at the lowed immediately by the entrance of my oppoInner Temple then ; and one day, early in the site neighbour. "Well, I never !' new year, I was alone in my chambers, when exclamation,' are you out of coal ?' I looked an idea, which had been a long time simmering, round upon the black grate for answer, having boiled and bubbled into a determination. It first put the letters into envelopes and fastened was to write, to write, sir, to Mary Horner, them. 'I came to see if you were inclined for and learn the worst or the best.

Ah! I can

a skate,' my visitor said, "I tried the ice on jest upon it now. I wrote. The thermometer | the “ Ornamental Water" yesterday : it was stood at twenty. There were blocks of ice in pretty good. They say it is capital to-day ; the river like horehound candy ; but I let my but come and have some lunch with me before fire out while at my absorbing task. I wrote.

You are miserable here.' I accepted I have a bad habit of spoiling several sheets of the invitation, and, wishing to get rid of him, paper when I write an important letter. I can said, “You go and order it.' When he was show you a fac-simile of this, discarded be- gone, I directed the envelopes containing my cause of the capital M's being of two varieties. letters, and followed him, taking them with There it is, read it."

me to post on my way to the Park. There This was the letter :

were a great many skaters, and the ice was for

the most part strong. But here and there, as London, Jan. 3rd. is always the case except after a protracted “MY DEAREST MARY,–I cannot call you frost, were weak places. On to one of these by any other title and speak truly. Forgive I skated at a rapid pace and went down, withme if the truth is distasteful to you. Forgive, out a warning crack, into the bitterly cold too, this method of making it known. In all water. The ice was above me when I rose, our happy association I have not dared—yes, but I could hear voices near me before I sank that is the word—to tell you this. • A faint again. I came up once more, but it was to heart, you will say ; but the bright particular feel a heavy blow, to be in an explosion of star always seemed so far above me.' These fireworks, and then to lose all consciousness. are calm words, dear, when my love is warm ; The clumsily-given aid was nearly being as these are cold words, when my heart is beating fatal to me as the ice prison would have been, wildly. I would rather read my sentence, if How I was carried home to my father's house, it is to be banishment; but oh! I would ten and suffered for many days from the combined thousand times rather hear it, if it has one effects of the plunge and the blow, I could tell

we go.

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