From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander
(From a novelette, “Bought with a Price,” by Mrs. Stephens.)
She stands receiving, like a beauteous queen,
Beneath the glitter of the chandelier,
With rich robes trailing from her dainty feet,
And perfume floating from her jeweled hair;
On neck and arms rare diamonds blaze,
Like glimmering fires, on fields of ice;
Yet all this splendor mocks her soul.
‘Tis bought, O Heaven, with a fearful price,
And naught but sorrow o’er thy heart shall brood
Through all thy future years, Gertrude.
Men wonder, and admire the being bright,
And women envy her the witching grace
Of every movement, and the beauty rare
Which glows in every lineament of her fair face,
And in their praise are eloquent and loud
Of her palatial home, for all that art
Or wealth can bring are there; all senses gratified,
But not the craving of her woman’s heart.
Amid the joyous throng she stands in solitude;
Wrecked are thy hopes, Gertrude.
She hears the murmur of the river low;
She hears the whisper of the larch trees yet,
And feels sweep o’er her heart, like ocean’s flow,
The love she slighted, but cannot forget.
Her glittering, gilded chains now clank with rust;
They eat, like canker, in her soul and brain.
Their glamor gone, she fain would yield her heart
To the sweet witchery of Love again;
But all too late, this sad, repentant mood;
Thy chains are riveted, Gertrude.