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Threefold were the dreams of honour
  That absorb'd my heart and brain;
Threefold crowns the Angel promised,
  Each one to be bought by pain;
While he spoke, a threefold blessing
  Fell upon my soul like rain.

  Such the honours of my life.
Ah, that dream! Long years have brought me
  Joy and grief as real things;
Yet never touch'd the tender memory
  Sweet and solemn that it brings,—
Never quite effaced the feeling
  Of those white and shadowing wings.

Ah, I guess, those blue eyes open!
  Does my faith too foolish seem?
Yes, my darling, years have taught me,
  It was nothing but a dream.
Soon, too soon, the bitter knowledge
  Of a fearful trial rose,
Rose to crush my heart, and sternly
  Bade my young ambition close.

More and more my eyes were clouded,
  Till at last God's glorious light
Pass'd away from me for ever,
  And I lived and live in night.
Dear, I will not dim your pleasure,
  New Years should be only gay,
In my night the stars have risen,
  And I wait the dawn of day.

Even then I could be happy,
  For my brothers' tender care
In their boyish pastimes ever
  Made me take, or feel a share.
Philip, even then so thoughtful,
  Charles so noble, brave and free;
And your father, little Godfrey,
  The most loving of the three.

Philip reason'd down my sorrow,
  Charles would laugh my gloom away,
Godfrey's little arms put round me,
  Help'd me through my dreariest day.
And the promise of my Angel,
  Like a star, now bright, now pale,
Hung in the black night above me,
  And I felt it could not fail.

Years pass'd on, my brothers left me,
  Each went out to take his share
In the strain of life; my portion
  Was a humble oneto bear.
Here I dwelt, and learnt to wander
  Through the woods and fields alone,
Every cottage in the village
  Had a corner call'd my own.

Old and young, all brought their troubles
  Great or small for me to hear;
I have often bless'd my sorrow
  That drew others' grief so near.
Much the people needed helping
  Needed lovefor Love and Heaven
Are the only gifts not barter'd:
  They alone are freely given.

And I gave it. Philip's bounty
  (We were orphans dear) made toil
Prosper, and want never fasten'd
  On the tenants of the soil.
Philip's name (Oh, how I gloried
  He so young, to see it rise!)
Soon grew noted among statesmen
  As a patriot true and wise.

And his people, too, felt honour'd
  To be ruled by such a name;
I was proud, too, that they loved me,
  Through their pride in him it came.
He had gain'd what I had long'd for,
  I meanwhile grew glad and gay,
Mid his people, to be serving
  Him and them, in some poor way.

How his noble earnest speeches,
  With untiring fervour came;
  Truly he deserved the name!
Had my angel's promise fail'd me?
  Had that word of hope grown dim?
Why, my Philip had fulfill'd it,
  And I loved it best in him!

Charles meanwhileah, you, my darling,
  Can his loving words recall
'Mid the bravest and the noblest,
  Braver, nobler, than them all.
How I loved him! how my heart thrill'd
  When his sword clank'd by his side,
When I touch'd his gold embroidery,
  Almost saw him in his pride!

So we parted; he all eager
  To uphold the name he bore,
Leaving in my chargehe loved me
  Some one whom he loved still more:
I must tend this gentle flower,
  I must speak to her of him,
For he fear'dLove still is fearful
  That his memory might grow dim.

I must guard her from all sorrow,
  I must play a brother's part,
Shield all grief and trial from her,
  If it need be, with my heart.
Years pass'd, and his name grew famous,
  We were proud, both she and I;
And we lived upon his letters,
  While the slow days fleeted by.

Then at lastyou know the story,
  How a fearful rumour spread,
Till all hope had slowly faded,
  And we knew that he was dead.
Dead! Oh, those were bitter hours;
  Yet within my soul there dwelt
Something, while the rest all mourn'd him,
  Something like a hope I felt.

His was no weak life as mine was,
  But a life, so full and strong,
No, I could not think he perish' d
  Nameless, 'mid a conquer'd throng.
How she droop'd! Years pass'd; no tidings
  Came, and yet that little flame
Of strange hope within my spirit
  Still burnt on, and lived the same.

Well, my child, our hearts will fail us
  Then, when they the strongest seem;
I can look back on those hours
  As a fearful evil dream.
She had long despair'd; what wonder
  If her heart had turn'd to mine?
Earthly loves are deep and tender,
  Not eternal and divine!

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