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RIENZI SHOWING NINA THE TOMB OF HIS BROTHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was hidden in a wild wood
Last Line: Thus was she won.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Courtship

IT was hidden in a wild wood
Of the larch and pine;
It had been unto his childhood
Solitude and shrine, --
There he dream'd the hours away,
On the boughts the wood-dove hover'd
With her mournful song;
And the ground with moss was cover'd,
Where a small brook danced along
Like a fairy child at play,
Thither did Rienzi bring
The loved and lovely one;
There was the stately Nina woo'd,
There was she won.

Reeds and water-flags were growing
By the green morass;
While the fresh wild flowers were blowing
In the pleasant grass,
Cool and sweet, and very fair,
Though the wild wind planted them
With a careless wing,
Yet kind Nature granted them
All the gifts of Spring,
Nought they needed human care.
They grew lovelier in the looks
Of that lovely one;
While the Roman maid was woo'd,
While she was won.

In the pines, a soft bewailing
Stirr'd the fringed leaves,
Like a lute whose song is failing,
Loving, while it grieves
So to die upon the wind.
Ivy garlanded the laurel,
Drooping mournfully;
Poet -- warrior -- read the moral
Of the victor's tree,
Lonely still amid its kind!
Yet what dreams of both are blent
In the soft tale now begun,
Which the radiant Nina woo'd,
And which Nina won.

There a cypress raised to heaven
Its sepulchral head,
Like a stately column given
By the summer to the dead; --
There the young Rienzi slept.
In that grave his brother laid him,
'Neath the evening star;
While revenge and sorrow made him
What earth's great ones are; --
Long, drear vigils there he kept.
Now a sweeter one was lit
By the setting sun;
While that lady bright was woo'd,
While she was won.

By the grey cross o'er his brother,
By his heart's first care,
Did Rienzi ask another
In that heart to share.
To that maiden's feet he brought
All his early youth's affection,
All his early years;
All whose tender recollection
Only speaks in tears.
Thus to share his soul he sought:
All life's loveliest feelings grew
Round that lovely one; --
Thus was the bright Nina woo'd,
Thus was she won.

Ah! the glorious mind's aspiring
Needeth some repose --
Some sweet object for desiring,
Where its wings may close.
Wrapp'd in purple shadows, Rome
Rose afar off like a vision --
Stately, dark, and high;
But a softer one had risen
'Neath that twilight sky.
While the full heart found a home,
There were mighty words and hopes
Shared with his beloved one;
Thus was the bright Nina woo'd,
Thus was she won.

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