TAKEN AT RANDOM
THE ALBUM OF THE ROSE
It was a lovely morning in the month of May, when I made my first appearance
The air was filled with fragrance, and with
the sweet murmurings of love. The foliage had just expanded; the lark was
singing in the early sunlight; and the shepherdess was skipping along under the
As I looked around, I perceived a brilliant
hornet nestling in the bosom of a rose which had just opened to the dawning
“Poor sister!” said I to myself, “she has not
ventured, like me, to burst her shell, and launch into a new existence. She is
forced to receive the embraces of a vulgar insect. This very evening her soiled
and withered leaves will strew the ground around her.”
Rejoicing in the thought that I was a woman, I
kept on my way.
“Whither art thou going thus early, young
rose-cheeked maiden?” said a peasant youth. “Art thou the goddess of May, come
to visit my domain?”
“Halloa! My pretty rosebud,” called out a
handsome cavalier, “why so late on your way? See you not that the sun is up? His
beams will scorch your fresh complexion. Mount behind me, and accompany me home.
My steed is fleet; and the path which leads to my castle is bordered by green
trees, and by hawthorn in flower.”
I went with the handsome cavalier.
Happy days of my youth!
with what smiling beaut do ye still return to my remembrance!
Homage and flattery surrounded me. My
slightest wish was instantly complied with. In every possible way they
pronounced me beautiful. Twenty poets contended for the honor of addressing to
me their sonnets. I had not a wish ungratified, -- and yet there was something
which I desired.
In a word, I was but a rural queen, reigning
over the simple villagers, and a few antiquated scholars, who had retired to the
country. I longed for the bustle of the city, and the homage of a court.
One night I clandestinely left the castle, to
follow the governor of the province, who had been advanced to an important
office under government.
It is impossible to describe the sensation
which was produced by my arrival in the capital. “Nothing more beautiful,” said
the courtiers, “was ever presented to our eyes.” The king expressed a wish to
see me, and fell desperately in love with me.
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