Antonina HTML version
the garden. There they scooped a shallow hole with their swords in the fresh,
flower-laden turf, and having laid the body there, they hastily covered it, and
rapidly departed without returning to the house.
These men had served among the warriors committed to Hermanric's command.
By many acts of frank generosity and encouragement, the young chieftain had
won their rough attachment. They mourned his fate, but dared not obstruct the
sentence, or oppose the act that determined it. At their own risk they had secretly
quitted the advancing ranks of their comrades, to use the last privilege and obey
the last dictate of human kindness; and they thought not of the lonely girl as they
now left her desolate, and hurried away to reassume their appointed stations ere it
was too late.
The turf lay caressingly round the young warrior's form; its crushed flowers
pressed softly against his cold cheek; the fragrance of the new morning wafted its
pure incense gently about his simple grave! Around him flowered the delicate
plants that the hand of Antonina had raised to please his eye. Near him stood the
dwelling, sacred to the first and last kiss that he had impressed upon her lips; and
about him, on all sides, rose the plains and woodlands that had engrossed, with
her image, the devotion of all her dearest thoughts. He lay, in his death, in the
midst of the magic circle of the best joys of his life! It was a fitter burial-place for
the earthly relics of that bright and generous spirit than the pit in the carnage-
laden battle-field, or the desolate sepulchres of a northern land!