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Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself,
And, with indented glides, did slip away
Into a bush, under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
Lay couching, head on ground, with cat-like watch
When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
The royal disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead :
This seen, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother,—his elder brother.
Twice did he turn his back, and purposed so:
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness;
Who quickly fell before him.
WHITE bird of the tempest! O beautiful thing,
With the bosom of snow, and motionless wing,
Now sweeping the billow, now floating on high,
Now bathing thy plumes in the light of the sky:
Now poising o'er ocean thy delicate form,
Now breasting the surge with thy bosom so warm ;
Now darting aloft, with a heavenly scorn,
Now shooting along, like a ray of the morn;
Now lost in folds of the cloud-curtained dome,
Now floating abroad like a flake of the foam;
Now silently poised o'er the war of the main,
Like the Spirit of Charity brooding o'r pain;
Now gliding with pinion all silently furled,
Like an Angel descending to comfort the world!
Thou seem'st to my spirit-as upward I gaze,
And see thee, now clothed in mellowest rays,
Now lost in the storm-driven vapors, that fly
Like hosts that are routed across the broad sky-
Like a pure spirit, true to its virtue and faith,
'Mid the tempests of nature, of passion, and death!
Rise! beantiful emblem of purity, rise,
On the sweet winds of Heaven, to thine own brilliant skies:
Still higher! still higher! till, lost to our sight,
Thou hidest thy wings in a mantle of light;
And I think how a pure spirit gazing on thee,
Must long for that moment-the joyous and free
When the soul, disembodied from Nature, shall spring,
Unfettered, at once to her Maker and King;
When the bright day of service and suffering past,
Shapes fairer than thine, shall shine round her at last,
While, the standard of battle triumphantly furled,
She smiles like a victor serene on the world!
IV. THE BARON'S LAST BANQUET.
ER a low couch the setting sun had thrown its latest rays,
Where, in his last strong agony, a dying warrior lay--
The stern old Baron Rudiger, whose frame had ne'er been bent
By waisting pain, till time and toil its iron strength had spent.
They come around me here, and say my days of life are o'er—
That I shall mount my noble steed and lead my band no more;
They come, and, to my beard, they dare to tell me now that I,
Their own liege lord and master born, that I-ha! ha!—must die.
And what is death? I've dared him oft, before the Paynim spear;
Think ye he's entered at my gate-has come to seek me here?
I've met him, faced him, scorned him, when the fight was raging hot ;-
I'll try his might—I'll brave his power-defy, and fear him not;
Ho! sound the tocsin from my tower, and fire the culverin:
Bid each retainer arm with speed; call every vassal in ;
Up with my banner on the wall-the bar quet-board prepare-
Throw wide the portals of my hall, and bring my armor there!"
An hundred hands were busy then: the banquet forth was spread,
And rang the heavy oaken floor mith many a martial tread;
While from the rich, dark tracery, along the vaulted wall,
Lights gleamed on harness, plume and spear, o'er the proud old Gothic hall,
Fast hurrying through the outer gate the mailed retainers poured,
On through the portal's frowning arch, and thronged around the board ;
While at its head, within his dark, carved, oaken chair of state,
Armed cap-a-pie, stern Rudiger with girded falchion sate.
"Fill every beaker up, my men !—pour forth the cheering wine!
There's life and strength in every drop-thanksgiving to the vine!
Are ye all there, my vassals true?-my eyes are waxing dim.
Fill round, my tried and fearless ones, each goblet to the brim!
Ye're there, but yet I see you not!—Draw forth each trusty sword,
And let me hear your faithful steel clash once around my board!
I hear it faintly;-louder yet!-What clogs my heavy breath?
Up, all!—and shout for Rudiger 'Defiance unto Death!'
Bowl rang to bowl, steel clanged to steel, and rose a deafening cry,
That made the torches flare around, and shook the flags on high :
"Ho! cravens! do ye fear him? Slaves! traitors! have ye flown?
Ho! cowards, have ye left me to meet him here alone?
But I defy him!-let him come!" Down rang the massy cup,
While from its sheath the ready blade came flashing half-way up;
And, with the black and heavy plumes scarce trembling on his head,
There, in his dark, carved, oaken chair, old Rudiger sat-dead !
V. AFTER THE BATTLE.
From Chambers' Journal. 1859.
HE drums are all muffled; the bugles are still ;
There's a pause in the valley-a halt on the hill ;
And the bearers of standards swerve back with a thrill
Where the sheaves of the dead bar the way ;
For a great field is reap'd, heaven's garners to fill,
And stern Death holds his harvest to-day.
There's voice on the winds like a spirit's low cry-
'Tis the muster-roll sounding—and who shall reply?
Not those whose wan faces glare white to the sky,
With eyes fixed so steadfast and dimly,
As they wait that last trump which they may not defy,
Whose hands clutch the sword-hilt so grimly.
The brave heads late lifted are solemnly bow'd,
And the riderless chargers stand quivering and cow'd,
As the burial requiem is chanted aloud,
The groans of the death-striken drowning ;
While Victory looks on, like a queen, pale and proud,
Who waits till the morrow her crowning.
There is no mocking blazon, as clay sinks to clay;
The vain pomps of the peace-time are all swept away
In the terrible face of the dread battle-day :
Nor coffins nor shroudings are here ;
Only relics that lay where thickest the fray-
A rent casque and a headless spear.
OME words on Language may be well applied ;
And take them kindly, though they touch your pride.
Words lead to things; a scale is more precise,—
Coarse speech, bad grammar, swearing, drinking, vice,
Our cold Northeaster's icy fetter clips
The native freedom of the Saxon lips :
See the brown peasant of the plastic South,
How all his passions play about his mouth!
With us, the feature that transmits the soul,
A frozen, passive, palsied breathing-hole.
The crampy shackles of the ploughboy's walk
Tie the small muscles, when he strives to talk ;
Not all the pumice of the polish'd town
Can smooth this roughness of the barnyard down;
Rich, honor'd, titled, he betrays his race
By this one mark-he's awkward in the face ;-
Nature's rude impress, long before he knew
The sunny street that holds the sifted few.
It can't be help'd; though, if we're taken young,
We gain some freedom of the lips and tongue;
But school and college often try in vain
To break the padlock of our boyhood's chain;
One stubborn word will prove this axiom true-
No late-caught rustic can enunciate view!
A few brief stanzas may be well employ'd
To speak of errors we can all avoid.
Learning condemns beyond the reach of hope
The careless churl that speaks of soap for soap;
Her edict exiles from her fair abode
The clownish voice that utters road for road;
Less stern to him who calls his coat a coat,
And steers his boat believing it a boat.
She pardon'd one, our classic city's boast,
Who said, at Cambridge, most instead of most;
But knit her brows, and stamp'd her angry foot,
To hear a teacher call a root' a root!
VII. MARCO BOZZARIS.
(Marco Bozzaris, the Epaminondas of modern Greece, fell in a night attack upon the Turkish camp at Laspi, the sight of the ancient Platæa, August 20, 1823, and expired in the moment of victory. His last words were: "To die for liberty is a pleasure and not a pain.”)
T midnight, in his guarded tent,
The Turk was dreaming of the hour
When Greece her knee in suppliance bent,
Should tremble at his power.
In dreams through camp and court he bore
The trophies of a conqueror ;
In dreams his song of triumph heard ;
Then wore his monarch's signet ring,
Then pressed that monarch's throne—a king
As wild his thoughts and gay of wing
As Eden's garden bird.
An hour passed on-the Turk awoke ;
That bright dream was his last ;
He woke to hear his sentries shriek
"To arms! they come! the Greek! the Greek!”
He woke to die midst flame and smoke,
And shout, and groan, and sabre-stroke,
And death-shots falling thick and fast.
As lightnings from the mountain cloud;
And heard with voice as trumpet loud,
Bozzaris cheer his band:
"Strike till the last armed foe expires!
Strike for your altars and your fires!
Strike-for the green graves of your sires,
God and your native land!
They fought like brave men, long and well;
They piled the ground with Moslem slain;
They conquered- but Bozzaris fell,
Bleeding at every vein.
His few surviving comrades saw
His smile, when rang their proud hurrah,
And the red field was won ;
Then saw in death his eyelids close
Calmly, as to a night's repose,
Like flowers at set of sun.
Come to the bridal chamber, Death!
Come to the mother's when she feels
For the first time her first-born's breath;
Come when blessed seals
That close the pestilence are broke,
And crowded cities wail its stroke;
Come in consumption's ghastly form,
The earthquake shock, the ocean storm;
Come when the heart beats high and warm
When the banquet song, and dance and wine,
And thou art terrible: the tear,
The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier,
And all we know, or dream or fear
Of agony are thine.
But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word,
And in its hollow tones are heard
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Bozzaris! with the storied brave
Greece nurtured in her glory's time,
Rest thee; there is no prouder grave
Even in her own proud clime.
We tell thy doom without a sigh,
For thou art Freedom's now, and Fame's—
One of the few, the immortal names,
That were not born to die!
VIII. ANNABEL LEE.
EDGAR A. POE.
IT was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know, by the name of Annabel Lee. And this maiden she lived with no other thought than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child, in a kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love thas was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven coveted her and me.
And this was the reason long ago, in this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling my beautiful Annabel Lee ;
So that her high-born kinsman came, and bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre, in this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven, were envying her and me,
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know, in this kingdom by the sea ), That the wind came out of the cloud by night, chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.