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We have no slaves at home—then why abroad?
And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.
Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall !
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein
Of all your empire; that, where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
I STOOD on the bridge at midnight, For my heart was hot and restless,
As the clocks were striking the hour; And my life was full of care ; And the moon rose o’er the city, And the burden laid upon me Behind the dark church-tower ;
Seemed greater than I could bear ; And, like the waters rushing
But now it has fallen from me
Among the wooden piers,
It is buried in the sea,
A flood of thoughts came o'er me, And only the sorrow of others
That filled my eyes with tears-
Throws its shadow o'er me ;
How often, oh ! how often,
Yet, whenever I cross the river, In the days that had gone by,
On its bridge with wooden piers, I had stood on that bridge at midnight, Like the odor of brine from the ocean,
And gazed on that wave and sky! Comes the thought of other years; How often, oh! how often,
And for ever and for ever, In the days that had gone by,
As long as the river flows, I had stood on that bridge at midnight, As long as the heart has passions,
And gazed on that wave and sky! As long as life has woes, How often, oh! how often,
The moon and its broken reflection, I had wished that that ebbing tide
And its shadows shall appear Would bear me away on its bosom, As the symbol of love in heaven, O’er the ocean wild and wide !
And its wavering image here.
HENCE come those shrieks so wide and shrill
That cut like blades of steel, the air,
Causing the creeping blood to chill
With the sharp cadence of despair ?
The dim funeral tapers throw
A holy lustre o'er his brow,
And burnish with their rays of light
The mass of curls that gather bright
Above the haughty brow and eye
Of a young boy that's kneeling by.
What hand is that, whose icy press
Clings to the dead with death's own grasp, But meets no answering caress ?
No thrilling fingers seek itt clasp ? It is the hand of her whose cry
Rang wildly, late, upon the air, When the dead warrior met her eye
Outstretched upon the altar there.
With pallid lip and stony brow
She murmnrs forth her anguish now,
But hark! the tramp of heavy feet
Is heard along the bloody street ;
Nearer and nearer yet they come,
With clanking arms and noiseless drum.
Now whispered curses, low and deep,
Around the holy temple creep;
The gate is burst; a ruffian band
Rush in and savagely demand,
With brutal voice and oath profane,
The startled boy for exile's chain.
The mother sprang with gesture wild,
And to her bosom clasped her child ;
Then with pale cheek and flashing eye
Shouted with fearful energy,
“Back, ruffians, back, nor dare to tread,
Too near the body of my dead ;
Nor touch the living boy-I stand
Between him and your lawless band.
Take me, and bind these arms, these hands,
With Russia's heaviest iron bands,
And drag me to Siberia's wild
To perish, if 'twill save my child !”
“Peace, woman, peace!" the leader cried,
Tearing the pale boy from her side,
And in his ruffian grasp he bore
His victim to the temple door.
“One moment !'' shrieked the mother, “one !
Will land or gold redeem my son ?
Take heritage, take name, take all,
But leave him free from Russian thrall !
Take these !" and her white arms and hands,
She stripped of rings and diamond bands,
And tore from braids of long black hair
The gems that gleamed like starlight there ;
Her cross of blazing rubies last
Down at the Russian's feet she cast.
He stooped to seize the glittering store
Upspringing from tbe marble floor,
The mother with a cry of joy,
Snatched to her leaping heart the boy.
But no! the Russian's iron grasp
Again undid the mother's clasp.
Forward she fell with one long cry
Of more than mortal agony.
But the brave child is roused at length
And breaking from the Russian's hold,
He stands a giant in the strength
Of his young spirit fierce and bold.
Proudly he towers ; his flashing eye,
So blue, and yet so bright,
Seems kindled from the eternal sky,
So brilliant is its light.
His curling lips and crimson cheeks
Foretell the thought before he speaks,
With a full voice of proud command
He turned upon the wondering band :
“Ye hold me not ! no, no, nor can !
This hour has made the boy a man !
I knelt before my slaughtered sire,
Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire.
I wept upon his marble brow,
Yes, wept! I was a child; but now-
My noble mother on her knee,
Hath done the work of years for me!”
He drew aside his broidered vest,
And there, like slumbering serpent's crest,
The jeweled haft of poniard bright
Glittered a moment on the sight.
“Ha! start ye back! Fool ! coward ! knave
Think ye my noble father's glaive
Would drink the life-blood of a slave ?
The pearls that on the handle flame,
Would blush to rubies in their shame;
The blade would quiver in thy breast,
Ashamed of such ignoble rest ;
No! thus I rend the tyrant's chain,
And fling him back a boy's disdain !”
A moment, and the funeral light
Flashed on the jeweled weapon bright;
Another, and his young heart's blood,
Leaped to the floor, a crimson flood.
Quick to his mother's side he sprang,
And on the air his clear voice rang :
"Up, mother, up! I'm free! I'm free!
The choice was death or slavery.
“Up, mother, up! Look on thy son !
His freedom is forever won,
And now he waits one holy kiss
To bear his father home in bliss—
One last embrace, one blessing—one !
To prove thou knowest, approvest thy son.
What! silent yet? Canst thou not feel
My warm blood o'er my heart congeal ?
Speak, mother, speak! lift up thy head !
What ! silent still ? Then art thou dead ?
-Great God, I thank Thee! Mother, I
Rejoice with thee—and thus—to die !!!
One long, deep breath, and his pale head
Lay on his mother's bosom-dead
XX.-WHY SHOULD THE SPIRIT OF MORTAL BE
PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S FAVORITE POEM.
OH! why should the spirit of mortal be proud ?
Like a swift floating meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
Man passeth' from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and willow shall fade.
Be scattered around and together be laid ;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Should moulder to dust and together shall lie.
The infant and mother, attended and loved ;
The mother that infant's affection who proved,
The husband that mother and infant who blessed,
Each, all are away to their dwellings of rest.
XXI.-DAMON AND PYTHIAS; OR, TRUE FRIENDSHIP.
ERE, guards!" pale with fear, Dionysius cries,
“Here, guards, yon intruder arrest ! 'Tis Damon—but ha! speak, what means this disguise ? And the dagger which gleams in thy vest ?” 66'Twas to free,” says the youth, “this dear land from its chains !" "I am ready to die—I ask not to live,Yet three days of respite, perhaps thou mayst give,
For to-morrow my sister will wed,
And ’twould damp all her joy, were her brother not there ;
Then let me, I pray, to her nuptials repair,
While a friend remains here in
With a sneer on his brow, and a curse in his breast,
“« Thou shalt have,” cries the tyrant, “shalt have thy request ;
To thy sister repair, and her nuptials attend,
Enjoy thy three days, but-mark well what I say—
Return on the third ; if beyond that fixed day,
There be but one hour's, but one moment's delay,
That delay shall be death to thy friend!?'
Then to Pythias he went, and he told him his case ;
That true friend answered not, but, with instant embrace,
Consenting, rushed forth to be bound in his room ;
And now, as if winged with new life from above,
To his sister he flew, did his errand of love,
And, ere a third morning had brightened the grove,
Was returning with joy to his doom.
But the heavens interpose,
Stern tempest arose,
And when the poor pilgrim arrived at the shore,
Swollen to torrents, the rills
Rushed in foam from the hills,
And crash went the bridge in the whirlpool's wild roar.
Wildly gazing, despairing, half frenzied he stood;
Dark, dark were the skies, and dark was the flood,
And still darker his lorn heart's emotion;
And he shouted for aid, but no aid was at hand,
No boat ventured forth from the surf-ridden strand,
And the waves sprang, like woods, o'er the lessening land,
Aud the stream was becoming an ocean.
Now with knees low to earth, and with hands the skies,
Still the storm, God of might, God of mercy!” he cries--
“Oh, hush with Thy breath this loud sea;
The hours hurry by,—the sun glows on high ;
And should he go down, and I reach not yon town,
My friend-he must perish for me!”
Yet the wrath of the torrent still went on increasing,
And waves upon waves still dissolved without ceasing,
And hour after hour hurried on;
Then by anguish impelled, hope and fear alike o'er,
He, reckless, rushed into the waters' deep roar;
Rose--sunk--struggled on-till, at length the wished shore,
Thanks to Heaven's outstretched hand-it is won !
But new perils await him ; scarce ’scaped from the flood
And intent on redeeming each moment's delay, As onward he sped, lo! from out a dark wood,
A band of fierce robbers encompassed his way. ** What would ye?'' he cried, “save my life, I have nought; Nay, that is the king's”—Then swift having caught A club from the nearest, and swinging it round With might more than man’s, he laid three on the ground,
While the rest hurried off in dismay.