Obrazy na stronie
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enormous city did survive, and they were enemies ; they met beside the dying embers of an altar-place, where had been heaped a mass of holy things for an unholy usige; they raked up, and, shivering, scraped with their cold skeleton hands the seeble ashes, and their feeble breath blew for a little life, and made a flame which was a mockery ; then they lifted up their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld each other's aspects—saw, and shrieked, and died !—even of their mutual hideousness they died; unknowing who he was upon whose brow famine had written Fiend! The world was void, the populous and the powerful was a lump ; seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless,-a lump of death—a chaos of hard clay. The rivers, lakes, and oceans all stood still, and nothing stirred within their silent depths; ships, sailorless, lay rotting on the sea, and their masts fell down piecemeal ; as they dropped, they slept on the abyss without a surge. The waves were dead ; the tides were in their grave ; the moon, their mistress, had expired before ; the winds were withered in the stagnant air, and the clouds perished ; Darkness had no need of aid from them—she was the universe !

LIX.-CHILDE HAROLD'S SONG.

BYRON.

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DIEU, adieu !—my native shore fades o’er the waters blue; the night-winds

sigh, the breakers roar, and shrieks the wild sea-mew. Yon sun that sets upon the sea we follow in his flight : farewell awhile to him and thee: my native land-Good night! A few short hours, and he will rise to give the morrow birth; and I shall hail the main and skies—but not my mother, earth! Deserted is my own good hall, its hearth is desolate; wild weeds are gathering on the wall --my dog howls at the gate.

Come hither, hither, my little page ; why dost thou weep and wail ? Or dost thou dread the billow's rage, or tremble at the gale? But dash the tear-drop from thine eye ; our ship is swift and strong ; our fleetest falcon scarce can fly more merrily along

“Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, I fear not wave nor wind; yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I am sotrowful in mind : for I have from my

father

gone, a mother whom I love; and have no friend save these alone, but thee- -and One above. My father blessed me fervently, yet did not much complain ; but sorely will my mother sigh, till I come back again."

Enough, enough, my little lad, such tears become thine eye; if I thy guiltless bosom had, mine own would not be dry!—Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman, why dost thou look so pale? Or dost thou dread a French foeman, or shiver at the gale?

“Deem'st thou I tremble for my life ? Sir Childe, I'm not so weak; but thinking on an absent wife will blanch a faithful cheek. My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall, along the bordering lake; and when they on their father call, what answer shall she make?”

Enough, enough, my yeoman good, thy grief let none gainsay; but I, that am of lighter mood, will laugh to flee away. For, who would trust the seeming sighs of friend or paramour ? fresh feres will dry the bright blue eyes we late saw streaming o'er. For pleasures past I do not grieve, nor perils gathering near; my greatest grief is—that I leave nothing that claims a tear. And now I'm in the world alone, upon the wide, wild sea; but, why should I for others groan, when none will sigh for me? Perchance my dog wilt whine in vain, till fed by stranger hands; but, long ere I come back again, he'd tear me where he stands. With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go athwart the foaming brine; nor care what land thou bear'st me to, so not again to mine! Welcome, welcome, ye dark blue waves and, when you fail my sight, welcome, ye deserts and ye caves! My nativ landGood night !”

LX.-THE SHIPWRECK.

BYRON.

WE had embark'd, the ship got under way;

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And Heaven smiled upon the sparkling main ;
The waves were beating in the boundless bay,

And lashing the loved native shores of Spain ;
But as it fleeted from our view, the spray

Increased, and as the weather blew again,
A gale, that all descriptive power transcends,
Laid, at one blast, our ship on her beam ends.

But now there came a flash of hope once more ;

Day broke, and the wind lull’d; the masts were gone;
The leak increased ; shoals round her—but no shore,

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The vessel swam, yet still she held her own.
They tried the pumps again, and though, before,

Their desperate efforts seem'd all useless grown,
A glimpse of sunshine set some hands to bale;
The stronger pump’d, the weeker thrumm’d a sail.

Again the weather threaten'd ;-again blew

A gale,--and in the fore and after hold
Water appeared ; yet, though the people knew

All this, the most were patient, and some bold,
Until the chains and leathers were worn through
Of all our pumps :—a wreck complete she roll’d,

of the waves, whose mercies are
Like human beings during civil war.

At mercy

Then came the carpenter, at last, with tears

In his rough eyes, and told the captain, he
Could do no more : he was a man in years,

And long had voyaged through many a stormy sea,
And if he wept at length, they were not fears

That made his eyelids as a woman's be ;
But he, poor fellow, had a wife and children,
Two things, for dying people, quite bewildering.

Some lash'd them in their hammocks; some put on

Their best clothes, as if going to a fair ;
Some cursed the day on which they saw the sun,

And knash'd their teeth, and, howling, tore their hair ;
And others went on, as they had begun,

Getting the boats out, and being well aware
That a tight boat will live in a rough sea,
Unless with breakers close beneath her lee.

'Twas twilight, and the sunless day went down

Over the waste of waters ; like a veil
Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown

Of one whose hate is mask'd but to assail.
Thus to their hopeless eyes the night the night was shown,

And grimly darkled o'er their faces pale,
And the dim desolate deep; twelve days had Fear
Been their familiar, and now death was here!

At half-past eight o'clock, booms, hencoops, spars,

And all things, for a chavce, had been cut loose,
That still could keep afloat the struggling tars,

For yet they strove, although of no great use.
There was no light in heaven, but a few stars :

The boats put off, o'ercrowded with their crews ;
She gave a heel, then a lurch to port,
And going down head foremost--sunk, in short.

Then rose, from sea to sky, the wild farewell ;

Then shriek'd the timid, and stood still the brave ;
Then some leap'd overboard with dreadful yell,

As eager to anticipate their grave;
And the sea yawn’d around her like a hell,

And down she suck'd with her the whirling wave,
Like one who grapples with his enemy,
And strives tɔ strangle him before he die.

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And first one universal shriek there rush'd,

Louder than the loud ocean, like a crash
Of echoing thunder : and then all was hush'd,

Save the wild wind, and the remorseless dash.
Of billows : but at intervals, there gush'd,

Accompanied with a convulsive splash,
A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry
Of some strong swimmer in his agony.

LXI.-JEPHTHA'S DAUGHTER TO HER FATHER.

BYRON.

S

me no more.

INCE our country, our God, O my sire, demand that thy daughter expire ;

since thy triumph was bought by thy vow, strike the bosom that's bared. for thee now!_and the voice of my mourning is o’er, and the mountains behold

If the hand that I love lay me low, there cannot be pain in the blow: and of this, O my father, be sure, that the blood of our child is as pure as the blessing I beg e'er it flow, and the last thought that soothes me below. Though the virgins of Salem lament, be the judge and the hero unbent; I have won the great battle for thee, and my father and country are free! When this blood of thy giving hath gushed, when the voice that thou lovest is hushed ; let my memory still be thy pride, and forget not I smiled-as I died.

LXII.-THE LAST MAN.

CAMPBELL.

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LL worldly shapes shall melt in gloom, the sun himself must die, before this

mortal shall assume its immortality! I saw a vision in my sleep, that gave my spirit strength to sweep down the gulf of Ti ne ! I saw the last human mould—that shall Creation's death behold, as Adam saw her prime! The Sun's eye had a sickly glare, the earth with age was wan; the skeletons of nations were around that lonely man ! Some had expired in fight,—the brands still rusted in their bony hands; in plague and famine some. Earth's cities had no sound or tread ; and ships were drifting with the dead to shores where all was dumb. Yet, prophet-like, that Lone One stood, with dauntless words and high, that shook the sere leaves from the wood as if a storm passed by—saying,—“We are twins in death, proud Sun !thy face is cold, thy race is run, 'tis mercy bids thee go ; for thou ten thousand thousand years hast seen the tide of human tears—that shall no longer flow. What though beneath thee, man put forth his pomp, his pride, his skill; and arts that made fire, flood, and earth, the vassals of his will ?—yet mourn I not thy parted sway, thou dim, discrowned king of day; for, all those trophied arts and triumphs, that beneath thee sprang, healed not a passion or a pang entailed on human hearts. Go! let oblivion's curtain fall upon the stage of men ! nor with the rising beams recall life's tragedy again! Its piteous pageants bring not back, nor waken flesh upon the rack of pain anew to writhe ; stretched in disease's shapes abhorred, or mown in battle by the sword like grass beneath the scythe ! Even I am weary in yon skies to watch thy fading fire; test of all sumless agonies, behold not me expire! My lips that speak thy dirge of death—their rounded gasp and gurgling breath to see,—thou shalt not boast; the eclipse of Nature spreads my pall, the majesty of Darkness shall receive my parting ghost! This spirit shall return to Him, who gave its heavenly spark; yet think not, Sun ! it shall be dim, when thou thyself art dark ! No! it shall live again, and shine in bliss unknown to beans of thine : by Him recalled to breath, who captive led Captivity, who robbed the Grave of victory, and took the sting from Death! Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up, on Nature's awful waste, to drink this last and bitter cup of grief that man shall taste :-go! tell the night that hides thy face, thou saw'st the last of Adam's race, on earth’s sepulchral clod, the darkening universe defy, to quench his Immortality, or shake his trust in God!

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LXIII.—THE PROGRESS OF MADNESS.

M. G. LEWIS.

S

TAY, gaoler! stay, and hear my woe! he is not mad who kneels to thee;

For what I'm now too well I know, and what I was-and what should be ! I'll rave no more in proud despair-my language shall be mild, though sad, But yet I'll firmly, truly swear, I am not mad ! I am not mad ! My tyrant foes have forged the tale, which chains me in this dismal cell ; My fate unknown my friends bewail-Oh! gaoler, haste that fate to tell ! Oh! haste my father's heart to cheer, his heart at once 'twill grieve and glad, To know, though chained a captive here, I am not mad! I am not mad !

He smiles in scorn—he turns the key—he quits the grate—I knelt in vain !
His glimmering lamp still, still I see-'tis gone—and all is gloom again!
Cold, bitter cold ! no warmth, no light ! life, all thy comforts once I had !
Yet here I'm chained this freezing night, although not mad! no, no—not mad !

'Tis sure some dream--some vision vain! what! I-the child of rank and wealth-
Am I the wretch who clanks this chain, bereft of freedom, friends, and health?
Ah! while I dwell on blessings fled, which never more my heart must glad,
How aches my heart, how burns my head, but 'tis not mad! it is not mad!

Hast thou, my child, forgot e'er this a parent's face, a parent's tongue ?
I'll ne'er forget thy parting kiss, nor round my neck how fast you clung !
Nor how with me you sued to stay, nor how that suit my foes forbade ;
Nor how—I'll drive such thoughts away-they'll make me mad! they'll make me mad!
Thy rosy lips how sweet they smiled! thy mild blue eyes, how bright they shone !
None ever saw a lovelier child ! and art thou now for ever gone ?
And must I never see ihee more, my pretty, pretty, pretty lad ?
I will be free !-Unbar the door! I am not mad! I am not mad !

Oh, hark! what mean those yells and cries? his chain some furious madman breaks !
He comes ! I see his glaring eyes ! now, now, my dungeon-grate he shakes !
Help ! help!-he's gone -O fearful woe, such screams to hear, such sights to see!
My brain, my brain! I know, I know I am not mad—but soon shall be !
Yes, soon ! for, lo now, while I speak, mark how yon demon's eyeballs glare !
He sees me! now, with dreadful shriek, he whirls a serpent high in air!
Horror! the reptile strikes his tooth deep in my heart, so crushed and sad !
Ay, laugh, ye fiends! I feel the truth! your task is done- I'm mad! I'm mad !

LXIV._UNIVERSAL ADORATION.

THOMAS MOORE.

THI

, ,

HE turf shall be my fragrant shrine; my temple, Lord, that arch of Thine ; my

censer's breath the mountain airs, and silent thoughts my only prayers. My choir shall be the moonlit waves, when murmuring homeward to their caves; or when the stillness of the sea, even more than music, breathes of Thee. I'll seek, by day, some glade unknown, all light and silence, like Thy throne; and the pale stars shall be, at night, the only eyes that watch my rite. Thy heaven, on which 'tis bliss to look, shall be my pure and shining book; where I shall read, in words of flame, the glories of Thy wondrous name. I'll read Thy anger in the rack that clouds awhile the day-beam's track; Thy mercy, in the azure hue of sunny brightness breaking through !—There's nothing bright, above, below, from flowers that bloom to stars that glow, but in its light my soul can see some feature of Thy Deity! There's nothing dark, below, above, but in its gloom I trace Thy love; and meekly wait that moment, when Thy touch shall turn all bright again !

LXV.-PARADISE AND THE PERI.

(Condensation) THOMAS MOORE. ÖNE morn, a Peri, at the Gate of Eden, stood disconsolate ; and, as she listen’d

to the Springs of Life within, like music flowing, and caught the light upon her wings through the half-open portal glowing, she wept—to think, her recreant race should e'er have lost that glorious place!

“How happy," exclaimed this child of air, “are the holy spirits who wander there, 'mid flowers that never shall fade or fall; though mine are the gardens of earth and sea, and the stars themselves have flowers for me, one blossom of Heaven outblooms them all ! Could I wing my flight from star to star—from world to luminous world, as far as the universe spreads its flaming wall ; take all the pleasures

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