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“ The drops, dear mother ! trickle still
Into
my

coffin deep:
It feels so comfortless and chill,

I cannot go to sleep!”

“Oh child! those words—that touching look,

My fortitude restore :
I feel and own the blest rebuke,

And weep thy loss no more.

She spoke and dried her tears the while ;

And, as her passion fell,
The vision wore an angel smile,

And looked a fond farewell!

XLIII.-THE AFRICAN CHIEF.

BRYANT.

—,

HAINED in the market-place he stood-a man of giant frame,

Amid the gathering multitude, that shrunk to hear his name:
All stern of look, and strong of limb, his dark eye on the ground:-
And silently they gazed on him, as on a lion bound.

Vainly, but well, that Chief had fought-he was a captive now;
Yet pride, that fortune humbles not, was written on his brow.
The scars his dark, broad bosom wore, showed warrior true and brave;
A prince among his tribe before,—he could not be a slave!

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Then to his conqueror he spake : “ My brother is a king ;
Undo his necklace from my neck, and take this bracelet ring,
And send me where my brother reigns; and I will fill thy hands
With store of ivory from the plains, and gold dust from the sands."

“Not for thy ivory nor thy gold will I unbind thy chain;
That fettered hand shall never hold the battle-spear again.
A price thy nation never gave, shall yet be paid for thee :
Or thou shall be the Christian's slave, in lands beyond the sea.

“ Bring back the chain! that I may think 'tis that which weighs my spirit so;

I
And, gazing on each galling link, dream-as I dreamt—of bitter woe!
My days are gone ;-of hope, of youth, these traces now alone remain-
(Hoarded with sorrow's sacred truth )—tears and my iron chain !

“Freedom !—Though doomed in pain to live, the freedom of the soul is mine!
But all of slavery you could give, around my steps must ever twine.
Raise up the head which age hath bent, renew the hopes that childhood gave,
Bid all return kind Heaven once lent ;-till then I am a slave !"'

XLIV.- THE ORPHAN'S PRAYER.

OT many leagues from here, and e'en not many months ago,

When all was bound in Winter's chains, and covered thick with snow, As night came down upon the plain dark clouds hung o'er the earth, And chilling winds swept o'er the scene in wild and cruel mirth,

A fair young child with weary feet from wandering to and fro,
At last o'ercome with weariness sank down upon the snow.
His tender form was thinly clad, though rough, bleak winds swept by,
And froze upon his cheek the tears that flowed so mournfully ;
They tossed the curls from off his brow, back from the eyes of blue,
That glanced such looks off suffering from out their azure hue,
Though none but God was near to mark the tears that from them rolled.
While from his lips oft came the moan, “I am so very cold !”
A drowsiness came o'er his frame and soon he ceased to weep,
And on the chilling snow, he thought to lay him down to sleep:
Bnt, true to holy teaching, first his evening hymn he said,
And kneeling gently down, he clasped his stiffened hands and prayed
“My Heavenly Father," were the words that from his pale lips came,
And many dark and dismal nights his prayer had been the same-
“Please let me die, and take me to the gentle Shepherd's fold,
I want to go so very much, I am so very cold!
“When mother died and went to heaven to be an angel bright,
She said I night come pretty soon; please let me go to-night.
I want to feel her dear warm arms again around me fold ;
O Father ! let me go to her, I am so very cold !"'

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There was a time whene'er these same small hands where clasped in prayer,
At dusky hour of evəntide, a mother's form was there ;
And ere these curls were laid to rest upon their downy bed,
A father's hand in blessing lay upon that curly head.

There was a time when round this self-same childish form was thrown
The thousand comforts, dear delights, and guardian cares of home;
The budding happiness of life shona on his care-free brow,
And love, and warmth, and light were there—where are those blessings now?

'Twas not the ocean's storm that sank the father 'neath its wave,
'Twas not a foul disease that laid the mother in her grave,
'Twas not the raging flame that swept the pleasant home away,
And turned the patient toil of years to ashes in a day.

'Twas the demon of lhe wine cup set the father's brain on fire,
And plunged him, soul and body, into ruin dark and dire !
While drop by drop the life-blood oozed from out the broken heart,
Of her who vowed to cling to him till life itself should part.

And when the weary life was o’er, she laid her in the ground,
And left her child in this cold world to wander up and down;
And now alone, with freezing form beneath the wintry sky,
He kneeled upon the cold white snow, and wildly prayed to die.

When morning with her streaming light came o'er the eastern hill,
And flashed her beams athwart the plain, she saw him kneeling still,
But from those cold and parted lips came not one trembling word ;
The blue eyes raised to heaven were glazed ; the orphan's prayer was heard.

XLV.-SAUL.

BYRON. THOU whose spell can raise the dead, bid the Prophet's form appear. --

, “ Samuel, raise thy buried head! King, behold the phantom seer !'' Earth yawned ; he stood, the centre of a cloud ; light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud. Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye; his hand was withered, and his veins were dry ; his foot in bony whiteness glittered there, shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare. From his lips that moved not, and unbreathing frame, like caverned winds the hollow accents came.-Saul saw, and fell to earth, -as falls the oak at once, when blasted by the thunder stroke !

Why is my sleep disquieted? Who is he that calls the dead? Is it thou, O king? Behold, bloodless are these limbs, and cold : such are mine; and such shall be thine to-morrow, when with me: ere the coming day be done, such shalt thou be, such thy son! Fare the well, but for a day !—then we mix our mouldering clay; then thy race lie pale and low, pierced by shafts of many a bow; and the falchion by thy side to thy heart thy hand shall guide : crownless, breathless, headless, fall son and sire,—the house of Saul!"

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XLVI.-THE NORMAN BARON.

LONGFELLOW. IN his chamber, weak and dying was the the Norman baron lying ; loud with

out, the tempest thundered, and the castle-turret shook. In this fight was death the gainer,--spite of vassal and retainer, and the lands his sires had plundered, written in the Doomsday Book. By his bed a Monk was seated, who in humble voice repeated many a prayer and Pater-noster, from the missal on his knee; and, amid the tempest pealing, sounds of bells came faintly stealing-bells, that from the neighboring cloister rang for the Nativity. In the hall, the serf and vassal held that night their Christmas wassail ; many a carol, old and saintly, sang the minstrels and the waits. And so loud these Saxon gleemen sang to slaves the songs of freemen, that the storm was heard but faintly knocking at the castle-gates. Till at length the lays they chanted reached the chamber terror-haunted, where the Monk, with accents holy, whispered at the Baron's ear. Tears upon his eyelids glistened, as he paused awhile and listened ; and the dying Baron slowly turned his weary head to hear. “Wassail for the kingly Stranger born and cradled in a manger ! king, like David, priest like Aaron—Christ is born to set us free !” And the lightning showed the sainted figures on the casement painted ; and exclaimed the shuddering Baron, “Miserere, Domine!"

In that hour of deep contrition, he beheld, with clearer vision, through all outward show and fashion, Justice, the Avenger, rise. All the pomp of earth had vanished, falsehood and deceit were banished, reason spake more loud than passion, and the truth wore no disguise. -Every vassal of his banner, every serf born to his manor, all those wronged and wretched creatures, by his hand were freed again. And, as on the sacred missal he recorded their dismissal, Death relaxed his iron features, and the Monk replied, “ Amen.”—Many centuries have been numbered since in death the Baron slumbered by the convent's sculptured portal, mingling with the common dust. But the good deed, through the ages living in historic pages, brighter grows and gleams immortal, unconsumed by moth or rust.

XLVII.—THE POLISH CHILDREN.

MISS PARDOE.

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ORTH went they from their fatherland, a fallen and fettered race, to find,

upon a distant strand, their dark abiding place. Forth went they :—not as freeman go with firm and fearless eye; but with the bowed mien of woe, as men go forth to die. The aged in their silver hair, the young in manhood's might, the mother with her infant care, the chird in wild affright ;-Forth went they all-a pallid band—with many an anguished start : the chains lay heavy on their hand, but heavier on their heart ! No sounds disturbed the desert air, but those of bitter woe; save when, at times, re-echoed there, the curses of the foe—When hark ! another cry peeled out—a cry of idiot glee; answered, and heightened, by the shout of the fierce soldiery! 'Twas childhood's voice! but, ah !-how wild, how demon-like its swell !—the mother shrieked, to hear her child give forth that soulfraught yell! And fathers wrung their fettered hands beneath their maddening woe, while shouted out their infant bands shrill chorus to the foe!

And curses deep and low were said, whose murmurs reached to Heaven ; thick sighs were heaved-hot tears were shed, and woman-hearts were riven ; as, heedless of their present woes, the children onward trod, and sang—and their young voices rose a vengeance-cry to God !

XLVIII.-LUCY.

WORDSWORTH. HREE years she grew, in sun and shower: then Nature said, "A lovelier

flower on earth was never sown ; this Child I to myself will take; she shall be mine, and I will make a Lady of my own. Myself will to my darling be both law and impulse : and with me the girl, in rock and plain, in earth and heaven, in glade and bower, shall feel an overseeing power to kindle or restrain. She shall be sportive as the Fawn, that wild with glee across the lawn or up the mountain springs; and hers shall be the breathing balm, and hers the silence and the calm of mute insensate things. The floating Clouds their state shall lend to her; for her the willows bend; nor shall she fail to see, even in the motions of the Storm, grace that shall mould the Maiden's form by silent sympathy.

The stars of midnight shall be dear to her; and she shall lean her ear in many a secret place where rivulets dance there wayward round; and Beauty, born of murmuring sound, shall pass into her face.

And vital feelings of delight shall rear her form to stately height, her virgin bosom swell ; such thoughts to Lucy I will give, while she and I together live here in this happy dell.” Thus Nature spake—the work was doneHow soon my Lury's race was run ! She died, and left to me this heath, this calm and quiet scene- —the memory of what has been, and never more will be ! *

* She dwelt among untrodden ways beside the springs of Dove ; a maid whom there were none to praise, and very few to love. A violet by a mossy stone half hidden from the eye! fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky. She lived unknown, and few could know when Lucy ceased to be; but she is her grave—and, oh, the difference to me!

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XLIX.-THE DYING BRIGAND.

HE stood before the dying man, and her eye grew wildly bright

“Ye will not pause for a woman's ban, nor shrink from a woman's might; And his glance is dim that made you fly, as ye before have fled : Look, dastards !-how the brave can die-Beware !-he is not dead !

“By his blood you have tracked him to his lair ! Would you bid the spirit part ?
He that durst harm one single hair, must reach it through my heart.
I cannot weep, for my brain is dry—nor plead, for I know not how;
But my aim is sure, and the shaft may fly,—and the bubbling life-blood flow !

“Yet leave me, while dim life remains, to list his parting sigh ;
To kiss away those gory stains, to close his beamless eye !
Ye will not ! no—he triumphs still, Whose foes his death-pangs dread-
His was the power—yours but the will: back-back-he is not dead !

“His was the power that held in thrall, through many a glorious year,
Priests, burghers, nobles, princes—all slaves worship, hate, or fear.
Wrongs, insults, injuries thrust him forth a bandit-chief to dwell :
How he avenged his slighted worth, ye cravens, best may tell !

“His spirit lives in the mountain breath, it flows in the mountain wave;
Rock-stream-hath done the work of death—yon deep ravine—the grave !
That which hath been again may be !-Ah! by you fleeting sun,
Who stirs, no morning-ray shall see- -his sand of life has run !”

Deflance shone in her flashing eye, but her heart beat wild with fear-
She starts—the bandit's last faint sigh breathes on her sharpened ear-
She gazes on each stiffening limb, and the death-damp chills her brow ;--
“For him I lived, I die with him ! slaves, do your office now !"

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