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MAUD.

I.

1.

I HATE the dreadful hollow behind the little

wood,

Its lips in the field above are dabbled with blood

red heath,

The red-ribb'd ledges drip with a silent horror of

blood,

And Echo there, whatever is ask'd her, answers

R

· Death.'

2.

For there the ghastly pit long since a body was

found,

His who had given me life-0 father! O God!

was it well ?

Mangled, and flatten’d, and crush’d, and dinted

into the ground:

There yet lies the rock that fell with him when he

fell,

3.

Did he fing himself down? who knows? for a

vast speculation had fail'd,

And ever he mutter'd and madden'd, and ever

wann’d with despair,

And out he walk'd when the wind like a bruken

worldling wail'd,

And the flying gold of the ruin'd woodlands drove

thro’ the air.

4.

I remember the time, for the roots of my hair were

stirr'd

By a shuffled step, by a dead weight trail'd, by a

whisper'd fright, And my pulses closed their gates with a shock on

my heart as I heard

The shrill-edged shriek of a mother divide the

shuddering night.

5.

Villainy somewhere! whose ?

One says, we

are

villains all.

Nct he : his honest fame should at least by me

be maintained :

But that old man, now lord of the broad estate

and the Hall,

Dropt off gorged from a scheme that had left us

flaccid and drain’d.

6.

Why do they prate of the blessings of Peace ? we

have made them a curse,

Pickpockets, each hand lusting for all that is

not its own ;

And lust of gain, in the spirit of Cain, is it better

or worse

Than the heart of the citizen hissing in war on

his own hearthstone ?

7.

But these are the days of advance, the works of

the men of mind,

When who but a fool would have faith in a

tradesman's ware or his word ?

Is it peace or war? Civil war, as I think, and

that of a kind

The viler, as underhand, not openly bearing the

sword.

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