Page images

And years

have rotted off his fleshThe world shall see his bones!

“ Oh God, that horrid, horrid dream

Besets me now awake !
Again—again, with a dizzy brain,

The human life I take;
And my red right hand grows raging hot

Like Cranmer's at the stake.

“ And still no peace for the restless clay

Will wave or mould allow :
The horrid thing pursues my soul-

It stands before me now ! ”
The fearful boy look'd up, and saw

Huge drops upon his brow!
That very night, while gentle sleep

The urchin eyelids kiss'd,
Two stern-faced men set out from Lynn,

Through the cold and heavy mist;
And Eugene Aram walk'd between,
With gyves upon his wrist.




[ocr errors]

Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower, that smiles to-day,

To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,

The higher he's a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,

And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer ;
But, being spent, the worse and worst

Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time;

And while ye may, go marry;
For, having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.




MONG these latter busts we count by scores,

Half-emperors and quarter-emperors, Each with his bay-leaf fillet, loose-thongd vest, Loric and low-brow'd Gorgon on the breast; One loves a baby face, with violets there, Violets instead of laurel in the hair, As those were all the little locks could bear.

Now read here. “ Protus ends a period
Of empery beginning with a god :
Born in the porphyry chamber at Byzant;
Queens by his cradle, proud and ministrant.
And if he quicken'd breath there, 'twould like fire
Pantingly through the dim vast realm transpire.
A fame that he was missing, spread afar-
The world, from its four corners, rose in war,

Till he was borne out on a balcony
To pacify the world when it should see.
The captains ranged before him, one, his hand
Made baby points at, gain'd the chief command.
And day by day more beautiful he grew
In shape, all said, in feature and in hue,
While young Greek sculptors gazing on the child
Were, so, with old Greek sculpture reconciled.
Already sages labour'd to condense
In easy tomes a life's experience:
And artists took grave counsel to impart
In one breath and one hand-sweep, all their art-
To make his graces prompt as blossoming
Of plentifully-water'd palms in spring;
Since well beseems it, whoso mounts the throne,
For beauty, knowledge, strength, should stand

And mortals love the letters of his name."

Stop! Have you turn'd two pages? Still the same. New reign, same date. The scribe goes on to say How that same year, on such a month and day, " John the Pannonian, groundedly believed A blacksmith's bastard, whose hard hand reprieved The Empire from its fate the year before, Came, had a mind to take the crown, and wore The same for six years, (during which the Huns Kept off their fingers from us) till his sons Put something in his liquor"--and so forth. Then a new reign. Stay—“Take at its just worth" (Subjoins an annotator)“ what I give As hearsay. Some think John let Protus live And slip away. 'Tis said, he reach'd man's age At some blind northern court; made first a page, Then, tutor to the children-last, of use About the bunting-stables. I deduce


He wrote the little tract · On worming dogs,'
Whereof the name in sundry catalogues
Is extant yet. A Protus of the Race
Is rumour'd to have died a monk in Thrace, -
And if the same, he reach'd senility."

Here's John the smith's rough-hammer'd head.

Great eye,

Gross jaw and griped lips do what granite can To give you the crown-grasper. What a man !




WANDER’D by the brook-side,

I wander'd by the mill,-
I could not hear the brook flow,

The noisy wheel was still ;
There was no burr of grasshopper,

No chirp of any bird ;
But the beating of my own heart

Was all the sound I heard.

I sat beneath the elm-tree,

I watch'd the long, long shade,
And as it grew still longer

I did not feel aid;
For I listen'd for a footfall,

I listen'd for a word,—
But the beating of my own heart

Was all the sound I heard.

He came not,—no, he came not;

The night came on alone;
The little stars sat one by one

Each on his golden throne ;

The evening air pass'd by my cheek,

The leaves above were stirr'd,
But the beating of my own heart

Was all the sound I heard.

Fast silent tears were flowing,

When some one stood behind;
A hand was on my shoulder,

I knew its touch was kind :
It drew me nearer-nearer ;

We did not speak a word, —
For the beating of our own hearts
Was all the sound we heard.





O cloud, no relique of the sunken day

Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues. Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge ! You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, But hear no murmuring : it flows silently, O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still, A balmy night! and though the stars be dim, Yet let us think upon the vernal showers That gladden the green earth, and we shall find A pleasure in the dimness of the stars. And hark! the Nightingale begins its song, “ Most musical, most melancholy" bird !!

Most musical, most melancholy.—This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description. It is spoken in the character of the melancholy


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »