Графични страници
PDF файл
[blocks in formation]

Her presence-chamber once, but now her | Now morning dawns; and thro' the yellow tomb,

fog While all around her palsied votaries sate, Yonder a pair go forth, betwixt a row Stunn'd by the leaden mace of the proud Of life-lorn houses ;-one ye see doth dog tyrant Fate.

The footsteps of the other; and they go

For ever thus together; shrieks of wo

Sound to their ears sweet music.--Now the 'Twas midnight ; and each door was closed ;

first around

Is PLAGUE, as well ber jaundice-eyes do Stood iron-featured watchmen; in their

shew, hands

And toad-like skin that scarce forbears to Were halberts,wberewithal upon the ground,

burst, Some one oft struck, as at his silent stand

As aye on the dank air she spits her venom Appalled he linger’d; and the garrulons

cursed. band Of echo answer'd quick, and bade his heart Be of good cheer; and every door thus Behind, her meagre bridegroom Death mann'd

comes on; Was by a cross of blood-red set apart, Clutching his dart, he strides his pale,

white horse;
That none might enter there, nor any thence

His lank jaws chattering to her, who anon
Doth half turn back her head, and baulks

her course And now a voice is heard ; and lo! a light

An instant to respond his accents hoarse : Gleams up the vista of yon narrow street; And as some dying wretch outstretched they And as it nears the gazer's straining sight,

see, Sharp yet indefinite sounds his ear first

Yawning and yelling they must e'en per greet;

force Then, more distinct the clank of horses'

Jeer at him as they pass; and in high glee, feet

In strain like this pursue their ghastly colIs heard ; and the red torch's smoky blaze

loquy. Doth o'er full many a livid carcass fleet, Which prove and nodding on the death-cart

“ They've digged us now," quoth Death, lays;

“ without the wall Yet nought that hideous load the driver stern

A huge dry gulf; within whose gaping affrays.


Careless of knell, or prayer, or wonted pall, Hark! to his hollow tones :-" Bring forth

The living stow the dead-last night I saw

The burier tumble with the buried o'er

The dizzy brink : methinks, a goodlier sight And forth they bring their dead ;-the father brings

I scarce behold, when Earthqnake, and

red War, His last sweet child, and on the pile 'tis laid Next withered age : the brother coldly

Harness their savage limbs; and in their

might, fiings His sister there-self-love hath snapped The fear-pale nations scare with carnage and the strings

affright.” Of the fond heart ; no kindly thoughts remain.

“ Good mate !” so quoth the beldame, Again the driver's hand the dead-bell rings many a shore And the car rumbles onward; and again Hath yielded me repast, but none like this; The triple-tithe of Death, it gathers home But late, I went to mark how full a store amain.

Was gather'd to our garner; and ywis

your dead!"

There was a sight it grieved me ye should Of hellebore, took life upon each pathway, miss

And many a sight was seen which far exTo see; and thus it was :-A youthful pair ceeds

Lay in dead love, as if the bridal kiss Man's thougbt; and all around, in dreararray Sunk in' a death-gasp! her long golden hair Death in triamphant mood his trophies did Part mixed with his dark locks, part bid her display. shoulders fair."

Now in the horrid mask of night conceal'd, Then out-laugh'd Death_“I do remember Prowl'd grizzly Hatred, seeking for her well,

prey, The feast was o'er, the bride-maids all Like the hyæna; and the morn revealed, retired;

Scattered along each solitary way, Just then I pass'd, and heard a murmur The murder'd dead and dying, whom to swell,

slay, As from two mutual tongues by love in- Revenge had kept long vigil; and man seem'd spired;

Heartless and heathenish with this display: I entered swift the chamber, and admired Life's heart inisgave her, and wiih doubtings (As ye may guess) such prey : their lips then teem'd, cluog

If she the immortal were, sbe once so fondly Into a kiss :- I struck, and both expired ;

and they (when next the alarum

Each day from earth to their celestial home To grace our bridal-day, were on the death- Innumerable multitudes up-flew cart flung."

Of guardian angels; and the beamy dome,

Where dwells the cloud-shrined Godhead, Along the mightiest city of the earth

to pursue Thus pass'd they, vaunting of their doleful High inqnest on the fate to mortals due; deeds ;

Teem'd to its distant infinite with those, A ghastly pair, fraught-full of hideous mirth, Whose guardian angels must display to Their feast to savour. Rank

view dire weeds,

The annals of their life; and pæans rose Henbane, and nightshade, and the violent In heaven, or hell, as each was doom'd to seeds

bliss or woes!

Morn came,

grass, and




Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now
Lie scattered, where the shapely column

Her palaces are dust. In all her streets
The voice of singing and the sprightly chord
Are silent. Revelry, and dance, and show,
Suffer a syncope and solemn pause;
While God performs upon the trembling


Of his own works his dreadful part alone.
How does the eartb receive him ?-With

what signs
Of gratulation and delight her King !
Pours she not all her choicest fruits abroad,
Her sweetest flowers, her aromatic gams,
Disclosing paradise where'er he treads!
She quakes at his approach. Her bollow

Conceiving thunders through a thousand

deeps And fiery caverns, roars beneath his foot.

The hills move lightly, and the mountains Ocean has caught the frenzy, and, upwrought smoke,

To an enormous and o'erbearing height, For he has touched them. From th' extremest Not by a mighty wind, but by that voice, point

Which winds and waves obey, invades the Of elevation down into th' abyss

shore His wrath is busy, and his frown is felt. Resistless. Never such a sudden flood, The rocks fall headlong, and the vallies rise, Upridged so high, and sent on such a charge, The rivers die into offensive pools,

Possessed an inland scene. Where now the And, charged with putrid verdure, breathe throng, a gross

That pressed the beach, and, hasty to depart, And mortal naisance into all the air.

Looked to the sea for safety? They are gone, What solid was, by transformation strange, Gone with the refluent wave into the deepGrows fluid; and the fix'd and ronted earth, A prince with balf his people! Ancient Tormented into billows, heaves and swells, towers, Or with vortiginous and hideous whirl And roofs embattled high, the gloomy scenes, Sucks down his prey insatiable. Immense Where beauty oft and lettered worth conThe tomult and the overthrow, the pangs

sume And agonies of human and of brute

Life in the unproductive shades of death, Multitudes, fugitive on every side,

Fall prone: the pale inhabitants come fortb, And fugitive in vain. The sylvan scene And, happy, in their unforeseen release Migrates uplifted ; and, with all its soil From all the rigours of restraint, enjoy Alighting in far distant fields, finds out The terrors of the day, that sets them free. A new possessor, aud survives the change.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

But every body said, quoth he,

And all went merry as a marriage-bell; That 'twas a famous victory.

But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like

a rising knell ! My father lived at Bleuheim then, Yon little stream hard by,

Did ye not hear it!--No; 'twas but the They burnt his dwelling to the ground,

wind, And he was forc'd to fly ;

Or the car rattling o'er the stony street; So with his wife and child he fied,

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined; Nor had he where to rest bis head.

No sleep till morn, when youth and plea

sure meet, With fire and sword the country round To chase the glowing hours with iging Was wasted far and wide,

feetAud many a childing mother then,

But, hark! that heavy sound breaks is And new-born infant died.

once more, But things like that, you know, must be As if the clouds its echo would repeat; At every famous victory.

And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!

Arm! arm! it is—it is—the cannon's openThey say it was a shocking sight,

ing roar! After the field was won, For many thousand bodies bere

Within a window'd niche of that high hall Lay rotting in the sun;

Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did But things like that, you know, must be

hear After a famous victory.

That sound the first amidst the festival,

And caught its tone with death's propbetic Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,

ear ; And our good Prince Eugene,

And when they smiled because he deem'd Why 'twas a very wicked thing!

it near Said little Wilhelmine.

His heart more truly knew that peal 100 Nay-nay-my litile girl, quoth he,

well It was a famous victory.

Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier,

And roused the vengeance blood alone And every body praised the Duke,

could quell : Who such a fight did win.

He rush'd into the field, and foremost figheBut what good came of it at last?

ing, fell. Quoth little Peterkiu. Why, that I cannot tell, said he,

Ab! then and there was harrying to and fro, But, 'twas a famous victory.

And gathering tears, and tremblings of

distress, And cheeks all pale, which but an hour


Blush'd at the praise of their own loveli

ness; BYRON

And there were sudden partings, such as There was a sound of revelry by night,

press And Belgium's capital had gathered then The life from out young hearts, and choking Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright sighs The lamps shone o'er fair women, and Which ne'er might be repeated; who could brave men;

gness A thousand hearts beat happily; and when If ever more should meet those mutual Music arose with its voluptuous swell

eyes, Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake Since upon nights so sweet, such awful mora again,

could rise ?

« ПредишнаНапред »