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THE MURDERER'S CONFESSION.

359

My wine, clear and ruddy, seems turbid and bloody:
I cannot quaff water; — recalling his slaughter,
My terror it doubles - 't is beaded with bubbles,

Each filled with his breath,
That in every glass hisses " Assassin !
My curse shall affright thee, haunt, harrow, and blight thee,

In life and in death!”
When free from this error, I thrill with the terror

(Thought horrid to dwell on!) That the wretch Thom men cherish may shamefully perish; Be publicly gibbeted,* branded, exhibited,

As a murderous felon !
O, punishment hellish! the house I embellish
From center to corner upbraids its adorner :
A door's lowest creaking swells into a shrieking;
Against me each column bears evidence solemn;

Each statue's a Něm'esis; †
They follow infest me; they strive to arrest me,
Till, in terrified sadness, that verges on madness,

I rush from the premises.
The country's amenity brings no serenity;
Each rural sound seeming a menace or screaming;
Not a bird or a beast but cries, “ Murder !

There goes the offender!
Dog him, waylay him, encompass him, stay him,

And make him surrender !
My flower-beds splendid seem eyes blood-distended -
His eyes, ever staring, and flaring, and glaring!
I turn from them quickly, but phantoms more sickly

Drive me hither and thither.
I would forfeit most gladly wealth stolen so madly,
Quitting grandeur and revelry to fly from this devilry,

But whither -O! whither ?
Hence, idlo delusions! hence, fears and confusions !
Not a single friend's severance lessens men’s reverence,
No neighbor of rank quits my sumptuous banquets

Without lauding their donor.
Throughout the wide county I'm famed for my bounty,

All hold me in honor.
* The y in this word has the sound of j.

† A Greek divinity, worshiped as the goddess of vengeance, and regarded as the personification of the righteous anger of the gods.

Let the dotard and craven by fear be enslaven!
They have vanished! How fast fly these images ghastly,

When, in firm self-reliance,
You determine on treating the brain's sickly cheating

With scorn and defiance !
Ha! ha! I am fearless henceforward, and tearless ;
No coinage of fancy, no dream's necromancy,
Shall sadden and darken God help me! - hist! hearken!
"Tis the shriek, soul-appalling, he uttered when falling!
Nerves a thousand times stronger could bear it no longer !
Grief, sickness, compunction, dismay in conjunction,
Nights and days ghost-prolific, more grim and terrific

Than judges and juries, Make the heart writhe and falter more than gibbet and halter ! Arrest me, secure me, seize, handcuff, immure me! I own my transgression - will make full confession! Quick ! quick! Let me plunge in some dark-vaulted dungeon, Where, though tried and death-fated, I may not be baited

By devils and furies !

HORACE SMITH.

LIX. — THE SONG OF THE FORGE.

Clang, clang! the massive anvils ring;
Clang, clang! a hundred hammers swing ;
Like the thunder-rattle of a tropic sky,
The mighty blows still multiply ;

Clang, clang!
Say, brothers of the dusky brow,
What are your strong arms forging now?
Clang, clang! We forge the colter now,-
The colter of the kindly plow;
Prosper it, Heaven, and bless our toil !

May its broad furrow still unbind

To genial rains, to sun and wind,
The most benignant soil !
Clang, clang! Our cõlter's course shall be
On many a sweet and sheltered lea,

By many a streamlet's silver tide,
Amid the song of morning birds,
Amid the low

of sauntering herds,
Amid soft breezes which do stray
Through woodbine hedges and sweet May,
Along the

green

hill's side.

THE SONG OF THE FORGE.

361

When regal Autumn's bounteous hand
With wide-spread glory clothes the land, -
When to the valleys, from the brow

Of each resplendent slope, is rolled

A ruddy sea of living gold, -
We bless- we bless the PLOW.
Clang, clang ! — Again, my mates, what glows
Beneath the hammer's potent blows ?
Clink, clank! - We forge the giant chain,
Which bears the gallant vessel's strain,
'Mid stormy winds and adverse tides ;

Secured by this, the good ship braves
The rocky roadstead, and the waves
Which thunder on her sides.
Anxious no more, the merchant sees
The mist drive dark before the breeze,
The storm-cloud on the hill ;

Calmly he rests, though far away

In boisterous climes his vessel lay,
Reliant on our skill.
Say on what sands these links shall sleep,
Fathoms beneath the solemn deep ;
By Afric's pestilential shore,
By many an iceberg, lone and hoar,

By many a palmy Western isle,

Basking in Spring's perpetual smile, -
By stormy Labrador.
Say, shall they feel the vessel reel,
When to the battery's deadly peal
The crashing broadside makes reply?

Or else, as at the glorious Nile,

Hold grappling ships, that strive the while For death or victory ? Hurra! - Cling, clang ! - Once more, what glows,

Dark brothers of the forge, beneath
The iron tempest of your blows,

The furnace's red breath ?
Clang, c!ang ! - A burning torrent, clear

And brilliant, of bright sparks, is poured
A.round and up in the dusky air,

As our hammers forge the sword.
The sword ! a name of dreadyet when
Upon the freeman's thigh 't is bound,

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While for his altar and his hearth,*
While for the land that gave him birth,

The war-drums roll, the trumpets sound,
How sacred is it then !
Whenever for the truth and right
It flashes in the van of fight,
Whether in some wild mountain-pass,
As that where fell Leonidas,
Or on some sterile plain, and stern,
A Marston or a Bannockburn,
Or ’mid fierce crags and bursting rills,
The Switzer's Alps, gray Tyrol's hills, -
Or, as when sank the Ar-ma'da's pride,
It gleams above the stormy tide, -
Still, still, whene'er the battle-word

Is Liberty, when men do stand

For justice and their native land,
Then Heaven bless the SWORD !

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WHERE are the mighty ones of ages past,
Who o'er the world their inspiration cast,
Whose memories stir our spirits like a blast ? -

Where are the dead ?
Where are the mighty ones of Greece ? Where be
The men of Sparta and Thermopylæ ?
The conquering Macedonian, where is he? -

Where are the dead ?
Where are Rome's founders ? Where her chiefest son,
Before whose name the whole known world bowed down,
Whose conquering arm chased the retreating sun ? -

Where are the dead ?
Where's the bard-warrior-king of Albion’s state,
A pattern for earth's sons to emulate,
The truly, nobly, wisely, goodly great ? -

Where are the dead ?
Where is Gaul's hero, who aspired to be
A second Cæsar in his mastery,
To whom earth's crowned ones trembling bent the knee ? -

Where are the dead ?

* The ea in this word properly has the sound of a in father, though by some, hearth is pronounoed as if it rhymed with birth.

WHERE ARE THE DEAD ?

363

Where is Columbia’s son, her darling child,
Upon whose birth Virtue and Freedom smiled,
The Western Star, bright, pure, and undefiled ?

Where are the dead ?
Where are the sons of song,

the soul-inspired, -
The bard of Greece, whose muse (of heaven acquired)
With admiration ages past has fired,

The classic dead ?
Where is the poet * who in death was crowned,
Whose clay-cold temples laurel chaplets bound,
Mocking the dust, - in life no honor found,

The insulted dead ?
Greater than all, - an earthly sun enshrined,
Where is the king of bards ? Where shall we find
The Swan of Avon, monarch of the mind,-

The mighty dead?
When their frail bodies died, did they all die,
Like the brute dead, passing for ever by?
Then wherefore was their intellect so high,

The mighty dead?
Why was it not confined to earthly sphere, —
To earthly wants ? If it must perish here,
Why did they languish for a bliss more dear, -

The blessëd dead ?
All things in nature are proportionate :
Is man alone in an imperfect state,
He who doth all things rule and regulate ?--

Then where the dead ?
If here they perished, in their beings' germ,-
Here were their thoughts', their hopes', their wishes' term, -
Why should a giant's strength propel a worm ? -

The dead! the dead !
There are no dead! The forms, indeed, did die,
That cased the ethereäl beings now on high :
'T is but the outward covering is thrown by:-

This is the dead !
The spirits of the lost, of whom we sing,
Have perished not; they have but taken wing, –
Changing an earthly for a heavenly spring :

There are the dead !

* Torquato Tasso.

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