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Thought she as well of smiles, her lips

would pout With a perpetual simper. Walsingham Hath praised these crying beauties of the

north, So whimpering is the fashion. How I hate The dim dull yellow of that Scottish hair! Matter of Revel: Hush! hush!—is that the sound of wheels I hear?

[The Dead-cart passes by, driven by a Kegro. Ha! dost tlinu faint, Louisa! one had

thought That railing tongue bespoke a mannish heart. But so it ever is. The violent Are weaker than the mild, and abject fear Dwells in the heart of passion. Mary Gray, Throw water on her face. She now revives. Mary Gray. O sister of my sorrow and my shame! Lean on my bosom. Sick must be your heart After a fainting-fit so like to death. Louisa (recovering). I saw a horrid demon in my dream! With sable visage and white-glaring eyes, He berkon'd on me to ascend a cart Fill'd with dead bodies, muttering all the

while An unknown language of most dreadful

sounds. What matters it? I see it wan a dream. —Pray, did the dead-cart pass?

Voting Man. Come, brighten up, Louisa! Though this street be all our own, A silent street that we from death have

rented, »

Where we may hold our orgies undisturb'd.
Yon know those rumbling wheels are privi-
And we must bide the nuisance. Walsingham.
To pnt an end to bickering, and these fits
Of fainting that proceed from female vapours,
Give us a song; — a free and gladsome

song; *«nr of those Scottish ditties framed of sighs. Rat a true English Barchnnalian song. By toper channted o'er the flowing bowl. Master of Revels. I have none such; but I will sing a song I pon the Plague. I made the words last

night. After we parted: a strange rhyming-fit Fell on me; 'twas the first time in my life. Rat you shall have it, though my vile crack'd

voice Won't mend the matter much.

Many voices. A song on the Plague! A song on the Plague! Let's have it! bravo! bravo!


Two navies meet upon the waves

That round them yawn like np'ning graves;

The battle rages; seamen fall.

And overboard go one and all!

The wounded with the dead arc gone;
But Ocean drowns each frantic groan.
And, at each plunge into the flood,
Grimly the billow laughs with blood.—
Then, what although our Plague destroy-
Seaman and landman, woman, boy?
When the pillow rests beneath the head.
Like sleep he comes, and strikes us dead.
What though into yon Pit we go,
Descending fast, as flakes of snow?
Who matters body without breath?
No "-roan disturbs that hold of death.


TAcn, leaning on this snow-vhite breast,
1 sing the praises of the Pest!
If me thou wouldst this night destroy.
Come, smite me in the arms of Joy.

Two armies meet upon the hill;
They part, and all again is still.
No! thrice ten thousand men are lying.
Of cold, and thirst, and hunger dying.
While the wounded soldier rests his head
About to die upon the dead,
What shrieks salute yon dawning light?
'Tis Fire that comes to aid the Fight!—
All whom our Plague destroys by day,
His chariot drives by night away;
And sometimes o'er a churchyard-wall
His banner hangs, a sable pall!
Where in the light by Hecate shed
With grisly smile he counts the dead,
And piles them up a trophy high
In honour of his victory.

King of the aisle and churchyard-cell!
Thy regal robes become thee well.
With yellow spots, like lurid stars
Prophetic of throne-shattering wars,
Bespangled is its night-like gloom.
As it sweeps the cold damp from the tomb.
Thy hand doth grasp no needless dart,
One finger-touch benumbs the heart.
If thy stubborn victim will not die,
Thou rolls! around thy bloodshot eye,
And Madness leaping in his chain
With giant buffet smites the brain,
Or Idiocy with drivelling laugh
Holds out her strong-drugg'd bowl to quaff,
And down the drunken wretch doth lie
Unsheeted in the cemetery.

Thou! Spirit of the burning breath,
Alone deservest the name of death!
Hide, Fever! hide thy scarlet brow;
Nine days thou lingerst o'er thy blow,
Till the leach bring water from the spring,
And scare thee off on drenched wing.
Consumption! waste away at will!
In warmer climes thou failst to kill,
And rosy Health is laughing loud
As off thou stealst with empty shroud!

Ha! blundering Palsy! thou art chill!

But half the man is living still;

One arm, one leg, one cheek, one side

In nntic guise thy wrath deride.

But who may 'gainst thy power rebel,

King of the aisle and churchyard-cell!

To thee, O Plague! I pour my song,

Since thou art come I wish thee long!

Thou strikest the lawyer 'mid his lies,

The priest 'mid his hypocrisies.

The miser sickens at his hoard,

And the gold leaps to its rightful lord.

The husband, now no longer tied,

May wed a new and blushing bride,

And many a widow slyly weeps

O'er the grave where her old dotard sleeps,

While love shines through her moisten'd eye

On yon tall stripling gliding by.

'Tis ours who bloom in vernal years

To dry the love-sick maiden's tears,

Who turning from the relics cold,

In a new swain forgets the old.

Act II. Scene II.

Thb air of death breathes through our souls,

The dead all round us lie;
By day and night the death-bell tolls

And says: Prepare to die!

The face that in the morning-sun
We thought so wondrous fair,

Hath faded, ere his course was run,
Beneath its golden hair.

I see the old man in his grave
With thin locks silvery gray;

I see the child's bright tresses wave
In the cold breath of the clay.

The loving ones we loved the best,

Like music all are gone!
And the wan moonlight bathes in rest

Their monumental stone.

But not when the death-prayer is said,

The life of life departs:
The body in the grave is laid

Its beauty in our hearts.

At holy midnight voices sweet

Like" fragrance fill the room,
And happy ghosts with noiseless feet

Come bright'ning from the tomb.

We know who sends the visions bright,
From whose dear side they came!

We veil our eyes before thy light,
We bless our Saviour's name!

This frame of dust, this feeble breath.

The Plague may soon destroy; We think on Thee, and feel in death

A deep and awful joy.

Dim is the light of vanish'd years

In the glory yet to come; O idle grief! O foolish tears!

When Jesus calls us home.

Like children for some bauble fair
That weep themselves to rest;

We port with life—awake! and there
The jewel in our breast!

Act II. Sckhb III.
-Before the Plague burst out,

All who had eye-sight witness'd in the city
Dread Apparitions, that sent through the soul
Forebodings of some wild calamity.
The very day-light seem'd not to be pour'd
Down from the sun—a ghastly glimmering

haze Sent upwards from the earth; while every

face Look'd wan and sallow, gliding through the

streets That echoed in the darkness. When the veil Of mist was drawn aside, there hung the sun In the unrejoicing atmosphere, blood-red, And lii-ani less in his wrath. At morn and even. And through the dismal day, that fierce

aspect Glared on the city, nnd many a wondering

group Gazed till they scarce believed it was the sun. Did any here behold, as I beheld, That phantom who three several nights

appcar'd, Sitting upon a cloud-built throne of state Right o'er St. Paul's Cathedral? On that

throne At the dead hour of night lie took his scat. And monarch-like stretch'd out his mighty

arm That shone like lightning. In that kingly

motion There seem'd a steadfast threat'ning—and

his features, Gigantic 'neath their shadowy diadem. Frown'd, as the phantom vow'd within hit

heart Perdition to the city. Then he rose. Majestic spectre! keeping still his face Towards the domes beneath, and disappear'*. Still threatening with his outstrctch'd ana

of light Into a black abyss behind the clouds.

And saw re mM

The sheeted corpses stalking through the

sky In long, long troops together—yet all silent. And, unobservant of cacli other, gliding Down a dark flight of steps thatscem'd to lead Into the bosom of eternity'{

I have seen hearses moving through the sky!
Not few and solitary, as on earth
They pass us by upon a lonesome road,
Bat thousands, tens of thousands moved along
In grim procession—along league of plumes
Toning in the storm that roar'd aloft in

heaven, Yet bearing onwards through the hurricane, A black, a silent, a wild cavalcade That nothing might restrain; till in a moment The heavens were freed, and all the sparkling stars Look'd through the blue and empty firmament!

And I have seen A mighty church-yard spread its dreary

realms O'er half the visible heavens — a churchyard blacken'd With ceaseless funerals that besieged the

gates With lamentation and a wailing echo. O'er that aerial cemct'ry hung a bell I'pon a black and thund'rous-looking cloud, And there at intervals it swung and toll'd Throughout the startled sky! Not I alone, But many thousands heard it—leaping up, Not knowing whether it might be a dream, A« if an earthquake shook them from their

beds,. Nor dared again to sleep.

Act III. Scenb I.

Priest. Like a thunder-peal Oae morn a rumour turn'd the city pale; And the tongues of men, wild-staring on each

other, Itter'd with faltering voice one little word, The Plague! Then many heard within their

dreams At dead of night a voice foreboding woe, Asd rose up in their terror, and forsook Homes, in the haunted darkness of despair No more endurable. As thunder quails Th' inferior creatures of the air and earth, So how'd the Plague at once all human souls, And the brave man beside the- natural cOward Malk'd trembling. On the restless multitude, Thoughtlessly toiling through a busy life, Nor hearing in the tumult of their souls The ordinary language of decay, A voire came down that made itself be heard, And they started from delusion when the

touch Of Death's benumbing fingers suddenly Swept off whole crowded streets into the


Then rose a direful struggle with the Pest!
And all the ordinary forms of life
Moved onwards with the violence of despair.
Wide flew the crowded gates of theatres,
And a pale frightful audience, with their

Looking in perturbation through the glare
Of a convulsive laughter, sat and shouted
At obscene ribaldry and mirth profane.
There yet was heard parading through the

Btrcets War-music, and the soldiers' tossing plumes Moved with their wonted pride. O idle show Of these poor worthless instruments of death, Themselves devoted! Childish mockery! At which the Plague did scoff, who in one

night The trumpet silenced and the plumes laid low. As yet the Sabbath-day—though truly fear Rather than piety fill'd the house of God— Received an outward homage. On the street Friends yet met friends, and dared to interchange A cautious greeting—and firesides there were Where still domestic happiness survived 'Mid an unbroken family; while the soul, In endless schemes to overcome the Plague, In art, skill, zeal, in ruth and charity Forgot its horrors, and oft seem'd to rise More life-like 'mid the ravages of death. But soon the noblest spirits disappear'd. None could tell whither—and the city stood Like a heleaguer'd fortress, that hath lost, The flower of its defenders. Then the Plague Storm'd, raging like a barbarous conqueror, And, hopeless to find mercy, every one Fell on his face, and all who rose again Crouch'd to the earth in suppliant agony. If'ilmol. Father! how mournful every Sabbath-day To miss some well-known faces! to behold The congregation weekly thinn'd by death, And empty scats with all their Bibles lying Cover'd with dust.

Priest. Ay—even the house of God Was open to the Plague. Amid their prayers Thekneelcrs sicken'd, and most deadly-pale Rose up with sobs, — and beatings of the

heart That far off might be heard, a hideous knell That ne'er ceased sounding till the wretches

died. Sometimes the silent congregation sat Waiting for the priest, then stretch'd within

his shroud. Or when he came, he bore within his eyes A trouble that disturb'd, and read the service With the hollow voice of death. H'ilmot. Where was the king, The nobles, and the judges of the land? Priest. They left the city. Whither— none inquired. Who cares now for the empires of the enrth, Their peerage or their monarchs? Kingly

ones Sit unobserved upon their regal seats, And the soul looks o'er ocritn, earth, and

air, Heedlegg to whom its fields or waves belong, So that there were some overshadowing

grove Central amid a mighty continent, Or sacred island in the healthful main, Where men might be transported in a thought Far from the wild dominion of the I'lngue. Now He is monarch here—nor mortal brow Durst wear n crown within the fatal sweep Of his long bony arm.

ll'ilmot. He loves the silence Of an unpeopled reign.

Priest. Once at noon-day Alone I stood upon a tower that rises From the centre of the city. I look'd down With awe upon that world of misery; Nor for a while could say that I beheld Aught save one wide gleam indistinctly flung From that bew ildering grandeur; till at once The objects all assumed their natural form, And grew into a City stretching round On every side, far as the bounding sky. Mine eyes first rested on the squares that lay Without one moving figure, with fair trees Lifting their tufted heads unto the light, Sweet, sunny spots of rural imagery That gave a beauty to magnificence. Silent as nature's solitary glens Slept the long streets—and mighty London

seem'd, With all its temples, domes, and palaces, Like some sublime assemblage of tall cliffs That bring down the deep st llness of the

heavens To shroud them in the desert. Groves of

masts Rose through the brightness of the sunsmote river, But all their flags were struck, and every

sail Was lower'd. Many a distant land had felt The sudden stoppage of that mighty heart. Then thought I that the vain pursuits of man Fossess'd a semblance of sublimity. Thus suddenly o'erthrown; and as I look'd Down on the courts and markets, where the

soul Of this world's business once roar'd like the

sea, That sound withinmy memory strove in vain, Yet with a mighty power, to break the silence That like the shadow of a troubled sky Or moveless cloud of thunder lay beneath me,

The breathless calm of universal death.

H'ilmot. How many children Must have died in beauty and in innocence This fatal summer!

Priest. Many sweet flowers died! Pure innocents! they mostly sank in peace. Yet sometimes it was misery to hear them Praying their parents to shut out the Plague; Nor could they sleep alone within their bed s. In fear of that dread monster. Childhood lost Its bounding gladsomcness — its fearless

glee— And infants of five summers walk'd about With restless eyes, or by their parents' side* Crouch'd shuddering, for they ever heard

them speaking Of death, or saw them weeping — no one smiled. Wilmot. Hath not the summer been most beautiful, 'Mid all this misery t

Priest. A sunny season! What splendid days, what nights magnificent Pass'd in majestic march above the City, When all below was agony and death! O peaceful dwellers! in yon silent stars, Burning so softly in their happiness! Our souls exclaim'd, — unknown inhabitants Of unknown worlds! no misery reaches yos. For bliss is one with immortality! The very river as it flow'd along Appcar'd to come from some delightful land Unknown unto the Plague, and hastening on. To join the healthful ocean, calmly smiled. A privileged pilgrim through the realms of

death. Yea! in the sore disturbance of men's sonls They envied the repose of lifeless things! And the leafy trees that graced the citysquares. Bright with the dews of morning, they seem'd

blest! On them alone th' untainted air of heaven Shed beauty and delight—all round them died. London alone, of all the world seem'd curst. O happy spots in country—or in town! 'Mid savage wilds — or dark and noisome

streets— Cut ofT from human intercourse—or haunted By vice and sorrow, penury and guilt, Ye seem'd to all a blessed Paradise, Whither on wings of rapture they would fly. Nor ever leave you more—for nature groaas: Where the Plague is not, there dwells happiness.



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■t U an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.

By thy long gray beard and glittering eye,

Now wherefore stopst thou me?

The Bridegroom's door* are open'd wide,
And I am next of kin;
The put»ts are met, the feast ia set:
Majst hear the merry din.

He holds him with his skinny hand,
Ihiri: ni a ship, quoth he.
Hold off! unhand me, gray-heard loon!
Efaoona his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye—
The wedding-guest stood still,
And listens like a three years child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The wedding-guest sat on a stone:
He can not chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

The Kliip was cheer'd, the harbour clcar'd,

Merrily did we drop

Below the kirk, below the hill,

Below the light-house-top.

The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he;
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

Higher and higher every day,

Till over the mast at noon—

The wedding-guest here beat his breast,

For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The wedding-guest he beat his breast,
Yet he can not chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

And now the Storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,

As who pursued with yell and blow

Still treads the shadow of his foe

And forward bends his head,

The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast,

And southward aye we fled.

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it gcew wonderous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

And through the drifts the snowy clift
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.

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