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that the old man had foreseen this end, when he spoke of the dry bones of the past, being vivified by the blood of the present.
The youth's expedition, despite its apparent ill success, did somewhat raise him in the estimation of his fellow-countrymen, as being a person ready to act promptly in any critical emergency. A further occasion for his services and his fortitude soon appeared. It was after this wise :
The Mexican astronomers divided time into cycles of fifty-two years, which long periods were again subdivided into cycles of thirteen years, years of eighteen months, and months of twenty days. At the close of every year, five days were added to make up the complement of three hundred and sixty-five; and at the end of every fifty-second year were added fifty-two quarters of a day, or thirteen whole days, so that the calculations of the astronomers squared with the course of the sun. The priests taught that the world had been destroyed three times, that each destruction had taken place at the end of a fifty-second year, and that a fourth destruction was to come upon them at a similar period. The sign of this destruction would be the non-appearance of the sun on the morning after the close of the fifty-second year. Hence they devoted the supernumerary thirteen days before-mentioned to prayer and fasting; and on the last day of the period all the men of the city went forth to a neigbouring mountain. having previously confined all the women in dungeons, it being believed that these, on the destruction of the world, would be turned into tigers and devour the men. On the mountain the men remained during the whole day, in great fear and tribulation ; but when, towards midnight, the constellation of the Pleiades became visible, they hailed it as a harbinger of good, and despatched swift messengers to the city, to liberate the women, and rekindle the sacred fire in the temples, where it had previously been extinguished as a mark of grief and despair.
Such being the disposition of men's minds in Mexico, it may well be imagined how great was their consternation, when, at the commencement of one supernumerary period of thirteen days, so great a darkness fell upon the city, that neither stars, nor moon, nor sun, were visible. It might have been easy, for those who did not feel the effects of this darkness, to speculate upon its causes; but to those who had lost all pleasure in speech, the face of the speaker being no longer visible, all arguments upon the origin of the evil were as distasteful as they were unsatisfactory. The only opinion which gained any credence, was, that the destruction of the world was at hand; and the very utterance of such an opinion was sufficient to strike terror into the hearts of the hearers, though there was not a man of them but knew that the ordinary death which might come upon him at any time, would be to him an equally effectual destruction of the world. But this, though strange, was not uncommon: death was not then, nor is now, much considered amongst the people; the probabilities of presently losing caste, or home, or friends, or fortune, were more often reckoned up than the chances that one brief hour, to-day, to-morrow, or a year, or ten years hence, might nullify the possession of them all. Such was—such is the case; though why this sanguine expectation of long life is implanted in our hearts, if it be not that we may do life's business without fear or carelessness, is hard to tell.
In this crisis, the elders of the people and the youth who served the priests, sat out on the mountain, and talked upon the best method,-if, indeed, any method were practicable,-of averting the danger. They sat round a large fire, whose flames shot up into the thick darkness, as though they too would divine the reasons of its presence.
The ocelot skulked surlily away from the glare, and the owl hooted because of his dazzled eyes; but neither was there ocelot so fierce, nor owl so blind, as the stern despairing wretches who could see no help for them in their peril, but sat sullenly and silently, listening to the trackling fire and the echoing rocks. Then the young man lifted up his kead, and beheld the old man standing near, and gazing upon the group.
** Father!" said he; and his companions started, and looked up also. “Father! what hope is there for us?"
And the old man said, “The flames point upwards; if they did not, they would cease to burn. What, if I told you, that he who mounted towards with those flames, would be a sun to his companions!"
And they all said, “ Would you have us die ?". "Oh, fools !” said the old man ; " must you not also die, if that happen which you now expect? Whether is it best to die for light, or to live in darkness?”
Then the youth arose and stood near the fire. The flames shot out their tangues, and well-nigh licked his hands. They seemed to beckon him towards them. “It is hard,” said he, “hard to die thus; but if it has been eter, or must be now, then let mine be the pain, and mine the glory."
"It both has been, and shall again be,” said the old man; “ for the aire is worthy of the labour."
Then the young man cast himself into the flames, which blazed presently with renewed vigour; and then, sinking gradually down, left etter darkness round them. But the east was already grey with the dawn, and, ere the elders had recovered from their astonishment, the rays of the sun shone on their ghastly faces.
"Fools !” said the old man, as they prepared to return homewards ; * have ye the more escaped death because ye feared it ? Behold time is accomplished ! for the sun has risen, and those who helped to to disperse the darkness shall stumble in the light.”
THE UNINHABITED HOUSE.
A BALLAD TALE.
A PALE youth stood by an antique hall,
Sad, and silent, and lone;
When the dawn of the morrow shone.
Hooted his last good-night,
Yet, 'twas pity too, for that goodly pile,
That had once known glorious days,
With its torches all a-blaze.
And the palmer knight his bough;
But all is silence now.
Till his brow had a shade of gloom ;
Should meet with such a doom.
Are these that by him dart ?
But seemed from earth to start.
And fair and lovely each ;
Without or sign or speech.
The taller of the pair!
Behold one half so fair.
Yet 'twas not dread or fear,
Where no living thing dwelt near.
The garb of olden time,-
By minstrels in their rhyme.
His glance did still pursue ;
They vanished from the view.
Deep poison drank thy glance,
In all its wild romance.
But lingered still in vain;
It came not forth again.
To that tower before its fall,
Within that haunted hall ?
Or a form from a world unknown ?
And that bosom make its moan.
The wasting strength, the pining hour,
Unhappy youth, are his;
Without love's hope of bliss !
The fleeting form recall;
That holds his heart in thrall !
What ails thy son and heir, That thy glance falleth cold and careless still,
On the bright and on the fair ? " There's not a maid thine eye shall choose,
But shall surely be thy bride ; There's not a dame that durst refuse
Lord William in her pride.
A baron's son art thou,
To lowlier lover's vow.”
And thou art my noble sire;
And all that men desire.
May o'er my bosom reign;
And cannot come again !"
Or fatal fairy's charm,
To work thee mortal harm."
Or ghostly damoselle,
From her it loves so well!"
He turned his feverish cheek;
That wasted form grew weak.
A wondrous melody;
My long-lost love I see."
Nor music warbles near,
Its beckoning finger here !"
The Lady of the Tower!
He perished in that hour.
No, I. BY GEO. R. TWINN, AUTHOR OF " IS IT PEACE ?” “ WOMAN'S LOVE,"
&c., &c., &c.
“ MINE were my faults; and mine be their reward :
My whole life was a contest, since the day
The gift; a fate or will that walked astray.
And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay ;
The past-the perished-vain and idle all !" HAWKER'S POEMS. Oh, cold and unthinking man! bound with the icy chains of apathy; slumbering in unconsciousness of any of the host of troubles that make life bitter ; why will you not use exertion, on your own part, to acquire a knowledge of your connexion with every individual ? It matters not with whom the radiance of the Creator is as visible 'neath the emaciated features and tattered clothing of the outcast, as 'neath the ermined robes of princely dignity. Oh, strange, cold heart! whose every throb and impulse awaken no thought of conferring good—no idea of benefiting others. O heart, thrice cased in adamant, why are thy beatings all for self? Can nature teach you nothing ?-can nature not send one gleam into your dark recesses ?-shines not the summer sun on the evil and good does not the same bright flower as much charm your senses, as those of the lowest or the most exalted ? And if thus Providence munificently considers all entitled fully to participate his many bounties, should not the Divine example infuse vitality into your streams, O heart, to attempt, as far as circumstances can enable you, the general plan of studying man, with a view to increase his happiness; to aid his attainment of right conceptions of all that is “ lovely, honest, and of good report ;” and prove, perhaps, the happy instrument of rousing from somnolency and utter disregard, many a soul, cased not in a body of flesh, but estranged from all save the promptings of selfishness? Unthinking man, and careless heart! how astonishingly slight must be your acquaintance with the gloomy pages of life's dark volume! Easy must have been your journey through the bye-ways of existence, never to have known sympathy with another's sorrow, nor felt the pangs of drear suspense! Have you never heard of-never known-homes and hearths made desolate and lonelygrey-headed old men sorrowing, robbed in their declining years of comfort, by the disgraceful conduct of a child, loved with an enduring love, notwithstanding his follies and his vices ?-families, once knit by the bands of affection and cemented by mutual endearments, scattered and severed, -seas, perhaps, rolling between, or the hand of hard griping oppression forbidding their meeting? Have you never known aught of friendships broken, and enmity, dark and subtle, usurping the