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A woman's form sat silently,
Midst the glare of light alone. Her jewelled robes fell strangely still,
The drapery on her breast Seemed with no pulse bencath to thrill,
So stonelike was its rest!
But a peal of lordly music
Shook e'en the dust below,
Was set on her pallid brow !
And from the encircling band
With homage to her hand.
Why passed a faint, cold shuddering
Over each martial frame,
Noble and leader came ?
Did not a queenly grace,
Sit on the pale still face ?
Death ! death! canst thou be lovely
Unto the eye of life? Is not each pulse of the quick high breast
With thy cold mien at strife ? - It was a strange and fearful sight,
The crown upon that head, The glorious robes, and the blaze of light,
All gathered round the Dead !
And beside her stood in silence
One with a brow as pale, And white lips rigidly compressed,
Lest the strony heart should fail : King Pedro, with a jealous eye,
Watching the homage done,
To her, his martyred one.
But on the face he looked not,
Which once his star had been ;
Save of the breathless queen ;
Of her beauty still was there,
It was not for him to bear.
Alas! the crown, the sceptre,
The treasures of the earth,
Alike of wasted worth !
Unto the chamber deep!
Lay down again the royal head,
Dust with the dust to sleep !
There is music on the midnight,
A requiem sad and slow,
In dark procession go ;
And all the rich array,
With her, that queen of clay.
And tearlessly and firmly
King Pedro led the train ;
When they lowered the dust again. 'Tis hushed at last the tomb above,
Hymns die, and steps depart :
Mightier thou wast and art.
The sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day: But glory remains when their lights fade away. Begin, you tormentors ! your threats are in vain, For the sons of Alknomook will never complain.
Remember the arrows he shot from his bow; Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low ! Why so slow ? do you wait till I shrink from the
pain ? No! the son of Alknomook shall never complain.
Remember the wood where in ambush we lay, And the scalps which we bore from your nation
away. Now the flame rises fast, you exult in my pain ; But the son of Alknomook can never complain.
I go to the land where my father is gone ;
pain; And thy son, O Alknomook ! has scorned to com
THE FEMALE CONVICT.
Sie shrank from all, and her silent mood
She still was young, and she had been fair ;
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK." Had made the colors of youth depart
QUEEN. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color From the sallow cheek, save over it came
off, The burning flush of the spirit's shame.
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not, forever, with thy veiled lids They were sailing o'er the salt sea-foam,
Seek for thy noble father in the dust : Far from her country, far from her home;
Thou know'st 't is commion, - all that live mus: And all she had left for her friends to keep
die, Was a name to hide and a memory to weep!
Passing through nature to eternity. And her future held forth but the felon's lot,
HAMLET. Ay, madam, it is common. To live forsaken, to die forgot !
If it be, She could not weer, and she could not pray, But she wasted and withered from day to day,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, madam ! nay, it is; I know not Till you might have counted each sunken vein, When her wrist was prest by the iron chain ; And sometimes I thought her large dark eye
'T is not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black, Had the glisten of red insanity.
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath, She called me once to her sleeping-place,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, A strange, wild look was upon her face,
Nor the dejected havior of the visage, Her eye flashed over her cheek so white,
Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief, Like a gravestone seen in the pale moonlight,
That can denote me truly : these, indeed, seem, And she spoke in a low, unearthly tone,
For they are actions that a man might play : The sound from mine ear hath never gone!
But I have that within, which passeth show ; “I had last night the loveliest dream :
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe. My own land slone in the summer beam, I saw the fields of the golden grain, I heard the reaper's harvest strain ; There stood on the hills the green pine-tree,
SOLILOQUY ON DEATH.
FROM "HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK."
HAMLET. To be, or not to be, - that is the I stood by the hearth, and my father sat there,
Whether 't is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, But he closed the book to welcome me.
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, He led me next where my mother lay,
And, by opposing, end them ? — To die, – to And together we knelt by her grave to pray,
sleep; And heard a hymn it was heaven to hear,
No more ; and, by a sleer, to say we end For it echoed one to my young days dear.
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks This dream has waked feelings long, long since fled, That flesh is heir to, - 't is a consummation And hopes which I deemed in my heart were dead? Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep ; We have not spoken, but still I have hung
To sleep! perchance to dream :On the Northern accents that dwell on thy tongue. For in that'sleep of death what dreams may come,
rub; To me they are music, to me they recall The things long hidden by Memory's pall !
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Take this long curl of yellow hair,
Must give us pause : there's the respect And give it my father, and tell him my prayer,
That makes calamity so long life; My dying prayer, was for him.”...
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Theoppressor's wrong, the proud man'scontumely, Next day
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin ? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
-ay, there's the
LATITIA E. LANDON.
That undiscovered country, from whose bourn And do our loves all perish with our frames ?
Are thoughts and passions that to the tongue give Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
speech, And enterprises of great pith and moment, And make it set forth winning harmonies, With this regard, their currents turn awry,
That to the cheek do give its living glow,
And vision in the eye the soul intense
To live in it, and when that dies go out
O listen, man ! As once ye did in your young days of love, A voice within us speaks the startling word, On its alarms, its anxious hours, delays,
“Man, thou shalt never die!" celestial voices Its silent meditations and glad hopes,
Hymn it around our souls ; according harps, Its fears, impatience, quiet sympathies ;
By angel fingers touched when the mild stars Nor do ye speak of joy assured, and bliss Of morning sang together, sound forth still Full, certain, and possessed. Domestic cares The song of our great immortality; Call you not now together. Earnest talk Thick-clustering orbs, and this our fair domain, On what your children may be moves you not. The tall, dark mountains and the deep-toned seas, Ye lie in silence, and an awful silence ;
Join in this solemn, universal song. Not like to that in which ye rested once
O listen, ye, our spirits ! drink it in Most happy, — silence eloquent, when heart From all the air ! 'T is in the gentle moonlight; With heart held speech, and your mysterious Is floating in day's setting glories ; Night, frames,
Wrapped in her sable robe, with silent step Harmonious, sensitive, at every beat
Comes to our bed and breathes it in our ears ; — Touched the soft notes of love.
Night and the dawn, bright day and thoughtfuleve,
As one great mystic instrument, are touched
A stillness deep, By an unseen, living Hand, and conscious chords Insensible, unheeding, folds you round,
Quiver with joy in this great jubilee. And darkness, as a stone, has sealed you in ;
The dying hear it; and, as sounds of earth Away from all the living, here ye rest,
Grow dull and distant, wake their passing souls In all the nearness of the narrow tomb, Yet feel ye not each other's presence now;
To mingle in this heavenly harmony. Dreal fellowship!- together, yet alone. Why is it that I linger round this tomb ?
Is this thy prison-house, thy grave, then, Love? What holds it? Dust that cumbered those I And doth death cancel the great bond that holds Commingling spirits ? Are thoughts that know no They shook it off, and laid aside earth's robes, bounds,
And put on those of light. They 're gone to dwell But, self-inspired, rise upward, searching out In love, their God's and angels' ? Mutual love, The Eternal Mind, the Father of all thought, That bound them here, no longer needs a speech Are they become mere tenants of a tomb ? - For full communion ; nor sensations strong, Dwellers in darkness, who the illuminate realms Within the breast, their prison, strive in vain Of uncreated light have visited and lived ? - To be set free, and meet their kind in joy. Lived in the dreadful splendor of that throne Changed to celestials, thoughts that rise in each Which One, with gentle hand the veil of flesh By natures new impart themselves, though silent. Lifting that hung 'twixt man and it, revealed Each quickening sense, each throb of holy love, In glory ? -- throne before which even now Affections sanctified, and the full glow Our souls, moved by prophetic power, bow down Of being, which expand and gladden one, Rejoicing, yet at their own natures awed ? - By union all mysterious, thrill and live Souls that thee know by a mysterious sense, In both immortal frames ;--- sensation all, Thouawfulunseen Presence, — are they quenched? And thought, pervading, mingling sense and Or burn they on, hid from our mortal eyes
thought ! By that bright day which ends not, as the sun Ye paired, yet one ! wrapt in a consciousness Ilis robe of light flings round the glittering stars ? | Twofold, yet single, — this is love, this life !
Not to be ended ! Ended bliss, And life that will not end in this ! My days go on, my days go on.
Why call we, then, the square-built monument,
I thank thee, Father,
Breath freezes on my lips to moan :
I knock and cry, — Undone, undone !
RICHARD HENRY DANA.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, He reigns above, he reigns alone ;
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Systems burn out and leave his throne :
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, Fair mists of seraphs melt and fall
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ; Around him, changeless amid all,
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower, Ancient of Days, whose days go on.
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Molest her ancient, solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Beneath the crown of sovran thorns,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering He reigns the jealous God. Who mourns
heap, Or rules with him, while days go on?
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. By anguish which made pale the sun,
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, I hear him charge his saints that none
The swallow twittering from the straw-built Among his creatures anywhere
shed, Blaspheme against him with despair,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, However darkly days go on.
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Take from my head the thorn-wreath brown !
Or busy housewife ply her evening care ; No mortal grief deserves that crown.
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. O supreme Love, chief Misery, The sharp regalia are for Thee
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Whose days eternally go on !
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke ; How jocund did they drive their team afield !
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy For us, — whatever 's undergone,
stroke ! Thou knowest, willest what is done. Grief may be joy misunderstood ;
Let not ambition mock their useful toil, Only the Good discerns the good,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; I trust thee while my days go on.
Nor grandeur hear with a diselainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, Whatever 's lost, it first was won :
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, We will not struggle nor impugn.
Await alike the inevitable hour ;
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, XXIII.
Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted I praise thee while my days go on ;
vault, I love thee while my days go on ;
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost, With emptied arms and treasure lost,
Can storied or animated bust, I thank thee while my days go on.
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death ! Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ; ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed, CHURCHYARD.
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre ; Tue curfew tolls the knell of parting day ;
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page, The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll ; The plonghman homeward plods his weary way, Chill penury repressed their noble rage,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me. And froze the genial current of the soul.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.