Great was the joy; but at the nuptial feast, When all sate down, the bride herself was wanting, Nor was she to be found! Her father cried, ""Tis but to make a trial of our love!" And filled his. glass to all; but his hand shook, And soon from guest to guest the panic spread. "Twas but that instant she had left Francesco, Laughing, and looking back, and flying still, Her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger. But now, alas! she was not to be found; Nor from that hour could anything be guessed, But that she was not!

Weary of his life, Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking, Flung it away in battle with the Turks. Orsini lived; and long might you have seen An old man wandering as in quest of something — Something he could not find — he knew not what. When he was gone, the house remained awhile Silent and tenantless, then went to strangers.


Full fifty years were past and all forgotten, When on an idle day, a day of search

'Mid the old lumber in the gallery,

That mouldering chest was noticed; and 'twas said, By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra,


Why not remove it from its lurking-place?" 'Twas done as soon as said; but on the way It burst, it fell; and lo! a skeleton,

With here and there a pearl, an emerald stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold.
All else had perished- - save a wedding ring
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both,

There then had she found a grave! Within that chest had she concealed herself, Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy; When a spring lock, that lay in ambush there, Fastened her down forever!

REV. CHARLES WOLFE. 1791-1823. (Manual, p. 432.) 313. THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.1

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried:
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

[blocks in formation]

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;

But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,

That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow.

[merged small][ocr errors]

But half of our heavy task was done

When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,

From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone
But we left him alone with his glory.

1 Sir John Moore was mortally wounded by a cannon ball, January 16, 1809, in an action between the English and Spanish forces under his command, and the French under Marshal Soult, on the Heights of Elvina, near Corunna, Spain, and died in the moment of his victory.

JAMES MONTGOMERY. 1771-1854. (Manual, p. 432.)



There is a land, of every land the pride,
Beloved by heaven, o'er all the world beside;
Where brighter suns dispense serener light,
And milder moons emparadise the night;
A land of beauty, virtue, valor, truth,
Time-tutored age, and love-exalted youth:
The wandering mariner, whose eye explores
The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores,
Views not a realm so bountiful and fair,
Nor breathes the spirit of a purer air;
In every clime the magnet of his soul,
Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole;
For in this land of heaven's peculiar grace,
The heritage of nature's noblest race,
There is a spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest;
Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside
His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride,
While in his softened looks benignly blend
The sire, the son, the husband, father, friend:
Here woman reigns: the mother, daughter, wife,
Strews with fresh flowers the narrow way of life;
In the clear heaven of her delightful eye,
An angel-guard of loves and graces lie;
Around her knees domestic duties meet,
And fireside pleasures gambol at her feet.

"Where shall that land, that spot of earth, be found?"
Art thou a man? - a patriot? — look around;
O, thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam,


That land THY COUNTRY, and that spot THY HOME!

315. PRAYER.

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,

The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

[ocr errors]

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air;

His watchword at the gates of death,
He enters heaven by prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
Returning from his ways;

While angels in their songs rejoice,
"Behold, he prays!"

And say,

The saints in prayer appear as one,
In word, and deed, and mind,
When with the Father and his Son
Their fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made on earth alone;
The Holy Spirit pleads;

And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.

O Thou, by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer thyself hast trod,
Lord, teach us how to pray!


1780-1849. (Manual, p. 432.) 316. ADDRESS TO A MUMMY.

And thou hast walked about (how strange a story!)
In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous!

Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dumby:

Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Thou'rt standing on thy legs above ground, mummy!
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon.

Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
But with thy bones, and flesh, and limbs, and features.

Tell us for doubtless thou canst recollect

To whom we should assign the Sphinx's fame?
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect

Of either Pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?

Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden

By oath to tell the secrets of thy tradeThen say, what secret melody was hidden

In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played? Perhaps thou wert a Priest if so, my struggles Are vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles.

Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,

Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass;
Or dropped a halfpenny in Homer's hat,

Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication.

I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,
Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled,
For thou wert dead, and buried, and embalmed,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled:
Antiquity appears to have begun

Long after thy primeval race was run.

Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue

Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen, How the world looked when it was fresh and young,

And the great deluge still had left it green; Or was it then so old, that history's pages Contained no record of its early ages?

[ocr errors]

Still silent, incommunicative elf!

Art sworn to secrecy? then keep thy vows; But prythee tell us something of thyself,

Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house; Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen what strange adventures numbered?

Since first thy form was in this box extended,

We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations;

The Roman empire has begun and ended,

New worlds have risen we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, Whilst not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.

« VorigeDoorgaan »