« VorigeDoorgaan »
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,
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,
Few and short were the prayers we said,
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
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.)
FROM "THE WEST INDIES."
314. THE LOVE OF COUNTRY AND OF HOME.
There is a land, of every land the pride,
"Where shall that land, that spot of earth, be found?"
That land THY COUNTRY, and that spot THY HOME!
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The upward glancing of an eye,
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
His watchword at the gates of death,
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
While angels in their songs rejoice,
The saints in prayer appear as one,
Nor prayer is made on earth alone;
And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
O Thou, by whom we come to God,
1780-1849. (Manual, p. 432.) 316. ADDRESS TO A MUMMY.
And thou hast walked about (how strange a story!)
And time had not begun to overthrow
Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dumby:
Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
Tell us for doubtless thou canst recollect
To whom we should assign the Sphinx's fame?
Of either Pyramid that bears his name?
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 doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,
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?
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.