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The gourd with water recent from the rill,
The ripe banana from the mellow hill :
A pine-torch pile to keep undying light,
And she herself, as beautiful as night,
To fling her shadowy spirit o'er the scene,
And make their subterranean world serene.
She had foreseen, since first the stranger's sail
Drew to their isle, that force or flight might fail,
And form'd a refuge of the rocky den
For Torquil's safety from his countrymen.
Each dawn had wafted there her light canoe,
Laden with all the golden fruits that grew ;
Each eve had seen her gliding through the hour
With all could cheer or deck their sparry bower ;
And now she spread her little store with smiles,
The happiest daughter of the loving isles.

IX.
She, as he gazed with grateful wonder, press'd
Her shelter'd love to her impassion’d breast ;
And, suited to her soft caresses, told
An elden tale of love,-for love is old,
Old as eternity, but not outworn
With each new being born or to be born :
How a young Chief, a thousand moons ago,
Diving for turtle in the depths below,
Had risen, in tracking fast his ocean prey,
Into the cave which round and o'er them lay ;
How, in some desperate feud of after time,
He shelter'd there a daughter of the clime,
A foe beloved, and offspring of a foe,
Saved by his tribe but for a captive's woe;
How, when the storm of war was still, he led
His island clan to where the waters spread
Their deep green shadow o'er the rocky door,
Then dived_it seem'd as if to rise no more :
His wondering mates, amazed within their bark,
Or deem'd him mad, or prey to the blue shark ;
Row'd round in sorrow the sea-girded rock,
Then paused upon their paddles from the shock,
When, fresh and springing from the deep, they saw
A goddess rise—so deem'd they in their awe ;
And their companion, glorious by her side,
Proud and exulting in his mermaid bride :

* The reader will recollect the epigram of the Greek Anthology, or its translation into most of the modern languages:

Whoe'er thou art, thy master see,
He was, or is, or is to be.

And how, when undeceived, the pair they bore
With sounding conchs and joyous shouts to shore ;
How they had gladly lived and calmly died,
And why not also Torquil and his bride?
Not mine to tell the rapturous caress
Which follow'd wildly in that wild recess
This tale ; enough that all within that cave
Was love, though buried strong as in the grave
Where Abelard, through twenty years of death,
When Eloisa's form was lower'd beneath
Their nuptial vault, his arms outstretch'd, and press'd
The kindling ashes to his kindled breast. *
The waves without sung round their couch, their roar
As much unheeded as if life were o'er ;
Within, their hearts made all their harmony,
Love's broken murmur and more broken sigh.

X.

And they, the cause and sharers of the shock
Which left them exiles of the hollow rock,
Where were they? O’er the sea for life they plied,
To seek from heaven the shelter men denied.
Another course had been their choice—but where?
The wave which bore them still, their foes would bear,
Who, disappointed of their former chase,
In search of Christian now renew'd their race.
Eager with anger, their strong arms made way,
Like vultures baffled of their previous prey.
They gain'd upon them, all whose safety lay
In some bleak crag or deeply-hidden bay:
No further chance or choice remain’d ; and right
For the first further rock which met their sight
They steer'd, to take their latest view of land,
And yield as victims, or die sword in hand;
Dismiss'd the natives and their shallop, who
Would still have battled for that scanty crew ;
But Christian bade them seek their shore again,
Nor add a sacrifice which were in vain ;
For what were simple bow and savage spear
Against the arms which must be wielded here?

XI.

They landed on a wild but narrow scene,
Where few but nature's footsteps yet had been ;

* The tradition is attached to the story of Eloisa, that when her body was lowered into the grave of Abelard (who had been buried twenty years), he opened his arms to receive her.

Prepared their arms, and with that gloomy eye,
Stern and sustain'd, of man's extremity,
When hope is gone, nor glory's self remains
To cheer resistance against death or chains, -
They stood, the three, as the three hundred stood
Who dyed Thermopylæ with holy blood.
But, ah! how different ! 't is the cause makes all,
Degrades or hallows courage in its fall.
O'er them no fame, eternal and intense,
Blazed through the clouds of death and beckon'd hence ;
No grateful country, smiling through her tears,
Begun the praises of a thousand

years ;
No nation's eyes would on their tomb be bent,
No heroes envy them their monument ;
However boldly their warm blood was spilt,
Their life was shame, their epitaph was guilt.
And this they knew and felt, at least the one,
The leader of the band he had undone ;
Who, born perchance for better things, had set
His life upon a cast which linger'd yet :
But now the die was to be thrown, and all
The chances were in favour of his fall,
And such a fall! But still he faced the shock,
Obdurate as a portion of the rock
Whereon he stood, and fix'd his levellid

gun, Dark as a sullen cloud before the sun.

XII.

The boat drew nigh, well arm'd, and firm the crew,
To act whatever duty bade them do ;
Careless of danger, as the onward wind
Is of the leaves it strews, nor looks behind :
And yet perhaps they rather wish'd to go
Against a nation's than a native foe,
And felt that this poor victim of self-will,
Briton no more, had once been Britain's still.
They hail'd him to surrender—no reply;
Their arms were poised, and glitter'd in the sky,
They hail'd again—no answer : yet once more
They offer'd quarter louder than before.
The echoes only, from the rock's rebound,
Took their last farewell of the dying sound.
Then flash'd the flint, and blazed the volleying flame,
And the smoke rose between them and their aim,
While the rocks rattled with the bullets' knell,
Which peal'd in vain, and flatten'd as they fell ;
Then flew the only answer to be given
By those who had lost all hope in earth or heaven.

After the first fierce peal, as they pull'd nigher,
They heard the voice of Christian shout, 66 Now fire !"
And, ere the word upon the echo died,
Two fell; the rest assail'd the rock's rough side,
And, furious at the madness of their foes,
Disdain'd all further efforts, save to close.
But steep the crag, and all without a path,
Each step opposed a bastion to their wrath ;
While, placed ’midst clefts the least accessible,
Which Christian's eye was train'd to mark full well,
The three maintain'd a strife which must not yield,
In spots where eagles might have chosen to build.
Their
every

shot told ; while the assailant fell,
Dash'd on the shingles like the limpit shell ;
But still enough survived, and mounted still,
Scattering their numbers here and there, until,
Surrounded and commanded, though not nigh
Enough for seizure, near enough to die,
The desperate trio held aloof their fate
But by a thread, like sharks who have gorged the bait;
Yet to the very last they battled well,
And not a groan inform'd their foes who fell.
Christian died last-twice wounded; and once more
Mercy was offer'd when they saw his göre;
Too late for life, but not too late to die,
With though a hostile hand to close his eye.
A limb was broken, and he dropp'd along
The crag, as doth a falcon rest of

young
The sound revived him, or appear'd to wake
Some passion which a weakly gesture spake ;
He beckon'd to the foremost who drew nigh,
But, as they near’d, he rear'd his weapon high-
His last ball had been aim'd, but from his breast
He tore the topmost button of his vest,*
Down the tube dash'd it, levelld, fired, and smiled
As his foe fell; then, like a serpent, coil'd
His wounded, weary form, to where the steep
Look'd desperate as himself along the deep;

* In Thibault's Account of Frederick II of Prussia, there is a singular relation of a young Frenchman, who, with his mistress, appeared to be of some rank. He enlisted and deserted at Scweidnitz; and, after a desperate resistance, was retaken, having killed an officer, who attempted to seize him after he was wounded, by the discharge of his musket loaded with a button of his uniform. Some circumstances on his court-martial raised a great interest amongst his judges, who wished to discover his real situation in life, which he offered to disclose, but to the King only, to whom he requested permission to write. This was refused, and Frederick was filled with the greatest indiguation, from baffled curiosity, or some other motive, when he understood that his request had been denied. See Thibault's work, vol. ïi (I quote from memory).

Cast one glance back, and clench'd his hand, and shook
His last rage 'gainst the earth which he forsook ;
Then plunged: the rock below received like glass
His body crush'd into one gory mass,
With scarce a shred to tell of human form,
Or fragment for the sea-bird or the worm ;
A fair-hair'd scalp, besmear'd with blood and weeds,
Yet reek’d, the remnant of himself and deeds;
Some splinters of his weapons (to the last,
As long as hand could hold, he held them fast)
Yet glitter'd, but at distance-hurl'd

away,
To rust beneath the dew and dashing spray.
The rest was nothing-save a life mis-spent,
And soul-but who shall answer where it went ?
'T is ours to bear, not judge the dead ; and they
Who doom to hell, themselves are on the way,
Unless these bullies of eternal pains
Are pardon'd their bad hearts for their worse brains.

XIII.

The deed was over! All were gone or ta’en,
The fugitive, the captive, or the slain.
Chain’d on the deck, where once, a gallant crew,
They stood with honour, were the wretched few
Survivors of the skirmish on the isle ;
But the last rock left no surviving spoil.
Cold lay they where they fell, and weltering,
While o'er them flapp'd the sea-bird's dewy wing,
Now wheeling nearer from the neighbouring surge,
And screaming high their harsh and hungry dirge :
But calm and careless heaved the wave below,
Eternal with unsympathetic flow;
Far o'er its face the dolphins sported on,
And

sprung the flying-fish against the sun,
Till its dried wing relapsed from its brief height,
To gather moisture for another flight.

XIV.

’T was morn; and Neuha, who by dawn of day
Swam smoothly forth to catch the rising ray,
And watch if aught approach'd the amphibious lair
Where lay her lover, saw a sail in air :
It flapp'd, it filled, and to the growing gale
Bent its broad arch : her breath began to fail
With fluttering fear, her heart beat thick and high,
While yet a doubt sprung where its course might lie;
But no! it came not;
The shadow lessen'd as it clear’d the bay.

fast and far away

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