« 上一頁繼續 »
Of mortal agony! In pain I sunk,
Worn and disabled, 'mid the dead and dying ;
Night shadows were around the sickly morn,
Dim and discoloured, rose, as though she mourned
To gaze upon a scene so fraught with woe!
And there was one who passed me at this hour-
A form familiar to my memory,
From long-departed years. For we had met
In early youth, with feelings unco
And passions unrepressed. E'en then he seemed
The bane of every joy. His brow grew pale
At boyhood's happy voice and guileless smile,
As though they mocked him. Now he sternly mark'd
My well-remembered face, yet lingered not.
There was a taunt upon his haughty lip,
A fiery language in his scowling eye,
My proud heart ill could brook!
E’en like a vision of the fevered brain,
His image haunted me and urged to madness.-
And when exhausted Nature sunk to rest,
The blood-red sod my couch, the tempest-cloud
My canopy, my bed-fellows the dead,
My lullaby the moaning midnight wind,
I had a Dream,—a strange bewildered dream,
And he was with me!
Methought I heard the Messenger of Death
Tell of another world ; while awful shrieks
Of wild despair, and agony, and dread,
Shook the dark vault of heaven !-Suddenly
Deep silence came,--and all the scene was changed
Insufferable radiance glared around
And mocked the dazzled eye. In robes of light,
High on a gorgeous throne, appeared a Form
Of pure celestial glory! In deep awe,
A silent and innumerable throng
Of earth-born warriors bowed. That Form sublime
In these benign and memorable words,
Breathed holy consolation.—“Ye that owned
Religion for your Leader, and revered
The Family of Man, and toiled and bled
For Liberty and Justice! Ye have fought
A glorious fight, and gained a glorious meed,
A bright inheritance of endless joy-
A home of endless rest!"
Now straight appeared,
With lineaments divinely beautiful,
Fair shapes of bright-wing'd beings, holy guides
To realms of everlasting peace and love !
Alas! how few of that surrounding host
Were led to happier worlds! That hallowed band
In radiant light departed; but the Form
That sat upon the throne, now sternly rose
With clouded brow, and majesty severe,
And this dread judgment gave-(while darkness wrapt
The strange and unimaginable scene,) -
“ He that can love not man loves not his God!
And, lo! His image ye have dared to mar
In hate and exultation ; and for this
Shall ceaseless strife, and agonies of death,
Be your eternal doom ! "
Now with triumphant howls of mockery,
More horrible than shuddering fancy hears
Raising dread echoes in the charnel vault,
ends of hell! and urged us on,
Through paths of fearful gloom, till one broad plain
Of endless space, burst on the startled
In the dim distance glittered shafts of war ;-
Despair's wild cry, and Hate's delirious shout,
The din of strife, and shrieks of agony,
Came on the roaring blast! A mighty voice,
Piercing the dissonance infernal, cried,
“ On to the Hell of Battle, and the war
Coeval with eternity !” That voice,
Whose sound was thunder, breathed resistless spells,
For, wrought to sudden frenzy, on we rushed
To join the strife of millions.
One alone Amid that countless throng mine eye
controlled. His was the form I loved not in my youth, And cursed in after years. We madly met A wild thrust reached him.—Then he loudly shrieked, And imprecated Death—alas ! in vain ! To yield the final pang! With unquenched rage He turned again on his eternal foe In fierce despair !-But he was victor nowAnd in unutterable pain- I woke! 'Twas morning—and the sun's far-levelled rays Gleamed on the ghastly brows and stiffened limbs Of those that slumbered-ne'er to wake again!
I see a column of slow-rising smoke
O’ertop the lofty wood that skirts the wild.
A vagabond and useless tribe there eat
Their miserable meal.
A kettle slung
Between two poles upon a stick transverse,
Receives the morse! ; flesh obscene of dog,
Or vermin, or at best, of cock purloin'd
From his accustom'd perch. Hard-faring race !
They pick their fuel out of every hedge,
Which, kindled with dry leaves, just saves unquench'd
The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide
Their fluttering rags, and shows a tawny skin,
The vellum of the pedigree they claim.
Great skill have they in palmistry, and more
To conjure clean away the gold they touch,
Conveying worthless dross into its place.
Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal.
Strange! that a creature rational, and cast
In human mould, should brutalize by choice
His nature, and, though capable of arts
By which the world might profit and himself,
Self-banish'd from society, prefer
Such squalid sloth to honourable toil.
Yet even these, though feigning sickness oft,
They swathe the forehead, drag the limping limb,
And vex their flesh with artificial sores,
Can change their whine into a mirthful tone
When safe occasion offers, and with dance
And music of the bladder and the bag
Beguile their woes, and make the woods resound.
Such health and gaiety of heart enjoy
The houseless rovers of the sylvan world;
And breathing wholesome air, and wandering much,
Need other physic none to heal the effects
Of loathsome diet, penury, and cold.
Longfellow. When the summer harvest was gathered in, And the sheaf of the gleaner grew white and thin, And the plough-share was in its furrow left, Where the stubble land had been lately cleft, An Indian hunter, with unstrung bow, Looked down where the valley lay stretched below. He was a stranger there, and all that day Had been out on the hills, a perilous way; But the foot of the deer was far and fleet, And the wolf kept aloof from the hunter's feet, And bitter feelings passid o'er him then, As he stood by the populous haunts of men. The winds of autumn came over the woods, As the sun stole out from their solitudes;
The moss was white on the maple's trunk,
And dead from its arms the pale vine shrunk,
And ripened the mellow fruit hung, and red,
Where the trees withered leaves around it shed.
The foot of the reaper moved slow on the lawn,
And the sickle cut down the yellow corn, -
The mower sung loud by the meadow side,
Where the mists of evening were spreading wide,-
And the voice of the herdsman came up the lea,
And the dance went round by the greenwood tree.
Then the hunter turned away from that scene,
Where the home of his fathers once had been,
And heard by the distant and measured stroke,
That the woodman hewed down the giant oak,
And burning thoughts flash'd over his mind,
Of the white man's faith and love unkind.
The moon of the harvest grew high and bright,
As her golden horn pierced the cloud of white,--
A footstep was heard in the rustling brake,
Where the beech overshadowed the misty lake,
And a mourning voice, and a plunge from shore,
And the hunter was seen on the hills no more.
years had passed on, by that still lake side,
The fisher looked down through the silver tide,
And there, on the smooth yellow sand displayed,
A skeleton wasted and white was laid ;
And 'twas seen, as the waters moved deep and slow,
That the hand was still grasping a hunter's bow.
Enter SQUIRE EGAN and Dick Dawson.
Dick. And so he'll have a shot at you, instead of an action ? Well, there's pluck in that : I wish he was more of a gentleman, for your
sake. It's dirty work shooting attorneys.
Squire. He's enough of a gentleman, Dick, to make it impossible for me to refuse him.
Dick. Certainly, Ned.
Squire. The impudence of the rascal! I told him I'd blister O'Grady: and he promised to send me a process—and then to send me a real blister instead.— I couldn't do less than horsewhip him. Do you know, is he anything of a shot?
• Adapted for Recitation from Samuel Lover's “ Handy Andy."
Dick. Faith, he makes very pretty snipe shooting; but I don't know if he has the experience of the grass before breakfast.
Squire. You must try and find out from any one on the ground; because, if the poor devil isn't a good shot, I wouldn't like to kill him, and I'll let him off easy-I'll give it to him in the pistol-arm, or so.
Dick. Very well, Ned. Where are the flutes? I must look over
Andy. Did you call me, sir?
Squire. Yes; fetch the mahogany box, out of the left-hand cupboard in my dressing-room.
Dick. I'll see, and get everything ready, Ned, rely upon it.
Andy. Here it is, sir. [giving it to DICK.]
Dick [sitting down, opening the box, and examining the pistols.] At all events, they want a touch of oil.
Squire. Well, keep them out of the misthriss's sight, Dick, for she might be alarmed.
Dick. Divil a taste; she's a Dawson, [Exit SQUIRE] and there never was a Dawson yet that did not know men must be men.
DICK commences cleaning the pistols, with ANDY at his elbow. Andy. Oh, my heavens! but that's a quare thing, Misther Dick, sir. [taking up one of the pistols.]
Dick. Keep your fingers off it, you thief, do! [rapping ANDY'S knuckles.]
ANDY. Sure I'll save you the throuble o' rubbin' that, Misther Dick, if you'll let me here's the shabby leather.
Dick. I wouldn't let your clumsy fist near it, Andy, nor your shabby leather, you villain, for the world. Go, get me some oil, and bring me a pen. [Exit ANDY.] The blundering rascal makes more mistakes than half a dozen put together-and yet, somehow, I like him; perhaps for his blunders.
Enter ANDY, with a can.
Andy. I've brought you the oil, Misther Dick.
Dick. The divil fly away with you; you never do anything right; you bring me lamp-oil for a pistol!
Andy. Well, sure I thought lamp-oil was the right thing for burnin'. Dick. And who wants to burn it, you savage?
Aren't you goin' to fire it, sir?
Choke you, you vagabond! [laughing] be off, and get me some sweet oil, but don't tell any one what it's for.
Andy. Here's the oil, sir, and I brought you the ink, sir, but I can't find a pin.
Dick. Confound your numskull! I didn't say a word about ink; I asked for a pen.