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that lift it towards the zenith, long chains of lightning flash through it, and the growling thunder seems like the rumble of the pulleys.
I thrust away my azalia boughs, and fling back the 5 shattered blinds, as the sun and the clouds meet; and my
room darkens with the coming shadows. For an instant the edges of the thick, creamy masses of cloud are gilded by the shrouded sun, and show gorgeous scallops of gold
that toss upon the hem of the storm. But the blazonry 10 fades as the clouds mount, and the brightening lines of
the lightning dart up from the lower skirts, and heave the billowy masses into the middle heaven.
The workmen are urging their oxen fast across the meadow; and the loiterers come straggling after, with 15 rakes upon their shoulders.
The air freshens, and blows now from the face of the coming clouds. I see the great elms in the plain, swaying their tops, even before the storm-breeze has reached me;
and a bit of ripened grain, upon a swell of the meadow. 20 waves and tosses like a billowy sea.
Presently I hear the rush of the wind, and the .cherry and pear trees rustle through all their leaves, and my paper is whisked away by the intruding blast.
There is a quiet of a mi.nent, in which the wind, even, 25 seems weary and faint; and nothing finds utterance save one hoarse tree-toad, doling out his lugubrious notes.
Now comes a blinding flash from the clouds; and a quick, sharp clang clatters through the heavens, and bel.
lows loud and long among the hills. Then — like great 30 grief spending its pent agony in tears — come the big
drops of rain, pattering on the lawn, and on the leaves, and most musically of all upon the roof above me; not now with the light fall of the spring shower, but with strong steppings, like the tirst, proud tread of youth.
CXXVIII. - EXTRACT FROM RIENZI.
Miss MitfORD. (MARY RUSSELL MITFORD was born at Alresford, in England, December 16, 1786, and died January 10, 1855. She published a number of works, comprising poems, sketches, and dramas, of which the best and most popular is “Our Village,” a collection of pictures of rural life and manners, written in a graceful and animated style, and pervaded with a most kindly and sympathetic spirit. She was very friendly to our country, and edited three volumes of “Stories of American Life by American Authors.”
The following extract is from “Rienzi,” the most successful of her dramas, founded on the fate and fortunes of a celebrated personage of that name, who in the fourteenth century was for a brief period the ruler of Rome. This speech is made by Rienzi to a Roman noble who was petitioning for the life of a brother who had been condemned to death. A brother of Rienzi's had been killed by a servant of this same noble.]
And darest talk thou to me of brothers ? Thou, . Whose groom — wouldst have me break my own just laws To save thy brother ? thine! Hast thou forgotten
When that most beautiful and blameless boy, 5 The prettiest piece of innocence that ever
Breathed in this sinful world, lay at thy feet,
Hear talk of retribution! This is justice,
Pure, equal justice. Martin Orsini
If ye could range before me all the peers, 15 Prelates, and potentates of Christendom —
The holy pontiff kneeling at my knee,
As justice. But this very day, a wife, 20 One infant folded in her arms, and two
Clinging to the poor rags that scarcely hid
For some vile petty theft, some paltry scudi —
There, midst the dangerous coil unmoved, she stood, 5 Pleading in broken words and piercing shrieks,
And hoarse, low, shivering sobs, the very cry
And those poor innocent babes between the stones 10 And my hot Arab's hoofs. We saved them all —
Thank heaven, we saved them all ! but 1 said no
CXXIX.— THE PASSIONS.
COLLINS. WILLIAN COLLINS was born in Chichester, England, December 25, 1720, and died June 12, 1756. He was a man of sensitive nature and melancholy temperament. His last years were clouded with disease and insanity. His poctical genius was of a high order, and many of his smaller poems are dis tinguished by imaginative splendor, an ethereal tone of sentiment, and subtie beauty of language. His “ Ode to the Passions” is a very popular poem, and deservedly so, for nothing can surpass its picturesque energy, brilliant descriptions, and vivid coloring.)
1 When Music, heavenly maid, was young, .
While yet in early Greece she sung,
From the supporting myrtles round, * Scudi is the plural of scudo, a silver coin nearly equivalent to a dollar.
They snatched her instruments of sound;
3 Next, Anger rushed, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
1 With woful measures, wan Despair
Low, sullen sounds ! — his grief beguiled,
'T was sad by fits, by starts 't was will
5 But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure?
Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ; And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair.
And longer had she sung — but, with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose :
And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And, ever and anon, he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat:
Dejected Pity, at his side,
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed;
Sad proof of thy distressful state!
And, now it courted Love ; now, raving, called on Hate.
8 With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired ;
In notes, by distance made more sweet,
And, dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels joined the sound:
(Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,) In hollow murmurs died away.
But, 0 ! how altered was its sprightlier tone,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung!