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74

SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.

Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, th' unbounded prospect, lies before me ;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a power above us
And that there is, 'all Nature cries aloud,
Through all her works—he must delight in virtue ;
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But when, or where? This world was made for Cæsar.2
I'm weary of conjectures—this must end them.

[Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus am I doubly armed ; 3 my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end ;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years,
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crash of worlds.

Addison.

sun

was

1 Plato, thou reason'st well! When tonic belief in the immortality of

Cato Uticensis 'saw the whole the soul.
Roman republic yielding itself up

2 This
world

made for Cæsar. to Julius Cæsar, he resolved to

Cæsar's distinguished achieveput an end to his life rather than

ments on so many battle-fields fall into his enemy's hands. Before soon gained for him great popudoing so, however, he spent a larity.

He defeated the supnight in reading Plato's Phædo. porters of the aristocracy at the This dialogue gives an account of battles of Pharsalia (48 B.c.) and the calm and magnanimous way in Thapsus (46 B.C.), which left him which Socrates confronted death, sole master of the Roman world. and it exhibits in an interesting 3 Doubly armed. What were the two manner the grounds of the Pla

weapons ?

THE CONVICT SHIP. Morn on the waters ! and purple and bright, Bursts on the billows the flashing of light; O’er the glad waves, like a child of the sun, See the tall vessel goes gallantly on; Full to the breeze she unbosoms her sail, And her pennon 1 streams onward, like hope, in the gale; The winds come around her, in murmur and song, And the surges rejoice as they bear her along. See! she looks up to the golden-edged clouds, And the sailor sings gaily aloft in the shrouds : Onward she glides, amid ripple and spray, Over the waters, away and away ! Bright as the visions of youth ere they part, Passing away, like a dream of the heart! Who—as the beautiful pageant 2 sweeps by, Music around her, and sunshine on highPauses to think, amid glitter and glow, Oh! there be hearts that are breaking below ?

Night on the waves ! and the moon is on high,
Hung like a gem on the brow of the sky,
Treading its depths in the power of her might,
And turning the clouds, as they pass her, to light;
Look to the waters ! asleep on their breast,
Seems not the ship lik an island of rest ?
Bright and alone on the shadowy main,
Like a heart-cherished home on some desolate plain !
Who-as she smiles in the silvery light,
Spreading her wings on the bosom of night,
Alone on the deep, as the moon in the sky,
A phantom of beauty—could deem, with a sigh,
That so lovely a thing is the mansion of sin,
And souls that are smitten lie bursting within ?
Who, as he watches her silently gliding,
Remembers that wave after wave is dividing
Bosoms that sorrow and guilt could not sever,
Hearts that are parted and broken for ever ?

76

THE AFRICAN CHIEF.

Or deems that he watches, afloat on the wave,
The death-bed of hope, or the young spirit's grave ?
'Tis thus with our life : while it passes along,
Like a vessel at sea, amid sunshine and song,
Gaily we glide in the gaze of the world,
With streamers afloat, and with canvas unfurled ; 3
All gladness and glory, to wondering eyes,
Yet chartered by sorrow, and freighted with sighs :
Fading and false is the aspect it wears,
As the smiles we put on, just to cover our tears ;
And the withering thoughts that the world cannot know,
Like heart-broken exiles, lie burning below;
Whilst the vessel drives on to that desolate shore,
Where the dreams of our childhood are vanished and o'er.

Hervey.

4

i Pennon, a small flag; a long narrow

piece of bunting. 2 Pageant, an imposing spectacle. 8 Canvas unfurled, sails spread.

4 Chartered by sorrow, and freighted

with sighs, hired by sorrow, and laden with sighs.

THE AFRICAN CHIEF.
Chained in the market-place he stood –

A man of giant frame,
Amid the gathering multitude,

That shrunk to hear his name ;
All stern of look, and strong of limb,

His dark eye on the ground :
And silently they gazed on him,

As on a lion bound.

Vainly, but well, that chief had fought

He was a captive now;
Yet pride, that fortune humbles not,

Was written on his brow.
The scars his dark broad bosom wore,

Shewed warrior true and brave;
A prince among his tribe before,

He could not be a slave !

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Then to his conqueror he spake :

My brother is a king ;
Undo this necklace from my neck,

And take this bracelet ring,
And send me where iny brother reigns ;

And I will fill thy hands
With store of ivory from the plains,

And gold-dust from the sands.'

Not for thy ivory nor thy gold

Will I unbind thy chain ;
That fettered hand shall never hold

The battle-spear again.
A price thy nation never gave

Shall yet be paid for thee;
For thou shalt be the Christian's slave,

In lands beyond the sea.'

Then wept the warrior-chief, and bade To shred his locks

away, And, one by one, each heavy braid

Before the victor lay.
Thick were the plaited locks, and long ;

And deftly hidden there,
Shone many a wedge of gold among

The dark and crisped hair. * Look! feast thy greedy eyes with gold,

Long kept for sorest need ;
Take it—thou askest sums untold,

And say that I am freed.
Take it !--my wife, the long, long day,

Weeps by the cocoa-tree, And my young children leave their play,

And ask in vain for me.'

'I take thy gold—but I have niade

Thy fetters fast and strong,
And ween that by the cocoa-shade

Thy wife will wait thee long.'

78

NAPOLEON AND THE SAILOR.

Strong was the agony that shook

The captive's frame to hear,
And the proud meaning of his look

Was changed to mortal fear.

His heart was broken-crazed his brain ;

At once his eye grew wild ;
He struggled fiercely with his chain,

Whispered, and wept, and smiled :
Yet wore not long those fatal bands;

For soon, at close of day,
They drew him forth upon the sands,
The foul hyæna's prey.

Bryant.

NAPOLEON AND THE SAILOR.

Napoleon's banners at Boulogne 1

Armed in our island every freeman ;
His navy

chanced to capture one
Poor British seaman.

They suffered him-I know not how

Unprisoned on the shore to roam;
And aye was bent his longing brow

On England's home.

His eye, methinks, pursued the flight

Of birds to Britain half-way over
With envy—they could reach the white,

Dear cliffs of Dover,

A stormy midnight watch, he thought,

Than this sojourn would have been dearer,
If but the storm his vessel brought

To England nearer.

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