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No! he must suffer; pity we may find
For one man's pangs, but must not wrong
Still I behold him, every thought employ’d
On one dire view !—all others are destroy'd;
This makes his features ghastly, gives the tone
Of his few words resemblance to a groan:
He takes his tasteless food, and when 'tis done,
his meals, now lessen'd by that one; For expectation is on time intent, Whether he brings us joy or punishment.
Yes! e’en in sleep the impressions all remain, He hears the sentence and he feels the chain; He sees the judge and jury, when he shakes, And loudly cries, “ Not guilty,” and awakes : Then chilling tremblings o'er his body creep, Till worn-out nature is compell’d to sleep.
Now comes the dream again; it shows each scene, With each small circumstance that comes betweenThe call to suffering and the very deed There crowds go with him, follow, and precede; Some heartless shout, some pity, all condemn, While he in fancied envy looks at them: He seems the place for that sad act to see, And dreams the very thirst which then will be: A priest attends—it seems, the one he knew In his best days, beneath whose care he grew.
At this his terrors take a sudden flight,
He sees his native village with delight;
The house, the chamber, where he once array’d
His youthful person; where he knelt and pray'd :
Then too the comforts he enjoy'd at home,
The days of joy; the joys themselves are come;-
The hours of innocence;—the timid look
Of his loved maid, when first her hand he took
And told his hope; her trembling joy appears,
Her forced reserve and his retreating fears.
All now is present;—'tis a moment's gleam
Of former sunshine-stay, delightful dream!
Let him within his pleasant garden walk,
Give him her arm, of blessings let them talk.
Yes! all are with him now, and all the while
Life's early prospects and his Fanny's smile:
Then come his sister and his village-friend,
And he will now the sweetest moments spend
Life has to yield ;—No! never will he find
Again on earth such pleasure in his mind :
He goes through shrubby walks these friends among,
Love in their looks and honour on the tongue:
Nay, there's a charm beyond what nature shows,
The bloom is softer and more sweetly glows; —
Pierced by no crime, and urged by no desire
For more than true and honest hearts require,
They feel the calm delight, and thus proceed
Through the green lane,-then linger in the mead, -
Stray o'er the heath in all its purple bloom,-
And pluck the blossom where the wild bees hum;
Then through the broomy bound with ease they pass,
And press the sandy sheep-walk's slender grass,
Where dwarfish flowers among the gorse are spread,
And the lamb browses by the linnet's bed;
Then 'cross the bounding brook they make their way
O’er its rough bridge—and there behold the bay !-
The ocean smiling to the fervid sun-
The waves that faintly fall and slowly run-
The ships at distance and the boats at hand;
And now they walk upon the sea-side sand,
Counting the number and what kind they be,
Ships softly sinking in the sleepy sea :
Now arm in arm, now parted, they behold
The glittring waters on the shingles rolld:
The timid girls, half dreading their design,
Dip the small foot in the retarded brine,
And search for crimson weeds, which spreading flow,
Or lie like pictures on the sand below;
With all'those bright red pebbles that the sun
Through the small waves so softly shines upon;
And those live lucid jellies which the eye
Delights to trace as they swim glittring by :
Pearl-shells and rubied star-fish they admire,
And will arrange above the parlour-fire,-
Tokens of bliss !—“ Oh! horrible! a wave
“ Roars as it rises- -save me, Edward! save!"
She cries:-Alas! the watchman on his way
Calls and lets in-truth, terror, and the day!
Tu quoque ne metuas, quamvis schola verbere multo
Increpet et truculenta senex geret ora magister ;
Degeneres animos timor arguit; at tibi consta
Intrepidus, nec te clamor plagæque sonantes,
Nec matutinis agitet formido sub horis,
Quòd sceptrum vibrat ferulæ, quòd multa supellex
Virgea, quòd molis scuticam prætexit aluta,
Quòd fervent trepido subsellia vestra tumultu,
Pompa loci, et vani fugiatur scena timoris.
Ausonius in Protreptico ad Nepotem.
Be it a weakness, it deserves some praise, -
We love the play-place of our early days;
The scene is touching, and the heart is stone
That feels not at that sight-
and feels at none.
The wall on which we tried our graving skill;
The very name we carved subsisting still;
The bench on which we sat while deep employ'd,
Though mangled, hack’d, and hew'd, yet not destroy'd.
The little ones unbutton'd, glowing hot,
Playing our games, and on the very spot;
As 'happy as we once to kneel and draw
The chalky ring and knuckle down at taw.
This fond attachment to the well-known place,
When first we started into life's long race,
Maintains its hold with such unfailing sway,
We feel it e'en in age and at our latest day.