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THE FATE OF VIRGINIA.

171

O, shame on Roman manhood! Was ever plot more clear? • But look! the maiden's father comes ! Behold Virginius here!”

Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside,
To where the reeking shambles stood, piled up with horn and hide.
Hard by, a butcher on a block had laid his whittle down,
Virginius caught the whittle up, and hid it in his gown.
And then his eyes grew very dim, and his throat began to swell,
And in a hoarse, changed voice, he spake, “ Farewell, sweet child,

farewell!
The house that was the happiest within the Roman walls,-
The house that envied not the wealth of Capua’s marble halls,
Now, for the brightness of thy smile, must have eternal gloom,
And, for the music of thy voice, the silence of the tomb.
The time is come. The tyrant points his eager hand this way!
See how his eyes gloat on thy grief, like a kite's upon the prey !
With all his wit, he little deems that, spurned, betrayed, bereft,
Thy father hath, in his despair, one fearful refuge left;
He little deems that, in this hand, I clutch what still can save
Thy gentle youth from taunts and blows, the portion of the slave;
Yea, and from nameless evil, that passeth taunt and blow,-
Foul outrage, which thou knowest not,—which thou shalt never

know. Then clasp me round the neck once more, and give me one more

kiss, And now, mine own dear little girl, there is no way but this!" With that, he lifted high the steel, and smote her in the side, And in her blood she sank to earth, and with one sob she died.

Then, for a little moment, all people held their breath;
And through the crowded Forum was stillness as of death ;
And in another moment brake forth from one and all
A cry as if the Volscians were coming o'er the wall;
Till, with white lips and bloodshot eyes, Virginius tottered nigh,
And stood before the judgment-seat, and held the knife on high.
“0, dwellers in the nether gloom, avengers of the slain, .
By this dear blood I cry to you, do right between us twain ;
And e’en as Appius Claudius hath dealt by me and mine,
Deal you by Appius Claudius and all the Claudian line! ”

172

HAIR FOR SALE.

So spake the slayer of his child: then, where the body lay, Pausing, he cast one haggard glance, and turned and went his

way.

Then up sprang Appius Claudius: “Stop him, alive or dead!
Ten thousand pounds of copper to the man who brings his

head!”
He looked upon his clients,—but none would work his will;
He looked upon his lictors,—but they trembled and stood still.
And as Virginius through the press his way in silence cleft,
Ever the mighty multitude fell back to right and left.
And he hath passed in safety unto his woful home,
And there ta’en horse to tell the camp what deeds are done in

Rome.

HAIR FOR SALE.
HO’LL buy tresses, bonny brown tresses ?
V Maids and matrons, come and buy!
Here is one that was cut from a beggar,

Crouching low in a ditch to die!
Look at it, countess ! envy it, duchess!

'Tis long and fine, and will suit you well;
Hers by nature, yours by purchase,-

Beauty was only made to sell.

Who'll buy hair of lustrous yellow ?

Maids and matrons, 'tis bright as gold,
'Twas shorn from the head of a wretched pauper

Starving with hunger and bitter cold ;
It brought her a supper, a bed, and a breakfast;

Buy it, fair ladies, whose locks are thin;
'Twill help to cheat the silly lovers

Who care not for heads that have brains within.

Who'll buy tresses, jet-black tresses ?

Maids and matrons, lose no time!
Those raven locks, so sleek and glossy,

Belonged to a murderess red with crime.

CURRAN'S APPEAL TO LORD AVONMORE. 173

The hangman's perquisite ! worth a guinea!

Wear them and flaunt them, good madame!
They'll make you look a little younger ;

She was reality, you are a sham!

Who'll buy tresses, snow-white tresses ?

Widows and matrons, whose blood is cold,
Buy them and wear them, and show the scorners

You're not ashamed of growing old.
The face and the wig should pull together,

We all decay, but we need not dye;
But age, as well as youth, needs helping-

Snow-white tresses come and buy!

Who'll buy hair of all shades and colors,

For masquerade and false pretence ?
Padding, and make-believe, and swindle

That never deceive a man of sense.
Chignons! chignons ! lovely chignons !

'Tis art, pot nature, wins the day-
False hair, false hips, false hearts, false faces !

Marry them, boobies, for you may !

CURRAN'S APPEAL TO LORD AVONMORE.—CURRAN.

I AM not ignorant, my lords, that the extraordinary construcT tion of law against which I contend has received the sanction of another court, nor of the surprise and dismay with which it smote upon the general heart of the bar. I am aware that I may have the mortification of being told, in another country, of that unhappy decision; and I foresee in what confusion I shall hang down my head when I am told it.

But I cherish, too, the consolatory hope, that I shall be able to tell them that I had an old and learned friend, whom I would put above all the sweepings of their hall, who was of a different opinion ; who had derived his ideas of civil liberty from the purest

174 CURRAN'S APPEAL TO LORD AVONMORE.

fountains of Athens and of Rome; who had fed the youthful vigor of his studious mind with the theoretic knowledge of their wisest philosophers and statesmen, and who had refined that theory into the quick and exquisite sensibility of moral instinct, by contemplating the practice of their most illustrious examples,—by dwelling on the sweet-souled piety of Cimon, on the anticipated Christianity of Socrates, on the gallant and pathetic patriotism of Epaminondas, on that pure austerity of Fabricius, whom to move from his integrity would have been more difficult than to have pushed the sun from his course.

I would add, that, if he had seemed to hesitate, it was but for a moment; that his hesitation was like the passing cloud that floats across the morning sun, and hides it from the view, and does so for a moment hide it, by involving the spectator, without even approaching the face of the luminary. And this soothing hope I draw from the dearest and tenderest recollections of my life; from the remembrance of those attic nights and those refections of the gods which we have partaken with those admired, and respected, and beloved companions, who have gone before us-over whose ashes the most precious tears of Ireland have been shed.

Yes, my good lord, I see you do not forget them; I see their sacred forms passing in sad review before your memory; I see your pained and softened fancy recalling those happy meetings, where the innocent enjoyment of social mirth became expanded into the nobler warmth of social virtue, and the horizon of the board became enlarged into the horizon of man; where the swelling heart conceived and communicated the pure and generous purpose ; where my slenderer and younger taper imbibed its borrowed light from the more matured and redundant fountain of yours. Yes, my lord, we can remember those nights, without any other regret than that they can never more return; for

“We spent them not in toys, or lust, or wine ;

But search of deep philosophy,

Wit, eloquence, and poesy;
Arts which I loved, for they, my friend, were thine."

THROUGH DEATH TO LIFE.

175

THROUGH DEATH TO LIFE.-HENRY HARBAUGH.

TTAVE you heard the tale of the Aloe plant,
11 Away in the sunny clime ?
By humble growth of a hundred years

It reaches its blooming time;
And then a wondrous bud at its crown

Breaks into a thousand flowers;
This floral queen, in its blooming seen,

Is the pride of the tropical bowers;
But the plant to the flower is a sacrifice,
For it blooms but once, and in blooming dies.

Have you further heard of this Aloe plant,

That grows in the sunny clime,
How every one of its thousand flowers,

As they drop in the blooming time,
Is an infant plant, that fastens its roots

In the place where it falls on the ground;
And, fast as they drop from the dying stem,

Grow lively and lovely around ?
By dying it liveth a thousandfold
In the young that spring from the death of the old.

Have you heard the tale of the Pelican,

The Arab's Gimel el Bahr,-
That lives in the African solitudes,

Where the birds that live lonely are ?
Have you heard how it loves its tender young,

And cares and toils for their good ?
It brings them water from fountains afar,

And fishes the seas for their food.
In famine it feeds them,-what love can devise !
The blood of its bosom, and feeding them dies.

Have you heard the tale they tell of the swan,

The snow-white bird of the lake ?
It noiselessly floats on the silvery wave,

It silently sits in the brake;

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