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THE GAMBLER’S WIFE.—COATES.
D ARK is the night! how dark! no light! no fire !
Cold on the hearth the last faint sparks expire !
Shirering she watches by the cradle side,
For him who pledged her love-last year a bride!
“Rest thee, my babe !-rest on !—'tis hunger's cry!
Sleep for there is no food !--the fount is dry !
Famine and cold their wearying work have done,
My heart must break —and thou!”—The clock strikes one.
“ Hush! 'tis the dice-box! Yes, he's there, he's there ;
For this—for this, he leaves me to despair!
Leaves love ! leaves truth! his wife! his child! for what?
The wanton's smile—the villain—and the sot!
“ Yet I'll not curse him! no ! 'tis all in vain !
'Tis long to wait, but sure he'll come again!
And I could starve and bless him, but for you,
My child !his child !-Oh, fiend!” The clock strikes two.
“ Can he desert me thus ? he knows I stay
Night after night in loneliness, to pray
For his return--and yet he sees no tear!
No! no! it cannot be. He will be here.
They're gone! they're gone! the glimmering spark hath sped!
The wife and child are numbered with the dead !
On the cold hearth outstretched in solemn rest,
The babe lay frozen on its mother's breast !
The gambler came at last—but all was o'er-
Dead silence reigned around. The clock struck four!
LTEAR me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
11 In sharing that which you have pilferd from me;
Which of you trembles not, that looks on me ?
If not, that I, being queen, you bow like subjects;
Yet that, by, you deposed, you quake like rebels ?
Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away!
A husband and a son thou owest to me,-
And thon, a kingdom ;-all of you, allegiance;
This sorrow that I have, by right is yours;
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
Edward, thy son, that now is prince of Wales,
For Edward, my son, that was prince of Wales,
Die in his youth, by like untimely violence !
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long may’st thou live to wail thy children's loss,
And see another, as I see thee now,
Decked in thy rights as thou art stalled in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And after many lengthened hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store,
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
Oh, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace.
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends;
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be while some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils !
Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that was sealed in thy nativity,
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
HORATIUS.—MACAULAY. TARS PORSENA of Clusium, by the Nine Gods he swore U That the great house of Tarquin should suffer wrong nomore. By the Nine Gods he swore it, and named a trysting day, And bade his messengers ride forth, east and west and south and
north, To summon his array.
By.the yellow Tiber was tumult and affright:
From all the spacious champaign to Rome men took their flight.
A mile around the city the throng stopped up the ways;
A fearful sight it was to see through two long nights and days.
Now from the rock Tarpeian could the wan burghers spy
The line of blazing villages, red in the midnight sky.
The Fathers of the City they sat all night and day,
For every hour some horseman came with tidings of dismay.
They held a council, standing before the river-gate:
Short time was there, ye well may guess, for musing or debate.
Out spake the Consul roundly: “The bridge must straight go
For, since Janiculum is lost, naught else can save the town.”
Just then a scout came flying, all wild with haste and fear:
“ To arms! to arms! Sir Consul; Lars Porsena is here."
On the low hills to westward the Consul fixed his eye,
And saw the swarthy storm of dust rise fast along the sky.
The Consul's brow was sad, and the Consul's speech was low,
And darkly looked he at the wall, and darkly at the foe.
“ Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes down ; And if they once may win the bridge, what hope to save the
Then out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the gate,
“ To every man upon this earth death cometh, soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods ?
“Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me, will hold the foe in play.
In yon straight path a thousand may well be stopped by three.
Now, who will stand on either hand and keep the bridge with
Then out spake Spurius Lartius,-a Ramnian proud was he,“Lo, I will stand on thy right hand, and keep the bridge with
thee.” And out spake strong Herminius,—of Titian blood was he,“I will abide on thy left side, and keep the bridge with thee.”
“ Horatius,” quoth the Consul, “as thou sayest, so let it be.”
And straight against that great array, forth went the dauntless
For Romans in Rome's quarrel spared neither land nor gold,
Nor son, nor wife, nor limb, nor life, in the brave days of old.
Meanwhile the Tuscan army, right glorious to behold,
Cạme flashing back the noonday light,
Rank behind rank, like surges bright
Of a broad sea of gold.
Tour hundred trumpets sounded a peal of warlike glee,
As that great host, with measured tread,
And spears advanced, and ensigns spreail,
Rolled slowly toward the bridge's head,
Where stood the dauntless Three.
The Three stood calm and silent, and looked upon the foes,
And a great shout of laughter from all the vanguard rose :
And forth three chiefs came spurring before that mighty mass,
To earth they sprang, their swords they drew
And lifted high their shields, and flew
To win the narrow pass:
Aunus from green Tifernum, Lord of the Hill of Vines ;
And Seius, whose eight hundred slaves sicken in Ilva's mines;
And Picus, long to Clusium vassal in peace and war,
Who led to fight his Umbrian powers
From that gray crag where, girt with towers,
The fortress of Nequinum lowers
O'er the pale waves of Nar.
Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus intoʻthe stream beneath :
Herminius struck at Seius, and clove him to the teeth;
At Picus brave Horatius darted one fiery thrust,
And the proud Umbrian’s gilded arms clashed in the bloody dust.
Then Ocnus of Falerii rushed on the Roman Three;
And Lausulus of Urgo, the rover of the sea;
And Aruns of Volsinium, who slew the great wild boar,
The great wild boar that had his den
Amidst the reeds of Cosa’s fen,
And wasted fields and slaughtered men,
Along Albinia's shore.
Herminius smote down Aruns; Lartius laid Ocnus low;
Right to the heart of Lausulus Horatius sent a blow.
“ Lie there,” he cried, “ fell pirate! No more, aghast and pale,
From Ostia’s walls the crowd shall mark
The track of thy destroying bark.
No more Campania's hinds shall fly
To woods and caverns when they spy
Thy thrice accursèd sail.”
But now no sound of laughter was heard amongst the foes.
A wild and wrathful clamor from all the vanguard rose.
Six spears' lengths from the entrance halted that deep array,
And for a space no man came forth to win the narrow way.