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Vain words; for see! the monster rears
His jaws in sight, then dips, then slowly reappears.
A deadly film comes o'er their eyes ;
They have neither pulse nor breath :
But there to stand is to endure
Companionship with death.
Half conscious what they do, they creep
Into a cave that faces not the deep:
And sooth, 'tis better patiently
Unseeing and unseen to lie,
Than dally with their watchful enemy.
And they look forth from hour to hour ;
But still the shark is prowling near ;
And they are cold ; and sunset comes
With sundry kinds of fear.
And now the tide is flowing fast
Into their cave; all hope is past,
If they by swimming cannot reach
The footing of the friendly beach.
And still they shudder, crouch, and cower ;
O how unlike their former glee ! As from a strange and gory grave,
They shrink from the bright sea.
Heavy is their choice of woe ;
For they must drown, or brave the cruel foe:
Once more they look :-hope beams ! far off, or near,
They see him not—“Heaven send our way be clear-
Now is the time; we will not perish here !"
For the dear life to shore they strain,
Convulsed, worse than in fever-dreams;
The sky seems blood, the waters blood ;
And once the younger screams
Aloud for help !-yet both come safe to land;
But in a swoon lie spent upon the sand,
Till a warm clasp recals them, and they hear
Wild words of love, breaking the trance of fear;
For she hangs o'er her boys, their mother dear.
.... Like to the bullet's grazing That breaks out in a second course of mischief.”
Hen. V. iv. 3.
ICHARD, the king of all our childhood's terrors,
The night before he fell on Bosworth field,
Lay at the town of Leicester. Likely 'tis
He slept not sweetly; but he lay at Leicester,
In an old-fashioned house, the old Blue Boar,
In his own bed, brought thither for the nonce ;
A moveable of blackest heart of oak,
With quaint devices carved of fruits and flowers,
And shapes of Cherubim with folded wings,
To watch o’er sleeping innocence-God save
The mark ! and there 'twas left, and many years
Stood out of use, unblest by birth of babe
Or good man's death, but not unheeded, for
The thing became a sight for travellers
Agape for wonders, and a source of gain
See Hutton's Bosworth Field, and Mrs. MARKHAM's History of England.
To those who owned it. Well, a century
Or more, passed by, when, as it so fell out,
The good Dame of the house heard in the room
Mysterious noises ! half in fear, and half
In curiosity, she turned, and stooped,
And gathered from the floor a piece of money,
Fallen from the mouldering frame-work of the bed :
And with more search, she lighted on a hoard
Of golden coin, above three hundred pounds,
Hid in a nook therein, contrived with skill.
And with light heart she went her way,
Her friends the marvellous story; part of whom
Rejoiced with her, part envied her good fortune.
But what remains is tragical. The Dame
By her own servant, whom that money tempted,
Was robbed and murdered, and the offender after
Died for the fact.
Did then some cunning fiend, Incorporate with the gold, linger behind, When Richard's gloomy spirit fled the earth, And bide his time throughout those hundred years ; Then when the pelf was found, forthwith depart; And fire in parting an infernal train, Rapine, and bloodshed, and untimely death ? No chronicles, or fabulous or true,
Of conflagration, or of pestilence,
Or other bounding subtleties of mischief,
Long smothered, breaking out afresh, to this,
The tale I have attempted to relate,
Afford a parallel: for it is big
With portent and with circumstance, and throws
On foul relapse a hue most dark and strange!