Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

While the rain-cloud and flood dashed in thunder

below, Like an army to rush on its slumbering foeThe morrow sprung op, as a bride from ber bed, But the streams of the valley were strangled with dead; The flood was around them, the flood was on allSpread o'er the drowned earth like its funeral pall; And the mountains, methought, when their torrents

were hushed, Caught a glance from the pitying sun-set, and blushedAdieu to the home, where the shepherd's pipe rang, Adieu to the groves where the nightingale sung, Adieu to the peasants, the fair and the brave; For the valley that cradled, now yields them a grave.

(The Spirit of the Grave rises from the earth, and sings-)

In the lazar vaults I build my cell,
Where death and his gristly phantoms dwell;
I bid the Vampire gorge the blood
Of the charnelled dead, for his nightly food;
I bid the night-winds whistle and moan
Through the toothless jaws of the skeleton;
And conscience frown with lowering eye,
On guilt, and its immortality.-

I have a spirit that came to me,
When the last spring-moon looked over the lea;
She was a mother, and she was a child ;
But the clod of the valley is over her piled;
She died, and her spectre to-night shall appear,
For a mortal is waiting to welcome it here.

THE INCANTATION.

Spectre-spectre-hither come
On your night-wind from the tomb:
By the bell that flames around you,
By the dæmons that surround you,
By your corse that yields him food,
"Till the flesh-worm bursts with blood;
Hither come-for one is here,

One to whom you once were dear. (The ghost of a female descends on a night-wind.)

SECOND STRANGER.

Are the rites ended

FIRST STRANGER.

No! a spirit hovers O'er the weird pool-her garb is feminineThe death-worm coils around each limb; her mouth Breathes forth the chill fog of the sepulchre,

D D

With the rank vigour of a fresh decay; ..
Her form is of the earth, her shroud bedimmed
With faintest damp for the fresh coffined corse
Yet keeps the worm at bay-she bends on me
Her sightless eye-balls-mighty God! it is
My mother's ghost I gaze on-

(Shrieks and falls senseless on the earth. The spirits

vanish beneath the Pool.)

THE ADVENTURES OF ACHILLES,

A Hyde Park Komance.

προσέφη πόδας ωκυς Αχιλλεύς. .

HOMER.
Swift footed Achilles spoke.

A FEW evenings ago I strolled for a solitary ramble into Hyde Park. I had been dining with a friend, and flushed with an unusual allowance of wine, was desirous of inhaling the refreshing coolness of the air. The night was well suited to my purpose; it was mild and pleasant, with a gentle gale that just sufficed to wake into whispers the yellow foliage of the beech trees. A fine harvest-moon lent additional interest to the scene, now lighting up with faint reflection the distant hills of Surrey, and now chequering the broad tranquil surface of the Serpentine. Occasionally a passing cloud would throw into transient shadow the silvery bosom of the water, but the breeze soon dispelled its unwelcome gloom, and left the

queen

of night to pursue her uninterrupted course through the blue serene of ether.

Insensibly as I rambled on, my mind took the calm meditative hue of the hour, and I found myself musing beside the statue of Achilles, which our economical countrywomen (laudably apprehensive of a tailor's bill) have erected without breeches in the Park. As I gazed on its majestic lineaments, my imagination ardently excited recalled each circumstance connected with it. What! I said, if it could be restored to life, and were to relate its past transmigrations? It must have witnessed many strange events. As artillery it has figured at Salamanca, Vittoria, Thoulouse and Waterloo, and “could a tale unfold," that might well challenge attention. It has beheld the rise and fall of dynasties, has seen the hot blood smoke, the dying drop around it, and discharged its thunders at the command of hundreds over whom the daisy blossoms. As a statue, it is now the wonder of the metropolis, and if it were only for the edification of future historians, should be endowed with some principle of animation.

Impressed with this idea I continued with a fixed eye to gaze on it, until absorbed in reverie I seated myself beside a solitary stump that stands like a fugleman before its regiment of wooden

« AnteriorContinuar »