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THE RUM MANIAC.

105

But the hands that were played

By that heathen Chinee,
And the points that he made

Were quite frightful to see-
Till at last he put down a right bower,
Which the same Nye had dealt unto me.
Then I looked up at Nye,

And he gazed upon me;
And he rose with a sigh,

And said, “ Can this be?
We are ruined by Chinese cheap labour.”
And he went for that heathen Chinee.
In the scene that ensued

I did not take a hand,
But the floor it was strewed

Like the leaves on the strand
With the cards that Ah Sin had been hiding,
In the
game

he “ did not understand." In his sleeves, which were long,

He had twenty-four packs;
Which was coming it strong,

Yet I state but the facts ;
And we found on his nails, which were taper,
What is frequent in tapers—that's wax.
Which is why I remark,

And my language is plain,
That for ways that are dark,

And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar :
Which the same I am free to maintain.

Bret Harte.

THE RUM MANIAC. “Say, doctor, may I not have rum,

To quench this burning thirst within ? Here on this cursed bed I lie,

And cannot get one drop of gin. I ask not health, nor even life.

Life! what a curse it's been to me! I'd rather sink in deepest hell,

Than drink again its misery.

106

THE RUM MANIAC.

“But, doctor, may I not have rum?

One drop alone is all I crave.
Grant this small boon-I ask no more

Then I'll defy-yes, c'en the grave :
Then, without fear, I'll fold my arms,

And bid the monster strike his dart
To haste me from this world of woe,

And claim his own-this ruined hearto
“ A thousand curses on his head

Who gave me first the poison'd bowl,
Who taught me first this bane to drink--

Drink-death and ruin to my soul.
My soul ! oh cruel, horrid thought !

Full well I know thy certain fate.
With what instinctive horror shrinks

The spirit from that awful state !
“ Lost-lost-I know for ever lost !

To me no ray of hope can come.
My fate is sealed; my doom is-

But give me rum-I will have rum.
But, doctor, don't you see him there?

In that dark corner low he sits :
See ! how he sports his fiery tongue,

And at me burning brimstone spits !
Go, chase him out. Look ! here he comes :

Now on my bed he wants to stay ;
He shan't be there. Oh God! oh God !

Go ’way, I say ! go 'way! go 'way !
Quick ! chain me fast, and tie me down.

There ! now he clasps me in his arms !
Down-down the window-close it tight;

Say, don't you hear my wild alarms ?
“Say, don't you see this demon fierce ?

Does no one hear 1—will no one come ?
Oh, save me-save me-I will give-

But rum I must have will have rum !

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Ah ! now he's gone ; once more I'm free :

He-the boasting knave and liar-
He said that he would take off my

Down to -But, there ! my bed's on fire ! LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER.

107

" Fire ! water ! help ! Come, haste—I'll die;

Come take me from this burning bed : The smoke I'm choking—cannot cry;

There now-it's catching at my head ! But see ! again that demon's come ;

Look there—he peeps through yonder crack; Mark how his burning eyeballs flash !

How fierce he grins! What brought him back? “There stands his burning coach of fire ;

He smiles, and beckons me to come.
What are those words he's written there?

In hell we never want for rum !
One loud, one piercing shriek was heard ;

One yell rang out upon the air ;
One sound, and one alone, came forth-

The victim's cry of wild despair.
“Why longer wait ? I'm ripe for hell;

A spirit's sent to bear me down. There, in the regions of the lost,

I sure will wear a fiery crown. Damned, I know, without a hope !

(One moment more, and then I'll come !) And there I'll quench this awful thirst With boiling, burning, fiery rum!"

Allison

LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER.

A CHIEFTAIN to the Highlands bound,

Cries, “ Boatman, do not tarry; And I'll give thee a silver pound

To row us o’er the ferry." “Now who be ye would cross Lochgyle,

This dark and stormy water?" “Oh! I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,

And this Lord Ullin's daughter. “ And fast before her father's men

Three days we've fled together, For should he find us in the glen,

My blood would stain the heather.

108

LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER.

“His horsemen hard behind us ride;

Should they our steps discover,
Then who will cheer my bonny bride

When they have slain her lover ?
Outspoke the hardy Highland wight:

“I'll go, my chief—I'm ready :
It is not for

your

silver bright,
But for your winsome lady.
“And, by my word, the bonny bird

In danger shall not tarry ;
So, though the waves are raging white,

I'll row you o'er the ferry."
By this the storm grew loud apace,

The water-wraith was shrieking ;
And in the scowl of heaven each face

Grew dark as they were speaking.
But still, as wilder blew the wind,

And as the night grew drearer,
Adown the glen rode armed men-

Their trampling sounded nearer.
“Oh ! haste thee, haste !” the lady cries,

“Though tempests round us gather;
I'll meet the raging of the skies,

But not an angry father.”
The boat has left a stormy land,

A stormy sea before her-
When oh! too strong for human hand,

The tempest gather'd o'er her.
And still they rowed amidst the roar

Of waters fast prevailing :
Lord Ullin reach'd that fatal shore-

His wrath was turned to wailing.

For sore dismay'd, through storm and shade,

His child he did discover ;
One lovely arm she stretch'd for aid,

And one was round her lover

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“Come back! come back !” he cried in grief,

“ Across this stormy water ;
And I'll forgive your Highland chief,

My daughter !-oh my daughter !”
'Twas vain : the loud waves lash'd the shore,

Return or aid preventing ;
The waters wild went o'er his child,
And he was left lamenting.

Campbell.

PARRHASIUS.

Parrhasius, a painter of Athens, amongst those Olynthian captives
Philip of Macedon brought home to sell, bought one very old man; and
when he had him at his house, put him to death with extreme torturo
and torment, the better to express the pains and passions of his
Prometheus, whom he was then about to paint.--Burton's Anatomy of
Melancholy."
THE golden light into the painter's room
Streamed richly, and the hidden colours stole
From the dark pictures radiantly forth,
And, in the soft and dewy atmosphere,
Like forms and landscapes magical they lay.
The walls were hung with armour, and about
In the dim corners stood the sculptured forms
Of Cytheris, and Dian, and stern Jove ;
And from the casement soberly away
Fell the grotesque, long shadows, full and true,
And, like a veil of filmy mellowness,
The lint-specks floated in the twilight air.
Parrhasius stood, gazing forgetfully
Upon his canvas. There Prometheus lay,
Chained to the cold rock of Mount Caucasus,
The vulture at his vitals, and the links
Of the lame Lemnian festering in his flesh;
And as the painter's mind felt through the dim
Rapt mystery, and plucked the shadows wild
Forth with its reaching fancy, and with form
And colour clad them, his fine earnest eye
Flashed with a passionate fire, and the quick curl
Of his thin nostril, and his quivering lip,
Were like the winged god's breathing from his flight.

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