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“Bring me the captive now!
My hand feels skilful, and the shadows lift
From

my waked spirit, airily and swift ;

And I could paint the bow
Upon the bended heavens, around me play
Colours of such divinity to-day.

Ha! bind him on his back!
Look, as Prometheus in my picture here.
Quick, or he faints ! Stand with the cordial near !

Now bend him to the rack !
Press down the poisoned links into his flesh,
And tear agape that healing wound afresh!

“ So let him writhe! How long
Will he live thus ? Quick, my good pencil, now !
What a fine agony works on his brow!

Ha! grey-haired and so strong !
How fearfully he stifies that short moan !
Gods ! if I could but paint a dying groan !

Pity thee? So I do !
I pity the dumb victim at the altar;
But does the robed priest for

his pity falter ?
I'd rack thee, though I knew
A thousand lives were perishing in thine;.
What were ten thousand to a fame like mine?

Hereafter!' Ay, hereafter !
A whip to keep a coward to his track !

Death ever from his kingdom back
To check the sceptic's laughter?
Come from the grave to-morrow with that story,
And I may take some softer path to glory.'

No, no, old man ; we die
E'en as the flowers, and we shall breathe away
Our life upon the chance wind, e'en as they.

Strain well thy fainting eye;
For when that bloodshot quivering is o'er,
The light of heaven will never reach thee more.

Yet there's a deathless name-
A spirit that the smothering vault shall spurn,
And, like a steadfast planet, mount and burn ;

And though its crown of flame
Consumed my brain to ashes as it won me,
By all the fiery stars ! I'd pluck it on me ;

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SAID I TO MYSELF, SAID I.

111

Ay, though it bid me rifle
My heart's last fount for its insatiate thirst;
Though every life-strung nerve be maddened first;

Though it should bid me stifle
The yearning in my throat for my sweet child,
And taunt its mother till my brain went wild ;-

All, I would do it all,
Sooner than die, like a dull worm, to rot;
Thrust foully in the earth to be forgot.

O heavens! but I appal
Your heart, old man ! Forgive! Ha! on your lives
Let him not faint ! rack him till he revives !

Vain! vain! give o'er! His eye
Glazes apace. He does not feel you now.
Stand back ! I'll paint the death dew on his brow.

Gods! if he do not die
But for one moment--one-till I eclipse
Conception with the scorn of those calm lips !

Shivering ! Hark! he mutters
Brokenly now. That was a difficult breath.
Another ! Wilt thou never come, oh death ?

Look, how his temple flutters ! Is his heart still ? Ah ! lift up his head ! He shudders-gasps—Jove help him-so-HE'S DEAD!"

N. P. Willis,

SAID I TO MYSELF, SAID I.

(By permission of the Author.)

I'M

poor and quite unknown,

I have neither fame nor rank;
My labour is all I own,

I have no gold at the bank ;
I'm one of the common crowd,

Despised of the passers-by,
Contemned by the rich and proud

Said I to myself, said I.

112

:

If poor,

SAID I TO MYSELF, SAID I.
I want, and I cannot obtain,

The luxuries of the earth ;
My raiment is scant and plain,

And I live in the fear of dearth.
While others can laugh or sing,

I have ever some cause to sigh ;
I'm a weary wanderling-

Said I to myself, said I.
But is this grieving just ?

Is it wise to fret and wail ?
Is it right, thou speck of dust,

Thine envy should prevail ?
Is it fitting thou shouldst close

Thy sight to the sunny sky,
And an utter dark suppose ?
Said I to myself, said I.

thou last thy health
If humble, thou art strong ;
And the lark, that knows not wealth,

Ever sings a happy song,
The flowers rejoice in the air,

And give thy needs the lie;
Thou’rt a fool to foster care,

Said I to myself, said I.
If the wants of thy pride be great

The needs of thy health are small,
And the world is the man's estate

Who can wisely enjoy it all.
For him is the landscape spread,

For him do the breezes ply,
For him is the day-beam shed-

Said I to myself, said I.
For him are the oceans rolled,

For him do the rivers run,
For him doth the

year

unfold
Her bounties to the sun;
For him, if his heart be pure,

Shall common things supply
All pleasures that endure-

Said I to myself, said 1.

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THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS.

113

For him each blade of grass

Waves pleasure as it grows ;
For him as the light clouds pass

A spirit of beauty flows;
For him, as the streamlets leap,

Or the winds on the tree-top sigh,
Comes a music sweet and deep-

Said I to myself, said I.
Nor of earth are his joys alone,

How mean soever his state
On him from the starry zone

His ministering angels wait ;
With him in voiceless thought

They hold communion high ;
By them are his fancies fraught,

Said I to myself, said I.
I will mould my life afresh,

I will circumscribe desire ;
Farewell to ye, griefs of flesh!

And let my soul aspire.
I will make my wishes few,

That my joys may multiply ;
Adieu, false wants, adieu !
Said I to myself, said I.

Charles Mackay.

THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS.

KING FRANCIS was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport, And one day, as his lions strove, sat looking on the court; The nobles filld the benches round, the ladies by their side, And ’mongst them Count de Lorge, with one he hoped to make

his bride ; And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning showValour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts

below. Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid, laughing jaws ; They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went

with their paws ;

114

HENRY THE FOURTH'S SOLILOQUY ON SLEEP,

With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled one on

another, Till all the pit, with sand and mane, was in a thundrous

smother; The bloody foam above the bars came whizzing through

the air; Said Francis, then, “Good gentlemen, we're better here

than there !" De Lorge's love o'erheard the king, a beauteous, lively dame, With smiling lips, and sharp, bright eyes, which always

seemed the same : She thought, “ The Count, my lover, is as brave as brave

can be, He surely would do desperate things to show his love of me! King, ladies, lovers, all look on, the chance is wondrous fine: I'll drop my glove to prove his love, great glory will be

mine!” She dropped her glove to prove his love, then looked on

him and smiled ; He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild ; The leap was quick; return was quick; he soon regained

his place, Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the

lady's face ! " In truth !" cried Francis, "rightly done !” and he rose

from where he sat; “No love," quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.”

Leigh Hunt.

HENRY THE FOURTH'S SOLILOQUY ON SLEEP.

How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep? Sleep, gentle Sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why, rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,

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