Imagens das páginas



And thus she spoke in thrilling tone

Fast fell the tear-drops big :
"Ah! woe is me! Alas! alas !

The pig ! the pig! the pig !”
Then did her wicked father's lips

Make merry with her woe,
And call her many a naughty name,

Because she whimpered so.
Ye need not weep, ye gentle ones,

In vain your tears are shed,
Ye cannot wash his crimson hand,

Ye cannot soothe the dead.

The bright sun folded on his breast

His robes of rosy flame,
And softly over all the west

The shades of evening came.
He slept, and troops of murdered pigs

Were busy with his dreams ;
Loud rang their wild, unearthly shrieks,

Wide yawned their mortal seams.
The clock struck twelve; the dead hath heard ;

He opened both his eyes,
And sullenly he shook his tail

To lash the feeding flies.
One quiver of the hempen cord-

One struggle and one bound-
With stiffened limbs, and leaden eye,

The pig was on the ground;
And straight towards the sleeper's house

His fearful way he wended ;
And hooting owl, and hovering bat,

On midnight wing attended.
Back flew the bolt, uprose the latch,

And open swung the door,
And little mincing feet were heard

Pat, pat, along the floor.



Two hoofs upon the sanded floor,

And two upon the bed ;
And they are breathing side by side,

The living and the dead.
“Now wake, now wake, thou butcher man !

What makes thy cheeks so pale ?
Take hold ! take hold! thou dost not fear

To clasp a spectre's tail ?”
Untwisted every winding coil ;

The shuddering wretch took hold,
Till like an icicle it seemed,

So tapering and so cold.
“Thou com’st with me, thou butcher man!”

He strives to loose his grasp,
But, faster than the clinging vine,

Those twining spirals clasp.

open, open, swung the door,
And fleeter than the wind
The shadowy spectre swept before,

The butcher trailed behind.
Fast fled the darkness of the night,

And morn rose faint and dim :
They called full loud, they knocked full long,

They did not waken him.
Straight, straight towards that oaken beam,

A trampled pathway ran;
A ghastly shape was swinging there-
It was the butcher man.

0. W. Holmes.


And thou has walked about (how strange a story !)

In Thebes's street three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous, Of which the very ruins are tremendous !



[ocr errors]

Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dumby;

Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Thou’rt standing on thy legs above ground, mummy!

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon.
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features,
Tell us—for doubtless thou canst recollect

To whom we should assign the Sphinx's fame?
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect

Of either pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's pillar really a misnomer ?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?
Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden

By oath to tell the secrets of thy trade ;
Then say, what secret melody was hidden

In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played ? Perhaps thou wert a priest—if so, my struggles Are vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles. Perhaps that very hand now pinioned flat,

Hath hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass ;
Or dropped a halfpenny in Homer's hat,

Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great temple’s dedication.
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,

Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled,
For thou wast dead, and buried, and embalmed

Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :
Antiquity appears to bave begun
Long after thy primeval race was run.
Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue

Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
How the world looked when it was fresh and young,

And the great deluge still had left it green ;
Or was it then so old that history's pages
Contained no record of its early ages ?
Still silent, incommunicative elf !

Art sworn to secrecy? Then keep thy vows;
But prythee tell us something of thyself,

Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house ;



Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered,
What hast thou seen—what strange adventures numbered ?
Since first thy form was in this box extended,

We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ; The Roman empire has begun and ended,

New worlds have risen-we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, Whilst not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled. Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,

When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
Marched armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,

O’erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
And shook the pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder?
If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,

The nature of thy private life unfold :
A heart has throbbed beneath that leathern breast,

And tears adown that dusky cheek have rollid.
Have children climbed those knees, and kissed that face?
What was thy name and station, age and race?
Statue of flesh-immortal of the dead !

Imperishable type of evanescence ! Posthumous man, who quit'st thy narrow bed,

And standest undecayed within our presence,
Thou wilt hear nothing till the judgment morning,
When the great trump shall thrill thee with its warning.
Why should this worthless tegument endure,

If its undying guest be lost for ever?
Oh, let us keep the soul embalmed and pure

In living virtue, that, when both must sever,
Although corruption may our frame consume,
The immortal spirit in the skies may bloom.

Horace Smith.


It was an honest fisherman,

I knew him passing well ;
And he lived by a little pond,

Within a little dell.



There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily ; and when
Music arose, with its voluptuous sweil,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,

And all went merry as a marriage bell ;-
But hush ! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !

not hear it ? No; 'twas but the wind
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street:
On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined ;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet-
But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;

And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm ! arm ! is ! it'is !—the cannon's opening roar !

Within a window'd niche of that high hall
Sat Brunswick's fated chieftain ; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear ;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier,

And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell ;
He rush'd into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell !

Ah ! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness ;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated! Who could guess

If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise ?

And there was mounting in hot haste ; the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;

« AnteriorContinuar »