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PYRAMUS AND THISBE.

85

Well, little Love, who's up to snuff,

In pitying mood, one day, Proposed a plan ; and, sure enough,

They tried, and found it pay. He whispered in the ear of each,

“ Seek out some little hole in
Your wall, through which your lover's speech

May echo most consoling."
They searched above, they searched below,

To find affection's keyhole,
Till, just when all appear'd no go,"

They found a little wee hole.
A rotten brick had come in two-

They saw the cranny-nay, more, They saw their love by peeping through,

Ah ! Quid non sentit amor ?
They poked the useless brick away

By digging out the mortar ;
And there they pass'd the live-long day

In whispers and “soft sawder."
Then, Thisbe'd

cry,

“Oh dear, oh dear, My eyes are full of dust, love ; You must come round and kiss me here ;

Indeed, indeed, you must, love." And then, poor Pyramus would say,

“Oh! bless us, how can this be I've kissed a dirty lump of clay,

And not my pretty Thisbe ! « Bad wall, bad wall! thy chink is small,

Thy big stones almost hide her ; Why leave a little hole at all,

Unless a little wider ?

“O will you meet me quite alone

To-morrow night, my dear, Beyond brass-gated Babylon,

Where walls can't interfere ?

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PYRAMUS AND THISBE.

“Let's meet by nine, at Ninus' tomb,

Under the mulberry tree:
The moon that lights the sunless gloom

Shall light my love to me.

*

'Tis night—the moon has flung her beam

Far down the glowing wave,
Where rolls Euphrates' silent stream

Fast by the monarch's grave.
The night-wind bids the forest groan,

And leafy branches reel ;
But, law! Who's this—and all alonemo

In such a déshabille?
"Tis Thisbe! Hear it, wise mammas,

The lesson's told concisely-
Don't bother Love by bolts and bars,

Or you'll be diddled nicely ;
For though her mother-cross old cat-

Had safely locked her in,
She knew a trick worth two of that,

And didn't care a pin.
She soon escaped—no matter how

And ere the bell tolled nine,
Sat trembling where the forest bough

Danced in the pale moonshine.
She sat and watched the waters roll,

And more impatient grew :
At last she heard a horrid growl.

“ Oh dear, what shall I do?
“Speak, Pyramus! Where are you? Oh!
I hear that growl again

!
How can you leave your Thisbe so ?

You must-you must be slain !"
She'd hardly done, when, trotting by,

A lion fresh from slaughter,
With black blood drenched, and savage cye,

Came from the woods to water,

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PYRAMUS AND THISBE.

Poor Thisbe shuddered at the sight,

Not relishing his "ivory ;” Besides--especially to-night

It's very hard to die-very ! “ I'll run and hide behind an oak,

My stars, just hear him swallow. I'd better first throw off my cloak.

I wonder if he'll follow ?" The lion on a hawthorn spray,

Descried the mantle dangling. She'd washed it out that very day.

He stopped—and did the mangling, But ah! the brute was hardly gone

When Pyramus drew near. “ My Thisbe ! Where's my love-my own 1

Good gracious me! what's here?
“Oh, Thisbe, dearest, are you dead?

Can this torn robe say true-
All pawed and clawed and bloody red ?

My love, I'll follow you !"
Then out he drew his shining blade-

“Grim Death, a friend art thou : My folly's slain earth's fairest maid !

I'll not survive-so now !”
With that he gave a deadly dig,

Another, and one more ;
Then kicked and hollo'd like a pig,

And his short life was o'er.
Poor Thisbe ! fancy how she cried

To find her lover stuck :
“Great gods ! I'll slumber by his side,

The darling, darling duck ! »
She snatched the weapon from the wound,

And bared her snowy breast;
Once gazed in maddening grief around,
And then we know the rest !

Purch.

88

MELNOTTE'S APOLOGY AND DEFENCE.

MELNOTTE'S APOLOGY AND DEFENCE.

(By permission of the late Lord Lytton.)

PAULINE, by pride Angels have fallen ere thy time; by prideThat sole alloy of thy most lovely mouldThe evil spirit of a bitter love And a revengeful heart, had power upon thee. From my first years my soul was filled with theo : I saw thee midst the flowers the lowly boy Tended, unmarked by thee—a spirit of bloom, And joy, and freshness, as if spring itself Were made a living thing, and wore thy shape ! I saw thee, and the passionate heart of man Enter'd the breast of the wild, dreaming boy ; And from that hour I grew—what to the last I shall be—thine adorer! Well, this loveVain, frantic-guilty, if thou wilt-became A fountain of ambition and bright hope : I thought of tales that by the winter's hearth Old gossips tell ; how maidens sprung from kings Have stoop'd from their high sphere; how Love, like Death, Levels all ranks, and lays the shepherd's crook Beside the sceptre. Thus I made my home In the soft palace of a fairy future ! My father died; and I, the peasant-born, Was my own lord. Then did I seek to rise Out of the prison of my mean estate ; And, with such jewels as the exploring mind Brings from the caves of Knowledge, buy my ranson From those twin gaolers of the daring heartLow Birth and iron Fortune. Thy bright image, Glass'd in my soul, took all the hues of glory, And lured me on to those inspiring toils By which man masters men! For thee I grew A midnight student o'er the dreams of sages ! For thee I sought to borrow from each grace And every Muse such attributes as lend Ideal charms to Love. I thought of thee, And passion taught me poesy—of thee, And on the pairter's canvas grew the life

ABOU BEN ADHEM.

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Of beauty !. Art became the shadow
Of the dear starlight of thy haunting eyes!
Men call'd me vain-some, mad. I heeded not;
But still toild on-hoped on; for it was sweet,
If not to win, to feel more worthy, thee !

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At last, in one mad hour, I dared to pour
The thoughts that burst their channels into song,
And sent them to thee—such a tribute, lady,
As beauty rarely scorns, even from the meanest.
The name appended by the burning heart
That long'd to show its idol what bright things
It had created-yea, the enthusiast's name,
That should have been thy triumph, was thy scorn!
That very hour-when passion, turn’d to wrath,
Resembled hatred most; when thy disdain
Made my whole soul a chaos—in that hour
The tempters found me a revengeful tool
For their revenge ! Thou hadst trampled on the worm-
It turned, and stung thee !

From Bulwer Lytton's "Lady of Lyons."

ABOU BEN ADHEM.

ABOU BEN ADHEM (may his tribe increase)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel, writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room be said,
“What writest thou ?” The vision raised its head,
And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one ?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”

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