Sivut kuvina

One word, but one, and thou may'st stay ;Firm spirit, wilt thou turn away?

A dull deep pause—that hush of breath
Which speaks anticipated death,

One still, stern look from him,-
A look, that tells of spotless fame,
Of strength for suffering, not for shame,

Resolve, no grief must dim;-
This—and the Roman all would save,
Departs, self-martyred, for the grave!

46. THE SPIDER AND THE BEE.—Anonymous.

With viscous thread, and finger fine,
The spider spun his filmy line;
The extremes with stronger cordage tied.
And wrought the web from side to side.

Beneath the casement's pendant roof,
He hung aloft the shadowy woof:
There in the midst compressed he lies,
And patient waits the expected prize.
When, lo! on sounding pinion strong,
A bee, incautious, rushed along;
Nor of the gauzy net aware,
Till all entangled in the snare.

Enraged, he plies his buzzing wings,
His far-resounding war-song sings;
Tears all that would his course control,
And threatens ruin to the whole.

With dread, with gladness, with surprise,
The spider saw the dangerous prize ;
Then rushed relentless on his foe,
Intent to give the deadly blow.

But as the spider came in view,
The bee his poisoned dagger drew ;-
Back at the sight the spider ran,
And now his crafty work began.

With lengthened arms the snares he plied,
He turned the bee from side to side;
His legs he tied, his wings he bound,
And whirled his victim round and round.

And now with cautious steps and slow,
He came to give the fatal blow;
When, frightened at the trenchant blade,
The bee one desperate-effort made.
The fabric breaks—the cords give way;
His wings resume their wonted play;
Far off on gladsome plume he flies,
And drags the spider through the skies.
Shun vice's snares ;—but if you're caught,
Boldly resist, and parley not:
Then, though your foe you cannot kilr,
You'll lead him captive where you


47. THE FIRST WANDERER.—Jewsbury: Creation's heir!-the-first, the last,

That knew the world his own ;-
Yet stood he ʼmid his kingdom vast,

A fugitive-o'erthrown!
Faded and frail his glorious form,

And changed his soul within,
Whilst fear, and sorrow, strife, and storm,

Told the dark secret-sin!

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Unaided and alone on earth,

He bade the heavens give ear;-
But every star that sang his birth,

Kept silence in its sphere;
He saw, round Eden's distant steep,

Angelic legions stray ;-
Alas! he knew them sent to keep

His guilty foot away.
Then, reckless, turned he to his own,.

The world before him spread ;-
But nature's was an altered tone,

And breathed rebuke and dread :

Fierce thunder-peal, and rocking gale,

Answered the storm-swept sea, Whilst crashing forests joined the wail ;

And all said—“ Cursed for thee.” This, spoke the lion's prowling roar,

And this, the victim's cry;
This, written in defenseless gore,

For ever met his eye:
And not alone each sterner power,

Proclaimed just heaven's decree,
The faded leaf, the dying flower,

Alike said" Cursed for thee."
Though mortal, doomed to many a length

Of life's now narrow span,
Sons rose around in pride and strength;

They too proclaimed the ban.
'Twas heard, amid their hostile spears,

Seen, in the murderer's doom ;
Breathed, from the widow's silent tears,

Felt, in the infant's tomb.
Ask not the wanderer's after-fato,

His being, birth, or name,
Enough that all have shared his state,

That Man is still the same.
Still, brier and thorn his life o'ergrow,

Still, strives his soul within ;
Whilst care, and pain, and sorrow show

The same dark secret-sin.

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Before proud Rome's imperial throne;

In mind's unconquered mood, As if the triumph were his own,

The dauntless captive stood :
None, to have seen his freeborn air,
Had fancied him a prisoner there.
Though through the crowded streets of Rome,

With slow and stately tread,
Far from his own loved island-home

That day in triumph led,

Unbowed his head, unbent his knee,
Undimmed his


aspect free.

A free and fearless glance he cast

On temple, arch, and tower,
By which the long procession passed

Of Rome's victorious power;
And somewhat of a scornful smile
Upcurled his haughty lip the while.

And now he stood, with brow serene,

Where slaves might prostrate fall; Bearing a Briton's manly mien

In Cæsar's palace-hall; Claiming, with kindling brow and cheek, The privilege even there to speak.

Nor could Rome's haughty lord withstand

The claim that look preferred ; But motioned, with uplifted hand,

The suppliant should be heard, If he, indeed, a suppliant were, Whose glance demanded audience there.

Deep stillness fell on all the crowd,

From Claudius on his throne,
Down to the meanest slave that bowed

At his imperial tone;
Silent his fellow-captives' grief,
As fearless spoke the island chief :

“Think not, thou eagle lord of Rome,

And master of the world,
Though victory's banner o'er thy dome

In triumph now is furled,
I would address thee as thy slave,-
But as the bold should greet the brave.

“I might, perchance, could I have deigned

To hold a vassal's throne,
Even now in Britain's isle have reigned

A king, in name alone ::
Yet holding, as thy meek ally,
A monarch's mimic pageantry.

" Then through Rome's crowded streets this day,

I might have rode with thee;
Not in a captive's base array,

But fetterless and free ;-
If freedom he could hope to find
Whose bondage is of heart and mind.

“But canst thou marvel that,-freeborn,

With heart and hope unquelled,
Throne, crown, and sceptre I should scorn,

By thy permission held ?
Or that I should retain my right,
'Till wrested by a conqueror's might?

“ Rome, with her palaces, and towers,

By us unwished, unrest,
Her homely huts, and woodland bowers,

To Britain might have left ;-
Worthless to you their wealth must be,
But dear to us—for they were free!

“I might have bowed before,—but where

Had been thy triumph now? To my resolve no yoke to bear

Thou owest thy laureled brow; Inglorious victory had been thine, And more inglorious bondage mine.

“Now I have spoken,—do thy will; Be life or death

my lot,
Since Britain's throne no more I fill,

To me it matters not:
My fame is clear; but on my fate
Thy glory, or thy shame must wait.”

He ceased. From all around upsprung

A murmur of applause ;
For well had truth and freedom's tongue

Maintained their holy cause :
The conqueror was their captive then;
--He bade the slave be free again.

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