Sivut kuvina

There many an humble green grave showed

Where want, and pain, and toil did rest, And many a flattering stone I viewed

O'er those who once had wealth possessed. A faded beech, its shadow brown,

Threw o'er a grave where sorrow slept, On which, though scarce with grass o'ergrown,

Two ragged children sat and wept. A piece of bread between them lay,

Which neither seemed inclined to take, And yet they looked so much a prey

To want, it made my heart to ache. “ My little children, let me know

“Why you in such distress appear, “ And why you wasteful from you

throw “ That bread which many a one would cheer ?' The little boy, in accents sweet,

Replied, while tears each other chased “ Lady! we've not enough to eat,

“Oh! if we had, we would not waste. “ But sister Mary's naughty grown,

And will not eat, whate'er I say, “ Though sure I am, the bread's her own,

- For she has tasted none to-day.” “ Indeed," the wan starved Mary said,

“ Till Henry eats, I'll eat no more, For yesterday I got some bread,

He's had none since the day before.” My heart did swell, my bosom heave, Í felt as though deprived of speech,


And pressed the clay-cold hand of each.

I silent sat upon

With looks that told a tale of woe,

With looks that spoke a grateful heart, The shivering boy then nearer drew,

And did his simple tale impart. “ Before my father went away,

“ Enticed by bad men o'er the sea, “ Sister and I did nought but play

“ We lived beside yon great ash-tree. “But then poor mother did so cry,

And looked so changed I cannot tell ; “ She told us that she soon should die,

“ And bade us love each other well. “ She said that when the war was o'er,

Perhaps we might our father see, " But if we never saw him more,

" That God our father then would be ! “ She kissed us both, and then she died,

“ And we no more a mother have ; “ Here many a day we've sat and cried,

Together on poor mother's grave. “But when my father came not here,

I thought, if we could find the sea, “ We should be sure to meet him there,

And once again might happy be. “We hand in hand went many a mile,

And asked our way of all we met; “ And some did sigh, and some did smile,

And we of some did victuals get. “ But when we reached the sea, and found

“ 'Twas one great water round us spread, “ We thought that father must be drowned,

And cried, and wished we both were dead.

“ So we returned to mother's grave,

" And only long with her to be, “ For Goody, when this bread she gave,

“ Said, father died beyond the sea. “ Then since no parent here we have,

We'll go and search for God around; “ Lady ! pray can you tell us where

“ That God, our father, may be found ? “ He lives in heaven, mother said,

“ And Goody says that mother's there,
So, if she knows we want his aid,

I think, perhaps, she'll send him here."
I clasped the prattlers to my breast,

And cried, “ Come both and live with me; “ I'll clothe you, feed you, give you rest,

" And will a second mother be. “ And God shall be your father still,

«« 'Twas he in mercy sent me here ; To teach you to obey his will,

" Your steps to guide, your hearts to cheer.”

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ALP wandered on, along the beach,
'Till within the range of a carbine's reach
Of the leaguered wall ; but they saw him not,
Or how could he 'scape from the hostile shot ?
Did traitors lurk in the Christians' hold ?
Were their hands grown stiff, or their hearts waxed cold?
I know not, in sooth; but from yonder wall
There flashed no fire, and there hissed no ball,
Though he stood beneath the bastion's frown,
That Aanked the sea-ward gate of the town;
Though he heard the sound, and could almost tell
The sullen words of the sentinel,

As his measured step on the stone below
Clanked, as he paced it to and fro;
And he saw the lean dogs beneath the wall
Hold o’er the dead their carnival,
Gorging and growling o'er carcass and limb;
They were too busy to bark at him !
From a Tartar's skull they had stripped the flesh,
As ye peel the fig when its fruit is fresh;
And their white tusks crunched o'er the whiter skull,
Asit slipped through their jaws, when their edge grew dull,
As they lazily mumbled the bones of the dead,
When they scarce could rise from the spot where they fed;
So well had they broken a lingering fast
With those who had fallen for that night's repast.
And Alp knew, by the turbans that rolled on the sand,
The foremost of these were the best of his band :
Crimson and green were the shawls of their wear,
And each scalp had a single long tuft of hair,
All the rest was shaven and bare.
The scalps were in the wild dog's maw,
The hair was tangled round his jaw.
But close by the shore, on the edge of the gulf,
There sat a vulture flapping a wolf,
Who had stolen from the hills, but kept away,
Scared by the dogs, from the human prey;
But he seized on his share of a steed that lay,
Picked by the birds, on the sands of the bay.

Alp turned him from the sickening sight :
Never had shaken his nerves in fight;
But he better could brook to behold the dying,
Deep in the tide of their warm blood lying,
Scorched with the death-thirst, and writhing in vain,
Than the perishing dead who are past all pain.
There is something of pride in the perilous hour,
Whate’er be the shape in which death may lower;
For Fame is there to say who bleeds,
And Honour's eye on daring deeds!

But when all is past, it is humbling to tread
O'er the weltering field of the tombless dead,
And see worms of the earth, and fowls of the air,
Beasts of the forest, all gathering there;
All regarding man as their prey,
All rejoicing in his decay.


'Twas in the battle field, and the cold pale moon

Looked down on the dead and dying ; And the wind passed o'er with a dirge and a wail,

Where the young and brave were lying.

With his father's sword in his red right hand,

And the hostile dead around him, Lay a youthful chief : but his bed was the ground,

And the grave's icy sleep had bound him.

A reckless rover, ʼmid death and doom,

Passed a soldier, his plunder seeking. Careless he stept, where friend and foe

Lay alike in their life-blood reeking.

Drawn by the shine of the warrior's sword,

The soldier paused beside it :
He wrenched the hand with a giant's strength,

But the grasp of the dead defied it.

He loosed his hold, and his English heart

Took part with the dead before him; And he honoured the brave who died sword in hand,

As with softened brow he leant o'er him.

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