Obrázky na stránke
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

With hue like that when some great painter dips

His pencil in the gloom of earthquake and eclipse.


A sweet and solemn smile, like

Cythna's, cast

She stood beside him like a rainbow

Within some storm when scarce its
shadows vast

From the blue paths of the swift sun And, when I spake, for sobs she could have faded;

not answer me.

One moment's light, which made
my heart beat fast,

O'er that child's parted lips-a gleam
of bliss,

A shade of vanished days, -as the tears past Which wrapped it, even as with a father's kiss

I pressed those softest eyes in trembling tenderness.


The sceptred wretch then from that

I drew, and, of his change com-

With words of sadness soothed his
rugged mood.

But he, while pride and fear held
deep debate,

With sullen guile of ill-dissembled

Glared on me as a toothless snake might glare:

Pity, not scorn, I felt, though

The desolater now, and unaware
The curses which he mocked had caught
him by the hair.

With imagery beautiful as dream
We went, and left the shades which
tend on sleep

Over its unregarded gold to keep Their silent watch. --The child trod faintingly,

And, as she went, the tears which she did weep

Glanced in the starlight; wildered seemed she,


At last the tyrant cried, "She hun. gers, slave,

Stab her, or give her bread!"—It was a tone

Such as sick fancies in a new-made

grave Might hear. I trembled, for the truth was known:

He with this child had thus been left alone,

And neither had gone forth for food, -but he,

In mingled pride and awe, cowered near his throne,

And she, a nursling of captivity, Knew nought beyond those walls, nor what such change might be.


And he was troubled at a charm withdrawn

Thus suddenly; that sceptres ruled

no more

That even from gold the dreadful strength was gone

Which once made all things subject to its power

Such wonder seized him as if hour by hour

The past had come again; and the swift fall


I led him forth from that which now might seem

A gorgeous grave: through portals Like wonder stirred who saw such awful

sculptured deep

change befall.

Of one so great and terrible of yore To desolateness in the hearts of all


A mighty crowd, such as the wide land pours

Once in a thousand years, now gathered round

The fallen tyrant;-like the rush of showers

Of hail in spring, pattering along the ground,

Their many footsteps fell-else came no sound

From the wide multitude; that lonely man

Then knew the burden of his change, and found,

Concealing in the dust his visage wan, Refuge from the keen looks which through his bosom ran.


And he was faint withal: I sate beside him

Upon the earth, and took that child so fair

From his weak arms, that ill might none betide him

Or her; when food was brought to them, her share

To his averted lips the child did bear,

But, when she saw he had enough, she ate,

And wept the while;-the lonely man's despair

Hunger then overcame, and, of his


Forgetful, on the dust as in a trance he sate.


Slowly the silence of the multitudes Passed, as when far is heard in some lone dell

The gathering of a wind among the woods

Among our homes, is fallen! the murderer

Who slaked his thirsting soul, as from a well

Of blood and tears, with ruin! he is here!

Sunk in a gulf of scorn from which none may him rear!"


Then was heard-" He who judged, let him be brought To judgment !

Blood for blood cries from the soil

On which his crimes have deep pollution wrought!

Shall Othman only unavenged despoil?

Shall they who by the stress of grinding toil

Wrest from the unwilling earth his luxuries

Perish for crime, while his foul
blood may boil

Or creep within his veins at will?

And to high justice make her chosen



"What do ye seek? what fear ye," then I cried,

Suddenly starting forth, "that ye should shed

The blood of Othman ?-if your hearts are tried

In the true love of freedom, cease to dread

This one poor lonely man. -beneath Heaven spread

In purest light above us all, through earth,

Maternal earth, who doth her sweet smiles shed

"And he is fallen!" they cry; "he who did dwell

Like famine or the plague, or aught Of human nature win from these a second birth.

more fell,

For all, let him go free; until the worth

[blocks in formation]

His very victims brought-soft looks and speeches meet.


Then to a home for his repose assigned, Accompanied by the still throng, he went

In silence, where, to soothe his rankling mind,

Some likeness of his ancient state
was lent;

And, if his heart could have been

As those who pardoned him, he might

have ended

His days in peace; but his straight lips were bent,

Men said, into a smile which guile portended,

A sight with which that child like hope with fear was blended.


the eve of that

'Twas midnight now,
great day
Whereon the many nations at whose

The chains of earth like mist melted


The murmur of the people, slowly dying,

Paused as I spake, then those who

near me were

Cast gentle looks where the lone man The flood recede from which their thirst was lying

they seek to slake.

Shrouding his head, which now
that infant fair


Clasped on her lap in silence ;through the air

Sobs were then heard, and many kissed my feet

In pity's madness, and to the despair

Of him whom late they cursed a solace sweet


Decreed to hold a sacred Festival, A rite to attest the equality of all Who live. So to their homes, to dream or wake,

All went. The sleepless silence did recall

Laone to my thoughts, with hopes that make

The dawn flowed forth, and from its purple fountains

I drank those hopes which make the spirit quail,

As to the plain between the misty mountains

And the great City, with a countenance pale,

I went it was a sight which might avail

To make men weep exulting tears,

for whom

Now first from human power the reverent veil

Was torn, to see Earth from her general womb Pour forth her swarming sons to a fraternal doom;


To see far glancing in the misty morning


« PredošláPokračovať »