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132

A GUILTY CONSCIENCE.

And in that manor now no more

Is cheerful feast and sprightly ball; For ever since that dreary hour

Have spirits haunted Cumnor Hall ! The village-maids, with fearful glance,

Avoid the ancient moss-grown wall, Nor ever lead the merry dance

Among the groves of Cumnor Hall. Full many a trav’ller oft hath sigh’d,

And pensive wept the countess' fall, As, wand'ring onwards, he has spied

The haunted towers of Cumnor Hall.

MICKLE.

A GUILTY CONSCIENCE.

Clarence's Dream.

Oh, I have pass'd a miserable night,
So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights !
Methought that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embark’d to cross to Burgundy;
And in my company my brother Glo'ster,
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches : thence we look'd tow'rd Eng-

land,
And cited up a thousand heavy times
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befallen us. As we pac'd along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,

A GUILTY CONSCIENCE.

133

Methought that Glo'ster stumbled, and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears !
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes !
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks,
A thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon ;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes
Where

eyes

did once inhabit, there were crept
(As 'twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems,
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock’d the dead bones that lay scattered.-
And then my dream was lengthen’d after life,
And then began the tempest to my soul!
I pass’d, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman that poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger-soul
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
Who cried aloud, “What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?”'-
And so he vanish’d. Then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he shriek'd out aloud,
“ Clarence is come! - false, fleeting, perjur'd

Clarence,
That stabb'd me in the field by Tewkesbury:

134

ON HIS BLINDNESS.

Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments !'
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends
Environ’d me, and howled in mine ears
Such hideous noises, that with the

very

noise I trembling wak’d, and, for a season after, Could not believe but that I was in hell; Such terrible impression made my dream.

SHAKSPERE.

ON HIS BLINDNESS.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,–
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man's work, or His own gifts : who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His

state
Is kingly : thousands at His bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean, without rest :
They also serve who only stand and wait."

MILTON.

DISCORD'S HOUSE.

HARD by the gates of hell her dwelling is,
There whereas all plagues and harmes abound,
Which punish wicked men that walk amiss :
It is a darksome delve farre under ground,
With thorns and barren brakes environ'd round,
That none the same way may out win.
Yet many ways to enter may be found,

But none to issue forth when one is in ;
For discord harder is to end than to begin.

And all within the riven walles were hung
With ragged monuments of times fore-past,
Of which the sad effects of discord sung:
There were rent robes and broken sceptres plac't,
Altars defil'd, and holy things defac't,
Dishevered spears, and shields ytorne in twaine,
Great cittys ransack't, and strong castles ras’t,

Nations captived, and huge armies slain ;
Of all which ruines there some reliques did re-

main.

There was the signe of antique Babylon,
Of fatal Thebes, of Rome that reigned long,
Of sacred Salem, and sad Ilion ;
For memory of which on high there hong
The golden apple (cause of all their wrong),
For which the three faire goddesses did strive :
There also was the name of Nimrod strong ;

136

DISCORD's HOUSE.

Of Alexander, and his princes five, Which shar'd to them the spoils which he had

got alive.

And there the reliques of the drunken fray
The which among the Lapithees befell;
And of the bloody feast, which sent away
So many centaurs' drunken souls to hell,
That under great Alcides' fury fell ;
And of the dreadful discord which did drive
The noble Argonauts to outrage fell,

That each of life sought other to deprive,
All mindless of the golden fleece which made them

strive.

And eke of private persons many moe,
That 'twere too long a work to count them all :
Some of sworne friends, that did their faith

forgoe;
Some of borne brethren, prov'd unnatural ;
Some of deare lovers, foes perpetual ;-
Witness their broken bands there to be seen,
Their girlonds rent, their bowres dispoiled all ;

The monuments whereof there byding been, As plaine as at the first, when they were fresh

and green.

Such was the house within : but all without,
The barren ground was full of wicked weeds
Which she herself had sowen all about,
Now growen great, at first of little seeds,
The seeds of evil words, and factious deedes ;

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