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He wore no ruling curb, that pallid Horse Swayed by the guiding thong-what need of reins
Upon a trackless and unbounded course ?
And never eagle swept the ærial plains,
Or dolphin dashed along the yielding wave, Or tiger leaped to prey, 'mid hunger's pains,
So swiftly as that steed his pathway clave Through every barrier, o'er the dying land,
To make Death lord of Earth—and earth one grave.
Death! the gaunt rider at whose mute command
Earth’s glories into chaos were returning :
And for all infinite destruction yearning, Before the eyes of his exulting steed—
In the intensity of fury burning,
He waved the weapon, and thence drew the seed
Of fire, which grew on either edge, until It did the fierceness of its source exceed,
And streamed a meteor in Death's hand, to kill The living, and the life of this creation,
And Earth's appalling destiny fulfil.
With that broad flame, in its red coruscation,
He lashed her bosom—and thence widely burst One wild and universal conflagration.
The human silence, by the darkness nursed, Broke its long trance at that awakening fire;
And shrieks of agony from lips accurst,
Arose convulsively, and wailings dire:
The darkness of the past was Paradise To that hot element's destroying ire!
Of wave and forest, that inflamed abyss Ingulphed the dwellers, with encircling swoop;
And all forms human that survived till this.
A pale, emaciate, and despairing troop
Sped to the summit of the loftiest rock,
When all beside hath sunk, tumultuous flock For yet a breath of life;—but vainly tried
For still the fires arose with ten-fold shock.
Servant and lord were there—but Power had died;
And Beauty moved not, where she once was chief, — No tone commanding left the lips of Pride ;
But ever, ever did Despair and Grief
Till to the fear of death, was death relief.
And many rushed, in strange, disordered bands,
Amid the world of fire ;—none cried “Come back!” With the dear accent that despair withstands :
Till on the peak, which, barren all and black, Still towered aloft, did one pale lover lie,
Left with the loved one he would not forsake.
She seemed to view him with a spirit's eye,
Full of the immortality of love ;-
The earth lay tombed in fire—but still above, That solitary star, unscathed, was gleaming,
And with its silver light the red flames clove;
A token of some future glory seeming,
Amid the present’s fiery desolation;
And winter o'er the land holds tyrant station, Some branch of green proclaims a new-born spring,
Will robe the young earth in its decoration.
Death, on his pallid Horse, rode triumphing
Fit rider for such steed—through flaming space; When, swifter than the lightning's swiftest wing,
From the high star's pre-eminence of place,
And steed fell powerless in their giant race!
Annihilation found—the tranquil star
And a perennial morning dawned afar,
No death could conquer, and no sorrow mar:
Aperient dews descended, as baptising
A new creation with their crystal rain ;
The thronging clouds which did therein remainThe gloomy pilgrims of the morning air
Dissolved in lustre, till the eye in vain
Had looked to heaven, to view the bright star there;
Its orb, expanded to infinity,
And beings lovelier than the loveliest sky,
And smile of joy, grew eloquent on high.
And spirits, which once wore the clay of earth,
Clothed in the glory of etherial wings,
And quaffed of life, at life's undying springs.
CEUR DE LION AT THE BIER OF HIS
BY MRS. HEMANS.
The body of Henry the Second lay in state in the Abbey-church of Fontevraud, where it was visited by Richard Ceur de Lion, who, on beholding it, was struck with horror and remorse, and reproached himself bitterly for that rebellious conduct which had been the means of bringing his father to an untimely grave.
Torches were blazing clear, hymns pealing deep and slow, Where a king lay stately on his bier, in the church of Fonte
vraud. Banners of battle o'er him hung, and warriors slept beneath, And light, as noon's broad light, was flung on the settled face of
On the settled face of death a strong and ruddy glare,
parted soul; And solemn were the strains they poured through the stillness
of the night, With the cross above, and the crown and sword, and the silent
king in sight.There was heard a heavy clang, as of steel-girt men the tread, And the tombs and the hollow pavement rang with a sounding
thrill of dread; And the holy chant was hushed awhile, as, by the torchs' flame, A gleam of arms, up the sweeping aisle, with a mail-clad leader
He came with haughty look, an eagle-glance and clear,
beside the bier!
He stood there still, with a drooping brow, and clasped hands
o'er it raised; For his father lay before him low-it was Caur-de-Lion gazed !
And silently he strove with the workings of his breast;
suppressed! And his tears brake forth, at last, like rain, - men held their
breath in awe, For his face was seen by his warrior train, and he recked not
that they saw.
He looked upon the dead, and sorrow seemed to lie,
clay, Till bursting words—yet all too weak—gave his soul's passion
Oh, father! is it vain, this late remorse and deep?
Speak to me :-mighty grief ere now the dust hath stirred; Hear me, but hear me !— father, chief, my king! I must be
heard ! Hushed, hushed !- how is it that I call, and that thou answerest
not? When was it thus ?— woe, woe for all the love my soul forgot!
" Thy silver hairs I see—so still, so sadly bright! And, father, father! but for me they had not been so white ! I bore thee down, high heart, at last; no longer couldst thou
Oh! for one moment of the past, to kneel and say 'forgive !'
“ Thou wert the noblest king, on a royal throne e'er seen, And thou didst wear, in knightly ring, of all, the stateliest mien;