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flush rose on his brow, And anger darkened his eye, “ What I have done I would do again now!
If you trust my fidelity." The king watched his face, he felt he might dare Trust the faith that was written there.
Next day the conqueror rose
From a greater conqueror free;
And again he stood amid those
Who had died his death to see :
He stood there proud of the lesson he gave,
That faith and trust were made for the brave.
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was still as she could be ;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock ;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.
When the rock was hid by the surge's swell,
The mariners heard the warning bell ;
And then they knew the perilous rock,
And blessed the Abbot of Aberbrothok.
The sun in heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds screamed as they wheelèd round,
And there was joyaunce in their sound.
The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen,
A darker speck on the ocean green ;
Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck,
And he fixed his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing ;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I'll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok."
The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.
Down sunk the bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around ;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the Rock
Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok."
Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away,
He scoured the seas for many a day ;
And now grown rich with plundered store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.
So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky
They cannot see the sun on high ;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land ;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising moon."
“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar ?
For methinks we should near the shore !"
“Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell.”
They hear no sound, the swell is strong ;
Though the wind hath fallen they drift along,
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock-
Oh, Christ ! it is the Inchcape Rock !”
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He cursed himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
But even in his dying fear
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear:
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell
The Devil below was ringing his knell.
I HAD a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air ;
iforn came and went—and came and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation ; and all hearts
Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons ; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face ;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes, and their mountain-torch :
A fearful hope was all the world contained ;
Forests were set on fire-but hour by hour
They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crash- and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
lheir chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled ;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
Vith mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
Vith curses cast them down upon the dust,
Ind gnashed their teeth and howled: the wild birds
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawled
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food :
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again ;-a meal was bought
With blood, and each sat sullenly apart,
Gorging himself in gloom : no love was left;
All earth was but one thought-and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious ; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails-men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
meagre by the
meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assailed their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famished men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the drooping dead
Lured their lank jaws ; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress, he died.
The crowd was famished by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies; they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heaped a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery ; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects—saw, and shrieked, and died-
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless-
A lump of death-a chaos of hard clay,
The rivers, lakes, and ocean, all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths ;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropped
They slept on the abyss without a surge-