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The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The Moon, their mistress, had expired before ;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perished ! Darkness had no need
Of aid from them-She was the Universe.



THE Slaver in the broad lagoon

Lay moored with idle sail ;
He waited for the rising moon,

And for the evening gale.

Under the shore his boat was tied,

And all her listless crew
Watched the grey alligator slide

Into the still bayou.

Odours of orange-flowers, and spice,

Reached them from time to time,
Like airs that breathe from Paradise

Upon a world of crime.

The Planter, under his roof of thatch,

Smoked thoughtfully and slow;
The Slaver's thumb was on the latch,

He seemed in haste to go.

He said, “My ship at anchor rides

In yonder broad lagoon;
I only wait the evening tides,

And the rising of the moon."

Before them, with her face upraised,

In timid attitude,
Like one half-curious, half-amazed,

A Quadroon maiden stood.

Her eyes were large, and full of light,

Her arms and neck were bare ;
No garment she wore save a kirtle bright,

And her own long, raven hair.

And on her lips there played a smile,

As holy, meek, and faint,
As lights in some cathedral aisle

The features of a saint.


“ The soil is barren—the farm is old,"

The thoughtful Planter said ; Then looked upon the Slaver's gold,

And then upon the maid.

His heart within him was at strife

With such accursèd gains ;
For he knew whose passions gave her life,

Whose blood ran in her veins.

But the voice of nature was too weak,

He took the glittering gold ! Then pale as death grew the maiden's cheek,

Her hands as icy cold.

The Slaver led her from the door,

He led her by the hand,
To be his slave and paramour

In a strange and distant land!




THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold ;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen :
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed ;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still !
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride ;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail :
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord !

* See 2 Chron. xxxii.



BESIDE the ungathered rice he lay,

His sickle in his hand ;
His breast was bare, his matted hair

Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,

He saw his Native Land.

Wide through the landscape of his dreams

The lordly Niger flowed;
Beneath the palm-trees on the plain

Once more a king he strode,
And heard the tinkling caravans

Descend the mountain-road.

He saw once more his dark-eyed queen

Among her children stand;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,

They held him by the hand !-
A tear burst from the sleeper's lids,

And fell into the sand.

And then at furious speed he rode

Along the Niger's bank;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,

And, with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel

Smiting his stallion's flank. Before him, like a blood-red flag,

The bright flamingoes flew ; From morn till night he followed their flight,

O’er plains where the tamarind grew, Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,

And the ocean rose to view.

At night he heard the lion roar,

And the hyena scream,
And the river-horse as he crushed the reeds

Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed like a glorious roll of drums,

Through the triumph of his dream.
The forests, with their myriad tongues,

Shouted of liberty;
And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,

With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep, and smiled

At their tempestuous glee.
He did not feel the driver's whip,

Nor the burning heat of day;
For Death had illumined the Land of Sleep,

And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul

Had broken and thrown away!




LOWLY upon his bier

The royal Conqueror lay ;
Baron and chief stood near,

Silent in war-array.

*“The Conqueror was buried in the church of St. Stephen, which he had built, but his funeral was singularly interrupted. At the moment that the coffin was being lowered into the grave, a man of low degree, raising himself from the crowd, exclaimed, 'Clerks, Bishops, this land is mine; it was the site of my father's house; the man for whom you pray took it from me by force to build his church. I have not sold my ground, I have not pawned it, I have not given it; it is my right, and I claim it.

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