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If an indignant eye we lift above,
To lose some sparkling goblet ill content, Which, but for that keen watchfulness of love,
Swift certain poison through our veins had sent.”
BY H. G. BELL.
I HAD an uncle once-a man
Of threescore years and three ;-
He'd take me on his knee;
Things that seemed strange to me.
And few his converse sought;
His conscience with him wrought;
Some hideous vision brought.
Who did not fear his frown,
Who gambolled up and down,
And plucked him by the gown.
My father was his brother,
Had fondly loved each other;
The picture of my mother.
There was a curtain over it,
'Twas in a darkened place,
Upon my mother's face,
Of melancholy grace.
The wind was howling high,
It sounded drearily-
My uncle sat close by.
The words upon the book ;
My uncle's fearful look.
In strong convulsions shook. A silent terror o'er me stole,
A strange, unusual dread ;
Sunk far down in his head ;
Of the unconscious dead.
And drew aside the veil That hung before my mother's face;
Perchance my eyes might fail, But ne'er before that face to me
Had seemed so ghastly pale. "Come hither, boy !" my uncle said,
I started at the sound ; 'Twas choked and stifled in his throat,
And hardly utterance found :“Come hither, boy !” then fearfully
He cast his eyes around.
“ That lady was thy mother once,
Thou wert her only child ;-
Thee in her arms and smiled, -
'Twas that which drove me wild ! “He was my brother, but his form
Was fairer far than mine;
Of our ancestral line,
A token and a sign.
'Twas I who loved her first; For months—for years—the golden thought Within
soul was nursed ; He came-he conquered— they were wed;
My air-blown bubble burst !
And evil hopes grew rife ;
And cut me like a knife,
Should be another's wife!
To see my brother now,
For ever on his brow,
I am more loved than thou !
I crossed the raging sea ;-
My memory went with me ;-
In memory seemed to be.
“I came again--I found them here-
Thou 'rt like thy father, boyHe doted on that pale face there,
I've seen them kiss and toy,I've seen him locked in her fond arms,
Wrapped in delirious joy ! “He disappeared-draw nearer, child ;
He died — no one knew how ;
The tale is hushed up now;
The hand that struck the blow. “It drove her mad-yet not his death,
No--not his death alone :
Knew well that there was none;-
That froze her into stone ! “I am thy uncle, child,-- why stare
So frightfully aghast ?The arras waves, but know'st thou not
'Tis nothing but the blast ? 1, too, have had my fears like these,
But such vain fears are past. “I'll show thee what thy mother saw,
I feel 'twill ease my breast,
Suits with the purpose best.-
Is known to me alone ;
What see you that you groan
A bare-ribbed skeleton.”
A sudden crash- the lid fell down
Three strides he backwards gave,-
Returning from the grave !
Will no one help or save ?”
In raving madness tossed ;
Blasphemed the Holy Ghost;
A sinner's soul was lost.
ABOU BEN ADHEM.
BY LEIGH HUNT.
ABOU BEN ADHEM (may his tribe increase !)
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blessed, And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.