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The death-bell thrice was heard to ring,
An aërial voice was heard to call;
And thrice the raven flapped his wing
Around the towers of Cumnor Hall.
The mastiff howled at village door,
The oaks were shattered on the green;
Woe was the hour, for never more
That hapless Countess e'er was seen.
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 traveller oft hath sighed,
And pensive wept the Countess' fall
As wandering onward they've espied
The haunted towers of Cumnor Hall.
(From the French of MERY and BARTHELEMY.)
Ar midnight, from his grave,
The drummer woke and rose,
And beating loud the drum,
Forth on his round he goes.
Stirred by his faithful arms,
The drumsticks patly fall,
He beats the loud retreat,
Reveillé and roll-call.
So grandly rolls that drum,
So deep it echoes round!
Old soldiers in their graves,
Start to life at the sound.
Both they in farthest North,
Stiff in the ice that lay,
And who too warm repose,
Beneath Italian clay;
Below the mud of Nile,
And 'neath Arabian sand; Their burial-place they quit,
And soon to arms they stand.
And at midnight, from his grave,
The trumpeter arose ;
And mounted on his horse,
A loud shrill blast he blows.
On aëry coursers then,
The cavalry are seen,
Old squadrons erst renowned,
Gory and gashed, I ween.
Beneath the casque their blanched skulls
Smile grim, and proud their air,
As in their iron hands,
Their long sharp swords they bear.
And at midnight from his tomb
The Chief awoke, and rose ;
And followed by his staff,
With slow steps on he goes.
A little hat he wears,
A coat quite plain has he,
A little sword for arms
At his left side hangs free.
O'er the vast plain, the moon
A solemn lustre threw ;
The man with the little hat
The troops goes to review.
The ranks present their arms,
Deep roll the drums the while;
Recovering then-the troops
Before the chief defile.
Marshals and generals round
In circle formed appear:
The chief to the first a word
Then whispers in his ear.
The word goes down the ranks
Resounds along the Seine ;
That word they give, is-France,
The answer- -Saint-Hélène :
'Tis there, at midnight hour,
The Grand Review, they say,
Is by dead Cæsar held,
In the Champs-Elysées.
A GRECIAN youth of talents rare,
Whom Plato's philosophic care
Had formed for virtue's nobler view,
By precept and example too,
Would often boast his matchless skill
To curb the steed and guide the wheel;
And as he passed the gazing throng
With graceful ease, and smacked the thong,
The idiot wonder they expressed
Was praise and transport to his breast.
At length, quite vain, he needs must show
His master, what his art could do ;
And bade his slaves the chariot lead
To Academus' sacred shade.
The trembling grove confessed its fright,
The wood-nymphs started at the sight,
The Muses dropt the learned lyre,
And to the inmost shades retire.
Howe'er, the youth with forward air
Bows to the sage, and mounts the car:
The lash resounds, the coursers spring,
The chariot marks the rolling ring,
And gathering crowds with eager eyes
And shouts, pursue him as he flies.
Triumphant to the goal returned,
With nobler thirst his bosom burned.
And now along the indented plain
The selfsame track he marks again,
Pursues with care the nice design,
Nor ever deviates from the line.
Amazement seized the circling crowd;
The youths with emulation glowed ;
E'en bearded sages hailed the boy,
And all, but Plato, gazed with joy.
For he, deep-judging sage, beheld
With pain the triumph of the field;
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
And flushed with hope had caught his eye—
"Alas! unhappy youth!" he cried,
Expect no praise from me," and sighed : “With indignation I survey
Such skill and judgment thrown away,
The time profusely squandered there
On vulgar arts beneath thy care,
If well employed at less expense,
Had taught thee honour, virtue, sense;
And raised thee from a coachman's fate,
To govern men, and guide the state.”
CAIN ON THE SEA-SHORE.
(From the German of STOLBERG.)
WOE is me! oh where, oh where
Doth my spirit drive me? where ?
These wild torrents roll to me
E'en to earth's remotest verge
Vengeance doth me onward urge!
Where no tongue did e'er complain,
Abel's blood has banished Cain !
Woe is me! My brother's blood
Thunders in the roaring flood!
In the rocky beach's sound!
In the cavern's loud rebound!
As the waves beat round the rock,
So my spirit feels the shock
Of grief and rage, anguished mood,
Dread of heaven, Abel's blood!