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And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash'd their teeth and howld: the wild birds

shriek’d,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
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 sate 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;
The meagre by the meagre were devour'd,
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping 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 answer'd not with a caress—he died.
The crowd was famish'd by degrees ; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies; they met beside

VOL. III.

U

The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd 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 shriek’d, 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 stirr'd within their silent depths ;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropp'd
They slept on the abyss without a surge-
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon their mistress had expired before ;
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them_She was the universe.

CHURCHILL'S GRAVE,

A FACT LITERALLY RENDERED.

I stood beside the grave of him who blazed
The comet of a season, and I saw
The humblest of all sepulchres, and gazed
With not the less of sorrow and of awe
On that neglected turf and quiet stone,
With name no clearer than the names unknown,
Which lay unread around it; and I ask'd
The Gardener of that ground, why it might be
That for this plant strangers his memory task'd
Through the thick deaths of half a century;
And thus he answer'd—“ Well, I do not know
“Why frequent travellers turn to pilgrims so ;
“ He died before my day of Sextonship,

And I had not the digging of this grave."
And is this all ? I thought, -and do we rip
The veil of Immortality ? and crave
I know not what of honour and of light
Through unborn ages, to endure this blight ?
So soon and so successless ? As I said,
The Architect of all on which we tread,
For Earth is but a tombstone, did essay
To extricate remembrance from the clay,
Whose minglings might confuse a Newton's thought
Were it not that all life must end in one,
Of which we are but dreamers ;- -as he caught
As 'twere the twilight of a former Sun,

Thus spoke he,-" I believe the man of whom “ You wot, who lies in this selected tomb, “ Was a most famous writer in his day, 66 And therefore travellers step from out their way To pay him honour,--and myself whate'er “ Your honour pleases,”—then most pleased I shook From out my pocket’s avaricious nook Some certain coins of silver, which as 'twere Perforce I gave this man, though I could spare So much but inconveniently ;-Ye smile, I see ye, ye profane ones! all the while, Because my homely phrase the truth would tell. You are the fools, not 1—for I did dwell With a deep thought, and with a soften’d eye, On that Old Sexton's natural homily, In which there was Obscurity and Fame, The Glory and the Nothing of a Namea

POEMS.

221

THE DREAM.

I.

Our life is twofold ; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their developement have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off our waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past,they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain ;
They make us what we were not what they will,
And shake us with the vision that 's gone by,
The dread of vanish'd shadows-Are they so ?
Is not the past all shadow ? What are they?
Creations of the mind ?- The mind can make
Substance, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dream'd
Perchance in sleep_for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.

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