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Then an old Hidalgo said,
As he twirled his gray mustachio,
And the Emperor but a Macho !":77
Coupled with those words of malice,
Slowly from his canvass palace.
Said he solemnly, "nor hurt her!"
'Tis the wife of some deserter!”
Through the camp was spread the rumour,
At the Emperor's pleasant humour,
Sat the swallow still and brooded,
And the siege was thus concluded.
Struck its tents as if disbanding,
Very curtly, “Leave it standing!”
Loosely flapping, torn and tattered,
Which the cannon-shot had shattered.
THE TWO ANGELS.
Two angels, one of Life and one of Death,
Passed o'er our village as the morning broke; The dawn was on their faces and beneath,
The sombre houses hearsed with plumes of smoke. Their attitude and aspect were the same,
Alike their featnres and their robes of white: But one was crowned with amaranth, as with flame,
And one with asphodels, like flakes of light.
I saw them pause on their celestial way;
Then said I, with deep fear and doubt oppressed, “Beat not so loud, my heart, lest thou betray
The place where thy beloved are at rest!" And he who wore the crown of asphodels,
Descending, at my door began to knock, And my soul sank within me, as in wells
The waters sink before an earthquake's shock. I recognised the nameless agony,
The terror and the tremor and the pain, That oft before had filled or haunted me,
And now returned with threefold strength again. The door I opened to my heavenly guest,
And listened, for I thought I heard God's voice; And, knowing whatsoe'er He sent was best,
Dared neither to lament nor to rejoice. Then with a smile, that filled the house with light,
My errand is not Death, but Life," he said; And ere I answered, passing out of sight,
On his celestial embassy he sped. 'Twas at thy door, O friend! and not at mine,
The angel with the amaranthine wreath, Pausing, descended, and with voice divine,
Whispered a word that had a sound like Death. Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,
A shadow on those features fair and thin ; And softly, from that hushed and darkened room,
Two angels issued, where but one went in. All is of God! If He but wave His hand,
The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud, Till, with a smile of light on sea and land,
Lo! He looks back from the departing cloud. Angels of Life and Death alike are His;
Without His leave they pass no threshold o'er; Who, then, would wish or dare, believing this,
Against His messengers to shut the door?
DAYLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT.
But at length the feverish day
THE JEWISH CEMETERY AT NEWPORT. How strange it seems! These Hebrews in their graves,
Close by the street of this fair seaport town,
At rest in all this moving up and down!
Wave their broad curtains in the south-wind's breath
The long, mysterious Exodus of Death.
That pave with level flags their burial-place,
And broken by Moses at the mountain's base. The very names recorded here are strange,
Of foreign accent, and of different climes; Alvares and Rivera interchange
With Abraham and Jacob of old times. 6 Blessed be God! for He created Death !"
The mourners said, “and Death is rest and peace ;" Then added, in the certainty of faith,
" And giveth Life that never more shall cease.” Closed are the portals of their Synagogue,
No Psalms of David now the silence break, No Rabbi reads the ancient Decalogue,
In the grand dialect the Prophets spake. Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a hand unseen, Scattering its bounty, like a summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green. How came they here? What burst of Christian hate
What persecution, merciless and blind, Drove o'er the sea-that desert desolate These Ishmaels and Hagars of mankind ?
They lived in narrow streets and lanes obscure,
Ghetto and Judenstrass, in mirk and mire;
The life of anguish and the death of fire.
And bitter herbs of exile and its fears,
And slaked its thirst with marah of their tears. Anathema maranatha ! was the cry
That rang from town to town, from street to street; At every gate the accursed Mordecai
Was mocked and jeered, and spurned by Christian feet. Pride and humiliation hand in hand
Walked with them through the world where'er they went; Trampled and beaten were they as the sand,
And yet unshaken as the continent,
Of patriarchs and of prophets rose sublime,
They saw reflected in the coming time. And thus for ever with reverted look
The mystic volume of the world they read,
Till life became a Legend of the Dead.
The groaning earth in travail and in pain
And the dead nations never rise again.
In the Valley of the Vire
Still is seen an ancient mill,
On the stone,
These words alone :
Ruined stands the old Château;
Its vacant eyes
Stare at the skies,
Once a convent, old and brown,
Looked, but ah! it looks no more, From the neighbouring hillside down On the rushing and the roar
Of the stream
Whose sunny gleam Cheers the little Norman town. In that darksome mill of stone,
To the water's dash and din, Careless, humble,
and unknown, Sang the poet Basselin,
Songs that fill
That ancient mill With a splendour of its own. Never feeling of unrest
Broke the pleasant dream he dreamed ; Only made to be his nest, All the lovely valley seemed :
Of soaring higher
Were not songs of that high art,
But the mirth
Of this green earth Laughed and revelled in his line. From the alehouse and the inn,
Opening on the narrow street, Came the
loud, convivial din, Singing and applause of feet,
The laughing lays
That in those days
Knights, who fought at Agincourt,
Songs that rang
Sat the monks in lonely cells,
But his rhymes
Found other chimes, Nearer to the earth than they.