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And, Reverend Father, respectfully, but plainly and firmly do I say, his blood, if it has been shed by this man, shall be atoned.-Halbert shall not sleep neglected in his lonely grave, as if with him the spirit of my father had ceased forever. His blood flows in my veins, and while his has been poured forth unrequited, mine will permit me no rest. My poverty and meanness of rank shall not be his protection. My calm nature and peaceful studies shall not be his protection. Even the obligations, Holy Father, which I owe to you, shall not be his protection.
I wait with patience the judgment of the Abbot and Chapter, for the slaughter of one of their most anciently descended vassals.
If they do right to my brother's memory, it is well. But, mark me, if they shall fail in rendering me that justice, I bear a heart and a hand, which, though I love not such extremities, are capable of remedying such an errour. He, who takes my brother's succession, must avenge his death.
I will do nothing rashly; that, my better than Father, I surely will not. But, the blood of my brother-the tears of my mother, and of Mary Avenel, shall not be shed in vain. I will not deceive you, Father-if this Piercie Shafton have slain my brother, he dies, if the whole blood of the whole house of Piercie were in his veins.
"THERE-lie forever there-' the murderer said,
And pressed his heel contemptuous on the dead.-
'No horrors haunt the well-concerting mind!
Vengeance my aim, thy gold I leave behind;
Clutched in thy grasp be thy own knife surveyed-
Thus-so may death self-sought thy name degrade!
My steel, that did the deed, this lake shall hide-
Here-rust beneath the all-concealing tide,-
The long descent these mounting bubbles tell,-
Down; down-still deeper-to the fancied hell.
But why this needless care?—the wretch unknown,—
My garment bloodless-no man heard him groan;
Nor he, the fabled monarch of the skies-’
He spoke, and fixed on heaven his iron eyes.
No terrors haunt the well-concerting mind!
Sayest thou, when March unchains the midnight wind,
When the full blast, as Alp-descending Po
Whirls through the rocky strait the liquid snow,
Down the vale driving with resistless course,
Pours on thy walls its congregated force;
When tottering chimneys bellow o'er thy head,
And the floor quakes beneath thy sleepless bed?
No terrors haunt thee!-sayest thou, when the storm
Bids all its horrors, each in wildest form,
From adverse winds on wings of thunder haste,
And close around thee on the naked waste;
Bids at each flash untimely night retire,
And opes and shuts the living vault of fire:
When from each bursting cloud the arrowy flame
Seems at thy central breast to point its aim;
While crash on crash redoubles from on high,
As though the shattered fabric of the sky
Would rush in hideous ruin through the air,
To whelm the guilty wretch whom lightnings spare?
No terrors haunt thee! Lo, 't is winter's reign:
His broad hand plunging in the Atlantic main,
Lifts into mountain-piles the boiling deep,
And bounds with vales of death each billowy steep.
Now, when thy bark, the dire ascent surpast,
Turns to the black abyss the downward mast;
In that dread pause, while yet the dizzy prow
Poised on the verge, o'erhangs the gulf below;
Now press thy conscious bosom, and declare
If guilt has raised no throbs of terror there.
Still art thou proof?-In sleep I see thee laid:
Dreams, by the past inspired, thy sleep invade.
Houseless and drear a plain expands in view;
There travels one like him thy fury slew:
Couched in the brake, a ruffian from his den
Starts forth, and acts thy bloody deed again:
Like thine his mien, like thine his iron stare,
Fixed in defiance on the vault of air.
Lo! as secure he quits the unplundered dead,
Wide-weltering seas of fire before him spread;
With frenzied step he hurries to the shore,
Shrieks, plunges headlong, and is seen no more!
Thou wakest, and smilest in scorn!-Has heaven no dart,
Potent to reach that adamantine heart?
Yes. He, whose viewless gales the forest bend,
Whose feeblest means attain the mightiest end,
Touches the secret spring, that opes the cell
Where conscience lurks, and slumbering horrors dwell.
Lo! as the wretch his careless path pursues,
Struck by his foot, a rusted knife he views:
In thought the blade, concealed from mortal eyes,
Beneath the lake his troubled soul descries..
In wild dismay his clouded senses swim;
Cold streams of terror bathe each shivering limb:
Then with new fires in every nerve he burns;
To earth, to heaven, his flashing eyeball turns;
Buries, with frantic hand, the avenging knife
Deep in his breast, and renders life for life.
BATTLE OF WARSAW.-Campbell.
WHEN leagued Oppression poured to northern wars
Her whiskered panders and her fierce hussars,
Waved her dread standard to the breeze of morn,
Pealed her loud drum, and twanged her trumpet horn;
Tumultuous horror brooded o'er her van,
Presaging wrath to Poland-and to man!
Warsaw's last champion, from her height surveyed,
Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid—
Oh! Heaven! he cried, my bleeding country save!
Is there no hand on high to shield the brave?
Yet, though destruction sweep these lovely plains,
Rise, fellow men! Our country yet remains!
By that dread name we wave the sword on high,
And swear for her to live! with her to die!
He said, and on the rampart-heights arrayed
His trusty warriors, few, but undismayed;
Firm paced, and slow, a horrid front they form,
Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm;
Low, murmuring sounds along their banners fly;
Revenge or death-the watchword and reply;
Then pealed the notes, omnipotent to charm,
And the loud tocsin tolled their last alarm!
In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few!
From rank to rank your volleyed thunder flew:
Oh! bloodiest picture in the book of Time,
Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime;
Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe,
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her wo!
Dropped from her nerveless grasp the shattered spear,
Closed her bright eye, and curbed the high career:—
Hope for a season, bade the world farewell,
And Freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell!
The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there;
Tumultuous murder shook the midnight air—
On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow,
His blood-dyed waters murmuring far below;
The storm prevails, the rampart yields away,
Bursts the wild cry of horror and dismay!
Hark! as the smouldering piles with thunder fall,
A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call!
Earth shook-red meteors flashed along the sky,
And conscious Nature shuddered at the cry!
Departed spirits of the mighty dead!
Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled!
Friends of the world! restore your swords to man,
Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van!
Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone,
And make her arm puissant as your own!
Oh! once again to Freedom's cause return,
Thou patriot Tell-thou Bruce of Bannockburn.
PORTIUS AND MARCUS.-Addison.
Por. The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers,
And heavily in clouds brings on the day,
The great, the important day, big with the fate
our father's death
Would fill up all the guilt of civil war,
And close the scene of blood. Already Cæsar
Has ravaged more than half the globe, and sees
Mankind grown thin by his destructive sword:
Should he go farther, numbers would be wanting
To form new battles, and support his crimes.
Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make
Among your works!
Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius,
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Cæsar,
In the calm lights of mild philosophy;
I'm tortured, even to madness, when I think
On the proud victor: every time he's named,
Pharsalia rises to my view;-I see
The insulting tyrant prancing o'er the field,
Strewed with Rome's citizens, and drenched in slaughter.
His horse's hoofs wet with patrician blood!
Oh, Portius! is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man
Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin?
Por. Believe me, Marcus, 't is an impious greatness,
And mixed with too much horror to be envied;
How does the lustre of our father's actions,
Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him,
Break out and burn with more triumphant brightness!
His sufferings shine, and spread a glory round him;
Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause
Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
His sword ne'er fell, but on the guilty head;
Oppression, tyranny, and power usurped,
Draw all the vengeance of his arm upon them.
Marc. Who knows not this? but what can Cato do
Against a world, a base, degenerate world,
That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to Cæsar?
Pent up in Utica, he vainly forms
A pure epitome of Roman greatness;
And, covered with Numidian guards, directs
A feeble army, and an empty senate,
Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain.
By heaven, such virtues, joined with such success,
Distracts my very soul. Our father's fortune
Would almost tempt us to renounce his precepts.