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Mysterivus, secret, To that mysterious * realm, where each shall
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave, at night,
soothed Unfaltering, fearless. By an unfaltering * trust, approach thy grave, 80 Drapery, curtains,
Like one that draws the drapery * of his couch hangings.
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
DAVID'S * LAMENT FOR ABSALOM.-N. P. Willis. NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS (1817-1867) was born at Portland, Maine, U.S. He was a poet and essayist : best known works are, Pencillings by the way, an account of his travels in Europe, and Inklings of Adventure. His poems are graceful and pleasing, and replete with happy fancies couched in wellchosen language. Pall, shroud, cover. The pall* was settled. He who slept beneath ing of a dead body.
Was straightened for the grave; and, as the
Sank to the still proportions, they betrayed Matchless symmetry, The matchless symmetry * of Absalom.* most perfect form, Absalom, was the son His helm was at his feet: his banner, soiled 5 of David. He rebelled With trailing through Jerusalem, was laid against his father Reversed, beside him: and the jewelled hilt, pursued;
Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade, but was defeated
and Rested, like mockery, on his covered brow. killed by Joab, one of David's generals.
The soldiers of the king trod to and fro, Clad in the garb of Clad in the garb of battle ; * and their chief, battle, armed like sol. The mighty Joab, stood beside the bier, * Bier, a carriage or And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly, frame of wood for As if he feared the slumberer might stir. bearing the dead to the grave.
A slow step startled him. He grasped his 15
And left him with his dead. The king stood
still cloth garment, worn Till the last echo died ; then, throwing off by the Israelites in time of mourning.
The sackcloth* from his brow, and laying back
David, the son of Isai, was a young shepherd boy, who slew with a sling and a stone the great Philistine giant Goliath, He was afterwards anointed kiag by Samuel, and became very powerful. He wrote the Book of Psalms, &c.
The pall from the still features of his child,
Eloquence of woe, uto
terance of sorrow in 25 “ Alas ! my noble boy! that thou shouldst die ! beautiful language.
Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair !
Clustering hair. Ab
salom had very long How could he mark thee for the silent tomb,
beautiful hair, 30 My proud boy, Absalom !
which he was very
vain. He was punish“Cold is thy brow, my son ! and I am chill, ed for his vanity, how. As to my bosom I have tried to press thée ! ever, for we are told
that How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill, before his father in Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress battle, he was caught
by his hair in the thee,
branches of an oak. 35 And hear thy sweet ‘My father !' from those tree, and hung there dumb
till Joab came up and
And life will pass me in the mantling blush, 40 And the dark tresses to the soft winds
I am stricken, I am “ And oh! when I am stricken,* and my heart, struck with age. Like a bruised reed,* is waiting to be broken, Reed, a piece of grass
with a jointed stem, 45 How will its love for thee, as I depart,
Yearn * for thine ear to drink its last deep Yearn, to long for. token!
80 sweet, amid death's gathering It were, it would be. gloom,*
gloom, the mist that To see thee, Absalom !
comes over the eyes
of the dying. “And now, farewell ! 'Tis hard to give thee up, 50 With death so like a gentle slumber on
thee ! And thy dark sin ! *-oh! I could drink the Thy dark sin. AUcup,
against his father. If from this woe its bitterness had won thee. May God have called thee, like a wanderer, bome,
My lost boy, Absalom !”
He covered up his face, and bowed himself
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
And, as if strength were given him of God, Composed the pall, ar. He rose up calmly, and composed the pall ranged the covering Firmly and decently,—and left him there, of the dead body.
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.
THE SAXON AND THE GAEL.*
The Chief, Roderick
Three mighty lakes,
THE Chief * in silence strode before,
* The Saxon and the Gael, James V., King of Scotland (Fitz-James), and Roderick Dhu, a Highland chief, who was a robber and murderer.
30 For thus spoke Fate,* by prophet * bred
Between the living and the dead :
“Then, by my word,” the Saxon said, 35
“The riddle is already read.
Then yield to Fate, and not to me. 40 To James, at Stirling,* let us go;
When, if thou wilt be still his foe,
I plight * mine honour, oath, and word, 45 That, to thy native strengths restored,
With each advantage shalt thou stand
“Soars thy presumption,* then, so high, 50 Because a wretched kern * ye slew,
Homage * to name to Roderick Dhu?
My thought, and hold thy valour light
And whose best boast is but to wear 60 A braid of his fair lady's hair.”–
“I thank thee, Roderick, for the word !
In the best blood that warms thy vein. 65 Now, truce farewell ! and ruth begone !
Yet think not that by thee alone,
Start at my whistle clansmen stern, 70 Of this small horn one feeble blast
Would fearful odds against thee cast.
Then each at once his falchion * drew ;
Carpet knight, one who professes to be a soldier, but who shuns going to battle.
This braid, the lock of hair belonging to Blanche of Devan, a half - crazed
young widow, who was killed by Murdoch, with an arrow intended for Fitz-James. Heath, a place overgrown with short bushes. Cairn,a heap of stones to mark a grave.
Falchion, a sword. Scabbard, sheath, sword-case.
Dubious, doubtful, not sure.
Targe, a target or buckler, a shield.
Feint, to pretend to
Invulnerable, not to
Each looked to sun, and stream, and plain,