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And now farewell !—'tis hard to give thee up,

With death so like a gentle slumber on thee,
And thy dark sin !-Oh, I could drink the cup,

If from this woe its bitterness had won thee !
May God have called thee like a wanderer home,

My erring Absalom!"
He cover'd up his face, and bow'd himself
A moment on his child-then giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasp'd
His hands convulsively as if in prayer;
And, as a strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
Firmly and decently, and left him there
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.-WILLIS.


(B.c. 711.)

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed on the face of the foe as he pass’d;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still !
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide !
But through it there rolld not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.


To my soul
The days of old return: I breathe the air
Of the young world : I see her giant sons
Like to a gorgeous pageant in the sky
Of Summer's evening, cloud on fiery cloud
Thronging unheaped : before me rise the walls
Of the Titanic city : brazen gates,
Towers, temples, palaces, enormous piled;
Imperial Nineveh, the earthly queen!
In all her golden pomp I see her now;
Her swarming streets; her splendid festivals;
Her sprightly damsels to the timbrels sound
Airily bounding, and their anklets chime;
Her lusty sons, like Summer morning gay
Her warriors stern; her rich robed rulers grave;
I see her halls brightly at midnight shine,
I hear the music of her banquetings.
Again I look : and lo! before the walls
Unnumber'd hosts in flaming panoply;
Chariots like fire-horsemen with flashing arms !
I hear the shouts of battle-like the waves
Of a tumultuous sea they roll and dash !
In flame and smoke the imperial city sinks ! *
Her walls are gone: her palaces are dust :
Within and around her lies the desert:
Oh, how like shadows have all passed away!


THE RUINED CITY.t The days of old though time has reft :

The dazzling splendour which they cast,
Yet many a remnant still is left,

To shadow forth the past.
The warlike deed, the classic page,

The lyric torrent strong and free,
Are lingering o'er the gloom of age,

Like twilight on the sea.
A thousand years have rolled along,

And blasted empires in their pride,
And witnessed scenes of crime and wrong,

Till men by nations died.

* Destroyed B.C. 606. + This beautiful American Poem has an especial reference to the

ruins of Nineveh.

A thousand summer suns have shone,

Till earth grew bright beneath their sway,
Since thou untenanted and lone,

Wert rendered to decay.
The moss tuft and the ivy wreath

For ages clad thy fallen mould,
And gladdened in the spring's soft breath!

But they grew wan and old-
Now desolation hath denied

That even these should veil thy gloom ;
And nature's mantling beauty died

In token of thy doom.
Alas for the far years, when clad

With the bright vesture of thy prime,
Thy proud towers made each wanderer glad,

Who hailed thy summer chime.
Alas for the fond hope and dream,

And all that won thy childrens' trust!
God cursed, -and none may now redeem

Pale city of the dust!
How the dim visions through the soul,

When twilight broods upon thy waste,
The clouds of woe from o'er thee roll,
Thy glory seems replaced.
The stir of life is brightening round

Thy structures swell upon the eye,
And mirth and revelry resound

In triumph through the sky.
But a stern moral may be read

By those who view thy lonely gloom;
Oblivion's pall alike is spread

O'er slave and lordly tomb.
The sad, the gay, the old and young,

The warrior's strength and beauty's glow,
Resolved to that from which they sprung,

Compose the dust below!-ECKHARD.

VISION OF BELSHAZZAR. The King was on his throne, the Satraps throng'd the hall; A thousand bright lamps shone o'er that high festival. A thousand cups of gold, in Judah deem’d divineJehovah's vessels hold the godless Heathen's wine ! In that same hour and hall, the fingers of a hand Came forth against the wall, and wrote as if on sand : The fingers of a man ;-a solitary hand Along the letters ran, and traced them like a wand.

The monarch saw, and shook, and bade no more rejoice;
All bloodless wax'd his look, and tremulous his voice.
“Let the men of lore appear, the wisest of the earth,
And expound the words of fear, which mar our royal mirth."
Chaldea's seers are good, but here they have no skill;
And the unknown letters stood untold and awful still.
And Babel's men of age are wise and deep in lore;
But now they were not sage, they saw-but knew no more.
A captive in the land, a stranger and a youth
Heard the king's dread command, and saw that writing's truth.
The lamps around were bright, the prophecy in view;
He read it on that night,-the morrow prov'd it true.
“Belshazzar's grave is made, his kingdom pass'd away,
He, in the balance weigh’d, is light and worthless clay.
Thé shroud his robe of state, -his canopy the stone,
The Mede is at his gate,—the Persian on his throné!”—BYRON.


(SUGGESTED BY THE COURTS OF THE CRYSTAL PALACE.) Marching came a swarth procession, mustering from the banks of

Nile, Abject-eyed believers, marshalled by stern priests with eyes of guile; And with mystic types and symbols, were their garments studded

o'er; And the awful veil of Isis was the banner that they bore. Following trod a prouder army, striding on with martial tread, From a city, lost for ages, that had yielded up her dead; And a grim and giant monster stalking fiercely in the van, 'Twas a winged beast-more dreadful that it wore the face of man. Next a graceful throng went by me, from a classic region fair, Chiselled features, flowing garments, laurel wreaths in golden hair; And a god and goddess led them, glorious types of war and peace, Neptune and Minerva ever watching o'er their well-loved Greece. From their seven-hilled home eternal, then the haughty swordsmen

came, Lictor's fasces, gory ax-head, and the she-wolf's glance of flame; And four ever famous letters borne on high in that array, Told a world that Rome was present-proudly bade the world obey. Whose luxurious pomp succeeds them, who in smiling throng

* B.C. 538.

advance, Glistening in that flowery raiment, tripping as to feast and dance ? So they glistened, so they revelled, so was struck the sparkling lyre, On the day Pompeii perished, shrieking in yon mountain's fire. Some come mourning, come as those whose brightest day hath shone

and fled. March they from Byzantium's rampart, where a hero-king lies deadFrom the noblest fane that glows beneath an oriental skyRaised to Christian wisdom-bearing now the symbol of a lie. Came the Church in purple glory and a wealth of gems and gold, Steel-clad knights in soldier splendour, banners of emblazoned fold, Armourer, herald, jester, hawker, planet-reader, squire and page, Chivalry's thrice gorgeous chapter from her proudest middle age. Art's procession followed, calmly, lofty as their port should be, Who had dashed down feudal shackles, and proclaimed that Art is

free. Gazing on their deeds of beauty, who but scorns the bigot prate That assails their noble mission with a Goth’s fantastic hate ? What a glorious train came after, every lofty face a Fame, All whose Thought our age inherits, or our age itself shall claim. Those whose names, in self made light are burning still on honour's

scrolls, Those to whom the world is debtor-shall be debtor while it rolls.


And thou hast walked about (how strange a story!)

In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
Tell us, if perchance thou canst recollect -

To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame?
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect

Of either pyramid, that bears his name?
Is Pompey's pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer ?
Perhaps that very hand, now pinion'd flat,

Has oft caroused with Pharaoh glass to glass ;
Or dropp'd a halfpenny in Homer's hat,

Or doff'd thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication,

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