Old Time, whose haste no mortal spares,
Uncall'd, unheeded, unawares,
Brought on his eightieth year.
And now one night, in musing mood,
As all alone he sate,

Th' unwelcome messenger of fate
Once more before him stood.

Half kill'd with anger and surprise,
"So soon return'd?" old Dobson cries:
"So soon, d'ye call it?" Death replies ;
"Surely, my friend, you're but in jest!
Since I was here before

'Tis six and forty years at least,

And you are now fourscore!

[ocr errors]

"So much the worse," the clown rejoin'd;
"To spare the aged would be kind;

Beside, you promis'd me Three Warnings,
Which I have look'd for nights and mornings!"
"I know," cries Death, "that at the best,
I seldom am a welcome guest;
But don't be captious, friend, at least:
I little thought you'd still be able
To stump about your farm and stable;
Your years have run to a great length:
I wish you joy, tho', of your strength!
"Hold," says the farmer, "not so fast!
I have been lame these four years past."
"And no great wonder," Death replies;
However, you still keep your eyes;

[ocr errors]

And sure, to see one's loves and friends,
For legs and arms must make amends.
"Perhaps," says Dobson, "so it might,
But latterly I've lost my sight."

"This is a shocking story, faith:
But there's some comfort still," says Death.
"Each strives your sadness to amuse;
I warrant you hear all the news.

"There's none,

"cried he: "and if there were,

I'm grown so deaf, I could not hear."

[ocr errors]

Nay, then;" the spectre stern rejoin'd, "Cease, prythee, cease these foolish yearnings; If you are deaf, and lame, and blind,

[ocr errors]

You've had your three sufficient warnings;
So come along! no more we'll part :
He said, and touch'd him with his dart :
And now old Dobson, turning pale,
Yields to his fate. So ends my tale.



HOME, kindred, friends, and country,
Are things with which we never part;
From clime to clime, o'er land and seas,

We bear them with us in our heart;
And yet 'tis hard to feel resign'd,
When they must all be left behind.

But when the pilgrim's staff we take,
And follow Christ from shore to shore,

Gladly for Him we all forsake,

Press on, and only look before;

Though humbled nature mourns her loss,
The spirit glories in the cross.

It is no sin, like man, to weep,
Ev'n Jesus wept o'er Lazarus dead;
yearn for home beyond the deep,
He had not where to lay his head;
The patriot's tears will he condemn,
Who griev'd o'er lost Jerusalem !


Take up your cross, and say


Go forth without the camp to Him,

Who left heaven's throne with men to dwell,
Who died his murderers to redeem:

Oh! tell his name in every ear,

Doubt not, the dead themselves will hear,

Hear, and come forth to life anew;

Then, while the Gentile courts they fill,
Shall not your Saviour's words stand true?
Home, kindred, friends, and country still,
In earth's last desert you shall find,
Yet lose not those you left behind.



I LOOK'D upon his brow,

no sign

Of guilt or fear was there;

He stood as proud by that death-shrine
As even o'er despair
He had a power; in his eye
There was a quenchless energy,

A spirit that could dare

The deadliest form that death could take,
And dare it for the daring's sake.

In the minority of Otho III. the Romans made a bold attempt to shake off the yoke of the German emperors, and to recover their ancient form of government. Crescentius, a noble Roman, was their leader. He twice rose to the command of the city, under the title of consul, and, during the sixteen years that he administered affairs, Rome enjoyed comparative peace and security. Crescentius refused to acknowledge the authority of the emperor to interpose in the election of the popes; expelled John XV. until he had acknowledged the sovereignty of the people, and when, on his

He stood, the fetters on his hand,

He rais'd them haughtily;

[ocr errors]

And had that grasp been on the brand,
It could not wave on high

With freer pride than it wav'd now.
Around he look'd with changeless brow
On many a torture nigh;

The rack, the chain, the axe, the wheel,
And, worst of all, his own red steel.

I saw him once before; he rode
Upon a coal-black steed,

And tens of thousands throng'd the road,
And bade their warrior speed.

His helm, his breast-plate, were of gold,
And grav'd with many a dent, that told
Of many a soldier's deed;

The sun shone on his sparkling mail,
And danc'd his snow-plume on the gale.

But now he stood chain'd and alone,
The headsman by his side,

The plume, the helm, the charger gone;
The sword which had defied
The mightiest lay broken near;
And yet no sign or sound of fear
Came from that lip of pride;
And never king or conqueror's brow
Wore higher look than did his now.

death, Otho sent Gregory V. to succeed him, Crescentius chose one himself. In 998 Otho marched against Rome, besieged and took the city, and crushed all further resistance by the execution of Crescentius, who had shut himself in the castle of St. Angelo, and had surrendered himself only on the promise of safety. Such is the patriot hero Sismondi makes of Crescentius, but the annals of the tenth century are involved in obscurity, and the German historians represent him in different characters.


He bent beneath the headsman's stroke
With an uncover'd eye;

A wild shout from the numbers broke
Who throng'd to see him die.
It was a people's loud acclaim,
The voice of anger and of shame,
A nation's funeral cry,

Rome's wail above her only son,
Her patriot and her latest one.



THERE, in that bed so closely curtain'd round,
Worn to a shade, and wan with slow decay,
A father sleeps! Oh, hush'd be every sound!
Soft may we breathe the midnight hours away!

He stirs yet still he sleeps. May heavenly dreams

Long o'er his smooth and settled pillow rise;
Nor fly, till morning thro' the shutter streams,
And on the hearth the glimmering rushlight dies.


THE closing year ·

[ocr errors]

a startling sound,


E'en when on youthful ear 'tis pealing,

For, oh as time completes his round,

This thought must o'er the breast be stealing -
That from sweet Hebe's chaplet gay

Another rose has pass'd away.

« VorigeDoorgaan »