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Thought she as well of smiles, her lips | The wounded with the dead are gone;
With a perpetual simper. Walsingham Hath praised these crying beauties of the north,
So whimpering is the fashion. How I hate The dim dull yellow of that Scottish hair! Master of Revels. Hush! hush!-is that the sound of wheels I hear? [The Dead-cart passes by, driven by a Negro. Ha! dost thou faint, thought That railing tongue bespoke a mannish heart. But so it ever is. The violent
Lean on my bosom. Sick must be your heart After a fainting-fit so like to death.
Louisa (recovering). I saw a horrid demon in my dream!
With sable visage and white-glaring eyes,
He beckon'd on me to ascend a cart
Fill'd with dead bodies, muttering all the
An unknown language of most dreadful sounds.
What matters it? I see it was a dream.
-Pray, did the dead-cart pass?
Young Man. Come, brighten up,
Louisa! Though this street be all our own,
A silent street that we from death have
Where we may hold our orgies undisturb'd, You know those rumbling wheels are privileged,
And we must bide the nuisance. Walsingham, To put an end to bickering, and these fits Of fainting that proceed from female vapours, Give us a song; — a free and gladsome
None of those Scottish ditties framed of sighs,
But a true English Bacchanalian song,
By toper chaunted o'er the flowing bowl.
Master of Revels. I have none such; but
I will sing a song
Upon the Plague. I made the words last
After we parted: a strange rhyming-fit
Fell on me; 'twas the first time in my life.
But you shall have it, though my vile crack'd
Won't mend the matter much.
Many voices. A song on the Plague! A song on the Plague! Let's have it! bravo! bravo!
Two navies meet upon the waves
That round them yawn like op'ning graves;
The battle rages; seamen fall,
And overboard go one and all!
But Ocean drowns each frantic groan,
And, at each plunge into the flood,
Grimly the billow laughs with blood.-
Then, what although our Plague destroy-
Seaman and landman, woman, boy?
When the pillow rests beneath the head,
Like sleep he comes, and strikes us dead.
What though into yon Pit we go,
Descending fast, as flakes of snow?
Who matters body without breath?
No groan disturbs that hold of death.
I sing the praises of the Pest!
Then, leaning on this snow-white breast,
me thou wouldst this night destroy, Come, smite me in the arms of Joy.
Two armies meet upon the hill;
They part, and all again is still.
No! thrice ten thousand men are lying,
Of cold, and thirst, and hunger dying.
While the wounded soldier rests his head
About to die upon the dead,
What shrieks salute yon dawning light?
"Tis Fire that comes to aid the Fight!-
All whom our Plague destroys by day,
His chariot drives by night away;
And sometimes o'er a churchyard-wall
His banner hangs, a sable pall!
Where in the light by Hecate shed
With grisly smile he counts the dead,
And piles them up a trophy high
In honour of his victory.
Thy regal robes become thee well.
King of the aisle and churchyard-cell!
With yellow spots, like lurid stars
Prophetic of throne-shattering wars,
Bespangled is its night-like gloom,
Thy hand doth grasp no needless dart,
As it sweeps the cold damp from the tomb.
One finger-touch benumbs the heart.
Thou rollst around thy bloodshot eye,
If thy stubborn victim will not die,
With giant buffet smites the brain,
And Madness leaping in his chain
Or Idiocy with drivelling laugh
And down the drunken wretch doth lie
Holds out her strong-drugg'd bowl to quaff,
Unsheeted in the cemetery.
Thou! Spirit of the burning breath,
Alone deservest the name of death!
Hide, Fever! hide thy scarlet brow;
Nine days thou lingerst o'er thy blow,
Till the leach bring water from the spring,
And scare thee off on drenched wing.
Consumption! waste away at will!
In warmer climes thou failst to kill,
And rosy Health is laughing loud
As off thou stealst with empty shroud!
And, unobservant of each other, gliding Down a dark flight of steps that seem'd to lead Into the bosom of eternity?
I have seen hearses moving through the sky!
Not few and solitary, as on earth
They pass us by upon a lonesome road,
But thousands, tens of thousands moved along
In grim procession-a long league of plumes
Tossing in the storm that roar'd aloft in
Then rose a direful struggle with the Pest!
And all the ordinary forms of life
Moved onwards with the violence of despair.
Wide flew the crowded gates of theatres,
And a pale frightful audience, with their
Looking in perturbation through the glare
Of a convulsive laughter, sat and shouted At obscene ribaldry and mirth profane.
There yet was heard parading through the
War-music, and the soldiers' tossing plumes
Moved with their wonted pride. O idle show
Of these poor worthless instruments of death,
Themselves devoted! Childish mockery!
Yet bearing onwards through the hurricane,
A black, a silent, a wild cavalcade
That nothing might restrain; till in a moment
The heavens were freed, and all the spark-At which the Plague did scoff, who in one
Look'd through the blue and empty firma
Priest. Like a thunder-peal One morn a rumour turn'd the city pale; And the tongues of men, wild-staring on each other,
Utter'd with faltering voice one little word, The Plague! Then many heard within their dreams
At dead of night a voice foreboding woe,
And rose up in their terror, and forsook
Homes, in the haunted darkness of despair
No more endurable. As thunder quails
Th' inferior creatures of the air and earth,
So bow'd the Plague at once all human souls,
And the brave man beside the natural coward
Walk'd trembling. On the restless multitude,
Thoughtlessly toiling through a busy life,
Nor hearing in the tumult of their souls
The ordinary language of decay,
A voire came down that made itself be heard, And they started from delusion when the touch
Of Death's benumbing fingers suddenly Swept off whole crowded streets into the grave.
The trumpet silenced and the plumes laid low. As yet the Sabbath-day-though truly fear Rather than piety fill'd the house of GodReceived an outward homage. On the street Friends yet met friends, and dared to inter
A cautious greeting—and firesides there were
Where still domestic happiness survived
In endless schemes to overcome the Plague,
'Mid an unbroken family; while the soul,
In art, skill, zeal, in ruth and charity
Forgot its horrors, and oft seem'd to rise
But soon the noblest spirits disappear'd,
More life-like 'mid the ravages of death.
Like a beleaguer'd fortress, that hath lost,
None could tell whither-and the city stood
The flower of its defenders. Then the Plague
Storm'd, raging like a barbarous conqueror,
And, hopeless to find mercy, every one
Fell on his face, and all who rose again
Crouch'd to the earth in suppliant agony.
Wilmot. Father! how mournful every
To miss some well-known faces! to behold
The congregation weekly thinn'd by death,
And empty scats with all their Bibles lying
Cover'd with dust.
Priest. Ay-even the house of God Was open to the Plague. Amid their prayers The kneelers sicken'd, and most deadly-pale Rose up with sobs, and beatings of the
And the soul looks o'er ocean, earth, and The breathless calm of universal death.
Heedless to whom its fields or waves belong,
So that there were some overshadowing
Central amid a mighty continent,
Or sacred island in the healthful main,
Where men might be transported in a thought
Far from the wild dominion of the Plague.
Now He is monarch here-nor mortal brow
Durst wear a crown within the fatal sweep
Of his long bony arm.
He loves the silence
Of an unpeopled reign.
Priest. Once at noon-day
Alone I stood upon a tower that rises
From the centre of the city. I look'd down
With awe upon that world of misery;
Nor for a while could say that I beheld
Aught save one wide gleam indistinctly flung
From that bewildering grandeur; till at once
The objects all assumed their natural form,
And grew into a City stretching round
On every side, far as the bounding sky.
Mine eyes first rested on the squares that lay
Without one moving figure, with fair trees
Lifting their tufted heads unto the light,
Sweet, sunny spots of rural imagery
That gave a beauty to magnificence.
Silent as nature's solitary glens
Slept the long streets and mighty London
With all its temples, domes, and palaces,
Like some sublime assemblage of tall cliffs
That bring down the deep st llness of the
Wilmot. How many children
Must have died in beauty and in innocence
This fatal summer!
Priest. Many sweet flowers died!
Pure innocents! they mostly sank in peace.
Yet sometimes it was misery to hear them
Praying their parents to shut out the Plague;
Nor could they sleep alone within their beds,
In fear of that dread monster. Childhood lost
Its bounding gladsomeness — its fearless
And infants of five summers walk'd about
With restless eyes, or by their parents' sides
Crouch'd shuddering, for they ever heard
Of death, or saw them weeping- no one
Wilmot. Hath not the summer been most beautiful,
'Mid all this misery?
Priest. A sunny season!
What splendid days, what nights magnificent
Pass'd in majestic march above the City,
When all below was agony and death!
O peaceful dwellers! in yon silent stars,
Burning so softly in their happiness!
Our souls exclaim'd, — unknown inhabitants
of unknown worlds! no misery reaches you,
For bliss is one with immortality!
The very river as it flow'd along
Appear'd to come from some delightful land
Unknown unto the Plague, and hastening on,
To join the healthful ocean, calmly smiled,
A privileged pilgrim through the realms of
To shroud them in the desert. Groves of Yea! in the sore disturbance of men's souls
They envied the repose of lifeless things!
And the leafy trees that graced the city-
Bright with the dews of morning, they seem'd
On them alone th' untainted air of heaven
Shed beauty and delight-all round them died.
London alone, of all the world seem'd curst.
O happy spots in country-or in town!
'Mid savage wilds- or dark and noisome
Cut off from human intercourse-or haunted
By vice and sorrow, penury and guilt,
Ye seem'd to all a blessed Paradise,
Whither on wings of rapture they would fly,
Nor ever leave you more-for nature groans:
Where the Plague is not, there dwells hap-
The ship was cheer'd, the harbour clear'd,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the light-house-top.
The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he;
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.
Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omniam familiam quis nobis enarrabit? et gradus et cognationes et discrimina et singulorum munera? Quid agunt? quæ loca habitant? Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium humanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabula, majoris et mehioris mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuefecta hodiernæ vitæ minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in pusillas cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, diem a nocte, distin-The bride hath paced into the hall,
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
By thy long gray beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopst thou me?
The Bridegroom's doors are open'd wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
Mayst hear the merry din.
He holds him with his skinny hand,
There was a ship, quoth he.
Hold off! unhand me, gray-beard loon!
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
He holds him with his glittering eye-
The wedding-guest stood still,
And listens like a three years child:
The Mariner hath his will.
The wedding-guest sat on a stone:
He can not chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon-
The wedding-guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.
The wedding-guest he beat his breast,
Yet he can not chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.
With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast,
And southward aye we fled.
And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wonderous cold :
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
And through the drifts the snowy clift
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken-
The ice was all between.