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There's many a wife, whose bosom's lord
Is in his prime laid low,
Where bitter tempests blow;
Or crushed amid the battle-field,
Where crimson rivers flow,
Which drugged her cup of woe.
Who lies so powerless on her couch,
Transfixed by sorrow's sting ? Her infant in its nurse's arins,
Like a forgotten thing?
A dark-haired boy is at her side,
He lifts his eagle eye, 6 Mother! they say my father's dead,
How did my father die ?”
Again the spear-point in her breast !
Again, that shriek of pain ! “ Boy, thou hast riven thy mother's heart,
Speak not those words again;"
“Speak not those words again, my son !"
What boots that truitless care? They're written wheresoe'er she turns,
On ocean, earth, and air.
They're seared upon her shrinking heart,
That bursts beneath its doom, “ The duel! and the dead !!” they mark,
The threshold of her tomb.
Through all her weary, widowed years,
That broken heart she bore,
The smile sat never more.
THE RETURN OF THE DEAD.
[There is a strange, mystic wierdness in the following lines, written by the accomplished daughter of Barry Cornwall, that can be made very effective by a suitable recitation.)
Low hung the moon, the wind was still,
Oh, the long rapture, perfect rest,
Said I had like my mother grown,
Then by his side, his hand in mine,
(Every stanza of this fine piece stands out as vivid as a picture by Stavfield or Turner, and very much may be made of it in recitation, by attuning the voice and conforming the manner to the different classes of “Homes so sweetly described.]
The stately Homes of England,
How beautiful they stand !
O’er all the pleasant land.
The deer across their greensward bound,
Through shade and sunny gleam, And the swan glides past them with the sound
Of some rejoicing stream.
The merry Homes of England !
Around their hearths by night,
Meet in the ruddy light!
Or childhood's tale is told,
Some glorious page of old.
The blessed Homes of England !
How softly on their bowers Is laid the holy quietness
That breathes from Sabbath hours ! Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bells' chime
Floats through their woods at morn; All other sounds, in that still time,
Of breeze and leaf are born.
The cottage Homes of England !
By thousands o'er her plains,
And round the hamlet fanes.
Each from its nook of leaves, And fearless there the lowly sleep,
As the bird beneath their eaves.
The free, fair Homes of England !
Long, long, in hut and hall,
To guard each hallowed wall !
And bright the fairy sod,
Its country and its God !
THE WIZARD'S GRAVE.
[Among the wonderful productions of Sir Walter none are moro impressively beautiful than the “ Lag of the Last Minstrel " from which we extract the annexed very striking passage. The Lady of Branksome Tower, being beset by sore trials, determines to procuro a book of divination supposed to have beou buried with the great Wizard, Michael Scott. For this purpose she sends a chosen soldier, William of Doleraine. There are many opportunities for the exercise of forensic skill in the varying descriptive stanzas, and in the rough, rugged tones of the stern soldier, contrasting greatly with the solemn stately utterances of the aged monk.)
If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
By a steel-clenched postern door,
They entered now the chancel tall:
On pillars, lofty, and light, and small;