For why? Methought last night I wrought A murder in a dream!

One that had never done me wrong

A feeble man, and old;

I led him to a lonely field,

The moon shone clear and cold:
Now here, said I, this man shall die,
And I will have his gold!

Two sudden blows with a ragged stick,
And one with a heavy stone,

One hurried gash with a hasty knife-
And then the deed was done:
There was nothing lying at my foot,
But lifeless flesh and bone!

Nothing but lifeless flesh and bone,
That could not do me ill;

And yet I feared him all the more,
For lying there so still:
There was a manhood in his look,
That murder could not kill!

And lo! the universal air

Seemed lit with ghastly flame-
Ten thousand thousand dreadful eyes
Were looking down in blame :
I took the dead man by the hand,
And called upon his name!

Oh, how it made me quake to see
Such sense within the slain !

But when I touched the lifeless clay,
The blood gushed out amain!

For every clot, a burning spot

Was scorching in my brain!

And now from forth the frowning sky,
From the heaven's topmost height,
I heard a voice-the awful voice
Of the blood-avenging sprite :
"Thou guilty man! take up thy dead,
And hide it from my sight!"

I took the dreary body up,
And cast it in a stream-
A sluggish water, black as ink,
The depth was so extreme.

My gentle boy, remember this

Is nothing but a dream!

Down went the corpse with a hollow plunge, And vanished in the pool;

Anon I cleansed my bloody hands,

And washed my forehead cool, And sat among the urchins young That evening in the school!

That night I lay in agony,

In anguish dark and deep;
My fevered eyes I dared not close,
But stared aghast at Sleep;
For Sin had rendered unto her
The keys of hell to keep!

All night I lay in agony,

From weary chime to chime, With one besetting horrid hint, That racked me all the timeA mighty yearning, like the first Fierce impulse unto crime!

One stern, tyrannic thought, that made
All other thoughts its slave;
Stronger and stronger every pulse

Did that temptation crave-
Still urging me to go and see
The dead man in his grave!

Heavily I rose up-as soon
As light was in the sky-
And sought the black accursed pool
With a wild misgiving eye;
And I saw the dead in the river bed,
For the faithless stream was dry!

Merrily rose the lark, and shook
The dewdrop from its wing,

But I never marked its morning flight,
I never heard it sing:

For I was stooping once again

Under the horrid thing.

With breathless speed, like a soul in chase, I took him up and ran

There was no time to dig a grave

Before the day began:

In a lonesome wood, with heaps of leaves, I hid the murdered man!

And all that day. I read in school,
But my thought was other where !
As soon as the mid-day task was done,
In secret I was there:

And a mighty wind had swept the leaves,
And still the corpse was bare!

Then down I cast me on my face,
And first began to weep,

For I knew my secret then was one
That earth refused to keep;
Or land or sea, though he should be
Ten thousand fathoms deep!

So wills the fierce avenging sprite,
Till blood for blood atones!
Ay, though he's buried in a cave,
And trodden down with stones,
And years have rotted off his flesh-
The world shall see his bones!

Oh, how that horrid, horrid dream
Besets me now awake!
Again-again, with a dizzy brain,
The human life I take;

And my red right hand grows raging hot,
Like Cranmer's at the stake.

And still no peace for the restless clay
Will wave or mould allow :

The horrid thing pursues my soul-
"It stands before me now!"
The fearful boy looked up, and saw
Huge drops upon his brow!

That very night, while gentle sleep
The urchin eyelids kissed,

Two stern-faced men set out from Lynn,
Through the cold and heavy mist;

And Eugene Aram walked between,
With gyves upon his wrist.



[Vast as is the theme on which Legare expatiates, the delivery of this extract should not be accompanied by any strong rhetorical effects. The breast will naturally expand. the eye dilate, and the the voice swell stronger and higher, as the speaker dwells upon "what is," and in his "mind's eye" contemplates "what is to be."]

SIR, I dare not trust myself to speak of my country with the rapture which I habitually feel when I contemplate her marvelous history. But this I will say that, on my return to it, after an absence of only four years, I was filled with wonder at all I saw and all I heard. What is to be compared with it? I found New York grown up to almost double its former size, with the air of a great capital, instead of a mere flourishing commercial town, as I had known it. I listened to accounts of voyages of a thousand miles in magnificent steamboats on the waters of those great lakes, which, but the other day, I left sleeping in the primeval silence of nature, in the recesses of a vast wilderness; and I felt that there is a grandeur and a majesty in this irresistible onward march of a race, created, as I believe, and elected, to possess and people a continent, which belong to few other objects, either of the moral or material world.

We may become so much accustomed to such things that they shall make as little impression upon our minds as the glories of the heavens above us; but, looking on them, lately, as with the eye of the stranger, I felt, what a recent English traveler is said to have remarked, that far from being without poetry, as some have falsely alleged, our whole country is one great poem.

Sir, it is so; and if there be a man that can think of what is doing, in all parts of this most blessed of all lands, to embellish and advance it-who can contemplate that living mass of intelligence, activity and improvement, as it rolls on, in its sure and steady progress, to the uttermost extremities of the West-who can see scenes of savage desolation transformed, almost with the suddenness of enchantment, into those of fruitfulness and beauty, crowned with flourishing cities, filled with the noblest of all populations -if there be a man, I say, that can witness all this, passing under his very eyes, without feeling his heart beat high, and his imagination warmed and transported by it, be sure, sir, that the raptures of song exist not for him; he would

listen in vain to Tasso or Camoens, telling a tale of the wars of the knights and crusaders, or of the discovery and conquest of another hemisphere.



[This gentle monody is so full of tender melancholy that it is almost impossible for any person to recite it amiss. The voice should, as it were harmonize to the low cadence of the falling leaves.]

LEAVES have their time to fall,

And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath, And stars to set,-but all,

Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

Day is for mortal care,

Eve for glad meetings round the joyous hearth, Night for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer, But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth.

The banquet hath its hour,

Its feverish hour ot mirth and song and wine; There comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power. A time for softer tears-but all are thine.

Youth and the opening rose

May look like things too glorious for decay,
And smile at thee-but thou art not of those
That wait the ripened bloom to seize their prey.

Leaves have their time to fall,

And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath, And stars to set, but all,

Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

We know when moons shall wane,

When summer birds from far shall cross the sea, When autumn's hue shall tinge the golden grainBut who shall teach us when to look for thee?

Is it when spring's first gale

Comes forth to whisper where the violets lie?
Is it when roses in our paths grow pale?
They have one season-all are ours to die!

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