Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Till his lips in wild joy press his own native lands,
And to heaven are lifted his trembling hands,

Wbile the silence is still and profound.
Oh, listen! at distance what wild music sounds?

And at distance what maiden appears?
See! forward she comes with a light-springing bound,
And casts her mild eyes in fond ecstasy round,

For a parent is seen through her tears.
Her harp's wildest strain gave a thrill of delight,

A moment-şhe springs to his arms:
“My daughter!-O God!” Not the horror of fight,
While legions on legions against him unite,

Could bring on his soul such alarms.
In wild horror he starts as a fiend had appeared;

His eyes in mute agony close;
His sword o'er his age-frosted visage is reared,
Which with scars from his many fought battles is searea

Nor his country nor daughter he knows.
But sudden conviction in quick flashes told

That his daughter was destined to die!
Oh! no longer could nature the wild struggle hold;
His grief issued forth unconstrained, uncontrolled,

And the tears dimmed his time-withered eye.
His daughter was weeping, and clasping that form

She ne'er touched, but with transport, before;
Kis daughter was watching the thundering storm,
Whose quick flashing lightnings so madly deform

A face beaming sunshine before.
But how did that daughter, so gentle and fair,

Ilear the sentence that doomed her to die?
For a moment her eye gave a heart-moving glare,
Almost like a maniac's, so fixed in its stare;

For a moment her bosom heaved high.
It was but a moment,—the frenzy was past,

She smilingly rushed to his arms;
And there, as a flower, when chilled by the blast,
Reclines on the oak, till its fury be past,

On his bosom she hushed her alarms.
Not an eye saw the scene but was moistened with woe,

Not a voice could a sentence command; Down the soldier's rough cheek tears of agony flow, While the sobs of the maiden heaved mournful and slow:

Sad pity wept over the land.

But fleù was the hope in the maiden's sad breast;

From her fond father's bosom she rose;
Mild virtue appeared in her manner confest,
She looked like a saint from the realms of the blest,

Not a mortal encircled with woes.
She turned from the group-and can I declare

The hope and the fortitude given?
As she sank on her knees, with a soul-breathing prayer,
That her father might flourish, of virtue the care,

Till with giory he'd flourish in heaven.
"Oh! comfort him, Heaven, when low in the dust

My limbs are inactively laid ;
Oh! comfort him, Heaven, and let him then trust
Thai, free and immortal, the souls of the just

Are in glory and beauty arrayed."
The maiden arose--and can I portray

The devotion that glowed in her eye?
Religion's sweet self in its light seemed to stray
With the mildness of night, with the glory of day,

But 'twas pity that prompted her sigh.
“My father!” the chief raised his dim, weeping eye,

With a look of unspeakable woe: “My father!” her voice seemed convulsed with a sigh, But the tears, as they gushed from her grief-swollen eye,

Told more than her words could bestow.
The weakness was past, and the maiden could say,

“My father! for thee I can die!”
The bands slowly moved on their sorrowful way,
But never again from that heart-breaking day
Was a tear known to force its enlivening ray

On the old chieftain's grief-speaking eye.

WARREN'S ADDRESS.-- Joux PIERPONT.

Stand! the ground's your own, my braves !
Will ye give it up to slaves ?
Will ye look for greener graves ?

Hope ye mercy still?
What's the mercy despots feel?
Hear it in that battle-peal!
Read it on yon bristling steel!

Ask it,--ye who will.

Fear ye foes who kill for hire?
Will ye to your homes retire?
Look behind you,-they're afire!

And, before you, see
Who have done it! From the vale
On they come!-and will ye quail ?
Leaden rain and iron hail

Let their welcome be!

In the God of battles trust!
Die we may,-and die we must:
But oh, where can dust to dust

Be consigned so well,
As where heaven its dews shall shed
On the martyred patriots bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head,

Of his deeds to tell ?

THRILLING SKETCH.-SALATHIEL.

A portal of the arena opened, and the combatant, with a mantle thrown over his face and figure, was led into the sur. roundery. The lion roared and ramped against the bars of his den at the sight. The guard put a sword and buckler into the hands of the Christian, and he was left alone. He drew the mantle from his face, and bent a slow and firm look around the amphitheatre. His fine countenance and lofty bearing raised a universal shout of admiration. He might have stood for an Apollo encountering the Python. His eye at last turned on mine. Could I believe my senses? Constantius was before me.

All my rancor vanished. An hour past, I could have struck the betrayer to the heart, I could have called on the severest vengeance of man and heaven to smite the destroyer of my child. But to see him hopelessly doomed, the man whom I had honored for his noble qualities, whom I had even loved, whose crime was, at the worst, but the crime of giving way to the strongest temptation that can bewilder the heart of man; to see the noble creature flung to the savage beast, dying in tortures, torn piecemeal before my eyes, and his misery wrought by me, I would have obtested earth and heaven to save him. But my tongue cleaved to the roof of my mouth. My limbs refused to stir. I would have thrown myself at the feet of Nero; but I sat like a man of stonepale-paralyzed-the beating of my pulse stopped-my eyes alone alive.

The gate of the den was thrown back, and the lion rushed in with a roar and a bound that bore him half across the arena. I saw the sword glitter in the air: when it waved again, it was covered with blood. A howl told that the blow had been driven home. The lion, one of the largest from Numidia, and made furious by thirst and hunger, an animal of prodigious power, crouched for an instant, as if to make sure of his prey, crept a few paces onward, and sprang at the victim's throat. He was met by a second wound, but his impulse was irresistible. A cry of natural horror rang round the amphitheatre. The struggle was now for an instant, life or death. They rolled over each other; the lion, reared upon his hind feet, with gnashing teeth and distended talons, plunged on the man; again they rose together. Anxiety was now at its wildest height.

The sword now swung round the champion's head in bloody circles. They fell again, covered with blood and dust. The hand of Constantius had grasped the lion's mane, and the furious bounds of the monster could not loose his hold; but his strength was evidently giving way,-he still struck his terrible blows, but each was weaker than the one before; till, collecting his whole force for a last effort, he darted one mighty blow into the lion's throat, and sank. The savage beast yelled, and, spouting out blood, fled howling around the arena. But the hand still grasped the mane, and the conqueror was dragged whirling through the dust at his heels. A universal outcry now arose to save him, if he were not already dead. But the lion, though bleeding from every vein, was still too terrible, and all shrank from the hazard.

At last the grasp gave way, and the body lay motionless on the ground.

What happened for some moments after, I know not. There was a struggle at the portal; a female forced her way through the guards, rushed in alone, and flung herself on the victim. The sight of a nov prey roused the liou; he

a

tore the ground with his talons; he lashed his strearning sides with his tail; he lifted up his mane and bared his fangs; But his approaching was no longer with a bound; he dreaded the sword, and came snuffing the blood on the sand, and stealing round the body in circuits still diminishing.

The confusion in the vast assemblage was now extreme. Voices innumerable called for aid. Women screamed and fainted, men burst into indignant clamors at this prolonged cruelty. Even the hard hearts of the populace, accustomed as they were to the sacrifice of life, were roused to honest curses. The guards grasped their arms, and waited but for a sign from the emperor. But Nero gave no sign.

I looked upon the woman's face; it was Salome! I sprang upon my feet. I called on her name,-called on her, by every feeling of nature, to fly from that place of death, to come to my arms, to think of the agonies of all that loved her.

She had raised the head of Constantius on her knee, and was wiping the pale visage with her hair. At the sound of my voice, she looked up, and, calmly casting back the locks from her forehead, fixed her eyes upon me. She still knelt; one hand supported the head,—with the other she pointed to it as her only answer. I again adjured her. There was the silence of death among the thousands around me. fire dashed into her eye,-her cheek burned,-she waved her hand with an air of superb sorrow.

“I am come to die,” she uttered, in a lofty tone. “This bleeding body was my husband, I have no father. The world contains to me but this clay in my arms. Yet," and she kissed the ashy lips before her, “yet, my Constantius, it was to save that father that your generous heart defied the peril of this hour. It was to redeem him from the hand of evil that you abandoned your quiet home!-Yes, cruel father, here lies the noble being that threw open your dungeon, that led you safe through the conflagration, that, to the last moment of his liberty, only sought how he might preserve and protect you.” Tears at length fell in floods from he: eyes. “But,” said she, in a tone of wild power," he was betrayed, and may the Power whose thunders avenge the cause of his people, pour down just retribution upon the head that dared”

« ElőzőTovább »