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My child! they gave thee to another,
My little joy! my little pride!
I'll follow you across the snow,
My journey will be shortly run,
The glory of evening was spread through the west;
- On the slope of a mountain I stood, While the joy that precedes the calm season of rest
Rang loud through the meadow and wood.
“ And must we then part from a dwelling so fair?"
In the pain of my spirit I said,
To the cell where the convict is laid.
The thick-ribbed walls that o'ershadow the gate
Resound; and the dungeons unfold: I pause ; and at length, through the glimmering grate,
That outcast of pity behold. .
His black matted head on his shoulder is bent,
And deep is the sigh of his breath,
On the fetters that link him to death.
'Tis sorrow enough on that visage to gaze,
That body dismiss'd from his care; Yet my fancy has pierced to his heart, and pourtrays More terrible images there.
His bones are consumed, and his life-blood is dried,
With wishes the past to undo; And his crime, through the pains that o'erwhelm him,
descried, Still blackens and grows on his view.
When from the dark synod, or blood-reeking field,
To his chamber the monarch is led,
And quietness pillow his head.
But if grief, self-consumed, in oblivion would doze,
And conscience her tortures appease, 'Mid tumult and uproar this man must repose ;
In the comfortless vault of disease.
When his fetters at night have so press'd on his limbs,
That the weight can no longer be borne,
The wretch on his pallet should turn,
While the jail-mastiff howls at the dull clanking chain,
From the roots of his hair there shall start
And terror shall leap at his heart.
But now he half-raises his deep-sunken eye,
And the motion unsettles a tear;
And asks of me why I am here.