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thunder. Then, after a fearful pause, during which each figure in the hall, as under the influence of some potent spell became motionless,-fixed to the ground as with the weight of a hundred chains, a light—the glare of a distant conflageration, streamed wrathfully through the casements, illumining the doomed company, from amid whom the mysterious stranger had already disappeared. Then far off, was heard the noise of battle, the ringing of armour, the tread of a mighty multitude advancing, the shock of city-shaking engines, the roar of hosts encountering. Then, at intervals, the fall of giant towers, the screams of fugitives, the trumpet blast and the shout of triumph. The crackle and roar of conflagration, whose vast fire sea, rolling its mighty billows on the wind, already enveloped the palace of Assuerus.




Some days afterwards, as some Median soldiers, red with massacre and weighed with riches, entered, amid smoking ruins, the great hall where the king of Babylon had last feasted, their eyes fell upon a strange and gbastly spectacle. Around the tables of black marble, covered with half-molten cups of gold, sat a group of skeletons, beneath the throne on which that of the king still rested. The crown, glittering with gems, still covered the cbarred skull, which seemed from its cavernous sockets to gaze with spectral smile of mockery upon the surrounding scene of ruin, the company of bony revellers, the aureate vessels of feasting, the images of the gods overturned, and lying in molten heaps on the pavement. Just as the soldiers, however, were about to advance, the earth trembled, the walls shook, and a colossal stone figure of one of the Babylonian deities, which had hitherto resisted the fire, falling in thunder across the upper part of the hall, and overturning the pillars which sustained the roof, buried the terrible scene on which they had gazed, for ever from their view.



It was a land lonely and beautiful,
That like a floating moon in the blue air
Lay islanded within an eastern sea.
O'er marble ridges, shelving to the shore,
Came tumbling white the flashing waterfalls ;
Dark azure peaks, high in the cloudless clime,
Rose sentineling the enchanted coast,
Shadowing the dreamy sea with twilight cool,
From pendulous umbrage thickly overgrown,
And draperies dark of interleavings green;
Amid which bung the many-juicéd fruits,

Rare and rich coloured as the dimpled shells
That strewed the beach ; while flowers, rainbow-born,
Scented the sky up to the golden clouds.

'Twas evening as he paced the curved beach
Alone, with loneliest imaginings,
Amid the ocean wind and sunset light.
Southward, above the green foam-drifted sea,
A distant isle 'mid purple shadows loomed,
Veiled in the mellow heat mists of the day,
With slant beams brightening its white streaks of shore.
Across its darkling phantom sides white birds
Flashed; while above it beamed the crescent moon,
And fitfully the wavy wind was blowing.
Beyond the smooth pale sands of this sweet coast
Stretched a surge-maddened reef; ragged and brown,
On which the mounting billows, crushed to spray,
Wove fragment rainbows in the evening light.

Here was the place where lonely years ago,
The rude shipwrecking billows swept him ou
Dizzily struggling with the drowning deeps,
Till maddening torture sunk in senselessness.
The beach where, when his life dawned back, he lay,
And sometime stared half dreaming on the scene ;
Where full before him, nigh his pebbly couch,
Long heaving lines of billows smote the sands
In curved foamy fall; and from the cliffs
That near him stood, flung baffled in their spring,
Gnashed whitely at their base, moaning and stunned.
The sea was ebbing out with th’evening wind
That faded to the eastern moon; and near,
Thrown like himself beyond the threatening tides,
Lay the chill, shivering surf drift. Tiny shells
Strewed the smooth shore, like dimples of a child,
And whispered near the swaying salt sea weed,
From rocks, whose summits took the last west light,
Where soared the wild white birds in wheeling flocks,
Skirring aloft, and ever and anon
Their wavering shadows casting on his brow,
Whose pulse beat faint and cold-like ministers
of death, still haunting him, escaped the deeps.

Here often, when his heart, like the high stars,
Beat bright and still, it formed a pure delight
When day was gone, to sit by th’sea beach calm,
Within the listening of its murmurings,

And let old voices fill his ears at eve;
To live with recollections of old days,
And once more converse hold with the dear groups
Now past, who clustered round bis infancy,
Filling his brain with memories musical
And sweet, that wake in dreams and loneliness;
And feeding his clear soul with thoughts that sprung
From the fair smiles of nature such as beamed,
In lawn, fount, forest-brown, and cavern sparred,
From amber morn, from evening's presence mild,
From silent-midnight's rich sphere-spangled dome,
And lonely noon day's listless dreamy sea.
There, with his soul's bright images to dwell,
Became his sweet, ideal paradise,
Living with fancy for companionship,
Until old Time should beckon silent Death
From the dim vast, and while the snow of years
Had grown around him; there, amid the light
Of some low west, stretched on an autumn bank,
To yield his soul, after the fading sun,
Into the unknown realms of stars away.

Oftimes, beneath some slender fragrant tree,
Stretched ’mid the noon, or when the western rays
Peeped under its drooped branches amorously,
He'd wake within his heart enchantments sweet,
Blending all beauties into one bright form,
Lonely and lovely as a gentle star,
Daughter of morn, sister of solitude
The ballowed visitant of his heart's dreams.
And when full silver orbød fancy filled
His soul with light, and music words tbronged fast,
To realise each fairy phantasy
Swift would he wend him to some ivied cave,
Whose floor was paved with sand, all yellow smooth,
And with some stem of coral, idly trace,
Reclined, his summer dreams. The while the waves
Over the rosy shells and pebbles pure
Framed him a love-lorn melody—the while
Shoreward, from out the isle’s green woodland heart,
The pulses of the perfumed wind beat low;
While crossed the vale cool showerings from the sea,
Bubbling tbe rivulet bright that wogled by
From the remote hill's purple pyramid-
"Till the young moon seemed from its source to rise,
And wander freshened from its fount through heaven.
To him the spring scattering its shimmering sprays,
Adown the marble reefs, ʼmid flowers wild,
Grew a familiar being. There, at eve,
When the calm west beamed on his fount, and be
Stretched by its side, he'd muse, and with the tune
His fancy traced amid its tinkling shower,
Frame songs for passing spirits—the pure souls
Whose life was one sweet song of praise and love.
Nor lonely felt he here. A grand old tree
Stretched its boughs o'er him, like a father's arms;
The winds, that fawned around his brow at noon,
Seemed fond familiars of the air that loved
To be ever near him, touching him in play;
The red ripe fruitage frequent dropp'd to his feet
While roaming through the browning autumn woods--
The light leaves kissed him in his evening walk ;
The birds, amid the foliage o'er his cave,
Welcomed him home as rose the evening star ;
The brook came near his couch, with silver smiles,
And music, gentle as a sister's voice ;
And, like a mother, watched his sleep, the moon,


One morning by the languid Nile,
Sat a maiden near a fountain,

By her side an earthen vase

Shimmered in the sultry rays ;
And the warm air breathed the while
From the stony mountain.
In the dizzy desert looming,

Her poor dusky village stood ;
And many a brown sailed barque came glooming

Up the broad old flood.

“ Though I'm but a slave," she cried,
“Living by the sluggish tide,
Food for the great city's scorning;
Oh, there's something in the morning
Fills my heart with good.”

On the low and rushy bank,
From a barge all gilded over,

Groups of sabred soldiers sprang

Toward the fount, their armour rang; And as they bathed their brows and drank

She saw that they were dashed with gore :

6 Whither sail ye this sweet day,

Weary soldiers, battle stained ?"
And one cried, in accents gay-

Oh, we have a battle gained,
And methinks the noon will light

Our swords into another.”-
“ Alas! alas !" the maiden cried,

Standing by bis glittering side,
“ Is not this gentle morn too bright

For such a strife, my brother ?”

They laughed and sprang aboard again,
Floating down, with many a gleam

Of armour, and the crimson glow

Of Roman banners, drooping low ;But soon she hears, with creaky strain, Another barge slide up


stream, And amid heaps of yellow corn,

That filled the deck up to its brim,
A group of figures, lank and shorn,
With slave-brands on each dusky limb :-
“ Whither sail ye, fellow slaves ?”

" To a city up the tide,
Where balf the people sleep in graves,

The rest by famine sore are tried ;-
The Roman soldiers tread us down"-

“Oh, slaves, ---my brothers--haste away,

Thine is the nobler work, to-day,
And worthier of a crown.”

Now in the middle stream beneath
The golden glow, another boat

Comes dancing to the beat of oars,

On to the city's pillared shores ; And in the awning's shadowy breadth

There feasts a purple prince of note ; While urns of myrrh, in fragrance dim,

Flame by the palm wine, shimmering near, And lotus bread is heaped by him,

And leaves of honey, amber-clearShe glanced a-toward the cedar decks, And then a-toward her desert cot

66 Were half the gold that feasters waste

But thrown unto the poor to taste, Lighter the chain would press our necks,

And happier be our lot.”

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