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"O name him not," the Queen exclaim'd, “the false, the recreant slave,

"But be his memory buried deep within the silent


"And as he lived a traitor's life, and met a catiff's doom,

"O let his faults lie hidden far within the traitor's tomb.

"For none on earth doth truly know my secret pain and strife,

"And how I prayed that Heaven would grant excuse to save his life;

"And had he only ask'd for grace, nor all my love withstood,

"My woman's heart had pardon'd him, though Justice claim'd his blood."

Then deep convulsive pangs once more the dying Countess shook,

She cast upon her injured Queen a meek, imploring look ;

“And oh,” she cried, "sweet mistress mine, for Jesu's sake forgive,

"As thou with all his saints in bliss would'st henceforth hope to live.

"Lord Essex was most penitent, but not from craven fear,

"His love and duty prompted him to shed the bitter


"He bade me seek thy face and strive to turn thy

wrath away,

"And Essex dies a penitent' was all he bade me


"And 'take,' he cried, this signet ring that our sweet lady gave,

"And said, if sent to her, that pledge, her richest boon might crave;'

"But a rival's hatred prompted me to do a deadly thing,

"I spoke Lord Essex fair, but false, and kept from you the ring."

"Then horror seized that injured Queen, 'twas long before she spoke,

At length, in tones by fury lent her maddened feelings broke ;

She shook the dying Countess hard till life was nigh to flee,

And "ask for grace from Heaven," she cried, "but ask for none from me!"

The suff'rer falls upon her couch, to pain and grief a


And her maids have crowded round the Queen, and borne her far away;

And soon the Countess sank beneath her mind and

body's pain,

And the Queen hath sought her palace halls and never smiled again.

The Pebble and the Acorn.

"I am a Pebble, and yield to none," Were the swelling words of a tiny stone; "Nor change nor season can alter me; I am abiding while ages flee.

The pelting hail and the drizzling rain
Have tried to soften me long in vain ;
And the tender dew has sought to melt
Or to touch my heart, but it was not felt.

None can tell of the Pebble's birth;
For I am as old as the solid earth.
The children of men arise and pass
Out of the world like blades of grass,
And many a foot on me has trod
That's gone from sight and under the sod!
I am a Pebble! but who art thou,
Rattling along from the reckless bough?"
The Acorn was shock'd at this rude salute,
And lay for a moment abash'd and mute :
She never before had been so near
This gravely ball, the mundane sphere;
And felt for a while perplex'd to know
How to answer a thing so low.

But to give reproof of a nobler sort
Than the angry look, or the keen retort,
At length she said in a gentle tone,-
"Since it has happen'd that I am thrown
From the lighter element where I grew,
Down to another so hard and new,
And beside a personage so august,
Abased, I will cover my head with dust
And quickly retire from the sight of one
Whom time nor season, nor storm nor sun,
Nor the gentle dew, nor the grinding wheel,
Has ever subdued or made to feel."

And soon in the earth she sank away

From the comfortless spot where the Pebble lay.

But it was not long ere the soil was broke
By the piercing head of an infant oak ;
And, as it rose and its branches spread,
The Pebble look'd up, and wondering, said,
"A modest acorn! never to tell

What was enclosed in her simple shell,—
That the pride of the forest was then shut up
Within the space of her little cup!

And meekly to sink in the darksome earth,
To prove that nothing could hide her worth.
And, O! how many will tread on me,
To come and admire that beautiful tree,
Whose head is towering towards the sky,
Above such a worthless thing as I !



Useless and vain, a cumberer here,
I have been idling from year to year ;
But never from this shall a vaunting word
From the humble Pebble again be heard,
Till something without me, or within,
Can show the purpose for which I have been !"

The Pebble could not its vow forget,

And it lies there wrapp'd in silenee yet.


The Traveller's Evening Hymn.

FATHER, guide me! day declines,
Hollow winds are in the pines ;
Darkly waves each giant bough
O'er the sky's last crimson glow;
Hush'd is now the convent's bell,
Which erewhile with breezy swell
From the purple mountains bore
Greeting to the sun-set shore.
Now the sailor's vesper hymn

Dies away.

Father! in the forest dim

Be my stay!

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