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No sound of joy or sorrow was heard from either bank :
But friends and foes in dumb surprise,
Stood gazing where he sank:
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry,
Could scarce forbear to cheer.
I wait on Appius Claudius ; I waited on his sire :
Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside,
The time is come; see how he points his eager hand this way! See, how his eyes gloat on thy grief, like a kite's upon the prey. With all his wit he little deems, that, spurned, betrayed, bereft, Thy father hath, in his despair, one fearful refuge left. He little deems, that in this hand I clutch what still can save Thy gentle youth from taunts and blows, the portion of the slave ; Yea, and from nameless evil, that passeth taunt and blow-. Foul outrage, which thou knowest not, which thou shalt never know ! Then clasp me round the neck once more, and give me one more kiss ; And now, mine own dear little girl, there is no way—BUT THIS!”
- With that he lifted high the steel, and smote her in the side, And in her blood she sank to earth, and with one sob she died !
THE SONG OF THE SHIRT.—Hood.) With fingers weary and worn, with eyelids heavy and red, A woman sat, in unwomanly rags, plying her needle and thread : Stitch ! stitch ! stitch ! in poverty, hunger, and dirt : And still, with a voice of dolorous pitch, she sang the “ Song of the
“Work! work ! work! while the cock is crowing aloof!'
hand. “Work! work! work ! in the dull December light, And work ! work ! work ! when the weather is warm and bright; While underneath the eaves the brooding swallows cling, As if to show me their sunny backs, and twit me with the Spring. “Oh, but to breathe the breath of the cowslip and primrose sweetWith the sky above my head, and the grass beneath my feet ; For only one short hour to feel as I used to feel, Before I knew the woes of want, and the walk that costs a meal ! “Oh, but for one short hour ! a respite however brief ! No blessed leisure for love or hope, but only time for grief ! A little weeping would ease my heart ; but in their briny bed My tears must stop, for every drop hinders needle and thread.” With fingers weary and worn, with eyelids heavy and red, A woman sat, in unwomanly rags, plying her needle and thread. Stitch ! stitch ! stitch ! in poverty, hunger, and dirt ; And still with a voice of dolorous pitch. (Would that its tone could reach the rich !) She sang this “ Song of the Shirt ”.
SOLITUDE.—(H. K. White.) It is not that my lot is low, that bids the silent tear to flow ; it is not grief that bids me moan,-it is, that I am all alone. In woods and glens I love to roam, when the tired hedger hies him home, or by the woodland pool to rest, when the pale star looks on its breast. Yet, when the silent evening sighs, with hallowed airs and symphonies, my spirit takes another tone, and sighs that it is all alone. The autumn leaf is sear and dead, it floats upon the water's bed; I would not be a leaf, to die without recording sorrow's sigh! The woods and winds, with sullen wail, tell all the same unvaried tale; I've none to smile when I am free, and when I sigh, to sigh with me! Yet in my dreams a form I view, that thinks on me, and loves me too : I start, and when the vision's flown, I weep that I am all alone.
THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS.—(Edmund Spenser.)
And is there care in heaven? And is there love
In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
There is :-else much more wretched were the case
Of highest God, that loves His creatures so,
That blessed angels He sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve His foe!
To come to succour us that succour want!
The finty skies, like flying pursuivant,
They for us tight, they watch aud duly ward,
And all for love and nothing for reward :
PATRIOTISM.—(Cowper.) He is the freeman whom the truth makes free And all are slaves besides. There's not a chain That bellish foes confederate for his harm Can wind around him, but he casts it off With as much ease as Sampson his green withes; He looks abroad unto the varied field Of Nature, and, though poor perhaps compared With those whose mansions glitter in his sight, Calls the delightful scenery all his own. His are the mountains, and the valleys his, And the resplendent rivers : his to enjoy With a propriety that none can feel, But who, with filial confidence inspired, Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eye, And smiling say, My Father made them all! Are they not his by a peculiar right, And by an emphasis of interest his, Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy, Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love That planned, and built, and still upholds a world So clothed with beauty, for rebellious man? Yes—ye may fill your garners, ye that reap The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good In senseless riot ; but ye will not find In feast or in the chase, in song or dance, A liberty like his, who, unimpeached Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong, Appropriates nature as his Father's work, And has a richer use of yours, than you. He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth Of no mean city planned or ere the hills Were built, the fountains opened, or the sea With all his roaring multitude of waves. His freedom is the same in every state; And no condition of this changeful life So manifold in cares, whose every day Brings its own evil with it, makes it less. For he has wings that neither sickness, pain, Nor penury, can cripple or confine. No nouk so narrow but he spreads them there With ease, and is at large. The oppressor holds His body bound, but knows not what a range His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain ; And that to bind him is a vain attempt, Whom God delights in, and in whom He dwells.