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Then a long reaching line and the Brazos in sight,
And I rose in my seat with a shout of delight.
I stood in my stirrup and looked to my right,
But Revels was gone; I glanced by my shoulder
And saw his horse stagger; I saw his head drooping
Hard on his breast, and his naked breast stooping
Low down to the mane as so swifter and bolder
Ran reaching out for us the red-footed fire.
To right and to left the black buffalo came,
In miles and in millions, rolling on in despair,
With their beards to the dust, and black tails in the air.
As a terrible surf on a red sea of flame
Rushing on in the rear, reaching high, reaching higher,
And he rode neck to neck to a buffalo bull,
The monarch of millions, with shaggy mane full
Of smoke and of dust, and it shook with desire
Of battle, with rage and with bellowings loud
And unearthly, and up through its lowering cloud
Came the flash of his eyes like a half-hidden fire,
While his keen crooked horns through the storm of his mane
Like black lances lifted and lifted again ;
And I looked but this once, for the tire licked through,
And he fell and was lost, as we role two and two.
I looked to my left then, and nose, neck, and shoulder
Sank slowly, sank surely, till back to my thighs;
And up through the black blowing veil of her hair
Did beam full in mine her two marvelous eyes
With a longing and love, yet a look of despair,
And a pity for me, as she felt the smoke fold her,
And fames reaching far for her glorious hair.
Her sinking steed faltered, his eager ears fell
To and fro and unsteady, and all the neck's swell
Diil subside and recede, and the nerves fell as dead.
Then she saw that my own steed still lorded his head
With a look of delight, for this Paché, you see,
Was her father's, and once at the South Santafee
Had won a whole herd, sweeping everything down
In a race where the world came to run for the crown;
And so when I won the true heart of my bride, -
My neighbor's and deadliest enemy's child,
And child of the kingly war-chief of his tribe, --
She brought me this steed to the border the night
She met Revels and me in her perilous flight
From the lodge of the chief to the north Brazos side;
And said, so half guessing of ill as she smiled,
As if jesting, that I, and I only, should ride
The fleet-footed Paché, so if kin should pursue
I should surely escape without other ado
Than to ride, without blood, to the north Brazos side,
And await her,--and wait till the next hollow moon
Hung her horn in the palms, when surely and soon
And swift she would join me, and all would be well
Without bloodshed or word. And now as she fell
From the front, and went down in the ocean of fire,
The last that I saw was a look of delight
That I should escape,-a love,-a desire,-
Yet never a word, not a look of appeal,
Lest I should reach hand, should stay hand or stay heel
One instant for her in my terrible flight.
Then the rushing of fire rose around me and under,
And the howling of beasts like the sound of thunder,-
Beasts burning and blind and forced onward and over,
As the passionate flame reached around them and wove her
llands in their hair, and kissed hot till they died, -
Till they died with a wild and a desolate moan,
As a sea heart-broken on the hard brown stone,
And into the Brazos I rode all alone,-
All alone, save only a horse long-limbed,
And blind and bare and burnt to the skin.
Then just as the terrible sea came in
And tumbled its thousands hot into the tide,
Till the tide blocked up and the swift stream brimmed
In eddies, we struck on the opposite side.
Sell Paché,-blind Paché? Now, mister, look here,
You have slept in my tent and partook of my cheer
Many days, many days, on this rugged frontier,
For the ways they were rough and Camanches were near;
But you'd better pack up! Curse your dirty skin!
I couldn't have thought you so niggardly small.
Do you men that make boots think an old mountaineer
On the rough border born has no tum-tum at all?
Sell Paché? You buy him! A bag full of gold!
You show him! Tell of him the tale I have told!
Why he bore me through fire, and is blind, and is old !
Now pack up your papers and get up and spin,
And never look back! Blast you and your tin!
THE BULL-FIGHT.-LORD BYRON.
Hushed is the din of tongues; on gallant steeds,
With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance,
Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,
And lowly bending to the lists advance ;
Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance;
If in the dangerous game they shine to-day,
The crowd's loud shout and ladies' lovely glance,
Best prize of better acts, they bear away,
And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain their toils repay
In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed,
But all afoot, the light-limbed Matadore
Stands in the centre, eager to invade
The lord of lowing herds; but not before
The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er,
Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed;
His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more
Can man achieve without the friendly steed, -
Alas! too oft condemned for him to bear and bleed.
Thrice sounds the clarion ; lo! the signal falls,
The den expands, and expectation mute
Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls.
Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute,
And, wildly staring, spurns with sounding foot
The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe;
Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit
His first attack, wide waving to and fro
His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.
Sudden he stops; his eye is fixed : away,
Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear;
Now is thy time to perish, or display
The skill that yet may check his mad career.
With well timed croupe the nimble coursers veer;
On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes:
Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear;
He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes;
Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak his
Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail,
Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse;
Though man and man's avenging arms assail,
Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force.
One gallant steed is stretched a mangled corse;
Another, hideous sight! unseamed appears,
His gory chest unveils life's panting source;
Though' death-struck, still his feeble frame he rears; Staggering, but stemming all, his lord unharmed he bears.
Foiled, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
Full in the centre stands the bull at bay,
'Mid wounds and clinging darts, and lances brast,
And foes disabled in the brutal fray;
And now the Matadores around him play,
Shake the red cloak and poise the ready brand;
Once more through all he bursts his thundering way,
Vain rage! the mantle quits the conynge hand,
Wraps his tierce eye-'tis past-he sinks upon the sand!
Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine,
Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies;
He stops-he starts—disdaining to decline;
Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries,
Without a groan, without a struggle, dies.
The decorated car appears; on high
The corse is piled-sweet sight for vulgar eyes
Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy,
Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.
DEATH OF LITTLE NELL.*-CHARLES DICKENS.
By little and little, the old man had drawn back towards the inner chamber, while these words were spoken. He pointed there, as he replied, with trembling lips,
“You plot among you to wean my heart from her. You will never do that-never while I have life. I have no relative or friend but her-I never had I never will have. She is all in all to me. It is too late to part us now."
Waving them off with his hand, and calling softly to her as he went, he stole into the room. They who were left behind drew close together, and after a few whispered words, -not unbroken by emotion, or easily uttered,--followed him. They moved so gently, that their footsteps made no noise, but there were sobs from among the group, and sounds of grief and mourning.
For she was dead. There, upon her little bed, she lay at rest. The solemn stillness was no marvel now.
She was dead. No sleep so beautiful and calm, so free from trace of pain, so fair to look upon. She seemed a creature fresh from the hand of God, and waiting for the breath of life; not one who had lived and suffered death.
Her couch was dressed with here and there some winter berries and green leaves, gathered in a spot she had been used to favor “When I die, put near me something that
has loved the light, and had the sky above it always." Those were her words.
She was dead. Dear, gentle, patient, noble Nell was dead. Her little bird-a poor slight thing the pressure of a finger would have crushed-was stirring nimbly in its cage; and the strong heart of its child-mistress was mute and motionless forever.
Where were the traces of her early cares, her sufferings and fatigues?
Sorrow was dead indeed in her, but peace and perfect happiness were born; imaged in her tranquil beauty and profound repose.
And still her former self lay there, unaltered in this change Yes. The old fireside had smiled upon that same sweet face; it had passed like a dream through haunts of misery and care; at the door of the poor schoolmaster on the summer evening, before the furnace fire upon the cold, wet night, at the still bedside of the dying boy, there had been the same mild, lovely look. So shall we know the angels in their majesty, after death.
The old man held one languid arm in his, and had the small hand tight folded to his breast, for warmth.
It was the hand she had stretched out to him with her last smile-the hand that had led him on through all their wanderings. Ever and anon he pressed it to his lips, then hugged it to his breast again, murmuring that it was warmer now; and as he said it, he looked in agony to those who stood around, as if imploring them to help her.
She was dead, and past all help, or need of it. The ancient rooms she had seemed to fill with life, even while her own was waning fast,—the garden she had tended,—the eyes she had gladdened-the noiseless haunts of many a thoughtless hour-the paths she had trodden as it were but yesterday~ could know her no more.
“ It is not,” said the schoolmaster, as he bent down to kiss her on the cheek, and give his tears free vent, “it is not on earth that heaven's justice ends. Think what it is compared with the world to which her young spirit has winged its early fight, and say, if one deliberate wish expressed in solemn terms above this bed could call her back to life, which of us would utter it?"