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Smile, lady, smile !--I will not see
Rivers and Hastings bend the knee,
Till those bewitching lips of thine
Will bid me rise in bliss from mine.
Smile, lady, smile !—for who would win
A loveless throne through guilt and sin ?
Or who would reign o'er vale and hill,
If woman's heart were rebel still ?”
One jerk, and there a lady lay,
A lady wondrous fair;
But the rose of her lip had faded away,
And her cheek was as white and cold as clay,
And torn was her raven hair.
“Ah ha!” said the Fisher, in merry guise,
“ Her gallant was hooked before;”And the Abbot heaved some piteous sighs, For oft he had blessed those deep blue eyes,
The eyes of Mistress Shore !
There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
Many the cunning sportsman tried,
Many he flung with a frown aside,-
A minstrel's harp, and a miser's chest,
A hermit's 'cowl, and a baron's crest,
Jewels of lustre, robes of price,
Tomes of heresy, loaded dice,
And golden cups of the brightest wine
That ever was pressed from the Burgundy vine.
There was a perfume of sulphur and nitre,
As he came at last to a bishop's mitre !
From top to toe the Abbot shook,
As the Fisherman armed his golden hook;
And awfully were his features wrought
By some dark dream, or wakened thought.
Look how the fearful felon gazes
On the scaffold his country's vengeance raises,
When the lips are cracked, and the jaws are dry,
With the thirst which only in death shall die:
Mark the mariner's frenzied frown,
As the swaling wherry settles down,
When peril has numbed the sense and will,
Though the hand and the foot may struggle still:
Wilder far was the Abbot's glance,
Deeper far was the Abbot's trance:
Fixed as a monument, still as air,
He bent no knee, and he breathed no prayer:
But he signed,-he knew not why or how,-
The sign of the Cross on his clammy brow.
There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
As he stalked away with his iron box.
“Oh ho! Oh ho!
The cock doth crow; It is time for the Fisher to rise and go. Fair luck to the Abbot, fair luck to the shrine! He hath gnawed in twain my choicest line; Let him swim to the north, let him swim to the south,The Abbot will carry my hook in his mouth!”
The Abbot had preached for many years,
With as clear articulation
As ever was heard in the House of Peers
Against Emancipation :
His words had made battalions quake,
Had roused the zeal of martyrs;
Had kept the Court an hour awake,
And the king himself three-quarters: But ever, from that hour, 'tis said,
He stammered and he stuttered,
As if an axe went through his head,
With every word he uttered.
He stuttered o'er blessing, he stuttered o'er ban,
He stuttered, drunk or dry;
And none but he and the Fisherman
Could tell the reason why!
XXX.-FROM " ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL."
This piece is descriptive of some of the characters who figured in Monmouth's
Rebellion, 1685. Absalom is Monmouth; and Achitophel, the Eart of Shaftesbury.
Of these, the false Achitophel was first;
A name to all succeeding ages curst:
For close designs and crooked counsels fit,
Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit;
Restless, unfixed in principles and place;
In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace;
A fiery soul, which working out its way,
Fretted the pigmy body to decay,
And o'er-informed its tenement of clay.
A daring pilot in extremity;
Pleased with the danger, when the waves went high
He sought the storms; but, for a calm unfit,
Would steer too nigh the sands, to boast his wit.
Great wits are, sure, to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide:
Else, why should he, with wealth and honours blest,
Refuse his age the needful hours of rest?
Punish a body which he could not please,
Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease?
In friendship false, implacable in hate,
Resolved to ruin or to rule the state.
To compass this the triple bond' he broke,
The pillars of the public safety shook,
And fitted Israel for a foreign yoke;
Then, seized with fear, yet still affecting fame,
Usurped a patriot's all-atoning name,
So easy still it proves, in factious times,
With public zeal to cancel private crimes.
The alliance between England, Holland, and Sweden.
How safe is treason, and how sacred ill,
Where none can sin against the people's will;
Where crowds can wink, and no offence be known,
Since in another's guilt they find their own!
Yet fame deserved no enemy can grudge;
The statesman we abhor, but praise the judge.
In Israel's courts ne'er sat an Abethdin
With more discerning eyes or hands more clean,
Unbribed, unsought, the wretched to redress ;
Swift of despatch and easy of access.
Oh, had he been content to serve the crown
With virtues only proper to the gown;
Or had the rankness of the soil been freed
From cockle, that oppressed the noble seed;
David for him his tuneful harp had strung.
But wild Ambition loves to slide, not stand;
And Fortune's ice prefers to Virtue's land.
Achitophel, grown weary to possess
A lawful fame, a lasting happiness,
Disdained the golden fruit to gather free,
And lent the crowd his arm to shake the tree.
Now, manifest of crimes contrived long since,
He stood at bold defiance with his prince;
Held up the buckler of the people's cause
Against the crown, and skulked behind the laws.
Nathaniel Parker Willis was born at Portland, Maine, United States of America,
in 1817. He was Editor of the New York Mirror, and afterwards of the Home Journal. His sketches of a European tour, entitled "Pencillings by the Way," are well known.
“Room for the leper! room !”—And, as he came
The cry passed on- _ .“ Room for the leper! room !"-
Sunrise was slanting on the city's gates,
Rosy and beautiful; and from the hills
The early-risen poor were coming in,
Duly and cheerfully to their toil; and up
Rose the sharp hammer's clink, and the far hum
Of moving wheels, and multitudes astir,
And all that in a city-murmur swells,
Unheard but by the watcher's weary ear,
Aching with night's dull silence; or the sick,
Hailing the welcome light and sounds, that chase
The death-like images of the dark away.
“Room for the leper!” And aside they stood-
Matron, and child, and pitiless manhood, -all
Who met him on his way,--and let him pass.
And onward through the open gate he came,
A leper with the ashes on his brow,
Sackcloth about his loins, and on his lip
A covering, -stepping painfully and slow;
And with a difficult utterance, like one
Whose heart is with an iron nerve put down,
Crying, “ Unclean! Unclean!"
'Twas now the first
Of the Judean autumn; and the leaves,
Whose shadows lay so still upon his path,
Had put their beauty forth beneath the eye
Of Judah's loftiest noble. He was young,
And eminently beautiful; and life
Mantled in elegant fulness on his lip,
And sparkled in his glance; and in his mien
There was a gracious pride that every eye
Followed with benisons ;- And this was he !
And he went forth-alone! Not one of all
The many whom he loved, nor she, whose name
Was woven in the fibres of his heart
Breaking within him now, to come and speak
Comfort unto him. Yea, he went his way,
Sick, and heart-broken, and alone,--to die!
For, God had cursed the leper !
It was noon,
And Helon knelt beside a stagnant pool
In the lone wilderness, and bathed his brow
Hot with the burning leprosy, and touched