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“My prayer is heard! Helen! Life's cord is cut by God's own hand! May He preserve my country, and — 0! trust from my youth!” – He stopped — he fell; and with the shock, the hastily erected scaffold shook to its foundation. The pause was dreadful.
The executioner approached the prostrate chief. Helen was still locked close in his arms. The man stooped to raise his victim, but the attempt was beyond his strength. In vain he called on him – to Helen — to separate, and cease from delay. ing the execution of the law; no voice replied, no motion answered his loud remonstrance. Gloucester, with an agitation which hardly allowed him power to speak or move, remembered the words of Wallace, “ That the rope of Edward would never sully his animate body!” and, bending to his friend, he spoke; but all was silent there. He raised the chieftain's head, and, looking on his face, found indeed the indisputable stamp of death. “There,” cried he, in a burst of grief, and letting it fall again upon the insensible bosom of Helen — “ there broke the noblest heart that ever beat in the breast of man!”
The priests, the executioners, crowded round him at this declaration. But, while giving a command in a low tone to the warden, he took the motionless Helen in his arms, and leaving the astonished group round the noble dead, carried her from the scaffold back into the Tower.
WINTHROP MACKWORTH PRAED.
PRAED, WINTHROP Mackworth, an English poet; born at London, July 26, 1802; died there, July 15, 1839. He was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he won many prizes for Greek odes and epigrams, and for clever verses in English, and was chief contributor to the “Etonian," a monthly paper. He was called to the bar in 1829, and in 1830 was returned to Parliament. His poetical works were written rather for amusement than as serious efforts. A complete edition of them was issued in 1864, edited by his sister, Lady Young, with a Memoir by Derwent Coleridge. Praed wrote many charades which are among the cleverest in our language.
THE RED FISHERMAN.
And donned his sandal shoon,
Upon the summer moon :
A quiet breeze around;
And the waves a soothing sound:
But love and calm delight;
On his wrinkled brow that night.
But he thought not of the reeds :
But he did not tell the beads;
The Spirit that dwelleth there;
Had never the tone of prayer.
He had swayed the crosier well;
The abbot were loath to tell.
Companionless, for a mile or more,
About as much in sooth,
Or an advocate of truth.
Grew dark above his head;
Grew damp beneath his tread;
To a pool, in whose recess
Unchanged and motionless;
The space of a half a rood;
And the scent of human blood ;
Were venomous and foul;
Were the vulture and the owl;
As ever a Company pumped ; And the perch, that was netted and laid on the bank,
Grew rotten while it jumped:
At midnight, man or boy;
And that name was “ The Devil's Decoy!”
The abbot was weary as abbot could be,
“Oh, oh! Oh, oh!
Lightly and brightly they glide and go;
And the life-blood colder run :
And the abbey clock struck one !