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The wood was past; 'twas more than noon,
But chill the air, although in June ;
Or it might be my veins ran cold—
Prolong'd endurance tames the bold;
And I was then not what I seem,
But headlong as a wintry stream,
And wore my feelings out before
I well could count their causes o'er :
And what with fury, fear, and wrath,
The tortures which beset my path,
Cold, hunger, sorrow, shame, distress,
Thus bound in nature's nakedness;
Sprung from a race whose rising blood
When stirr'd beyond its calmer mood,
And trodden hard upon, is like
The rattle-snake's in act to strike,
What marvel if this worn-out trunk
Beneath its woes a moment sunk?

The earth gave way, the skies roll'd round,
I seem'd to sink upon the ground;

But err'd, for I was fastly bound.

My heart turn'd sick, my brain grew sore,
And throbb'd awhile, then beat no more;
The skies spun like a mighty wheel;
I saw the trees like drunkards reel,
And a slight flash sprang o'er my eyes,
Which saw no farther: he who dies
Can die no more than then I died.
O'ertortured by that ghastly ride,
I felt the blackness come and go,
And strove to wake; but could not make
My senses climb up from below :

I felt as on a plank at sea,

When all the waves that dash o'er thee,

At the same time upheave and whelm,

And hurl thee towards a desert realm.

My undulating life was as

The fancied lights that flitting pass
Our shut eyes in deep midnight, when
Fever begins upon the brain;

But soon it pass'd, with little pain,
But a confusion worse than such :
I own that I should deem it much,
Dying, to feel the same again;
And yet I do suppose we must

Feel far more ere we turn to dust:
No matter; I have bared my brow
Full in Death's face-before-and now.

My blood reflow'd, though thick and chill ;
My heart began once more to thrill;
Methought the dash of waves was nigh;
There was a gleam too of the sky,
Studded with stars ;-it is no dream;
The wild horse swims the wilder stream!
The bright broad river's gushing tide
Sweeps, winding onward, far and wide,
And we are half-way, struggling o'er
To yon unknown and silent shore.
The waters broke my hollow trance,
And with a temporary strength

My stiffen❜d limbs were rebaptized.
My courser's broad breast proudly braves,
And dashes off the ascending waves,
And onward we advance!

We reach the slippery shore at length,
A haven I but little prized,

For all behind was dark and drear,
And all before was night and fear.
How many hours of night or day

In those suspended pangs I lay,
I could not tell; I scarcely knew
If this were human breath I drew.

With glossy skin, and dripping mane,
And reeling limbs; and reeking flank,
The wild steed's sinewy nerves still strain
Up the repelling bank.

We gain the top: a boundless plain
Spreads through the shadow of the night,
And onward, onward, onward, seems,
Like precipices in our dreams,
To stretch beyond the sight;

And here and there a speck of white,


Or scatter'd spot of dusky green,

In masses broke into the light,
As rose the moon upon my right.
But nought distinctly seen
In the dim waste would indicate
The omen of a cottage gate;
No twinkling taper from afar
Stood like a hospitable star;
Not even an ignis-fatuus rose
To make him merry with my woes:

That very cheat had cheer'd me then!
Although detected, welcome still,
Reminding me, through every ill,
Of the abodes of men.

Onward we went-but slack and slow;
His savage force at length o'erspent,
The drooping courser, faint and low,
All feebly foaming went.
A sickly infant had had power
To guide him forward in that hour;

But useless all to me.

His new-born tameness nought avail'd,
My limbs were bound; my force had fail'd,
Perchance, had they been free.

With feeble effort still I tried

To rend the bonds so starkly tied—
But still it was in vain ;

My limbs were only wrung the more,
And soon the idle strife gave o'er,
Which but prolong'd their pain.
The dizzy race seem'd almost run;
Some streaks announced the coming sun-
How slow, alas! he came !
Methought that mist of dawning gray
Would never dapple into day;
How heavily it roll'd away—

Before the eastern flame

Rose crimson, and deposed the stars,
And call'd the radiance from their cars,
And fill'd the earth, from his deep throne,
With lonely lustre, all his own.

Up rose the sun; the mists were curl'd
Back from the solitary world
Which lay around-behind-before ;
What booted it to traverse o'er
Plain, forest, river? Man nor brute,
Nor dint of hoof, nor print of foot,
Lay in the wild luxuriant soil;
No sign of travel-none of toil;
The very air was mute;

And not an insect's shrill small horn,
Nor matin bird's new voice was borne
From herb nor thicket. Many a werst,
Panting as if his heart would burst,

The weary brute still stagger'd on;
And still we were-or seem'd-alone :
At length, while reeling on our way,
Methought I heard a courser neigh,
From out yon tuft of blackening firs.
Is it the wind those branches stirs ?
No, no! from out the forest prance
A trampling troop; I see them come !
In one vast squadron they advance!

I strove to cry—my lips were dumb.
The steeds rush on in plunging pride;
But where are they the reins to guide?
A thousand horse-and none to ride!
With flowing tail, and flying mane,
Wide nostrils-never stretch'd by pain,
Mouths bloodless to the bit or rein,
And feet that iron never shod,
And flanks unscarr'd by spur or rod,
A thousand horse, the wild, the free,
Like waves that follow o'er the sea,

Came thickly thundering on,
As if our faint approach to meet ;
The sight re-nerved my courser's feet,
A moment staggering, feebly fleet,
A moment, with a faint low neigh,
He answer'd, and then fell;
With gasps and glazing eyes he lay,
And reeking limbs immoveable,

His first and last career is done.
On came the troop-they saw him stoop,
They saw me strangely bound along
His back with many a bloody thong :
They stop-they start-they snuff the air,
Gallop a moment here and there,
Approach, retire, wheel round and round,
Then plunging back with sudden bound,

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