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wanted the sanction of the emperor. Alexander caused all the circumstances of this crime, so extraordinary in the motives in which it originated, to be reported to him, in the most careful and detailed manner. Here, or nowhere, he thought himself called on to exercise the God-like privilege of mercy, by commuting the sentence passed on the criminal, into a condemnation to labor, not very severe.


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*It is said, that a gentleman in England, in order to gain possession of his wife's property, confined her in a mad-house, under pretence of insanity, until she became really a maniac.

'Tis sure some dream, some vision vain ; What! I, the child of rank and wealth? Am I the wretch who clanks this chain,

Bereft of freedom, friends, and health? Ah! while I dwell on blessings fled,

Which never more my heart must glad, How aches my heart, how burns my head; But 't is not mad; no, 't is not mad.

Hast thou, my child, forgot, ere this,

A mother's face, a mother's tongue? She'll ne'er forget your parting kiss,

Nor round her neck how fast you clung;
Nor how with me you sued to stay;

Nor how that suit your sire forbade;
Nor how I'll drive such thoughts away;
They'll make me mad; they'll make me mad.

His rosy lips, how sweet they smiled!

His mild, blue eyes, how bright they shone ! None ever bore a lovelier child:

And art thou now for ever gone?
And must I never see thee more,

My pretty, pretty, pretty lad?
I will be free! unbar the door!
I am not mad; I am not mad.

Oh! hark! what mean those yells and cries?
His chain some furious madman breaks;
He comes; I see his glaring eyes;

Now, now my dungeon grate he shakes.
Help! help! He's gone! Oh! fearful woe,
Such screams to hear, such sights to see!
My brain, my brain,—I know, I know,
I am not mad, but soon shall be.

Yes, soon ;-for, lo you!—while I speak—
Mark how yon Demon's eye-balls glare!
He sees me; now, with dreadful shriek,

He whirls a serpent high in air. Horror!-the reptile strikes his tooth

Deep in my heart, so crushed and sad; Ay, laugh, ye fiends;-I feel the truth;

Your task is done!-I'm mad! I'm mad!




I HAD a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth

Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came, and went; and came, and brought no day;
And men forgot their passions in the dread

Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light.

And they did live by watch-fires; and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings, the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face:
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes and their mountain torch.

A fearful hope was all the world contained:
Forests were set on fire; but, hour by hour,
They fell and faded, and the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crash, and all was black.
The brows of men, by the despairing light,
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits

The flashes fell upon them. Some lay down,
And hid their eyes, and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clinched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed

Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again,
With curses, cast them down upon the dust,
And gnashed their teeth and howled.

The wild birds shrieked,

And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings: the wildest brutes
Came, tame and tremulous; and vipers crawled
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless: they were slain for food :
And War, which for a moment was no more,

Did glut himself again; a meal was bought
With blood, and each sat sullenly apart,
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left.
All earth was but one thought, and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and men

Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh.
The meager by the meager were devoured;
Even dogs assailed their masters; all, save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds, and beasts, and famished men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But, with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick, desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress, he died.

The crowd was famished by degrees; but two Of an enormous city did survive,

And they were enemies; they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place,

Where had been heaped a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage: they raked up,

And, shivering, scraped, with their cold, skeleton hands,
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath

Blew for a little life, and made a flame,

Which was a mockery; then they lifted up

Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld

Each other's aspects; saw, and shrieked, and died;
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was, upon whose brow
Famine had written fiend.

The world was void;

The populous and the powerful was a lump ;
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless;
A lump of death; a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean, all stood still,

And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
Ships, sailorless, lay rotting on the sea,

And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropped,
They slept on the abyss without a surge.

The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave;

The moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perished. Darkness had no need
Of aid from them. She was the universe.


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And further on was a stately wood,
With its tall trees rising high;
But now like autumn wrecks they stood
Beneath a summer sky:

And every leaf, though dead, did keep
Its station in mockery;

For there was not one breath to sweep
The leaves from each perishing tree;
And there they hung, dead, motionless;
They hung there day by day,

As though death were too busy with other things sweep their corpses away.


Oh, terrible it was to think
Of human creatures then!

How they did seek in vain for drink
In every vale and glen;

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