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May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Pressed with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector, wrapped in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep."
Thus having spoke, the illustrious chief of Troy
Stretched his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
And Hector hasted to relieve his child;
The glittering terrors from his brows unbound,
And placed the beaming helmet on the ground,
Then kissed the child, and, lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferred a father's prayer :-
"O Thou! whose glory fills the ethereal throne,
And all ye deathless powers, protect my son !
Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown,
To guard the Trojans, to defend the crown,
Against his country's foes the war to wage,
And rise the Hector of the future age!
So when triumphant from successful toils
Of heroes slain he bears the reeking spoils,
Whole hosts may hail him with deserved acclaim,
And say, 'This chief transcends his father's fame:"
While pleased amidst the general shouts of Troy,
His mother's conscious heart o'erflows with joy."
He spoke, and fondly gazing on her charms,
Restored the pleasing burden to her arms;
Soft on her fragrant breast the babe she laid,
Hushed to repose, and with a smile surveyed.
The troubled pleasure soon chastised by fear,
She mingled with the smile a tender tear.
The softened chief with kind compassion viewed,
And dried the falling drops, and thus pursued :-
"Andromache! my soul's far better part!
Why with untimely sorrows heaves thy heart?
No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
Till fate condemns me to the silent tomb.
Fixed is the term to all the race of earth ;
And such the hard condition of our birth.
No force can then resist, no flight can save;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
No more but hasten to thy tasks at home,
There guide the spindle, and direct the loom :
Me glory summons to the martial scene;
The field of combat is the sphere for men:
Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
The first in danger, as the first in fame.”
Thus having said, the glorious chief resumes His towery helmet, black with shading plumes. His princess parts with a prophetic sigh, Unwilling parts, and oft reverts her eye,
That streamed at every look: then, moving slow,
Sought her own palace, and indulged her woe.
There, while her tears deplored the godlike man,
Through all her train the soft infection ran,
The pious maids their mingled sorrows shed,
And mourn the living Hector as the dead.
My chaise the village inn did gain,
Just as the setting sun's last ray
Tipped with refulgent gold, the vane
Of the old church across the way.
Across the way I silent sped,
The time till supper to beguile,
In moralizing o'er the dead,
That mouldered round the ancient pile.
There many an humble green grave showed
Where want, and pain, and toil did rest,
And many a flattering stone I viewed
O'er those who once had wealth possessed.
A faded beech, its shadow brown,
Threw o'er a grave where sorrow slept,
On which, though scarce with grass o'ergrown,
Two ragged children sat and wept.
A piece of bread between them lay,
Which neither seemed inclined to take,
And yet they looked so much a prey
To want, it made my heart to ache.
"My little children, let me know
Why you in such distress appear,
"And why you wasteful from you throw
"That bread which many a one would cheer?'
The little boy, in accents sweet,
Replied, while tears each other chased
"Lady! we've not enough to eat,
"Oh! if we had, we would not waste.
"But sister Mary's naughty grown,
"And will not eat, whate'er I say,
Though sure I am, the bread's her own,
"For she has tasted none to-day."
"Indeed," the wan starved Mary said,
"Till Henry eats, I'll eat no more,
"For yesterday I got some bread,
"He's had none since the day before."
My heart did swell, my bosom heave,
I felt as though deprived of speech,
I silent sat upon the grave,
And pressed the clay-cold hand of each.
With looks that told a tale of woe,
With looks that spoke a grateful heart,
The shivering boy then nearer drew,
And did his simple tale impart.-
"Before my father went away,
"Enticed by bad men o'er the sea, "Sister and I did nought but play"We lived beside yon great ash-tree. "But then poor mother did so cry,
"And looked so changed I cannot tell ; "She told us that she soon should die, "And bade us love each other well.
"She said that when the war was o'er, "Perhaps we might our father see, "But if we never saw him more,
"That God our father then would be!
"She kissed us both, and then she died,
"And we no more a mother have ;
"Here many a day we've sat and cried,
Together on poor mother's grave.
"But when my father came not here,
"I thought, if we could find the sea, "We should be sure to meet him there, "And once again might happy be.
"We hand in hand went many a mile,
"And asked our way of all we met;
"And some did sigh, and some did smile,
"And we of some did victuals get.
"But when we reached the sea, and found
""Twas one great water round us spread,
"We thought that father must be drowned,
"And cried, and wished we both were dead.
"So we returned to mother's grave,
"And only long with her to be,
"For Goody, when this bread she gave,
Said, father died beyond the sea.
"Then since no parent here we have,
"We'll go and search for God around
Lady! pray can you tell us where
"That God, our father, may be found?
"He lives in heaven, mother said,
"And Goody says that mother's there, "So, if she knows we want his aid,
"I think, perhaps, she'll send him here."
I clasped the prattlers to my breast,
And cried," Come both and live with me; "I'll clothe you, feed you, give you rest,
"And will a second mother be.
"And God shall be your father still,
""Twas he in mercy sent me here;
"To teach you to obey his will,
"Your steps to guide, your hearts to cheer."
ALP. (THE BATTLE FIELD.)
ALP wandered on, along the beach,
'Till within the range of a carbine's reach
Of the leaguered wall; but they saw him not,
Or how could he 'scape from the hostile shot?
Did traitors lurk in the Christians' hold?
Were their hands grown stiff, or their hearts waxed cold?
I know not, in sooth; but from yonder wall
There flashed no fire, and there hissed no ball,
Though he stood beneath the bastion's frown,
That flanked the sea-ward gate of the town;
Though he heard the sound, and could almost tell
The sullen words of the sentinel,