Page images

Or if not free, another doth possess
That, which thee, parricide, can never bless.
Not always he who braves in various shapes
Death undisguised his secret snare escapes.
Thy Lombard chiefs shall not protect thee now,
A woman's weak revenge will give the blow.
Thus self-absolved from crime, let others prate,
I'll urge my gentle paramour to hate

That royal monster whose untender zeal
Has forced my soul this agony to feel."

Thus spoke the lofty dame, while passions strove
Within for mastery-hate, vengeance, love.
Hate of her cruel lord, revenge on him

Who tore her very heart to please his whim.
Another passion rose, as bad indeed,

Yet such as cheer'd her at her utmost need.
The slayer of her kindred forced to wed,
Dragg'd like a victim to the nuptial bed,
Marriage to her no morning-star appear'd:
Its imaged brightness once her hopes had cheer'd:
Why marvel that her feelings went astray,
When thus was undermined their only stay?


"When the uncorrupted part of the senate had, by the death of Cæsar, made one great effort to restore their former state and liberty, the success did not answer their hopes; but that whole assembly was so sunk in its authority, that those patriots were forced to fly and give way to the madness of the people, who, by their own disposition, stirred up with the harangues of their orators, were now wholly bent upon single and despotic slavery."-SWIFT.

WHEN Liberty, triumphing over her foes,
Re-breath'd, though affrighted at Italy's woes,
The sword of her Brutus was redden'd in vain :
He broke, yet the Romans refasten'd, the chain.
For tyranny's woe-trumpet, near and afar,
Bade the legions of servitude rush to the war.
He, the last of the Romans, by Fortune disown'd,
(That goddess the brows of an Antony crown'd)
Saw Freedom dishonour'd by those whom she loved,
Saw the charms of mock-glory by thousands approved.
All proud of a master, none conscious of shame;
Religion unheeded, and virtue a name.


The genius of Rome had aroused him too late-
Overborne by the torrent, he yielded to fate.

* See an admirable defence of the exclamation of Brutus in his dying moments, in the Dictionnaire de Bayle, article "Brutus," tome i. page 677.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Come all and watch one night about my hearse;

Bring each a mournful story and a tear,

To offer at it when I go to earth."

The Maid's Tragedy, by BEAUMONT and

A HEART full of feeling, poor Rosa, was thine,
Thy virtues deceived thee indeed;
But beauty and tenderness frequently shine
In the victims predestined to bleed.

Some pitiless hypocrite tainted thy youth,
Thus the morn of thy life was o'ercast;
He spoke but of happiness-cruel untruth!
At that moment for ever 'twas past.

Thy spirit, that sported in yesterday's light,
Now sadden'd and droop'd in the shade;

Like the Garland of Chloe* that wither'd at night,
Thy innocence blossom'd to fade.

*See Prior's Garland.

Rejected of man, the poor sufferer sought

That mercy denied her on earth,

From Him, in whose eyes our best virtues are nought, If haughtiness pampers their worth.

She loved-was betray'd-is misfortune a crime?

Ah no! that I ne'er can believe;

The seducer may thrive in his guilt for a time,
There is ONE whom he cannot deceive.

Fair mourner! thy agony soon will be o'er,
Since Mercy is hovering nigh;

That pang-'tis the price of forgiveness-no more,
Thou art welcomed by angels on high.




WHAT beings, Ariel-like, appear

To flit along the sky?

'Tis come, 'tis come the joyous year,
In gladsomeness they cry.

Their eyes with brighter radiance shine,
Lighter their wings, and oh! how fine!
Merrily, merrily, from the air

To Fancy's pictured hall repair.

There fairy-land in landscape glows;
There Oberon shall crown the brows
Of him to whom 'tis meet to pay
Our homage on this holy-day.

There shines not the sun; but a new light from heaven, Many-colour'd as Iris, to Genius is given ;

Who waves it, and waving it, fitfully plays

O'er our Shakspeare's fine eyes that reflect back its rays.

« PreviousContinue »