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I've seen it on the breaking ocean,
Strive with a swoln convulsive motion,
I've seen the sick and ghastly bed
Of sin, delirious with its dread;
But these were horrors—this was woe
Unmixed with such—but sure and slow:
He faded, and so calm and meek,
So softly worn, so sweetly weak,
So tearless, yet so tender—kind,
And grieved for those he left behind;
With all the while a cheek whose bloom
Was as a mockery of the tomb,
Whose tints as gently sink away
As a departing rainbow's ray—
An eye of most transparent light,
That almost made the dungeon bright,
And not a word of murmur—not
A groan o'er his untimely lot,—
A little talk of better days,
A little hope my own to raise,
For I was sunk in silence—lost
In this last loss, of all the most;
And then the sighs he would suppress,
Of fainting nature's feebleness,
More slowly drawn, grew less and less;
I listened, but I could not hear—
I called, for I was wild with fear;
I knew 'twas hopeless, but my dread
Would not be thus admonished;
I called and thought I heard a sound—
I burst my chain with one strong bound,
I only stirred in this black spot,
And rushed to him:—I found him not,
I only lived—I only drew
The accursed breath of dungeon dew;
The last—the sole—the dearest link
Between me and the eternal brink,
Which bound me to my failing race,
Was broken in this fatal place.
One on the earth, and one beneath—
My brothers—both had ceased to breathe:
I took that hand which lay so still,
Alas! my own was full as chill;
I had not strength to stir, or strive,
But felt that I was still alive—
A frantic feeling,—when we know,
That what we love shall ne'er be so.
I know not why
I could not die,
Byron. EVENING BELLS.
Those evening bells, those evening bells,
These joyous hours are passed away,
And so 'twill be when I am gone,
THE DEATH OF MARMION.
With fruitless labour Clara bound,
And strove to staunch the gushing wound,
The priest, with unavailing cares,
Exhausted all the church's prayers,
'Ever,' he said,' That close and near,
A lady's voice was in his ear,
And that the priest he could not hear;
For that she ever sung,
'In the lost battle borne down by the flying,
So the notes rung—
'Avoid thee, fiend, with cruel hand,
Why shake the dying sinner's sand?
Oh look, my son, upon yon sign
Of the Redeemer's grace divine;
Oh think of faith and love.
By many a deathbed I have been,
And many a sinner's parting seen,
But never aught like this.—'
The war that for a space did fail
Now trebly thundered on the gale,
A light o'er Marmion's visage spread,
And fired his glazing eye;
With dying hand above his head,
He shook the fragment of his blade,
And shouted' Victory.'
'Charge, Chester, charge !—On, Stanley, on !'— Were the last words of Marmion.
Sir Walter Scott.
Soon shall I lay my head,
Where weary pilgrims sleep;
Where woe forgets to weep I
From hearts with anguish torn,
When slumbering in the tomb
In dreamless sweet repose,
Shall vernal sweets disclose.
The sun's first morning beam