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And jasmine, and roses, and rosemary;
And they said, “As a lady should lie, lies she.”

And they held their breath till they left the room, With a shudder, to glance at its stillness and gloom.

But he who loved her too well to dread
The sweet, the stately, the beautiful dead, -

He lit his lamp, and took the key
And turned it, alone again, — he and she.

He and she; but she would not speak,
Though he kissed, in the old place, the quiet cheek.

He and she; yet she would not smile,
Though he called her the name she loved erewhile.

He and she; still she did not move
To any one passionate whisper of love.

Then he said: “Cold lips and breasts without breath, Is there no voice, no language of death?

“Dumb to the ear and still to the sense, But to heart and to soul distinct, intense ?

“See now; I will listen with soul, not ear; What was the secret of dying, dear?

“Was it the infinite wonder of all
That you ever could let life's flower fall?

Or was it a greater marvel to feel The perfect calm o'er the agony steal?

“Was the miracle greater to find how deep Beyond all dreams sank downward that sleep?

“Did life roll back its records, dear, And show, as they say it does, past things clear?

And was it the innermost heart of the bliss To find out so, what a wisdom love is ?

"Oh, perfect dead! Oh, dead most dear, I hold the breath of my soul to hear !

“I listen as deep as to horrible hell,
As high as to heaven, and you do not tell.

“There must be pleasure in dying, sweet, To make you so placid from head to feet !

“I would tell you, darling, if I were dead,
And 'twere your hot tears upon my brow shed,

I would say, though the Angel of Death had laid His sword on my lips to keep it unsaid.

“You should not ask vainly, with streaming eyes, Which of all deaths was the chiefest surprise,

"The very strangest and suddenest thing
Of all the surprises that dying must bring.”

Ah, foolish world! Oh, most kind dead !
Though he told me, who will believe it was said?

Who will believe that he heard her say,
With the sweet, soft voice, in the dear old way:

“The utmost wonder is this, I hear
And see you, and love you, and kiss you, dear;

“And am your angel, who was your bride, And know that, though dead, I have never died.”

SHAMUS O'BRIEN

A TALE OF '98, AS RELATED BY AN IRISH PEASANT

JOSEPH SHERIDAN LE FANU

Jist after the war, in the year '98,
As soon as the Boys wor all scattered and bate,
'Twas the custom, whenever a peasant was got,
To hang him by trial — barrin' such as was shot.
An' the bravest an' hardiest Boy iv them all
Was Shamus O'Brien, from the town iv Glingall.

An' it's he was the Boy that was hard to be caught,
An' it's often he run, an' it's often he fought;
An' it's many the one can remember right well
The quare things he did: an' it's oft I heerd tell
How he frightened the magistrates in Chirbally,
An' 'scaped through the sojers in Aherlow valley;
How he leathered the yeoman, himself agin four,
An' stretched the two strongest on ould Golteemore.
But the fox must sleep sometimes, the wild deer must rest,
An' treachery prey on the blood iv the best;
Afther many a brave action of power and pride,
An' many a hard night on the mountain's bleak side,
An' a thousand great dangers and toils overpast,
In the darkness of night he was taken at last.

Now, Shamus, look back on the beautiful moon,
For the door of the prison must close on you soon.
Farewell to the forest, farewell to the hill,
An' farewell to the friends that will think of you still.
Farewell to the pathern, the hurlin' an’ wake,
And farewell to the girl that would die for your

sake! An' twelve sojers brought him to Maryborough jail, An' the turnkey resaved him, refusin' all bail.

Well, as soon as a few weeks were over and gone,
The terrible day iv the thrial kem on,
There was sich a crowd there was scarce room to stand,
An' sojers on guard, an? Dragoons sword-in-hand;
An' the courthouse so full that the people were bothered,
An' attorneys an’ criers on the point iv bein' smothered;
An' counsellors almost gev over for dead,
An' the jury sittin' up in their box overhead;
An' the judge settled out so detarmined an' big
With his gown on his back, and an illegant wig;
An' silence was called, an' the minute 'twas said
The court was as still as the heart of the dead,
An' they heard but the openin’ of one prison lock,
An' Shamus O'Brien kem into the dock.
For one minute he turned his eye round on the throng,
An' he looked at the bars so firm and so strong,
An' he saw that he had not a hope nor a friend,
A chance to escape, nor a word to defend;
An'he folded his arms as he stood there alone,
As calm and as cold as a statue of stone;
And they read a big writin', a yard long at laste,
An' Jim didn't understand it nor mind it a taste,
An' the judge took a big pinch iv snuff, and he says,
“Are you guilty or not, Jim O'Brien, av you plase?"
An' all held their breath in the silence of dhread,
An' Shamus O'Brien made answer and said:
"My lord, if you ask me, if in my lifetime

,
I thought any treason, or did any crime
That should call to my cheek, as I stand alone here,
The hot blush of shame, or the coldness of fear,
Though I stood by the grave to receive my death-blow
Before God and the world I would answer you, No!
But if you would ask me, as I think it like,
If in the Rebellion I carried a pike,

An' fought for ould Ireland from the first to the close,
An' shed the heart's blood of her bitterest foes,
I answer you, Yes; and I tell you again,
Though I stand here to perish, it's my glory that then
In her cause I was willin' my veins should run dhry,
An' that now for her sake I am ready to die."

Then the silence was great, and the jury smiled bright,
An' the judge wasn't sorry the job was made light;
By my sowl, it's himself was the crabbed ould chap!
In a twinklin' he pulled on his ugly black cap.
Then Shamus's mother, in the crowd standin' by,
Called out to the judge with a pitiful cry:
“O judge ! darlin', don't, O, don't say the word !
The crather is young, have mercy, my lord;
He was foolish, he didn't know what he was doin’;
You don't know him, my lord — O, don't give him to ruin !
He's the kindliest crathur, the tindherest-hearted;
Don't part us forever, we that's so long parted !
Judge mavourneen, forgive him, forgive him, my lord,
An' God will forgive you — O, don't say the word!”

That was the first minute O'Brien was shaken,
When he saw that he was not quite forgot or forsaken;
An' down his pale cheeks, at the word of his mother,
The big tears wor runnin' fast, one afther th' other;
An' two or three times he endeavored to spake,
But the sthrong manly voice used to falther and break;
But at last, by the strength of his high-mountin' pride,
He conquered and masthered his grief's swelling tide;
"An'," says he, "mother, darlin', don't break your poor heart,
For, sooner or later, the dearest must part;
And God knows it's better than wand'ring in fear
On the bleak, trackless mountain, among the wild deer,

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