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Flooded the blackened floor. 'Twas deathly still :The light grey spider's thread clung to the roof, And the dank dew was clotted on the wall.
On a rush mattress, in a tattered robe,
upon whose furrowed cheek
A bright cold tear had, fading, left a stain ;
Her long disbevelled hair hung loosely round,
Shrouding the snowy whiteness of her neck,
And a faint smile, convulsed between her lips,
Greeted the shade of her departing hope.
All night I sat in silence by her side,
And, listening, heard at times the playful mice
Leap lightly in their foolish midnight sport.
How many a captive in this dreadful cell
Has knelt in agony to look on heaven,
Lifting his chained hands in vain
To breathe a prayer of penitent remorse !
How many an injured spirit here
I must not think of this, Lest I upbraid.I see the moon
In midnight grandeur roll
Upon her cloudless course;
And through those narrow bars
Her beams fall lightly on that sleeping breast.
Even now I marked the change
That ever and anon, was wrought
By her wild passing dreams.
At length she moved,—she woke, she rose,–
Then fixed on me her shuddering eyes,
And stood a statue-trembling with despair.
Unmeaning words looked quivering on her lips,
And with a frantic scream—she fell !
Kneeling, I took her long thin dewy hand
In mine : she clenched it with a moist cold
Yet had no lingering wish to shrink from death.
On her pale face a fading hue of life
Reposed its softness, as the evening sun
Slants trembling rays upon the misty earth.
Expression's languor, delicately soft,
Played round the curve of her unbreathing lips ;
And in the last glance of her tearless eyes,
I marked the twilight of her setting soul.
and honour no longer a token, The crown of his glory all shivered and broken,
He mournfully leaned on the spear of his wrath,
That was dyed in the blood of the warriors of Gath.
And his cry wildly came in the silence of night,
Ho! wise one of Endor, whose terrible might
Can sever asunder the sepulchre's womb,
Let the shade of the prophet ascend from the tomb !'
Her form darker grew, like the moon in eclipse,
And mutterings unearthly arose from her lips,
As the wandering spirits of those that were gone
Flitted dimly and slowly around the dark stone.
He hath come--he hath come--at her terrible word,
From the seat of bis glory the spirit hath beard -
'Tis he ! by the garment that wildly doth wave,
And loosely enfolds him--the shroud of the grave!
He hath come—he hath come-like a dream of the night,
So fearfully sudden he glides on the sight :
'Tis he ! by that visage so awfully pale,
Like the cloud of the night that o'ershadows the vale.
Say wherefore, O King ! dost thou trouble my rest, The sleep of the holy in Abraham's breast ?
Anointed of God--Lo! thy glory is gone,
With victory's star that once o'er thee hath shone.
- No more shall the voices be heard o'er the plain,
Saul ! Saul ! our defender, his thousands hath slain ;
Ere the sun of the morrow shall sink in the sea,
Both thou and thy children shall slumber with me.
• And the fate of the host shall be fearful as thine, They shall fall by the sword of the fierce Philistine : Yea--thy loveliest and bravest to earth shall be cast, Like the roses of Sharon that fade in the blast.'
And Samuel hath gone, and the King is alone,
And he groaned as he sunk on the desolate earth;
And sorrow and sin
jvere burning within,
For he thought on the valley and shadow of death.
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 watchfires 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 volcanos, 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 clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed