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“A thousand various scenes and tones
Awake the better thought,
By which our duller years of life
Become inspired and taught.
In olden times there rudely came
Handwriting on the wall,
And prostrate souls fell horror-struck
At that wild spirit-call;
But now God's momentary gleam
Is sent into the soul
To guide uncertain wavering feet
To Life's high solemn goal.
Better moments Better moments Ye are sunny angels' wings,
Sent to shed a holier radiance o'er all dim and worldly things.”

Of the numerous versified enigmas he wrote, I print four of the best. They may interest some of my younger readers. They are not difficult to guess, but I give the solutions at the end.


“There was a Spanish gentleman

Of high and noble mien,

Who riding into Seville's town
One summer's eve was seen ;

He came among us suddenly,
And vanished as he came;

We only knew him as my First,
But never knew his name.

“We saw him at the opera,

We met him at the ball,

The very point of chivalry
A pattern for us all ;

And oft upon my Second seen
Where Seville's beauties came,

But still we knew him as my First,
And did not know his name.

“'Twas I who brought that gentleman
From out another clime,
‘Twas I upon my Second stood
With skins of smuggled wine ;

And ye were duller far than me,
Proud gentlemen of Spain,

To only know him as my First,
And never know his name.”

(Written in 1847.)

“Know ye my Second, the green and the beautiful,
Sitting alone by the sea,
Weeping in sadness o'er children undutiful,
- Woe-worn and pallid is she.

“For skeleton famine is rapidly striding,
Blasting the fruits of the earth,

Many a hovel his victims have died in,
Cursing the hour of their birth.

“Ah! my First from the heavens has darkly descended,
Wrapping the earth in its gloom ;
The dying lie helpless by corpses extended,
Sullenly waiting their doom.

“And the living watch hopeless the dead and the dying,
All gentler feelings have fled ;
They know not—an hour and they may be lying
Outstretched, and cold with the dead.

“To see their blank features so set and despairing,
To gaze on those dark, tearless eyes
Which look into vacancy listlessly staring,
Might humble the great and the wise.

“Ah! the great and the wise I can no way be suggested
By the mighty in power and in soul,
To banish the curse that too long has rested
A shade and a fear on my Whole?”


“There stood by the stake a sable form,
His grimy arms were bare,
A heavy sledge on his shoulder swung
That had fashioned many a share,
And his dark eyes shone like fiery sparks
From the red-hot iron's glare.

“Open the way! Fall back Fall back
And let the victim through,
To the mocking chant of the bigot priest
And the muffled drums tattoo ;
They have tortured him long, but his spirit strong,
Ne'er cowed 'neath rack or screw.

“My First stepped forth and grasped his arm
(He felt no muscle shake),
And led him within the fatal ring ;
Nor then did his victim quake,
When a chain was riveted to his waist,
And round the fatal stake.

“He had seen my Second red with blood
Of friend and foe and steed,
He had looked on death in every form,
He had seen a father bleed ;
The flames of my Whole were a terrible goal,
But he could not renounce his creed.”

(August, 1849.)

“She stood upon the scaffold
With a firm, undaunted mien,
Condemned to die a shameful death,
But yesterday a Queen!
Ill-fated Jane, how brief thy reign'
How dark thy closing scene l

“She fearless gazes on my First
With sable trappings hung,
And to the bright and glittering axe
She speaks with jesting tongue:
“Fear not to fall, my neck is small,
Thy work is quickly done.'

“Where are the eyes that fearless gazed :
Their lustre now is fled.
Where is the tongue where hung the jest?
Inanimate and dead.
The snowy neck she used to deck,
The axe has left it red.

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AMONG the letters preserved and kindly returned to me by Dr. Spruce is one partly written on board ship on my way home, giving an account of my somewhat adventurous voyage while it was fresh in my memory, and containing some details not given in the narrative in my “Travels on the Amazon.” I will therefore print it here, as no part of it has yet been made public.

“Brig 7 ordeson, N. Lat. 49° 30', W. Long. 20°. “Sunday, September 19, 1852. “My DEAR FRIEND,

“Having now some prospect of being home in a week or ten days, I will commence giving you an account of the peculiar circumstances which have already kept me at sea seventy days on a voyage which took us only twenty-nine days on our passage out. I hope you have received the letter sent you from Para, dated July 9 or Io, in which I informed you that I had taken my passage in a vessel bound for London, which was to sail in a few days. On Monday, July 12, I went on board with all my cargo, and some articles purchased or collected on my way down, with the remnant (about twenty) of my live stock." After being at sea about a week I had a slight attack of fever, and at first thought I had got the yellow fever after all. However, a little calomel

* These consisted of numerous parrots and parrakeets, and several uncommon monkeys, a forest wild-dog, etc.

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