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Bring me the captive now !
My hand feels skillful, and the shadows lift
From my waked spirit airily and swift :

And I could paint the bow
Upon the bended heavens-around me play
Colors of such divinity to-day.

Ha ! bind him on his back!
Look ! as Prometheus in my picture here
Quick-or he faints !--stard with the cordial pear!

Now.-bend him to the rack !
Press down the poisoned links into his flesh!
And tear agape that healing wound afresh!

So let him writhe! How long
Will he live thus ? Quick, my good pencil now!
What a fine agony works upon his brow!

Ha ! gray-haired, and so strong !
How fearfully he stifies that short moan!
Gods! could I but paint a dying groan!

Pity thee! so I do!
I pity the dumb victim at the altar
But does the robed priest for his pity falter ?

I'd rack thee, though I knew
A thousand lives were perishing in thine-
What were ten thousand to a fame like mine ?

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Ah! there's a deathless name !
A spirit that the smothering vaults shall spurn,
And, like a steadfast planet, mount and burn-

And though its crown of flame
Consumed my brain to ashes as it shonem
By all the fiery stars! I'd bind it on!

"Ay! though ít bid me rifle My heart's last fount for its insatiate thirst

Though every life-strung nerve be maddened first

Though it should bid me stifle
The yearnings in my heart for my sweet child,
And taunt its mother till my brain went wild-

"All-I would do it all-
Sooner than die, like a dull worm, to rot
Thrust foully in the earth to be forgot.

Oh heavens—but I appall
Your heart, old man !—forgive-ha! on your lives
Let him not faint! rack him till he revives !

“ Vain-vain-give o'er. His eye
Glazes apace. He does not feel you now
Stand back ! I'll paint the death-dew on his brow!

Gods! if he do not die,
But for one moment-one- till I eclipse
Conception with the scorn of those calm lips !

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Shivering! Hark! he mutters
Brokenly now—that was a difficult breath-
Another? Wilt thou never come, oh, Death!

Look! how his temple flutters !
Is his heart still ? Aha! lift up his head !
He shudders—gasps—Jove help him-so-he's dead."

How like a mountain devil in the heart
Rules the inreined ambition! Let it once
But play the monarch, and its haughty brow
Glows with a beauty that bewilders thought
And unthrones peace forever. Putting on
The very pomp of Lucifer, it turns
The heart to ashes, and with not a spring
Left in the desert for the spirit's lip,
We look upon our splendor and forget
The thirst of which we perish !

THE VAGABONDS.

121

THE VAGABONDS.

J. T. TROWBRIDGE.

We are two travellers, Ruger and I.

Roger's my dog :-come here, you scamp ! Jump for the gentlemen,-mind your eye!

Over the table,-look out for the lamp !The rogue is growing a little old;

Five years we've tramped through wind and weather, And slept out-doors when nights were cold,

And ate and drank—and starved together.

We've learned what comfort is, I tell you !

A bed on the floor, a bit of rosin,
A fire to thaw our thumbs (poor fellow!

The paw he holds up there's been frozen),
Plenty of catgut for my fiddle,

(This out-door business is bad for the strings), Then a few nice buckwheats hot from the griddle,

And Roger and I set up for kings !

No, thank ye, sir,—I never drink;

Roger and I are exceedingly moralAren't we, Roger ?—see him wink!

Well, something hot, then,—we won't quarrel. He's thirsty, too,--see him nod his head ?

What a pity, sir, that dogs can't taik! He understands every word that's said,

And he knows good milk from water-and-chalk.

The truth is, sir, now I reflect,

I've been so sadly given to grog, I wonder I've not lost the respect

(Here's to you, sir !) even of my dog. But he sticks by, through thick and thin ;

And this old coat, with its emply pockets, And rags that smell of tobacco and gin,

He'll follow while he has eyes in his sockets.

There isn't another creature living

Would do it, and prove, through every disaster, Su fond, so faithful, and so forgiving,

To such a niiserable thankless master! No, sir !-

- see him wag his tail and grin! By George ! it makes my old eyes water ! That is, there's something in this gin

That chokes a fellow. But no matter !

We'll have some music, if your’re willing,

And Roger (hem! what a plague a cough is, sir !) Shall march a little. Start, you villain !

Stand straight! 'Bout face! Salute your officer ! Put up that paw! Dress! Take your rifle !

(Some dogs have arms, you see !) Now hold your Cap while the gentlemen give a trifle,

To aid a poor old patriot soldier !

March! Halt! Now show how the rebel shakes

When he stands up to hear his sentence.
Now tell us how many drans it takes

To honor a jolly new acquaintance.
Five yelps:—that's five; he's mighty knowing !

The night's before us, fill the glasses !
Quick, sir! I m ill,-my brain is going !

Some brandy,-thank you,—there !-it passes !

Why not reform ? Ti t's easily said;

But I've gone throngh such wretched treatment, Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread,

And scarce remembering what meat meant, That my poor stomach's past reform ;

And there are times when, mad with thinking, I'd sell out heaven for something warm

To prop a horrible inward sinking.

Is there a way to forget to think?

At your age, sir, home, fortune, friends,

THE VAGABONDS.

123

A dear girl's love, but I took to drink ;

The same old story; you know how it ends. If you could have seen these classic features.

You needn't laugh, sir ; they were not then Such a burning libel on God's creatures :

I was one of your handsome men !

If you had seen her, so fair and young,

Whose head was happy on this breast ! If you could have heard the songs I sung

When the wine went round, you wouldn't have guessed That ever I, sir, should be straying

From door to door, with fiddle and dog, Ragged and penniless, and playing

To you to-night for a glass of grog!

She's married since,-a parson's wife :

'Twas better for her that we should part, Better the suberest, prosiest life

Than a blasted home and a broken heart.
I have seen her ? Once : I was weak and spent

On the dusty road, a carriage stopped :
But little she dreamed, as on she went,

Who kissed the coin that her fingers dropped !

You've set me talking, sir ; I'm sorry ;

It makes me wild to think of the change ! What do you care for a beggar's story?

Is it amusing ? you find it strange ? I had a mother so proud of me !

'Twas well she died before. Do you know If the happy spirits in heaven can see

The ruin and wretchedness here below ?

Another glass, and strong, to deaden

This pain; then Roger and I will start.
I wonder, has lie such a lumpish, leaden,

Aching thing, in place of a heart ?
He is sad sometimes, and would weep, if he could,

No doubt, remembering things that were,

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