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171

THE ALMA.

THE RIGHT Rev. RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D.D.,

ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN. Though till now ungraced in story, scant although thy

waters be, Alma, roll those waters proudly, proudly roll them to

the sea :

Yesterday, unnamed, unhonoured, but to wandering

Tartar known Now thou art a voice for ever, to the world's four

corners blown. In two nations' annals graven, thou art now a death

less name,

And a star for ever shining in the firmament of fame. Many a great and ancient river, crowned with city,

tower and shrine, Little streamlet, knows no magic, boasts no potency like

thine, Cannot shed the light thou sheddest around many a

living head, Cannot lend the light thou lendest to the memories of

the dead. Yea, nor all unscathed their sorrow, who can, proudly

mourning, sayWhen the first strong burst of anguish shall have wept

itself away

“He has pass'd from us, the loved one; but he sleeps

with them that died By the Alma, at the winning of that terrible hill-side.” Yes, and in the days far onward, when we all are cold

as those

Who beneath thy vines and willows on their hero-beds

repose, Thou on England's banners blazon'd with the famous

fields of old, Shalt, where other fields are winning, wave above the

brave and bold;

And our sons unborn shall nerve them for some great

deed to be done, By that Twentieth of September, when the Alma's

heights were won. Oh! thou river; dear for ever to the gallant, to the

free Alma, roll thy waters proudly, proudly roll them to

the sea.

(By permission of the Author.)

THE SPECTRE PIG.

0. W. HOLMES.

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They took him then, those wicked men,

They trailed him all along;
They put a stick between his lips,

And through his heels a thong.

And round and round an oaken beam

A hempen cord they flung,
And like a mighty pendulum

All solemnly he swung.
Now say thy prayers, thou sinful man,

And think what thou hast done,
And read thy catechism well,

Thou sanguinary one.

For if his sprite should walk by night,

It better were for thee, That thou were mouldering in the ground,

Or bleaching in the sea.

It was the savage butcher then

That made a mock of sin, And swore a very wicked oath,

He did not care a pin.

It was the butcher's youngest son,

His voice was broke with sighs, And with his pocket-handkerchief

He wiped his little eyes.

All young and ignorant was he,

But innocent and mild, And, in his soft simplicity,

Out spoke the tender child

6 Oh! father, father, list to me;

The pig is deadly sick,
And men have hung him by his heels,

And fed him with a stick."

It was the naughty butcher then

That laughed as he would die,
Yet did he soothe the sorrowing child,

And bid him not to cry.

“Oh! Nathan, Nathan, what's a pig,

That thou shouldst weep and wail? Come, bear thee like a butcher's child,

And thou shalt have his tail."

It was the butcher's daughter then,

So slender and so fair, That sobbed as if her heart would break,

And tore her yellow hair.

And thus she spoke in thrilling tone,

Fast fell the tear-drops big: " Ah! woe is me! Alas! alas !

The pig ! the pig! the pig !”

Then did her wicked father's lips

Make merry with her woe,
And call her many a naughty name,

Because she whimpered so.

Ye need not weep, ye gentle ones,

In vain your tears are shed,
Ye cannot wash his crimson hand,

Ye cannot soothe the dead.

The bright sun folded on his breast

His robes of rosy flame, And softly over all the west

The shades of evening came.

He slept, and troops of murdered pigs

Were busy with his dreams;
Loud rang their wild, unearthly shrieks,

Wide yawned their mortal seams.
The clock struck twelve; the dead hath heard;

He opened both his eyes, And sullenly he shook his tail

To lash the feeding flies.

One quiver of the hempen cord,

One struggle and one bound, With stiffened limb and leaden eye,

The pig was on the ground.

And straight towards the sleeper's house
His fearful

way he wended;
And hooting owl, and hovering bat,

On midnight wing attended.

Back flew the bolt, uprose the latch,

And open swung the door,
And little mincing feet were heard

Pat, pat, along the floor.

Two hoofs upon the sanded floor,

And two upon the bed ;
And they are breathing side by side,

The living and the dead.

“Now wake, now wake, thou butcher man !

What makes thy cheeks so pale ? Take hold ! take hold! thou dost not fear

To clasp a spectre's tail ?”

Untwisted every winding coil;

The shuddering wretch took hold, Till like an icicle it seemed,

So tapering and so cold,

“Thou com’st with me, thou butcher man !"

He strives to loose his grasp, But, faster than the clinging vine,

Those twining spirals clasp.

And open, open, swung the door,

And fleeter than the wind,
The shadowy spectre swept before,

The butcher trailed behind.

Fast fled the darkness of the night,

And morn rose faint and dim ; They called full loud, they knocked full long

They did not waken him.

Straight, straight towards that oaken beam,

A trampled pathway ran;
A ghastly shape was swinging there,-

It was the butcher man.

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