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What though beneath thee man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill;
The vassals of his will ;--
For all those trophied arts
Entail'd on human hearts.
Go, let oblivion's curtain fall
Upon the stage of men,
Life's tragedy again.
Of pain anew to writhe ;
Like grass beneath the scythe.
Even I am weary in yon skies
To watch thy fading fire; Test of all sunless agonies,
Behold me not expire. My lips that speak thy dirge of deathTheir rounded gasp and gurgling breath
To see thou shalt not boast. The eclipse of nature spreads my pallThe majesty of darkness shall
Receive my parting ghost !
This spirit shall return to Him
Who gave its heavenly spark ;
FEW hours before Yorick breathed his last, Eugenius stepped in,
with an intent to take his last sight and last farewell of him. Upon his drawing Yorick's curtain, and asking how he felt himself, Yorick, looking up in his face, took hold of his hand, and after thanking him for the many tokens of his friendship to him, for which, he said, if it was their fate to meet hereafter, he would thank him again and again; he told him he was within a few hours of giving his enemies the slip for ever. not,” answered Eugenius, with tears trickling down his cheeks, and with the tenderest tone that ever man spoke,—“I hope not, Yorick,” said he. Yorick replied with a look up, and a gentle squeeze of Eugenius's handand that was all—but it cut Eugenius to his heart. “Come, come, Yorick !” quoth Eugenius, wiping his eyes, and summoning up the man within him ; “my dear lad, be comforted; let not all thy spirits and fortitude forsake thee at this crisis when thou most wantest them. Who knows what resources are in store, and what the power of God may yet do for thee?” Yorick laid his hand upon his heart, and gently shook his head. “For my part," continued Eugenius, crying bitterly as he uttered the words, “I declare I know not, Yorick, how to part with thee; and would gladly flatter my hopes," added Eugenius, cheering up his voice, “that there is still enough of thee left to make a bishop, and that I may live to see it.” “I beseech thee, Eugenius," quoth Yorick, taking off his nightcap as well as he could with his left hand-his right being still grasped close in that of Eugenius—“I beseech thee to take a view of my head.” “I see nothing that ails it,” replied Eugenius. “Then, alas! my friend,” said Yorick, “let me tell you that it is so bruised and misshaped with the blows which have been so unhandsomely given me in the dark, that I might say with Sancho Panza, that should I recover, and 'mitres thereupon be suffered to rain down from heaven as thick as hail, not one of them would fit it.'” Yorick's last breath was hanging upon his trembling lips, ready to depart, as he uttered this ; yet still it was uttered with something of a Cervantic tone, and as he spoke it, Eugenius could perceive a stream of lambent fire lighted up for a moment in his eyes—faint picture of those flashes of his spirit, which (as Shakespeare said of his ancestor) were wont to set the table in a roar!”
Eugenius was convinced from this that the heart of his friend was broke. He squeezed his hand, and then walked softly out of the room, weeping as he walked. Yorick followed Eugenius with his eyes to the door ; he then closed them, and never opened them more.
He lies buried in a corner of his churchyard, under a plain marble slab, which his friend Eugenius, by leave of his executors, laid upon his grave, with no more than these three words of inscription, serving both for his epitaph and elegy
Alas! Poor YORICK!
Ten times a day has Yorick's ghost the consolation to hear his monumental inscription read over, with such a variety of plaintive tones as denote a general pity and esteem for him. A footway crossing the churchyard close by his grave, not a passenger goes by without stopping to cast a look upon it, and sighing as he walks on,
Clear in the cool September morn,
The cluster'd spires of Frederick stand
Round about them orchards sweep,
Fair as a garden of the Lord,
On that pleasant morn of the early fall
Over the mountains winding down,
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Flapp'd in the morning wind : the sun
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
In her attic-window the staff she set,