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And thus, with flout, and cold and impious jeer,
He fled repentance, if he 'scaped not fear.
Remorse and fear he drowns in drink.
“Come, pass the bowl, my jolly crew
It thicks the blood to mope and think.
Here's merry days, though few !”
And then he quaffs.-So riot reigns within;
So brawl and laughter shake that house of sin.
Matt lords it now throughout the isle.
His hand falls heavier than before.
All dread alike his frown or smile.
None come within his door,
Save those who dipped their hands in blood with him ;
Save those who laughed to see the white horse swim.
Appearance of the Spectre Horse and the Burning Ship to
“ To-night's our anniversary;
And, mind me, lads, we'll have it kept
With royal state and special glee!
Better with those who slept
Their sleep that night, had he be now, who slinks !
And health and wealth to him who bravely drinks !"
The words they spoke we may not speak.
The tales they told we may not tell.
Mere mortal man, forbear to seek
The secrets of that hell !
Their shouts grow loud. 'Tis near mid-hour of night
What means upon the waters that red light?
Not bigger than a star it seems;
And, now, 'tis like the bloody moon;
And, now, it shoots in hairy streams
Its light!—'Twill reach us soon!
A ship! and all on fire !-hull, yards and mat!
Her sheets are sheets of flame !-She’s nearing test !
And now she rides, upright and still,
Shedding a wild and Iurid light
Around the cove on inland hill,
Waking the gloom of night.
All breathes of terror! Men in dumb amaze
Gaze on each other 'neath the horrid blaze.
It scares the sca-birds from their nests.
They dart and wheel with deafʼning screams;
Now dark,-and now their wings and breasts
Flash back disastrous gleams.
0, sin, what hast thou done on this fair earth?
The world, O man, is wailing o'er thy birth.
And what comes up above that wave,
So ghastly white ?-A spectral head !-
A horse's head-(May heaven save
Those looking on the dead, -
The waking dead!) There on the sea he stands-
The spectre-horse !-he moves; he gains the sands !
Onward he speeds. His ghostly sides
Are streaming with a cold, blue light.
Heaven keep the wits of him who rides
The spectre-horse to-night!
His path is shining like a swift ship's wake;
He gleams before Lee's door like day's gray break.
The revel now is high within:
It breaks upon the midnight air.
They little think, midst mirth and din,
What spirit waits them there.
As if the sky became a voice, there spread
A sound to appal the living, stir the dead.
The spirit-steed sent up the neigh.
It seemed the living trump of hell,
Sounding to call the damned away,
To join the host that fell.
It rang along the vaulted sky: the shore
Jarred hard, as when the thronging surges roar.
It rang in ears that knew the sound;
And hot, flushed cheeks are blanched with fear
And why does Lee look wildly round?
Thinks he the drowned horse near ?
He drops his cup; his lips are stiff with fright.
Nay, sit thee down !—It is thy banquet night.
I cannot sit. I needs must go :
The spell is on my spirit now.
I go to dread! I go to wo!”
0, who so weak as thou,
Strong man?--His hoofs upon the door-stone, see,
The shadow stands ?-His eyes are on thee, Lee !
Thy hair pricks up !_“0, I must bear
His damp, cold breath! It chills my frame !
His eyes—their near and dreadful glare
Speak that I must not name!"
Thou’rt mad to mount that horse !—“A power within,
I must obey, cries, · Mount thee, man of sin!""
He's now astride the spectre's back,
With rein of silk, and curb of gold.
'Tis fearful speed !—the rein is slack
Within his senseless hold:
Nor doth he touch the shade he strides, upborne
By an unseen power.—God help thee, man forlorn!
He goes with speed; he goes with dread!
And now they're on the hanging steep!
And, now, the living and the dead,
They'll make the horrid leap!
The horse stops short:-his feet are on the verge,
He stands, like marble, high above the surge.
And, nigh, the tall ship yet burns on,
With red, hot spars and crackling flame.
From hull to gallant, nothing's gone.
She burns, and yet's the same !
Her hot, red flame is beating, all the night,
On man and horse, in their cold, phosphor light.
Through that cold light the fearful man
Sits looking on the burning ship.
Thou ne'er again wilt curse and ban.
How fast he moves the lip!
And yet he does not speak, or make a sound!
What see you, Lee,—the bodies of the drowned ?
“ I look-where mortal man may not-
Into the chambers of the deep.
I see the dead, long, long forgot;
I see them in their sleep.
A dreadful power is mine, which none can know,
Save he who leagues his soul with death and wo."
Thou mild, sad mother, waning moon
Thy last, low, melancholy ray
Shines towards him.-Quit him not so soon!
Mother, in mercy, stay!
Despair and death are with him; and canst thou,
With that kind, earth ward look, go leave him now?
0, thou wast born for things of love;
Making more lovely in thy shine
Whate'er thou look'st on. Hosts above,
In that soft light of thine,
Burn softer :-earth, in silvery veil, seems heaven.-
Thou’rt going down !—Thou'st left him unforgiven!
The far, low west is bright no more
How still it is! No sound is heard
At sea, or all along the shore,
But cry of passing bird.
Thou living thing, and dar'st thou come so near
These wild and ghastly shapes of death and fear?
Now long that thick, red light has shone
On stern, dark rocks, and deep, still bay,
On man and horse that seem of stone,
So motionless are they.
But now its lurid fire less fiercely burns :
The night is going-faint, gray dawn returns.
The spectre-steed now slowly pales;
Now changes like the moonlit cloud.
That cold, thin light, now slowly fails,
Which wrapt them like a shroud.
Both ship and horse are fading into air.
Lost, mazed, alone, see, Lee is standing there!
The morning air blows fresh on him;
The waves dance gladly in his sight;
The sea-birds call, and wheel, and skim
O, blessed morning light !
He doth not hear that joyous call; he sees
No beauty in the wave; he feels no breeze.
For he's accurst from all that's good;
He ne'er must know its healing power.
The sinner on his sins must brood;
Must wait, alone, his hour.
Thou stranger to earth's beauty-human love-
There's here no rest for thee, no hope above!
The Death of the Flowers.-BRYANT.
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and
Heap'd in the hollows of the grove, the wither'd leaves lie dead; They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread. The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrub the jay, And from the wood-top calls the crow, through all the gloomy
day. Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood ? Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race of flowers Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours. The rain is falling where they lie ; but the cold November rain Calls not, from out the gloomy earth, the lovely ones again. The wind-flower and the violet, they perish'd long ago, And the wild-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow; But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood, And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty
stood, Till fell the frost from the clear, cold heaven, as falls the plague
on men, And the brightness of their smile was gone from upland, glade
and glen. And now, when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days
will come, To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home,