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The warrior rode forth in the morning light,

And beside his snow-white plume
Were the roses wet with the sparkling dew,

Like pearls on their crimson bloom.
The maiden stood on her highest tower,

And watch'd her knight depart;
She dash'd her tear aside, but her hand

Might not still her beating heart.
All day she watch'd the distant clouds

Float on the distant air,
A crucifix upon her neck,

And on her lips a prayer.
The sun went down, and twilight came

With her banner of pearlin grey,
And then afar she saw a band

Wind down the vale their way.
They came like victors, for high o'er their ranks

Were their crimson colours borne;
And a stranger pennon droop'd beneath,

But that was bow'd and torn.
But she saw no white steed first in the ranks,

No rider that spurr'd before ;
But the evening shadows were closing fast,

And she could see no more.

She turn'd from her watch on the lonely tower,

In haste to reach the hall,
And as she sprang down the winding stair,

She heard the drawbridge fall.
A hundred harps their welcome rung,

Then paused, as if in fear;
The ladye entered the hall, and saw

Her true knight stretch'd on his bier.


And the night was dark and calm,

There was not a breath of air ; The leaves of the grove were still,

As the presence of death was there ;

Only a moaning sound

Came from the distant sea ; It was as if, like life,

It had no tranquillity. A warrior and a child

Pass'd through the sacred wood, Which, like a mystery,

Around the temple stood. The warrior's brow was worn

With the weight of casque and plume, And sun-burnt was his cheek,

And his eye and brow were gloom. The child was young and fair,

But the forehead large and high, And the dark eyes' flashing light

Seem'd to feel their destiny.
They enter'd in the temple,

And stood before the shrine ;
It stream'd with the victim's blood,

With incense and with wine.

The ground rock'd beneath their feet,

The thunder shook the dome; But the boy stood firm, and swore

Eternal hate to Rome.

There's a page in history

O'er which tears of blood were wept, And that page is the record

How that oath of hate was kept.

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The muffled drum is rolling, and the low Notes of the death-march float upon the wind, And stately steps are pacing round that square With slow and measur'd tread ; but every brow Is darken'd with emotion, and stern eyes, That looked unshrinking on the face of death, When met in battle, are now moist with tears. The silent ring is form'd, and, in the midst, Stands the deserter ! Can this be the same, The young, the gallant Edward ? and are these The laurels promised in his early dreams ? These fetter'd hands, this doom of open shame? Alas ! for young and passionate spirits ! Soon False lights will dazzle. He had madly join'd The rebel banner! Oh! 'twas pride to link His fate with Erin's patriot few, to fight For liberty or the grave! But he was now A prisoner ; yet there he stood as firm As though his feet were not upon the tomb : His cheek was pale as marble, and as cold ; But his lips trembled not, and his dark eyes Glanced proudly round. But when they bared nis breast For the death shot, and took a portrait thence, He clench'd his hands, and gasp'd, and one deep sob Of agony burst from him, and he hid His face awhile,--his mother's look was there. He could not steel his soul when he recall'd The bitterness of her despair. It pass'd That moment of wild anguish ; he knelt down ; That sunbeam shed its glory over one, Young, proud, and brave, nerved in deep energy ; The next fell over cold and bloody clay,




And thou hast walked about how strange a story!)

In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous !

Speak ! for thou long enough hast acted dumby;

Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Thon'rt standing on thy legs above ground, mummy!

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon.
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs, and features.

Tell us-for doubtless thon can'st recollect

To whom we should assign the Sphinx's fame?
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect

Of either Pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer ?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Ilomer?

Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden

By oath to tell the secrets of thy trade-
Then say, what secret melody was hidden

In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played ?
Perhaps thou wert a Priest-if so, my struggles
Are vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles.

Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,

Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass;
Or dropped a halfpenny in Homer's hat,

Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication.

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I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,

Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled,
For thou wert dead, and buried, and embalmed

Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :
Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after thy primeval race was run.

Thou couldst develope, if that withered tongue

Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen, How the world looked when it was fresh and young,

And the great deluge still had left it green ; Or was it then so old, that history's pages Contained no record of its early ages ?

Still silent, incommunicative elf!

Art sworn to secrecy ? then keep thy vows; But prythee tell us something of thyself,

Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house ; Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen-what strange adventures numbered ?

Since first thy form was in this box extended,

We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ; The Roman empire has begun and ended,

New worlds have risen-We have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, Whilst not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.

Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,

When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
Marched armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,

O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
And shook the pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder?

If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,

The nature of thy private life unfold :
A heart has throbbed beneath that leathern breast,

And tears adown that dusky cheek have rollid;
Have children climbed those knees and kissed that face?
What was thy name and station, age and race ?

Statue of flesh-immortal of the dead!

Imperishable type of evanescence!
Posthumous man, who quit'st thy narrow bed,

And standest undecayed within our presence,
Thou wilt hear nothing till the judgment morning,
When the great trump shall thrill thee with its warning.

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