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Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world ; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnashed their teeth and howled; the wild birds shrieked,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawled
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless--they were slain for food ;
And war, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again ; a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom : no love was left;
All earth was but one thought and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious ; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails—men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The

meagre were devoured;
Even dogs assailed their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famished men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the drooping dead
Lured their lank jaws ! himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand

meagre by the

eyes as it

Which answered not with a caress he died.
The crowd was famished by degrees ; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies ; they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place,
Where had been heaped a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage ; they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and make a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their

grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects-saw, and shrieked, and died-
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine bad written fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless-
A lump of death-a chaos of hard clay,
The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths :
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropped
They slept on the abyss without a surge-
The waves were dead; the tides were in their

grave, The moon their mistress had expired before ;

The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perished ; darkness had no need
Of aid from them-She was the universé.

Byron.

WAR

Prostrate in the dust
Those walls were laid, and towns and temples stood
Tottering in frightful ruins, as the flame
Had left them, black and bare ; and through the streets,
All with the recent wreck of war bestrewn,
Helmet and turban, scymitar and sword,
Christian and Moor in death promiscuous lay,
Each where they fell; and blood flakes, parched and

cracked,
Like the dry slime of some receding flood;
And half-burnt bodies, which allured from far
The wolf and raven, and to impious food
Tempted the houseless dog.

A thrilling pang,
A sweat like death, a sickness of the soul's ,
Came over Roderick. Soon they past away,
And admiration in their stead arose,

Stern joy, and inextinguishable hope,
With wrath, and hate, and sacred vengeance now
Indissolubly linked. O valiant race,
O people excellently brave, he cried,
True Goths ye fell, and faithful to the last ;
Though overpowered, triumphant, and in death
Unconquered! Holy be your memories !
Blessed and glorious now and evermore
Be your heroie names l_Led by the sound,
As thus he cried aloud, a woman came
Toward him from the ruins. For the love
Of Christ, she said, lend me a little while.
Thy charitable help Her words, her voice,
Her look, more horror to his heart conveyed
Than all the havoc round : for though she spake
With the calm utterance of despair, in tones
Deep-breathed and low, yet never sweeter voice
Poured forth its hymns in ecstacy to heaven.
Her hands were bloody, and her garments stained
With blood, her face with blood and dust defiled.
Beauty and youth, and grace and majesty,
Had
every

charm of form and feature given ;
But now upon her rigid countenance
Severest anguish set a fixedness
Ghastlier than death.
She led him through the streets

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A little way along, where four low walls,
Heapt rudely from the ruins round, inclosed
A narrow space ;

and there

upon

the ground Four bodies, decently composed, were laid, Though horrid all with wounds and clotted gore : A venerable ancient; by his side A comely matron, for whose middle age (If ruthless slaughter had not intervened) Nature it seemed, and gentle time, might well Have many a calm declining year in store ; The third an armed warrior, on his breast An infant, over whom his arms were crost. There—with firm eye and steady countenance, Unfaultering, she addressed him--there they lie, Child, husband, parents-Adosinda's all! I could not break the earth with these poor hands, Nor other tombs provide—but let that pass Auria itself is now but one wide tomb For all its inhabitantswhat better grave ? What worthier monument ?-Oh cover not Their blood, thou earth! nor ye, ye blessed souls Of heroes and of murdered innocents, O never let your everlasting cries Cease round the eternal throne, till the Most High, For all these unexampled wrongs, hath given Full, overflowing vengeance.

Southey.

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