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“My boat is small,” the boatman cried,

6. 'Twill bear but one away ; Come in, Lord William, and do ye

In God's protection stay."

Strange feeling fill'd them at his voice,

Even in that hour of woe,
That, save their lord, there was not one

Who wish'd with him to go.

But William leapt into the boat,

His terror was so sore ; “Thou shalt have half my gold,” he cried,

“ Haste 1-haste to yonder shore!”

The boatman plied the oar, the boat

Went light along the stream; Sudden Lord William heard a cry

Like Edmund's drowning scream!

The boatman paused, “Methought I heard

A child's distressful cry!” " 'Twas but the howling wind of night,"

Lord William made reply. “ Haste !-haste !-ply swift and strong the oar;

Haste !-haste across the stream !” Again Lord William heard a cry

Like Edmund's drowning scream! “I heard a child's distressful voice,"

The boatman cried again. “Nay, hasten on !- the night is dark

And we should search in vain !”

"O God! Lord William, dost thou know

How dreadful 'tis to die?

And canst thou without pity hear

A child's expiring cry?

“How horrible it is to sink

Beneath the closing stream,
To stretch the powerless arms in vain,

In vain for help to scream!”

The shriek again was heard : it came

More deep, more piercing loud ; That instant o'er the flood the moon

Shone through a broken cloud ;

And near them they beheld a child;

Upon a crag he stood,
A little crag, and all around

Was spread the rising flood.

The boatman plied the oar, the boat

Approach'd his resting-place;
The moon-beam shone upon the child,

And show'd how pale his face.

“Now reach thine hand!” the boatman cried,

“Lord William, reach and save!”
The child stretch'd forth his little hands

To grasp the hand he gave !
Then William shriek’d ; the hands he felt

Were cold, and damp, and dead !
He held young Edmund in his arms

A heavier weight than lead !
The boat sunk down, the murderer sunk

Beneath the avenging stream ;
He rose, he shriek’d, no human ear

Heard William's drowning scream!

IV.

STANZAS WRITTEN IN HIS LIBRARY.

1818.

MY

days among the Dead are past;

Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,

The mighty minds of old ;
My never failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal,

And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel

How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew'd
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead, with them

I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,

Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead, anon

My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on

Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

THALABA, THE DESTROYER.

1800-1.

ROBERT SOUTHEY.

THE YOUTH OF THALABA,

From Book III.

(xvi.)
It was the wisdom and the will of Heaven,
That in a lonely tent had cast

The lot of Thalaba ;
There might his soul develop best

Its strengthening energies ;

There might he from the world Keep his heart pure and uncontaminate, Till at the written hour he should be found

Fit servant of the Lord, without a spot.

(XVI.)
Years of his youth, how rapidly ye fled

In that beloved solitude !
Is the morn fair, and doth the freshening breeze

Blow with cold current o'er his cheek ? Lo! underneath the broad-leaved sycamore

With lids half-closed he lies,

Dreaming of days to come.
His dog beside him, in mute blandishment,

Now licks his listless hand;
Now lifts an anxious and expectant eye,

Courting the wonted caress.

(xvii.)
Or comes the Father of the Rains
From his caves in the uttermost West,
Comes he in darkness and storms?

When the blast is loud,

When the waters fill
The traveller's tread in the sands;

When the pouring shower

Streams adown the roof;
When the door-curtain hangs in heavier folds :

When the out-strain'd tent flaps loosely :
Within there is the embers' cheerful glow,

The sound of the familiar voice,

The song that lightens toil, —
Domestic Peace and Comfort are within :
Under the common shelter, on dry sand,
The quiet Camels ruminate their food;
The lengthening cord from Moath falls,

As patiently the Old Man
Entwines the strong palm-fibres; by the hearth

The Damsel shakes the coffee grains, That with warm fragrance fill the tent; And while, with dexterous fingers, Thalaba Shapes the green basket, haply at his feet

Her favourite kidling gnaws the twig,
Forgiven plunderer, for Oneiza's sake.

(xxII.)
'Tis the cool evening hour;

The Tamarind from the dew
Sheathes its young fruit, yet green.
Before their tent the mat is spread;
The Old Man's solemn voice

Intones the holy Book.

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