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Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out from

Bristol town, And ere the day three hundred horse had met on Clifton

down; The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into the

night, And saw o’erhanging Richmond Hill the streak of blood

red light. Then bugle's notes and cannon's roar the death-like

silence broke, And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city

woke. At once on all her stately gates arose the answering


At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling

spires; From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the

voice of fear, And all the thousand masts of Thames sent back a

louder cheer; And from the farthest wards was heard the rush of

hurrying feet, And the broad streams of flags and pikes dashed down

each roaring street: And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the

din, As fast from every village round the horse came spur

ring in,

And eastward straight from wild Blackheath, the warlike

errand went, And roused in many an ancient hall the gallant squires

of Kent. Southward from Surrey's pleasant hills flew those bright

couriers forth; High on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor they started

for the north; And on, and

on, without a pause, untired they bounded still,



All night from tower to tower they sprang—they sprang

from hill to hill, Till the proud Peak unfurled the flag o'er Darwin's

rocky dalesTill like volcanoes flared to heaven the stormy hills of

Wales Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's

lonely heightTill streamed in crimson on the wind the Wrekin's crest

of lightTill broad and fierce the star came forth on Ely's stately

fane, And tower and hamlet rose in arms o'er all the bound

less plain; Till Belvoir's lordly terraces the sign to Lincoln sent, And Lincoln sped the message on o'er the wide vale of

Trent, Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's em

battled pile, And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.



And thou hast walked about (how strange a story !)

In Thebes's street 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 dummy-

Thou hast a tongue; come, let us hear its tune; Thou'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 thou canst recollect,

To whom should we 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 Homer ?

Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden,

By oath, to tell the mysteries of thy trade; Then

say what secret melody was hidden In Memnon's statue which at sun-rise played ? Perhaps thou wert a priest, and hast been dealing In human blood, and horrors past revealing.

Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,

Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass : Or dropped a half-penny 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.

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

Roman soldier mauled or 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 develop, 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 secresy ? 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, While 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 thy dusty cheeks have rolled.
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 quitt'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!

Why should this worthless tegument endure,

If its undying guest be lost for ever?



Oh, let us keep the soul embalmed and pure

In living virtue ; that, when both must sever, Although corruption may our frame consume, Th' immortal spirit in the skies may


Horace Smith.



Aumerle. Where is the duke, my father, with his power ?

Richard. No matter where; of comfort no man speak: Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs ; Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Let's choose executors, and talk of wills; And yet not so, for what can we bequeath, Save our deposed bodies to the ground ? Our lands, our lives, and all, are Bolingbroke's, And nothing can we call our own but death, And that small model of the barren earth, Which serves as paste and cover to our bones. For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground, And tell sad stories of the death of kings :How some have been deposed, some slain in wars, Some haunted by the ghosts they dispossess'd, Some poison’d by their wives, some sleeping kill'd, All murder'd; for within the hollow crown, That rounds the mortal temples of a king, Keeps death his court; and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp, Allowing him a breath, a little scene To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceitAs if this flesh, which walls about our life, Were brass impregnable; and, humoured thus, Comes at the last, and with a little pin Bores through his castle wall, and—farewell king!

Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood



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