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More hollow and more wails the deep on the earMore dread and more dread grows suspense in its fear.
If thou shouldst in those waters thy diadem fling,
And cry, "Who may find it shall win it and wear;" God wot, though the prize were the crown of a kingA crown at such hazard were valued too dear. For never shall lips of the living reveal
What the deeps that howl yonder in terror conceal.
Oh, many a bark, to that breast grappled fast,
Has gone down to the fearful and fathomless grave; Again, crashed together the keel and the mast,
To be seen tossed aloft in the glee of the wave! Like the growth of a storm ever louder and clearer, Grows the roar of the gulf rising nearer and nearer.
And it bubbles and seethes, and it hisses and roars,
And, lo! from the heart of that far-floating gloom,
And he breathed deep, and he breathëd long,
And he greeted the heavenly delight of the day. They gaze on each other-they shout as they throng— "He lives-lo, the ocean has rendered its prey! And safe from the whirlpool and free from the grave, Comes back to the daylight the soul of the brave!"
And he comes, with the crowd in their clamour and glee;
And the king from her maidens has beckoned his daughter. She pours to the boy the bright wine which they bring, And thus spoke the Diver-"Long life to the King!
"Happy they whom the rose-hues of daylight rejoice,
Nor man stretch too far the wide mercy of Heaven!
"Quick brightening like lightning, the ocean rushed o'er me,
"From the deep, then I called upon God, and He heard me;
I sprung there, I clung there, and death passed me by. And, lo! where the goblet gleamed through the abyss, By a coral reef saved from the far Fathomless.
"Below, at the foot of that precipice drear,
Spread the gloomy, and purple, and pathless Obscure! A silence of horror that slept on the ear,
That the eye more appalled might the horror endure ! Salamander, snake, dragon-vast reptiles that dwell In the deep-coiled about the grim jaws of their hell. "Dark crawled, glided dark the unspeakable swarms, Clumped together in masses, misshapen and vast; Here clung and here bristled the fashionless forms;
Here the dark moving bulk of the hammer-fish passed;
And, with teeth grinning white, and a menacing motion, Went the terrible shark-the hyena of ocean.
"There I hung, and the awe gathered icily o'er me,
So far from the earth, where man's help there was none ! The one human thing, with the goblins before me
Alone-in a loneness so ghastly
Deep under the reach of the sweet living breath,
And begirt with the broods of the desert of Death.
'Methought, as I gazed through the darkness, that now Ir saw—a dread hundred-limbed creature-its prey! And darted, devouring; I sprang from the bough
Of the coral, and swept on the horrible way;
And the whirl of the mighty wave seized me once more, It seized me to save me, and dash to the shore."
On the youth gazed the monarch, and marvelled: quoth he,
Then out spake the daughter in tender emotion-
He has served thee as none would, thyself hast confest.
The king seized the goblet, he swung it on high,
And whirling, it fell in the roar of the tide : "But bring back that goblet again to my eye,
And I'll hold thee the dearest that rides by my side; And thine arms shall embrace as thy bride, I decree, The maiden whose pity now pleadeth for thee."
And heaven, as he listened, spoke out from the space,
And the hope that makes heroes shot flame from his eyes; He gazed on the blush in that beautiful face
It pales-at the feet of her father she lies!
They hear the loud surges sweep back in their swell,
Their coming the thunder-sound heralds along!
THE SOLDIER'S WIDOW.
WOE for my vine-clad home !
That it should ever be so dark to me,
With its bright threshold and its whispering tree!
That I should ever come,
Fearing the lonely echo of a tread
Beneath the roof-tree of my glorious dead!
Lead on, my orphan boy!
Thy home is not so desolate to thee-
May bring to thee a joy ;
But oh, how dark is the bright home before thee,
Lead on for thou art now
My sole remaining helper. God hath spoken,
The forehead of my upright one, and just-
He will not meet thee there
Who blest thee at the eventide, my son !
The lips that melted, giving thee to God,
Ay, my own boy! thy sire
Is with the sleepers of the valley cast,
Woe that the linden and the vine should bloom,
Why-bear them proudly, boy!
It is the sword he girded to his thigh-
And shall we have no joy?
For thy green vales, oh Switzerland, he died!—
THE LEGEND OF HORATIUS COCLES.
OUT spake the Consul' roundly:
"The bridge must straight go down ;
For, since Janiculum2 is lost,
Nought else can save the town."
1 Valerius Publicola.
2 One of the hills of Rome, from which it was separated by the Tiber. Porsena took the fort of Janiculum, and compelled the Romans to retreat over the bridge into the city.