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In secret to that chamber, at an hour
When all slept sound, save she who bore them both,
Who little thought of what was yet to come,
And lived but to be told — he bade Garzia
Arise and follow him. Holding in one hand
A winking lamp, and in the other a key,
Massive and dungeon-like, thither he led ;
And, having entered in, and locked the door,
The father fixed his eyes upon the son,
And closely questioned him. No change betrayed,
Or guilt, or fear. Then Cosmo lifted up
The bloody sheet. “Look there ! Look there !” he cried,
“ Blood calls for blood-and from a father's hand!
Unless thyself will save him that sad office.
What!” he exclaimed, when, shuddering at the sight,
The boy breathed out, “I stood but on my guard."
“Darest thou then blacken one who never wronged thee,
Who would not set his foot upon a worm ?
Yes, thou must die, lest others fall by thee,
And thou shouldst be the slayer of us all."
Then from Garzia's belt he drew the blade,
That fatal one which spilt his brother's blood ;
And, kneeling on the ground, “ Great God !” he cried,
“Grant me the strength to do an act of justice.
Thou knowest what it costs me; but, alas,
How can I spare myself, sparing none else ?
Grant me the strength, the will—and oh! forgive
The sinful soul of a most wretched son.
'Tis a most wretched father who implores it."
Long on Garzia's neck he hung and wept,
Long pressed him to his bosom tenderly;

3 Eleonora di Toledo. Of the children that survived her, one fell by a brother, one by a husband, and a third murdered his wife. But that family was soon to become extinct. It is some consolation to reflect that their country did not go unrevenged for the calamities which they had brought upon her. How many of them died by the hands of each other!

And then, but while he held him by the arm,
Thrusting him backward, turned away his face,
And stabbed him to the heart.

Well might a youth, Studious of men, anxious to learn and know, When in the train of some great embassy He came, a visitant, to Cosmo's court, Think on the past; and, as he wandered through The ample spaces of an ancient house, Silent, deserted-stop awhile to dwell Cpon two portraits there, drawn on the wall Together, as of Two in bonds of love, Those of the unhappy brothers, and conclude, From the sad looks of him who could have told The terrible truth.? Well might he heave a sigh For poor humanity, wben he beheld That very Cosmo shaking o'er his fire, Drowsy, and deaf, and inarticulate, Wrapped in his night-gown, o'er a sick man's mess, In the last stage-death-struck and deadly pale, His wife, another, not his Eleanor, At once his nurse and his interpreter.

4 De Thou.
• The Palazzo Vecchio. Cosmo had left it several years before.
6 By Vasari, who attended him on this occasion.

* It was given out that they had died of a contagious fever: and funeral orations were publicly pronounced in their honour.

CRESCENTIUS.'

BY MISS LANDON.

I LOOKED upon his brow,—no sign

Of guilt or fear was there;
He stood as proud by that death-shrine

As even o'er Despair
He had a power ; in his eye
There was a quenchless energy,

A spirit that could dare
The deadliest form that Death could take,
And dare it for the daring's sake.

He stood, the fetters on his hand,

He raised them haughtily :
And had that grasp been on the brand,

It could not wave on high
With freer pride than it waved now.
Around he looked with changeless brow

On many a torture nigh :
The rack, the chain, the axe, the wheel,
And, worst of all, his own red steel.

1 “In the reign of Otho III., emperor of Germany, the Romans, excited by their Consul, Crescentius, who ardently desired to restore the ancient glory of the Republic, made a bold attempt to shake off the Saxon yoke, and the authority of the popes, whose vices rendered them objects of universal contempt. The Consul was besieged by Otho, in the Mole of Hadrian, which lon, afterwards continued to be called the Tower of Crescentius. Otho, after many unavailing attacks upon this fortress, at last entered into negotiations; and, pledging his imperial word to respect the life of Croscentius, and the rights of the Roman citizens, the unfortunate leader was betrayed into his power, and immediately beheaded, with many of his partisans."-SISMONDI, History of the Italian Republics, vol. i

I saw him once before ; he rode

Upon a coal-black steed, And tens of thousands thronged the road,

And bade their warrior speed. His helm, his breastplate, were of gold, And graved with many a dent, that told

Of many a soldier's deed ; The sun shone on his sparkling mail, And danced his snow-plume on the gale.

But now he stood chained and alone,

The headsman by his side, The plume, the helm, the charger gone;

The sword which had defied The mightiest, lay broken near ; And yet no sign or sound of fear

Came from that lip of pride; And never king or conqueror's brow Wore higher look than his did now.

He bent beneath the headsman's stroke

With an uncovered eye;
A wild shout from the numbers broke

Who thronged to see him die.
It was a people's loud acclaim,
The voice of anger and of shame,

A nation's funeral cry,
Rome's wail above her only son,
Her patriot and her latest one.

ABSALOM.

BY WILLIS.

THE waters slept. Night's silvery veil hung low On Jordan's bosom, and the eddies curled Their glassy rings beneath it, like the still, Unbroken beating of the sleeper's pulse. The reeds bent down the stream ; the willow leaves, With a soft cheek upon the lulling tide, Forgot the lifting winds; and the long stems, Whose flowers the water, like a gentle nurse, Bears on its bosom, quietly gave way, And leaned, in graceful attitudes, to rest. How strikingly the course of nature tells, By its light heed of human suffering, That it was fashioned for a happier world ! '

King David's limbs were weary. He had fled From far Jerusalem ; and now he stood, With his faint people, for a little rest Upon the shore of Jordan. The light wind Of morn was stirring, and he bared his brow To its refreshing breath ; for he had worn The mourner's covering, and he had not felt That he could see his people until now. They gathered round him on the fresh green bank, And spoke their kindly words; and, as the sun Rose up in heaven, he knelt among them there, And bowed his head upon his hands to pray. Oh! when the heart is full—when bitter thoughts Come crowding thickly up for utterance, And the poor common words of courtesy Are such an empty mockery-how much The bursting heart may pour itself in prayer !

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