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He prayed for Israel—and his voice went up .
Strongly and fervently. He prayed for those
Whose love had been his shield—and his deep tones
Grew tremulous. But, oh ! for Absalom-
For his estranged, misguided Absalom-
The proud, bright being, who had burst away
In all his princely beauty, to defy
The heart that cherished him—for him he poured,
In agony that would not be controlled,
Strong supplication, and forgave him there,
Before his God, for his deep sinfulness.

The pall was settled. He who slept beneath Was straightened for the grave; and, as the folds Sank to the still proprrtions, they betrayed The matchless symmetry of Absalom. His hair was yet unshorn, acd silken curls Were floating round the tassels as they swayed To the admitted air, as glossy now As when, in hours of gentle dalliance, bathing . The snowy fingers of Judea's daughters. His helm was at his feet; his banner, soiled With trailing through Jerusalem, was laid, Reversed, beside him; and the jewelled hilt, Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade, Rested, like mockery, on his covered brow. The soldiers of the king trod to and fro, Clad in the garb of battle ; and their chief, The mighty Joab, stood beside the bier, And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly, As if he feared the slumberer might stir. A slow step startled him. He grasped his blade As if a trumpet rang ; but the bent form Of David entered, and he gave command, In a low tone, to his few followers, And left him with his dead. The king stood still

Till the last echo died; then, throwing off
The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
The pall from the still features of his child,
He bowed his head upon him, and broke forth
In the resistless eloquence of woe:

“Alas ! my noble boy! that thou shouldst die !

Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair! That death should settle in thy glorious eye,

And leave his stillness in this clustering hair ! How could he mark thee for the silent tomb!

My proud boy, Absalom !

“Cold is thy brow, my son! and I am chill,

As to my bosom I have tried to press thee ! How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,

Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee, And hear thy sweet. My father!' from these dumb

And cold lips, Absalom!

“But death is on thee. I shall hear the gush

Of music, and the voices of the young ; And life will pass me in the mantling blush,

And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung; But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shalt come

To meet me, Absalom !

“ And oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,

Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken, How will its love for thee, as I depart,

Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token! It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom,

To see thee, Absalom !

" And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,

With death so like a gentle slumber on thee ;

And thy dark sin!-Oh! I could drink the cup,

If from this woe its bitterness had won thee. May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,

My lost boy, Absalom !”.

He covered up his face, and bowed himself
A moment on his child: then, giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer;
And, as if strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
Firmly and decently—and left him there-
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.

ALEXANDER'S FEAST.

BY DRYDEN.

'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate

On his imperial throne:

His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound;

(So should desert in arms be crowned.)
The lovely Thaïs, by his side,
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.

Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.

Timotheus, placed on high

Amid the tuneful choir,

With flying fingers touched the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky,

And beavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above,
(Such is the power of mighty love.)
A dragon's fiery form belied the god :
Sublime on radiant spires he rode,

When he to fair Olympia pressed,
And stamped an image of himself, a sovereign of the

world.
The listening crowd admire the lofty sound,
A present deity! they shout around :
A present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound.

With ravished ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,

Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus-ever fair and ever young :

The jolly god in triumph comes ;
Sound the trumpets ; beat the drums :

Flushed with a purple grace,

He shows his honest face: Now give the hautboys breath. He comes ! he comes !

Bacchus, ever fair and young,

Drinking joys did first ordain ;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure :

Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain ;

Fought all his battles o'er again ;
And thrice he routed all his foes; and thrice he slew the slain.

The master saw the madness rise;
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ;
And, while he Heaven and Earth defied,
Changed his hand, and checked his pride.

He chose a mournful Muse,

Soft pity to infuse :
He sung Darius, great and good,

By too severe a fate,
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,

And weltering in his blood;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed ;
On the bare earth exposed he lies,

With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downcast looks the joyless victor sate,

Revolving in his altered soul

The various turns of Chance below;
And, now and then, a sigh he stole,

And tears began to flow.

The mighty master smiled to see
That love was in the next degree;
'Twas but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,

Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble ;
Honour but an empty bubble ;

Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying :

If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, oh think it worth enjoying !

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