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“ With breathless speed, like a soul in chase,
I took him up and ran,-
Before the day began :
I hid the murdered man !
But my thought was other where;
In secret I was there :
And still the corse was bare !
And first began to weep,
That earth refused to keep:
Ten thousand fathoms deep.
Till blood for blood atones !
And trodden down with stones,
The world shall see his bones!
Besets me now awake!
The human life I take;
Like Cranmer's at the stake.
Will wave or mould allow ;
It stands before me now !”
Huge drops upon his brow !
That very night, while gentle sleep
The urchin eyelids kissed,
Through the cold and heavy mist;
With gyves upon his wrist.
The shades of night were falling fast,
His brow was sad ; his eye beneath
In happy homes he saw the light
“ Try not the Pass !” the old man said, “ Dark lowers the tempest overhead, The roaring torrent is deep and wide !” And loud that clarion voice replied,
“O stay,” the maiden said, “and rest
“ Beware the pine-tree's withered branch !
At break of day, as heavenward
A traveller, by the faithful hound,
There, in the twilight cold and gray,
In the same hour the breath of life receiving,
But at length
On the hill-side, where still their cottage stands, ('Tis near the upper falls in Lauterbrounn; For there I sheltered now, their frugal hearth Blazing with mountain-pine when I appeared, And there, as round they sate, I heard their story.) On the hill-side, among the cataracts, In happy ignorance the children played ; Alike unconscious, through their cloudless day, Of what they had and had not; everywhere Gathering rock-flowers; or, with their utmost might, Loosening the fragment from the precipice, And, as it tumbled, listening for the plunge ;
Yet, as by instinct, at the 'customed hour
Once the hour was past;
With a scream, Such as an eagle sends forth when he soars, A scream that through the wild scatters dismay, The idiot boy looked up into the sky, And leaped and laughed aloud, and leaped again ; As if he wished to follow in its flight Something just gone, and gone from earth to heaven : While he, whose every gesture, every look Went to the heart, for from the heart it came, He who nor spoke nor heard- all things to him, Day after day, as silent as the grave, (To him unknown the melody of birds, Of waters—and the voice that should have soothed His infant sorrows, singing him to sleep), Fled to her mantle as for refuge there, And, as at once o'ercome with fear and grief, Covered his head and wept. A dreadful thought Flashed through her brain. “Has not some bird of prey, Thirsting to dip his beak in innocent blood — It must, it must be so !” And so it was.
There was an Eagle that had long acquired