Imágenes de páginas

“O God! it made me quake to see

Such sense within the slain;
But when I touched the lifeless clay

The blood gushed out amain!
For every clot a burning spot

Was scorching in my brain!

“My head was like an ardent coal,

My heart as solid ice,
My wretched, wretched soul, I knew,

Was at the devil's price :
A dozen times I groaned; the dead

Had never groaned but twice.

“And now from forth the frowning sky,

From heaven's topmost height, I heard a voice—the awful voice

Of the blood-avenging sprite, "Thou guilty man! take up thy dead

And hide it from my sight.'

“I took the dreary body up

And cast it in a stream
A sluggish water, black as ink-

The depth was so extreme.
My gentle boy, remember, this

Is nothing but a dream !

Down went the corpse with a hollow plunge,

And vanished in the pool;
Anon, I cleansed my bloody hands,

And washed my forehead cool,
And sat among the urchins young

That evening in the school!

“O! heaven, to think of their white souls,

And mine so black and grim!
I could not share in childish prayer,

Nor join in evening hymn;
Like a devil of the pit I seemed,

'Mid holy cherubim !


“And peace went with them, one and all,

And each calm pillow spread:
But Guilt was my grim chamberlain,

That lighted me to bed,
And drew my midnight curtains round,

With fingers bloody red!

“All night I lay in agony,

chime to chime, With one besetting horrid hint

That racked me all the timeA mighty yearning like the first

Fierce impulse unto crime !

"One stern tyrannic thought that made

All other thoughts its slave; Stronger and stronger every pulse

Did that temptation craveStill urging me to go and see

The dead man in his grave!

“Heavily I rose up as soon

As light was in the sky,
And sought the black accursed pool

With a wild misgiving eye;
And I saw the dead in the river bed,

For the faithless stream was dry !


“Merrily rose the lark, and shook

The dewdrop from its wing;
But I never marked its morning flight,

I never heard it sing:
For I was stooping once again

Under the horrid thing.


“With breathless speed, like a soul in chase, I took him


and There was no time to dig a grave

Before the day began; In a lonesome wood, with heaps of leaves,

I hid the murdered man.


“Then down I cast me on my face,

And first began to weep,
For I knew my secret then was one

That earth refused to keep,
Or land, or sea, though he should be

Ten thousand fathoms deep!

“So wills the fierce avenging sprite,

Till blood for blood atones;
Ay, though he's buried in a cave

And trodden down with stones,

have rotted off his flesh, The world shall see his bones !

[ocr errors]

“O God, that horrid, horrid dream

Besets me now, awake!
Again-again, with dizzy brain,

The human life I take;
And my red right hand grows raging hot,

Like Cranmer's at the stake.

“And still no peace for the restless clay

Will wave or mould allow : The horrid thing pursues my

soulIt stands before me now !” The fearful boy looked up,

and saw
Huge drops upon his brow.
That very night, while gentle sleep

The urchin's eyelids kissed,
Two stern-faced men set out from Lynn,

Through the cold and heavy mist;
And Eugene Aram walked between,
With gyves upon

his wrists.

[ocr errors]

HOME AND CLASS WORK. Learn the spellings at the top of the page, and write sentences containing these words.

[ocr errors]

PRECOCIOUS INTELLIGENCE. merchant companion thousand presented diverted demanded repeated permission perfume perplexed happened befalling

[ocr errors]

Four merchants were sharers in a sum of a thousand pieces of gold, which they had mixed together, and put into one purse, and they went with it to purchase merchandise, and, finding in their way a beautiful garden, they entered it, and left the purse with a woman who was the keeper of that garden. Having entered, they diverted themselves in a tract of the garden, and ate and drank, and were happy; and one of them said, “I have with me some perfume. Come, let us wash our heads with this running water; and perfume ourselves." Another said, “We want a comb." And another said, “ We will ask the keeper; perhaps she hath with her a comb." And upon this, one of them rose and went to the keeper, and said to her, “Give me the purse." “She replied, “When ye all present yourselves, or thy companions order me to give it thee.” Now his companions were in a place where the keeper could see them, and she could hear their words. And the man said to his companions, “She is not willing to give me aught.” So they said to her, Give him." And when she heard their words, she gave him the purse; and he went forth fleeing from them. Therefore when he had wearied them by the length of his absence, they came to the keeper, and said to her, “Wherefore didst thou not give him the comb?" And she replied, “He demanded of me nothing but the purse,

and I

gave it not to him save with your permission, and he hath departed hence and gone his way.” And when they

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »