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It 's pretty sport,--suppose we take
A round or two for fun !
If ever they should turn me out
When I have better grown,
Now hang me, but I mean to have
A treadmill of my own!
LESSON XLVI.—DARKNESS.—Byron. [The following piece is designed for practice in very slow ' utter
The tone of horror, which pervades the whole description, besides being very low in pitch, is always slow, to extreme. The chief object in view, in such exercises, is to obtain a perfect com. mand of the rate of utterance; so as to give, when necessary, all the effect of solemnity, awe, and even horror, which characterize the reading of such passages as abound in the 'Paradise Lost,' and in the Night Thoughts.' The least acceleration of voice, in such cases, destroys the effect of the reading, and impairs the power of the pa
etry, on the ear and the heart.]
 I had a dream, which was not all a dream.-
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
5 Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air ;
Morn came, and went,--and came, and brought no day:
And men forgot their passions, in the dread
Of this their desolation ; and all hearts
Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light:
10 And they did live by watch-fires; and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings, the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,-
Were burnt for beacons ; cities were consumed ;
And men were gathered round their blazing homes, 15 To look once more into each other's face :
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes and their mountain torch.
A fearful hope was all the world contained :
Forests were set on fire ; but, hour by hour, 20 They fell and faded; and the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crash,--and all was black.
The brows of men, by the despairing light,
Wore an une
nearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them. Some lay down,
25 And hid their eyes, and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled •
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world ; and then again,
With curses, cast them down upon the dust, 5 And gnashed their teeth and howled. The wild birds
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings : the wildest birds
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawled 10 And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless,--they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again :-a meal was bought
With blood, and each sat sullenly apart,
15 Gorging himself in gloom ; no love was left:
All earth was but one thought,--and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured ;
20 Even dogs assailed their masters,--all, save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds, and beasts, and famished men, at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, 25 But, with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick, desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress-he died.
The crowd was famished by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
30 And they were enemies; they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place,
Where had been heaped a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they raked up,
And, shivering, scraped, with their cold, skeleton hands, 35 The feeble ashes; and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame,
Which was a mockery ; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects,--saw, and shrieked, and died, 40 Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written fiend. The world was void ;
The populous and the powerful was a lump-
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless,
A lump of death,--a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean, all stood still;
5 And nothing stirred within their silent depths :
Ships, sailorless, lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropped,
They slept on the abyss without a surge :
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave; 10 The moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air ;
And the clouds perished : Darkness had no need
Of aid from them; she was the universe.
-Derzhavin, translated by
Bowring. [The piece which follows, is designed for practice in the very slow' rate which characterizes deep awe. Reverence, solemnity, and ame-but especially the last,-incline to extreme slowness, great prolongation of single sounds, and remarkably long pauses. The tone of these emotions is deep, although not so peculiarly low, as that which was exemplified in the preceding lesson. Length of vowel sounds, and length of pauses, are the main objects of practice, in
such exercises.) 
O Thou eternal One! whose presence bright
All space doth occupy, all motion guide:
Unchanged through time's all-devastating flight;
Thou only God! There is no God beside ! • 5 Being above all beings! Mighty One!
Whom none can comprehend, and none explore ;
Who fill'st existence with Thyself alone :
Embracing all,—supporting,—ruling o'er,
Being whom we call God, and know no more! 10 In its sublime research, philosophy
May measure out the ocean-deep-may count
The sands or the sun's rays;—but, God! for Thee
There is no weight nor measure:-none can mount
Up to Thy mysteries. Reason's brightest spark, 15
Though kindled by Thy light, in vain would try
To trace Thy counsels, infinite and dark;
And thought is lost ere thought can soar so high,
Even like past moments in eternity.
Thou from primeval nothingness didst call
First chaos, then existence :-Lord! on Thee
Eternity had its foundation ;-all
Sprung forth from Thee :--of light, joy, harmony,
Sole origin :- all life, all beauty Thine.
Thy word created all, and doth create;
Thy splendor fills all space with rays divine.
Thou art, and wert, and shalt be! Glorious! Great!
Light-giving, life-sustaining Potentate!
Thy chains the unmeasured universe surround,
Upheld by Thee, by Thee inspired with breath!
Thou the beginning with the end hast bound,
And beautifully mingled life and death!
As sparks mount upwards from the fiery blaze,
So suns are born, so worlds sprung forth from Thep •
And as the spangles in the sunny rays
Shine round the silver
Of heaven's bright army glitters in Thy praise.
A million torches lighted by Thy hand,
Wander, unwearied, through the blue abyss :
They own Thy power, accomplish Thy command,
All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss.
What shall we call them? Piles of crystal light,-
A glorious company of golden streams,
Lamps of celestial ether burning bright,-
Suns lighting systems with their joyous beams ?
But Thou to thes? art as the noon to night.
Yes! as a drop of water in the sea,
All this magnificence in Thee is lost :-
What are ten thousand worlds compared to Thee ?
And what am I then? Heaven's unnumbered host,
Though multiplied by myriads, and arrayed
In all the glory of sublimest thought,
Is but an atom in the balance, weighed
Against Thy greatness, is a cipher brought
Against infinity! Oh! what am I then? Nought !
Nought! yet the effluence of Thy light divine,
Pervading worlds, hath reached my bosom too;
Yes! in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine,
As shines the sunbeam in a drop of dew.
Nought ! yet I live, and on hope's pinions fly
Eager towards Thy presence ; for in Thee
I live, and breathe, and dwell; aspiring high,
Even to the throne of Thy divinity.
I am, 0 God! and surely Thou must be !
Thou art! directing, guiding all, Thou art !
Direct my understanding, then, to Thee;
Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart:
Though but an atom ’midst immensity,
Still I am something, fashioned by Thy hand!
I hold a middle rank 'twixt heaven and earth,
On the last verge of mortal being stand,
Close to the realms where angels have their birth,
Just on the boundaries of the spirit-land!
The chain of being is complete in me:
In me is matter's last gradation lost;
And the next step is spirit,-Deity!
I can command the lightning, and am dust!
A monarch, and a slave; a worm, a god!
Whence came I here? and how so marvellously
Constructed and conceived ? Unknown - This clod
Lives surely through some higher energy;
For from itself alone it could not be !
Creator, yes! Thy wisdom and Thy word
Created me! Thou source of life and good!
Thou spirit of my spirit, and my Lord !
Thy light, Thy love, in their bright plenitude
Filled me with an immortal soul, to spring
Over the abyss of death, and bade it wear
The garments of eternal day, and wing
Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere,
Even to its source,-to Thee, its Author there.
Oh! thoughts ineffable! Oh! visions blest!
Though worthless our conceptions all of Thee,
Yet shall Thy shadowed image fill our breast,
And waft its homage to Thy Deity.
God! thus alone my lonely thoughts can soar;
Thus seek Thy presence, Being wise and good !
'Midst Thy vast works admire, obey, adore;
And when the tongue is eloquent no more,
The soul shall speak in tears of gratitude.