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Ah! whence is that flame which now bursts on his eye ?
Ah! what is that sound which now larums his ear? 'Tis the lightning's red glare, painting wrath on the sky !
'Tis the crashing of thunders, the groan of the sphere! 5 He springs from his hammock,—he flies to the deck,
Amazement confronts him with images dire,
The masts fly in splinters,—the shrouds are on fire!
In vain the lost wretch calls on mercy to save ;
And the death angel flaps his broad wing o'er the wave.
In darkness dissolves the gay frost-work of bliss ; 15 Where now is the picture that fancy touched bright,
Thy parents' fond pressure, and love's honied kiss ?
Shall home, love, or kindred, thy wishes repay ;
Or redeem form or fame from the merciless surge; But the white foam of waves shall thy winding-sheet be,
And winds, in the midnight of winter, thy dirge ! 25 On a bed of green sea-flower thy limbs shall be laid ;
Around thy white bones the rerl coral shall grow;
And every part suit to thy mansion below.
Days, months, years, and ages, shall circle away, 30 And still the vast waters above thee shall roll: Earth loses thy pattern for ever and aye;
O sailor boy! sailor boy! peace to thy soul!
LESSON CCXXVI.- GUSTAVUS VASA AND CRISTIERN.
Of guarded majesty ; where justice waits
And blast rebellion ?
And rights! O patience ! Rights! what rights, thou tyrant ?
Thou wert the lord, the monarch of the world, 10 Too narrow for thy claim. But if thou thinkist
That crowns are vilely propertied, like coin,
That empire is of titled birth or blood ; 15 That nature, in the proud behalf of one,
Shall disenfranchise all her lordly race,
Here know me for thy king! Howe'er be told. 20 Not claim hereditary, not the trust
Of frank election,
For lawless power, wed faith to violation, 25 On reason build misrule, or justly bind
Allegiance to injustice. Tyranny
But an usurper. But for thee, for thee
Dashed safety from thy bleak, unsocial side,
Crist. Licentious traitor! thou canst talk it largely
The poise of battle lay, and arms of force
Like raw, disjointed, mustering feeble wrath, 40 A war of waters, borne against a rock
Of our firm continent, to fume, and chafe,
Gust. Mistaken man!
For though the structure of a tyrant's throne
And secret curses, sap its mouldering base, 5 And steal the pillars of allegiance from it;
Then let a single arm but dare the sway,
Crist. Profane, and alien to the love of Heaven !
Thou art at enmity with grace, cast out,
Shorn from our holy church, and offered up 15 As sacred to perdition ?
Gust. Yes, I know,
It then becomes a tool for crafty knaves
That Heaven itself had barred against the lusts
That bleat upon the mountain, are the words 25 Or Christian meekness! mission all divine !
The law of love, sole mandate. But your gall,
Ye hallowed men, 30 In whom vice sanctifies, whose precepts teach
Zeal without truth, religion without virtue ;
When vice turns holy, puts religion on, 35 Assumes the robe pontifical, the eye
Of saintly elevation, blesseth sin,
Crist. No more of this !
And hold thy motions in the sphere of duty,
Gúst. Imperial spoiler!
Give me the fathers of ten thousand orphans,
Both mine and every Swede's, whose patriot breast 5 Bleeds in his country's woundings. Oh! thou canst not!
Thou hast outsinned all reckoning! Give me, then,
Crist. Yes, on terms
Gust. Ha! with thee!
Although it wring for 't, though blood drop for tears, 15 And at the sight my straining eyes dart forth,
They both shall perish first !
LESSON CCXXVII.--TAMERLANE AND BAJAZET.-Rowe.
[Bajazet and other Turkish prisoners in chains, under guard.]
Tam. When I survey the ruins of this field,
And helpless orphans has thy battle made,
I, in behalf of heaven and earth,
Baj. Make thy demand of those that own thy power!
Know, I am still beyond it; and though fortune 10 Has stript me of the train and pomp of greatness, That outside of a king; yet still
soul, Fixed high, and of itself alone dependent, Is ever free and royal; and even now,
As at the head of battle, does defy thee.
And dare thee to the use of 't. This vile speeching,
Be it as it may.
When, on their borders neighboring princes met,
The sanctity of leagues so often sworn to.
Will, with impunity let pass that breach
Baj. Thou pedant talker ! ha! art thou a king
I hate the Greek, (perdition on his name !)
Tam. Causeless to hate, is not of human kind:
And desert wilds, tears not the fearful traveller,
Baj. Can a king want a cause, when empire bids
The noble appetite which will be satisfied,
Tam. Henceforth, I will not wonder we were foes,
Baj. The noble fire, that warms me, does indeed
Tam. No: for I think like a man,
Now, conscious of her error, she disclaims thee,
Honor and glory too have been my aim;
Which furious war wears in its bloody front,
My trophies on the blessings of mankind :
With ruin of the people whom I sway,
Baj. Confusion! wouldst thou rob me of my glory?