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But hark! the constant ring
First gash between
And last, that levels king or queen Of ancient mountain wood.
Dost note the cabin by yon silent dell?
Hingeless the rude misshapen door;
Rifted the wall,-chill strikes the floor,
Of shattered shingles goodly store;
And she-the widow'd dame! Daughter of wo, thy wish is wonThis morn betimes thy task is done; Tearless to-night thy setting sun; Mercy awards thy claim.
A youthful band, brave hearts and true,
To the lone dweller's hut they speed,
To pour the balm,
Want's terror calm,
And heal the broken-hearted.
Genius of Freedom, hail! thrice hail!
Thy throne yon "Hanging Rock,"
And when the mortal strife was spent,
And traced above the towering pine,
O'er that high arch,
And stemmed the foeman's brunt.
But winter's snow-wreathed chain is broken!
And fleet the rush
Of freshet flush,
While stream and rill,
From cliff and hill,
Foaming and swelling as they sweep along
Wakes now the planter's annual toil,
Subduing glebe and tide;
Cast on the waters, where ye may,
Seed time and harvest shall not fail;
And steer before the wind:
And you, hale sons of vigorous sires,
"Emblems of household thrift,"-a spoon and spinning-wheel, which are still quite distinct to the observation of any adventurous searcher after the marvellous; and a sight of them will well repay the risk of a broken neck. The "Hanging Rock" in question,-as Western Virginia, generally, and Hampshire county, particularly, abound in that specimen of the picturesque,—is the one nearly facing Blue's Ferry, South Branch of the Potomac, commonly styled "Earsom's Hanging Rock."
Enjoy serene the well-earned meed
Who led, who followed, one by one,
Each field a monument,
How deep they furrowed, wide they cleared,
Such the life-stirring, genial ways
Gaily the circling Seasons run,
'Mid varying works and quick;
Thus hand in hand go care and mirth,
Their blended offerings rise;
VINCENZIO THE VENETIAN.
(Concluded from page 187.)
BEFORE reaching his thirtieth year, man desires to grow old, but that age once attained, he would stay the march of time. An attentive observer would have remarked that nothing was wanting to Vincenzio but the power of suspending the progress of the years, for every thing else was possible to him.
At the period of our story the nobles of Venice devoted themselves to commerce, and the world was tributary to them. Vincenzio held the first rank among these princely merchants. His coffers overflowed with gold, his warehouses were piled with rich fabrics, while the sea was covered with his ships. His library, his jewels, his antiques, and his paintings, were esteemed unique of their kind. He was thirty-five and had not yet married,-though why should he entangle himself in the fetters of marriage when the most famous beauties of Italy regarded it as an honor to behold him at their feet? Rich in health and happiness, what could he desire? If he played, fortune abandoned his antagonists, and their gold seemed to fall of its own accord into his coffers.
It must not, however, be supposed that he sank into the arms of luxury and inaction. Throughout the wars that Venice maintained with the Ottomans, no knight had fought more valiantly for the cross against the crescent.
The passions of our hero, who had now attained the age of maturity, had always the impetuosity of a volcano; but he knew how, at will, to arrest their eruption. Ambition opened before him a new and boundless career. He was soon appointed a member of the Council of the Five; and next, shortly after, he was even elected to the dignity of Doge. But having never been able to endure marriage, he declined even the honor of an union with the State, whatever taste he might have for its daughters.
It was a subject of great astonishment to all the world, the perseverance of Vincenzio in cultivating Chess. His emissaries traversed all the countries of the globe to find players worthy of contending with him. In his spacious palace there was a gallery which bore the name of the Hall of Chess, and which was consecrated exclusively to that game. There were to be seen a hundred tables of marble around which sat and played the first players of the world. His gates were open to the most skilful, but never
could Vincenzio find his master, none of these players having, like him, so great an interest in penetrating all the depths of the game. The skill of our Venetian was beyond all conception. He knew openings and stratagems of which we have now not the slightest idea. Devoted without relaxation to his favorite study, and endowed with an indefatigable patience, he appeared to have exhausted the science of the chess-board; and what was still more surprising was that he could never weary of it; but no one could guess the motives of so devoted a perseverance. Alas, the hour was again at hand of the second visit of Astaroth!
"I have initiated myself in all the secrets of the game,” said Vincenzio with a sigh, on a beautiful summer's night when, in his gondola, he was cleaving the blue waves of the Adriatic. "But human science cannot struggle against a superhuman intelligence!" and he again sighed deeply. Was it repentance that impelled those sighs? No-they had their source in the bitter regret of his impotence.
"Astaroth has certainly," said Vincenzio, "honorably fulfilled all his engagements. My slightest desire is anticipated, and along every path I meet with no greater difficulties than just suffice to give some interest to success. What advantage then can he dexive from this contract? Did not my mode of life place me under his sway before as well as after this accursed compact? Doubtless but the mercy of the Saviour is infinite; perhaps it may yet deign to redeem me!-inexplicable mystery! Should I quit Venice, would Astaroth follow me? Certainly, and it is now too late to dream of flight-my lot is cast! Is it not already sufficiently evident that nothing is impossible to him, and that he has the power of transporting himself wherever he pleases! Nothing, then, remains but to prepare, with the courage of despair, for our approaching interview!"
"To-morrow I will be with you!" murmured a voice in Vincenzio's ear; and those acccents, too well known, pierced his heart like the cold steel of a dagger. Vincenzio shuddered as he rose, as if he had experienced the convulsion of an electric shock; but he was alone in his gondola on the deep blue waters.
On the morrow Astaroth was faithful to the appointment. During the twenty years that had elapsed no change was apparent in his person; not a single wrinkle furrowed his brow, his eye had lost none of its brilliancy, nor was his vigor in the least degree diminished. The same sardonic smile played over his pale lips.
As for Vincenzio, the Senator, he was then forty years of age. His features were entirely developed, and a few gray hairs only began to whiten over his brow. But, incomprehensible madness of a mortal! Vincenzio saluted the demon with the same boldness