Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“ With breathless speed, like a soul in chase,

I took him up and ran;
There was no time to diy a grave

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

I hid the murdered inan;

“And all that day I read in school,

But my thought was otherwliere;
As soon as the midday task was done,

In secret I was there;
And a mighty wind had swept the leaves,

And still the corpse was bare.

“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 fatlioms 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,
And years have rotted off his flesh,

The world shall see his bones.

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 soul, –

It stands before me now!"
The fearful boy looked up, and saw

Huge drops upon his brow.

That very night, while gentle sleep

The urchin eyelids kissed,
Two stern-facedi men set out from Lynn,

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

Thom.is Hood.

SHYLOCK TO ANTONIO.

Signor Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances;
Still have I borne it with a patient shrus,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe;
You call me, -misbeliever, cut-throat, dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well, then, it now appears, you need my lielp;
Go to, ther; you come to me, and you say,
Shylock, we would have moneys; you sily so;
You that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me, as you spurn a stranger eur
Over your threshold; moneys is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
Hath a dog money? is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand uncuts ? or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,
With ’bated breath, and whispering lumbleness,
Say this?
Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurned me such a day; another time
You called me-dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys.

Shakspeare.

JOSII BILLINGS ON “GONGS.” Josh Billings relateth his first experience with the gong thusly: I kan never holi eradicate from my memory the sound ov the first gong I ever herd. I was settin on the frunt step of a tavurn in the sity of Bufferlow, pensively smokin. The sun was goin to bed, and the hevins fur and near was a blushin at the performance. The Ery Kanal with its golden waters was on its way to Albany, and I was perusin the line botes a floatin by, and thinking of Italy (wher I uste to live) and gondolers and gallus wimmin. Mi entire sole, was, as it were, in a swet-i wanted to klimb-i felt grate, i aktually gru. There are things in this life not tu be trilled with: there are times when a man brakes luce from hisself, when he sees spiruts, or when he kin almost tuch the mune, and feels az if he could

fil both hans with the stars of bevin, and almost swear he was a bank president,—that's what ailed me.

But the koarse of tru luv never did run smuthe, (this is Shakespeare's opinyun tu,-I and he often thunk thru one quil,)—jist az I waz duin mi best,—dummer, dummer, spat, bang, beller, crash, roar, jam, dummer, rip, whang, roar, menjus, rally, jump, I struck the centre of the sidewalk, with anuther I klared the gutter, and with anuther I struck the middle of the street, snortin like an injun pony at a band uv musick. I gazed in despair at the tavurn, and mi heart was swelled up as big as a outdore uven, my teeth were as loose as a string of bedes. I thot all the crockery in the tavurn had fell down. I thot of fenomonons. I thot of Gabril and hiz horn. I was jist on the pint of thinkin somethin else when the landlord kum to the front step uy the tavurn, holdin by a string the bottom of a brass kittle. He kawled me gentli with his hand. I went slola and slola up to him, he kammed my fearz, he said it was a gong. I saw the kussed thing. He said supper was reddy. H, G. Shau.

OUT IN THE STREETS.

The light is shining through the window-pano;

It is a laughing group that side the glass;-. Within, all light; without, pitch-dark, and rain; I see, but feel no pleasure as I

pass, Out in the streets.

All these have homes, and hope, and light, and cheer,

And those around who love them. Ah! for me,
Who have no home, but wander sadly here,
Alone with night and storm and misery,

Out in the streets.

The rain soaks through my clothing to the skin;

So let it. Curses on that cheery light! There is no light with me, and shame, and sin; I wander iu the night and of the night,

Out in the streets.

You who betrayed me with a loving kiss,

Whose very touch could thrill me through and throughWhen you first sought me, did you think of this? My curse- -But why waste time in cursing you,

Out in the streets ?

You are beyond my hatred now. You stand

Above reproach; you know no wrong nor guile:
Foremost among the worthies of the land,
You are all good, and I a wretch all vile,

Out in the streets,

You have a daughter, young and innocent.

You love her, doubtless. I was pure as she,
Before my heart to be your lackey went.
God guard her! never let her roam like me,

Out in the streets.

How the cold rain benumbs my weary limbs!

What makes the pavement heave? Ah! wet and chill, I hear the little children singing hymns In the village church.-how peaceful, now, and still,

Out in the streets!

But why this vision of my early days?

Why comes the church-door in the public way? Hence with this mocking sound of prayer and Draisel

ORATION AGAINST CATILINE.

How long, o Catiline, wilt thou abuse our patience ? IIow long shalt thou baffle justice in thy mad career ? To what extreine wilt thou carry thy audacity ? Art thou nothing daunted by the nightly watch, posted to secure the Palatium? Nothing, by the city guards ? Nothing, by the rally of all good citizens ? Nothing, by the assembling of the Senate in this fortified place? Nothing, by the averted looks of all here present? Seest thou not that all thy plots are exposed ? that thy wretched conspiracy is laid bare to every man's knowledge, here in the Senate? that we are well aware of thy proceedings of last night; of the night before ;—the place of meeting, the company convoked, the measures concerted ? Alas, the times! Alas, the public morals! The Senate understands all this. The Consul sees it. Yet the traitor lives! Lives ? Ay, truly, and confronts us here in council, takes part in our deliberations, and, with his measuring eye, marks out each man of us for slaughter. And we, all this while, strenuous that we are, think we have amply discharged our duty to the State, if we but shun this madman's sword and fury.

Long since, O Catiline, ought the Consul to bave ordered thee to execution, and brought upon thy own head the ruin thou hast been meditating against others. There was that virtue once in Rome, that a wicked citizen was held more execrable than the deadliest foe. We have a law still, Catiline, for thee. Think not that we are powerless, because forbearing. We have a decree,—though it rests among our archives like a sword in its scabbard,

decree by which thy life would be made to pay the

« ZurückWeiter »