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The fingers of a man ;

A solitary hand Along the letters ran,

And traced them like a wand. The monarch saw, and shook,

And bade no more rejoice; All bloodless wax'd his look,

And tremulous his voice.
Let the men of lore appear,

The wisest of the earth,.
And expound the words of fear,

Which mar our royal mirth.'
Chaldea's seers are good,

But here they have no skill ; And the unknown letters stood

Untold and awful still. And Babel's men of age

Are wise and deep in lore; But now they were not sage,

They saw-but knew no more.
A captive in the land,

A stranger and a youth,
He heard the king's command,

He saw that writing's truth.
The lamps around were bright,

The prophecy in view; He read it on that night,

The morrow proved it true. • Belshazzar's grave is made,

His kingdom passed away, He, in the balance weigh’d,

Is light and worthless clay. The shroud his robe of state,

His canopy the stone;
The Mede is at his gate

!
The Persian on his throne!'

Byron.

BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON WE SAT

DOWN AND WEPT.

WE sate down and wept by the waters

Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,

Made Salem's high places his prey;
And ye, oh her desolate daughters !

Were scatter'd all weeping away.
While sadly we gazed on the river

Which rollid on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never

That triumph the stranger shall know !
May this right hand be wither'd for ever,

Ere it string our high harp for the foe!
On the willow that harp is suspended,

Oh Salem! its sounds should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were ended

But left me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me !

Byron.

SOLITUDE.

To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;

This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores

unroll'd.

But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess,
And roam along, the world's tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress !
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less,

Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought, and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude !

Byron.

DESCRIPTION OF A BULL-FIGHT.

The lists are oped, the spacious area clear'd,
Thousands on thousands piled are seated round;
Long ere the first loud trumpet's note is heard,
No vacant space for lated wight is found.

Hush'd is the din of tongues-on gallant steeds,
With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-pois'd

lance,
Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,
And lowly bending to the lists advance;
Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance:
If in the dangerous game they shine to-day,
The crowd's loud shout and ladies' lovely glance,

Best prize of better acts, they bear away, And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain their toils repay.

In costly sheen and gaudy cloak array'd, But all afoot, the light-limb'd Matadore Stands in the centre, eager to invade The lord of lowing herds; but not before The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er, Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed: His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more Can man achieve without the friendly steedAlas! too oft condemn'd for him to bear and bleed.

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Thrice sounds the clarion ; lo! the signal falls,
The den expands, and Expectation mute
Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls.
Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute,
And, wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot,
The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe:
Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit

His first attack, wide waving to and fro
His
angry

red rolls his eye's dilated glow. Sudden he stops; his eye is fix'd : away, Away, thou heedless boy! prepare

the

spear:
Now is thy time to perish, or display,
The skill that yet may check his mad career.
With well-timed croupe

* the nimble coursers veer; On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes ; Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear:

He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes;
Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak

his woes.
Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail,
Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse;
Though man and man's avenging arms assail,
Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force.
One gallant steed is stretch'd a mangled corse;
Another, hideous sight! unseam'd appears,
His gory

chest unveils life's panting source ; Though death-struck, still his feeble frame he rears ; Staggering, but stemming all, his lord unharm’d he bears.

Foil'd, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
Full in the centre stands the bull at bay,
Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast,
And foes disabled in the brutal fray ;
And now the Matadores around him play,
Shake the red cloak, and poise the ready brand :
Once more through all he bursts his thundering way.

Vain rage! the mantle quits the cunning hand, Wraps his fierce eye-'tis past~he sinks upon the sand !

* The croupe is a particular kind of leap taught in the ridingschool.

Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine,
Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies.
He stops he starts disdaining to decline:
Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries,
Without a groan, without a struggle dies.
The decorated car appearson high
The corse is piled-sweet sight for vulgar eyes-

Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy,
Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.

Byron.

THE ATTACK ON CORINTH. LIGHTLY and brightly breaks away The Morning from her mantle grev, And the Noon will look on a sultry day. Hark to the trump, and the drum, And the mournful sound of the barbarous horn, And the flap of the banners, that fit as they're borne, And the neigh of the steed, and the multitude's hum, And the clash, and the shout, “They come! they come!' The horsetails* are pluck'd from the ground, and the

sword From its sheath ; and they form, and but wait for the

word.

The steeds are all bridled, and snort to the rein;
Curved is each neck, and flowing each mane;
White is the foam of their champ on the bit;
The spears are uplifted; the matches are lit;
The cannon are pointed, and ready to roar,
And crush the wall they have crumbled before:
Forms in his phalanx each Janizar;
Alp at their head; his right arm is bare,
So is the blade of his scimitar;
The khan and the pachas are all at their post;
The vizier himself at the head of the host.
When the culverin's signal is fired, then on;
Leave not in Corinth a living one.

.

* The horsetails, fixed upon a lance-a pacha's standard.

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