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(Sterne.) SAT down close to my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the captive in his dungeon, as if I looked through the twilight of his grated door to
take his picture. I beheld his body half wasted away by long expectation, and felt what a sickness of the heart it is which arises from hope deferred. On looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish; in thirty years the breeze had not once fanned his veins ; he had seen no sun, no moon, in all that time, nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lattice; his children-but here my heart began to bleed, and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait. He was sitting on the ground, in the farthest corner of his dungeon, upon a little straw, which was alternately his chair and bed; a little calendar of sticks lay at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there; he had one of those little sticks in his hand, and with a rusty nail he was etching another day of misery to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then cast it down, shook his head, and went on with his work of affliction. I heard the chains upon his legs as he turned his body to lay the little stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep sigh ; I saw the iron enter into his soul. I burst into tears; I could not sustain the picture of confinement that my fancy had drawn.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting North
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
O' clod or stane,
There in thy scanty mantle clad,
In humble guise ;
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless maid,
And guileless trust,
Low i' the dust.