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THE MODERN CYMON.-BRYAN WALLER PROCTOR.
"THE LUNATIC, THE LOVER, AND THE POET."
You bid me tell you why I rise
At midnight from my lonely bed;
And talk as though I saw the dead:
I've heard such idle jeers before:
And you shall deem me mad no more.
I was not born of noble race:
I know a peasant was my sire;.
The milk that filled my blood with fire.
About the fields, for many years;
Sprang upward in a rain of tears.
A sudden chance (if chance it were)
Flung me across a marriage train;
Forced onward, while she wept in vain.
My eyes were hot within my head :
(By a brother) towards a brute--and wed.
I sought the hills-I sought the woods;
My heart was bursting in my breast:
And for a time I felt at rest.
The cloudy film that on them lay;
And knew I did behold the day.
Till then, I had but been a beast,
Had let mere savage will prevail ;
(You have some fable, like my tale,)
Then all at once my spirit strong
And forced its furious way along.
I read-I learned-I thought-I loved !
(For love was all the motive then ;) And one who was a friend, gave help,
And I went forth and mixed with men: I talked with him they called her lord;
I talked with her--who was a bride Through fraud and force and rapine; God!
She spoke :-I think I could have died!
I heard her words; I saw her eyes,
Where patient mingled with the sad : I felt her breath upon my cheek;
Its perfume did not drive me mad. I listened dumbly to her wrongs
Imprisoned, struck, despised, deceived; And, in my heart, I heard a voice
Cry out “ Revenge!”-and I believed!
Still time wore on; and efforts vain
Were made to bend the demon's will;
But he was base and cruel still.
The truth of many a hellish crime;
Of half that I could tell in rhyme.
Suffice it; all things have an end.
There is an end where mortal pain
This limit did we now attain;
I did what she could never dare:
And bore her off-to healthier air!
Far-far away! She never knew
That I had blood upon my breast : And yet (although she loved me much,)
I know not why she could not rest. I strove to cheer her love,--to stir
Her pride-but, ah, she had no pride! We loved each other;-yet she pined:
We loved each other;-yet she died!
She died, as fading roses die,
Although the warm and healing air Comes breathing forth, and wraps them round,
She died, despite my love and care.
I placed her gently in the lead ;
I soothed her hair, as it should be ; And drew a promise --what she vowed
Is secret, 'tween my soul and me! She died; and yet I have her still,
Carved, softly, in Carrara stone;
Sitting in silence,-all alone;
Her calm and spotless bosom seeks;
And moves her marble lips-and speaks! And this is why I restless seem;
And this is why I always rise
And look for comfort in the skies,
Awakens from her sleep of stone; And we exchange sweet hopes and thoughts,
In words unto the earth unknown.
Now,-tell me, am I mad ?-Who's he
That stares, and gibbers at me there? I know him : there's his crooked claw;
His glittering eye; his snaky hair; Begone!-he's gone! Excuse me, sir;
These fellows often pinch my brain; (I know full well who spurs them on ;)
But-as you see--they tease in vain.
Through a window, old and broken,
True, the streets were full of people,
Yet within was want and sorrow,
Lest a footstep, drunken, reeling,
But when night came, weak and weary,
Till the moonlight growing brighter,
Through the window, old and broken,
THE LITTLE EVANGELIST.-HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
It was Sunday afternoon. St. Clare was stretched on a bamboo lounge in the verandah, solacing himself with a cigar. Marie lay reclining on a sofa, opposite the window opening on the verandah, closely secluded, under an awning of transparent gauze, from the outrages of mosquitoes, and languidly holding in her hand an elegantly bound prayerbook. She was holding it because it was Sunday, and she
imagined she had been reading it,--though, in fact, she had been only taking a succession of short naps, with it open in her hand.
Miss Ophelia, who, after some rummaging, had hunted up a small Methodist meeting within riding distance, had gone out, with Tom as driver, to attend it; and Eva had accompanied them.
"I say, Augustine," said Marie after dozing a while, “I must send to the city after my old Doctor Posey; I'm sure I've got the complaint of the heart."
“Well; why need you send for him? This doctor that attends Eva seems skillful.”
“I would not trust him in a critical case," said Marie; "and I think I may say mine is becoming so! I've been thinking of it, these two or three nights past: I have such distressing pains, and such strange feelings”
“Oh, Marie, you are blue; I don't believe it's heart complaint.”
“I dare say you don't,” said Marie; “I was prepared to expect that. You can be alarmed enough if Eva coughs, or has the least thing the matter with her; but you never think of me."
"If it's particularly agreeable to you to have heart disease, why, I'll try and maintain you have it," said St. Clare; “I didn't know it was.”
“Well, I only hope you won't be sorry for this, when it's too late,” said Marie; “but, believe it or not, my distress about Eva, and the exertions I have made with that dear child, have developed what I have long suspected.”
What the exertions were which Marie referred to, it would have been difficult to state. St. Clare quietly made this commentary to himself, and went on smoking, like a hard-hearted wretch of a man that he was, till a carriage drove up before the verandah, and Eva and Miss Ophelia alighted.
Miss Ophelia marched straight to her own chamber, to put away her bonnet and shawl, as was always her manner, before she spoke a word on any subject; while Eva came, at St. Claro's call, and was sitting on his knee, and giving him an account of the services they had heard.