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If they were fitted for the purposed cage:
No lady e'er is ogled by a lover,

Horse by a blackleg, broadcloth by a tailor,
Fee by a counsel, felon by a jailor,

As is a slave by his intended bidder.

'Tis pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures; And all are to be sold, if you consider

Their passions, and are dext'rous; some by features Are bought up, others by a warlike leader,

Some by a place-as tend their years or natures;
The most by ready cash-but all have prices,
From crowns to kicks, according to their vices.

The eunuch having eyed them o'er with care,
Turn'd to the merchant, and began to bid
First but for one, and after for the pair;

They haggled, wrangled, swore, too-so they did!
As though they were in a mere Christian fair
Cheapening an ox, an ass, a lamb, or kid;
So that their bargain sounded like a battle
For this superior yoke of human cattle.

At last they settled into simple grumbling,
And pulling out reluctant purses, and
Turning each piece of silver o'er, and tumbling
Some down, and weighing others in their hand,
And by mistake sequins with paras jumbling,
Until the sum was accurately scann'd,

And then the merchant, giving change, and signing
Receipts in full, began to think of dining.

I wonder if his appetite was good?

Or, if it were, if also his digestion?

Methinks at meals some odd thoughts might intrude,
And conscience ask a curious sort of question

About the right divine, how far we should

Sell flesh and blood. When dinner has oppress'd one,

I think it is, perhaps, the gloomiest hour
Which turns up out of the sad twenty-four.


THE heart-which may be broken

happy they!

Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile mould,

The precious porcelain of human clay,

Break with the first fall: they can ne'er behold
The long year link'd with heavy day on day,
And all which must be borne, and never told;
While life's strange principle will often lie
Deepest in those who long the most to die.

"Whom the gods love die young," was said of yore,
And many deaths do they escape by this:


The death of friends, and that which slays even more-
The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is,
Except mere breath; and since the silent shore
Awaits at last even those who longest miss
The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave
Which men weep over may be meant to save.

The gentle pressure, and the thrilling touch,

The least glance better understood than words,
Which still said all, and ne'er could say too much;
A language, too, but like to that of birds,
Known but to them, at least appearing such

As but to lovers a true sense affords;

Sweet playful phrases, which would seem absurd

To those who have ceased to hear such, or ne'er heard :

All these were theirs, for they were children still,
And children still they should have ever been;

They were not made in the real world to fill

A busy character in the dull scene,

But like two beings born from out a rill,

A nymph and her beloved, all unseen
To pass their lives in fountains and on flowers,
And never know the weight of human hours.

Moons changing had roll'd on, and changeless found
Those their bright rise had lighted to such joys
As rarely they beheld throughout their round;
And these were not of the vain kind which cloys,
For theirs were buoyant spirits, never bound

By the mere senses: and that which destroys
Most love-possession, unto them appear'd
A thing which each endearment more endear'd.


THE other evening ('twas on Friday last)—
This is a fact, and no poetic fable-
Just as my great coat was about me cast,
My hat and gloves still lying on the table,
I heard a shot-'twas eight o'clock scarce past-
And, running out as fast as I was able,+

I found the military commandant

Stretch'd in the street, and able scarce to pant.

See Herodotus.

The assassination alluded to took place on the 8th of December, 1820, in the streets of Ravenna, not a hundred paces from the residence of the writer. The circumstances were as described.

Poor fellow for some reason, surely bad,

They had slain him with five slugs; and left him there To perish on the pavement: so I had

Him borne into the house and up the stair,

And stripp'd, and look'd to,-But why should I add
More circumstances? vain was every care;
The man was gone: in some Italian quarrel
Kill'd by five bullets from an old gun-barrel.
I gazed upon him, for I knew him well;

And though I have seen many corpses, never
Saw one, whom such an accident befell,

So calm; though pierced through stomach, heart, and liver, He seem'd to sleep,-for you could scarcely tell (As he bled inwardly, no hideous river

Of gore divulged the cause) that he was dead:
So as I gazed on him, thought or said-

"Can this be death? then what is life or death?

Speak!" but he spoke not: "wake!" but still he slept :"But yesterday, and who had mightier breath?

A thousand warriors by his word were kept In awe he said, as the centurion saith,

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'Go,' and he goeth; come,' and forth he stepp'd.
The trump and bugle, till he spake, were dumb;
And now, nought left him but the muffled drum."
And they who waited once and worshipp'd-they
With their rough faces throng'd about the bed
To gaze once more on the commanding clay,
Which for the last, though not the first, time bled:
And such an end! that he who many a day
Had faced Napoleon's foes until they fled,-
The foremost in the charge or in the sally,
Should now be butcher'd in a civic alley.


AND all our little feuds, at least all mine,
Dear Jeffrey, once my most redoubted foe

(As far as rhyme and criticism combine

To make such puppets of us things below),
Are over: Here's a health to " Auld Lang Syne!"
do not know you, and may never know

Your face-but you have acted on the whole
Most nobly, and I own it from my soul.

And when I use the phrase of "Auld Lang Syne!"
'Tis not address'd to you--the more's the pity

For me, for I would rather take my wine

With you, than aught (save Scott) in your proud city.
But somehow,-it may seem a schoolboy's whine,
And yet I seek not to be grand nor witty,

But I am half a Scot by birth, and bred

A whole one, and my heart flies to my head,

As "Auld Lang Syne" brings Scotland, one and all,
Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and clear


The Dee, the Don, Balgounie's brig's black wall,*
All my boy feelings, all my gentler dreams
Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their own pall,
Like Banquo's offspring :-floating past me seems
My childhood in this childishness of mine:

I care not-'tis a glimpse of "Auld Lang Syne."

And though, as you remember, in a fit

Of wrath and rhyme, when juvenile and curly,
I rail'd at Scots to show my wrath and wit,

Which must be own'd was sensitive and surly,
Yet 'tis in vain such sallies to permit,

They cannot quench young feelings fresh and early;
I" scotch'd, not kill'd," the Scotchman in my blood,
And love the land of "mountain and of flood."


SHE dream'd of being alone on the sea-shore,
Chain'd to a rock; she knew not how, but stir
She could not from the spot, and the loud roar
Grew, and each wave rose roughly, threatening her;
And o'er her upper lip they seem'd to pour,

Until she sobb'd for breath, and soon they were
Foaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and high-
Each broke to drown her, yet she could not die.
Anon-she was released, and then she stray'd
O'er the sharp shingles with her bleeding feet,
And stumbled almost every step she made:

And something roll'd before her in a sheet,
Which she must still pursue howe'er afraid :

'Twas white and indistinct, nor stopp'd to meet
Her glance nor grasp, for still she gazed and grasp'd,

And ran, but it escaped her as she clasp'd.

The dream changed :-in a cave she stood, its walls
Were hung with marble icicles; the work

Of ages on its water-fretted halls,

Where waves might wash, and seals might breed and lurk;

Her hair was dripping, and the very balls

Of her black eyes seem'd turn'd to tears, and mirk
The sharp rocks look'd below each drop they caught,
Which froze to marble as it fell,-she thought.

The brig of Don, near the "auld toun" of Aberdeen, with its one arch, and its black deep salmon stream below, is in my memory as yesterday. I still remember, though perhaps I may misquote, the awful proverb which made me pause to cross it, and yet lean over it with a childish delight, being an only son, at least by the mother's side. The saying as recollected by me was this, but I have never heard or seen it since I was nine years of age :

"Brig of Balgounie, black's your wa',

Wi' a wife's ae son, and a mear's ae foal,
Doun ye shall fa'!"

And wet, and cold, and lifeless at her feet,

Pale as the foam that froth'd on his dead brow,
Which she essay'd in vain to clear (how sweet

Were once her cares, how idle seem'd they now!),
Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the beat

Of his quench'd heart; and the sea dirges low
Rang in her sad ears like a mermaid's song,
And that brief dream appear'd a life too long.


OF poets who come down to us through distance
Of time and tongues, the foster-babes of Fame,
Life seems the smallest portion of existence;
Where twenty ages gather o'er a name,
'Tis as a snowball which derives assistance
From every flake, and yet rolls on the same,
Even till an iceberg it may chance to grow
But, after all, 'tis nothing but cold snow.

And so great names are nothing more than nominal,
And love of glory 's but an airy lust,

Too often in its fury overcoming all

Who would as 'twere identify their dust

From out the wide destruction, which, entombing all,
Leaves nothing till "the coming of the just "-

Save change: I've stood upon Achilles' tomb,

And heard Troy doubted; time will doubt of Rome.
The very generations of the dead

Are swept away, and tomb inherits tomb,

Until the memory of an age is fled,

And, buried, sinks beneath its offspring's doom:

Where are the epitaphs our fathers read?

Save a few glean'd from the sepulchral gloom
Which once-named myriads nameless lie beneath,
And lose their own in universal death.

I canter by the spot each afternoon

Where perish'd in his fame the hero-boy,
Who lived too long for men, but died too soon
For human vanity, the young De Foix !

A broken pillar, not uncouthly hewn,

But which neglect is hastening to destroy,
Records Ravenna's carnage on its face,

While weeds and ordure rankle round the base.*


pass each day where Dante's bones are laid:

A little cupola, more neat than solemn,

Protects his dust, but reverence here is paid

To the bard's tomb, and not the warrior's column:
The time must come, when both alike decay'd,

The chieftain's trophy and the poet's volume,

The pillar which records the battle of Ravenna is about two miles from the city, on the opposite side of the river to the road towards Forli. Gaston de Foix, who gained the battle, was killed in it: there fell on both sides twenty thousand men. The present state of the pillar and its site is described in the text...

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