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Few and short were the prayers we said,

And we spoke not a word of sorrow:
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,

And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,

And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
The foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,

And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,

And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on,

In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,

When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun

That the foe was suddenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,

From the field of his fame fresh and gory:
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory!



The success of the ancient Egyptians in pres

ass of the ancient Egyptians in preserving their dead by the operation of embalming, was surprisingly great. For a proof of this we have only to turn to the fact of our viewing at this day the bodies of persons who lived three thousand years since. This ingenious people applied the powers of art to the purposes of their religion, and did all they could to keep the human frame entire after death, fondly thinking that if it proved a fit dwelling, its former inhabitant, the soul, would return at some distant period, and animate it afresh, even upon earth.

And thou hast walked about, (how strange a story!)

In Thebes's street three thousand years ago;
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dummy,

Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Thou’rt standing on thy legs above ground, Mummy!

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon,
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
But with thy bones, and flesh, and limbs, and features.

Tell us, for doubtless thou canst recollect,

To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame :
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect

Of either pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?
Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden,

By oath, to tell the mysteries of thy trade;
Then say what secret melody was hidden

In Memnon's statue which at sun-rise played ? Perhaps thou wert a priest, and hast been dealing In human blood, and horrors past revealing. Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,

Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharoah, glass to glass ;
Or dropped a half-penny in Homer's hat,

Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication.
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,

Has any Roman soldier mauled or knuckled,
For thou wert dead and buried, and embalmed,

Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled?
Antiquity appears to have begun,
Long after thy primeval race was run.
Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue

Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
How the world looked when it was fresh and young,

And the great Deluge still had left it green;
Or was it then so old, that History's pages
Contained no record of its early ages!
Still silent, incommunicative elf!

Art sworn to secresy? then keep thy vows;
But pry’thee tell us something of thyself,—

Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house! Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen, what strange adventures numbered? Since first thy form was in this box extended,

We have, above-ground, seen some strange mutations; The Roman empire has begun and ended,

New worlds have risen, we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.

Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,

When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
Marched armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,

O’erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
And shook the Pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder?

If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,

The nature of thy private life unfold;
A heart has throbbed beneath that leathern breast,

And tears adown thy dusty cheeks have rolled.
Have children climbed those knees, and kissed that face?
What was thy name and station, age and race ?

Statue of flesh-Immortal of the dead!

Imperishable type of evanescence! Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,

And standest undecayed within our presence, Thou wilt hear nothing till the Judgment-morning, When the great Trump shall thrill thee with its warning!

Why should this worthless tegument endure,

If its undying guest be lost for ever?
Oh let us keep the soul embalmed and pure

In living virtue; that, when both must sever,
Although corruption may our frame consume,
Th’immortal spirit in the skies may bloom!



CHILD of the latter days, thy words have broken

A spell that long has bound these lungs of clay,
For since this smoke-dried tongue of mine hath spoken,

Three thousand tedious years have rolled away.
Unswathed at length, I “stand at ease” before ye,
List, then, oh! list, while I unfold my story.

Thebes was my birth-place-an unrivalled city,

With many gates, but here I might declare
Some strange plain truths, except that it were pity

To blow a poet's fabric into air;
Oh! I could read you quite a Theban lecture,
And give a deadly finish to conjecture.

But then you would not have me throw discredit

On grave historians-or on him who sung
THE ILIAD-true it is I never read it,

But heard it read when I was very young;
An old blind minstrel, for a trifling profit,
Recited parts- I think the author of it.
All that I know about the town of HOMER,

Is, that they scarce would own him in his day
Were glad, too, when he proudly turned a roamer,

Because by this they saved their parish-pay. His townsmen would have been ashamed to flout him, Had they foreseen the fuss since made about him. One blunder I can fairly set at rest,

He says that men were once more big and bony
Than now, which is a bouncer at the best;

I'll just refer you to our friend Belzoni,
Near seven feet high! in sooth a lofty figure!
Now look at me, and tell me am I bigger?
Not half the size: but then I'm sadly dwindled ;

Three thousand years, with that embalming glue, Have made a serious difference, and have swindled

My face of all its beauty there were few Egyptian youths more gay,-behold the sequel, Nay, smile not, you and I may soon be equal ! For this lean hand did one day hurl the lance

With mortal aim-this light fantastic toe
Threaded the mystic mazes of the dance:

This heart hath throbbed at tales of love and wo,
These shreds of raven hair once set the fashion,
This withered form inspired the tender passion.
In vain! the skilful hand, and feelings warm,

The foot that figured in the bright quadrille,
The palm of genius and the manly form,

All bowed at once to death's mysterious will, Who sealed me up where mummies sound are sleeping, In cere-cloth, and in tolerable keeping. Where cows and monkeys squat in rich brocade,

And well-dressed crocodiles in painted cases, Rats, bats, and owls, and cats in masquerade,

With scarlet flounces and with varnished faces; Men, birds, brutes, reptiles, fish, all crammed together, With ladies that might pass for well-tanned leather.

Where Rameses and Sabacon lie down,

And splendid Psammis in his hide of crust;
Princes and heroes, men of high renown,

Who in their day kicked up a mighty dust,-
Their swarthy Mummies kicked up dust in numbers,
When huge Belzoni came to scare their slumbers!
Who'd think these rusty hams of mine were seated

At Dido's table, when the wond'rous tale
Of “ Juno's hatred” was so well repeated ?

And ever and anon the Queen turned pale ; Meanwhile the brilliant gas-lights, hung above her, Threw a wild glare upon her shipwrecked lover. Aye, gas-lights! mock me not; we men of yore

Were versed in all the knowledge you can mention;
Who hath not heard of Egypt's peerless lore?

Her patient toil? acuteness of invention?
Survey the proofs,ếour Pyramids are thriving,
Old Memnon still looks young, and I'm surviving.
A land in arts and sciences prolific,

On blocks gigantic building up her fame!
Crowded with signs, and letters hieroglyphic,

Temples and obelisks her skill proclaim !
Yet, though her art and toil unearthly seem,
Those blocks were brought on RAIL-ROADS and by STEAM!
How, when, and why, our people came to rear

The Pyramid of Cheops, mighty pile!
This and the other secrets thou shalt hear;

I will unfold, if thou wilt stay awhile,
The hist’ry of the Sphinx, and who began it,
Our mystic marks, and monsters made of granite.
Well, then, in grievous times, when King Cephrenes-

But, ah! what's this?—the shades of bards and kings
Press on my lips their fingers! What they mean is,

I am not to reveal these hidden things.
Mortal, farewell! Till Science' self unbind them,
Men must e'en take these secrets as they find them.


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