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Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow:
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
And we far away on the billow!
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
That the foe was suddenly firing.
From the field of his fame fresh and gory:
ADDRESS TO AN EGYPTIAN MUMMY.
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;
And time had not begun to overthrow
Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon,
Tell us, for doubtless thou canst recollect,
To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame :
Of either pyramid that bears his name?
By oath, to tell the mysteries of thy trade;
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 doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Has any Roman soldier mauled or knuckled,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled?
Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
And the great Deluge still had left it green;
Art sworn to secresy? then keep thy vows;
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,
O’erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,
The nature of thy private life unfold;
And tears adown thy dusty cheeks have rolled.
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?
In living virtue; that, when both must sever,
THE ANSWER OF THE EGYPTIAN MUMMY.
CHILD of the latter days, thy words have broken
A spell that long has bound these lungs of clay,
Three thousand tedious years have rolled away.
Thebes was my birth-place-an unrivalled city,
With many gates, but here I might declare
To blow a poet's fabric into air;
But then you would not have me throw discredit
On grave historians-or on him who sung
But heard it read when I was very young;
Is, that they scarce would own him in his day
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
I'll just refer you to our friend Belzoni,
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
This heart hath throbbed at tales of love and wo,
The foot that figured in the bright quadrille,
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;
Who in their day kicked up a mighty dust,-
At Dido's table, when the wond'rous tale
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;
Her patient toil? acuteness of invention?
On blocks gigantic building up her fame!
Temples and obelisks her skill proclaim !
The Pyramid of Cheops, mighty pile!
I will unfold, if thou wilt stay awhile,
But, ah! what's this?—the shades of bards and kings
I am not to reveal these hidden things.