Imágenes de páginas

The blood gushed out amain! For every clot a burning spot

Was scorching in my brain !

My head was like an ardent coal,

My heart as solid ice;
My wretched, wretched soul, I knew,

Was at the Devil's price.
A dozen times I groaned,

the dead Had never groaned but twice !

“And now, from forth the frowning sky,

From the heaven's topmost height, I heard a voice, the awful voice

Of the blood-avenging sprite: • Thou guilty man! take up thy dead,

And hide it from my sight!'

“And I took the dreary body up,

And cast it in a stream,
The sluggish water, black as ink,

The depth was so extreme:
My gentle boy, remember! this

Is nothing but a dream!

Down went the corse with a hollow plunge,

And vanished in the pool;
Anon I cleansed my bloody hands,

And washed my forehead cool,
And sat among the urchins young,

That evening in the school.

“O Heaven! to think of their white souls,

And mine so black and grim!
I could not share in childish prayer,

Nor join in evening hymn;
Like a devil of the pit I seemed,

Mid holy cherubim !

[ocr errors]

' And peace went with them, one and all,

And each calm pillow spread;
But Guilt was my grim chamberlain,

That lighted me to bed,
And drew my midnight curtains round

With fingers bloody red !

“All night I lay in agony,

In anguish dark and deep;
My fevered eyes I dared not close,

But stared aghast at Sleep;
For Sin had rendered unto her

The keys of hell to keep !

“ All night I lay in agony,

From weary chime to chime; With one besetting horrid hint,

That racked me all the time, A mighty yearning, like the first

Fierce impulse unto crime,

One stern tyrannic thought, that made

All other thoughts its slave!

Stronger and stronger every pulse

Did that temptation crave, Still urging me to go and see

The dead man in his grave!

“ Heavily I rose up, as soon

As light was in the sky,
And sought the black accurséd pool

With a wild misgiving eye;
And I saw the dead in the river-bed,

For the faithless stream was dry.

“Merrily rose the lark, and shook

The dew-drop from its wing;
But I never marked its morning flight,

I never heard it sing;
For I was stooping once again

Under the horrid thing. “ With breathless speed, like a soul in chase,

I took him up and ran ;
There was no time to dig a grave

Before the day began,
In a lonesome wood, with heaps of leaves,

I hid the murdered man!

“ And all that day I read in school,

But my thought was otherwhere;
As soon as the midday task was done,

In secret I was there,
And a mighty wind had swept the leaves,

And still the corse was bare !

" Then down I cast me on my face,

And first began to weep,
For I knew my secret then was one

That earth refused to keep,
Or land or sea, though he should be

Ten thousand fathoms deep.

So wills the fierce avenging sprite,

Till blood for blood atones!
Ay, though he's buried in a cave,

And trodden down with stones,
And years have rotted off his flesh,

The world shall see his bones!

“O God! that horrid, horrid dream

Besets me now awake!
Again, - again, with dizzy brain,

The human life I take;
And my red right hand grows raging hot,

Like Cranmer's at the stake.

And still no peace for the restless clay

Will wave or mould allow;
The horrid thing pursues my soul,

It stands before me now!”
The fearful boy looked up, and saw

Huge drops upon his brow.

That very night, while gentle sleep

The urchin's eyelids kissed,
Two stern-faced men set out from Lyn

Through the cold and heavy mist;
And Eugene Aram walked between,
With gyves upon his wrist.

Thomas Hood.



MONASTIC and time-consecrated fane!


Almost august as in thy early day,
Ere ruthless Henry rent thy pomp away.
No more the mass on holidays is sung,
The Host high raised or fuming censer swung;
No more, in amice white, the Fathers slow
With lighted tapers in long order go;
Yet the tall window lifts its archéd height,
As to admit heaven's pale but purer light;
Those massy clustered columns, whose long rows,
Even at noonday, in shadowy pomp repose
Amid the silent sanctity of death,
Like giants seem to guard the dust beneath.
Those roofs re-echo (though no altars blaze)
The prayer of penitence, the hymn of praise;
Whilst meek religion's self, as with a smile,
Reprints the tracery of the holy pile,
Worthy its guest, the temple. What remains ?
O mightiest Master! thy immortal strains

« AnteriorContinuar »