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In a Bastile house in Paris he lives, shut up from the sun
and the breeze, By a great dead wall surrounded, and a warlike chevaux de
frise; So that when the scaler touches a prong he touches a secret
spring, And raises the larum loud and long as the bells of the Bastile
Deep sunk in these dark defenses lies the bedroom of the
duke, Into which the honest light of heaven is scarcely permitted
to look,A room with one chink of a window, and a door with won
derful guards, Which opens to one alone who knows the secret of the
wards; And into the strong thick wall of his room, in a double
ribbed iron chest, Like cats' eyes gleaming in the gloom, the living diamonds
rest. Before them lies the happy duke, with a dozen loaded pistols, That he, without leaving his bed, may enjoy and defend the
precious crystals. But grant that a burglar scales the wall, vaults over the
chevaux de frise,
Breaks open the door, and slays the duke, - what then? Is
the treasure his ? Not yet; for the duke had closed the safe ere the thief to
his chamber got: If he force the locks, four guns go off, and batter him on
Now, is not the duke the happiest man that lives this side
of the grave? Alas! he is chained by his diamonds; he is body and soul
their slave! He dares not leave his diamonds, he dares not go from
home; O'er the cloud-capt hights, through the lowly vales, he has
no heart to roam. Beside the diamond's costly light all other light is dim; Winter and summer, day and night, can take no hold on
him. Methinks he would be a richer man were he as poor as I, Who have no gems but yon twinkling stars, the diamonds of
the sky. Could he the dewy daisies love, those diamonds of the sod, Methinks he were a happier man, and a little nearer God. I also think, could he sell all, and give it to the poor, The famous Duke of Brunswick's name would gloriously endure.
THE LADY'S DREAM.
The lady lay in her bed, —
Her couch so warm and soft ;
For, turning often and oft
And tossed her arms aloft.
At last she started up,
And gazed on the vacant air
Some dreadful phantom there;
From visions ill to bear.
The very curtain shook,
Her terror was so extreme;
Still kept a tremulous gleam;
“Oh me! that awful dream!
“That weary, weary walk
In the churchyard's dismal ground !
That came and fitted round !
In every sight and sound !
“ And, oh, those maidens young,
Who wrought in that dreary room, With figures drooping, and specters thin,
And cheeks without a bloom ! And the voice that cried, 'For the pomp of pride
We haste to an early tomb!
“For the pomp and pleasure of pride
We toil like the African slaves, And only to earn a home at last
Where yonder cypress waves.' And then it pointed — I never saw
A ground so full of graves !
“ And still the coffins came
With their sorrowful trains and slow;
A sad and sickening show :
Of such a world of woe!
“Of the hearts that daily break,
Of the tears that hourly fall,
That grieve this earthly ball, —
But now I dream of them all.
“ For the blind and the cripple were there,
And the babe that pined for bread,
Who begged, -to bury the dead!
The famished I might have fed.
“ The sorrow I might have soothed,
And the unregarded tears :
From long-forgotten years;
Who raised my childish fears !
“Each pleading look, that, long ago,
I scanned with a heedless eye;
As when I passed it by.
Thus present when I die!
“No need of sulphurous lake,
No need of fiery coal,
Who wanted pity and dole -
Will wring my sinful soul!