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The silent room,
I did not think to die
With this my mortal eye;
And yet it is. — I feel,
And something seems to steal
And this is death! But why
Would it not leap to fly
Yet thus to pass away!~
To waste the light of day,
Night's better beauty, feeling, fancy, thought,
Grant me another year,
I would know something here!
9. Vain — vain !- my brain is turning
With a swift dizziness, and my heart grows sick,
And I am freezing — burning-
My vial — Ha! it thrills me!- I revive. 10. O, but for time to track
The upper stars into the pathless sky,
To hurl the lightning back, —
To chase day's chariot to the horizon-walls, 11. And more, much more, — for now
The life-sealed fountains of my nature move
To clear the godlike brow .
This were indeed to feel
And death - Aha! I reel —
13. 'Twas morning, and the old man lay alone.
No friend had closed his eyelids, and his lips,
14. The fire beneath the crucible was out;
The vessels of his mystic 6 art lay round,
15. And thus had passed from its unequal frame
A soul of fire, — a sun-bent eagle stricken
1 CRO'C!-BLE. A melting-pot used by 4 XG'Q-NĪZE. Feel agony ; suffer exchemists and goldsmiths.
treme pain. 2 HÖR'Q-LOGE. Something which 5 THROE. Extreme pain ; pang.
tells what hour it is ; a time-piece. 6 Mỹs'tỊC. Secret ; unrevealed. 3 RE-CÖIl'. Motion backwards ; re- 1 A-LĚM'BỊC. A chemical vessel, used
bound; a shrinking or faltering. I in distillation.
CI. -SPEECH ON THE REFORM BILL.
(Henry Brougham, Lord Brougham, was born in Edinburgh in 1778, and diod in 1868. He was eminent as a statesman, orator, lawyer, and man of letters. He was Lord Chancellor of England from 1830 to 1834. The following extract is from a speech delivered by him in favor of the reform bill, in the House of Lords, in October, 1831.]
1. My Lords: I do not disguise the intense solicitude which I feel for the event of this debate, because I know full well that the peace of the country is involved in the issue. I cannot look, without dismay, at the rejection of the measure.
2. But grievous as may be the consequences of a temporary defeat, — for temporary it can only be, — its ultimate and even speedy success is certain. Nothing can now stop it. Do not suffer yourselves to be persuaded, that even if the present ministers' were driven from the helm, any one could steer you through the troubles which surround you, without reform. But our successors would take up the task in circumstances far less auspicious ?. Under them you would be fain to grant a bill, compared with which, the one we now proffer you is moderate indeed.
3. Hear the parable of the Sibyl,* for it conveys a wise and wholesome moral. She now appears at your gate, and offers you mildly the volumes, the precious volumes, of wisdom and peace. The price she asks is reasonable – to restore the franchise", which, without any bargain, you ought voluntarily to give. You refuse her terms, her mod. erate terms: she darkens the porch no longer.
* The Sibyls were prophetic women of Greece and Rome. The most celebrated one of them offered for sale to Tarquin, an early king of Rome, nine books of prophecies. When the king, on account of the high price, refused to buy them, the Sibyl threw three into the fire, and on a second refusal, three more, after which the king, alarmed, paid for the three remaining the price asked for the whole,
4. But soon- for you cannot do without her wares - you call her back. Again she comes, but with diminished treasures. The leaves of the book are in part torn away by lawless hands, in part defaced with characters of blood. But the prophetic maid has risen in her demands. It is parliaments by the year — it is vote by the ballot - it is suffrage * by the million !
5. From this you turn away indignant, and for the seco ond time she departs. Beware of her third coming: for the treasure you must have; and what price she may next demand, who shall tell? It may even be the mace which rests upon that woolsack.
6. What may follow your course of obstinacy, if persisted in, I cannot take upon me to predict, nor do I wish to conjecture. But this I know full well, that, as sure as man is mortal, and to err is human, justice deferred enhances the price at which you must purchase safety and peace; nor can you expect to gather in another crop than they did who went before you, if you persevere in their utterly abominable husbandry, of sowing injustice and reaping rebellion.
7. But among the awful considerations that now bow down my mind, there is one which stands preëminent above the rest. You are the highest judicature’ in the realm ; you sit here as judges, and decide all causes, civil and criminal, without appeal. It is a judge's first duty never to pronounce sentence, in the most trifling case, without hearing. Will you make this the exception ?
8. Are you really prepared to determine, but not to hear, the mighty case upon which a nation's hopes and fears hang? You are. Then beware of your decision !
9. Rouse not, I beseech you, a peace-loving, but a resolute people; alienate® not from your body the affections of a whole empire. As your friend, as the friend of my order, as the friend of my country, as the faithful servant