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Robes loosely flowing, hair as free ;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all th' adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

BEN JONSON.

THE SICILIAN VESPERS.
SILENCE O'er sea and earth

With the veil of evening fell,
Till the convent tower sent deeply forth

The chime of its vesper-bell.
One moment, and that solemn sound

Fell heavily on the ear;
But a sterner echo pass'd around,

Which the boldest shook to hear.
The startled monks throng'd up,

In the torchlight cold and dim ;
And the priest let fall his incense cup,

And the virgin hush'd her hymn;
For a boding clash, and a clanging tramp,

And a summoning voice were heard,
And fretted wall, and tombstone damp,

To the fearful echo stirr'd. The peasant heard the sound,

As he sat beside his hearth;
And the song and the dance were hush'd around,

With the fireside tale of mirth.
The chieftain shook in his banner'd hall,

As the sound of war drew nigh;
And the warder shrank from the castle wall,

As the gleam of spears went by.
Woe, woe to the stranger then;

At the feast and flow of wine, In the red array of mailed men,

Or bow'd at the holy shrine ;

For the waken'd pride of an injured land

Had burst its iron thrall ;
From the plumed chief to the pilgrim band;

Woe, woe, to the sons of Gaul!
Proud beings fell that hour,

With the young and passing fair,
And the flame went up from dome and tower;

The avenger's arm was there!
The stranger priest at the altar stood,

And clasp'd his beads in prayer,
But the holy shrine grew dím with blood;

The avenger found him there!
Woe, woe, to the sons of Gaul;

To the serf and mailed lord ;
They were gather'd darkly, one and all,

To the harvest of the sword;
And the morning sun, with a quiet smile,

Shone out o'er hill and glen,
On ruin'd temple and mouldering pile,

And the ghastly forms of men.
Ay, the sunshine sweetly smiled,

As its early glance came forth;
It had no sympathy with the wild

And terrible things of earth ;
And the man of blood that day might read,

In a language freely given,
How ill his dark and midnight deed
Became the light of heaven.

J. G. WHITTIER.

CZERNI GEORGE.

"T was noon: a crimson banner play'd
Above thy rampart port, Belgrade;
From time to time the gong's deep swell,
Rose thundering from the citadel;

And soon the trampling charger's din
Told of some mustering pomp within.
But all without was still and drear;
The long streets wore the hue of fear,
All desert, but where some quick eye
Peer'd from the curtain'd gallery;
Or, crouching slow from roof to roof,
The Servian glanced, then shrank aloof,
Eager, yet dreading, to look on
The business to be that day done.
The din grew louder; trampling feet
Seem'd rushing to the central street.
'Twas fill’d; the city's idle brood
Scatter'd before, few, haggard, rude:
Then came the Spahis pressing on
With kettle-drum and gonfalon;
And ever at the cymbal's clash,
Upshook their spears the sudden flash,
Till, like a shatter'd sable sail,
Wheeld o'er their rear the black horse-tail,
All hurrying thick, like men who yield,
Or men who seek some final field.”

They lead a captive; the pashaw.
From his large eye draws back with awe;
All tongues are silent in the group
Who round that fearful stranger troop:
He still has homage, though his hands
Are straining in a felon's bands.
No Moslem he; his brow is bare,
Save one wild tress of raven hair,
Like a black serpent deeply bound,
Where once sat Servia's golden round.
His neck bends low, and many a stain
Of blood shows how it feels the chain;
A peasant's robe is o'er him flung,
A swordless sheath beside him hung;
He sits a charger, but a slave
Now holds the bridle of the brave.

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And now they line the palace square,
A splendid sight, as noon's full glare
Pours on their proud caparison,
Arms rough with gold and dazzling stone,
Horse-nets, and shawls of Indian dye,
O'er brows of savage majesty.
But where's the fetter'd rider now?
A flag above, a block below,
An Ethiop headsman low'ring near,
Show where must close his stern career.
A thousand eyes are fix'd to mark
The fading of his eye's deep spark,
The quicken'd heaving of his breast;
But all within it is at rest;
There is no quivering nerve; his brow
Scarce bent upon the crowd below,
He stands in settled, stately gloom,
A warrior's statue on his tomb.
A trumpet rang ;-the turban'd line
Clash'd up their spears, the headsman's sign.
Then, like the flame-burst from the forge,
Blazed thy dark visage, CZERNI GEORGE!
He knew that trumpet's Turkish wail,
His guide through many a forest vale,
When, scattering like the hunted deer,
The Moslem felt his early spear;
He heard it when the Servian targe
Broke down the Delhi's desperate charge,
And o'er the flight his scimetar
Was like the flashing of a star:
That day his courser to the knee
Was bathed in blood, and Servia free!
That day, before he sheathed his blade,
He stood a sovereign in Belgrade;
The field, the throne, were on that eye,
Which wander'd now so wild and high.
The hour had waned; the sunbeam fell

Full on the palace pinnacle ;

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The golden crescent on its spire Beam'd o'er a cross! his eye shot fire! That cross was o'er the crescent set, The day he won the coronet. He dash'd away a tear of pride, His hand was darted to his side, No sword was there :-a bitter smile Told the stern spirit's final thrill; Yet all not agony; afar, Mark'd he no cloud of northern war? Swell’d on his prophet ear no clang Of tribes that to their saddles sprang ? No Russian cannon's heavy hail 'In vengeance smiting the Serail ? The whole was but a moment's trance, That 'scaped the turban'd rabble's glance; A sigh, a stride, a stamp, the whole; Time measures not the tides of soul. He was absorb'd in dreams, nor saw The hurried glare of the pashaw, Nor saw the headsman's backward step, To give his axe the wider sweep. Down came the blow!--the self-same smile Was lingering on the dead lip still, When 'mid the train, the pikeman bore The bloody head of the Pandour. The night was wild, the atabal Scarce echo'd on the rampart wall; Scarce heard the shrinking sentinel The night-born in the tempest's yell. But forms, as shot the lightning's glare, Stole silent through that palace-square, And thick and dim a weeping group Seem'd o'er its central spot to stoop. The storm a moment paused; the moon Broad from a hurrying cloud-raft shone ; It shone upon a headless Raised in their arms; the moonbeam sunk,

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