Page images

Upon the tear that, warm and meek,
Dew'd that repentant sinner's cheek.
To mortal eye this light might seem
A northern flash20 or meteor beam-
But well th' enraptured Peri knew
'Twas a bright smile the Angel threw
From Heaven's gate, to hail that tear,
fler harbinger of glory near!
“ Joy, joy for ever! my task is done
The Gates are pass’d, and Heaven is won!


[ocr errors]

HORACE SMITH.-Born, 1780; Died, 1849. Horace Smith, with his brother, James Smith, were noted literary men of the last generation. They produced together, in 1813, the celebrated “Rojected Addresses, in which all the then living poets were wonderfully well imitated. Horace wrote many novels, and light pieces in prose and verse. The following is the best of his serious efforts, and ranks, deservedly, very high.

And thou hast walked about (how strange a story!)

In Thebes's1 streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnoniumo was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
Speak! for thou long enough hast acted Dummy,

Thou hast a tongue—come, let us hear its tune; 20 The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Egypt, where the Mummy adLights.

dressed was found. Thebes. A great city of ancient 2 Memnonium. The tomb of

Rameses III. (B.C. 1618) at Thebes.


Thou’rt standing on thy legs above ground, Mummy!

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon, Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features. Tell us—for doubtless thou canst recollect

To whom should we assign the Sphinx’ss fame?
Was Cheops or Cephreness architect

Of either Pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?
Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,

Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh' glass to glass;
Or dropped a halfpenny in Homer's hat,

Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication.
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,

Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled,
For thou wert dead, and buried, and embalmed,

Fre Romulus and Remus' had been suckled :

3 Sphinx. A colossal sculpture of

a human-headed animal. It is near the Pyramids. Originally, “the Sphinx" was an imaginary monster at Thebes, which propounded a mysterious riddle. Whoever guessed wrongly was killed. Edipus at last came and

solved the mystery. • Cheops built the great Pyramid.

He was a king of Egypt. 5 Cephrenes, also a king of Egypt,

was the brother of Cheops, and he,

too, built one of the Pyramids. 6 Pompey's pillar, near Alexan

dria ; a fluted Corinthian column, raised in honour, not of Pompey, but of one of the Emperors—it is

disputed which 7 Pharaoh. The name of a great

many kings of Egypt. 8 Dido, the Phænician Queen of

Carthage. 9 Romulus and Remus. The

fabled founders of Rome.


Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after thy primeval race was run.
Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue

Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
How the world looked when it was fresh and young,

And the great deluge still had left it green ;
Or was it then so old, that history's pages
Contained no record of its early ages ?
Still silent! incommunicative elf !-

Art sworn to secrecy? then keep thy vows;
But, prythee, tell us something of thyself,

Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house; Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen ? what strange adventures num

bered ? Since first thy form was in this box extended,

We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations;10 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, 11 Marched armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,

O'erthrew Osiris,12 Horus, Apis, Isis,
And shook the Pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon13 fell asunder?

!! mutations, changes. 11 Cambyses.

The Persian conqueror, who, as a Persian, abhorred idols and overthrew the colossal ones of Egypt.

12 Osiris, &c. Egyptian Gods.
13 Memnon's statue. A colossal

statue of a legendary hero, at
Thebes. It uttered sounds at sun-
rise hy some priestly juggle.

If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,

The nature of thy private life unfold :-
A heart has throbbed beneath that leathern breast,

And tears adown that dusky cheek have rolled :-
Have children climbed those knees and kissed that face?
What was thy name and station, age and race ?
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 tegument14 endure,

If its undying guest be lost for ever?
O let us keep the soul embalmed and pure

In living virtue, that, when both must sever,
Although corruption may our frame consume,
The immortal spirit in the skies may bloom.

- 27

R. H. D. BARHAM.--Born, 1788, Died, 1845. Mr. Barham was an English clergyman, but is better known for his “ Ingoldsby Legends," from which the following is taken, than in his professional character. His humour and wit are charming, and his skill in versification wonderful.

THERE's something on my breast, father,
There's something on my breast !
The livelong day I sigh, father,
And at night I cannot rest.

14 tegument, a covering--the body.

I cannot take my rest, father,
Though I would fain do so;
A weary weight oppresseth me-
This weary weight of woe!
"Tis not the lack of gold, father,
Nor want of worldly gear;
My lands are broad, and fair to see,
My friends are kind and dear.
My kin are leal and true, father,
They mourn to see my grief ;
But, oh! 'tis not a kinsman's hand
Can give my heart relief!
'Tis not that Janet's false, father,
'Tis not that she's unkind;
Though busy flatterers swarm around,
I know her constant mind.
'Tis not her coldness, father,
That chills my labouring breast;
It's that confounded cucumber
I've eat and can't digest.

A friend I met some half-hour since-
Good-morrow, Jack ! ” quoth I;
The new made Knight, like any Prince,
Frowned, nodded, and passed by;
When up came Jem—“ Sir John, your Slare.""
“Ah, James; we dine at eight-
Fail not- :-(low bows the supple knave)

Don't make my lady wait.” “ The King can do no wrong?” As I'm a sinner, He's spoilt an honest tradesman, and my dinner.

« PreviousContinue »