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« And through the night had heard their feet « Their stealing, rustling step repeat. « Oh! how I wish'd for spear or sword, « At least to die amidst the horde, « And perisb-if it must be so« At bay, destroying many a foe. « When first my courser's race begun, « I wish'd the goal already won; « But now I doubted strength and speed. « Vain doubt! his swift and savage breed « Had nerved him like the mountain-roe; . « Nor faster falls the blinding snow « Which whelms the peasant near the door a Whose threshold he shall cross no more, « Bewilder'd with the dazzling blast, « Than through the forest-paths he past.com « Untired, untamed, and worse than wild; « All furious as a favour'd child a Balk'd of its wish ; or, fiercer still « A woman piqued-who has her will.
XV. . « The wood was past ; 'twas more than noon, * But chill the air although in Juņe; « Or it might be my veins ran cold « Prolong'd endurance tames the bold; « And I was then not what I seem, « But headlong as a wintry stream, « And wore my feelings out before « I well could count their causes o'er : « And what with fury, fear, and wrath, « The tortures which beset my path, « Cold, hunger, sorrow, shame, distress, a Thus bound in nature's nakedness ;
« Sprung from a race whose rising blood « When stirr'd beyond its calmer mood, « And trodden hard upon, is like « The rattle-snake's, in act to strike, « What marvel if this worn-out trunk « Beneath its woes a moment sunk? « The earth gave way, the skies rolld round, « I seem'd to sink upon the ground; « But err’d, for I was fastly bound. « My heart turn’d sick, my brain grew sore, « And throbb’d awhile, then beat no more : « The skies spun like a mighty wheel; « I saw the trees like drunkards rcel, « And a slight flash sprang o'er my eyes, « Which saw no farther : he who dies « Can die no more than then I died. « O'ertortured by that ghastly ride, « I felt the blackness come and go, « And strove to wake; but could not make « My senses climb up from below: « I felt as on a plank at sea, « When all the waves that dash o'er thee, « At the same time upheave and whelm, « And hurl thee towards a desart realm. « My undulating life was as « The fancied lights that flitting pass « Our shut eyes in deep midnight, when « Fever begins upon the brain; « But soon it pass’d with little pain, « But a confusion worse than such : « I own that I should deem it much, « Dying, to feel the same again ; * And yet I do suppose we must « Feel far more ere we turn to dust :
« No matter; I have bared my brow
XVI. « My thoughts came back ; where was 1? Cold, « And numb, and giddy : pulse by pulse « Life reassumed its lingering hold, « And throb by throb; till grown a pang " Which for a moment would convulse, « My blood reflow'd though thick and chill ; « My ear with uncouth noises rang, « My heart began once more to thrill; « My sight return'd, though dim, alas! « And thicken'd, as it were, with glass. « Methought the dash of waves was nigh ; « There was a gleam too of the sky, « Studded with stars ;-it is no dream; « The wild horse swims the wilder stream! « The bright broad river's gushing tide « Sweeps, winding onward, far and wide, « And we are half-way, struggling o’er « To yon unknown and silent shore.
The waters broke my hollow trance, « And with a temporary strength « My stiffen'd limbs were rebaptized. « My courser's broad breast proudly braves, « And dashes off the ascending waves, . « And onward we advance! « We reach the slippery shore at length, « A haven I but little prized, « For all behind was dark and drear, « And all before was night and fear. « How many hours of night or day « In those suspended pangs I lay, '
« I could not tell; I scarcely knew
XVИ. « With glossy skin, and dripping mane, « And reeling limbs, and reeking flank, « The wild steed's sinewy nerves still strain « Up the repelling bank. « We gain the top: a boundless plain « Spreads through the shadow of the night, « And onward, onward, onward, seems « Like precipices in our dreams, « To stretch beyond the sight; « And here and there a speck of wbite, « Or scatter'd spot of dusky green, « In masses broke into the light, « As rose the moon upon my right. < But nought distinctly seen « In the dim waste, would indicate « The omen of a cottage gate ; « No twinkling taper from afar « Stood like an hospitable star; « Not even an ignis-fatuus rose * To make him merry with my woes : « That very cheat had cheer'd me then! « Although detected, welcome still, « Reminding me, through every ill, « Of the abodes of men.
XVIII. « Onward we went—but slack and slow; « His savage force at length o'erspent, « The drooping courser, faint and low, « All feebly foaming went.
« A sickly infant had had power « To guide him forward in that hour; « But useless all to me. « His new-born tameness nought avail'd ; « My limbs were bound; my force had faild, « Perchance, had they been free. « With feeble effort still I tried * To rend thc bonds so starkly tied « But still it was in vain ; « My limbs were only wrung the more, « And soon the idle strife gave o'er, * Which but prolong'd their pain : « The dizzy race seem'd almost done, « Although no goal was nearly won : « Some streaks announced the coming sun « How slow, alas! he caine ! « Methought that mist of dawning gray « Would never dapple into day; « How heavily it rolld away« Before the eastern flame « Rose crimson, and deposed the stars, « And call'd the radiance from their cars, « And fill’d the earth, from his deep throne, * With lonely lustre, all his own.
« Up rose the sun; the mists were curld