Sidor som bilder

We heard it ripple night and day;

Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd;

And I have felt the winter's spray

Wash through the bars when winds were high

And wanton in the happy sky;

And then the very rock hath rock'd,

And I have felt it shake, unshock'd,

Because I could have smiled to see

The death that would have set me free.


I said my nearer brother pined,

I said his mighty heart declined,

He loath'd and put away his food;

It was not that 'twas coarse and rude,
For we were used to hunter's fare,
And for the like had little care:



The milk drawn from the mountain goat
Was changed for water from the moat,
Our bread was such as captive's tears
Have moisten'd many a thousand years,
Since man first pent his fellow men
Like brutes within an iron den :

But what were these to us or him?
These wasted not his heart or limb;
My brother's soul was of that mold
Which in a palace had grown cold,


Had his free breathing been denied
The range of the steep mountain's side;
But why delay the truth?-he died.

I saw, and could not hold his head,
Nor reach his dying hand-nor dead,
Though hard I strove, but strove in vain,
To rend and gnash my bonds in twain.
He died-and they unlocked his chain,

And scoop'd for him a shallow grave
Even from the cold earth of our cave.
I begg'd them, as a boon, to lay
His corse in dust whereon the day
Might shine-it was a foolish thought,
But then within my brain it wrought,
That even in death his freeborn breast
In such a dungeon could not rest.

I might have spared my idle prayer—
They coldly laugh'd-and laid him there:

The flat and turfless earth above

The being we so much did love;

His empty chain above it leant,

Such murder's fitting monument!


But he, the favorite and the flower,

Most cherish'd since his natal hour,



His mother's image in fair face,

The infant love of all his race,
His martyred father's dearest thought,
My latest care, for whom I sought
To hoard my life, that his might be
Less wretched now, and one day free;
He, too, who yet had held untired
A spirit natural or inspired-

He, too, was struck, and day by day
Was withered on the stalk away.

Oh God! it is a fearful thing

To see the human soul take wing
In any shape, in any mood:-

I've seen it rushing forth in blood,

I've seen it on the breaking ocean



Strive with a swoln convulsive motion,

I've seen the sick and ghastly bed

Of Sin delirious with its dread :

But these were horrors-this was woe
Unmix'd with such-but sure and slow:

He faded, and so calm and meek,

So softly worn, so sweetly weak,

So tearless, yet so tender-kind,

And grieved for those he left behind;

With all the while a cheek whose bloom


Was as a mockery of the tomb,

Whose tints as gently sunk away

As a departing rainbow's ray

An eye of most transparent light,

That almost made the dungeon bright,
And not a word of murmur-not

A groan o'er his untimely lot,

A little talk of better days,

A little hope my own to raise,

For I was sunk in silence-lost


In this last loss, of all the most;

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