Sidebilder
PDF

up-it was echoed from side to side-woman and man, childhood and old age repeated, not aloud, but in a smothered and dreary murmur:

“THE HOUR IS COME!”

At that moment, a wild yell burst through the air;— and, thinking only of escape, whither it knew not, the terrible tiger of the desert leaped amongst the throng, and hurried through its parted streams. And so came the earthquake,mand so darkness once more fell over the earth !

And now new fugitives arrived. Grasping the treasures no longer destined for their lord, the slaves of Arbaces joined the throng. One only of all their torches yet flickered on. It was borne by Sosia; and its light falling on the face of Nydia, he recognized the Thessalian.

“What avails thy liberty now, blind girl?” said the slave.

“Who art thou ? canst thou tell me of Glaucus?" “Ay; I saw him but a few minutes since.” “Blessed be thy head ! where ?”

“Couched beneath the arch of the forum-dead or dying--gone to rejoin Arbaces, who is no more!"

Nydia uttered not a word; she slid from the side of Sallust; silently she glided through those behind her, and retraced her steps to the city. She gained the forum—the arch; she stooped down-she felt around—she called on the name of Glaucus.

A weak voice answered—“Who calls on me? Is it the voice of the Shades ? Lo ! I am prepared ! "

"Arise! follow me! Take my hand! Glaucus, thou shalt be saved!”

In wonder and sudden hope Glaucus arose"Nydia still ? Ah ! thou, then, art safe !”

The tender joy of his voice pierced the heart of the poor Thessalian, and she blessed him for his thought of her. Half leading, half carrying Ione, Glaucus fol

lowed his guide. With admirable discretion, she avoided the path which led to the crowd she had just quitted and, by another route, sought the shore.

After many pauses and incredible perseverance, they gained the sea, and joined a group, who, bolder than the rest, resolved to hazard any peril rather than continue in such a scene. In darkness they put forth to sea; but, as they cleared the land and caught new aspects of the mountain, its channels of molten fire threw a partial redness over the waves.

Utterly exhausted and worn out, Ione slept on the breast of Glaucus, and Nydia lay at his feet. Meanwhile the showers of dust and ashes, still borne aloft, fell into the wave, and scattered their snows over the deck. Far and wide, borne by the winds, those showers descended upon the remotest climes, startling even the swarthy African; and whirled along the antique soil of Syria and of Egypt.

EDWARD BULWER-LYTTON

EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON, Lord Lytton, poet, son of the novelist, born in London in 1831; died in Paris, 1891. He was for a time in the diplomatic service and stationed at Washington, The Hague and St. Petersburg. He wrote under the pseudonym of Owen Meredith. He published a few books in prose, but his fame rests on those in verse

TEARS (From "Genaveril.” Copyright by the Critic Co.) THERE be three hundred different ways ano 1 more

Of speaking, but of weeping only one;
And that one way, the wide world o’er and o'er,

Is known by all, tho' it is taught by none.
No man is master of this ancient lore,

And no man pupil. Every simpleton
Can weep as well as every sage. The man
Does it no better than the infant can.

The first thing all men learn is how to speak,

Yet understand they not each other's speech; But tears are neither Latin, nor yet Greek, Nor prose, nor verse. The language that they

teach Is universal. Cleopatra's cheek

They decked with pearls no richer than from each Of earth's innumerable mourners fall Unstudied, yet correctly classical.

Tears are the oldest and the commonest

Of all things upon earth; and yet how new The tale each time told by them ! how unblessed

Were life's hard way without their heavenly dew! Joy borrows them from Grief: Faith trembles lest

She lose them: even Hope herself smiles thro' The rainbow they make round her as they fall: And Death, that cannot weep, sets weeping all.

AUX ITALIENS

T Paris it was, at the Opera there; A And she looked like a queen in a book that

night, With the wreath of pearl in her raven hair,

And the brooch on her breast, so bright. Of all the operas that Verdi wrote

The best, to my taste, is the 'Trovatore:
And Mario can soothe with a tenor note

The souls in Purgatory.
The moon on the tower slept soft as snow:

And who was not thrill'd in the strangest way, As we heard him sing, while the gas burn'd low.

Non ti scordar di me?The Emperor there, in his box of state,

Look'd grave, as if he had just then seen The red flag wave from the city-gate,

Where his eagles in bronze had been. The Empress, too, had a tear in her eye, You'd have said that her fancy had gone back

again, For one moment, under the old blue sky, To the old glad life in Spain.

Well ! there in our front-row box we sat,

Together, my bride-betroth'd and I; My gaze was fix'd on my opera-hat,,

And hers on the stage hard by.

And both were silent, and both were sad.

Like a queen, she lean'd on her full white arm, With that regal, indolent air she had;

So confident of her charm !

I have not a doubt she was thinking then

Of her former lord, good soul that he was ! Who died the richest and roundest of men,

The Marquis of Carabas.

I hope that, to get to the kingdom of Heaven,

Thro' a needle's eye he had not to pass. I wish him well, for the jointure given.

To my lady of Carabas.

Meanwhile, I was thinking of my first love,

As I had not been thinking of aught for years, Till over my eyes there began to move

Something that felt like tears.

I thought of the dress that she wore last time,

When we stood, 'neath the cypress trees, together, In that lost land, in that soft clime,

In the crimson evening weather:

Of that muslin dress (for the cve was hot)

And her warm white neck in its golden chain,
And her full, soft hair just tied in a knot,

And falling loose again:
And the jasmin-flower in her fair young breast:

(O the faint, sweet smell of that jasmin-flower !! And the one bird singing alone to his nest : And the one star over the tower.

« ForrigeFortsett »