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The Roman Soldier ;-Last days of Herculaneum.
There was a man,
Chained down. His was a noble spirit, rough, 5 But génerous, and bráve, and kind.
He had a son, it was a rosy boy,
Had been his father's solace and his care. *10
The captive's lot 15 He felt in all its bitterness:-the walls
Of his deep dungeon answered many a sigh
His father's lingering hours, and brought a balm
He was 'a poisoned arrow in the breast 25 Where he had been a cure.
With earliest morn,
The iron door was closed,—for them
Impending o'er the city. Well they heard
Grew hòt at length, and thick; but in his straw 35 The boy was sleeping: and the father hoped
The earthquake might pass by; nor would he wake
The fettered soldier sunk—and with deep awe
To the great göds he breathed a prayer;-then strove
His body bùrned with feverish heat;-his chains 45 Clanked lòud although he moved not: deep in earth
Groaned unimaginable thùnders:-sounds,
In the blank midnight. (..) Deepest horror chilled 50 His blood that burned before;—cold clāmmy sweats
Came o'er him:-(=) then anon a fiery thrill
As though he heard the battle trumpet sound, 55 And longed to cope with death.
He slept at last,
Soon the storm
Amazed upon their feet. The dungeon glowed 5 A moment as in sunshine,-and was dark:
Again a flood of white flame fills the cell;
Dies throbbing, ringing in the ear. Silence, 10 And blackest darkness.-With intensest awe
The soldier's frame was filled; and many a thought
Járring and lifting and the massive walls
Glanced through his thoughts, what deep and cureless
wound Fate had already given.- Where, man of wo! 20 Where wretched father! is thy boy? Thou callest
His name in vain:-he cannot answer thee.
Loudly the father called upon his child:-
He searched their couch of straw:-with headlong haste 25 Trod round his stinted limits, and, low bent,
Groped darkling on the earth :-no child was there.
Seemed bursting from his ears, and from his eyes 30 Fire flashed,-he strained with arm extended far,
And fingers widely spread, greedy to touch
And strains, and snatches,—and with dreadful cries 35 Càlls on his boy. Mad frenzy fires him now:
He plants against the wall his feet;—his chain
And, like a desert lion in the snare
But sèe! the ground is opening :-a blue light
But by its lustré, on the earth outstretched,
And o'er his face serene a darken'd line
The father saw,
:-a dead calm fell
And with a look that never wandered, gazed
Those laughing eyes
Silent and pale
The ground lifts like a sea: he knows it nót:
The strong walls grind and gāpe:-the vaulted roof 60 Takes shapes like bubble tossing in the wind:
See! he looks up and smiles ;-for death to him
It will be given. Look! how the rolling ground, 65 At every swell, nearer and still more near
Moves towards the father's outstretched arm his boy :-
Ha! see! he has him now!-he clasps him round70 Kisses his face;-puts back the curling locks, That shaded his fine brow:-looks in his
eyesGrasps in his own those little dimpled handsThen folds him to his breast, as he was wont
To lie when sleeping-and resigned awaits 75 Undreaded death.
And death came soon, and swift, And pangless.
The huge pile sunk down at once Into the opening earth. (..) Walls—arches-roof, 80 And deep foundation stones—all.. mingling .. fell!
The Orphan Boy.—Mrs. OPIE.
And hear a helpless orphan's tale:
'Tis want that makes my cheek so pale!
And my brave father's hope and joy:
And I am now an orphan boy!
When news of Nelson's victory care,
To see the lighted windows flame!
She could not bear to see my joy!
And made me a poor orphan boy!
My mother, shuddering, closed her ears;
My mother answered with her tears!
Cried I, “ while others shout for joy!"
She called me her poor orphan boy!
When suddenly she gasped for breath,
But, ah! her eyes were closed in death!
But now no more a parent's joy;
What 'tis to be an orphan boy.
Christian Consolation.—ANONYMOUS [The annexed
feeling, and beautiful lines are said to have been written by a young English lady, who had experienced much affliction.] 1 Jesus—I my cross have taken,
All to leave, and follow thee,
Thou, from hence, my all shalt be!
All I've sought, or hoped, or known,
Come disaster, scorn, and pain;
With thy favor, loss is gain;
I have set my heart on thee;