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White as a white sail on a dusky sea,
When half the horizon's clouded and half free,
Fluttering between the dun wave and the sky,
Is hope's last gleam in man's extremity.
Her anchor parts; but still her snowy sail
Attracts our eye amidst the rudest gale:
Though every wave she climbs divides us more,
The heart still follows from the loneliest shore.
Not distant from the isle of Toobonai,
A black rock rears its bosom o'er the spray,
The haunt of birds, a desart to mankind,
Where the rough seal reposes from the wind,
And sleeps unwieldly in his cavern dun,
Or gambols with huge frolic in the sun:
There shrilly to the passing oar is heard
The startled echo of the ocean bird,
Who rears on its bare breast her callow brood,
The feathered fishers of the solitude.
A narrow segment of the yellow sand
On one side forms the outline of a strand;
Here the young turtle, crawling from his shell,
Steals to the deep wherein his parents dwell;
Chipped by the beam, a nursling of the day,
But hatched for ocean by the fostering ray;
The rest was one bleak precipice, as e'er
Gave mariners a shelter and despair,
A spot to make the saved regret the deck
Which late went down, and envy the lost wreck.
Such was the stern asylum Neuha chose
To shield her lover from his following foes;
But all its secret was not told; she knew
In this a treasure hidden from the view.

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They landed on a wild but narrow scene,
Where few but Nature's footsteps yet had been;
Prepared their arms, and with that gloomy eye,
Stern and sustained, of man's extremity,

When Hope is gone, nor Glory's self remains
To cheer resistance against death or chains,
They stood, the three, as the three hundred stood
Who dyed Thermopylæ with holy blood.
But, ah! how different! 'tis the cause makes all,
Degrades or hallows courage in its fall.
O’er them no fame, eternal and intense,
Blazed through the clouds of death and beckoned

hence;
No grateful country, smiling through her tears,
Begun the praises of a thousand years ;
No nation's eyes would on their tomb be bent,
No heroes envy them their monument;
However boldly their warm blood was spilt,
Their life was shame, their epitaph was guilt.
And this they knew and felt, at least the one,
The leader of the band he had undone ;
Who, born perchance for better things, had set
His life upon a cast which lingered yet :
But now the die was to be thrown, and all
The chances were in favour of his fall:
And such a fall! But still he faced the shock,
Obdurate as a portion of the rock
Whereon he stood, and fixed his level gun, .
Dark as a sullen cloud before the sun.

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Again their own shore rises on the view,
No more polluted with a hostile hue;
No sullen ship lay bristling o'er the foam,
A floating dungeon :-all was Hope and Home !
A thousand proas darted o'er the bay,
With sounding shells, and heralded their way;
The Chiefs came down, around the People poured,
And welcom'd Torquil as a son restored ;
The women thronged, embracing and embraced
By Neuha, asking where they had been chaced,
And how escaped? The tale was told ; and then
One acclamation rent the sky again ;

And from that hour a new tradition gave
Their sanctuary the name of “Neuha's Cave.”
An hundred fires far flickering from the height,
Blazed o'er the general revel of the night,
The feast in honour of the guest, returned
To Peace and Pleasure, perilously earned;
A night succeeded by such happy days
As only the yet infant world displays.”

BEAUTIES

OF

MODERN LITERATURE.

DIRGE OF ALARIC THE GOTH, Who stormed and spoiled the City of Rome, and was afterwards buried in the channel of the river Busentius, the water of which had been diverted from its course, that the body might be interred.

The sentiments expressed in the following dirge are eminently beautiful; but they derive not their beauty from any abstract merit they possess in themselves, but from their consistency with the character of the warrior by whom they are expressed. In the mouth of Julius Cæsar they would have neither consistency nor beauty. They breathe a severity and contempt for mankind totally foreign to the open and generous nature of Cæsar. Alaric despised the pageant charm.” But why did he so ? Because he despised those of whom it was composed ; because he had no sympathy with human nature; because he had no feeling to respond to the finer affections of the heart; in a word, because he could not say with Terence Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.” But though Alaric despised the “ marble bust” and “sculptured clay,” he could not endure that man should boast

That he has trod On him who was the scourge of God. If, therefore, he was insensible to the sympathies of mankind, and contemned their commiseration, he had

not, however, strength of mind to endure their mockery or insults after death. We do not know whether the learned professor was right in making Alaric fling back his gold and silver to the clods that gave them birth, for history reports that he had his immense treasures buried along with him. Poetry, it is true, has no original alliance with history, but when it makes history its subject, verisimilitude must be observed, because poetry must always be a picture of that which it professes to represent. When the poet makes Alaric say, that

Feeble Cæsars shrieked for help

In vain within their seven-hill’d towers, we do not dispute his right of putting this inflated boast into the mouth of Alaric, for we believe there is nothing unnatural in his holding this contemptible opinion of the Cæsars ; but, stern and gothic as he was, we cannot help believing that one of the Cæsars, at least, was a warrior superior to him in military science, equal to him in personal bravery, as wreckless of life when glory called upon him, and beyond all comparison superior to him, where he had an opportunity of displaying greatness, generosity, and magnanimity of character. These observations are not intended to intimate, that the author erred in putting this expression into the mouth of Alaric, for though it is false, it is still natural that a barbarian should think so. The heavy-limbed, heavy-paced, half-animated cart driver, who swells out his shoulders with patches of coarse cloth, imagines that he could upset all the well-dressed gentlemen whom he meets in the street, though many of them, (we shall not except even the dandies themselves,) could, to adopt his own language, pull the livers out of him, if, resigning all ideas of respect for themselves at the moment, they could assume his fierceness and abandonment of character. There is not, however, a sentiment in this dirge with which we find fault; for, as we have already observed, the beauty of the sentiments arise entirely from their consistency with the character by whom they are expressed.

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