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170

SCENE FROM HADAD.

Itself, o'ershadowed by the Cherubim ;
And where the clotted current from the altar
Mixes with Kedron, all its waves are gore.
Nay, nay, I grieve thee;—'tis not for myself,
But that I fear these gloomy things oppress
Thy soul, and cloud its native sunshine.

Tam. (in tears, clasping her hands.)
Witness, ye Heavens ! Eternal Father, witness !
Blest God of Jacob! Maker! Friend! Preserver !
That with my heart, my undivided soul,
I love, adore, and praise thy glorious name,
Confess thee Lord of all, believe thy Laws
Wise, just, and merciful, as they are true.
0, Hadad, Hadad ! you misconstrue much
The sadness that usurps me ;—'tis for thee
I grieve,—for hopes that fade,—for your lost soul,
And my lost happiness.

Had. O, say not so,
Beloved Princess. Why distrust my faith?

Tam. Thou know'st, alas, my weakness; but remember,
I never, never will be thine, although
The feast, the blessing, and the song were past,
Though Absalom and David called me bride,
Till sure thou own'st, with truth, and love sincere,
The Lord Jehovah.

Had. Leave me not-Hear, hear-
I do believe I know that Being lives

SCENE FROM HADAD.

171

Whom you adore. Ah! stay—by proofs I know
Which Moses had not
Tam. Prince, unclasp my hand.

(Exit.)
Had. Untwine thy fetters if thou canst.—How sweet
To watch the struggling softness! It allays
The beating tempest of my thoughts, and flows,
Like the nepenthe of Elysium through me.
How exquisite! Like subtlest essences,
She fills the spirit! How the girdle clips
Her taper waist with its resplendent clasp !
Her bosom's silvery-swelling network yields
Ravishing glimpses, like sweet shade and moonshine
Checkering Astarte's statue

THE LAST READER.

BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

I SOMETIMES sit beneath a tree,

And read my own sweet songs; Though nought they may to others be,

Each humble line prolongs A tone that might have passed away, But for that scarce remembered lay.

I keep them like a lock or leaf,

That some dear girl has given;
Frail record of an hour, as brief

As sunset clouds in heaven,
But spreading purple twilight still
High over memory's shadowed hill.

THE LAST READER.

173

They lie upon my pathway bleak,

Those flowers that once ran wild,
As on a father's care-worn cheek

The ringlets of his child;
The golden mingling with the gray,
And stealing half its snows away.

What care I though the dust is spread

Around these yellow leaves,
Or o'er them his sarcastic thread

Oblivion's insect weaves;
Though weeds are tangled on the stream,
It still reflects my morning's beam.

And therefore love I such as smile

On these neglected songs,
Nor deem that flattery's needless wile

My opening bosom wrongs;
For who would trample, at my side,
A few pale buds, my garden's pride?

It may be that my scanty ore

Long years have washed away, And where were golden sands before,

Is nought but common clay; Still something sparkles in the sun For memory to look back upon.

174

THE LAST READER.

And when my name no more is heard,

My lyre no more is known,
Still let me, like a winter's bird,

In silence and alone,
Fold over them the weary wing
Once flashing through the dews of spring.

Yes, let my fancy fondly wrap

My youth in its decline,
And riot in the rosy lap

Of thoughts that once were mine,
And give the worm my little store
When the last reader reads no more !

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