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Her dwelling was a sepulchre. She loosed
The mask, and from her feathery bier uprose,
Casting away the robe, which like long alb
Wrapped her; and with it many an aloe-leaf
(Inscribed with Azteque characters and signs,
To guide the spirit where the serpent hissed,
Hills towered, and deserts spread, and keen winds blew),
'flower of death ;” though their frail
Were yet unwithered. For the living warmth
Which in her dwelt their freshness had preserved ;
Else, if corruption had begun its work,
The emblems of quick change would have survived
Her beauty's senıblance. What is beauty worth,
If the cropped Aower retains its tender bloom
When foul decay has stolen the latest lines
Of loveliness in death? Yet even now
Papantzin knew that her exuberant locks-
Which unconfined had round her flowed to earth,
Like a stream rushing down some rocky steep,
Threading ten thousand channels, had been shorn
Of half their waving length,—and liked it not.
But through a crevice soon she marked a gleam Of rays uncertain ; and, with staggering steps, But strong in reckless dreaminess, while still Presided o'er the chaos of her thoughts The revelation that upon her soul Dwelt with its power, she gained the cavern's throat, And pushed the quarried stone aside, and stood In the free air, and in her own domain.
But now obscurely o'er her vision swam The beauteous landscape, with its thousand tints And changeful views long alleys of bright trees Bending beneath their fruits; espaliers gay With tropic flowers, and shrubs that filled the breeze With odorous incense; basins vast where birds With shining plumage sported; smooth canals Leading the glassy wave; or towering grove
Of forest veterans. On a rising bank,
Her seat accustomed, near a well hewn out
From ancient rocks, into which waters gushed
From living springs, where she was wont to bathe,
She threw herself to muse. Dim on her sight
The imperial city and its causeways rose,
With the broad lake and all its floating isles
And glancing shallops, and the gilded pomp
Of princely barges, canopied with plumes
Spread fan-like, or with tufted pageantry
Waving magnificent. Unmarked around
The frequent huitzilin, with inurmuring hum
Of ever-restless wing, and shrill sweet note,
Shot twinkling, with the ruby star that glowed
Over his tiny bosom, and all hues
That loveliest seem in heaven, with ceaseless change,
Flashing from his fine films. And all in vain
Untiring, from the rustling branches near,
Poured the centzontli all his hundred strains
Of imitative melody. Not now
She heeded them. Yet pleasant was the shade
Of palms and cedars; and through twining boughs
And fluttering leaves the subtle god of air,
The serpent armed with plumes, most welcome crept,
And fanned her cheek with kindest ministry.
A dull and dismal sound came booming on;
A solemn, wild, and melancholy noise,
Shaking the tranquil air ; and afterward
A clash and jangling, barbarously prolonged,
Torturing the unwilling ear, rang dissonant.
Again the unnatural thunder rolled along,
Again the crash and clamour followed it.
Shuddering she heard; who knew that every peal
From the dread gong announced a victim's heart
Torn from his breast,—and each triumphant clang,
A mangled corse down the great temple's stairs
Hurled headlong. And she knew, as lately taught,
How vengeance was ordained for cruelty;
How pride would end; and uncouth soldiers tread
Through bloody furrows o'er her pleasant groves
And gardens; and would make themselves a road
Over the dead, choking the silver lake,
And cast the battered idols down the steps
That climbed their execrable towers, and raze
Sheer from the ground Ahuitzol's mighty pile.
There had been wail for her in Mexico,
And with due rites and royal obsequies,
Not without blood at devilish altars shed,
She had been numbered with her ancestry.
Here when beheld revisiting the light,
Great marvel rose, and greater terror grew,
Until the kings came trembling, to receive
The foreshown tidings. To his house of woe,
Silent and mournful, Moteuczoma went.
Few years had passed, when by the rabble hands
Of his own subjects, in ignoble bonds,
He fell; and on a hasty gibbet reared
By the road-side, with scorn and obloquy,
The brave and gracious Guatemotzin hung;
While to Honduras, thirsting for revenge,
And gloomier after all his victories,
Stern Cortes stalked. Such was the will of God.
And then, with holier rites and sacred pomp Again committed to the peaceful grave, Papantzin slept in consecrated earth.
GEORGE W. DOANE. [Born in 1799 : Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey, in the Protestant Espiscopal Church. His sole volume of poems was published in 1824. His son, the Rev. William Croswell Doane, has also attained some poetical repute].
Jeremiah xxiii. 29.
SLEDGE of the Lord, beneath whose stroke
The rocks are rent-the heart is broke-
I hear thy ponderous echoes ring,
And fall, a crushed and crumbled thing.
Meekly these mercies I implore,
Through Him whose cross our sorrow bore :
On earth, thy new-creating grace ;
In heaven, the very lowest place.
Oh might I be a living stone
Set in the pavement of thy throne !
For sinner saved, what place so meet
As at the Saviour's bleeding feet?
RALPH WALDO EMERSON. [Born about 1803 in Boston, son of the Rev. William Emerson. Became a Unitarian minister in 1829 ; but subsequently, seceding from all forms of Christianity, relinquished this position, and has continued to live, at the town of Concord, a lofty life of spiritual thought and philosophic speculation-varied by travelling, the delivery of lectures, and especially the publishing of several books precious to many. One of the finest souls of our time].
Think me not unkind and rude,
That I walk alone in grove and glen;
I go to the god of the wood,
To fetch his word to men.
Tax not my sloth that I
Fold my arms beside the brook;
Each cloud that floated in the sky
Writes a letter in my book.
Chide me not, laborious band,
For the idle flowers I brought; Every aster in my hand
Goes home loaded with a thought.
There was never mystery
But 'tis figured in the flowers; Was never secret history
But birds tell it in the bowers.
One harvest from thy field
Homeward brought the oxen strong; A second crop thine acres yield,
Which I gather in a song.
THE HUMBLE BEE. BURLY dozing humble bee ! Where thou art is clime for me. Let them sail for Porto Rique, Far-off heats through seas to seek, I will follow thee alone, Thou animated torrid-zone ! Zig-zag steerer, desert-cheerer, Let me chase thy waving lines; Keep me nearer, me thy hearer, Singing over shrubs and vines. Insect lover of the sun, Joy of thy dominion ! Sailor of the atmosphere, Swimmer through the waves of air, Voyager of light and noon, Epicurean of June, Wait, I prithee, till I come Within earshot of thy hum,All without is martyrdom.
When the south wind, in May days, With a net of shining haze,