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CLEOPATRA ON THE CYDNUS.

37

And an echo-like the desert's call,

Flung back to the shouting shores ! And the river's ripple, heard through all,

As it plays with the silver oars !-
The sky is a gleam of gold !

And the amber breezes float,
Like thoughts to be dreamed of but never told,

Around the dancing boat !

She has stepped on the burning sand;

And the thousand tongues are mute :
And the Syrian strikes, with a trembling hand,

The strings of his gilded lute !
And the Æthiop's heart throbs loud and high,

Beneath his white symar ;
And the Lybian kneels, as he meets her eye,

Like the flash of an Eastern star !
The gales may not be heard,

Yet the silken streamers quiver,
And the vessel shoots-like a bright-plumed bird-

Away, down the golden river !

Away by the lofty mount !

And away by the lonely shore !
And away by the gushing of many a fount-

Where fountains gush no more !
O for some warning vision there,

Some voice that should have spoken Of climes to be laid waste and bare,

And glad young spirits broken ! Of waters dried away,

And hope and beauty blasted !That scenes so fair and hearts so gay

Should be so early wasted !

A dream of other days !

That land is a desert now!

And grief grew up to dim the blaze

Upon that royal brow!
The whirlwind's burning wing hath cast

Blight on the marble plain,
And sorrow--like the simoom-past

O'er Cleopatra's brain !
For like her fervid clime that bred

Its self-consuming fires,
Her heart-like Indian widows—fed

Its own funereal pyres !
Not such the song her minstrels sing-.

“ Live, beauteous, and forever !"
As the vessel darts, with its purple wing.
Away down the golden river !

THOMAS K. HERVEY.

Cleopatra at Actium.

I.

THE
HE banners of the world are met upon that wild blue

wave, The sun hath risen that shall set upon an empire's grave; From tongues of many a land bursts forth the war-shout to

the breeze, And half the crowns of all the earth are played for on the

seas !

II.

The ocean hath a tinge of blood,- -a sound of woe the air; Death swims his pale steed through the flood— what doth

woman there? The shout of nations, in their strife, rings far along the lea, And what doth Egypt's dark-eyed queen upon that battle-sea ? CLEOPATRA AT ACTIUM.

39

III.

The Cydnus, hath it not the same bright wave and gentle

flow With which it stole to Tarsus, in those happy years ago, When music haunted all the shores by which its waters rolled, And she came down the river in her galley of the gold?

IV.

Her oars were of the silver then, and to her purple sails,
And in amid her raven hair, came only perfumed gales;
And Cupids trimmed the silken ropes along the cedar spars,
And she lay like a goddess on her pillow of the stars.

V.

Oh, the old city! and alas! the young and blessèd dream
That fell into her spirit first upon its silver stream !
The wild sweet memories of that morn still o'er her feelings

float, And love has launched this battle-bark that steered that

golden boat.

VI.

And she is yet, to one high heart, through all this cloud of

war, As in that city of the sea, its own and only starThe cynosure that shines as bright, across that place of

graves, As first it rose upon his soul from o'er the Cydnus' waves.

VII.

0, love, that is so bold to dare, should be more strong to do, Or what, О what doth Egypt there, with that soft, silken

crew ? And she should have a firmer soul who treads the battle-deck; And passion, where it fails to save, is, oh, too suie to wreck !

VIII.

And her's is still the spendthrift heart, that, when a wayward

girl, In passion's hour to pleasure's bowl cast in a pricėless pearl; But oh, her wealth of hoarded gems were all too poor to pay The one rich pearl, in this wild hour her fears have fung

away!

IX.

The princely pearl to whom her brow, though dark, seemed,

oh, how fair! And crowns were only precious things, when in her raven

hair; Who paid her smiles with diadems,—and bought, at empire's

cost, The love which he must lose to-day,—when all beside is lost!

X.

She hath risen like a queen ! -a pause-a moment's pause !

and now One word hath torn the golden badge from off her royal

brow ! The prows are turned to Egypt, and the flying sails unfurled, And the western breeze hath borne from him the fortunes of the world!

THOMAS K. HERVEY.

Charge of the Light Brigade.
HALF a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred,
For up came an order which

Some one had blundered.
"Forward, the Light Brigade !
Take the guns,” Nolan said ;
Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade !"
No man was there dismayed,
Not though the soldier knew

Some one had blundered :
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:-
Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them

Volleyed and thundered ;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell

Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabers bare,
Flashed all at once in air,
Sabering the gunners there,
Charging an army, while

All the world wondered :
Plunged in the battery smoke,
With many a desperate stroke
The Russian line they broke;

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