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And now all's hush'd !-a certain still awes The motley crowd ; they gaze on each With a quick-meaning eye—but speech Lies stifled with a numbing fear!

A single voice appals the ear, And tells—but with a whispered breathHow

easy is an infant's death. . And that we only do fulfil laws • Given by Nature—to deny Life to the wretched things that mock Nature herself !'.

Then suddenly There ran a chill electric shock Thro' every woman there whose breast The soft lips of a babe had prest ; But she who spake—an aged croneThe mother's love had never known !

The gossip ceased ; and you might mark

The influence of her words was creeping Slowly but sure—throughout the rest. And in the pause, and thro' the dark, You heard the mother's quiet weepin

-Out rang a sharp and wailing cry From where the Twins were lain, And from their first and gentlest sleeping

They woke to earth and pain !

As snows that in some deep ravine

Lie motionless and dumb,
Till at a signal from the beam-
Some charm'd voice from the sun-they seem
To wake-wild Genii—from a dream,
And changing as they wake the steep
Beholds the transformed torrents sweep,
And

conquer as they come;
Thus, when that signal cry arose,
Strait from the warmed and melting snows
The Waters of deep love awoke !---
To life the Mighty Instinct broke,
And wild and thrilling through the crowd,
A Mother's soul speaks out aloud---

My children---they are mine !"

And weird, and ghast, and desolate

That sound of woman's deepest fear,

Rung on the humbled father's ear; Where, deadening thought in gloom, he sate With downcast eyes, that loathed to.see, And numb hands drooping on his knee; And, as a voice that from the skies Bids one the Grave hath housed arise, He rose : the crowd on either side Fell back; sound answered not his stride. He reach'd the cradled pair---no word, No breath, from that hush'd crowd was heard :The mother stretched her arms, but she

Read not the features from her turning, Nor dreamt that there, all visibly

His heart was to the new-born yearning.
She gazed--the pause she could not break, ,
She gazed—the very power to shriek

Those parted lips forsook.
And in those eyes, as in a mirror,
Nature beheld herself in Terror!

But, with a fixed and gentle look

And trembling clasp, the father took His children:—to her side he came And breathed—yet scarcely breathed-her name. But not another word he said, That whisper had exorcised Dread.

Lo! on her breast the Twins !-and there

They clung, and sought for food,
And with fast-dropping eyes—the pair

The bending mother view'd.
And, every moment, you might see
She clasp'd them more convulsively ;
Looked wildly on the faces near,
Looked-lost-yet doubting turned to fear!
Then as below her glance she cast,
Forgot-in shuddering o'er--the past !
With folded arms and tearful smile

There stands the touched and silent Father ;

And hushed and melted round, the while,

The wondering gossips gaze and gather. And thus, our Twins were saved to flow

Thro' Time's far stream in rhyme and glory, And inch by inch together grow,

The heroes of an English story.

END OF CHAPTER I. BOOK I.

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