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[157]
Earth has no spell whose magic shall not fail
To light the gloom that shrouds thy narrow bed,
Or woo thee from the dead.

Then take thy long repose
Beneath the shelter of the deep green sod:
Death but a brighter halo o'er thee throws—
Thy fame, thy soul alike have spurned the clod—
Rest thee in God.


A series of poems, entitled ‘Historic Pencilings,’ appear in the first volume of the New Yorker, over the initials ‘H. G.’ These were the poetized reminiscences of his boyish historical reading. Of these poems the following is, perhaps, the most pleasing and characteristic:

Nero's tomb.

When Nero perished by the justest doom,
...
Some hand unseen strewed flowers upon his grave.

The tyrant slept in death;
     His long career of blood had ceased forever,
And but an empire's execrating breath
     Remained to tell of crimes exampled never.
Alone remained? Ah! no;
     Rome's scathed and blackened walls retold the story
Of conflagrations broad and baleful glow.
     Such was the halo of the despot's glory!

And round his gilded tomb
     Came crowds of sufferers—but not to weep—
Not theirs the wish to light the house of gloom
     With sympathy. No! Curses wild and deep
His only requiem made.
     But soft! see, strewed around his dreamless bed
The trophies bright of many a verdant glade,
     The living's tribute to the honored dead.


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