The Death-Wake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 90 pages of information about The Death-Wake.


    A curse! a curse! the beautiful pale wing
    Of a sea-bird was worn with wandering,
    And, on a sunny rock beside the shore,
    It stood, the golden waters gazing o’er;
    And they were heaving a brown amber flow
    Of weeds, that glitter’d gloriously below.

    It was the sunset, and the gorgeous hall
    Of heaven rose up on pillars magical
    Of living silver, shafting the fair sky
    Between dark time and great eternity. 
    They rose upon their pedestal of sun,
    A line of snowy columns! and anon
    Were lost in the rich tracery of cloud
    That hung along, magnificently proud,
    Predicting the pure star-light, that beyond
    The east was armouring in diamond
    About the camp of twilight, and was soon
    To marshal under the fair champion moon,
    That call’d her chariot of unearthly mist,
    Toward her citadel of amethyst.

    A curse! a curse! a lonely man is there
    By the deep waters, with a burden fair
    Clasp’d in his wearied arms—­’Tis he; ’tis he
    The brain-struck Julio, and Agathe! 
    His cowl is back—­flung back upon the breeze,
    His lofty brow is haggard with disease,
    As if a wild libation had been pour’d
    Of lightning on those temples, and they shower’d
    A dismal perspiration, like a rain,
    Shook by the thunder and the hurricane!

    He dropt upon a rock, and by him placed,
    Over a bed of sea-pinks growing waste,
    The silent ladye, and he mutter’d wild,
    Strange words, about a mother, and no child. 
    “And I shall wed thee, Agathe! although
    Ours be no God-blest bridal—­even so!”
    And from the sand he took a silver shell,
    That had been wasted by the fall and swell
    Of many a moon-borne tide into a ring—­
    A rude, rude ring; it was a snow-white thing,
    Where a lone hermit limpet slept and died,
    In ages far away.  “Thou art a bride,
    Sweet Agathe!  Wake up; we must not linger.” 
    He press’d the ring upon her chilly finger,
    And to the sea-bird, on its sunny stone,
    Shouted, “Pale priest! thou liest all alone
    Upon thy ocean altar, rise away
    To our glad bridal!” and its wings of gray
    All lazily it spread, and hover’d by
    With a wild shriek—­a melancholy cry! 
    Then swooping slowly o’er the heaving breast
    Of the blue ocean, vanish’d in the west.

    And Julio is chanting to his bride,
    A merry song of his wild heart, that died
    On the soft breeze through pinks beside the sea,
    All rustling in their beauty gladsomely.


    A rosary of stars, love! we’ll count them as we go
    Upon the laughing waters, that are wandering below,
    And we’ll o’er the pearly moon-beam, as it lieth in the sea,
    In beauty and in glory, like a shadowing of thee!

Project Gutenberg
The Death-Wake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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