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And now,

far and near,

without a home or friend, I wander

And tell my miserable tale to all who lend an

ear.

Thus sitting by your happy hearths, beside your

mother's knee, How should you know the miseries and dangers

of the sea ?

THOMAS HOOD.

BORN 1798.
DIED 1845.

PRINCIPAL WRITINGS:-The Haunted House; Eugene Aram;

The Song of the Shirt.

he Beam of Engene Áram.

WAS in the prime of summer time,

An evening calm and cool,
And four-and-twenty happy boys

Came bounding out of school :
There were some that ran, and some that leapt,

Like troutlets in a pool.

* EUGENE ARAM was a schoolmaster who was executed at York, A.D. 1759, for murdering Daniel Clarke, at Knaresborough. It is said that he was a man of considerable attainments, and was much beloved by his scholars.

Away they sped with gamesome minds,

And souls unscarr'd by sin ;
To a level mead they came, and there

They drave the wickets in :
Pleasantly shone the setting sun

Over the town of Lynn.*

Like sportive deer they coursed about,

And shouted as they ran,
Turning to mirth all things of earth,

As only boyhood can;
But the Usher sat remote from all,

A melancholy man!

His hat was off, his vest apart,

To catch heaven's blessed breeze ; For a burning thought was in his brow,

And his bosom ill at ease : So he lean'd his head on his hands, and read

The book between his knees !

Leaf after leaf, he turn'd it o'er,

Nor ever glanced aside ;
For the peace of his soul he read that book

In the golden eventide :
Much study had made him very lean,

And pale, and leaden-eyed.

* LYNN.- A town in Norfolk.

Then, leaping on his feet upright,

Some moody turns he took,Now up the mead, now down the mead

And past a shady nook,And, lo! he saw a little boy

That pored upon a book !

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My gentle lad, what is't you read

Romance, or fairy fable ? Or is it some historic page

Of kings and crowns unstable ? The young boy gave an upward glance,

" It is · The Death of Abel.'”

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The Usher took six hasty strides,

As smit with sudden pain,-
Six hasty strides beyond the place,

Then slowly back again ;
And down he sat beside the lad,

And talk'd with him of Cain ;

And, long since then, of bloody men,

Whose deeds tradition saves ;
Of lonely folk cut off unseen,

And hid in sudden graves ;
Of horrid stabs, in groves forlorn,

And murders done in caves.

He told how murderers walk the earth

Beneath the curse of Cain,
With crimson clouds before their eyes,

And flames about their brain :
For blood has left upon their souls

Its everlasting stain !

“ And well,” quoth he, “ I know for truth,

Their pangs must be extreme,Wo, wo, unutterable wo,

Who spill life's sacred stream ! For why ? Methought, last night, I wrought

A murder in a dream !

“ One that had never done me wrong,

A feeble man and old :
I led him to a lonely field ;

The moon shone clear and cold :
• Now here,' said I, this man shall die,

And I will have his gold!'

“ Two sudden blows with a ragged stick,

And one with a heavy stone,
One hurried gash with a hasty knife, -

And then the deed was done :
There was nothing lying at my feet

But lifeless flesh and bone.

“ I took the dreary body up,

And cast it in a stream, -
A sluggish water, black as ink,

The depth was so extreme.
My gentle boy, remember this

Is nothing but a dream !

66 Down went the corse with a hollow plunge,

And vanish'd in the pool ;
Anon I cleansed my bloody hands,

And washed my forehead cool ;
And sat among the urchins young,

That evening in the school !

66 Alas ! to think of their white souls,

And mine so black and grim ;
I could not share in childish prayer,

Nor join in evening hymn:
Like a devil of the pit I seem'd

'Mid holy cherubim.

“ And peace went with them, one and all,

And each calm pillow spread;
But guilt was my grim chamberlain,

That lighted me to bed;
And drew my midnight curtains round,

With fingers bloody red !

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