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The half-suppression of the sigh,
Foretold the awful doom was nigh,
The half-clos'd eye, the uprais'd look,
The parting smile which none could brook,
One wish to gain the heavenly shore,
And buried in futurity.
THE DEATH OF THE ATHEIST,
Εχθρόν γε θνητοῖς, καὶ θεοῖς στυγουμένον.-Eurip.
Loud blew the angry blast;
The midnight storm was hurtling in the air,
Of heav'nly peacefulness, now burst their bounds,
And seem'd one universal war to wage.
Loud burst the thunder-crash; and each man look'd
Into his neighbour's face, as if to ask
If that night were his last? for it did seem
As if the Almighty Angel had dissolv'd
The charm of death; and that dread hour had come
Which borders on eternity, when all
Must wake from the omnipotence of death.
The horse had thrown his rider: his wild eyes
Seem'd starting from their sockets; he burst forth Heedless and masterless, and with each flash Rear'd his proud neck, and stood aghast with fear; So terrible and awful was that night!
But who was he, who, in that fearful hour, Unknown and friendless, 'neath a stranger's roof, Had found a cheerless welcome, but to breathe His last farewell in frightful agony?
"Twas the stern Atheist! in whose guilty face, Death was too deeply stamp'd: within his breast
Tumultuous passions rag'd, more horrible
Than the proud elements, which round him pour'd Their wrath in each loud thunder-crash, as if Revolting at the actions of that man.
Fix'd was his glazed eye and motionless;
His glance was terrible: upon his brow
A thousand crimes were trac'd, and on his lineaments
He turn'd to former deeds, and if perchance
The thunder roll'd above him; and more near
His lip in bitter scorn. Upon his brow
Sat the big heat-drops-and his voice howl'd forth
Wild and unmeaning sentences, which spoke
And now the storm roll'd on more awfully;
Spread o'er his fixed eyes; for death held forth
Th' unutterable words were chok'd, which breath'd
Gasping for breath-and gave one shriek—and died!