Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE AVENGER: INCIDENT IN ITALY, by SAMUEL CARTER

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THE AVENGER: INCIDENT IN ITALY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The monster seized the shrieking girl
Last Line: "been going on from bad to worse."
Subject(s): Crime & Criminals; Evil; Monsters; Murder; Revenge

[The Brigand destroys a maiden:]
THE monster seized the shrieking girl,
Around her throat his fingers met,
And swept her down with giant hand
The frightful opening at his feet.

[Her sister arrives, and spectators think of interfering:]
And rushing on with frantic cries,
Horror and madness in her eyes,
Rosa was seen, towards the cave
Just made her living sister's grave.
Those who looked on half stupefied
At the enormous homicide,
Thinking she aimed herself to throw
Into the dreadful pit below,
Stepped forth to intercept her course,
But just before the wretch she neared
She fell with some degree of force,
And for a moment stunned appeared.

With frantic grief she tore her hair,
The kerchief round her bosom bound,
And dashed her head against the ground;
Then rising up with rapid speed
While neck, and ears, and forehead bleed,
She struggled vainly to address
The miscreant, who from the press
Still kept aloof. ...

[But the march of events is too quick for them:]
He seized her in his arms to fling
Her down the grave her sister found.—
The suddenness of this attack
So paralysed each looker on,
That taken by it quite aback
They stand as if transformed to stone,
And see, astonished and amazed,
The poor girl with the murderer
Struggle for life—and as they gazed
Made no attempt to aid or stir.

[Rosa does her best unaided:]
And once when groping for his knife
To terminate that way the strife,
Her efforts to preserve her life
Became so great as almost drew
The villain to destruction too.

[The miscreant is overpowered and put to bed:]
So stunned, surrounded and beset,
The surgeon struggled hard to see
His patient, or at least to get
Some signs of his proximity:
At length they opened up a way
To where a man extended, lay,
Presenting an appalling sight
Seen dimly through the chequered light. ...
For swelling, high amid the clothes,
The body, like a mountain rose
That scarce the head was seen;
While from below the feet protrude
(Like Satan "stretching many a rood"
So giant-like I ween.)—
And on those large and naked feet
A pair of antique spurs were placed,
Which fastened o'er the instep meet,
With many-coloured latchets graced.

[The surgeon enquires later:]
"Since when he has," (replied the nurse,)
"Been going on from bad to worse."

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