Reception of Evil Tidings

What’s this? Did you not see a white convulsion
Run through his cheek and fling his eye-lids up?
There’s mischief in the paper.
                                              Mark again
How, with that open palm, he shades his brain
From its broad, sudden meaning. Once I saw
One who had dug for treasure in a corner,
Where he, by torchlight, saw a trembling man
Burying a chest at night. Just so he stood
With open striving lips and shaking hair;
Alive but in his eyes, and they were fixed
On a smeared, earthly, bleeding corpseā€”his sister,
There by her murderer crushed into the earth.

[Kelsall, 1851]