Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

XII.

/

But soon ke knew himself the most unfit

Of men to herd with Man; with whom he held
Little in common; untaught to submit
His thoughts to others, though his soul was quell'd
In youth by his own thoughts; still uncompcll'd,
He would not yield dominion of his mind
To spirits against whom his own rebell'd;
Proud though in desolation; which could find
A life within itself, to breathe without mankind.

XIII.

Where rose the mountains, there to him were friends; Where roll'd the Ocean, thereon was his home; Where a blue sky, and glowing climc, extends, He had the passion and the power to roam; The desert, forest, cavern, breaker's foam, Were unto him companionship ; they spake A mutual language, clearer than the tome Of his land's tongue, which he would oft forsake For Nature's pages glass'd by sunbeams on the lake.

XIV.

Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars, Till he bad peopled them with beings bright As their own beams; and earth, an 1 earth-bora jars, And human frailties, were forgotten quite: Could he have kept his spirit to that flight - * He had bc'en happy; but this clay will siuk Its spark immortal, envying it the light To which it mounts, as if to break the link . That keeps us from yon heaven which woos, us to its brink. XXI.

There was a sound of revelry by night, And Belgium's capital had gathered then Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men; A thousand hearts beat happily; and when Music arose with its voluptuous swell, Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again, And ' all went merry as a marriage-bell; But hush! hark I a deep sound strikes like a rising kuell.'

XXII.

Did ye not hear it?—No; 'twas but the wind, Or the car rattling o'er the stony street; On with the dance! let joy be unconfined; No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet To chase the glowing hours with flying feet— But, hark!—that heavy sound breaks in once more, As if the clouds its echo would repeat; And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before! Arm! Arm! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar'

XXIII.

Within a windowed niche of that high hall Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear That sound the first amidst the festival, And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear; And when they smiled because he dcem'd it near, His heart more truly knew that peal too well Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier, And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell: He rush'd into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.

[graphic]

XXIV.

Alt! then and there was hurrying to and fro, And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress, And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness; And there were sudden partings, such as press The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess If ever more should meet those mutual eyes, Since upon nights so sweet such awful morn could rise?

XXV.

And there was mounting in hot baste : the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
-Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;

While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb, Or whispering, with white lips— u The foe! They come! they come! »

XXVI.

And wild and high the « Cameron's gathering » rose! The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes :— How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills, Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers With the fierce native daring which instils The stirring memory of a thousand years, And2 Evan's3, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!

XXVII.

And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves, Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass, Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves, Over the unreturning brave, alas! Ere evening to be trodden like the grass Which now beneath them, but above shall grow In its next verdure, when the fiery mass Of living valour, rolling on the foe And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low.

XXVIII.

Last moon beheld them full of lusty life, Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay, The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife, The morn the marshalling in arms, the day Battle's magnificently-stern array ! The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent The earth is covered thick with other clay, Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent, Rider and horse,_friend, foe, in one red burial blent!

[ocr errors]

Their praise is hymn’d by loftier harps than mine;
Yet one I would select from that proud throng,
Partly because they blend me with his line,
And partly that I did his sire some wrong,
And partly that bright names will hallow song;
And his was of the bravest, and when shower'd
The death-bolts deadliest the thinn'd siles along,
Even where the thickest of war's tempest lower'd,

[merged small][ocr errors]

XXX.

There haye been tears and breaking hearts for thee, And mine were nothing, had I such to give; But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree, Which living waves where thou didst cease to live, And saw around me the wild field revive With frnits and fertile promise, and the Spring Come forth her work of gladness to contrive, With all her reckless birds upon the wing, I tarn'd from all she brought to those she could not bring.

XXXI.

I turn'd to thee, to thousands, of whom eacli And one as all a ghastly gap did make In his own kind and kindred, whom to teach Forgetfulness were mercy for their sake; The Archangel's trump, not Glory's, must awake Those whom they thirst for; though the sound of Fame May for a moment soothe, it cannot slake The fever of vain longing, and the name So honoured but assumes a stronger, bitterer claim.

XXXII.

They, mourn, but smile at length; and smiling, mourn: The tree will wither long before it fall; The hull drives on, though mast and sail be torn; The roof-tree sinks, but moulders on the hall In massy hoariness; the ruined wall Stands when its wind-worn battlements are gone; The bars survive the captive they enthral; The day drags through though storms keep out the sun; And thus the heart will break, yet brokenly live on:

« AnteriorContinuar »