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*Out with those boats, and let us haste away,'
'ere yet yon sea the bark devours.' The man thus clamouring was, I scarce need say,
No officer of ours.
We knew our duty better than to care
For such loose babblers, and made no reply,
Till our good colonel gave the word, and there
Formed us in line to die.
There rose no murmur from the ranks, no thought,
By shameful strength, unhonoured life to seek ;
Our post to quit we were not trained, nor taught
To trample down the weak.
So we made women with their children go,
The oars ply back again, and yet again ;
Whilst, inch by inch, the drowning ship sank low,
Still under steadfast men.
What follows why recall ? The brave who died,
Died without flinching in the bloody surf ;
They sleep as well, beneath that purple tide,
As others, under turf ;They sleep as well, and roused from their wild grave,
Wearing their wounds like stars, shall rise again,
Joint heirs with Christ, because they bled to save
His weak ones, not in vain.
If that day's work no clasp or medal mark,
If each proud heart no cross of bronze may press, No cannon thunder loud from Tower and Park,
This feel we, none the less. That those whom God's high grace there saved from ill
Those also left His martyrs in the bay~ Though not by siege, though not by battle, still
Full well had earned their pay.
NOTHING in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died
As one that had been studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd
As 'twere a careless trifle.---Shakspeare.
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE VALE OF
HAST thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course ? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly ; but thou, most awful Form !
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above,
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass; methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
o dread and silent Mount ! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wert blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy ;
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing—there,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven !
Awake, my soul ! not only passive praise
Thou owest ! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy. Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my Heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale !
Oh, struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink:
Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald ! wake, O wake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth ?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams ?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad !
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
For ever shattered, and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?
And who commanded-and the silence came-
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest ?
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge !
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts !
Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing, ye meadow-streams, wiih gladsome voice.
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God !
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain-storm !
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter forth God! and fill the hills with praise !
Thou too, hoar Mount ! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast-
Thou too, again, stupendous Mountain! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base,
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,
To rise before me-Rise, oh, ever rise ;
Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the Earth!
Thou Kingly Spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven,
Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
TO THE MOON.-Shelley.
ART thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heavens, and gazing on the earth.
Among the stars that have a different birth,-
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
FROST-LOCKED all the winter,
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
What shall make their sap ascend
That they may put forth shoots ?
Tips of tender green,
Leaf, or blade, or sheath;
Telling of the hidden life
That breaks forth underneath,
Life nursed in its grave by Death.
Blows the thaw-wind pleasantly,
Drips the soaking rain,
By fits looks down the waking sun :
Young grass springs on the plain ;
Young leaves clothe early hedgerow trees ;
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
Swollen with sap put forth their shoots ;
Curled-headed ferns sprout in the lane ;
Birds sing and pair again.
There is no time like Spring,
When life's alive in everything,
Before new nestlings sing
Before cleft swallows speed their journey back
Along the trackless track-
God guides their wing,
He spreads their table that they nothing lack,
Before the daisy grows a common flower,
Before the sun has power
To scorch the world up in his noontide hour.
There is no time like Spring,
Like Spring that passes by ;
There is no life like Spring-life born to die,
Piercing the sod,
Clothing the uncouth clod,
Hatched in the nest,
Fledged on the windy bough,
Strong on the wing:
There is no time like Spring that passes by,
Now newly born, and now
Hastening to die.
ADDRESS TO THE MUMMY IN BELZONI'S
AND thou hast walk'd about (how strange a story!)
In Thebes' streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,
And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous !
Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dummy ;
Thou hast a tongue,-come, let us hear its tune;
Thou’rt standing on thy legs above ground, mummy!
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon.
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features.
Tell us-for doubtless thou canst recollect-
To whom should we assign the Sphynx's fame?
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect
Of either Pyramid that bears his name?