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ALFRED THE GREAT.

“Civic Muse, to such a name,
To such a name for ages long,
Preserve a broad approach of fame,
And ever-ringing avenues of song.'

ODE ON THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.

LAND of rest! where Plenty's form
Stands undimmed by cloud or storm;

Where no war-cloud curled gives token Of the battle's grim array ;

Where no weeping wife, heart-broken, Mourns the husband reft to-day;

But peace holds her quiet reign,
And the corn-field's golden grain
Waves upon the sunlit plain :

Thou hast seen far other sight,
In the fury of the fight,

When the light of evening, flying
From the broad expanse of down,

Cast its glare on heaps of dying
And the dead man's ghastly frown;

When o'er England's fair domain
Swept the tempest of the Dane,
Rover of the northern main!

Every castle of the great,
Every peasant's lowly gate,

All are seen in desolation,
All in ruined heaps are laid :

Nought can aid the prostrate nation,
For Hope's beacon-blazes fade.

Where is now their champion's might?
Where the sword that flashed so bright,
Lit by victory's glowing light?

a

He, their king, their victor-lord,
He who bowed them to his word,-

As a star at evening sparkling
O’er the sunset-tinted main

Fades, a few brief moments darkling,
Fairer still to shine again, -

Lives unknown in solitude,
Seeking marsh and forest rude
O’er his country's woes to brood.

But some faithful friends are near,
Hearts that know not how to fear,

While with victory elated
Holds the Dane his festival,

And with fields of carnage sated
Triumphs in his banquet-hall;

Till no thought of war remains,
Charging hosts or reeking plains,
Where the pomp of revel reigns !

When the shouts are rising high
From the joyous company,

Comes a wandering minstrel, praying Leave to touch his humble lyre,

And his tuneful art displaying,
Wake to birth a minstrel's fire.

Hark! they bid him lift his song
And his burning notes prolong
To the praises of the strong.

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“I see the purple wine outpoured,
I see that plenty loads the board,
And victor lords with jest and laugh
Freely the brimming flagons quaff,
And bards around, in joyous strain,
Attest the prowess of the Dane!

No longer in his native home
Can England's hapless monarch roam ;
But outcast, vanquished, nameless, poor,
He haunts the forest and the moor;
His burning halls, his wasted plain,
All speak the praises of the Dane!

“ Warriors ! when sinks tomorrow's sut,
Another victory nobly won,
And shivered helm and sword and shield
Left on the fatal battle field,
Better than feast or harper's strain
Shall tell the terrors of the Dane!”

*

Past the song of mirth and glee,
Past the night's festivity;

And instead, the greensward gory,
With the blood of foemen dyed,

Tells the tale of Alfred's glory
And the Raven's humbled pride ;

When the land again was free,
And the Dane his conquered knee
Bent in meek humility.

Not their conqueror alone,
But a higher Lord they own,

To the God of battles bending,
To the God of all adored:-

Hark! the prayer to heaven ascending Is by priest and warrior poured,

Breaking on Eve's solemn rest,
While the sunbeams in the west
Linger on the mountain-crest!

So was Peace and Joy restored
To the heart of England's Lord,

By the gallant friends that wielded
Sword and lance in stalwart hands,

By the fleet that e'er hath shielded
These white coasts from hostile bands;

Till the storm had ceased to rave,
And the king, beyond the grave,
Found the rest that waits the brave!

Nothing but the arm of might
Proved in many a desperate fight,

Nothing but the form of beauty
Moulders in the lowly tomb;

For the soul, that shunned not duty,
Sheds its lustre through the gloom :

A thousand years have passed by,
A
But still that light burns steadfastly
Through the mist of memory!

Glorious not in arms alone :
Art and skill thine empire own!

Now, where nation vies with nation
Pouring in Earth's varied store,

Where a kingdom's population
Crowds through many an open door,

May thy love, unseen, be near,
Joined with his, upon whose bier
Late was shed a nation's tear.

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