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And now are seen the youthful and the gray,
With bosoms firing to partake the fray:
The first, with hearts that consecrate the deed,
All eager rush to vanquish or to bleed;
Like young waves racing in the morning sun,
That rear and leap with reckless fury on !
But mark yon war-worn man, who looks on high
With thought and valour mirrored in his eye.
Not all the gory revels of the day
Can fright the visions of his home away ;
The home of love and its associate smiles,
His wife's endearments and his baby's wiles :-
Fights he less brave through recollected bliss,
With step retreating, or with sword remiss ?
Ah no! remembered home's the warrior's charm,
Speed to his sword, and vigour to his arm;
For this he supplicates the Power afar,
Fronts the steeled foe, and mingles in the war!
The cannon's hushed !-nor drums, nor clarion sound;
Helmet and hauberk gleam upon the ground;
Horseman and horse lie weltering in their gore;
Patriots are dead, and heroes dare no more;
While solemnly the moonlight shrouds the plain,
And lights the lurid features of the slain !
And see ! on this rent mound, where daisies sprung,
A battle-steed beneath his rider flung;
Oh! never more he'll rear with fierce delight,
Roll his red eyes, and rally for the fight!
Pale on his bleeding breast the warrior lies,
While, from his ruffled lids, the white-swelled eyes
Ghastly and grimly stare upon the skies !
Afar, with bosom bared unto the breeze,
White lips, and glaring eyes, and shivering knees,
A widow o’er her martyred soldier moans,
Loading the night-wind with delirious groans ;
Her blue-eyed babe, unconscious orphan he,
While sweetly prattling in his cherub glee,
Leers on his lifeless sire with infant-wile,
And plays and plucks him for a parent's smile.
But who, upon the battle-wasted plain,
Shall count the faint, the gasping, and the slain ?---
Angel of Mercy! ere the blood-fount chill,
And the brave heart be spiritless and still,
Amid the havoc, Thou art hovering nigh
To calm each groan, and close each dying eye,
And waft the spirit to that halcyon shore,
Where war's loud thunders lash the winds no more.
XLVII.—THE PARISH POOR-HOUSE. — Crabbe.
THERE, in yon house, that holds the parish poor,
Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door,
There, where the putrid vapours flagging play,
And the dull wheel hums doleful through the day;
There children dwell, who know no parents, care;
Parents, who know no children's love, dwell there:
Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed,
Forsaken wives, and mothers never wed;
Dejected widows, with unheeded tears;
And crippled age with more than childhood's fears ;
The lame, the blind, and far the happiest they,
The moping idiot, and the madman gay!
Here, too, the sick their final doom receive,
Here brought, amid the scenes of grief, to grieve;
Where the loud groans from some sad chamber flow,
Mixed with the clamour of the crowd below :
Here, sorrowing, they each kindred sorrow scan,
And the cold charities of man to man !
Whose laws, indeed, for ruined age provide,
And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from pride;
But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh,
And pride embitters what it can't deny!
Say, ye,-oppressed by some fantastic woes,
Some jarring nerve that baffles your repose;
Who press the downy couch, while slaves advance
With timid eye, to read the distant glance;
Who, with sad
To name the nameless, ever new disease;
Who, with mock patience, dire complaint endure,
Which real pain—and that alone-can cure;-
How would ye bear, in real pain to lie,
Despised, neglected, left alone to die?
How would ye bear, to draw your latest breath,
Where all that's wretched
for death? Such is that room, which one rude beam divides, And naked rafters form the sloping sides;
Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen,
And lath and mud are all that lie between,-
Save one dull pane, that, coarsely patched, gives way
To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day;
There, on a matted flock with dust o'erspread,
The drooping wretch reclines his languid head!
For him, no hand the cordial cup supplies,
Nor wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes;
No friends, with soft discourse, his pangs beguile,
Nor promise hope, till sickness wears a smile.
XLVIII.—THE MARINER'S HYMN.-Mrs. Southey. LAUNCH thy bark, Mariner ! Christian, God speed thee! Let loose the rudder-bands !-good angels lead thee! Set thy sails warily; tempests will come; Steer thy course steadily! Christian, steer home! Look to the weather-bow, breakers are round thee! Let fall the plummet now—shallows may ground thee. Reef-in the fore-sail there ! hold the helm fast ! so— let the vessel ware! there swept the blast. What of the night, watchman? What of the night? "Cloudy—all quiet-no land yet-all's right." Be wakeful, be vigilant !-danger may be At an hour when all seemeth securest to thee. How! gains the leak so fast? Clean out the holdHoist up thy merchandise-heave out thy gold ! There— let the ingots go!--now the ship rights; Hurrah! the harbour's near-lo, the red lights ! Slacken not sail yet at inlet or island; Straight for the beacon steer-straight for the high land; Crowd all thy canvas on, cut through the foamChristian! cast anchor now-HEAVEN IS THY HOME !
XLIX.-TO MARY IN HEAVEN.-Burns. Thou lingering star with lessening ray
That lov'st to greet the early morn! Again thou usherest in the day,
My Mary from my soul was torn! O Mary! dear departed shade!
Where is thy place of blissful rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?
That sacred hour can I forget ?
Can I forget the hallowed grove, Where, by the winding Ayr, we met
To live one day of parting love ? ETERNITY will not efface
Those records dear of transports past ! Thy image at our last embraco
Ah! little thought we, 'twas our last ! Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,
"O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green; The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,
Twined amorous round the raptured scene. The flowers sprang wanton to be pressed;
The birds sang love on every spray; Till, too, too soon, the glowing west
Proclaimed the speed of winged day. Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,
And fondly broods with miser care; Time but the impression deeper makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear. My Mary! dear departed shade!
Where is thy blissful place of rest ? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?
L.-INSTABILITY OF FRIENDSHIP.Thomas Moore.
ALAS!-how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love!
Hearts, that the world in vain had tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied,
That stood the storm when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off-
Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven is all tranquillity!
A something light as air-a look-
A word unkind, or wrongly taken
Oh! love, that tempests never shook,
A breath, a touch like this, hath shaken.
And ruder words will soon rush in
To spread the breach that words begin;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship's smiling day;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said;
Till, fast declining, one by one,
The sweetnesses of love are gone;
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds-or like the stream
That smiling left the mountain's brow,
As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Yet, e'er it reach the plain below,
Breaks into floods, that part for ever!
LI.—THE DESERTED VILLAGE.- Goldsmith.
SWEET Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain;
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed;
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please ;
How often have I loitered o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endeared each scene!
How often have I paused on every charm;-
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topped the neighbouring hill ;
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made!
How often have I blest the coming day,
When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play;
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree; ;
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old surveyed;
many a gambol frolicked o’er the ground,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went round;
And still, as each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired :-
The dancing pair, that simply sought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down;
The swain, mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter tittered round the place;
The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love;
The matron's glance that would those looks reprove ;-