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With birch and darksome oak between, Spreads deep and far a pathless screen, Of tangled forest ground. Stems planted close by stems defy Th' adventurous foot-the curious eye For access seeks in vain! And the brown tapestry of leaves, Strewed on the blighted ground, receives Nor sun, nor air, nor rain. No opening glade dawns on our way, No streamlet, glancing to the ray,

Our woodland path has crossed; And the straight causeway which we tread Prolongs a line of dull arcade, Unvarying through the unvaried shade, Until in distance lost.

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Continued thunders came!

Each burgher held his breath to hear These forerunners of havoc near,

Of rapine and of flame.

What ghastly sights were thine to meet,
When rolling through thy stately street,
The wounded showed their mangled plight
In token of the unfinished fight,
And from each anguish-laden wain
The blood-drops laid thy dust like rain!
How often in the distant drum
Heard'st thou the fell invader come,
While ruin, shouting to his band,
Shook high her torch and gory brand!-
Cheer thee, fair city! from yon stand,
Impatient, still his outstretched hand

Points to his prey in vain,
While maddening in his eager mood,
And all unwont to be withstood,
He fires the fight again.

"On! On!" was still his stern exclaim, "Confront the battery's jaws of flame! Rush on the levelled gun!3 My steel-clad cuirassiers, advance! Each Hulan forward with his lance, My guard-my chosen-charge for France, France and Napoleon!"

Loud answered their acclaiming shout,
Greeting the mandate which sent out
Their bravest and their best to dare
The fate their leader shunned to share.4
But he, his country's sword and shield,
Still in the battle-front revealed,
Where danger fiercest swept the field,

Came like a beam of light, In action prompt, in sentence brief"Soldiers, stand firm!" exclaimed the chief, "England shall tell the fight!"5 XI.

On came the whirlwind-like the last
But fiercest sweep of tempest blast-
On came the whirlwind-steel gleams broke
Like lightning through the rolling smoke.

The war was waked anew;

Three hundred cannon-mouths roared loud,
And from their throats, with flash and cloud,

Their showers of iron threw.
Beneath their fire, in full career,
Rushed on the ponderous cuirassier,
The lancer couched his ruthless spear,
And hurrying as to havoc near,
The cohorts' eagles flew.

In one dark torrent, broad and strong,
The advancing onset rolled along,
Forth harbingered by fierce acclaim,
That from the shroud of smoke and flame,
Pealed wildly the imperial name.


But on the British heart were lost
The terrors of the charging host;
For not an eye the storm that viewed
Changed its proud glance of fortitude,
Nor was one forward footstep staid,
As dropped the dying and the dead.
Fast as their ranks the thunders tear,
Fast they renewed each serried square;
And on the wounded and the slain
Closed their diminished files again,
Till from their line scarce spears' length three,
Emerging from the smoke they see
Helmet, and plume, and panoply-

Then waked their fire at once!
Each musketeer's revolving knell,
As fast, as regularly fell,
As when they practise to display
Their discipline on festal day.

Then down went helm and lance,
Down were the eagle banners sent,
Down reeling steeds and riders went,
Corslets were pierced, and pennons rent;
And to augment the fray,
Wheeled full against their staggering flanks,
The English horsemen's foaming ranks
Forced their resistless way.

Then to the musket-knell succeeds
The clash of swords-the neigh of steeds→
As plies the smith his clanging trade,
Against the cuirass rang the blade;6
And while amid their close array
The well-served cannon rent their way,
And while amid their scattered band
Raged the fierce rider's bloody brand,
Recoiled in common rout and fear,
Lancer, and guard, and cuirassier,
Horsemen and foot--a mingled host,
Their leaders fall'n, their standards lost.

Then, WELLINGTON! thy piercing eye This crisis caught of destiny.

The British host had stood

That morn 'gainst charge of sword and lance,
As their own ocean-rocks hold stance,
But when thy voice had said, "Advance!"
They were their ocean's flood.—
O thou, whose inauspicious aim

Hath wrought thy host this hour of shame,
Think'st thou thy broken bands will bide
The terrors of yon rushing tide?
Or will thy chosen brook to feel
The British shock of levelled steel?"
Or dost thou turn thine eye
Where coming squadrons gleam afar,
And fresher thunders wake the war,
And other standards fly?-
Think not that in yon columns file
Thy conquering troops from distant Dyle-
Is Blucher yet unknown?
Or dwells not in thy memory still,
(Heard frequent in thine hour of ill,)
What notes of hate and vengeance thrill
In Prussia's trumpet tone?
What yet remains?-shall it be thine
To head the relics of thy line

In one dread effort more?The Roman lore thy leisure loved, And thou can'st tell what fortune proved That chieftain, who, of yore, Ambition's dizzy paths essayed, And with the gladiator's aid

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Shall future ages tell this tale
Of inconsistence faint and frail?
And art thou he of Lodi's bridge,
Marengo's field, and Wagram's ridge!

Or is thy soul like mountain-tide,
That, swelled by winter storm and shower,
Rolls down in turbulence of power

A torrent fierce and wide;
Reft of these aids, a rill obscure,
Shrinking unnoticed, mean, and poor,
Whose channel shows displayed
The wrecks of its impetuous course,
But not one symptom of the force

By which these wrecks were made.
Spur on thy way!-since now thine ear
Has brooked thy veterans' wish to hear,
Who, as thy flight they eyed,
Exclaimed-while tears of anguish came,
Wrung forth by pride, and rage, and shame-

"Oh that he had but died!"
But yet, to sum this hour of ill,
Look, ere thou leav'st the fatal hill,

Back on yon broken ranks—
Upon whose wild confusion gleams
The moon, as on the troubled streams

When rivers break their banks,
And, to the ruined peasant's eye,
Objects half seen roll swiftly by,

Down the dread current hurled--
So mingle banner, wain, and gun,
Where the tumultuous flight rolls on
Of warriors, who, when morn begun,
Defied a banded world.
List-frequent to the hurrying rout,
The stern pursuers' vengeful shout
Tells, that upon their broken rear
Rages the Prussian's bloody spear.

So fell a shriek was none,
When Beresina's icy flood
Reddened and thawed with flame and blood,
And, pressing on thy desperate way,
Raised oft and long their wild hurra,

The children of the Don.

Thine ear no yell of horror cleft
So ominous, when, all bereft
Of aid, the valiant Polack left-
Ay, left by thee-found soldier's grave
In Leipsic's corse-encumbered wave.
Fate, in these various perils past,
Reserved thee still some future cast;-
On the dread die thou now hast thrown
Hangs not a single field alone,
Nor one campaign--thy martial fame,
Thy empire, dynasty, and name,
Have felt the final stroke;

And now, o'er thy devoted head The last stern vial's wrath is shed, The last dread seal is broke. XVII.

Since live thou wilt--refuse not now
Before these demagogues to bow,
Late objects of thy scorn and hate,
Who shall thy once imperial fate
Make wordy theme of vain debate.-
Or shall we say, thou stoop'st less low
In seeking refuge from the foe,
Against whose heart, in prosperous life,
Thine hand hath ever held the knife?

Such homage hath been paid
By Roman and by Grecian voice,
And there were honour in the choice,
If it were freely made.

Then safely come-in one so low,
So lost-we cannot own a foe;
Though dear experience bid us end,
In thee we ne'er can hail a friend.
Come, howsoe'er-but do not hide
Close in thy heart that germ of pride,
Erewhile by gifted bard espied,
That "yet imperial hope;"
Think not that for a fresh rebound,
To raise ambition from the ground,

We yield thee means or scope.
In safety come-but ne'er again
Hold type of independent reign;
No islet calls thee lord,

We leave thee no confederate band,
No symbol of thy lost command,
To be a dagger in the hand

From which we wrenched the sword.

Yet, e'en in yon sequestered spot,
May worthier conquest be thy lot
Than yet thy life has known;
Conquest, unbought by blood or harm,
That needs not foreign aid nor arm,

A triumph all thine own.
Such waits thee when thou shalt control
Those passions wild, that stubborn soul,

That marred thy prosperous scene:
Hear this--from no unmoved heart,
Which sighs, comparing what thou art

With what thou might'st have been! XIX. Thou, too, whose deeds of fame renewed Bankrupt a nation's gratitude, To thine own noble heart must owe More than the meed she can bestow. For not a people's just acclaim, Not the full hail of Europe's fame, Thy prince's smiles, thy state's decree, The ducal rauk, the gartered knee, Not these such pure delight afford, As that, when, hanging up thy sword, Well may'st thou think, "This honest steel Was ever drawn for public weal; And, such was rightful heaven's decree, Ne'er sheathed unless with victory!”


Look forth, once more, with softened heart
Ere from the field of fame we part;
Triumph and Sorrow border near,
And Joy oft melts into a tear.
Alas! what links of love that moin
Has War's rude hand asunder torn!
For ne'er was field so sternly fought,
And ne'er was conquest dearer bought

Here, piled in common slaughter, sleep
Those whom affection long shall weep;
Here rests the sire, that ne'er shall strain
His orphans to his heart again;
The son, whom, on his native shore,
The parent's voice shall bless no more;
The bridegroom, who has hardly pressed
His blushing consort to his breast;
The husband, whom, through many a year,
Long love and mutual faith endear.
Thou canst not name one tender tie
But nere, dissolved, its relics lie!
O, when thou seest some mourner's veil
Shroud her thin form and visage pale,
Or mark'st the matron's bursting tears
Stream when the stricken drum she hears;
Or seest how manlier grief, suppressed,
Is labouring in a father's breast,

With no inquiry vain pursue
The cause, but think on Waterloo!

Period of honour as of woes,

What bright careers 'twas thine to close!-
Marked on thy roll of blood what names
To Britain's memory, and to Fame's,
Laid there their last immortal claims!
Thou saw'st in seas of gore expire
Redoubted Picton's soul of fire--
Saw'st in the mingled carnage lie
All that of Ponsonby could die-
De Lancy change Love's bridal wreath
For laurels from the hand of death-
Saw'st gallant Miller's failing eye
Still bent where Albion's banners fly,
And Cameron, in the shock of steel,
Die like the offspring of Lochiel;
And generous Gordon, 'mid the strife,
Fall while he watched his leader's life.-
Ah! though her guardian angel's shield
Fenced Britain's hero through the field,
Fate not the less her power made known
Through his friends' hearts to pierce his own!

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XXII. Forgive, brave dead, th' imperfect lay; Who may your names, your number, say, What high-strung harp, what lofty line, To each the dear-earned praise assign, From high-born chiefs of martial fame To the poor soldier's lowlier name? Lightly ye rose that dawning day, From your cold couch of swamp and clay, To fill, before the sun was low, The bed that morning cannot know. Oft may the tear the green sod steep, And sacred be the heroes' sleep,

Till time shall cease to run;
And ne'er beside their noble grave
May Briton pass, and fail to crave
A blessing on the fallen bravé,

Who fought with Wellington!

Farewell, sad field! whose blighted face
Wears desolation's withering trace;
Long shall my memory retain
Thy shattered huts and trampled grain,
With every mark of martial wrong,
That scathe thy towers, fair Hougoumont!
Yet though thy gardens green arcade
The marksman's fatal post was made,
Though on thy shattered beeches fell
The blended rage of shot and shell,

Though from thy blackened portals torn,
Their fall thy blighted fruit-trees mourn,
Has not such havoc bought a name
Immortal in the rolls of fame!
Yes-Agincourt may be forgot,
And Cressy be an unknown spot,

And Blenheim's name be new;
But still in story and in song,
For many an age remembered long,
Shall live the towers of Hougoumont,
And field of Waterloo.


Stern tide of human Time! that know'st not rest,
But, sweeping from the cradle to the tomb,
Bear'st ever downward on thy dusky breast
Successive generations to their doom;
While thy capacious stream has equal room

For the gaybark where pleasure's streamers sport, And for the prison-ship of guilt and gloom,

The fisher-skiff, and barge that bears a court, Still wafting onward all to one dark silent port. Stern tide of time! through what mysterious change

Of hope and fear have our frail barks been driven? For ne'er, before, vicissitude so strange

Was to one race of Adam's offspring given. And sure such varied change of sea and heaven, Such unexpected bursts of joy and wo, Such fearful strife as that where we have striven, Succeeding ages ne'er again shall know, Until the awful term when thou shalt cease to flow.

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Well thou art now repaid-though slowly rose, And struggled long with mists thy blaze of fame, While like the dawn that in the orient glows

On the broad wave its earlier lustre came; Then eastern Egypt saw the growing flame,

And Maida's myrtles gleam'd beneath its ray, Where first the soldier, stung with gen'rous shame, Rivall'd the heroes of the watery way, And wash'd in foemen's gore unjust reproach away. Now, Island empress, wave thy crest on high,

And bid the banner of thy patron flow, Gallant saint George, the flower of chivalry!

For thou hast faced, like him, a dragon foe, And rescued innocence from overthrow,

And trampled down, like him, tyrannic might, And to the gazing world may st proudly show The chosen emblem of thy sainted knight, Who quell'd devouring pride, and vindicated right.

Yet 'mid the confidence of just renown,

Renown dear-bought, but dearest thus acquired Write, Britain, write the moral lesson down; 'Tis not alone the heart with valour fired, The discipline so dreaded and admired,

In many a field of bloody conquest known; -Such may by fame be lured--by gold be hired'Tis constancy in the good cause alone, Best justifies the meed thy valiant sons have won.


1. The peasant, at his labour blith,

Plies the hook'd staff and shortened sithe.-P. 382.

The reaper in Flanders carries in his left hand a stick with an iron hook, with which he collects as much grain as he can cut at one sweep with a short sithe, which he holds in his right hand. They carry on this double process with great spirit and dexterity.

2. Pale Brussels! then what thoughts were thine.-P. 383.
It was affirmed by the prisoners of war, that Bo-
naparte had promised his army, in case of victory,
twenty-four hours' plunder of the city of Brussels.
3. "Confront the battery's jaws of flame!
Rush on the levell'd gun."-P. 383.
The characteristic obstinacy of Napoleon was
never more fully displayed than in what we may
be permitted to hope will prove the last of his
fields. He would listen to no advice, and allow
of no obstacles. An eye-witness has given the fol-
lowing account of his demeanour towards the end
of the action:-

nearer the scene of action than the spot already mentioned, which the rising banks on each side rendered secure from all such balls as did not come in a straight line. He witnessed the earlier part of the battle from places yet more remote, particularly from an observatory which had been placed there by the king of the Netherlands, some weeks before, for the purpose of surveying the country." It is not meant to infer from these particulars that Napoleon showed on that memorable occasion, the least deficiency in personal courage; on the contrary, he evinced the greatest composure and presence of mind during the whole action. But it is no less true that report has erred in ascribing to him any desperate efforts of valour for recovery of the battle; and it is remarkable, that during the whole carnage, none of his suite were either killed or wounded, whereas scarcely one of the duke of Wellington's personal attendants escaped unburt.

"It was near seven o'clock; Bonaparte, who, till then, had remained upon the ridge of the hill whence he could best behold what passed, contemplated, with a stern countenance, the scene of this horrible slaughter. The more that obstacles seemed to multiply, the more his obstinacy seemed to increase. He became indignant at these unforseen difficulties; and, far from fearing to push to extremities an army whose confidence in him was boundless, he ceased not to pour down fresh troops, and to give orders to march forward-to charge with the bayonet-to carry by storm. He was repeatedly informed, from different points, that the day went against him, and that the troops seemed to be disordered; to which he only replied,- En

avant! en avant!'

5. "England shall tell the fight.-P. 383." In riding up to a regiment which was hard press66 Soldiers, we ed, the duke called to the men, must never be beat,-what will they say in England?" It is needless to say how this appeal was


"One general sent to inform the emperor that he was in a position which he could not maintain, because it was commanded by a battery, and requested to know, at the same time, in what way he should protect his division from the murderous fire of the English artillery. Let him storm the battery,' replied Bonaparte, and turned his back on the aid-de-camp who brought the message. Relation de la bataille du Mont saint-Jean, par un Témoin Oculaire. Paris, 1815, 8vo. p. 51.


6. As plies the smith his clanging trade, Against the cuirass rang the blade.-P. 383. A private soldier of the 95th regiment compared the sound which took place immediately upon the British cavalry mingling with those of the enemy, to "a thousand tinkers at work mending pots and kettles."

7. Or will thy chosen brook to feel

The British shock of levell'd steel.-P. 383. No persuasion or authority could prevail upon the French troops to stand the shock of the bayonet. The imperial guards, in particular, hardly stood still till the British were within thirty yards of them, although the French author, already quoted, has put into their mouths the magnanimous sentiment, "The guards never yield-they die." The same author has covered the plateau, or eminence of St. Jean, which formed the British position, with redoubts and entrenchments which never had an existence. As the narrative, which is in many respects curious, was written by an eye-witness, he was probably deceived by the appearance of a road and ditch which runs along part of the hill. It may be also mentioned, in criticising this work, that the writer states the château of Hougoumont to have been carried by the French, although it was resolutely and successfully defended during the whole action. The enemy, indeed, possessed themselves of the wood by which it is surrounded, and at length set fire to the house itself; but the British (a detachment of the guards, under the command of colonel Macdonnell, and afterwards of colonel Home,) made good the garden, and thus preserved, by their desperate resistance, the post which covered the return of the duke of Welling

4. The fate their leader shunn'd to share.-P. 383.

It has been reported that Bonaparte charged at the head of his guards at the last period of this dreadful conflict. This, however, is not accurate. He came down, indeed, to a hollow part of the high-road leading to Charleroi, within less than a quarter of a mile of the farm of La Haye Sainte, one of the points most fiercely disputed. Here he harangued the guards, and informed them that his preceding operations had destroyed the British infantry and cavalry, and that they had only to support the fire of the artillery, which they were to attack with the bayonet. This exhortation was re-ton's right flank. ceived with shouts of Vive l'Empereur, which were heard over all our line, and led to an idea that Napoleon was charging in person. But the guards were led on by Ney; nor did Bonaparte approach

The mistakes concerning this observatory bave been mutual. The English supposed it was erected for the ust of Bonaparte; and a French writer affirms it was structed by the duke of Wellington.


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