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The humming-bird, from bloom to bloom, inhaling heavenly balm ; The raven, in the tempest's gloom, the halcyon in the calm :
The woodlark in his mournful hours, the goldfinch in his mirth; The thrush, a spendthrift of his powers, enrapturing heaven and
The swan, in majesty and grace, contemplative and still :
But roused—no falcon in the chase could like his satire kill;
The linnet, in simplicity; in tenderness, the dove ;
But more than all beside was he the nightingale in love.
Oh! had he never stooped to shame, nor lent a charm to vice,
How had devotion loved to name that bird of paradise !
Peace to the dead! In Scotia's choir of minstrels great and small,
He sprang from his spontaneous fire, the phenix of them all!
One of the most spirit-stirring poems in the language is Montgomery's Patriot's Pass-word. It is founded on the heroic achievement of Arnold de Winkelried, at the battle of Sempach, in which the Swiss insurgents secured the freedom of their country against the despotic power of Austria, in the fourteenth century :
In arms the Austrian phalanx stood, -
A living wall,—a human wood!
Impregnable their front appears,
All horrent with projected spears,
Whose polished points before them shine,
From Aank to Aank, one brilliant line,
Bright as the breakers' splendors run
Along the billows to the sun.
Opposed to these, a hovering band
Contended for their fatherland.
Marshalled once more at Freedom's call,
They came to conquer, or to fall,-
Where he who conquered, he who fell,
Was deemed a dead or living Tell.
Such virtue had that patriot breathea,
So to the soil his soul bequeathed,
That wheresoe'er his arrows Aew,
Heroes in his own likeness grew,
And warriors sprang
Which his awakening footstep trod.
And now the work of life and death
Hung on the passing of a breath ;
The fire of conflict burned within,
The battle trembled to begin ;
Yet while the Austrians held their ground,
Point for assault was nowhere found ;
Where'er the impatient Switzers gazed,
The unbroken line of lances blazed ;
That line 'twere suicide to meet,
And perish at their tyrants' feet :
How could they rest within their graves,
To leave their homes the haunts of slaves y
Would they not feel their children tread,
With clanking chains, above their head?
It must not be ;—this day, this hour,
Annihilates the invader's power ;
All Switzerland is in the field,
She will not Ay, she cannot yield, -
She must not fall; her better fate
Here gives her an immortal date.
Few were the numbers she could boast,
Yet every freeman was a host,
And felt as 'twere a secret known,
That one should turn the scale alone,
While each unto himself was he
On whose sole arm hung victory !
Tell where the bolt would strike, and how.
But 'twas no sooner thought than done!
The field was in a moment won :-
way for Liberty !” he cried,
ran, with arms extended wide,
As if his dearest friend to clasp ;-
“ Make way for Liberty !” he cried ;
Their keen points crossed from side to side ;
He bowed amidst them like a tree,
And thus made way for Liberty !
Swift to the breach his comrades fly;
“ Make way for Liberty !” they cry,
And through the Austrian phalanx dart,
As rushed the spears through Arnold's heart,
While, instantaneous as his fall,
Rout, ruin, panic seized them all ;
An earthquake could not overthrow
A city with a surer blow.
Thus Switzerland again was free, -
Thus death made
for Liberty !
It was remarked by Wordsworth, that many great men of this age had done wonderful things, but that COLERIDGE was the only wonderful man he ever knew : and this opinion was shared by many others who visited the author of The Ancient Mariner. His character has been compared to a vast unfinished cathedral or palace,beautiful in its decoration and gigantic in its proportions, but incomplete. Coleridge is said to have left behind him a prodigious amount of treatises—unfinished. Lamb informs us that, two days before his death, he wrote to a bookseller, proposing an epic poem, on The Wanderings of Cain, to be in twenty-four books. devotion to metaphysical studies continued with him through life, as
well as his love of poesy, which he tells us had been to him “its own exceeding great reward.” This is seen, indeed, in the gush of poetic joy which pervades the following beautiful retrospect :
Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee,-
Both were mine! Life went a-Maying
With nature, hope, and poesy,
When I was young !
When I was young ?--Ah, woful when!
Ah! for the change 'twixt now and then !
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O’er aëry cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flashed along ;
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Naught cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in't together.
Flowers are lovely; love is flower-like ;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
Oh, the joys that came down shower-like,
Of friendship, love, and liberty,
Ere I was old!
Ere I was old ? —Ah, woful ere !
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here!
O Youth ! for years so many and sweet
'Tis known that thou and I were one;
I'll think it but a fond conceit-
It cannot be that thou art gone!