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AMBITION.

I LOVED to hear the war-horn cry,

And panted at the drum's deep roll ;
And held my breath, when—flaming high-
I saw our starry banners fly,
As challenging the haughty sky,

They went like battle o'er my soul:
For I was so ambitious then,
I burn'd to be the slave-of men.

I stood and saw the morning light,

A standard swaying far and free;
And loved it like the conqu’ring flight
Of angels floating wide and bright
Above the stars, above the fight

Where nations warr'd for liberty.
And thought I heard the battle cry
Of trumpets in the hollow sky.

I sail'd upon the dark-blue deep:

And shouted to the eaglet soaring ; And hung me from a rocking steep, When all

but spirits were asleep ; And oh, my very soul would leap

To hear the gallant waters roaring;
For every sound and shape of strife
To me, was but the breath of life.

But, I am strangely alter'd now

I love no more the bugle voice-
The rushing wave—the plunging prow-
The mountain with his clouded brow-
The thunder when his blue skies bow,

And all the sons of God rejoice-
I love to dream of tears and sighs
And shadowy hair and half-shut eyes.

THE SLEEPER.

WRITTEN THE DAY AFTER THE FUNERAL OF BYRON

I stood above the sea. I heard the roar
Of waters far below me. On the shore

A warrior-ship, with all her banners torn,
Her broad sails flying loose, lay overborne
By tumbling surges. She had swept the main,
Braved the loud thunder-stood the hurricane ;
To be, when all her danger was o'erpast,
Upon her native shore, in wreck and ruin cast.

I thought of Greece—the proud one dead;

Struck—with his heart in flower;
Wreck’d—with his bright wings all outspread,

In his descent,
From that forbidden firmament,

O'er which he went,
Like some Archangel in his power :

The everlasting ocean lay

Below my weary eyes;
While overhead there rollid away

The everlasting skies :

A thousand birds around me flew,
Emerging from the distant blue,

Like spirits from the summer deep,
Then, wheeling slowly, one by one,
All disappearing in the sun,

They left me—and I fell asleep:

But soon a loud, strong trumpet blew,

And by, an armed angel flew, With tresses all on fire, and wings of color'd flame:

And then the thunder broke

About me, and I woke-
And heard a voice above proclaim

The warrior-poet's name !
The island bard! that came

Far from his home, to die
In martyrdom to Liberty:

I started—wonder'd—where was I ?-
Above me rollid a Grecian sky;
Around me Grecian isles were spread,
O'erpeopled with great shadowy dead,
Assembled there to celebrate

Some awful rite:
Again the iron trump was blown
VOL. III.

9*

With overpowering might;
And lo! upon a rocky throne,
Appear'd a dead man that I knew;
His hair unbound, his forehead wet with dew,

And then the angel, standing o'er him, said
This incantation, with her wings outspread.

INCANTATION.

Bard of the ocean, wake!
The midnight skies

Of solid blue,
That roll away above thee, shed
O'er thy unshelter'd head

A most untimely dew!
Wake, Sleeper, wake!

Arise !
And from thy marble forehead shake
The shadow of the dead!

Arise! Arise !
Thou last of all the Giants! Tear

Thy silken robes away“
Shake off the wine-dew from thy hair
The crush'd and faded roses there,

And let it play,
A glittering shadow on the air,--
Like the

young Spartan's when he set
His foot--and met
The Persian in array:

Byron, awake!

Stand up and take
Thy natural shape upon thee! bare
Thy bosom to the winds that blow

Not over bowers,
Heavy with scented flowers-

But over drifted snow;
Not o'er the perfumed earth,

Sweltering in moonlight rain, Where even

the blossoms that have birth, Breathe on the heavens a stain

But o'er the rude, Cold Grecian solitude:

Up, Byron, up! with eyes
Dark as Egyptian skies,

Where men may read their destinies ! Up! in thy golden panoply complete Transfigured—all prepared to meet

The Moslem foe!

What! still unmoved, thou Sleeper! still
Untroubled by the sounds that fill
Thy agitated air !

Thy forehead set-
Thy bosom wet-
Still undisturbed !
Thy proud lip curb’d-
The death-dew on thy hair!

Awake thee, Byron! Thou art callid,
Thou man of power! to break
The thraldom of the nations—wake!

Arise!
The heathen are upon thee! Lo, they come
Without a fute, or bell, or drum,

Silent as death,
Holding their breath;

Appallid-
Like them of old, that crept

On the shorn Samson, while he slept,
In their barbarian power afraid
Of one—a woman had betray'd !

Or, like the pirate-band that stole

The sleeping God of wine ;
Each, as he came, through all his soul,

Thrilling with awe divine,
An armed multitude, to take

A giant by surprise :

Awake, anointed one, awake!

The awful sky
Is full of lamentation all the air

With sweet, remote,
Low sounds, afloat-
And solemn trumpeting and prayer.

And lo!
The waters of the mountain lake
O'ershadow'd by the flowery wood,

Tremble and shake-
And change their hue
Of quiet blue,

As if they felt a spirit go
O'er their transparent solitude:

The great hills darken—all the valleys quake

With one continual throe,-
The green earth is wet
With a fragrant sweat,

Like the fine small dew,

That filters through
Rich moss, by the foot subdued ;
And the olive trees there

Their blossoms throw
On the motionless air,
Like a shower of snow,

Perpetually-
Trembling as if they felt the tread

Of the stout invisible dead-
The buried nations of all the earth-
All struggling upward into birth,

To subterranean melody:

And see! another band appear,
Unarm’d with helm, or sword, or spear,

Or buckler, guard, or shield;
A band of giants ! on they go,
Each-by himself—to meet the foe,

Alone in yonder field:
Three hundred Spartan shadows they,

I know them by their flying hair,
Rejoicing as it floats away,

A lustre on the troubled air :
Behold! they gather round

The marble Sleeper, where he lies
Reposing on the scented ground, -
His head with dripping roses bound

A shadow in his eyes ;

Behold them slowly trace,

With sorrow in each noble face,
The print of naked feet about the holy place:

Awake! awake!
Thou sleeping warrior-Bard! O break

Thy trance profound !
The Spartans are about thee-
They will not go without thee

Awake!

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