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And I have 'oved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sport was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wanton'd with thy breakers—they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror 'twas a pleasing fear
For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do here.
XXVI.-THE FIELD OF WATERLOO.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night:
And Belgium's capital had gather'd then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily ; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
look'd love to eyes which spake again, And all went merry as a marriage bell But hush! hark! A deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it ?-No: 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street!
On with the dance ! let joy be unconfin'd!
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet
But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! arm! it is it is the cannon's opening roar !
Within a window'd niche of that high hall
Sat Brunswick's fated chieftain: he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear ;
And when they smil'd because he deem'd it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier,
And rous'd the vengeance blood alone could quell:
He rush'd into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell !
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which, but an hour ago,
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness ;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated :
Who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet, such awful morn could rise ?
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war:
And the deep thunder, peal on peal, afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum,
Rous'd up the soldier ere the morning star :
While throng'd the citizens, with terror dumb,
Or whispering with white lips—“The foe! they come ! they
And wild and high the “Cameron's gathering" rose !
(The war-note of Lochiel, which Albin's hills
Have heard and heard too, have her Saxon foes !)
How, in the noon of night, that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill ! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring, which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years :
And Evan's, Donald's fame, rings in each clansman's ears!
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
Grieving—if aught inanimate e'er grieves--
Over the unreturning brave-alas!
Ere evening, to be trodden, like the grass
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure; when this fiery mass
Of living valour, rolling on the foe,
And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low!
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life;
eve, in beauty's circle proudly gay ;
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,--
The morn, the marshalling in arms, the day,
Battle's magnificently-stern array!
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent,
The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover_heap'd and pent; Rider and horse,—friend, foe,--in one red burial blent !
XXVII. ON THE PLAIN OF MARATHON.
WHERE'ER We tread, 'tis haunted, holy ground !
No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould !
But one vast realm of wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt
upon : Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold,
Defies the power which crush'd thy temples gone: Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Marathon.
The sun-the soil_but not the slave the same
Unchanged in all, except its foreign lord,
Preserves alike its bounds and boundless fame:
The battle-field—where Persia's victim-horde
First bow'd beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword,
As on the morn to distant glory dear,
When Marathon became a magic word-
Which utter'd_to the hearer's eye appear
The camp—the host—the fight—the conqueror's career !
The flying Mede-his shaftless broken bow!
The fiery Greek—his red pursuing spear!
Mountains above_Earth’s–Ocean's plain below!
Death in the front-Destruction in the rere!
Such was the scene—what now remaineth here?
What sacred trophy marks the hallow'd ground
Recording Freedom's smile and Asia's tear?
The rifled urn—the violated mound-
The dust—thy courser's hoof, rude stranger ! spurns around !
Yet to the remnants of thy splendour past,
Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied throng ;
Long shall the voyager, with the Ionian blast,
Hail the bright clime of battle and of song;
Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore;
Boast of the aged ! lesson of the young!
Which sages venerate, and bards adore,
As Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore.
The parted bosom clings to wonted home,
If aught that's kindred cheer the welcome hearth;
He that is lonely, hither let him roam,
And gaze complacent on congenial earth.
Greece is no lightsome land of social mirth!
But he whom sadness sootheth may abide,
And scarce regret the region of his birth,
When wandering slow by Delphi's sacred side,
Or gazing o'er the plains where Greek and Persian died.
XXVIII.—THE DYING GLADIATOR.
I SEE before me the gladiator lie:
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his droop'd head sinks gradually low;
And through his side the last drops ebbing slow
From the red gash, fell heavy one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower, and now
The arena swims around him :-he is gone,
Ere ceas'd th’inhuman shout which hail'd the wretch who won.
He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away ;
He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay;
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother_he their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday-
All this rush'd with his blood.-Shall be expire.
And unaveng'd ?-Arise ! ye Goths, and glut your ire !
XXIX.—THE ARAB MAID'S SONG.
Fly to the desert, fly with me!
Our Arab tents are rude for thee;
But oh! the choice what heart can doubt,
Of tents with love, or thrones without ?
Our rocks are rough—but, smiling there,
The acacia waves her yellow hair,
Lonely and sweet; nor loved the less
For flowering in a wilderness.
Our sands are bare—but down their slope
The silvery-footed antelope
As gracefully and gaily springs,
As o'er the marble courts of kings!