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Hath painted Winter like a traveller old,

Propped on a staff, and, through the sullen day,
In hooded mantle, limping o'er the plain,1
As though his weakness were disturbed by pain :
Or, if a juster fancy should allow

An undisputed symbol of command,
The chosen sceptre is a withered bough,
Infirmly grasped within a palsied hand.
These emblems suit the helpless and forlorn ;
But mighty Winter the device shall scorn.
For he it was-dread Winter! who beset,
Flinging round van and rear his ghastly net,
That host, when from the regions of the Pole
They shrunk, insane ambition's barren goal-
That host, as huge and strong as e'er defied
Their God, and placed their trust in human pride!
As fathers persecute rebellious sons,

He smote the blossoms of their warrior youth;

He called on Frost's inexorable tooth

Life to consume in Manhood's firmest hold;

Nor spared the reverend blood that feebly runs ;

For why-unless for liberty enrolled

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And sacred home-ah! why should hoary Age be


Fleet the Tartar's reinless steed,

But fleeter far the pinions of the Wind,

Which from Siberian caves the Monarch freed,
And sent him forth, with squadrons of his kind,
And bade the Snow their ample backs bestride,
And to the battle ride.

No pitying voice commands a halt,
No courage can repel the dire assault;
Distracted, spiritless, benumbed, and blind,


Hath painted Winter like a shrunken, old,

And close-wrapt Traveller-through the weary day—
Propped on a staff, and limping o'er the Plain,




Whole legions sink—and, in one instant, find
Burial and death: look for them-and descry,
When morn returns, beneath the clear blue sky,
A soundless waste, a trackless vacancy!


The French "retreat from Moscow was perhaps the most disastrous on record since the days of Xerxes. On the night of 6th November, the temperature suddenly fell to that of the most rigorous winter. In that dreadful night thousands

of men perished, and nearly all the horses, which compelled the abandonment of the greater part of the convoys. From this point the road began to be strewn with corpses, presenting the aspect of one continuous battlefield. At Smolensk the cold was at 20 degrees of Réaumur." (Dyer's History of Modern Europe, vol. iv. pp. 518, 519.)—ED.

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Composed 1816.-Published 1816

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."-ED.

YE Storms, resound the praises of your King!
And ye mild Seasons—in a sunny clime,
Midway on some high hill, while father Time
Looks on delighted-meet in festal ring,
And loud and long of Winter's triumph sing!

Sing ye, with blossoms crowned, and fruits, and flowers,

Of Winter's breath surcharged with sleety showers,

And the dire flapping of his hoary wing!

Knit the blithe dance upon the soft green grass;
With feet, hands, eyes, looks, lips, report your gain;
Whisper it to the billows of the main,

And to the aërial zephyrs as they pass,

That old decrepit Winter-He hath slain

That Host, which rendered all your bounties vain!

1 1820.

The title in 1816 was

Sonnet on the same occasion. February 1816.





Composed February 4, 1816.-Published 1816

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."-ED.

O, FOR a kindling touch from that pure flame
Which ministered, erewhile, to a sacrifice

Of gratitude, beneath Italian skies,

In words like these: "Up, Voice of Song! proclaim

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'Thy saintly rapture with celestial aim:

"For lo! the Imperial City stands released 1

"From bondage threatened by the embattled East,
"And Christendom respires; 2 from guilt and shame
Redeemed, from miserable fear set free

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'By one day's feat, one mighty victory.

"-Chant the Deliverer's praise in every tongue! "The cross shall spread, the crescent hath waxed dim ; "He conquering, as in joyful Heaven is sung,3




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touch of that pure flame

Which taught the offering of song to rise
From thy lone bower, beneath Italian skies,
Great Filicaia !-With celestial aim

It rose, thy saintly rapture to proclaim, Then, when the imperial city stood released 2 1837.



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-as in Earth and Heaven was sung- 1816.

* 1816.

The title at first was February 1816.—ED.

+ Ond'è ch' Io grido e griderò: giugnesti,
Guerregiasti, e vincesti;

Si, si, vincesti, o Campion forte e pio,
Per Dio vincesti, e per te vinse Iddio.

See Filicaia's Canzone, addressed to (Sir) John Sobieski, king of Poland,


(The last six lines intended for an Inscription.)

Composed February 4, 1816.-Published 1816
One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."-Ed.

INTREPID Sons of Albion! not by you
Is life despised; ah no, the spacious earth
Ne'er saw a race who held, by right of birth,
So many objects to which love is due :

Ye slight not life-to God and Nature true;

1 1820.

The full title in 1816 was Inscription for a
national monument in commemoration of the Battle
of Waterloo.



upon his raising the siege of Vienna. This, and his other poems on the same occasion, are superior perhaps to any lyrical pieces that contemporary events have ever given birth to, those of the Hebrew Scriptures only excepted.-W. W. (1816 and 1820.)

Vienna, besieged in 1683 by Mahomet IV., was relieved by John Sobieski. The following is Dyer's account of it in his Modern Europe (vol. iii. p. 109):-"At one time Vienna seemed beyond the reach of human aid. The Turks sat down before it on 14th July, and such were their numbers that their encampment is said to have contained more than 100,000 tents. It was the middle of August before John Sobieski could leave Cracow with 25,000 men, and by the end of that month the situation of Vienna had become extremely critical. Provisions and ammunition began to fail; the garrison had lost 6000 men, and numbers died every day by pestilence, or at the hands of the enemy. It was not till 9th September that Sobieski and his Poles formed a junction on the plain of Tuln with the Austrian forces under the Duke of Lorraine, and the other German contingents. On 11th September, the allies reached the heights of Kahlenberg, within sight of Vienna, and announced their arrival to the beleaguered citizens by means of rockets. On the following day the Turks were attacked, and, after a few hours' resistance, completely routed. . . . The Turkish camp, with vast treasures in money, jewels, horses, arms, and ammunition, became the spoil of the


The Italian poet Filicaia referred to by Wordsworth (Filicaja, Vincenzo), wrote six odes on the deliverance of Vienna by Sobieski. They were published in Florence in the following year, 1684, and established the writer's fame. Queen Christina of Sweden was much struck by them; and, being a generous patroness and admirer of letters, she enabled Filicaja to devote himself to poetry exclusively as his life-work. He wrote numerous patriotic sonnets and heroic odes, in Italian and in Latin.-ED.

But death, becoming death, is dearer far,
When duty bids you bleed in open war:

Hence hath your prowess quelled that impious crew.
Heroes!—for instant sacrifice prepared;

Yet filled with ardour and on triumph bent
'Mid direst shocks of mortal accident—

To you who fell, and you whom slaughter spared
To guard the fallen, and consummate the event,
Your Country rears this sacred Monument !


It need hardly be said that the intention of using the six last lines as an 66 Inscription" was never carried into effect. The infelicity of the second last line is fatal to its use on any 66 monument." The punctuation of the Sonnet as it appeared in The Champion, January 2, 1814, differs slightly from the above. -ED.



Composed February 4, 1816.-Published 1816

One of the "Sonnets dedicated to Liberty."-ED.

THE Bard-whose soul is meek as dawning day,
Yet trained to judgments righteously severe,
Fervid, yet conversànt with holy fear,
As recognising one Almighty sway:

He—whose experienced eye can pierce the array
Of past events; to whom, in vision clear,
The aspiring heads of future things appear,

Like mountain-tops whose 2 mists have rolled away—

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