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Our woodland path has cross'd; And the straight causeway which we tread, Prolongs a line of dull arcade, Unvarying through the unvaried shade

Until in distance lost.

II.
A brighter, livelier scene succeeds; 1
In groups the scattering wood recedes,
Hedge-rows, and huts, and sunny meads,

And corn-fields, glance between;
The peasant, at his labour blithe,
Plies the hook'd staff and shorten'd scythe :-

But when these ears were green, Placed close within destruction's scope, Full little was that rustic's hope

Their ripening to have seen!
And, lo, a hamlet and its fane :-
Let not the gazer with disdain

Their architecture view;
For yonder rude ungraceful shrine,
And disproportion'd spire, are thine,

(mmortal WATERLOO ! 4

Looks on the field below, And sinks so gently on the dale, That not the folds of Beauty’s veil

In easier curves can flow.
Brief space from thence, the ground again
Ascending slowly from the plain,

Forms an opposing screen,
Which, with its crest of upland ground,
Shuts the horizon all around.

The soften’d vale between
Slopes smooth and fair for courser's tread;
Not the most timid maid need dread
To give her snow-white palfrey head

On that wide stubble-ground;
Nor wood, nor tree, nor bush, are there,
Her course to intercept or scare,

Nor fosse nor fence are forind,
Save where, from out her shatter'd bowers,
Rise Hougomont's dismantled towers.7

IV.

III. Fear not the heat, though full and high The sun has scorch'd the autumn sky, And scarce a forest straggler now To shade us spreads a greenwood bough; These fields have seen a hotter day Than e'er was fired by sunny ray. Yet one mile on-yon shatter'd hedge Crests the soft hill whose long smooth ridge

Now, see'st thou aught in this lone scene
Can tell of that which late hath been!

A stranger might reply,
“ The bare extent of stubble-plain
Seems lately lighten'd of its grains
And yonder sable tracks remain
Marks of the peasant's ponderous wain,

When harvest-home was nigh.8
On these broad spots of trampled ground,
Perchance the rustics danced such round

As Teniers loved to draw;
And where the earth seems scorch'd by flame,

5

I "Southward from Brussels lies the field of blood,

Some three hours' journey for a well-girt man; A horseman, who in haste pursued his road,

Would reach it as the second hour began. The way is through a forest deep and wide, Extending many a mile on either side.

• No cheerful woodland this of antic trees,

With thickets varied and with sunny glade; Look where he will, the weary traveller sees

One gloomy, thick, impenetrable shade Of tall straight trunks, which more before his sight, With interchange of lines of long green light.

His childless sovereign. Heaven denied an heir,
And Europe mourn'd in blood the frustrate prayer."

SOUTHEY. To the original chapel of the Marquis of Castanaza has now been added a building of considerable extent, the whole interior of which is filled with monumental inscriptions for the auroes who fell in the battle.

• The MS. has not this couplet.

8 “As a plain, Waterloo seems marked out for the scene of some great action, though this may be mere imagination. I have viewed with attention, those of Platea, Troy, Mantinea, Leuctra, Chæronea, and Marathon; and the field around Mont St. Jean and Hougomont appears to want little but a better cause, and that indefinable but impressive halo which the lapse of ages throws around a consecrated spot, to vie in interest with any or all of these, except, perhaps, the last medtioned."-BYROX.

its ? MS.-“ Save where,

fire-scathed bowers among.

the )
Rise the rent towers of Hougomont."
8 “Is the spot mark'd with no colossal bust,

Nor column trophied for triumphal show?
None : But the moral's truth tells simpler so,
As the ground was before, thus let it be ;-
How that red rain hath made the harvest grow
And is this all the world has gain'd by thee,
Thou first and last of fields ! king-making Victory'

BYROV

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“Was it a soothing or a mournful thought,

Amid this scene of slaughter as ve stood

To dress the homely feast they came, And toild the kerchief'd village dame

Around her fire of straw."

Through rolling smoke the Demon's eye
Could well each destined guest espy,
Well could his ear in ecstasy

Distinguish every tone
That fill'd the chorus of the fray-
From cannon-roar and trumpet-bray,
From charging squadrons' wild hurra,
From the wild clang that mark’d their way,

Down to the dying groan, And the last sob of life's decay,

When breath was all but flown.

V. So deem'st thou—80 each mortal deems, Of that which is from that which seems :-

But other harvest here, Than that which peasant's scythe demands, Was gather'd in by sterner hands,

With bayonet, blade, and spear.
No vulgar crop was theirs to reap,
No stinted harvest thin and cheap!
Heroes before each fatal sweep

Fell thick as ripen'd grain;
And ere the darkening of the day,
Piled high as autumn shocks, there lay
The ghastly harvest of the fray,

The corpses of the slain.

VI. Ay, look again—that line, so black And trampled, marks the bivouac, Yon deep-graved ruts the artillery's track,

So often lost and won;
And close beside, the harden'd mud
Still shows where, fetlock-deep in blood,
The fierce dragoon, through battle's flood,

Dash'd the hot war-horse on.
These spots of excavation tell
The ravage of the bursting shell-
And feel'st thou not the tainted steam,
That reeks against the sultry beam,

From yonder trenched mound?
The pestilential fumes declare
That Carnage has replenish'd there

Her garner-house profound.

VIII. Feast

on, stern foe of mortal life,
Feast on!but think not that a strife,
With such promiscuous carnage rife,

Protracted space may last;
The deadly tug of war at length
Must limits find in human strength,

And cease when these are past.
Vain hope !—that morn's o'erclouded sun
Heard the wild shout of fight begun

Ere he attaiu’d his height,
And through the war-smoke, volumed high,
Still peals that unremitted cry,

Though now he stoops to night.
For ten long hours of doubt and dread,
Fresh succours from the extended head
Of either hill the contest fed;

Still down the slope they drew,
The charge of columns paused not,
Nor ceased the storm of shell and shot;

For all that war could do
Of skill and force was proved that day,
And turn'd not yet the doubtful fray

On bloody Waterloo.

VII. Far other harvest-home and feast, Than claims the boor from scythe released,

On these scorch'd fields were known! Death hover'd o'er the maddening rout, And, in the thrilling battle-shout, Sent for the bloody banquet out

A summons of his own.

IX.
Pale Brussels! then what thoughts were thine,"
When ceaseless from the distant line

Continued thunders came!
Each burgher held his breath, to hear
These forerunners 3 of havoc near,

Of rapine and of flame.
What ghastly sights were thine to meet,
When rolling through thy stately street,

Where armies had with recent fury fought,

To mark how gentle Nature still pursued Her quiet course, as if she took no care For what her noblest work had suffer'd there.

And friend and foe, within the general tomb.

Equal had been their lot; one fatal day For all, ..

one labour, . . and one place of rest They found within their common parent's breast

“ The pears had ripend on the garden wall;

Those leaves which on the autumnal earth were spread, The trees, though pierced and scared with many a ball,

Had only in their natural season shed;
Flowers were in seed, whose buds to swell began
When such wild havoc here was made by man."

SOUTHEY.

“ The passing seasons had not yet effaced

The stamp of numerous hoofs impress'd by force
Of cavalry, whose path might still be traced.

Yet Nature everywhere resumed her course;
Low pansies to the sun their purple gave,
And the soft poppy blossom'd on the grave."

SOUTHSY. 2 See Appendix, Note B. 8 MS.-" Harbingers." 4 M$.-" Streaming **

1. Earth had received into her silent womb

Her saughter eatures : horse and man they lay,

The wounded show'd their mangled plight i
In token of the unfinish'd 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 outstretch'd hand

Points to his prey in vain,
While maddening in his eager mood,
And all unwont to be withatood,

He fires the fight again.

Their showers of iron threw. Beneath their fire, in full career, Rush'd on the ponderous cuirassier, The lancer couch'd his ruthless spear, And hurrying as to havoc near,

The cohorts' eagles flew. In one dark torrent, broad and strong, The advancing onset roll'd along, Forth harbinger'd by fierce acclaim, That, from the shroud of smoke and flause, Peald wildly the imperial name.

X. “ On! On!” was still his stern exclaim; 56 Confront the battery's jaws of flame!

Rush on the levell’d gun! 3
My steel-clad cuirassiers, advance!
Each Hulan forward with his lance,
My Guard-my Chosen-charge for France.

France and Napoleon!”
Loud answer'd their acclaiming shout,
Greeting the mandate which sent out
Their bravest and their best to dare
The fate their leader shunn'd to share. *
But He, his country's sword and shield,
Still in the battle-front reveal'd,
Where danger fiercest swept the field,

Came like a beam of light, In action prompt, in sentence brief“ Soldiers, stand firm,” exclaim'd the Chief,

“ England shall tell the fight!” $

XII.
But on the British heart were lost
The terrors of the charging host;
For not an eye the storm that viewd
Changed its proud glance of fortitude,
Nor was one forward footstep staid,
As dropp'd the dying and the dead.
Fast as their ranks the thunders tear,
Fast they renew'd each serried square;
And on the wounded and the slain
Closed their diminish'd files again,
Till from their line scarce spears' lengths three
Emergir.g 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,
Wheel'd 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; 8

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

The war was waked anew, Three hundred cannon-mouths roar'd loud, And from their throats, with flash and cloud,

1 MS.—“ Bloody plight."

Of wheels, which o'er the rough and stony road Convey'd their living agonizing load!

2 " Within those walls there linger'd at that hour,

Many a brave soldier on the bed of pain,
Whom aid of human art should ne'er restore

To see his country and his friends again;
And many a victim of that fell debate,
Whose life yet waver'd in the scales of tate.

Others in waggons borne abroad I saw,

Albeit recovering, still a mournful sight; Languid and helpless, some were stretch'd on straw,

Some more advanced, sustaind themselves upright, And with bold eye and careless front, methought, Seem'd to set wounds and death again at nought.

“ Hearts little to the melting mood inclined,

Grew sick to see their sufferings; and the thought
Still comes with horror to the shuddering mind

Of those sad days, when Belgian ears were taught
The British soldier's cry, half groan,

half

prayer. Breathed when his pain is more than he can bear."

SOLTHEY 3 MS.

“ his stern exclaim :
Where fails the sword make way by flame!
Kecoil not from the cannon's aim ;

Confront them and they're won.' See Appendix, Note C. 4 Ibid, Note D. 3 Ibid, Note E 6 MS.--" Nor was one forward footstep stopp'd,

Though close beside a comrade droppid" • See Appendix, Note F. 8 “I heard the broadswords' deadly clang,

As if an hundred anvils rang!" Lady of the lake.

What had it been, then, in the recent days

Of that great triumph, when the open wound Was festering, and along the crowded ways,

Hour after hour was heard the incessant sound

And while amid their close array

Is Blucher yet unknown? The well-served cannon rent their way,'

Or dwells not in thy memory still, And while amid their scatter'd band

(Heard frequent in thine hour of ill,) Raged the fierce rider's bloody brand,

What notes of hate and vengeance thrill Recoil'd in common rout and fear,

In Prussia's trumpet tone? Lancer and guard and cuirassier,

What yet remains ?-shall it be thine Horsemen and foot-a mingled host,

To head the relics of thy line Their leaders fall’n, their standards lost.

In one dread effort more?

The Roman lore thy leisure loved, 5
XIII.

And thou canst tell what fortune proved
Then, WELLINGTON! thy piercing eye

That Chieftain, who, of yore,
This crisis caught of destiny-

Ambition’s dizzy paths essay'd,
The British host had stood

And with the gladiators' aid
That morn 'gainst charge of sword and lance ?

For empire enterprisedAs their own ocean-rocks hold stance,

He stood the cast his rashness play'd,
But when thy voice had said, “ Advance !”

Left not the victims he had made,
They were their ocean's flood.-

Dug his red grave with his own blade
O Thou, whose inauspicious aim

And on the field he lost was laid,
Hath wrought thy host this hour of shame,

Abhorr’d—but not despised.
Think’st thou thy broken bands will bide
The terrors of yon rushing tide?

XIV.
Or will thy chosen brook to feel

But if revolves thy fainter thought
The British shock of levell’d steel,

On safety-howsoever bought,-
Or dost thou turn thine eye

Then turn thy fearful rein and ride,
Where coming squadrons gleam afar,

Though twice ten thousand men have died
And fresher thunders wake the war,

On this eventful day,
And other standards fly

To gild the military fame
Think not that in yon columns, file

Which thou, for life, in traffic tame Thy conquering troops from Distant Dylon

Wilt barter thus

away.

The lancer { couch'd his fatal

Sworn { each

The thunders

I MS.-" Beneath that storm, in full career,

semblance. We allude principally to such passages as tha! Rush'd on the ponderous cuirassier ,

which begins, came with levellid

* The Roman lore thy leisure loved,' &c. } spear,

and to such lines as, to do or die;

Now, see'st thou aught in this loved scene,
all

Can tell of that which late hath been?'
But not an instant would they bear

or,
}of each serried square,

"So deem'st thou-50 each mortal deems,
vollies

Of that which is, from that which seems;'
They halt, they turn, they fly!

lines, by the way, of which we cannot express any very great Not even their chosen brook to feel

admiration. This sort of influence, however, over even the The British shock of leveli'd steel;

principal writers of the day (whether they are conscious of the Enough that through their close array

influence or not), is one of the surest tests of genius, and one The well-plied cannon tore their way;

of the proudest tributes which it receives." - Monthly Review. Enough that 'mid their broken band

6 “When the engagement was ended, it evidently appeared The horsemen plied the bloody brand,

with what undaunted spirit and resolution Catiline's army Recoil'd," &c.

had been fired; for the body of every one was found on that 3 “The cuirassiers continued their dreadful onset, and rode very spot which, during the battle, he had occupied ; those up to the squares in the full confidence, apparently, of sweep only excepted who were forced from their posts by the Præmg every thing before the impetuosity of their charge. Their torian cohort; and even they, though they fell a little out of onset and reception was like a furious ocean pouring itself their ranks, were all wounded before. Catiline himself was against a chain of insulated rocks. The British square stood found, far from his own men, amidst the dead bodies of the unmoved, and never gave fire until the cavalry were within enemy, breathing a little, with an air of that fierceness still ten yards, when men rolled one way, horses galloped another, in his face which he had when alive. Finally, in all his army and the cuirassiers were in every instance driven back."- there was not so much as one free citizen taken prisoner, Life of Bonaparte, vol. ix. p. 12.

either in the engagement or in flight; for they spared their 8 See Appendix, Note G.

own lives as little as those of the enemy. The army of the

republic obtained the victory, indeed, but it was neither a MS.—“Or can thy memory fail to quote,

cheap nor a joyful one, for their bravest men were either slain Heard to thy cost, the vengeful note

in battle or dangerously wounded. As there were many, too, of Prussia's trumpet tone?"

who went to view the field, cither out of curiosity or a desire "We observe a certain degree of similitude in some pag- of plunder, in turning over the dead bodies, some found a sages of Mr. Scott's present work, to the compositions of Lord friend, some a relation, and some a guest ; others there were Byron, and particularly his Lordship’s Ode to Bonaparte ; and likewise who discovered their enemies ; so that, through the we think that whoever peruses · The Field of Waterloo,' with whole army, there appeared a mixture of gladness and SOITOT, that Ode in his recollection, will be struck with this new re-Joy and mourning."-SALLUST.

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, swell’d 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 display'd
The wrecks of its impetuous course,
But not one symptom of the force

By which these wrecks were made!

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When Beresina's icy flood
Redden'd and thawd 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-_4
Ay, left by thee-found soldier's grave
In Leipsic's corpse-encumber'd wave.
Fate, in those 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.

XV.
Spur on thy way!-since now thine ear
Has brook'd thy veterans' wish to hear,

Who, as thy flight they eyed, Exclaim'd, while tears of anguish came, Wrung forth by pride, and rage, and

shame,“ O, that he had but died !” But yet, to sum this hour of ill, Look, ere thou leavest 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 ruin'd peasant's eye, Objects half seen roll swiftly by,

Down the dread current hurl’dSo mingle banner, wain, and gun, Where the tumultuous flight rolls on Of warriors, who, when morn begun,

Defied a banded world.

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 comemin 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;"

XVI. 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,

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i The MS. adds,

" That pang survived, refuse not then

To humble thee before the men,
Late objects of thy scorn and hate,
Who shall thy once imperial fate
Make wordy theme of vain debate,

And chaffer for thy crown;
As usurers wont, who suck the all
Of the fool-hardy prodigal,
When on the giddy dice's fall

His latest hope bas flown.

But yet, to sum," &c.
MS." Where in one tide of terror run,

The warriors that, when morn begun." 8 MS." So ominous a shriek was none,

Not even when Beresina's flood

Was thaw'd by streams of tepid blood." 4 For an account of the death of Poniatowskiat Leipsic, see Siz Walter Scott's Life of Bonaparte, vol. vii. p. 401.

6 MS.—"Not such were heard, when, all bereft

Of aid, the valiant Polack left

Ay, left by thee--found gallant grave 6" I, who with faith unshaken from the first,

Even when the tyrant seem'd to touch the skies,
Had avok'd to see the high-blown bubble burst,

And for a fall conspicuous as his rise,
Even in that faith had look'd not for defeat

So swift, so overwhelming, so complete."-SOLIFEY, 7 MS.

" but do not hide
Once more that secret germ of pride,

Which erst yon gifted bard espied 8 « The Desolator desolate!

The Victor overthrown!
The Arbiter of others' fate

A Suppliant for his own!
Is it some yet imperial rope,
That with such change can calmly copa?

Or dread of death alone ?

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