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Thus far have I proceeded in a theme
Which is the tyrant spirit of our thought,
And for these words, thus woven into song,
As loss or guerdon of a glorious lot;
I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still Had I not filed (24) my mind, which thus itself subdued.
I have not loved the world, nor the world me,-
That two, or one, are almost what they seem,That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream.
My daughter! with thy name this song begun-
And reach into thy heart,-when mine is cold,-
To aid thy mind's development,—to watch
Yet this was in my nature:-as it is,
Yet, though dull Hate as duty should be taught,
And an attainment,—all would be in vain,-
The child of love,--though born in bitterness,
Fain would I waft such blessing upon thee,
NOTES TO CANTO III.
Stanza xviii. line 5. “ PRIDE of place" is a term of falconry, and means the highest pitch of flight.-See Macbeth, &c.
" An Eagle towering in his pride of place
Was by a mousing Owl hawked at and killed.”
Stanza xx. line 9. See the famous song on Harmodius and Aristogiton.--The best English translation is in Bland's Anthology, by Mr. Denman,
“ With myrtle my sword will I wreathe," &c.
Stanza xxi. line 8. On the night previous to the action, it is said that a ball was given at Brussels.
4, 5. And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears.
Stanza xxvi. line 9. Sir Evan Cameron, and his descendant Donald, the “gentle Lochiel" of the “ forty-five."
Stanza xxvii. line l.
The wood of Soignies is supposed to be a remnant of the “ forest of Ardennes,” famous in Boiardo's Orlando, and immortal in Shakspeare's “ As you like it.” It is also celebrated in Tacitus as being the spot of successful defence by the Germans against the Roman encroachments. I have ventured to adopt the name connected with nobler associations than those of mere slaughter.
7. I turn'd from all she brought to those she could not bring.
Stanza xxx, line 9. My guide from Mont St. Jean over the field seemed intelligent and accurate. The place where Major Howard fell was not far from two tall and solitary trees (there was a third cut down, or shivered in the battle) which stand a few yards from each other at a pathway's side.- Beneath these he died and was buried. The body has since been removed to England. A small hollow for the present marks where it lay, but will probably soon be effaced; the plough has been upon it, and the grain is.
After pointing out the different spots where Picton and other gallant men had perished; the guide said, “here Major Howard lay: I was near him when wounded.” I told him my relationship, and he seemed then still more anxious to point out the particular spot and circumstances. The place is on f the most marked in the field from the peculiarity of the two trees above mentioned.
I went on horseback twice over the field, comparing it with my recollection of similar scenes. 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 Hougoumont appears to want little but a better cause, and that undefinable but impressive halo which the lapse of ages throws around a celebrated spot, to vie in interest with any or all of these, except perhaps the last mentioned.