« AnteriorContinuar »
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 amid the festival,
And caught its tone with death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused 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
Roused 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 come !"
And wild and high the “ Cameron's gathering" rose;
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn'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 ought 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
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last 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
Their praise is hymn’d by loftier harps than mine;
Yet one I would select from that proud throng;
Partly because they blend me with his line,
And partly that I did his sire some wrong,
And partly that bright names will hallow song;
And his was of the bravest; and when shower'd
The death-bolts deadliest the thinn'd files along,
Even where the thickest of war's tempest lower'd, They reach'd no nobler breast than thine-young,
There have been tears and breaking hearts for thee,
And mine were nothing, had I such to give;
But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree,
Which, living, waves where thou didst cease to live,
And saw around me the wide field revive
With fruits and fertile promise, and the Spring
Come forth her work of gladness to contrive
With all her reckless birds upon the wing, I turn'd from all she brought to those she could not bring.
The moon is up, and yet it is not night-
Sunset divides the sky with her—a sea
Of glory streams along the Alpine height
Of blue Friuli's mountains; Heaven is free
From clouds, but of all colours seems to be,
Melted to one vast Iris of the West,
Where the Day joins the past Eternity;
While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest
Floats through the azure air- an island of the blest.
A single star is at her side, and reigns
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
Rollid o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
As Day and Night contending were, until
Nature reclaim'd her order: gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
The odorous purple of a new-born rose,
Which streams upon her stream, and glass'd within it
Fill'd with the face of heaven, which, from afar,
Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,
Their magical variety diffuse :
And now they change; a paler shadow strews
Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day
Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues
With a new colour, as it gasps away,
The last still loveliest, till—'tis gone, and all is gray.
Now slain is King Amulius,
Of the great Sylvian line,
Who reigned in Alba Longa,
On the throne of Aventine.
Slain is the Pontiff Camers,
Who spake the words of doom :
" The Children to the Tiber, The mother to the tomb."
In Alba's lake no fisher
His net to-day is flinging :
On the dark rind of Alba's oaks
To-day no axe is ringing :
The yoke hangs o'er the manger :
The scythe lies in the hay:
Through all the Alban villages
No work is done to-day.
And every Alban burgher
Hath donned his whitest gown ; And every head in Alba
Weareth a poplar crown; And every Alban door-post
With boughs and flowers is gay ; For to-day the dead are living ;
The lost are found to-day.
They were doomed by a bloody king :
They were doomed by a lying priest: They were cast on the raging flood :
They were tracked by the raging beast. Raging beast and raging flood
Alike have spared the prey; And to-day the dead are living:
The lost are found to-day.
The troubled river knew them,
And smoothed his yellow foam,
And gently rocked the cradle
That bore the fate of Rome.
The ravening she-wolf knew them,
And licked them o'er and o’er,