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THE FINAL SUBMISSION OF THE
It was a nioral end for which they fought;
Else how, when mighty thrones were put to shame,
Could they, poor shepherds, have preserved an aim,
A resolution, or enlivening thought?
Nor hath that moral good been vainly sought;
For in their magnanimity and fame
Powers have they left, an impulse and a claim
Which neither can be overturned nor bought.
Sleep, warriors, sleep I among your hills repose!
We know that ye, beneath the stern control
Of awful prudence, keep the unvanquished soul.
And when, impatient of her guilt and woes,
Europe breaks forth; then, shepherds! shall ye rise
For perfect triumph o'er your enemies.
Alas! what boots the long, laborious quest
Of moral prudence, sought through good and ill;
Or pains abstruse—to elevate the will,
And lead us on to that transcendent rest
Where every passion shall the sway attest
Of Reason, seated on her sovereign hill;
What is it, but a vain and curious skill,
If sapient Germany must He depressed,
Beneath the brutal sword? Her haughty schools
Shall blush; and may not we with sorrow say,
A few strong instincts and a few plain rules,
Among the herdsmen of the Alps, have wrought
More for mankind at this unhappy day
Than all the pride of intellect and thought?
And is it among rude untutored dales,
There and there only, that the heart is true?
And, rising to repel or to subdue,
Is it by rocks and woods that man prevails?
Ah, no! though Nature's dread protection fails,
There is a bulwark in the soul. This knew
Iberian burghers when the sword they drew
In Zaragoza, naked to the gales
Of fiercely-breathing war. The truth was felt
By Palafox and many a brave compeer,
Like him of noble birth and noble mmd;
By ladies, meek-eyed women without fear;
And wanderers of the street, to whom is dealt
The bread which without industry they find.
Hail, Zaragoza! If with unwet eye
We can approach, thy sorrow to behold,
Yet is the heart not pitiless nor cold;
Such spectacle demands not tear or sigh,
These desolate remains are trophies high
Of more than martial courage in the breast
Of peaceful civic virtue: they attest
Thy matchless worth to all posterity.
Blood flowed before thy sight without remorse;
Disease consumed thy vitals ; war upheaved
The ground beneath thee with volcanic force;
Dread trials! yet encountered and sustained
Till not a wreck of help or hope remained,
And law was from necessitv received.
O'er the wide earth, on mountain and on plain, Dwells in the affections and the soul of man A godhead, like the universal Pan, But more exalted, with a brighter train.
And shall his bounty be dispensed in vain,
Showered equally on city and on field,
And neither hope nor steadfast promise yield
In these usurping times of fear and pain?
Such doom awaits us. Nay, forbid it Heaven!
We know the arduous strife, the eternal laws
To which the triumph of all good is given,
High sacrifice, and labour without pause,
Even to the death: else wherefore should the eye
Of man converse with immortality?
Ah! where is Palafox? Nor tongue nor pen
Reports of him, his dwelling or his grave!
Does yet the unheard-of vessel ride the wave?
Or is she swallowed up, remote from ken
Of pitying human nature? Once again
Methinks that we shall hail thee, champion brave,
Redeemed to baffle that imperial slave,
And through all Europe cheer desponding men
With new-born hope. Unbounded is the might
Of martyrdom, and fortitude, and right.
Hark, how thy country triumphs! Smilingly
The Eternal looks upon her sword that gleams,
Like his own lightning, over mountains high,
On rampart, and the banks of all her streams.
Sav, what is honour? 'Tis the finest sense
Of Justice which the human mind can frame,
Intent each lurking frailty to disclaim,
And guard the way of life from all offence
Suffered or done. When lawless violence
A kingdom doth assault, and in the scale
Of perilous war her weightiest armies fail,
Honour is hopeful elevation—whence
Glory, and triumph. Yet with politic skill
Endangered states may yield to terms unjust,
Stoop their proud heads, but not unto the dust,
A foe's most favourite purpose to fulfil;
Happy occasions oft by self-mistrust
Are forfeited; but infamy doth kill.
The martial courage of a day is vain,
An empty noise of death the battle's roar,
If vital hope be wanting to restore,
Or fortitude be wanting to sustain,
Armies or kingdoms. We have heard a strain
Of triumph, how the labouring Danube bore
A weight of hostile corses: drenched with gore
Were the wide fields, the hamlets heaped with slain.
Yet see, the mighty tumult overpast,
Austria a daughter of her throne hath sold 1
And her Tyrolean champion we behold
Murdered like one ashore by shipwreck cast,
Murdered without relief. Oh! blind as bold,
To think that such assurance can stand fast 1
Beave Schill I by death delivered, take thy flight
From Prussia's timid region. Go, and rest
With heroes mid the islands of the blest,
Or in the fields of empyrean light.
A meteor wert thou in a darksome night;
Yet shall thy name, conspicuous and sublime,
Stand in the spacious firmament of time,
Fixed as a star; such glory is thy right.
Alasl it may not be: for earthly fame
Is fortune's frail dependant; yet there lives
A judge, who, as man claims by merit, gives;
To whose all-pondering mind a noble aim,'
Faithfully kept, is as a noble deed:
In whose pure sight all virtue doth succeed.
THE CAPTIVE PATRIOT.
Is there a power that can sustain and cheer
The captive chieftain, by a tyrant's doom,
Forced to descend alive into his tomb,
A dungeon dark! where he must waste the year,
And lie cut off from all his heart holds dear;
What time his injured country is a stage
Whereon deliberate valour and the rage
Of righteous vengeance side by side appear,
Filling from morn to night the heroic scene
With deeds of hope and everlasting praise:
Say, can he think of this with mind serene
And silent fetters? Yes, if visions bright
Shine on his soul, reflected from the days
When he himself was tried in open light.
In due observance of an ancient rite,
The rude Biscayans, when their children lie
Dead in the sinless time of infancy,
Attire the peaceful corse in vestments white;