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XLVIII. Beneath these battlements, within those walls, Power dwelt amidst her passions; in proud state Each robber chief upheld his armed halls, Doing his evil will, nor less elate Than mightier heroes of a longer date. What want these outlaws (10) conquerors should have ? But History's purchased page to call them great?
A wider space, an ornamented grave ? Their hopes were not less warm, their souls were full as brave.
And many a tower for some fair mischief won,
- L. But Thou, exulting and abounding river ! Making thy waves a blessing as they flow Through banks whose beauty would endure for ever Could man but leave thy bright creation so, Nor its fair promise from the surface mow With the sharp scythe of conflict, then to see Thy valley of sweet waters, were to know
Earth paved like Heaven; and to seem such to me Even now what wants thy stream ?--that it should Lethe be.
LI. A thousand battles have assail'd thy banks, But these and half their fame have pass'd away, And Slaughter heap'd on high his weltering ranks; Their very graves are gone, and what are they? Thy tide wash'd down the blood of yesterday, And all was stainless, and on thy clear stream Glass'd with its dancing light the sunny ray;
But o'er the blacken'd memory's blighting dream Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they seem.
Joy was not always absent from his face,
In one fond breast, to which his own would melt,
Small power the nipp'd affections have to grow,
.LV. And there was one soft breast, as hath been said, Which unto his was bound by stronger ties Than the church links withal ; and, though unwed, That love was pure, and, far above disguise, Had stood the test of mortal enmities Still undivided, and cemented more By peril, dreaded most in female eyes ;
But this was firm, and from a foreign shore Well to that heart might his these absent greetings pour
The castled crag of Drachenfels (11)
And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
The river nobly foams and flows,
Yeeten more these banks of Rhine!
LVI. By Coblentz, on a rise of gentle ground, There is a small and simple pyramid, Crowning the summit of the verdant mound; Beneath its base are heroes' ashes hid, Our enemy's.--but let not that forbid Honour to Marceau ! o'er whose early tomb Tears, big tears, gush'd from the rough soldier's lid, Lamenting and yet enyying such a doom, Falling for France, whose rights he battled to resume.
LVII. Brief, brave, and glorious was his young career,His mourners were two hosts, his friends and foes; And fitly may the stranger lingering here Pray for his gallant spirit's bright repose ; For he was Freedom's champion, one of those, The few in number, who had not o’erstept The charter to chastise which she bestows On such as wield her weapons ; he had kept The whiteness of his soul, and thus men o'er him wept. (12)
LVIII. Here Ehrenbreitstein, (13) with her shatter'd wall Black with the miner's blast, upon her height Yet shows of what she was, when shell and ball Rebounding idly on her strength did light; A tower of victory! from whence the flight Of baffled foes was watch'd along the plain : But Peace destroy'd what War could never blight,
And laid those proud roofs bare to Summer's rain On which the iron shower for years had pour'd in vain.