« PreviousContinue »
Or trace with thine all idle hand,
In loitering mood upon the sand,
That Earth is now as free!
That Corinth's pedagogue* hath now
Transferr'd his by-word to thy brow.
Thou Timour! in his captive's caget
What thoughts will there be thine,
While brooding in thy prison'd rage?
But one-"The world was mine!"
Unless, like he of Babylon,
All sense is with thy sceptre gone,
Life will not long confine
That spirit pour'd so widely forth-
So long obey'd-so little worth!
Or, like the thief of fire from heaven,‡
Wilt thou withstand the shock?
And share with him, the unforgiven,
His vulture and his rock!
Foredoom'd by God-by man accurst,
And that last act, though not thy worst
The very Fiend's arch mock;
He, in his fall preserved his pride,
And, if a mortal, had as proudly died!
There was a day-there was an hour,
While earth was Gaul's-Gaul's thing
When that immeasurable power,
Unsated to resign,
Had been an act of purer fame,
Than gathers round Marengo's name,
And gilded thy decline,
Through the long twilight of all time,
Despite some passing clouds of crime.
But thou, forsooth, must be a king,
And don the purple vest,
As if that foolish robe could wring
Remembrance from thy breast.
Where is the faded garment? where
The gewgaws thou wert fond to wear,
The star-the string-the crest ?
Vain froward child of empire! say,
Are all thy playthings snatch'd away!
Where may the wearied eye repose,
When gazing on the Great;
Where neither guilty glory glows,
Nor despicable state?
Dionysius, tyrant of Sicily, who, after his fall, kept school at Corinth. Bajazet, confined in an iron cage by his conqueror Timur. Prometheus.
Yes-one-the first-the last-the best-
The Cincinnatus of the West,
Whom envy dared not hate,
Bequeath the name of Washington,
To make man blush there was but one!
ODE FROM THE FRENCH.
WE do not curse thee, Waterloo !
Though Freedom's blood thy plain bedew;
There 'twas shed, but is not sunk-
Rising from each gory trunk,
Like the waterspout from ocean,
With a strong and growing motion-
It soars, and mingles in the air,
With that of lost Labedoyère-
With that of him whose honour'd grave
Contains the "bravest of the brave."
A crimson cloud it spreads and glows,
But shall return to whence it rose ;
When 'tis full, 'twill burst asunder-
Never yet was heard such thunder,
As then shall shake the world with wonder
Never yet was seen such lightning
As o'er heaven shall then be bright'ning!
Like the Wormwood Star foretold
By the sainted Seer of old,
Show'ring down a fiery flood,
Turning rivers into blood.*
The chief has fallen! but not by you,
Vanquishers of Waterloo !
When the soldier-citizen
Sway'd not o'er his fellow-men—
Save in deeds that led them on
Where glory smiled on Freedom's son-
Who, of all the despots banded,
With that youthful chief competed?
Who could boast o'er France defeated,
Till lone Tyranny commanded?
Till, goaded by ambition's sting,
The Hero sunk into the King?
Then he fell :-so perish all,
Who would men by man enthrall!
See Rev. chap. viii. v. 7, &c. "The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and Are mingled with blood," &c. v. 8. "And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood," &c. v. 10. "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp; and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters." v. 11. "And the name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."
And thou, too, of the snow-white plume!
Whose realm refused thee ev'n a tomb;
Better hadst thou still been leading
France o'er hosts of hirelings bleeding,
Than sold thyself to death and shame
For a meanly royal name;
Such as he of Naples wears,
Who thy blood-bought title bears;
Little didst thou deem when dashing
On thy war-horse through the ranks
Like a stream which bursts its banks,
While helmets cleft, and sabres clashing,
Shone and shiver'd fast around thee-
Of the fate at last which found thee!
Was that haughty plume laid low
By a slave's dishonest blow?
Once-as the moon sways o'er the tide,
It roll'd in air, the warrior's guide;
Through the smoke-created night
Of the black and sulphurous fight,
The soldier raised his seeking eye,
To catch that crest's ascendancy--
And as it onward rolling rose,
So moved his heart upon our foes.
There, where death's brief pang was quickest
And the battle's wreck lay thickest,
Strew'd beneath the advancing banner
Of the eagle's burning crest-
(There with thunder-clouds to fan her,
Who could then her wing arrest-
Victory beaming from her breast?)
While the broken line enlarging
Fell, or fled along the plain;
There be sure was Murat charging!
There he ne'er shall charge again!
With their breath, and from their birth,
Though Guilt would sweep it from the earth;
With a fierce and lavish hand,
Scattering nations' wealth like sand;
Pouring nations' blood like water,
In imperial seas of slaughter!
But the heart and the mind,
And the voice of mankind,
Shall arise in communion-
And who shall resist that proud union!
The time is past when swords subdued-
Man may die-the soul's renew'd :
Even in this low world of care
Freedom ne'er shall want an heir;
Millions breathe but to inherit
Her for ever bounding spirit-
When once more her hosts assemble,
Tyrants shall believe and tremble-
Smile they at this idle threat?
Crimson tears will follow yet.
FROM THE FRENCH.
MUST thou go, my glorious chief,*
Sever'd from thy faithful few?
Who can tell thy warriors' grief,
Maddening o'er that long adieu?
Woman's love, and friendship's zeal,
Dear as both have been to me-
What are they to all I feel,
With a soldier's faith for thee?
Idol of the soldier's soul!
First in fight, but mightiest now:
fany could a world control;
Thee alone no doom can bow.
By thy side for years I dared
Death; and envied those who fell,
When their dying shout was heard,
Blessing him they served so well.+
wept, but particularly Savary, and a Polish officer who had been exalted from the ranks by Buonaparte. He clung to his master's knees; wrote a letter to Lord Keith, entreating permission to accompany him, even in the most menial capacity; which could not be admitted."
"At Waterloo, one man was seen, whose left arm was shattered by a cannon-ball, to wrench it off with the other, and throwing it up in the air, exclaimed to his comrades, Vive l'Empereur, jusqu'à la mort !' There were many other instances of the like: this, however, you may depend on as true."-Private Letter from Brussels,
Would that I were cold with those,
Since this hour I live to see;
When the doubts of coward foes
Scarce dare trust a man with thee,
Dreading each should set thee free;
Oh! although in dungeons pent,
All their chains were light to me,
Gazing on thy soul unbent.
Would the sycophants of him
Now so deaf to duty's prayer,
Were his borrow'd glories dim,
In his native darkness share?
Were that world this hour his own,
All thou calmly dost resign,
Could he purchase with that throne
Hearts like those which still are thine
FROM THE FRENCH.
FAREWELL to the land, where the gloom of my glory
Arose and o'ershadow'd the earth with her name-
She abandons me now-but the page of her story,
The brightest or blackest, is fill'd with my fame.
I have warr'd with a world which vanquish'd me only
When the meteor of conquest allured me too far;
I have coped with the nations which dread me thus lonely,
The last single Captive to millions in war.
Farewell to thee, France! when thy diadem crown'd me, I made thee the gem and the wonder of earth,—
But thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found thee, Decay'd in thy glory, and sunk in thy worth.
Oh! for the veteran hearts that were wasted
In strife with the storm, when their battles were wonThen the Eagle, whose gaze in that moment was blasted, Had still soar'd with eyes fix'd on victory's sun!
Farewell to thee, France!-but when Liberty rallies
Once more in thy regions, remember me then-
The violet still grows in the depth of thy valleys;
Though wither'd, thy tears will unfold it again-