« PreviousContinue »
ON THE STAR OF "THE LEGION OF HONOUR."
Yet, yet I may baffle the hosts that surround us,
And yet may thy heart leap awake to my voice
There are links which must break in the chain that has bound us,
Then turn thee and call on the Chief of thy choice !
ON THE STAR OF "THE LEGION OF HONOUR."
Star of the brave !-whose beam bath shed
Such glory o'er the quick and dead-
Thou radiant and adored deceit !
Which millions rush'd in arms to greet, -
Wild meteor of immortal birth !
Why rise in Heaven to set on Earth?
Souls of slain heroes form'd thy rays;
Eternity flash'd through thy blaze;
The music of thy martial sphere
Was fame on high and honour here;
And thy light broke on human eyes,
Like a volcano of the skies.
Like lava roll’d thy stream of blood,
And swept down empires with its flood;
Earth rock'd beneath thee to her base,
As thou didst lighten through all space ;
And the shorn Sun grew dim in air,
And set while thou wert dwelling there.
Before thee rose, and with thee grew,
A rainbow of the loveliest hue,
Of three bright colours, each divine,*
And fit for that celestial sign;
For Freedom's hand had blended them,
Like tints in an immortal gem.
One tint was of the sunbeam's dyes;
One, the blue depth of Seraph's eyes :
One, the pure Spirit's veil of white
Had robed in radiance of its light:
The three so mingled did beseem
The texture of a heavenly dream.
Star of the brave ! thy ray is pale,
And darkness must again prevail !
But, oh thou Rainbow of the free!
Our tears and blood must flow for thee.
When thy bright promise fades away,
Our life is but a load of clay.
And Freedom hallows with her tread
The silent cities of the dead;
For beautiful in death are they
Who proudly fall in her array ;
And soon, oh Goddess ! may we be
For evermore with them or thee!
STANZAS FOR MUSIC. I SPEAK not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name; There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the famo: But the tear which now burns on my cheek may impart The deep thoughts that dwell in that silence of heart. Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace, Were those hours---can their joy or their bitterness cease We repent-we abjure—we shall break from our chain, Wo will part—we will fly to-unite it again ! Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt ! Forgive me, adored one !-forsake, if thou wilt: But the heart which is thine shall expire undebased, And man shall not break it-whatever thou mayst. And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee, This soul in its bitterest blackness shall be ; And our days seem as swift, and our movements more sweet, With thee by my side, than with worlds at my feet. Ono sigh of thy sorrow, one look of thy love, Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove ; And the heatless may wonder at all I resignThy lip shall reply, not to them, but to mine.
Fill the goblet again ! for I never before
Felt the glow which now gladdens my heart to its coro ;
Let us drink !-who would not?-since through life's varied
In the goblet alone no deception is found.
I have tried in its turn all that life can supply:
I have bask'd in the beam of a dark rolling eye ;
I have loved !—who has not ?-but what heart can declare,
That pleasure existed while passion was there ?
In the days of my youth, when the heart 's in its spring,
And dreams that affection can never take wing,
I had friends !-who has not but what tongue will avox
That friends, rosy wine ! are so faithful as thou?
The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange,
Friendship, shifts with the sunbeam-thou never canst change :
Thou grow'st old—who does not ?-but on earth what appears,
Whose virtues, like thine, still increase with its years
Yet if blest to the utmost that love can bestow,
Should a rival bow down to our idol below,
We are jealous !-who's not !-thou hast no such alloy;
For the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy.
Then the season of youth and its vanities past,
For refuge we fly to the goblet at last;
There we find-do we not ?-in the flow of the soul,
That truth, as of yore, is confined to the bowl.
When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth,
And Misery's triumph commenced over Mirth,
Hope was left, ,-was she not?—but the goblet we kiss,
And care not for Hope, who are certain of bliss.
Long life to the grape ! for when summer is flown,
The age of our nectar shall gladden our own :
We must die—who shall not ?-May our sins be forgiven,
And Hebe shall never be idle in heaven.
INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SPOKEN AT THE CALEDONIAN
Who hath not glow'd ahova the nage where fame
dath fix'd high Caledon's unconquer'd name;
The mountain land which eporn'd the Roman chain,
And baffled back the fiery-crested Dane;
Whose bright claymore and hardihood of hand,
No foe could tame-no tyrant could command !
That race is gone-but still their children breathe,
And glory crowns them with redoubled wreath :
O'er Gael and Saxon mingling banners shine,
And, England ! add their stubborn strength to thina.
The blood which flow'd with Wallace flows as free,
But now 'tis only shed for famu and thee !
Oh! pass not by the northern veteran's claim,
But give support the world hath given him fame !
The humbler ranks, the lowly brave, who blea
While cheerly following where the mighty led-
Who sleep beneath the undistinguish'd sod,
Where happier comrades in their triumph trod,
To us bequeath—'tis all their fate allows-
The sireless offspring and the lonely spouse:
She on high Albyn's dusky hills may
The tearful eye in melancholy gaze;
Or view, while shadowy auguries disclose,
The Highland seer's anticipated woes,
The bleeding phantom of each martial form.,
Dim in the cloud, or darkling in the storm ;
While sad she chants the solitary song,
The soft lament for him who tarries long-
For him, whose distant relics vainly crave
The cronach's wild requiem to the brave !
'Tis Heaven-not man-must charm away the way
Which bursts when Nature's feelings newly flow;
Yet tenderness and time may rob the tear
Of half its bitterness, for one so dear;
A nation's gratitude perchance may spread
A thornless pillow for the widow's head;
May lighten well her heart's maternal care,
And wean from penury the goldier's heir.
TAE serfs are glad through Lara's wide domain,
And Slavery half forgets her feudal chain ;
He, their unhoped, but unforgotten lord -
The long self-exiled chieftain is restored :
There be bright faces in the busy hall,
Bowls on the board, and banners on the wall;
Far chequering o'er the pictured window, plays
The unwonted fagots' hospitable blaze ;
And gay retainers gather round the hearth,
With tongues all loudness, and with eyes all mirth
II. The chief of Lara is return'd again: And why had Lara cross'd the bounding main ? Left by his sire, too young such loss to know, Lord of himself;—that heritage of woe, That fearful empire which the human breast But holds to rob the heart within of rest!-With none to check, and few to point in time The thousand paths that slope the way to crime; Then, when he most required commandment, then Had Lara's daring boyhood govern'd men. It skills not, boots not, step by step to trace His youth through all the mazes of its race ; Short was the course his restlessness had run, But long enough to leave him half undone.
And Lara left in youth his father-land ;
But from the hour he waved his parting hand
Each trace wax'd fainter of his course, till all
Had nearly ceased his memory to recall.
His sire was dust, his vassals could declare-