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“Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert cave,
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
O'er thee, O king! their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.
“Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death thro' Berkeley's roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king !
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fang,
That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate ;
Thy sateless son shall o'er thy country hang The scourge of Heaven.
“Mighty victor, mighty lord, Low on his funeral couch he lies !
No pitying heart, no eye afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noontide beam were born
Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes ;
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm : Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
“Fill high the sparkling bowl, The rich repast prepare ;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast; Close by the regal chair,
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon the baffled guest. Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse ?
Long years of havoc urge their destined course, And through the kindred squadrons mow their way.
“ Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame, And spare the meek usurper's holy head. Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe we spread : The bristled Boar in infant
gore Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
“ But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height
Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll !
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail.
All hail, ye genuine kings; Britannia's issue, hail !
“Girt with many a baron bold Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old,
In bearded majesty, appear.
In the midst a forin divine !
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line:
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,
Attemper'd sweet to virgin-grace.
“ The verse adorn again,
Fierce War, and faithful Love,
And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest.
In buskin’d measures move
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice, as of the cherub-chuir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire.
Fond, impious man, think’st thou, yon sanguine cloud,
Raised by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The different doom our fates assign.
Be thine despair, and sceptred care;
To triumph, and to die, are mine."
He spoke, and headloug from the mountain's height,
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.
THE BATTLE OF MORGARTEN.*
In Hasli's wilds there was gleaming steel,
As the host of the Austrian pass’d,
And the Shreckhorn's rocks, with a 'savage peal,
Made mirth at his clarion's blast.
Up’midst the Righi snows,
The stormy march was heard,
With the charger's tramp, whence fire-sparks rose,
And the leader's gathering word.
But a band, the noblest band of all,
Through the rude Morgarten strait, With blazon'd streamers, and lances tall, Moved onwards in princely state.
They came, with heavy chains,
For the race despised so long.
But, amidst his Alp domains,
The herdsman's arm is strong!
The sun was reddening the clouds of morn,
When they enter'd the rock defile,
And shrill as a joyous hunter's horn,
Their bugles rung the while;
But on the misty height,
Where the mountain people stood, There was stillness as of night,
When storms at distance brood : There was stillness, as of deep dead night,
And a pause—but not of fear, While the Switzers gazed on the gathering might Of the hostile shield and spear.
On wound those columns bright,
Between the lake and wood,
But they look'd not to the misty height,
Where the mountain people stood.
The pass was filld with their serried power,
All helm’d, and mail-array'd;
And their steps had sounds like a thunder shower,
In the rustling forest shade.
There were prince and crested knight,
Hemm'd in by cliff and flood,
When a shout arose from the misty height,
Where the mountain people stood.
And the mighty rocks come bounding down,
Their startled foes among,
With a joyous whirl from the summit thrown-
Oh! the herdsman's arm is strong!
They came like Lauwine hurld,
From Alp to Alp in play,
When the echoes shout through the snowy world
And the pines are borne away.
The larch-woods crash'd on the mountain side,
And the Switzers rush'd from high,
With a sudden charge on the flower and pride
Of the Austrian chivalry;
Like hunters of the deer,
They storm'd the narrow dell,
And first in the shock, with Uri's spear,
Was the arm of William Tell!
There was tumult in the crowded strait,
And a cry of wild dismay;
And many a warrior met his fate
From a peasant's hand that day !
And the empire's banner then,
From its place of waying free, Went down before the shepherd men,
The men of the Forest Sea.-HEMANS.
In arms the Austrian phalanx stood,
A living wall, a human wood;
Impregnable their front appears,
All horrent with projecting spears.
Opposed to these a scanty band
Contended for their fatherland;
Peasants, whose new found strength had broke
From manly necks the ignoble yoke;
Marshalled once more at Freedom's call,
They come to conquer or to fall.
And now the work of life and death
Hung on the passing of a breath ;
The fire of conflict burned within :
The battle trembled to begin :
Yet while the Austrians held their ground,
Point for assault was nowhere found;
Where'er the impatient Switzers gazed,
The unbroken line of lances blazed;
That line 'twere suicide to meet
And perish at their tyrant's feet.
Few were the numbers they could boast;
But every freeman was a host,
And felt as 'twere a secret known
That one should turn the scale alone.
It did depend on one indeed;
Behold him-Arnold Winhelried ;
There stands not to the roll of Fame
A hero of a nobler name.
Unmarked, he stood among the throng,
In rumination deep and long,
Till you might see, with sudden grace,
The very thought come o’er his face;
And, by the uplifting of his brow,
Tell where the bolt would strike, and how.
* In 1386, ever memorable for the heroic patriotism of Arnold.
But 'twas no sooner thought than done
The field was in a moment won !
“Make way for Liberty!” he cried ;
Then ran with arms extended wide,
As if his dearest friend to clasp ;
Ten spears he swept within his grasp.
“Make way for Liberty !” he cried
Their keen points crossed from side to side,
Then with them falling down, did he
Bravely make way for Liberty.
On to the breach his comrades fly-
“Make way for Liberty!” they cry;
And through the Austrian phalanx dart,
As rushed the spears through Arnold's heart;
While instantaneous as his fall,
Before the foes-fear seized them all :
An earthquake could not overthrow
A city with a surer blow.
Thus, Switzerland again was free;
Thus Death made way for Liberty.-MONTGOMERY.
BRUCE AND THE SPIDER. King Bruce of Scotland flung himself down
In a lonely mood to think; 'Tis true he was monarch and wore a crown,
But his heart was beginning to sink.
For he had been trying to do a great deed
To make his people glad,
He had tried and tried, but couldn't succeed,
And so he became quite sad.
He flung himself down in low despair,
As grieved as man could be ;
And after a while as he pondered there,
“I'll give it all up,” said he.
Now just at that moment a spider dropped,
With its silken cobweb clue,
And the king in the midst of his thinking stopped
To see what the spider would do.
'Twas a long way up to the ceiling dome,
And it hung by a rope so fine,
That how it would get to its cobweb home,
King Bruce could not divine.
It soon began to cling and crawl
Straight up with strong endeavour,
But down it came, with a slipping sprawl,
As near to the ground as ever.