Page images

Ellie went home sad and slow.
If she found the lover ever,

With his red-roan steed of steeds,

Sooth I know not; but I know
She could never show him-never,
That swan's nest among the reeds !




COME, let us sing unto the Lord ; let us make a

joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In His hand are the deep places of the earth ; the strength of the hills is His also.

The sea is His, and He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. O

come, let us worship and bow down ; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. To-day if ye will hear His voice,

Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness :

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw

my work,

Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways :

Unto whom I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into my rest.


[" In the year 1315, Switzerland was invaded by Duke Leopold of Austria, with a formidable army. It is well attested that this prince repeatedly declared he would trample the audacious rustics under his feet;' and that he had procured a large stock of cordage, for the purpose of binding their chiefs, and putting them to death. But the Swiss were prepared to meet the attack, and the Duke retreated, sullen and dismayed.")

THE wine-month* shone in its golden prime,

But a deeper sound, through the Switzer's clime,
Than the vintage music, rung-

A sound through vaulted cave,

A sound through echoing glen,
Like the hollow swell of a rushing wave;

-'Twas the tread of steel-girt men.

And a trumpet, pealing wild and far,

Midst the ancient rocks was blown,
Till the Alps replied to that voice of war
With a thousand of their own.

And through the forest-glooms

Flash'd helmets to the day;
And the winds were tossing knightly plumes,

Like the larch-boughs in their play.

In Hasli'st wilds there was gleaming steel

As the host of the Austrian pass'd ;
And the Schreckhorn'st rocks, with a savage peal,

Made mirth of his clarion's blast.

* Wine-month, the German name for October.

Hasli, a wild district in the canton of Berne.
Schreckhorn, the peak of terror, a mountain in the canton of Berne.

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 rang 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 filled 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 came bounding down

Their startled foes among, With a joyous whirl from the summit thrownOh! the herdman's arm is strong!

They came like av’lanche hurl'd

From Alp to Alp in play,
When the echoes shout through the snowy world,

And the pines are borne away.
The fir-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 waving free,
Went down before the shepherd-men,

The men of the Forest-Sea.
With their pikes and massy clubs they brake

The cuirass and the shield,
And the war-horse dash'd to the reddening lake

From the reapers of the field !

The field—but not of sheaves

Proud crests and pennons lay,
Strewn o'er it thick as the birch-wood leaves

In the autumn tempest's way.
Oh! the sun in heaven fierce havoc view'd

When the Austrian turn'd to fly,
And the brave, in the trampling multitude,
Had a fearful death to die!

And the leader of the war

At eve unhelm'd was seen,
With a hurrying step on the wilds afar,

And a pale and troubled mien.
But the sons of the land which the freeman tills

Went back from the battle-toil, To their cabin homes midst the deep-green hills, All burden'd with royal spoil.

There were songs and festal fires

On the soaring Alps that night, When children sprang to greet their sires From the wild Morgarten fight.



SOME years agone, one summer's mor,


We rowed among the lilies golden On mountain lake, whose banks are hid

And guarded by the hemlocks olden. We dipped our oars in lazy tides,

We sang and rowed thro' sun and shadow, We mocked the willful echo-sprite

Who lurked, we knew, in copse or meadow.

« PreviousContinue »