Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thou in the sternness of thy strength
An equal deed hast done at length,

And darker fate hast found;
He fell, the forest prowlers' prey ;
But thou must eat thy heart away!

The Roman, when his burning heart

Was slaked with blood of Rome, Threw down the dagger-dared depart,

In savage grandeur, home. –
He dared depart in utter scorn
Of men that such a yoke had borne,

Yet left him such a doom !
His only glory was that hour
Of self-upheld abandon'd power.

The Spaniard, when the lust of sway

Had lost its quickening spell,
Cast crowns for rosaries away,

An empire for a cell ;
A strict accountant of his beads,
A subtle disputant on creeds,

His dotage trifled well :
Yet better had he neither known
A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.

But thou—from thy reluctant hand

The thunderbolt is wrung-
Too late thou leav'st the high command

To which thy weakness clung;
All Evil Spirit as thou art,
It is enough to grieve the heart

To see thine own unstrung ;
To think that God's fair world hath been
The footstool of a thing so mean ;

a

And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,

Who thus can hoard his own!
And Monarchs bow'd the trembling limb,

And thank'd him for a throne !
Fair Freedom ! we may hold thee dear,
When thus thy mightiest foes their fear

In humblest guise have shown.
Oh! ne'er may tyrant leave behind
A brighter name to lure mankind !

Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,

Nor written thus in vain
Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,

Or deepen every stain :
If thou hadst died as honour dies,
Some new Napoleon might arise,

To shame the world again-
But who would soar the solar height,
To set in such a starless night?

Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust

Is vile as vulgar clay ;
Thy scales, Mortality! are just

To all that pass away :
But yet methought the living great
Some higher sparks should animate,

To dazzle and dismay;
Nor deem'd Contempt could thus make mirth
Of these, the Conquerors of the earth.

And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,

Thy still imperial bride ;
How bears her breast the torturing hour ?

Still clings she to thy side ?

Must she too bend, must she too share Thy late repentance, long despair,

Thou throneless Homicide ? If still she loves thee, hoard that gem, 'Tis worth thy vanish'd diadem !

Then haste thee to thy sullen Isle,

And gaze upon the sea ;
That element may meet thy smile-

It ne'er was ruled by thee!
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 Tin ur! in his captive's cage

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 !

a

There was a day—there was an bour,

Wale earth was Garl's-Ganl thineWhen that immeasurable power

Cnsated to resign
Had been an act of purer fame
Than gathers round Marengo's name,

And giided thy decline
Throogh 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 is that foolish robe could wring

Remembrance from thy breast.
Where is that 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 ? Yes-one—the first—the last—the bestThe Cincinnatus of the West,

Whom envy dared not hate, Bequeath'd the name of Washington, To make man blush there was but one !

ODE ON WATERLOO.

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 water-spout 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 !

« PreviousContinue »