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THE BATTLE FIELD.

Of Jordan unto Syria's frontier bounds,

What ear, save Thine to whom all plaints arise, Slow struggling through the mist, that reek'd to Might have abided the commingling wail

Of matrons widow'd, and of maids that day Day dawn'd on Chalons' plain. Faintly it show'd Bereft of bridal hopes! like those lorn men Indistinct horror, and the ghastly form

Hard by the rock of Rimmon, when the Lord Of havoc lingering o'er its bloody work.

Smote Benjamin in all his fenced towns, Oh for the tongue that told how once the fiend Virgin, and wife, and infant with the sword Over immortal Athens from his wing

Utterly destroying; and one oath restrain'd Scatter'd disease and death! and, worse than death, Each willing fair in Israel; yet brides | The living curse of sunder'd charities,

For these still bloom'd in Gilead, and, what time Whereby the fount of feeling and love's pulse The vintage glow'd, in Shiloh danced with song I Was stay'd within through dread, and, when most Ripe for connubial joys. But whence for these lack'd,

Shall ravaged Europe light the nuptial torch, The hospitable mansion sternly closed

Whose hopes have wither'd as the herbs, that Against a parent's prayer, while corses foul,

bloom'd On the barr'd threshold's edge lay uninhumed, Odorous yestermorn on Chalons' plain! Exhaling plague! Oh, for the voice of him, There foes on foes, friends lay with icy cheek Who drew the curtain of Apocalypse,

Pressing their maim'd companions. On that field To man declaring things for man too high, The eye might trace all war's vicissitudes That I may speak the horrors, which broke slow Impress'd in fatal characters; the rush Upon the sight at dawn! The ample field, Headlong of flight, and thundering swift pursuit, Which, but short hours before was redolent Rescue and rally, and the struggling front With herbs and healthful odours, now uptorn Of hard contention. Strewn on every side By thousand hoofs, batter'd beneath the strength Lay dead and dying, like the scatter'd seed Of wheels and horse and man, a barren mass Cast by the husbandman, with other thoughts Of dark confusion seem'd; a trampled waste Of unstain'd harvest; chariots overthrown, Without the blush of verdure, but with gore | Shields cast behind, and wheels, and sever'd limbs, Distain'd, and steep'd in the cold dews of death. | Rider and steed, and all the merciless shower Thick strewn, and countless, as those winged tribes Of arrows barb’d, strong shafts, and feather'd darts Which clamoring blacken all the grassy mead Wing'd with dismay. As when of Alpine snows In sickly autumn, when the wither'd leaves The secret fount is open'd, and dread sprites, Drift on the moaning gale, lay swords and pikes, That dwell in those crystalline solitudes {moan, Bucklers, and broken cuirasses, and casques, Have loosed the avalanche whose deep-thundering Shower'd by the pelting battle, when it rush'd Predicting ruin, on his couch death-doom'd With such hoarse noise as does the foaming surge | The peasant hears; waters on waters rush Upon some rocky ledge, where Æolas

Uptearing all impediment, woods, rocks, Bids foul winds blow. But not of arms alone Ice rifted from the deep cærulean glens, Rent fragments, and the broken orb of shields Herds striving with the stream, and bleating flocks, Embossed with gold, and gorgeous housings lay The dwellers of the dale, with all of life Cumbering that fearful waste. The mind shrinks That made the cottage blithesome; but ere long back

The floods o'erpass; the ravaged valley lies From the thick scatter'd carnage, the dread heaps Tranquil and mute in ruin. So confused That late were living energy and youth,

In awful stillness lay the battle's wreck. Hope emolous, and lofty daring; strength, Here heaps of slain, as by an eddy cast, (steel, Which raised again from that corrupting sod, And hands, which, stiff, still clench'd the ruddy Thro’ Ardenne's desert unto utmost Rhine Show'd rallied strength, and life sold dearly. There Might have spread culture; thousands whose blithe Equal and mingled havoc, where the tide

Doubtful had paused whether to ebb or flow. Might yet have caroll'd to the breath of morn, Some prone were cast, some headlong, some supine; Or joy'd the banquet, or with gifted hand

Others yet strove with death. The sallow cheek Waked the ecstatic lyre, adorning still

Of the slain Avar press'd the mangled limbs With rich diversity of active power

Of yellow-hair'd Sicambrian, whose blue eyes Cottage or palace, the marmorean hall's

Still swum in agony ; Gelonic steed Proud masonry, with Roman wealth o'erlaid, Lay panting on the cicatrized form Or of Sarmatian hut the pastoral hearth,

Of his grim lord, whose painted brow convulsed Abode of love, where fond remembrance now Seem'd a ferocious mockery. There, mix'd Looks sadly over hills and native dales

The Getic archer with the savage Hun, For forms beloved in vain, which far away, And Dacian lancers lay, and sturdy Goths Spurn'd by the grazed ox, shall heap the sod Pierced by Sarmatian pike. There, once his pride Of Chalons' glebe with undistinguish'd clay. The Sueve's long-flowing hair with gore besprent, Alas!-If erst, on that unhallow'd eve

And Alans stout, in Roman tunic clad. When Ramah quaked with dread, the deep lament Some of apparel stripp'd by coward bands Of Rachel mourning for her babes appall’d

That vulture-like upon the skirts of war Utmost Judea, and the holy banks

Ever hang merciless; their naked forms

voice

night

In death yet beauteous, though the eburnean limbs Unbidden rush on that mysterious change, Blood had defiled. There some, whom thirst all Which, whether he believe or mock the creed

Of those who trust, awaits him, and must bring Had parch'd, too feeble from that fellowship Or good, or evil, or annihilate To drag their fever'd heads, aroused at dawn The sense of being, and involve him quite From fearful dreaming to new hope and life, In darkness upon which no dawn shall break! Die rified by the hands whose help they crave. Fearful and dreaded must thy bidding be Others lie maim'd and torn, too strong to die, To such as have no light within, vouchsafed Imploring death. Oh, for some friendly aid From the Most High, no reason for their hope; To staunch their burning wounds and cool the lip But go from this firm world, into the void Refresh'd with water from an unstain'd spring! Where no material body may reside, But that foul troop of plunderers unrestrain'd By fleshly cares polluted and unmeet Ply their abhorred trade, of groan or prayer For spiritual joy; and ne'er have known, Heedless, destroying whom war's wrath had spared. Or knowing, have behind them cast the love Some, phrensied, crawl unto the brook, which late Of their Redeemer, who thine awful bonds, Pellucid roll'd, now choked with slain, and swellid Grim Potentate, has broken, and made smooth With the heart's blood of thousands; gore they quaff The deathbed of the just through faith in Him. For water, to allay the fatal thirst [God! | How oft, at midnight, have I fix'd my gaze Which only death may quench. And this, great | Upon the blue unclouded firmament, This is thy field of glory and of joy

With thousand spheres illumined, each perchance To man, the noblest of created forms,

The powerful centre of revolving worlds! In thy pure image moulded! This the meed Until, by strange excitement stirr'd, the mind For which exalted natures toil and strive,

Has long'd for dissolution, so it might bring Placed in such high preeminence, to be

Knowledge, for which the spirit is athirst, Thine own similitude, in glory next

Open the darkling stores of hidden time, Thine incorporeal ministers! Long while

And show the marvel of eternal things, Upon that loathly scene gazed Attila

Which, in the bosom of immensity,
Touch'd by no thought of sufferings.

Wheel round the God of Nature. Vain desire !
Illusive aspirations ! daring hope !
Worm that I am, who told me I should know

More than is needful, or hereafter dive
HYMN TO DEATH.

Into the counsel of the God of worlds ?

Or ever, in the cycle unconceived What art thou, O relentless visitant,

Of wonderous eternity, arrive Who with an earlier or later call,

Beyond the narrow sphere, by Him assign'd Dost summoa every spirit that abides

To be my dwelling wheresoc'er? Enough In this our fleshly tabernacle ! Death!

To work in trembling my salvation here, The end of worldly sorrowing and joy,

Waiting thy summons, stern, mysterious Power, That breakest short the fantasies of youth,

Who to thy silent realm hast call'd away The proud man's glory, and the lingering chain All those whom nature twined around my breast Of hopeless destitution! The dark gate

In my fond infancy, and left me here And entrance into that untrodden realm,

Denuded of their love! Where are ye gone, Where we must all hereafter pass! Art thou And shall we wake from the long sleep of death, An evil or a boon ? that some shrink back

To know each other, conscious of the ties With shuddering horror from the dreaded range That link'd our souls together, and draw down Of thine unmeasured empire, others plunge The secret dew-drop on my cheek, whene'er Unbidden, goaded by the sense of ill,

I turn unto the past? or will the change Or weariness of being, into the abyss !

That comes to all, renew the alter'd spirit And should we call those blest who journey on To other thoughts, making the strife or love Upon this motley theatre, through life

Of short mortality a shadow past, Successful, unto the allotted term

Equal illusion ? Father, whose strong mind Of threescore years and ten, even so strong, Was my support, whose kindness as the spring That they exceed it? or those, who are brought down Which never tarries! Mother, of all forms Before their prime, and, like the winged tribes, That smiled upon my budding thoughts most dear! Ephemeral, children of the vernal beam,

Brothers! and thou, mine only sister ! gone Just flutter round the sweets of life and die ?-- To the still grave, making the memory An awful term thou art; and still must be, Of all my earliest time, a thing wiped out, To all who journey to that bourne, from whence Save from the glowing spot, which lives as fresh Return is none, and from whose distant shore In my heart's core, as when we last in joy No rumor has come back of good or ill,

Were gather'd round the blithe paternal board! Save to the faithful, and even they but view Where are ye? Must your kindred spirits sleep Obscurely things unknown and unconceived, For many a thousand years, till by the trump And judge not even, by what sense the bliss, Roused to new being? Will affections then Which they imagine, shall hereafter be

Burn inwardly, or all our loves gone by Enjoy'd or apprehended. And shall man

Seem but a speck upon the roll of time,

Unworthy our regard - This is too hard
For mortals to unravel, nor has He
Vouchsafed a clue to man, who bade us trust
To Him our weakness, and we shall wake up
After his likeness, and be satisfied.

AËTIUS THE UNBELIEVER.

Over the water like a fairy dream!
Thou hangest, as a wreath upon his neck,
More fragrant than the rose, in thy pure garb
Of blushing gentleness. Thou art a joy
More sprightly than the lark in vernal suns
Pouring his throat to heaven, or forest call
By blithesome Dryads blown; a faithful stay
In all the world's mischances ; a helpmeet
For man in sickness, and decay, and death.
Thou art more precious than an only child
In weary age begotten, a clear spring
Amid the desert, an unhoped-for land
To baffled mariners, or dawn of day
To who has press'd all night a fever'd couch.
Oh, wherefore, best desired and most beloved
Of all heaven's works, oh, wherefore wert thou

made
To be our curse as well as blessing ! lured
From thy first shape of innocence to become
A thing abased by guilt, and more deform'd
As thine original glory was more bright!

FAREWELL.

As he who sails aloof
Upon the perilous Atlantic, vex'd
By baffling gales, what time his gallant bark
Or on the summit of some dark blue wave
Storm-beaten rides, or plunges into the chasm
From that tremendous altitude, and straight
Lies in his trough becalm’d, as if the grave
Had swallow'd her; nathless undaunted sets
His fix'd regard upon the starry vault,
And notes the hour, and frequent calculates
Distance and bearings, and with skill corrects

The errors of his course. So darkling steer'd
1 Aēties, through the shoals and fearful blasts
• Of his tempestuous time, but never found

That anchorage, secure from every change
Of fitful gales, that haven, which the just
Alone inherit; for the sons of earth,
Who, vex'd with vain disquietude, pursue
Ambition's fatuous light, through miry pools
That yawn for their destruction, stray foredoom'd
Amid delusive shadows to their end.
That certain hope, which shineth evermore
A beacon to the righteous, over them
Its peaceful radiance never shall diffuse ;
And bitterness shall be the bread they chew,
While striving to devour the portion snatch'd
By strong injustice from their fellow men,
A baneful meal; and their satiety
Shall be a curse, more fatal than the void
Of meager famine, an unwholesome weight,
That haply shall bring dreams beyond the grave
To the charged soul, and phantoms of the things
Which have been on this earth, and which shall be
Hereafter, when the trumpet wakes the dead.

READER, whoe'er hast travell’d to the goal Through this long chant unwearied, if my verse, Tuned to no trivial strain, hast lent thee aught Of pleasure or of profit, o'er the work Wrought by the chaste artificer of song Bend kindly, yielding such small meed of praise Earn’d by high musing, as may send his name Not ill-esteem'd upon the wings of Time Unto his children's children, when the sod Shall lie upon the hand that gave it life, Calling the soul's unborn imaginings [forms From thought's deep fountain ; like the glowing Of Eros and his brother, who uprose From their wet cradle at the wizard's voice, This mournful, o'er his neck the jetty locks With hyacinthine ringlets clustering, That blythe and golden as the god of day.

Perchance I shall not walk with thee again Along the Muse's haunt, and we shall both Be number'd with the countless things that lie O'ershadow'd by oblivion; hearts that beat High in the noontide of ambitious hopes, And forms of loveliest symmetry, that once Delighted the beholder, by the hand, Which deals just measure unto all that tread This changeful world, o'ertaken in their dream Of summer joy. Calm reason throws a cloud O'er the enchantment of aspiring thoughts Which whisper of a life beyond the tomb Upon the lips of men, and tells how vain The shadow of such glory, nothing worth To him who hath his dwelling with the worm. But that Almighty will, which placed man here To labour in his calling, hath set deep Within his bosom an undying hope, An aspiration unto nobler ends Than he hath compass'd yet; a stirring thirst For praise beyond the term that nature's law Has granted to his brief mortality,

M

WOMAN.

FAIREST and loveliest of created things, By our great Author in the image form'd Of his celestial glory, and design'd To be man's solace! Undefiled by sin How much dost thou exceed all earthly shapes Of beautiful, to charm the wistful eye, Bland to the touch, or precious in the use ! His treasure of delight, while the fresh prime Adorns his forehead with the joy of youth, His comfort in the winter of the soul! Chaste woman! thou art e'en a brighter gem To him, who wears thee, than e'er shone display'd Upon the monarch's diadem ; a charm More sweet to lull all sorrow, than the tint Of spring's young verdure in the dewy morn, Or music's mellow tones, which floating come

This, ever of the gloomy monitor

Inshrined upon the lip of praise, shall be Regardless, bids him peril much, to win

To-morrow a tale told, a shadow pass'd The unsubstantial fame, which unto him

Into those regions where oblivion throws Shall be as if not being; a sweet strain

Over the bright creations of the mind Of soul-enrapturing music to the deaf,

A darkness as of death. Scared learning flies A scene of beauty and of light to eyes

An age, which bubbling with unnumber'd tongues That lie in darkness, and by slumber seal'd

In quest of some new wonder hurries on,
Without the sense of vision. Strange, forsooth, And hath no retrospect. Enough for me,
Appear the workings of the mind of man,

That this my tuneful labour, short howe'er
Which goad him to his loss. The promised boon Its term of glory, hath my solace been
Of that stupendous glory, which shall be

Through many a wintry hour, when icy chains Hereafter, and survive the wreck of worlds

Bound the froze champaign; a sweet anodyne Unto the end of Time, wants substance now To inward cares, lulling the tremulous heart To wrestle with his sense of present good; That throbs with high aspirings, and would fain That which is lighter than a transient gleam Live unreproach'd upon the rolls of fame, Of sunshine or the shadow of a shade

Mindful of its Creator, who requires Reflected from a mirror, and, if gain'd,

From each with usury the gifts He gave, Can never be by any sense of his

And stirs by inborn thirst of good report Enjoy'd or apprehended, the vain wish

Man to his noblest uses. To have walk'd To float upon the memory of men

No servile follower, nor vainly trick'd After his term of being oft becomes

With meretricious gauds of modern song, A master passion, and for that one aim

Beneath Aovian umbrage never sere, He barters all, that his Creator gave

Where Melesigenes and Maro sang, Of joy or solace in the vale of life,

Where British Milton gave his country's lyre And that inheritance of perfect bliss

A voice from ancient days, hath been to me Which might be his for ever. Then happy they A charm illusive, a refreshing toil Who in the airy building of a name,

Year after year. My little bark, o'er which Have travell’d through the guiltless ways of peace | Long fashioning thy symmetry I hung, Innocuous, and held the mind's calm eye

Now launch'd upon the ocean wide of Time, Fix'd on a better star than those vague fires, Whose winds are evil tongues, and passions roused Which, fatuous, tole man to the abyss. Time was, Amidst the warring multitude its storms, Nor will return, when poesy might rear

Sore shall I miss thee! like the child, first sent A more perennial monument than brass,

From the safe home, where fond parental cares Towering above the age-worn edifice,

Watch'd o'er his growing energies. Go forth
Where loath'd corruption saith unto the worm, Unto thy destinies, and fare unharm'd
" Thou art my sister.” The famed capitol Adown the current, which may waft thee soon
No longer sees the silent virgin climb

To that Lethean pool, where earthly toils
Its marble steps, nor does the pomp profane Sink unregarded in forgetfulness !
Of sacrificial pontiffs crowd its ways;
Yet still the chaplet blooms, wherewith the muse
Inwreathed the forehead of Venusium's bard
Fragrant and fresh, while ages fling their dust

WASHINGTON.
Upon the crumbling domes, with which he claim'd
Coeval glory. But the boast that told

A BETTER prize
Of sepulchres by magic verse uppiled,

There is for man, a glory of this world Which neither storms nor all consuming Time

Well worth the labour of the blessed, won Should bring to nothingness, would perish now By arduous deeds of righteousness, that bring Even in the utterance. I have yet beheld

Solace, or wisdom, or the deathless boon But half an age, yet in that petty space

Of holy freedom to his fellow men, Such giant forms of havoc and of change

And praise to the Almighty. Such a wreath Have glided o'er the earth, that the mazed thought Encircled late the patriotic brows Dwells little on the past, but gazing forth,

Of him, who, greater than the kings of earth, Like the Ebudan seer, with ravishment

To young Atlantis in an upright cause Strains after what shall be. The ear is cloy'd Gave strength and liberty, and laid the stone Unto satiety with honied strains

Whereon shall rise, if so Jehovah will, That daily from the fount of Helicon

An empire mightier than the vast domain Flow murmuring; and that which is to-day Sway'd once by vicious Cæsars.

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