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The DYING GLADIATOR.
I see before me the Gladiator lie :
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won.
He heard it, but he heeded not—his eyes Were with his heart, and that was far away; He recked not of the life he lost nor prize, But where his rude hut by the Danube lay, There were his young barbarians all at play, There was their Dacian mother—he, their sire. Butchered to make a Roman holiday— All this rushed with nis blood–Shail he expire And unrevenged?—Arise ! ye Goths, and glut your irel
There was a sound of revelry by night,
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell'
Did ye not hear it? No; 'twas but the wind,
Arm Arm it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar!
Within a windowed niche of that high hall Sat Brunswick’s fated chieftain ; he did hear That sound the first amid the festival, And caught its tone with death's prophetic ear; And when they smiled because he deemed it near, His heart more truly knew that peal too well Which stretched his father on a bloody bier, And roused the vengeance blood alone would quell: He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro, And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress, And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago – Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness; And there were sudden partings, such as press The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs Which ne'er might be repeated ; who could guess If ever more should meet those mutual eyes, Since upon nights so sweet such awful morn could rise
And there was mounting in hot haste : the steed,
Or whispering, with white lips—“The foe! They come,
they come !”
And wild and high the “Cameron s gathering” rose! The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes:— How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills, Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers With the fierce native daring which instils The stirring memory of a thousand years, And Evans, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears! And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves, Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass, Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves, Over the unreturning brave, alas ! Ere evening to be trodden like the grass Which now beneath them, but above shall grow, In its next verdure, when this fiery mass Of living valour, rolling on the foe, And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold andlow.
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life, Last eve in beauty's circle proudly gay, The midnight brought the signal sound of strife, The morn the marshalling in arms, the day Battle's magnificently stern array! The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent, The earth is covered thick with other clay, Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent, Rider and horse, friend, foe, in one red burial blent!
The castled crag of Drachenfells
And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
I send the lilies given to me;
The river nobly foams and flows,