Page images
[ocr errors]

The monk, with unavailing cares,
Exhausted all the church's prayers;
Ever, he said, that, close and near,
A lady's voice was in his ear,
And that the priest he could not hear,

For that she ever sung, “ In the lost battle, borne down by the flying, Where mingles war's rattle with groans of the dying !"

So the notes rung;
“ Avoid thee, fiend ! with cruel hand,
Shake not the dying sinner's sand!*
O look, my son, upon yon sign
Of the Redeemer's grace divine;

O think on faith and bliss !
By many a death-bed I have been,
And many a sinner's parting seen,

But never aught like this."
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now trebly thundering, swelled the gale,

And — Stanley! was the cry;
A light on Marmion's visage spread,

And fired his glazing eye:
With dying hand above his head
He shook the fragment of his blade,

And shouted “Victory!
Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on!"
Were the last words of Marmion.


Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land! -
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned.
As nome his footsteps he hath turned

From wandering on a foreign strand ! If such there breathe, go mark hin well; For him no minstrel raptures swell; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concentred all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust, from whence he sprong. Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.


(1780— still living.)


I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,

A bark o'er the waters move gloriously on:
I came, when the sun o'er that beach was declining -

The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.
Ah! such is the fate of our life's early promise,

So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known; Each wave that we danced on at morning, ebbs from us,

And leaves us, at eve, on the black shore alone,

Ne'er tell me of glories serenely adorning

The close of our day, the calm eve of our night; Give me back, give me back, the wild freshness of morning,

Her clouds and her tears are worth evening's best light.

Oh, who would not welcome that moment's returning,

When passion first waked a new life through his frame, And his soul — like the wood that grows precious in burning

Gave out all its sweets to Love's exquisite flame!


Sweet Moon! if, like Crotona's sage,

By any spell my hand could dare
To make thy disk its ample page,
And write my thoughts, my wishes there;

How many a friend whose careless eye
Now wanders o'er that starry sky,
Should smile upon that orb to meet
The recollection kind and sweet,
The reveries of fond regret,
The promise never to forget,
And all my heart and soul would send
To many a dear-loved, distant friend.


But see — he starts - what heard he then ?
That dreadful shout! across the glen
From the land side it comes, and loud
Rings through the chasm; as if the crowd
Of fearful things, that haunt that dell,
Its Gholes and Dives and shapes of hell
Had all in one dread howl broke out,
So loud, so terrible that shout!
“ They come - the Moslems come !" he cries,
His proud soul mounting to his eyes —
“ Now Spirits of the Brave, who roam
Enfranchised through yon starry dome,
Rejoice — for souls of kindred fire
Are on the wing to join your choir !"
He said -- and, light as bridegrooms bound

To their young loves, reclimbed the steep And gained the shrine -- his Chiefs stood round

Their swords, as with instinctive leap, Together at that cry accurst, Had from their sheaths, like sunbeams, burst.

And hark!- again – again it rings;
Near and more near its echoings
Peal through the chasm-oh! who that then
Had seen those listening warrior-men,
With their swords grasped, their eyes of flame
Turned on their Chief -- could doubt the shame,
The indignant shame with which they thrill
To hear those shouts and yet stand still?
He read their thoughts — they were his own -

“ What! while our arms can wield these blades, Shall we die tamely ? die alone ?

Without one victim to our shades,
One Moslem heart where, buried deep,
The sabre from its toil may sleep?
No-God of Iran's burning skies!
Thou scorn'st the inglorious sacrifice.
No-though of all earth's hopes bereft,
Life, swords, and vengeance still are left.
We'll make yon valley's reeking caves

Live in the awe-struck minds of men,
Till tyrants shudder, when their slaves

Tell of the Gheber's bloody glen.
Follow, brave hearts !- this pile remains
Our refuge still from life and chains,
But his the best, the holiest bed,
Who sinks entombed on Moslem dead !"
Down the precipitous rocks they sprung,
While vigour, more than human, strung
Each arm and heart. — The exulting foe
Still through the dark defiles below,
Tracked by his torches' lurid fire,

Wound slow, as through Golconda's vale

« PreviousContinue »