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Brightened, and for a moment seemed to roam, He squeezed from out a rag some drops of rain Into his dying child's mouth; but in vain !
The boy expired – the father held the clay,
And looked upon it long; and when at last Death left no doubt, and the dead burthen lay
Stiff on his heart, and pulse and hope weré past, He watched it wistfully, until away
'T was borne by the rude wave wherein 't was cast, Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering, And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering.
There was a sound of revelry by night;
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her beauty, and her chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women, and brave men;
thousand hearts beat happily; and, when
Music arose, with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again;
And all went merry as a marriage bell — But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell,
Did ye not hear it? - No; 't was but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street,
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours, with flying feet -
But hark! — that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! arm! it is - it is the cannon's opening roar!
Within a windowed niche of that high hall,
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain ; he did hear
That sound the first, amidst 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 could 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 night so sweet such awful morn could rise ?
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar!
And near the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
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, an! 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 Evan's, 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, and low.
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!
It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard :
It is the hour when lovers' vows
Seem sweet in every whispered word;
And gentle winds and waters near,
Make music to the lonely ear.
Each flower the dews have lightly wet,
And in the sky, the stars are met,
And on the wave is deeper blue,
And on the leaf a browner hue,
And in the heaven that clear obscure,
So softly dark, and darkly pure,
Which follows the decline of day,
As twilight melts beneath the moon away
But it is not to list to the waterfall
That Parisina leaves her hall,
And it is not to gaze on the heavenly light
That the lady walks in the shadow of night;
And if she sits in Este's bower,
'Tis not for the sake of its full-blown flower
She listens — but not for the nightingale -
Though her ear expects as soft a tale,
There glides a step through the foliage thick,
And her cheek grows pale — and her heart beats quick.
There whispers a voice through the rustling leaves,
And her blush returns, and her bosom heaves :
A moment more -and they shall meet-
'T is past - her lover 's at her feet.
LINES TO HIS WIFE AFTER THEIR SEPARATION,
FARE THEE WELI.! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well:
Even though unforgiving, never
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.
Would that breast were bared before thee
Where thy head so oft hath lain,
While that placid sleep came o'er thee,
Which thou ne'er canst know again:
Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Every inmost thought could show,
Then thou wouldst at last discover,
'T was not well to spurn it so.
Though the world for this commend thee
Though it smile upon the blow,
Even its praises must offend thee,
Founded on another's woe.
Though my many faults defaced me,
Could no other arm be found,
Than the one which once embraced me,
To inflict a cureless wound.
Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not ;
Love may sink by slow decay,
But by sudden wrench, believe not
Hearts can thus be torn away:
Still thine own its life retaineth
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat,
And the undying thought which paineth
Is that we no more may meet.