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It was the dead midnight ;
No star was in the sky;
As she won her way on high ;
And deepest silence hung,
Like a garment, o'er the land;
From a grisly drummer's hand !
It rolled through the startled space-
That wild, unearthly sound;
From the warm and genial South ;-
From the Danube's stormy mouth ;
v. From the ice-realms of the North ;
From devoted Moscow's plain ;Trooped the might of armed thousands forth
To that stirring call again!
From the Tyrol's hills of blue ;-
From the “ deadly Waterloo :”
And many a wandering wave,
And had yielded up its brave !
Those scattered hosts combine;
Arise and make their sign!
On shadowy chargers mounted,
With swords uplifted high,
The' Imperial Guards draw nigh ! *
They raise their pallid brows
In the wan moon's sickly glare;
Their leader's deep despair !
With folded arms he stands,
As they pass him in review;
As he thinks on Waterloo !
* The idea of the Spectre Drummer, is borrowed from a French Poem by Messrs. Barthelmy and Mery. This and the four succeeding stanzas are little more than a paraphrase.
Still the drummer by his side,
Plies his bleached and Aleshless arm; Till surging on like the ocean tide,
Those grisly phantoms swarm.
They shout no vivas now
For the chieftain once so dear;
Alone salute his ear.
As they wheel beneath his sight;
On Montmartre’s frowning height.
That file before him now;
So painfully and slow!
From Jaffa’s burning plain,
That shadowy host hath wended ; In cool and savage triumph slain,
When the battle strife was ended !
He shuts his conscious eyes
Their shrinking sense to save;
'T is the gallant D’Enghein's grave !
XIX. The torches glare around,
Where the dauntless Bourbon kneels; In the castle fosse, on the damp chill ground,
As the murderous volley peals!
And the muffled drum tolls out
The youthful hero's knell :-
And the roll of the deep reveil !
XXI. Myriads before him spread,
Their standards rear on high ; But the flags are white as the charnelled dead,
For the grave hath the victory!
Beyond that grisly train;
A vulture, and a chain !