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ON THE STAR OF "THE LEGION OF HONOUR."
STAR of the brave!-whose beam hath shed
Such glory o'er the quick and dead
Thou radiant and adored deceit !
Which millions rush'd in arms to greet,
Wild meteor of immortal birth!
Why rise in Heaven to set on Earth?
Souls of slain heroes form'd thy rays;
Eternity flash'd through thy blaze;
The music of thy martial sphere
Was fame on high and honour here;
And thy light broke on human eyes,
Like a Volcano of the skies.
Like lava roll'd thy stream of blood,
And swept down empires with its flood;
Earth rock'd beneath thee to her base,
As thou didst lighten through all space;
And the shorn Sun grew dim in air,
And set while thou wert dwelling there.
Before thee rose, and with thee grew, A rainbow of the loveliest hue
Of three bright colours, (9) each divine, And fit for that celestial sign;
For Freedom's hand had blended them, Like tints in an immortal gem.
One tint was of the sunbeam's dyes;
One, the blue depth of Seraph's eyes;
One, the pure Spirit's veil of white
Had robed in radiance of its light:
The three so mingled did beseem
The texture of a heavenly dream.
Star of the brave! thy ray is pale,
And darkness must again prevail!
But, oh thou Rainbow of the free!
Our tears and blood must flow for thee.
When thy bright promise fades away,
Our life is but a load of clay.
And Freedom hallows with her tread
The silent cities of the dead;
For beautiful in death are they
Who proudly fall in her array;
And soon, oh Goddess! may we be
For evermore with them or thee!
FAREWELL to the Land, where the gloom of
Arose and o'ershadow'd the earth with her name-
She abandons me now-but the page of her story,
The brightest or blackest, is fill'd with my fame.
I have warr'd with a world which vanquish'd me only
When the meteor of Conquest allured me too far;
I have coped with the nations which dread me thus lonely,
The last single Captive to millions in war!
Farewell to thee, France! when thy diadem crown'd me, I made thee the gem and the wonder of earth,—
But thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found thee, Decay'd in thy glory, and sunk in thy worth.
Oh! for the veteran hearts that were wasted
In strife with the storm, when their battles were wonThen the Eagle, whose gaze in that moment was blasted, Had still soar'd with eyes fix'd on victory's sun!
Farewell to thee, France!--but when Liberty rallies
Once more in thy regions, remember me then-
The violet still grows in the depth of thy valleys;
Though wither'd, thy tear will unfold it again-
Yet, yet, I may baffle the hosts that surround us,
And yet may thy heart leap awake to my voice-
There are links which must break in the chain that has
Then turn thee and call on the Chief of thy choice!
WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF THE
PLEASURES OF MEMORY."
ABSENT or present, still to thee,
My friend, what magic spells belong!
As all can tell, who share, like me,
In turn thy converse, and thy song.
But when the dreaded hour shall come
By Friendship ever deem'd too nigh,
And "MEMORY" o'er her Druid's tomb
Shall weep that aught of thee can die,
How fondly will She then repay
Thy homage offer'd at her shrine,
And blend, while ages roll away,
Her name immortally with thine!
ROUSSEAU-Voltaire-our Gibbon-and de Staël-
(10) Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore,
Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more,
Their memory thy remembrance would recall:
To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core.
Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
Where dwelt the wise and wond'rous; but by thee
How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,
Which of the heirs of immortality
Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!