« PreviousContinue »
Yet, when he hears the battle-cry,
His spirit heats as wild and high
As on the day that saw him wield
His virgin sword on battle-field;
The eve on which his comrades found him,
With England's colors wrapt around him,
His face turned upwards, and his hand
Still twined around his trusty brand,
As, spent with wounds, and weak with toil,
He lay upon the bloody soil.
E'en now, though swift advancing years
Might well decline this life of fears,
Though the deep scars upon his breast
Show claim to honorable rest,
He will not quit what time hits made
His joy, his habit, and his trade.
He envies not the peasant's lot,
His cheerful hearth, and humble cot;
Encampments have to him become
As constant, and as denr a home.
Such are the hearts of steel, whom war Binds in their cradle to his car, And leaves them in their latter day, With honor, medals, and half-pay, Burthened with all the cares of life, Repentance—asthma—and a wife.
And what am I, who thus can choose Such subject for so light a muse?
Who wake the smile, and weave the rhyme
In such a scene, at such a time.
Mary, whose pure and holy kiss
Is still a cherished dream of bliss,
When last I saw thy bright blue eye,
And heard thy voice of melody,
And felt thy timid, mild caress,
I was all hope—all joyousness!
We parted—and the morrow's sun—
Oh God! my bliss was past and done;
The lover's hope, the husband's vow,
Where were they then? ah! where wert thou?
Mary! thou vision loved and wept, Long years have passed since thou hast slept, Removed from gaze of mortal eye, The dreamless sleep of those that die; Long years! yet has not passed away The memory of that fatal day When all thy young and faded grace Before me lay in Death's embrace.
A throb of madness and of pain Shot through my heart, and through my brain; I felt it then, I feel it now, Though time is stamped upon my brow; Though all my veins grow cold with age, And o'er my memory's fading page Oblivion draws her damning line, And blots all images—save thine. Vol. II.—2
Thou left'st me—and I did become
Away! away! Death rides the breeze!
THE COUNTY BALL.
"Busy people, great and small,
This is a night of pleasure! Care,
and " Hall,"
Over that guarded barrier flies
The Moon hath risen! Still and pale