She roved, with beating heart, arou

ound, And waited, trembling, for the minute When she might try if still the sound

Of her loved lute had magic in it.

The board was spread with fruits and wines -
Wines, too, of every clime and hue,

But what are cups without the aid
Of song to speed them as they flow?

And see - a lovely Georgian maid
With a voluptuous wildness flings
Her snowy hands across the strings
Of a syrinda, and thus sings:
“Come hither, come hither, by night and by day,

We linger in pleasures that never are gone;
Like the waves of the summer, as one dies away,

Another as sweet and as shining comes on. And the love that is o'er, in expiring gives birth

To a new one as warm, as unequalled in bliss; And, oh, if there be an Elysium on earth

It is this, it is this!"

'Twas not the air, 'twas not the words, But that deep magic in the chords. At once a hundred voices said: " It is the masked Arabian maid.” While Selim who had deepest felt the strain Now motioned with his hand that she should sing again. Too inly touched for utterance, he dashed away the cup His hand had held, untasted, up; And naming her so long unnamed, So long unseen, wildly exclaimed: O Nourmahal! 0 Nourmahal!

Hadst thon but sung this witching strain, I could forget-forgive thee all,

And never leave those eyes again!”

The mask is off, the charm is wrought,
And Selim to his heart has caught,
In blushes more than ever bright,
His Nourmahal, his harem's light!
And, happier now for all her sighs,

As on his arm her head reposes,
She whispers him with laughing eyes,

“Remember, love, the Feast of Roses !”



YMEN, late, his love-knots selling,

Called at many a maiden's dwelling.
None could doubt, who saw or knew them,
Hymen's call was welcome to them :
“Who'll buy my love-knots ?
Who'll buy my love-knots ? ”
Soon as that sweet cry resounded,
How his baskets were surrounded !

Maids who now first dreamed of trying
These gay knots of Hymen's tying ;
Dames who long had sat to watch him
Passing by, but ne'er could catch him ;
“ Who'll buy my love-knots ?
Who'll buy my love-knots ? ”
All at that sweet cry assembled ;
Some laughed, some blushed, and some trembled.

“ Here are knots,” said Hymen, taking
Some loose flowers, “ of Love's own making;
Here are gold ones

you may trust 'em !
(These, of course, found ready custom.)

[ocr errors]

“Come, buy my love-knots !
Come, buy my love-knots !
Some are labelled “Knots to tie men
Love the maker — Bought of Hymen.'

Scarce their bargains were completed,
When the nymphs all cried, “We're cheated !
See these flowers - they're drooping sadly!
This gold-knot, too, ties but badly!
Who'd buy such love-knots?
Who'd buy such love-knots ?
Even this tie, with Love's name round it-
All a sham! He never bound it."

Love, who saw the whole proceeding,
Would have laughed, but for good-breeding;
While Old Hymen, who was used to
Cries like that these dames gave loose to
66 Take back our love-knots !
Take back our love-knots !”
Coolly said: “There's no returning
Wares on Hymen's hands! Good morning."



FOR both armies the opening was difficult, uncertain, hesitating,

and threatening It had rained all night. The ground was softened by the shower; water lay here and there in the hollows of the plain as in basins; at some points the wheels sank in to the axles; the horses' girths dripped with liquid mud. Had not the wheat and rye spread down by that multitude of advancing carts filled the rnts and made a bed under the wheels, all movement, particularly in the valleys, would have been impossible.

The affair opened late. Napoleon had a habit of holding all his artillery in hand like a pistol, aiming now at one point, anon at. another point of the battle; and he desired to wait until the fieldbatteries could wheel and gallop freely; for this the sun must come out and dry the ground. But the sun did not come out. He. had not now the field of Austerlitz.

When the first gun was fired, the English General Colville looked at his watch and noted that it was thirty-five minutes past eleven. The battle was commenced with great fury by the left wing of the French at Hougomont. At the same time Napoleon attacked the centre. Ney commanded the right wing of the French, and immediately attacked the left wing of the English. This attack was intended to overwhelm the English left, cut the Brussels road, bar the passage of the Prussians, should they come, to carry Mont St. Jean and drive Wellington back. It was successful. La Haie Sainte was captured. Then the battle wavered.

There is in this day from noon to four o'clock an obscure interval; the middle of the battle is almost indistinct, and partakes of the thickness of the conflict. Twilight was gathering. You could perceive vast fluctuations in this mist, a giddy mirage, implements of war now almost unknown, the flaming colbacks, the waving sabretaches; the crossed shoulder-belts; the grenade cartridge boxes; the dolmans of the Hussars; the red boots with a thousand creases; the heavy shakos festooned with fringe; the almost black infantry of Brunswick united with the scarlet infantry of England; the English soldiers with great white circular pads on their sleeves for epaulets; the Hanoverian light horse with their oblong leather caps with copper bands and flowing plumes of red horse-hair; the Scotch with bare knees and plaids; the large white gaiters of the French grenadiers,-tableaux, not strategic lines, the need of Salvator Rosa, not of Gribeauval.

Late in the afternoon the battle assumed precision. Toward four o'clock the situation of the English army was serious. The Prince of Orange, desperate and intrepid, called to the HollandoBelgians, “Nassau! Brunswick! never retreat!” Wellington was frigidly heroic. The balls rained down. His aide-de-camp had


just fallen at his side. Lord Hill, showing him a bursting shell, said:

“My lord, what are your instructions, and what orders do you leave us if you allow yourself to be killed ?”

“To follow my example," answered Wellington

To Clinton he said, laconically: “Hold this spot to the last man.”

The day was clearly going badly. Wellington cried to his old companions of Talavera, Vittoria and Salamanca: “Boys, we must

· ' not be beaten! What would they say of us in England ?”

About this time, the English line staggered backward. All at once only the artillery and sharpshooters were seen on the crest of the plateau; the rest disappeared These regiments, driven by the shells and bullets of the French, fell back into the valley. A retrograde movement took place; the battle front of the English was slipping away ; Wellington gave ground.

Beginning retreat !” cried Napoleon. He started up and half rose in his saddle The flash of victory passed into his eyes. Wellington hurled back on the forest of Soignies and destroyed—that was the final overthrow of England by France ! It was Crécy, Poitiers, Malplaquet and Ramillies avenged! The man of Marengo was wiping out Agincourt. Contemplating this terrible turn of

. fortune, the Emperor swept his glass for the last time over every point of the battle-field. He was reflecting , he was examining the slopes, noting the ascents, scrutinizing the tuft of trees, the square rye-field, the footpath; he seemed to count every bush. Wellington had fallen back. It remained only to complete the repulse by a crushing charge Turning abruptly he sent off a courier at full speed to Paris, to announce that the battle was won. He then ordered Milhaud's cuirassiers to carry the plateau of Mont Saint Jean.

Behind the crest of the plateau the English infantry waited, calm, silent and immovable. They could not see the cuirassiers and the cuirassiers could not see them. They listened to the rising of this tide of men. They heard the increasing sound of three thousand horses, the alternate and measured striking of their hoofs at full

« 上一页继续 »