« 上一頁繼續 »
Seated at gallant Hotspur's side,
A thousand years ago.
“ Gaze on the abbey's ruined pile;
Does not the succoring Ivy, keeping
As o’er a loved one sleeping.
Still tells, in melancholy glory,
The Percy's proudest border story.
« That day its roof was triumph's arch;
Then rang from aisle to pictured dome
The music of the trump and drum.
And the manly hymn and minstrel's song,
Welcomed her warrior home.
After two or three more stanzas, written in the same spirit, the jeering fiend comes over Mr. Halleck, and he breaks off thus :
“I wandered through the lofty halls,
Trod by the Percies of old fame,
Each high, heroic name.
Glitter the Sultan's crescent moons,
A major of dragoons!”
Was the temptation of rhyming “ dragoons” to “moons” too strong for the poet, or did his American indignation, to find a Percy against the cause of freedom, in the old war, dissipate the chivalric vision ?
When we read this for the first time, we were under the momentary impression that we had got hold of, by mistake, “ The Rejected Addresses," so like a parody on Sir Walter Scott did the verses sound :
To proceed, however, with Mr. Halleck's own account of the matter, he says:
“ The last half stanza : it has dashed
From my warm lips the sparkling cup,
The power that bore my spirit up,
Oxen and bleating lambs in lots,
Men in the coal and cattle line,
Newcastle upon Tyne.”
The poet concludes this address to the Home of the Percies :
“ You'll ask if yet the Percy lives
In the armed pomp of feudal state ?
Of Hotspur and the gentle Kate,
A chambermaid whose lip, and eye,
Spoke nature's aristocracy,
For ten and six pence sterling.”
As a proof of the fire with which Halleck treats a congenial theme, we quote some verses from his Marco Bozzaris. This brave warrior fell in an attack on the Turkish camp, during the Grecian war for independence, in 1823. The opening is full of spirit and beauty.
“ At midnight in his guarded tent,
The Turk was dreaming of the hour
Should tremble at his power.
The trophies of a conqueror.
As Eden's garden bird.”
As a contrast to this supine security, the following stanza is artistically brought in. It introduces the hero with fine effect :
“At midnight, in the forest shades,
Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band,
Heroes in heart and hand.
On old Platæa’s day:
As quick, as far as they.
That bright dream was his last.
Bozzaris cheer his band:
God, and your native land!
Bleeding at every vein.
His few surviving comrades saw
And the red field was won:
Like flowers at set of sun.
Greece mustered in her glory's time,
Even in her own proud clime.
Nor bade the dark hearse wave its plume, Like torn branch from death's leafless tree, In sorrow's pomp and pageantry,
The heartless luxury of the tomb! But she remembers thee as one Long-loved and for a season gone. For thee her poet's lyre is wreathed Her marble wrought--her music breathedFor thee she rings the birthday bells, Of thee her babes first lisping tells ; For thine her evening prayer is said, At palace-couch and cottage-bed: Her soldier, closing with the foe, Gives for thy sake a deadlier blow. Her plighted maiden when she fears For him, the joy of her young.years, Thinks of thy fate, and checks her tears.
And she the mother of thy boys, Though in her eye and faded cheek Is read the grief she will not speak,
The memory of her hundred joys,