But hark !-that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;

And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! arm! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar!

Ah! then and there were hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness ;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess

If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise.

And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed, The mustering squadron, and the clattering car, Went pouring forward with impetuous speed, And swiftly forming in the ranks of war; And the deep thunder peal on peal afar ; And near, the beat of the alarming drum Roused up the soldier ere the morning star; While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb, Or whispering, with white lips—“The foe! they come, they

come !"

And wild and high the “ Cameron's gathering" rose !
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard—and heard, too, have her Saxon foes :
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring, which instils

The stirring memory of a thousand years;
And Evan's, Donald's, fame rings in each clansman's ears !

And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
Grieving—if aught inanimate e'er grieves
Over the unreturning brave,-alas!
Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure; when this fiery mass

Of living valour rolling on the foe,
And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low!

Last noon beheld them full of lusty life ;
Last eve, in beauty's circle proudly gay;
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife;
The morn the marshalling in arms; the day
Battle's magnificently-stern aray!
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which, when rent,
The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,

Which her own clay shall cover--heap'd and pent, Rider and horse,-friend, foe,—in one red burial blent !

TO SLEEP. This Sonnet is from the graceful pen of one of our earliest and sweetest poets, SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.

Come sleep, O sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof, shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts despair at me doth throw;
O make in me those civil wars to cease :
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me sweet pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,
A rosy garland, and a weary head.
And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Lovelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.


There is a joyousness in the very strain of these verses, accordant with their subject, which pleases the ear and stirs the spirits, apart from the beauty of the thonghts they embody. Mrs. HEMANS is the author.

I COME, I come ! ye have call'd me long,
I come o'er the mountains with light and song ;

Ye may trace my step o'er the waking earth
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.

I have breathed on the South, and the chesnut flowers,
By thousands, have burst from the forest-bowers ;
And the ancient graves, and the fallen fanes,
Are veil'd with wreaths on Italian plains.
-But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb !

I have pass'd o'er the hills of the stormy North
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth;
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,
And the rein-deer bounds through the pasture free,
And the pine has a fringe of softer green,
And the moss looks bright where my step has been.
I have sent through the wood-paths a gentle sigh,
And call'd out each voice of the deep-blue sky,
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time,
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime,
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
When the dark fir-bough into verdure breaks,

From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain ;
They are sweeping on to the silvery main,
They are flashing down from the mountain-brows,
They are flinging spray on the forest boughs,
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves,
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves.

Come forth, O ye children of gladness, come!
Where the violets lie may be now your home.
Ye of the rose-cheek and dew-bright eye,
And the bounding footstep, to meet me fly,
With the lyre, and the wreath, and the joyous lay:
Come forth to the sunshine, I may not stay.
Away from the dwellings of care-worn men,
The waters are sparkling in wood and glen;
Away from the chamber and dusky hearth,
The young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth;

Their light stems thrill to the wild wood strains,
And youth is abroad in my green domains.

But ye! ye are changed since ye met me last;
A shade of earth has been round you cast !
There is that come over your brow and eye,
Which speaks of a world where the flowers must die!
Ye smile! but your smile hath a dimness yet-
Oh, what have ye look'd on since last we met ?

Ye are changed, ye are changed !-and I see not here
All whom I saw in the vanish'd year!
There were graceful heads, with their ringlets bright,
Which toss'd in the breeze with a play of light;
There were eyes, in whose glistening laughter lay
No faint remembrance of dull decay.

There were steps, that flew o'er the cowslip's head,
As if for a banquet all earth were spread;
There were voices that rung through the sapphire sky,
And had not a sound of mortality!
Are they gone?-is their mirth from the green hills

[ocr errors]

Ye have look’d on death since ye met me last !

I know whence the shadow comes o'er ye now,
Ye have strewn the dust on the sunny brow!
Ye have given the lovely to earth's embrace,
She hath taken the fairest of beauty's race !
With their laughing eyes and their festal crown
They are gone from amongst you in silence down.

They are gone from amongst you, the bright and fair-
Ye have lost the gleam of their shining hair!
But I know of a world where there falls no blight,
I shall find them there, with their eyes of light !
Where death ’midst the blooms of the morn may dwell,
I tarry no longer-farewell—farewell !

The summer is hastening, on soft winds borne,
Ye may press the grape, ye may bind the corn!
For me, I depart to a brighter shore,
Ye are mark'd by care, ye are mine no more.

I go where the loved who have left you dwell,
And the flowers are not death's-fare ye well, farewell !


To BRYANT we turn again for another of bis beautiful picures of Nature, and he has composed nothing more beautiful than this.

It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass.
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervours : the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves ; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven,
Their bases on the mountains—their white tops
Shining in the far ether-fire the air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer's eye away. For me, I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays its coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air ?
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves
He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
The pine is bending his proud top, and now,
Among the nearer groves, chesnut and oak
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes !
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves !

« 上一頁繼續 »