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No opening glade dawns on our way,
No streamlet, glancing to the ray,
Our woodland path has cross'd;
And the straight causeway which we tread,
Prolongs a line of dull arcade,
Unvarying through the unvaried shade

Until in distance lost.

II.
A brighter, livelier scene succeeds: '
In groups the scattering wood recedes,
Hedge-rows, and huts, and sunny meads,
And corn-fields, glance between ;
The peasant, at his labour blithe,
Plies the hook'd staff and shorten'd scythe:-

["Southward from Brussels lies the field of blood,

Some three hours' journey for a well-girt man;
A horseman who in haste pursued his road

Would reach it as the second hour began.
The way is through a forest deep and wide,
Extending many a mile on either side.

"No cheerful woodland this of antique trees,

With thickets varied and with sunny glade ;
Look where he will, the weary traveller sees
One gloomy, thick, impenetrable shade

Of tall straight trunks, which move before his sight,
With interchange of lines of long green light.

2

"Here, where the woods receding from the road Have left on either hand an open space For fields and gardens, and for man's abode, Stands Waterloo; a little lowly place Obscure till now, when it hath risen to fame, And given the victory its English name." SOUTHEY'S Pilgrimage to Waterloo.] 2 The reaper in Flanders carries in his left hand a stick with an iron hook, with which he collects as much grain as he can cut at one sweep with a short scythe, which he holds in his right hand. They carry on this double process with great spirit and dexterity.

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But when these ears were green,
Placed close within destruction's scope,
Full little was that rustic's hope

Their ripening to have seen!
And, lo, a hamlet and its fane:
Let not the gazer with disdain
Their architecture view;
For yonder rude ungraceful shrine,
And disproportioned spire, are thine,
Immortal WATERLOO !!

III.

Fear not the heat, though full and high
The sun has scorch'd the autumn sky,
And scarce a forest straggler now
To shade us spreads a greenwood bough;
These fields have seen a hotter day

Than e'er was fired by sunny ray.
Yet one mile on yon shatter'd hedge
Crests the soft hill whose long smooth ridge
Looks on the fields below,

And sinks so gently on the dale,
That not the folds of Beauty's veil
In easier curves can flow.

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'["What time the second Carlos ruled in Spain,
Last of the Austrian line by fate decreed,
Here Castanaza rear'd a votive fane,

Praying the patron saints to bless with seed
His childless sovereign. Heaven denied an heir,
And Europe mourn'd in blood the frustrate prayer."

-26

SOUTHEY.

To the original chapel of the Marquis of Castanaza has now been added a building of considerable extent, the whole interior of which is filled with monumental inscriptions for the heroes who fell in the battle.] VOL. V.

Brief space from thence, the ground again
Ascending slowly from the plain,

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Forms an opposing screen,

Which, with its crest of upland ground,
Shuts the horizon all around.

The soften'd vale between

Slopes smooth and fair for courser's tread.
Not the most timid maid need dread
To give her snow-white palfrey head
On that wide stubble-ground;'
Nor wood, nor tree, nor bush, are there,
Her course to intercept or scare,

Nor fosse nor fence are found,

Save where, from out her shatter'd bowers,
Rise Hougomont's dismantled towers.
IV.

Now, see'st thou aught in this lone scene
Can tell of that which late hath been?
A stranger might reply,
"The bare extent of stubble-plain
Seems lately lighten'd of its grain ;
And yonder sable tracks remain
Marks of the peasant's ponderous wain,
When harvest-home was nigh.2

1

1 ["As a plain, Waterloo seems marked out for the scene of some great action, though this may be mere imagination. I have viewed with attention those of Platea, Troy, Mantinea, Leuctra, Chæronea, and Marathon; and the field around Mont St. Jean and Hougomont appears to want little but a better cause, and that indefinable but impressive halo which the lapse of ages throws around a consecrated spot, to vie in interest with any or all of these, except, perhaps, the last mentioned.”—Byron.]

2["Is the spot mark'd with no colossal bust,
Nor column trophied for triumphal show?

On these broad spots of trampled ground,
Perchance the rustics danced such round
As Teniers loved to draw;
And where the earth seems scorch'd by flame,
To dress the homely feast they came,
And toil'd the kerchief'd village dame
Around her fire of straw."

V.

So deem'st thou -so each mortal deems,
Of that which is from that which seems:
But other harvest here,

Than that which peasant's scythe demands,
Was gather'd in by sterner hands,

With bayonet, blade, and spear.
No vulgar crop was theirs to reap,
No stinted harvest thin and cheap!
Heroes before each fatal sweep

Fell thick as ripen'd grain;

None: But the moral's truth tells simpler so,
As the ground was before, thus let it be ;-
How that red rain hath made the harvest grow!
And is this all the world has gain'd by thee,
Thou first and last of fields! king-making Victory?"

"Was it a soothing or a mournful thought,

Amid this scene of slaughter as we stood,
Where armies had with recent fury fought,

To mark how gentle Nature still pursued
Her quiet course, as if she took no care
For what her noblest work had suffer'd there.

BYRON.

The pears had ripen'd on the garden wall;

Those leaves which on the autumnal earth were spread, The trees, though pierced and scared with many a ball,

Had only in their natural season shed;

Flowers were in seed, whose buds to swell began
When such wild havoc here was made by man."

SOUTHEY.]

And ere the darkening of the day,
Piled high as autumn shocks, there lay
The ghastly harvest of the fray,
The corpses of the slain."

VI.

Ay, look again-that line so black
And trampled marks the bivouack,
Yon deep-graved ruts the artillery's track,
So often lost and won;

And close beside, the harden'd mud

Still shows where, fetlock-deep in blood,
The fierce dragoon, through battle's flood,
Dash'd the hot war-horse on.

These spots of excavation tell

The ravage of the bursting shell-
And feel'st thou not the tainted steam,
That reeks against the sultry beam,
From yonder trenched mound?
The pestilential fumes declare
That Carnage has replenish'd there
Her garner-house profound.

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'["Earth had received into her silent womb

Her slaughter'd creatures; horse and man they lay,
And friend and foe, within the general tomb.
Equal had been their lot; one fatal day
For all,.. one labour, . . and one place of rest
They found within their common parent's breast.

The passing seasons had not yet effaced

The stamp of numerous hoofs impress'd by force
Of cavalry, whose path might still be traced.

Yet nature everywhere resumed her course;
Low pansies to the sun their purple gave,
And the soft poppy blossom'd on the grave."

SOUTHEY.]

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