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XI.

On came the whirlwind-like the last
But fiercest sweep of tempest-blast—
On came the whirlwind-steel-gleams broke
Like lightning through the rolling smoke;
The war was waked anew,

Three hundred cannon-mouths roar'd loud,
And from their throats, with flash and cloud,
Their showers of iron threw.
Beneath their fire, in full career,
Rush'd on the ponderous cuirassier,
The lancer couch'd his ruthless spear,
And hurrying as to havoc near,

The cohorts' eagles flew.

In one dark torrent, broad and strong,
The advancing onset roll'd along,
Forth harbinger'd by fierce acclaim,
That, from the shroud of smoke and flame,
Peal'd wildly the imperial name.

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XII.

But on the British heart were lost
The terrors of the charging host;
For not an eye the storm that view'd
Changed its proud glance of fortitude,
Nor was one forward footstep staid,
As dropp'd the dying and the dead.
Fast as their ranks the thunders tear,
Fast they renew'd each serried square;
And on the wounded and the slain
Closed their diminish'd files again,

Till from their line scarce spears' lengths three,
Emerging from the smoke they see

Helmet, and plume, and panoply,--
Then waked their fire at once!
Each musketeer's revolving knell,
As fast, as regularly fell,

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As when they practise to display
Their discipline on festal day.

Then down went helm and lance,
Down were the eagle banners sent,
Down reeling steeds and riders went,
Corslets were pierced, and pennons rent;
And, to augment the fray,

Wheel'd full against their staggering flanks,
The English horsemen's foaming ranks
Forced their resistless way.

Then to the musket-knell succeeds

The clash of swords- the neigh of steeds-
As plies the smith his clanging trade,'
Against the cuirass rang the blade:2
And while amid their close array
The well-served cannon rent their way,
And while amid their scatter'd band
Raged the fierce rider's bloody brand,
Recoil'd in common rout and fear,
Lancer and guard and cuirassier,
Horsemen and foot, a mingled host,
Their leaders fall'n, their standards lost.

2 ["I heard the broadswords' deadly clang,

As if an hundred anvils rang!"

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Lady of the Lake.]

1 A private soldier of the 95th regiment compared the sound which took place immediately upon the British cavalry mingling with those of the enemy, to "a thousand tinkers at work mending pots and kettles.”

XIII.

Then, WELLINGTON! thy piercing eye

This crisis caught of destiny

The British host had stood

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That morn 'gainst charge of sword and lance'
As their own ocean-rocks hold stance,
But when thy voice had said, "Advance!"
They were their ocean's flood.—

O Thou, whose inauspicious aim
Hath wrought thy host this hour of shame,
Think'st thou thy broken bands will bide
The terrors of yon rushing tide?

Or will thy chosen brook to feel
The British shock of levell'd steel,2

1

[The cuirassiers continued their dreadful onset, and rode up to the squares in the full confidence, apparently, of sweeping every thing before the impetuosity of their charge. Their onset and reception was like a furious ocean pouring itself against a chain of insulated rocks. The British squares stood unmoved, and never gave fire until the cavalry were within ten yards, when men rolled one way, horses galloped another, and the cuirassiers were in every instance driven back.” — Life of Bonaparte, vol. viii. p. 487.]

"No persuasion or authority could prevail upon the French troops to stand the shock of the bayonet. The Imperial Guards, in particular, hardly stood till the British were within thirty yards of them, although the French author, already quoted, has put into their mouths the magnanimous sentiment, "The Guards never yield-they die." The same author has covered the plateau, or eminence, of St. Jean, which formed the British position, with redoubts and intrenchments which never had an existence. As the narrative, which is in many respects curious, was written by an eyewitness, he was probably deceived by the appearance of a road and ditch which run along part of the hill. It may be also mentioned, in criticising this work, that the writer mentions the

Or dost thou turn thine eye
Where coming squadrons gleam afar,
And fresher thunders wake the war,
And other standards fly?-
Think not that in yon columns, file
Thy conquering troops from distant Dyle-
Is Blucher yet unknown?

Or dwells not in thy memory still,
(Heard frequent in thine hour of ill,)
What notes of hate and vengeance thrill
In Prussia's trumpet tone?-
What yet remains? - shall it be thine
To head the relics of thy line
In one dread effort more?
The Roman lore thy leisure loved,
And thou canst tell what fortune proved
That Chieftain, who, of yore,
Ambition's dizzy paths essay'd,
And with the gladiators' aid

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For empire enterprised—

He stood the cast his rashness play'd,
Left not the victims he had made,

Chateau of Hougomont to have been carried by the French, although it was resolutely and successfully defended during the whole action. The enemy, indeed, possessed themselves of the wood by which it is surrounded, and at length set fire to the house itself; but the British (a detachment of the Guards, under the command of Colonel Macdonnell, and afterwards of Colonel Home) made good the garden, and thus preserved, by their desperate resistance, the post which covered the return of the Duke of Wellington's right flank.

VOL. V.-27

Dug his red grave with his own blade,
And on the field he lost was laid,
Abhorr'd-but not despised.'

XIV.

But if revolves thy fainter thought
On safety-howsoever bought,
Then turn thy fearful rein and ride,
Though twice ten thousand men have died
On this eventful day,

To gild the military fame.

Which thou, for life, in traffic tame
Wilt barter thus away.

Shall future ages tell this tale
Of inconsistence faint and frail?

["When the engagement was ended, it evidently appeared with what undaunted spirit and resolution Catiline's army had been fired; for the body of every one was found on that very spot which, during the battle, he had occupied; those only excepted who were forced from their posts by the Prætorian cohort; and even they, though they fell a little out of their ranks, were all wounded before. Catiline himself was found, far from his own men, amidst the dead bodies of the enemy, breathing a little, with an air of that fierceness still in his face which he had when alive. Finally, in all his army, there was not so much as one free citizen taken prisoner, either in the engagement or in flight; for they spared their own lives as little as those of the enemy. The army of the republic obtained the victory, indeed, but it was neither a cheap nor a joyful one, for their bravest men were either slain in battle or dangerously wounded. As there were many, too, who went to view the field, either out of curiosity or a desire of plunder, in turning over the dead bodies, some found a friend, some a relation, and some a guest; others there were likewise who discovered their enemies; so that, through the whole army, there appeared a mixture of gladness and sorrow, joy and mourning.”—Sallust.]

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