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And art thou He of Lodi's bridge,
Marengo's field, and Wagram's ridge!
Or is thy soul like mountain-tide,
That, swell'd by winter storm and shower,
Rolls down in turbulence of power,
A torrent fierce and wide;
Reft of these aids, a rill obscure,
Shrinking unnoticed, mean and poor,

Whose channel shows display'd
The wrecks of its impetuous course,
But not one symptom of the force

By which these wrecks were made!


Spur on thy way!-since now thine ear
Has brook'd thy veterans' wish to hear,
Who, as thy flight they eyed,
Exclaim'd, while tears of anguish came,

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Wrung forth by pride, and rage, and shame,

"O, that he had but died!"


But yet, to sum this hour of ill,

Look, ere thou leavest the fatal hill,
Back on yon broken ranks
Upon whose wild confusion gleams
The moon, as on the troubled streams
When rivers break their banks,
And, to the ruin'd peasant's eye
Objects half seen roll swiftly by,

Down the dread current hurl'd—
So mingle banner, wain, and gun,
Where the tumultuous flight rolls on
Of warriors, who, when morn begun,
Defied a banded world.


List-frequent to the hurrying rout,
The stern pursuers' vengeful shout
Tells, that upon their broken rear
Rages the Prussian's bloody spear.
So fell a shriek was none,

When Beresina's icy flood

Redden'd and thaw'd with flame and blood,
And, pressing on thy desperate way,
Raised oft and long their wild hurra,
The children of the Don.

Thine ear no yell of horror cleft
So ominous, when, all bereft

Of aid, the valiant Polack left —1
Ay, left by thee-found soldier's grave
In Leipsic's corpse-encumber'd wave.
Fate, in those various perils past,
Reserved thee still some future cast;
On the dread die thou now hast thrown
Hangs not a single field alone,
Nor one campaign-thy martial fame,
Thy empire, dynasty, and name,
Have felt the final stroke;
And now, o'er thy devoted head

The last stern vial's wrath is shed,
The last dread seal is broke.2

1[For an account of the death of Poniatowski at Leipsic, sec Sir Walter Scott's Life of Bonaparte, vol. vii. p. 588.]

2 ["I, who with faith unshaken from the first,

Even when the tyrant seem'd to touch the skies,
Had look'd to see the high-blown bubble burst,

And for a fall conspicuous as his rise,

Even in that faith had look'd not for defeat
Swift, so overwhelming, so complete."-SOUTHEY.]


Since live thou wilt-refuse not now
Before these demagogues to bow,
Late objects of thy scorn and hate,
Who shall thy once imperial fate
Make wordy theme of vain debate.--
Or shall we say, thou stoop'st less low
In seeking refuge from the foe,
Against whose heart, in prosperous life,
Thine hand hath ever held the knife?
Such homage hath been paid
By Roman and by Grecian voice,
And there were honour in the choice,
If it were freely made.

Then safely come-in one so low,--
So lost, we cannot own a foe;
Though dear experience bid us end,
In thee we ne'er can hail a friend.—
Come, howsoe'er-but do not hide
Close in my heart that germ of pride,
Erewhile, by gifted bard espied,

That "yet imperial hope;"
Think not that for a fresh rebound,
To raise ambition from the ground,
We yield thee means or scope.

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In safety come-but ne'er again
Hold type of independent reign;
No islet calls thee lord,
We leave thee no confederate band,
No symbol of thy lost command,
To be a dagger in the hand

From which we wrench'd the sword.

Yet, even in yon sequester'd spot,
May worthier conquest be thy lot

Than yet thy life has known;
Conquest, unbought by blood or harm,
That needs nor foreign aid nor arm,
A triumph all thine own.

Such waits thee when thou shalt control
Those passions wild, that stubborn. soul,
That marr'd thy prosperous scene:
Hear this, from no unmoved heart,
Which sighs, comparing what THOU ART
With what thou MIGHT'ST HAVE BEEN!1

Thou, too, whose deeds of fame renew'd
Bankrupt a nation's gratitude,

1 ["Tis done but yesterday a King!
And arm'd with Kings to strive-
And now thou art a nameless thing;
So abject-yet alive!

Is this the man of thousand thrones,
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones,

And can he thus survive?

Since he, miscalled the Morning Star,
Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far."
BYRON'S Ode to Napoleon.]

To thine own noble heart must owe
More than the meed she can bestow.
For not a people's just acclaim,
Not the full hail of Europe's fame,
Thy Prince's smiles, thy state's decree,
The Ducal rank, the garter'd knee,
Not these such pure delight afford
As that, when hanging up thy sword,
Well mayst thou think, "This honest steel
Was ever drawn for public weal;

And, such was rightful Heaven's decree,
Ne'er sheathed unless with victory!"


Look forth, once more, with soften'd heart,
Ere from the field of fame we part;1
Triumph and sorrow border near,
And joy oft melts into a tear.
Alas! what links of love that morn
Has War's rude hand asunder torn!
For ne'er was field so sternly fought,
And ne'er was conquest dearer bought.
Here piled in common slaughter sleep
Those whom affection long shall weep:
Here rests the sire, that ne'er shall strain
His orphans to his heart again;
The son, whom, on his native shore,
The parent's voice shall bless no more;

["We left the field of battle in such mood

As human hearts from thence should bear away;
And musing thus, our purposed route pursued,

Which still through scenes of recent bloodshed lay,
Where Prussia late, with strong and stern delight,
Hung on her fated foes to persecute their flight."


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