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That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,
A beauty and a mystery, and create
8 The sky is changed ! and such a change! Oh, Night
And Storm and Darkness, ye are wondrous strook
Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among
But every mountain now hath found a tongue ;
9 And this is in the right : - Most glorious night :
Thou wert not sent for slumber; let me be
A portion of the tempest and of thee i
How the lit lake shines, - a phosphoric sea –
And now again 't is black — and now, the giee
10 Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings ! ye.
With night and clouds and thunder, and a soul
Things that have made me watchful:— the far roll
of your departing voices is the knoll
Are ye like those within the human breast ?
11 The morn is up again, the dewy morn,
With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom,
And living as if earth contained no tomb, —
And glowing into day: we may resume
Still on thy shores, fair Leman, may find room,
XCVI,— WEBSTER'S GREATEST PARLIAMENTARY
EVERETT The following extract is from a speech deivered in Boston at a dinner on the 18th of January, 1856, the anniversary of the birthday of Daniel Webster. Condé was a celebrated French general of the seventeenth century. He defeated the Spaniards at the battle of Rocroi, May. 19, 1643.]
It was my happiness, at Mr. Webster's request, to pass a part of the evening of the 25th January, 1830, with him; and he went over to me, from a very concise brief,
the main topics of the speech prepared for the following 5 day, — the second speech on Foot's resolution, — which he accounted the greatest of his parliamentary efforts.
Intense anticipation awaited that effort, both at Washington and throughout the country. A pretty formidable
personal attack was to be repelled ; New England was to 10 be vindicated against elaborate disparagement; and, more
than all, the true theory of the constitution, as heretofore generally understood, was to be maintained against a new interpretation, devised by perhaps the acutest logician in
the country; asserted with equal confidence and tervor; 15 and menacing a revolution in the government. Never had
a public speaker a harder task to perform; and except on the last great topic, which undoubtedly was familiar to his habitual contemplations, his opportunity for preparation had been most inconsiderable, for the argument of his accomplished opponent had been concluded but the day
before the reply was to be made. 5 I sat an hour and a half with Mr. Webster the evening
before this great effort. The impassioned parts of his speech, and those in which the personalities of his antagonist were retorted, were hardly indicated in his prepared
brief. 10 So calm and tranquil was he, so entirely at ease,
and free from that nervous excitement which is almost unavoidable, so near the moment which is to put the whole man to the proof, that I was tempted, absurdly enough, to
think him not sufficiently aware of the magnitude of the 15 occasion. I ventured even to intimate to him, that what
he was to say the next day would, in a fortnight's time, be read by every grown man in the country. But I soon perceived that his calmness was the repose of conscious
power. The battle had been fought and won within, upon 20 the broad field of his own capacious mind; for it was Mr.
Webster's habit first to state to himself his opponent's argument in its utmost strength, and having overthrown it in that form, he feared the efforts of no other antagonist.
Hence it came to pass that he was never taken by sur25 prise, by any turn of the discussion.
Besides, the moment and the occasion were too important for trepidation. A surgeon might as well be nervous, who is going to cut within a hair's-breadth of a great ar
tery. He was not only at ease, but sportive and full of 30 anecdote ; and, as he told the senate playfully the next
day, he slept soundly that night on the formidable assault of his accomplished adversary. So the great Condé slept on the eve of the battle of Rocroi; so Alexander slept
on the eve of the battle of Arbela ; and so they awoke 35 to deeds of immortal fame.
As I saw him in the evening, (if I may borrow an illus
tration from his favorite amusement,) he was as unconcerned and as free of spirit as some here have seen him, while floating in his fishing boat along a hazy shore, gently
rocking on the tranquil tide, dropping his line here and 5 there, with the varying fortune of the sport.
The next morning he was like some mighty admiral, dark and terrible, casting the long shadow of his frowning tiers far over the sea, that seemed to sink beneath him;
his broad pendant streaming at the main, the stars and 10 stripes at the fore, the mizzen, and the peak; and bearing
down like a tempest upon his antagonist, with all his canvas strained to the wind, and all his thunders roar. ing from his broadsides.
XCVII. — THE WIDOW OF GLENCOE.
AYTOUN. [In the month of February, 1692, a number of persons of the clan of Macdonald, residing in Glencoe, a glen on the western coast of Scotland, were cruelly and treacherously put to death, on the ground that their chief had not taken the oath of allegiance to the government of King William within the time prescribed by his proclamation. A full and interesting account of the massacre may be found in Macaulay's “ History of England." The following poem is supposed to be spoken by the widow of one of the victims. The captain of the company of soldiers by whom the massacre was perpetrated, was Campbell of Glenlyon. “The dauntless Græme” was the Marquis of Montrose.] Do not lift him from the bracken, leave him lying where he fell Better bier ye cannot fashion: none beseems him half so well As the bare and broken heather, and the hard and trampled sod, Whence his angry soul ascended to the judgment-seat of God! Winding-sheet we cannot give him — seek no mantle for the dead, Save the cold and spotless covering showered from heaven upon his
head. Leave his '.oadsword as we found it, rent and broken with the blow That, befu. he died, avenged him on the foremost of the foe. Leave the blood upon his bosom — wash not off that sacred stain; Let it stiffen on the tartan, let his wounds unclosed remain, Till the day when he shall show them at the throne of God on high, When the murderer and the murdered meet before their Judge's eye.
Nay- ye should not weep, my children! leave it to the faint and
weak; Sobs are but a woman's weapons — tears befit a maiden's cheek. Weep not, children of Macdonald! weep not thou, his orphan heir; Not in shame, but stainless honor, lies thy slaughtered father there. Weep not — but when years are over, and thine arm is strong and
sure, And thy foot is swift and steady on the mountain and the muir, Let thy heart be hard as iron, and thy wrath as fierce as fire, Till the hour when vengeance cometh for the race that slew thy sire! Till in deep and dark Glenlyon rise a louder shriek of woe, Than at midnight, from their eyry, scared the eagles of Glencoe; Louder than the screams-that mingled with the howling of the blast, When the murderers' steel was clashing, and the fires were rising
fast; When thy noble father bounded to the rescue of his men, And the slogan of our kindred pealed throughout the startled glen; When the herd of frantic women stumbled through the midnight
snow, With their fathers' houses blazing, and their dearest dead below! Oh, the horror of the tempest, as the flashing drift was blown, Crimsoned with the conflagration, and the roofs went thundering
down! Oh, the prayers, the prayers and curses, that together winged their
flight From the maddened hearts of many, through that long and woful
night!Till the fires began to dwindle, and the shots grew faint and few, And we heard the foeman's challenge only in a far halloo : Till the silence once more settled o'er the gorges of the glen, Broken only by the Cona plunging through its naked den. Slowly from the mountain summit was the drifting veil withdrawn, And the ghastly valley glimmered in the gray December dawn. Better had the morning never dawned upon our dark despair! Black amidst the common whiteness rose the spectral ruins there : But the sight of these was nothing more than wrings the wild dove's
breast, When she searches for her offspring round the relics of her nest. For in many a spot the tartan peered above the wintry heap, Marking where a dead Macdonald lay within his frozen sleep. Tremblingly we scooped the covering from each kindred victim's
head, And the living lips were burning on the cold ones of the dead.