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THE BATTLE OF MORGARTEN.
THE BATTLE OF MORGARTEN.1
The wine-month 2 shone in its golden prime,
And the red grapes clustering hung;
A sound through vaulted cave,
A sound through echoing glen,
'Twas the tread of steel-girt men.
And a trumpet, pealing wild and far,
Midst the ancient rocks was blown,
And through the forest-glooms
Flashed helmets to the day ;
Like the larch-boughs in their play.
In Hasli’s 3 wilds there was gleaming steel
As the host of the Austrian passed ;
Up midst the Righi & snows
The stormy march was heard,
And the leader's gathering-word.
But a band, the noblest band of all,
Through the rude Morgarten strait,
They came with heavy chains
For the race despised so long-
The herdsman's arm is strong!
The sun was reddening the clouds of morn
When they entered the rock-defile, And shrill as a joyous hunter's horn Their bugles rang the while.
But on the misty height
Where the mountain-people stood, There was stillness as of night,
When storms at distance brood.
There was stillness as of deep, dead night,
And a pause-but not of fear, While the Switzers gazed on the gathering might? Of the hostile shield and spear.
On wound those columns bright
Between the lake and wood,
Where the mountain-people stood.
The pass was filled with their serried power,
All helmed and mail-arrayed, And their steps had sounds like a thunder-shower In the rustling forest-shade.
Then were prince and crested knight,
Hemmed in by cliff and flood,
Where the mountain-people stood.
And the mighty rocks came bounding down
Their startled foes among, With a joyous whirl from the summit thrownOh! the herdsman's arm is strong!
They came like lawine 8 hurled
From alp to alp in play,
And the pines are borne away.
And the Switzers rushed from high,
Of the Austrian chivalry :
THE BATTLE OF MORGARTEN,
Like hunters of the deer,
They stormed the narrow dell ;
Was the arm of William Tell.
And a cry of wild dismay;
And the empire's banner 10 then
From its place of waving free,
The Men of the Forest-sea, 11
The cuirass and the shield,
The field-but not of sheaves
Proud crests and pennons lay
In the autumn tempest's way.
When the Austrian turned to fly,
And the leader of the war
At eve unhelmed was seen,
And a pale and troubled mien.
Went back from the battle-toil,
There were songs and festal fires
On the soaring Alps that night,
1 This famous battle-the first of the
three by which the Swiss secured their independence and kept at bay the great Austrian empirewas fought on the 15th Nov. 1315. Morgarten Pass is about three miles long, and lies between Lake
Egeri and Mount Sattel. 2 Wine-month, the month during which
the vine-dresser gathers his grapes. 3 Hasli, a fertile valley of the canton
of Bern, in the north-east corner of
the Oberland. 4 Schreckhorn, a very high mountain
in the canton of Bern. 5 Clarion, a kind of trumpet having a
narrow tube and emitting a shrill
clear tone. 6 Righi, a mountain of Central Switzer
land, almost isolated from other
Alpine giants. ? Might, strength arising from numbers. 8 Lawine (Ger.), avalanche. 9 With Uri's spear, &c. Uri, Schwyz,
and Unterwalden were the three Forest cantons which leagued together against the Austrians. They all lie along the southern
shores of Lake Lucerne. 10 The empire's banner-namely, the
Austrian empire. 11 Forest-sea. The four original Swiss
cantons are known as the Forest cantons; and the Lake of Lucerne, on which they border, is here called the Forest-sea, in imitation of the German, in which a lake is called a see, that is, a sea.
THE LAST OF THE RED MEN.
The sun's last ray was glowing fair on crag, and tree, and
And fell in mellow softness where the lonely Indian stood. Beneath his eye, in living gold, the broad Pacific lay ; Unruffled there, a skiff might hold its bright and fearless way.
Far, far behind him, mountains blue in shadowy distance
melt ;? And far beyond the dark woods grew, where his forefathers
dwelt. No breathing sound was in the air, as, leaning on his bow, A lone and weary pilgrim there, he murmured stern and low : 'Far by Ohio's mighty river, bright star, I've worshipped
thee ! My native streamits bosom never the Red Man more may
The Pale-face rears his wigwam 3 where our Indian hunters
roved ; His hatchet fells the forest fair our Indian maidens loved.
THE LAST OF THE RED MEN.
A thousand warriors bore in war the token of my sires : On all the hills were seen afar their blazing council-fires ! 4 The foeman heard their war-whoop 5 shrill, and held his
breath in fear; And in the wood, and on the hill, their arrows pierced the deer. •Where are they now?—the stranger's tread is on their silent
place! Yon fading light on me is shed, the last of all my race ! Where are they now ?-in summer's light, go, seek the
winter's snow ! Forgotten is our name and might, and broken is our bow ! The white man came ; his bayonets gleam where sachems 6
held their sway ; And, like the shadow of a dream, our tribe has passed away! Cursed be their race ! to faith untrue ! false heart! deceitful
tongue ! Hear me, O evil Manitou !7—revenge the Indian's wrong! "I hear him in the hollow moan of the dark heaving sea ; And whispers murmur in the tone, of vengeance yet to be! What if no stone shall mark the spot where lonely sleep the
brave? Their mighty arm is unforgot, their glory has no grave! • But to our foes we leave a shame !-disgrace can never die; Their sons shall blush to hear a name still blackened with a
lie! So be it ever to their race-false friends and bitter cares ! By fraud they have the Indian's place; the Indian's curse is theirs !'
1 Melt, vanish.
the United States, which flows
into the Mississippi. 3 Wigwam, an Indian hut or cabin. 4 Council-fire, the meeting-place of
Indian tribes, where the warriors and sages discuss and arrange intended hostilities, &c.
5 War-whoop, the war - cry of the
Indian. 6 Sachems, Indian chiefs. 7 Manitou, a spirit. To Matchi Mani
tou, the bad spirit, he ascribes misfortune, thunder, tempests, conflagrations, &c.