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But soon he knew himself the most unfit

Of men to herd with man, with whom he held
Little in common; untaught to submit

His thoughts to others, though his soul was quell'd
In youth by his own thoughts; still uncompell'd
He would not yield dominion of his mind
To spirits against whom his own rebell'd;
Proud though in desolation, which could find
A life within itself, to breathe without mankind.


Where rose the mountains, there to him were friends;

Where roll'd the ocean, thereon was his home;
Where a blue sky and glowing clime extends,
He had the passion and the power to roam;
The desert, forest, cavern, breaker's foam,
Were unto him companionship; they spake
A mutual language, clearer than the tome

Of his land's tongue, which he would oft forsake
For nature's pages, glass'd by sunbeams on the lake.


Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars,
Till he had peopled them with beings bright

As their own beams; and earth, and earth-born jars,
And human frailties, were forgotten quite :
Could he have kept his spirit to that flight,
He had been happy; but this clay will sink
Its spark immortal, envying it the light

To which it mounts, as if to break the link

That keeps us from yon heaven which woos us to its brink.


But in man's dwellings he became a thing
Restless and worn, and stern and wearisome,
Droop'd as a wild-born falcon with clipt wing,
To whom the boundless air alone were home:
Then came his fit again, which to o'ercome,
As eagerly the barr'd-up bird will beat
His breast and beak against his wiry dome
Till the blood tinge his plumage, so the heat
Of his impeded soul would through his bosom eat.


Self-exiled Harold wanders forth again,

With nought of hope left, but with less of gloom;
The very knowledge that he lived in vain,

That all was over on this side the tomb,

Had made despair a smilingness assume,

Which, though 't were wild,—as on the plunder'd wreck When mariners would madly meet their doom With draughts intemperate on the sinking deck— Did yet inspire a cheer, which he forbore to check.


Stop!-for thy tread is on an empire's dust!
An earthquake's spoil is sepulchred below!
Is the spot mark'd with no colossal bust?
Nor column trophied for triumphal show?
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!


And Harold stands upon this place of skulls,
The grave of France, the deadly Waterloo !
How in an hour the power which gave annuls
Its gifts, transferring fame as fleeting too!
In " pride of place" here last the eagle flew,
Then tore with bloody talon the rent plain,
Pierced by the shaft of banded nations through;
Ambition's life and labours all were vain;


He wears the shatter'd links of the world's broken chain.


Fit retribution! Gaul may champ the bit

And foam in fetters ;-but is earth more free?
Did nations combat to make One submit ;
Or league to teach all kings true sovereignty?
What! shall reviving thraldom again be
The patch'd-up idol of enlighten'd days?
Shall we, who struck the lion down, shall we
Pay the wolf homage? proffering lowly gaze

And servile knees to thrones? No; Prove before ye praise!


If not, o'er one fallen despot boast no more!
In vain fair cheeks were furrow'd with hot tears
For Europe's flowers, long rooted up before
The trampler of her vineyards; in vain years
Of death, depopulation, bondage, fears,
Have all been borne, and broken by the accord
Of roused-up millions: all that most endears
Glory, is when the myrtle wreathes the sword
Such as Harmodius drew on Athens' tyrant lord.



There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gather'd then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright

The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when

Music arose with its voluptuous swell,

Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,

And all went merry as a marriage-bell ; '


But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell.


Did ye not hear it?-No; 't was but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn when youth and pleasure meet,
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet :—
But, hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat ;

And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! arm! it is-it is-the cannon's opening roar!


Within a window'd niche of that high hall Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear That sound the first amidst the festival, And caught its tone with death's prophetic ear; And when they smiled because he deem'd it near, His heart more truly knew that peal too well Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier, And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell: He rush'd into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.


Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated: who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise?


And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,

Or whispering, with white lips-The foe! They come ! they come!"


And wild and high the "Camerons' gathering" rose!

The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills

Have heard, and heard too have her Saxon foes :

How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,

Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills

Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers

With the fierce native daring which instils

The stirring memory of a thousand years,


And Evan's, Donald's 5 fame rings in each clansman's ears!


And Ardennes 6 waves above them her green leaves

Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,

Over the unreturning brave,―alas!

Ere evening to be trodden like the grass

Which now beneath them, but above shall grow

In its next verdure, when this fiery mass

Of living valour, rolling on the foe,

And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low.


Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in beauty's circle proudly gay,

The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The morn the marshalling in arms,—the day
Battle's magnificently stern array!

The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent,
The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,

Which her own clay shall cover, heap'd and pent,

Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent!


Their praise is hymn'd by loftier harps than mine:
Yet one I would select from that proud throng,
Partly because they blend me with his line,
And partly that I did his sire some wrong,
And partly that bright names will hallow song;
And his was of the bravest, and when shower'd
The death-bolts deadliest the thinn'd files along,
Even where the thickest of war's tempest lower'd,

They reach'd no nobler breast than thine, young, gallant Howard!


There have been tears and breaking hearts for thee,

And mine were nothing, had I such to give;

But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree,

Which living waves where thou didst cease to live,
And saw around me the wide field revive

With fruits and fertile promise, and the spring
Come forth her work of gladness to contrive,
With all her reckless birds upon the wing,

I turn'd from all she brought to those she could not bring."


I turn'd to thee, to thousands, of whom each
And one as all a ghastly gap did make

In his own kind and kindred, whom to teach

Forgetfulness were mercy for their sake;

The archangel's trump, not glory's, must awake

Those whom they thirst for; though the sound of fame

May for a moment soothe, it cannot slake

The fever of vain longing, and the name

So honour'd but assumes a stronger, bitterer claim.

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