« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain
The wre are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths--thy fields
Are not a spoil for him—thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction, thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering, in thy playful spray,
And howling, to his gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth : there let him lay.
The armaments which thunder-strike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals;
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada’s pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts : not so thou,
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play-
Time writes no wrinkle on thy azure brow-
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where th' Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid climo
Dark-heaving ; boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of eternity-the throne
Of th' Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean ! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me
Were a delight; and if the fresh'ning sea
Made them a terror, 'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was, as it were, a child of thce,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do here.
There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered 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 looked 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; 'twas 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 windowed niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain ; he did hear
That sound the first amid the festival,
And caught its tone with death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell: He rushed 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,
Blushed 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 thronged 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 that 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 fame rings in each clansman's ears !
And Ardennes 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 covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
Rider and horse—friend, foe-in one red burial blent !
A CLOUD lay cradled near the setting sun,
A gleam of crimson tinged its braided snow, Long had I watched the glory moving on,
O’er the still radiance of the lake below.