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There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
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 wrecks 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
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.
The armaments which thunder-strike the walls
And monarchs tremble in their capitals;
These are thy toys, and as the snowy flake,
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save theeAssyria, 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' playTime writes no wrinkle on thy azure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where th' Almighty's form
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
Were a delight; and if the fresh'ning sea
And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.
THE EVE OF WATERLOO.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it?-no; 'twas but the wind,
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
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
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 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
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,
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 thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
THE EVENING CLOUD.
A CLOUD lay cradled near the setting sun,