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The Battle of Waterloo.

[graphic]

HERE 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?

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 op'ning roar !

Within a window'd niche of that high hall

Sat Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear That sound the first amidst the festival,

And caught its tone, with death's prophetic ear;

THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.

109

And when they smil'd 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 gath'ring 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 nights so sweet such awful morn could rise?

And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The must'ring squadron, and the clatt'ring car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war ;
And the deep thunder, peal on peal, afar!
And the near beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier, ere the morning star;

While throng'd the citizens, with terror dumb,

Or whisp'ring with white lips-"The foe! they come! they

come!"

And wild and high "the Cam'rons' gath'ring" 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

110

THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO,

Their mountain-pipes, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring, which instils

The stirring mem'ry 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 ev'ning, to be trodden, like the grass

Which now beneath them, but above shall
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 to arms-the day,

Battle's magnificently stern array!

The thunder clouds close o'er it. And when rent,

The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,

Which her own clay shall cover-heap'd and pentRider and horse-friend, foe-in one red burial blent.

BYRON.

[ALEXANDER POPE. For more than a century it has been in many circles a disputed point whether Pope was a poet, or merely a polished and elegant versifier; and the controversy seems likely to continue so long as tastes differ so completely as to what elements constitute poetic entity. If Miltonic grandeur, the humour of a Chaucer, or the inventive powers of Shakespeare, are indispensable, then was Pope no poet, for these he had not; but wit and fancy, elegance of diction, and power of satire, were his in no small degree; indeed, in satiric power he is unsurpassed, save by Dryden, the great model upon whom he formed his style. How marvellously he has expressed in the portraiture of Addison the stifled jealousy in the courtly critic, who is " so obliging that he ne'er obliged"—who can "just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike" -who, unable or loth openly to condemn, can "damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and without sneering teach the rest to sneer." The genius which produces such lines as these may not be of the highest order-but it is true genius still.]

On a certain Lady at Court.

KNOW the thing that's most uncommon;

(Envy, be silent, and attend!)

I know a reasonable woman,

Handsome and witty, yet a friend :

Not warp'd by Passion, awed by Rumour;

Not grave through Pride, nor gay through Folly; An equal mixture of good humour,

And sensible, soft melancholy.

"Has she no faults, then (Envy says), sir?"
"Yes, she has one, I must aver:

When all the world conspires to praise her,
The woman's deaf, and does not hear."

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112

THE GRAVE.

Unless by man the spot be clad
With terrors not its own.

To nature it seems just as dear
As earth's most cheerful site;
The dew-drops glitter there as clear,
The sunbeams shine as bright.

The showers descend as softly there
As on the loveliest flowers;
Nor does the moonlight seem more fair
On Beauty's sweetest bowers.

"Ay! but within—within, there sleeps
One, o'er whose mouldering clay

The loathsome earth-worm winds and creeps,
And wastes that form away."

And what of that? The frame that feeds

The reptile tribe below,

As little of their banquet heeds,

As of the winds that blow.

BERNARD BARTON.

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