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 30 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




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 'Cameron's 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 fame rings in each clansman's




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 60
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!

LORD BYRON (from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage).

20. Brunswick's fated chieftain. The Duke of Brunswick's father was killed at Auerbach, 1792; he himself at Quatre Bras at the very beginning of the battle.

46. gathering. The signal for the clan to assemble: generally a distinctive call on the bagpipes.

47. Lochiel. The name borne by the chief of the Cameron clan. John Cameron was killed at Quatre Bras, two days before Waterloo, while leading the 92nd Highlanders.

Albyn's. England's.

54. Evan, Donald. Evan Cameron fought with Dundee at Killicrankie, charging at the head of his clan; Donald Cameron at Culloden.

55. Ardennes, sc. the forest of.



The fall of Napoleon, instead of inaugurating an era of liberty in Europe, served but to restore the monarchical régime. The sovereigns of Russia, Austria, and Prussia formed a Holy Alliance, to establish absolutism at home, and to crush popular agitation elsewhere.

CAN tyrants but by tyrants conquer'd be,

And Freedom find no champion and no child
Such as Columbia saw arise when she
Sprung forth a Pallas, arm'd and undefiled?
Or must such minds be nourish'd in the wild, 5
Deep in the unpruned forest, 'midst the roar
Of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled

On infant Washington? Has Earth no more Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such shore?

LORD BYRON (from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage).

3. Columbia.

The United States of America.

4. Pallas. The virgin goddess, who sprang armed from the head of Zeus. So in the American Rebellion the Colonists, who were a nation of farmers and traders, quickly proved themselves to be a match for the regular troops of England.

8. Washington. Born in Virginia in 1732. His early life was spent almost entirely in the backwoods.






This sonnet is no exaggeration of the state of the country in 1819. Bad trade and heavy taxation produced riots which were often put down by the military with bloodshed. Lord Castlereagh had suppressed the right of free speech. George III had been insane for years. The Regent was a drunkard and a gambler. And Parliament was still unreformed and unrepresentative of the nation.


AN old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,-
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,-mud from a muddy spring,—
Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know,
But leech-like to their fainting country cling,
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow,-
A people starved and stabbed in the untilled field,—
An army, which liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield,—
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay;
Religion Christless, Godless-a book sealed;
A Senate,-Time's worst statute unrepealed,—
Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestuous day.

P. B. SHELLey.




Napoleon died a prisoner at St. Helena in 1821.

He thought to quell the stubborn hearts of oak,
Madman!-to chain with chains, and bind with bands
That island queen that sways the floods and lands
From Ind to Ind, but in fair daylight woke,
When from her wooden walls, lit by sure hands, 5
With thunders, and with lightnings, and with smoke,
Peal after peal, the British battle broke,
Lulling the brine against the Coptic sands.
We taught him lowlier moods, when Elsinore
Heard the war moan along the distant sea,
Rocking with shattered spars, with sudden fires
Flamed over: at Trafalgar yet once more
We taught him: late he learned humility
Perforce, like those whom Gideon school'd with



8. The Coptic sands. The battle of the Nile, 1798, when Nelson destroyed the French fleet, and ruined Napoleon's designs on Egypt and India.

9. Elsinore. The battle of the Baltic, 1801, when Nelson forced Denmark to allow English trade to pass into the Baltic. 14. Gideon. The men of Succoth would not give bread to Gideon's men when they were faint with hunger in pursuing Zeba and Zalmunna. After his victory he took thorns and briers and 'taught the men of Succoth' (Judges viii. 16).

[blocks in formation]
« VorigeDoorgaan »