Page images

See heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day.
No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze,
O'erflow thy courts: the Light HIMSELF shall shine
Revealed, and God's eternal day be thine !
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
But fixed his word, his saving power remains ;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns !'


Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,

And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;

western islands have I been,
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse have I been told

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne :

Yet never did I breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold :
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,

When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or, like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes

He stared at the Pacific-and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise-

Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

(1) Isaiah li. 6; liv. 10.

(2) The pleased surprise of one, who, after exploring many fields of literature, discovered Homer, is here described with much felicity both of conception and phraseology; but Chapman, after all, is only a dim reflection of the noble features of the original.

How sleep" the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest !
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod 3
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands - their knell is rung;
By forms unseen “ their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
And dwell, a weeping hermit, there.


On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow

Of Iser, rolling rapidly. (1) Montgomery has said, perhaps with some degree of pardonable exaggeration, that these stanzas “are almost unrivalled in the association of poetry with picture, pathos with fancy, grandeur with simplicity, and romance with reality." See“ Lectures on Poetry," p. 200.

(2) How sleep, &c.—“Not," says Montgomery,“ how sweetly, soundly, happily ; for all these are included in the simple apostrophe, . How sleep the brave !""

(3) Sweeter sod—Why sweeter? Because of the moral interest associated with it, as the grave of those who died for their country.

(4) Fairy hands, forms unseen—These expressions, as well as the personifications of Honour and Freedom, refer to the influence which the memory of brave patriots diffuses over both the present and the future. The “ fairy hands" and “forms unseen,” are the feelings of gratitude, admiration, and pity, which affect the heart as mournful music does the ear.

(5) A pilgrim grey-A “ pilgrim," because Honour comes from far-from other countries—to visit the shrine ; “grey," because in distant years to come their memory shall still survive.

(6) Freedom, &c.—Freedom repairs thither-to weep alone (“ a weeping hermit ") because they are his children ; "awhile" only, because he has other children still alive, and because time heals sorrow.

(7) Hohenlinden-A village of Germany, about twenty miles from Munich, where General Moreau completely defeated the combined army of Austrians and Bavarians, on the 3rd of December, 1800.

(8) Iser, or Isar--a tributary of the Danube.

But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat, at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light

The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast array'd,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh’d,

To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills with thunder riven,
Then rush'd the steed to battle driven,
And louder than the bolts of beaven,

Far flash'd the red artillery.
But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden's hills of stained snow,
And bloodier yet the torrent flow

Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'Tis morn, but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank, and fiery Hun,

Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave !
Wave, Munich ! all thy banners wave!

And charge with all thy chivalry!
Few, few, shall part where many meet !
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet

Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.




Ye mariners of England !

That guard our native seas ;
Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,

The battle and the breeze! (1) Hun--the Austrian foroe.

(2) This spirited lyric well deserves to take rank with “ Rule Britannia " (see p. 190). The main blemish in both is the want of a specific recognition of Almighty power as the only source of our own.

Your glorious standard launch again

To match another foe! And sweep through the deep,

While the stormy winds do blow; While the battle rages loud and long,

And the stormy winds do blow. The spirits of your

fathers Shall start from


wave ! For the deck it was their field of fame, And Ocean was their

grave: Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell,

Your manly hearts shall glow, As

ye sweep through the deep, While the stormy winds do blow; While the battle rages loud and long,

And the stormy winds do blow.
Britannia needs no bulwarks,

No towers along the steep;
Her march is o'er the mountain-waves,

Her home is on the deep.
With thunders from her native oak,

She quells the floods below,-
As they roar on the shore,

When the stormy winds do blow; When the battle rages loud and long,

And the stormy winds do blow.
The meteor flag of England

Shall yet terrific burn;
Till danger's troubled night depart,

And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean warriors !

Our song and feast shall flow To the fame of your name,

When the storm has ceased to blow; When the fiery fight is heard no more,

And the storm has ceased to blow.


“What shall I render Thee, Father Supreme,
For thy rich gifts, and this the best of all ?”
Said a young mother, as she fondly watched
Her sleeping babe. There was an answering voice
That night in dreams :-

“ Thou hast a little bud
Wrapt in thy breast, and fed with dews of love :
Give me that bud. 'Twill be a flower in heaven."}
But there was silence, Yea, a hush so deep,
Breathless, and terror-stricken, that the lip
Blanched in its trance.

“Thou hast a little harp-
How sweetly would it swell the angel's hymn:
Give me that harp.” There burst a shuddering sob,
As if the bosom by some hidden sword
Were cleft in twain.

Morn came.

A blight had struck
The crimson velvet of the unfolding bud;
The harp-strings rang a thrilling strain and broke-
And that young mother lay upon the earth,
In childless agony."

Again the voice
That stirred her vision :-“He who asked of thee
Loveth a cheerful giver.” So she raised
Her gushing eyes, and, ere the tear-drop dried
Upon its fringes, smiled—and that meek smile,
Like Abraham's faith, was counted righteousness.

Mrs. Sigourney.

(1) This beautiful metaphor is also found in Coleridge's “Epitaph on an Infant:

“ Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,

Death came with friendly care,
The opening bud to heaven conveyed,

And bade it blossom there."

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »