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And near, the beat of the alarming drum
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,
they come !" 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
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Which her own clay shall cover, heap'd and pent, Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent!
5. SOUL AFTER DEATH.
Ah, whither strays the immortal mind !
But leaves its darken'd dust behind.
By steps each planet's heavenly way ?
A thing of eyes, that all survey ?
A thought unseen, but seeing all,
Shall it survey, shall it recall :
So darkly of departed years,
In one broad glance the soul beholds,
And all, that was, at once appears.
Its eye shall roll through chaos back;
The spirit trace its rising track :
Its glance dilate o'er all to be,
Fix'd in its own eternity.
It lives all passionless and pure :
Its years as moments shall endure.
O'er all, through all, its thought shall fly.
Forgetting what it was to die.
6. THE OCEAN.
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths,—thy fields
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
7. MANFRED AND THE ABBOT. Abbot.
Peace be with Count Manfred ! Manfred. Thanks, holy father! welcome to these walls; Thy presence honours them, and blesseth those Who dwell within them. Ab. Would it were so, Count! But I would fain confer with thee alone. Man. Herman, retire. What would my reverend guest ?
Ab. Thus, without prelude :-Age and zeal, my office, And good intent, must plead my privilege ; Our near, though not acquainted neighbourhood, May also be my herald. Rumours strange, And of unholy nature, are abroad, And busy with thy name; a noble name For centuries : may he who bears it now Transmit it unimpair'd Man. Proceed: I listen.
Ab. 'Tis said thou holdest converse with the things Which are forbidden to the search of man ; That with the dwellers of the dark abodes, The many evil and unheavenly spirits Which walk the valley of the shade of death, Thou communest. I know that with mankind, Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely Exchange thy thoughts, and that thy solitude Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy.
Man. And what are they who do avouch these things ?
Ab. My pious brethren—the sacred peasantry-
Man. Take it. Ab. I come to save, and not destroy I would not pry into thy secret soul ;
But if these things be sooth, there still is time
Man. I hear thee. This is my reply ; whate'er
have been, or am, doth rest between Heaven and myself.- I shall not choose a mortal To be
mediator. Have I sinn'd
Ab. My son! I did not speak of punishment,
Man. Old man! there is no power in holy men,
Man. When Rome's sixth emperor was near his last, The victim of a self-inflicted wound,
To shun the torments of a public death
[RomanAb. And what of this ? Man. I answer with the “ It is too late!” Ab. It never can be so, To reconcile thyself with thy own soul, And thy own soul with heaven. Hast thou no hope ? 'Tis strange—e'en those who do despair above, Yet shape themselves some phantasy on earth, To which frail twig they cling, like drowning men.
Man. Ay--father! I have had those earthly visions And noble aspirations in my youth, To make my own the mind of other men, The enlightener of nations; and to rise I knew not whither-it might be to fall; But fall, e'en as the mountain-cataract, Which having leapt from its more dazzling height, E’en in the foaming strength of its abyss, (Which casts up misty columns that become Clouds raining from the re-ascended skies,) Lies low, but mighty still. But this is past,
, My thoughts mistook themselves. Ab. And wherefore
Man. I could not tame my nature down; for he Must serve who fain would sway—and soothe-and And watch all time—and pry into all place— [sueAnd be a living lie--who would become A mighty thing amongst the mean, and such The mass are: I disdain'd to mingle with A herd, though to be leader-and of wolves. The lion is alone, and so am I.
Ab. And why not live and act with other men ?
Man. Because my nature was averse from life;