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The image of Eternity! -- the throne
Of the Invisible. Even from out thy slime The monsters of the deep are made! Each zone Obeys Thee! Thou go'st forth ; dread! fathomless! alone!
VII.— BATTLE OF WATERLOO. – Byron. There was sound of revelry by night;
And Belgium's capital had gathered 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,
looked 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? — No; 't was 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 opening roar!
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 mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
Ani swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder, peal on peal, afar,
And near, the beat of the alarming drum,
the soldier ere the morning star;. While thronged the citizens with terror dumb, Or whispering, with white lips — “The foe! they come! they
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 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 evening to bé trodden like the grass
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure; when this fiery mass
Of living valor, 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 covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, — heaped and pent,
Rider and horse, — friend, foe, — in one red burial blent !
- SATAN RALLYING THE FALLEN ANGELS.
He scarce had ceased when the superior fiend
Was moving toward the shore ; his ponderous shield
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him cast, the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders, like the moon, whose orb,
Thro' optic glass, the Tuscan artist views,
At evening, from the top of Fiesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast
Of some great admiral, were but a wand,
He walked with to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marl : (not like those steps
On Heaven's azure !) and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
Nathless he so endured till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called
His legions, angel forms, who lay, entranced,
Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades,
High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds, Orion armed,
Hath vexed the Red Sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore, their floating carcases
And broken chariot wheels : so thick bestrown,
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He called so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of hell resounded.
“ Princes! Potentates !
Warriors ! the flower of heaven, once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal spirits : or have ye chosen this place,
To rest your wearied virtue, for the ease ye find
To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven?
Or in this abject posture have you sworn
To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood,
With scattered arms and ensigns; till, anon,
His swift pursuers, from heaven gates discern
The advantage, and descending, tread us down
Thus drooping; or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?
Awake! arise ! or be forever fallen!”
IX. - HYMN TO MONT BLANC. — Coleridge.
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course ? so long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arvé and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly, while thou, dread mountain form,
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the sky and black : transpicuous deep
An ebon mass ! methinks thou piercest it
As with a wedge! But when I look again
It seems thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity.
O dread and silent form! I gazed on thee
Till thou, still present to my bodily eye,
Didst vanish from my thought. — Entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone,
Yet thou, methinks, wast working on my soul,
E’en like some deep enchanting melody,
So sweet we know not we are listening to it.
But I awake, and with a busier mind
And active will, self-conscious, offer now,
Not, as before, involuntary prayer
And passive adoration.
Hand and voice
Awake, awake! and thou, my heart, awake!
Green fields and icy cliffs! all join my hymn!
And thou, O silent mountain, sole and bare,
O blacker than the darkness, all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink, -
Companion of the morning star, at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald! wake, oh! wake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars in the earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee father of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents, fiercely glad,
Who called you forth from night and utter death?
From darkness let you loose, and icy dens,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
Forever shattered, and the same forever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?
And who commanded — and the silence came,
“ Here shall the billows stiffen and have rest?”
Ye ice-falls! ye that from your dizzy heights
Adown enormous ravines steeply slope, –
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty noise,
And stopped at once amidst their maddest plunge,
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts !
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven,
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the Sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who with lovely flowers
Of living blue spread garlands at your feet?
God! God! the torrents like a shout of nations
Utter: the ice-plain bursts, and answers, God! -
God! sing the meadow streams with gladsome voice,
And pine-groves with their soft and soul-like sound.
The silent snow-mass, loosening, thunders, God! Ye dreadless flowers, that fringe the eternal frost ! Ye wild goats bounding by the eagle's nest ! Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain blast ! Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds ! Ye signs and wonders of the elements, Utter forth God! and fill the hills with praise ! And thou, O silent form, alone and bare, Whom as I lift again my head, bowed low In silent adoration, I again behold, And to thy summit upward from thy base Sweep slowly, with dim eyes suffused with tears, Awake thou mountain form! Rise like a cloud, Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the earth! Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills, Thou dread Ambassador from earth to heaven, Great Hierarch, tell thou the silent sky, And tell the stars, and tell the rising sun, Earth with her thousand voices calls on God.