Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the North ?
Lo! the death-shot of foemen out-speeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high!
Ah! home let him speed, for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit ? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast ?
'T is the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his

eyry,

that beacons the darkness of Heaven.
0, crested Lochiel! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlements' height,
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
Return to thy dwelling ! all lonely return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood !
Lochiel. False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my

clan:
Their swords are a thousand, - their bosoms are one!
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock !
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws !
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud,
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array

Seer. Lochiel ! Lochiel ! beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal.
"T is the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive King.
Lo! anointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold, where he flies on his desolate path!
Now in darkness and billows he sweeps from my sight ;
Rise ! rise ! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!
'T is finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors;
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores.
But where is the iron-bound prisoner ? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn ?
Ah! no; for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier ;
His death-bell is tolling; 0! mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell !
Life flutters, convulsed, in his quivering limbs,

And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims!
Accursed be the fagots that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale

Lochiel. Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale!
For never shall Albin a destiny meet
So black with dishonor, so foul with retreat.
Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore
Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And, leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to Heaven from the death-bed of fame!

14. PHILIP VAN ARTEVELDES DEFENCE OF HIS REBELLION. Henry Taylor.

You speak of insurrections : bear in mind
Against what rule my father and myself
Have been insurgent; whom did we supplant ?
There was a time, so ancient records tell,
There were communities, scarce known by name
In these degenerate days, but once far-famed,
Where liberty and justice, hand in hand,
Ordered the common weal; where great men grew
Up to their natural eminence, and none,
Saving the wise, just, eloquent, were great.
Whom may we now call free ? whom great ? whom wise ?
Whom innocent ? — the free are only they
Whom power makes free to execute all ills
Their hearts imagine; they are only great
Whose passions nurse them from their cradles up
In luxury and lewdness, — whom to see
Is to despise, whose aspects put to scorn
Their station's eminence; the wise, they only
Who'wait obscurely till the bolts of Heaven
Shall break upon the land, and give them light
Whereby to walk; the innocent, alas !
Poor Innocency lies where four roads meet,
A stone upon her head, a stake driven through her, —
For who is innocent that cares to live?
The hand of

power
doth
press

the
very

life
Of Innocency out!

What, then, remains,
But in the cause of nature to stand forth,
And turn this frame of things the right side up ?

For this the hour is come, the sword is drawn,
And tell your masters vainly they resist.
Nature, that slept beneath their poisonous drugs,
Is up and stirring, and from north and south,
From east and west, from England and from France,
From Germany, and Flanders, and Navarre,
Shall stand against them like a beast at bay.
The blood that they have shed will hide no longer
In the blood-sloken soil, but cries to Heaven.
Their cruelties and wrongs against the poor
Shall quicken into swarms of venomous snakes,
And hiss through all the earth, till o'er the earth,
That ceases then from hissings and from groans,

How are the mighty fallen !
And by the peasant’s hand! Low lie the proud !
And smitten with the weapons of the poor -
The blacksmith's hammer and the woodman's axe!
Their tale is told; and for that they were rich,
And robbed the poor ; and for that they were strong,
And scourged the weak; and for that they made laws
Which turned the sweat of labor's brow to blood, -
For these their sins the nations cast them out!

These things come to pass
From small beginnings, because God is just.

Rises the song

15. DUTY TO ONE'S COUNTRY.-Hannah More. Born, 1744; died, 1823.

Our country is a whole, my Publius,
Of which we all are parts; nor should a citizen
Regard his interests as distinct from hers;
No hopes or fears should touch his patriot soul,
But what affect her honor or her shame.
E'en when in hostile fields he bleeds to save her,
'Tis not his blood he loses, 't is his country's ;
He only pays her back a debt he owes.
To her he's bound for birth and education ;
Her laws secure him from domestic feuds,
And from the foreign foe her arms protect him.
She lends him honors, dignity, and rank,
His wrongs revenges, and his merit pays;
And, like a tender and indulgent mother,
Loads him with comforts, and would make his state
As blessed as nature and the gods designed it.
Such gifts, my son, have their alloy of pain,
And let the unworthy wretch, who will not bear
His portion of the public burthen, lose
The advantages it yields ;

let him retire
From the dear blessings of a social life,

And from the sacred laws which guard those blessings,
Renounce the civilized abodes of man,
With kindred brutes one common shelter seek
In horrid wilds, and dens, and dreary caves,
And with their shaggy tenants share the spoil ;
Or, if the shaggy hunters miss their prey,
From scattered acorns pick a scanty meal ;
Far from the sweet civilities of life,
There let him live, and vaunt his wretched freedom,
While we, obedient to the laws that guard us,
Guard them, and live or die, as they decree.

16. ST. PIERRE TO FERRARDO. - James Sheridan Knowles.

St. Pierre, having possessed himself of Ferrardo's dagger, compels him to sign a confession from his own lips, of his villany.

Know you me, Duke? Know you the peasant boy,
Whom, fifteen years ago, in evil hour,
You chanced to cross upon his native hills,
In whose quick eye you saw the subtle spirit,
Which suited you, and tempted it? He took
Your hint, and followed you to Mantua
Without his father's knowledge, — his old father,
Who, thinking that he had a prop in him
Man could not rob him of, and Heaven would spare,
Blessed him one night, ere he lay down to sleep,
And, waking in the morning, found him gone!

[Ferrardo tries to rise.
Move not, or I shall move! You know me.
O, yes ! you trained me like a cavalier,
You did, indeed! You gave me masters, Duke,
And their instructions quickly I took up,
As they did lay them down! I got the start
Of my cotemporaries ! - not a youth
Of whom could read, write, speak, command a weapon,
Or rule a horse, with me! You gave me all, –
All the equipments of a man of honor,
But
you

did find a use for me, and made
A slave, a profligate, a pander, of me! [Ferrardo rising.
I charge you keep your seat ! -
Ten thousand ducats?
What, Duke! Is such your offer? Give me, Duke,
The eyes that looked upon my father's face,
The hands that helped my father to his wish,
The feet that flew to do my father's will,
The heart that bounded at my father's voice,
And
say

that Mantua were built of ducats,
And I could be its Duke at cost of these,

I would not give them for it! Mark me, Duke!
I saw a new-made grave in Mantua,
And on the head-stone read my father's name!
To seek me, doubtless, hither he had come,
To seek the child that had deserted him,
And died here, ere he found me.
Heaven can tell how far he wandered else!
Upon that

grave

I knelt an altered man, And, rising thence, I fled from Mantua ; — nor had returned, But tyrant hunger drove me back again To thee to thee! my body to relieve, At cost of my dear soul! I have done thy work, Do mine! and sign me that confession straight. I'm in thy power, and I'll have thee in mine! There is the dial, and the sun shines on it, The shadow on the very point of twelve, My case is desperate! Your signature of vital moment is unto my peace ! My eye is on the dial ! Pass the shadow The point of noon, the breadth of but a hair, As can my eye

discern - and, that unsigned, The steel is in thy heart! - I speak no more !

17. WILLIAM TELL ON SWITZERLAND. — Adaptation from J. S. Knowles.

ONCE Switzerland was free! With what a pride
I used to walk these hills, — look up to Heaven,
And bless God that it was so ! It was free
From end to end, from cliff to lake 't was free!
Free as our torrents are, that leap our rocks,
And plough our valleys, without asking leave;
Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow
In very presence of the regal sun !
How happy was I in it, then! I loved
Its very storms. Ay, often have I sat
In my boat at night, when midway o'er the lake,
The stars went out, and down the mountain gorge
The wind came roaring, - I have sat and eyed
The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled
To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head,
And think I had no master save his own.

You know the jutting cliff, round which a track
Up hither winds, whose base is but the brow
To such another one, with scanty room
For two a-breast to pass ? O'ertaken there
By the mountain blast, I've laid me flat along,
And while gust followed gust more furiously,
As if to sweep me o'er the horrid brink,

« ZurückWeiter »