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Little didst thou deem, when dashing
On thy war-horse through the ranks Like a stream which burst its banks, While helmets cleft, and sabres clashing, Shone and shiver'd fast around thee Of the fate at last which found thee: Was that haughty plume laid low By a slave's dishonest blow? Once - as the Moon sways o'er the tide, It roll'd in air, the warrior's guide; Through the smoke-created night Of the black and sulphurous fight, The soldier raised his seeking eye To catch that crest's ascendency, And, as it onward rolling rose, So moved his heart upon our foes. There, where death's brief pang was quickest, And the battle's wreck lay thickest, Strew'd beneath the advancing banner
Of the eagle's burning crest -
(There with thunder-clouds to fan her,
Who could then her wing arrest -
Victory beaming from her breast?)
While the broken line enlarging
Fell, or fled along the plain;
There be sure was MURAT charging!
There he ne'er shall charge again!
O'er glories gone the invaders march,
Weeps Triumph o'er each levell❜d arch —
But let Freedom rejoice,
With her heart in her voice;
But, her hand on her sword,
Doubly shall she be adored;
France hath twice too well been taught
The "moral lesson" dearly bought
Her safety sits not on a throne,
With CAPET or NAPOLEON!
But in equal rights and laws,
Hearts and hands in one great cause
Freedom, such as God hath given
Unto all beneath his heaven,
With their breath, and from their birth,
Though Guilt would sweep it from the earth;
With a fierce and lavish hand
Scattering nations' wealth like sand;
Pouring nations' blood like water,
In imperial seas of slaughter!
But the heart and the mind,
And the voice of mankind,
Shall arise in communion
And who shall resist that proud union?
The time is past when swords subdued
Man may die—the soul's renew'd :
Even in this low world of care
Freedom ne'er shall want an heir;
Millions breathe but to inherit
Her for ever bounding spirit —
When once more her hosts assemble,
Tyrants shall believe and tremble.
Smile they at this idle threat!
Crimson tears will follow yet.
Idol of the soldier's soul!
First in fight, but mightiest now:
Many could a world control;
Thee alone no doom can bow.
(1)" All wept, but particularly Savary, and a Polish officer who had been exalted from the ranks by Buonaparte. He clung to his master's knees; wrote a letter to Lord Keith, entreating permission to accompany him, even in the most menial capacity, which could not be admitted."
By thy side for years I dared
Death; and envied those who fell,
When their dying shout was heard,
Blessing him they served so well. (1)
Would that I were cold with those,
Since this hour I live to see;
When the doubts of coward foes
Scarce dare trust a man with thee,
Dreading each should set thee free!
Oh! although in dungeons pent,
All their chains were light to me,
Gazing on thy soul unbent.
Would the sycophants of him
Now so deaf to duty's prayer,
Were his borrow'd glories dim,
In his native darkness share?
Were that world this hour his own,
All thou calmly dost resign,
Could he purchase with that throne
Hearts like those which still are thine ?
(1) "At Waterloo, one man was seen, whose left arm was shattered by a cannon hall, to wrench it off with the other, and throwing it up in the air, exclaimed to his comrades, 'Vive l'Empereur, jusqu'à la mort!' There were many other instances of the like; this you may, however, depend on as true."-A private Letter from
ON THE STAR OF "THE LEGION OF HONOUR." [FROM THE FRENCH.]
STAR of the brave! - whose beam hath shed
Such glory o'er the quick and dead-
Thou radiant and adored deceit !
Which millions rush'd in arms to greet, –
Wild meteor of immortal birth!
Why rise in Heaven to set on Earth?
Souls of slain heroes form'd thy rays;
Eternity flash'd through thy blaze;
The music of thy martial sphere
Was fame on high and honour here ;
And thy light broke on human eyes,
Like a volcano of the skies.
Like lava roll'd thy stream of blood,
And swept down empires with its flood;
Earth rock'd beneath thee to her base,
As thou didst lighten through all space,
And the shorn Sun grew dim in air,
And set while thou wert dwelling there.
Before thee rose, and with thee grew,
A rainbow of the loveliest hue
Of three bright colours, (1) each divine,
And fit for that celestial sign;
For Freedom's hand had blended them,
Like tints in an immortal gem.
One tint was of the sunbeam's dyes;
One, the blue depth of Seraph's eyes;
One, the pure Spirit's veil of white
Had robed in radiance of its light:
The three so mingled did beseem
The texture of a heavenly dream.
Star of the brave! thy ray is pale,
And darkness must again prevail !
(1) The tri-colour.
But, oh thou Rainbow of the free!
Our tears and blood must flow for thee.
When thy bright promise fades away,
Our life is but a load of clay.
And Freedom hallows with her tread
The silent cities of the dead;
For beautiful in death are they
Who proudly fall in her array;
And soon, oh Goddess! may we be
For evermore with them or thee!
[FROM THE FRENCH.]
FAREWELL to the Land, where the gloom of my Glory
Arose and o'ershadow'd the earth with her name
She abandons me now but the page of her story,
The brightest or blackest, is fill'd with my fame.
I have warr'd with a world which vanquish'd me only
When the meteor of conquest allured me too far;
I have coped with the nations which dread me thus lonely,
The last single Captive to millions in war.
Farewell to thee, France! when thy diadem crown'd me,
I made thee the gem and the wonder of earth,
But thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found thee,
Decay'd in thy glory, and sunk in thy worth.
Oh! for the veteran hearts that were wasted
In strife with the storm, when their battles were won Then the Eagle, whose gaze in that moment was blasted, Had still soar'd with eyes fix'd on victory's sun!
Farewell to thee. France! but when Liberty rallies
Once more in thy regions, remember me then, —
The violet still grows in the depth of thy valleys;
Though wither'd, thy tears will unfold it again—
Yet, yet, I may baffle the hosts that surround us,
And yet may thy heart leap awake to my voice-
There are links which must break in the chain that has bound
Then turn thee and call on the Chief of thy choice!