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A most bewildering smile,-there was a glance
That as you look'd, a pleasant feeling came
The warm soul's precious throbs-to whom it is
Is breaking for them-who can bear to call
these all were her's She had given
Life's hope to a most fragile bark-to love!
TAKING OF THE BASTILLE.
THE spectacles of a lifetime were indeed to be beheld within the compass of this one scene. The most vivid emotions to which all ranks and all ages are subject, were here in full play; all the various grouping which life affords was here presented; the entire elements of the scenery of human character were here congregated in infinite and magnificent combinations. The appeals to eye and ear alone were of unprecedented force; those addressed to the spirit equalled in stimulus the devotion of Leonidas in his defile, and excelled in pathos the meditation of Marius among more extensive ruins than those which were now tumbling around. From the heights of the fortress might be seen a heaving ocean of upturned faces, when the breeze dispersed at intervals the clouds of smoke which veiled the sun, and gave a dun and murky hue to whatever lay beneath. If a flood of sunshine now and then poured in to make a hundred thousand weapons glitter over the heads of the crowd, the black row of cannon belched forth their red fires to extinguish the purer light. The foremost of the people, with glaring eyes, and blackened and grinning faces, looked scarcely human, in their excess of eagerness, activity, and strength. Yet more terrific were the sounds: the clang of the tocsin at regular intervals, the shouts of the besiegers, the shrieks of the wounded, the roar of the fire which was consuming the guard-houses, the crash of the ruins falling on all sides, a heavy splash in the moat from time to time, as some one was toppled from the ramparts to be smothered in its mud,—and above all these
the triumphant cries of victory and liberty achieved,—these were enough to dizzy weak brains, and give inspiration to strong ones. Here were also the terrors which sooner or later chill the marrow of despotism, and the stern joy with which its retribution fires the heart of the patriot. Here were the servants of tyranny quailing before the glance of the people; kneeling soldiers craving mercy of mechanics, of women, of some of every class, whom, in execution of their fancied duty, they had outraged. Here were men shrinking from violence with a craven horror, and women driven by a sense of wrong to show how disgusting physical courage may be made. Here were also sons led on to the attack by their hitherto anxious fathers; husbands thrust forward into danger by their wives; and little children upreared by their mothers amidst the fire and smoke, to take one last look of the hated edifice which was soon to be levelled with
the ground. The towers of palaces might be seen afar, where princes were quaking at this final assurance of the downfal of their despotic sway, knowing that the assumed sanctity of royalty was being wafted away with every puff of smoke which spread itself over the sky, and their irresponsibility melting in fires lighted by the hands which they had vainly attempted to fetter, and blown by the breath which they had imagined they could stifle. They had denied the birth of that liberty whose baptism in fire and in blood was now being celebrated in a many-voiced chant, with which the earth should ring for centuries. Some from other lands were already present to hear and join in it; some free Britons to aid, some wondering slaves of other despots to slink homewards with whispered tidings of its import; for from that day to this, the history of the fall of the Bastille has been told as a secret in the vineyards of Portugal, and among the groves of Spain, and in the patriotic conclaves of the youth of Italy, while it has been loudly and joyfully proclaimed from one end to the other of Great Britain, till her lisping children are familiar with the tale.
BRING BACK THE CHAIN!
Ir was an aged man, who stood
They cast his fetters by the flood,
And hail'd the time-worn captive-free! From his indignant eye there flash'd A gleam his better nature gave, And while his tyrants shrunk abash'd, Thus spoke the spirit-stricken slave:
Bring back the chain, whose weight so long These tortured limbs have vainly borne; The word of Freedom, from your tongue, My weary ear rejects with scorn! 'Tis true, there was-there was a time, I sigh❜d, I panted to be free; And, pining for my sunny clime, Bow'd down my stubborn knee.
"Then I have stretch'd my yearning arms,
Where?-I am desolate!
The boundless hope-the spring of joy, Felt when the spirit's strength is young, Which slavery only can alloy,
The mockeries to which I clungThe eyes whose fond and sunny ray
Made life's dull lamp less dimly burn—
The tones I pined for, day by day,
Bring back the chain! its clanking sound
Bring back the chain! that I may think
And, gazing on each galling link,
Dream as I dream'd-of bitter woe!
"Freedom! though doom'd in pain to live,
THE DAY OF REST.
How still the morning of the hallow'd day!
The ploughboy's whistle, and the milkmaid's song.