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THE wild gazelle on Judah's hills
Exulting yet may bound,
And drink from all the living rills
That gush on holy ground:
Its airy step and glorious eye
May glance in tameless transport by:
A step as fleet, an eye more bright,
Hath Judah witness'd there;
And o'er her scenes of lost delight
Inhabitants more fair.
The cedars wave on Lebanon,
But Judah's statelier maids are gone!
More blest each palm that shades those plains
Than Israel's scatter'd race;
For, taking root, it there remains
In solitary grace :
It cannot quit its place of birth,
It will not live in other earth.
But we must wander witheringly,
In other lands to die;
And where our fathers' ashes be,
Our own may never lie.
Our temple hath not left a stone,
And mockery sits on Salem's throne.
TIME rolls his ceaseless course.
Who danc'd our infancy upon their knee, And told our marvelling boyhood legends store, Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea, How are they blotted from the things that be!
How few, all weak and wither'd of their force, Wait, on the verge of dark eternity,
Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse, To sweep them from our sight! Time rolls his ceaseless course.
How blest the pilgrim, who in trouble
Can lean upon a bosom friend;
Strength, courage, hope with him redouble,
When foes assail, or griefs impend;
Care flees before his footsteps, straying,
At daybreak, o'er the purple heath;
He plucks the wild flowers round him playing,
And binds their beauty in a wreath.
More dear to him the fields and mountains,
When with his friend abroad he roves,
Rests in the shade near sunny fountains,
Or talks by moonlight through the groves
For him the vine expands its clusters,
Spring wakes for him her woodland quire;
Yea, when the storm of winter blusters,
'Tis summer round his evening fire.
In good old age serenely dying,
When all he lov'd forsakes his view,
Sweet is affection's voice, replying,
"I follow soon," to his "Adieu!"
E'en then, though earthly ties are riven,
The spirit's union will not end;
Happy the man, whom Heaven hath given,
In life and death, a faithful friend.
"While Day arises, that sweet hour of prime."
How many thousands are wakening now!
Some to the songs from the forest bough,
To the rustling of leaves at the lattice pane,
To the chiming fall of the early rain.
And some, far out on the deep mid-sea,
To the dash of the waves in their foaming glee,
As they break into spray on the ship's tall side,
That holds thro' the tumult her path of pride.
And some-oh! well may their hearts rejoice
To the gentle sound of a mother's voice;
Long shall they yearn for that kindly tone,
When from the board and the hearth 'tis gone.
And some in the camp to the bugle's breath,
And the tramp of the steed on the echoing heath,
And the sudden roar of the hostile gun,
Which tells that a field must ere night be won.
And some in the gloomy convict-cell,
To the dull deep note of the warning bell,
As it heavily calls them forth to die,
While the bright sun mounts in the laughing sky.
And some to the peal of the hunter's horn,
And to the sounds from the city borne ;
And some to the rolling of torrents' floods,
Far 'midst old mountains, and solemn woods.
So are we rous'd on this chequer'd earth,
Each unto life hath a daily birth,
Though fearful or joyous, though sad or sweet,
Be the voices which first our upspringing meet.
But ONE must the sound be, and ONE the call,
Which from the dust shall awake us all!
ONE, though to sever'd and distant dooms-
How shall the sleepers arise from their tombs ?
BUT as they left the dark'ning heath,
More desperate grew the strife of death.
The English shafts in volleys hail'd,
In headlong charge their horse assail'd;
Front, flank, and rear, the squadrons sweep
To break the Scottish circle deep,
That fought around their king,
But yet, though thick the shafts as snow,
Though charging knights like whirlwinds go,
Though bill-men ply the ghastly blow,
Unbroken was the ring;
In Northumberland. In the battle fought at this place in 1513, James IV. was defeated and slain, with the flower of the Scottish nobility.
The stubborn spear-men still made good
Their dark impenetrable wood,
Each stepping where his comrade stood,
The instant that he fell.
No thought was there of dastard flight;
Link'd in the serried phalanx tight,
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,
As fearlessly and well;
Till utter darkness clos'd her wing
O'er their thin host and wounded king
Then skilful Surrey's sage commands
Led back from strife his shatter'd bands;
And from the charge they drew,
As mountain-waves, from wasted lands,
Sweep back to ocean blue.
Then did their loss his foemen know;
Their king, their lords, their mightiest low,
They melted from the field as snow,
When streams are swoll'n and south winds blow,
Dissolves in silent dew.
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,
While many a broken band,
Disorder'd, through her currents dash,
To gain the Scottish land;
To town and tower, to down and dale,
To tell red Flodden's dismal tale,
And raise the universal wail.
Tradition, legend, tune, and song,
Shall many an age that wail prolong :
Still from the sire the son shall hear
Of the stern strife, and carnage drear,
Of Flodden's fatal field,
Where shiver'd was fair Scotland's spear,
And broken was her shield!