« ForrigeFortsett »
But still their flame was fierceness, and drew on
Keen contest and destruction near allied,
And many a tower for some fair mischief won,
Saw the discolour'd Rhine bencath its ruin run.
But Thou, exulting and abounding river !
Making their waves a blessing as they flow
Through banks whose beauty would endure for ever
Could man but leave thy bright creation so,
Nor its fair promise from the surface mow
With the sharpe scythe of conflict, — then to see
Thy valley of sweet waters, were to know
Earth paved like Heaven; and to seem such to me,
Even now what wants thy stream ? — that it should Lethe be.
A thousand bailles have assail'd thy banks,
But these and half their fame have pass'd away,
And Slaughter heap'd on bigh bis woltering ranks ;
Their very graves are gone, and what are they?
Thy tide wash'd down the blood of yesterday,
And all was stainless, and on thy clear stream
Glass'd with its dancing light the sunny ray;
But o'er the blackend meinory's blighting dream
Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they seem
Thus Harold inly said, and pass'd along,
Yet not insensibly to all which here
Awoke the jocund birds to early song
In glens which might have made even exile dear :
Though on his brow were graven lines austere,
And tranquil sternness which had ta’en the place
Of feelings fierier far but less severe,
Joy was not alıvays absent from his face,
But o'er it in such scenes would steal with transient traco.
Nor was all love shut from him, though his days
Of passion had consumed themselves to dust.
It is in vain that we would coldly gazo
On such as smile upon us ; the heart must
Leap kindly back to kindness, though disgust
Hath wean'd it from all worldlings: thus he felt,
For there was soft remembrance, and sweet trust
In one fond breast, to which his own would melt,
And in its tenderer hour on that his bosom dwelt.
And he had learn'd to love, I know not why,
For this in such as him seems strange of mood, -
The helpless looks of blooming infancy,
Even in its earliest nurture ; what subdued,
To change like this, a mind so far imbued
With scorn of man, it little boots to know;
But thus it was ; and though in solitude
Small power the nipp'd affections have to grow,
La him this glow'd when all beside had ceased to glow.
And there was one soft breast, as hath been said,
Which unto his was bound by stronger ties
Than the church links withal ; and, though unwed,
That love was pure, and, far above disguise,
Had stood the test of mortal enmities
Still undivided, and cemented more
By peril, dreaded most in female eyes ;
But this was firm, and from a foreign shore
Well to that heart might his these absent greetings pour
The castled crag of Drachenfels (").
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossom'd trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scatter'd cities crowning these,
Whose far white walls along them shine,
Have strew'd a scene, which I should see
With double joy wert thou with me.
(1) 'The castle of Drachenfels stands on the highest summit of " the Seven Mountains," over the Rhine banks: it is in ruins, and connected with some singu
ar traditions : it is the first in view on the road from Bonn, but on the opposite side of the river ; on this bank, nearly facing il, are the reinains of another, called the Jew's castle, and a large cross commemorative of the murder of a chief by his brother; the number of castles and cities along the course of the Rhino on both sides is every great, and their situations remarkably beautiful.
And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
And hands which offer early flowers,
Walk smiling o'er this paradise ;
Above, the frequent feudal towers
Through green leaves list their walls of gray,
And many a rock which steeply lowers,
And noble arch in proud decay,
Look o'er this vale of vintage-bowers ;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine,
Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!
I send the lilies given to me ;
Though long before thy hand they touch,
I know that they must wither'd be,
But yet reject them not as such ;
For I have cherish'd them as dear,
Because they yet may meet thine eye,
And guide thy soul to mine even here,
When thou behold'st them drooping nigh,
And know'st them gather'd by the Rhine,
And offer'd from my heart to thine !
The river nobly foams and flows,
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round:
The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
Through life to dwell delighted bere ;
Nor could one earth a spot be found
to nature and to me so dear,
Could thy dear eyes in following mine
Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine!
By Coblentz, on a rise of gentle ground,
There is a small and simple pyramid,
Crowning the summit of the verdant mound,
Beneath its base are heroes' ashes hid,
Our enemy's — but let not that forbid
Honour to Marceau ! o'er whose early tomb
Tears, big tears, gush'd from the rough soldier's lice
Lamenting and yet envying such a doom,
Falling for France, whose rights he battled to resumo.
Brief, brave, and glorious was his young career,
His mourners were two hosts, his friends and foes;
And fitly may the stranger lingering here
Pray for his gallant spirit's bright repose;
For he was Freedom's champion, one of those,
The few in number, who had not o'erstept
The charter to chastise which she bestows
On such as wield her weapons ; he had kept
The whiteness of his soul, and thus men o'er him wept. (*)
Here Ehrenbreitstein, () with her shatter'd wall
Black with the miner's blast upon her height
Yet shows of what she was, when shell and ball
Rebounding idly on her strength did light:
A tower of victory! from whence the flight
Of baffled foes was watch'd along the plain :
But Peace destroy'd what War could never blight,
And laid those proud roofs bare to Summer's rain
On which the iron shower for years had pour’d in vain.
(1) The monument of the young and lamented General Marceau (killed by a rifle-ball at Alterkirchen, on the last day of the fourth year of the French republic) still remains as described.
The inscriptions on his monument are rather too long, and not required : his namo was enough ; Franco adored, and hor enemies admired ; both wopi over him.-Ilis funeral was attended by tho generals and detachments from both armies. In the same gravo General Hoche is interred, a gallant man in every sense of the word; but though he distinguished himself greatly in battle, he had noi gained tho good for: tune to dio there : his death was attended by suspicions of poison.
A separato monument (not over his body, which is buried by Marceau's) is raised for him near Andernach, opposite to which one of his most memorable exploits was performed, in throwing a bridyo to an island on the Rhino. The shape and stylo are diffurent from that of Murcoau's, and thu inscription moro simplo and pleasing.
« Tho Army of the Sambre and Mouse
" to its Commander-in-chief
6. Hoche." This is all as it should be. Hoche was esteemed among the first of France's carlier generals before Buonaparte monopolized her triumphs. He was the destined commander of the invading army of Ireland.
(2) Ehrenbreitstein, i.c." the broad stone of Honour," one of the strongest fortresses in Europe, was dismantled and blown up by the French at the truce of Lcoben.It had been and could only be, reduced by famine or treachery. Il yielded to the former, aided by surprise. After having seen the fortifications of Gibraltar and Malta, it did not much strike by comparison, but the situation is coinmanding. General Marceau besieged it in vain for some time, and I slept in a room where I was shown a wmdow at which he is said to have been standing observing the progress of iho siego by moonlight, when a ball struck immediately below it.
Adieu to thee, sair Rhine! How long delighted
The stranger fain would linger on his way!
Thine is a scene alike where souls united
Or lonely Contemplation thus might stray ;
And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey
On self-condemning bosoms, it were here,
Where Nature, nor too sombre nor too gay
Wild but not rude, awful yet not austere,
Is to the mellow Earth as Autumn to the year.
Adieu to thee ngain! a vain adieu !
There can be no farewell to scene like thine ;
The mind is colour'd by thy every
And if reluctantly the eyes resign
Their cherish'd gaze upon thee, lovely Rhine!
'Tis with the thankful glance of parting praise ;
More nightly spots may rise — more glaring shine,
But none unite in one attaching maze
The brilliant, fair, and soft, - the glories of old days,
The negligently grand, the fruitful bloom
Of coming ripeness, the white city's sheen,
The rolling stream, the precipice's gloom,
The forest's growth, and Gothic walls between,
The wild rocks shaped as they had turrets been
In mockery of man's art; and these withal
A race of faces happy as the scene
Whose fertile bounties here extend to all,
Still springing o'er thy banks, though Empires near them fall.
But these recede. Above me are the Alps,
The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,
And throned Eternity in icy halls
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche the thunderbolt of snow !
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
Gather around these summits, as to show
How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below.