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Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon nights so sweet such awful morn could rise ?
And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war,
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar,
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering, with white lips- "The foe! They come!
[they come !" And wild and high the “ Cameron's gathering." rose ! The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes : How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills, Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills Their mountain-pipe, so fills the mountaineers With the fierce native daring which instils The stirring memory of a thousand years,
(ears! And (4) Evan's,(5) Donald's fame rings in each clansman's
XXVII. And Ardennes (6) waves above them her green leaves, Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass, Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves, Over the unreturning brave,-alas! Ere evening to be trodden like the grass Which now beneath them, but above shall grow In its next verdure, when this fiery mass
Of living valour, rolling on the foe And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low.
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife
The morn the marshalling in arms,-the day
Battle's magnificently-stern array!
The thunder-clouds close u'er it, which when rent
The earth is covered thick with other clay
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
Rider and horse, friend, foe, in one red burial bleut.
Their praise is hymn'd by loftier harps than mine;
Yet one I would select from that proud throng,
Partly because they blend me with his line,
And partly that I did his sire some wrong,
And partly that bright names will hallow song ;
And his was of the bravest, and when shower'd
The death-bolts deadliest the thinn'd files along,
Even where the thickest of war's tempest lower'd, They reach'd no nobler breast than thine, young, gallant
[Howard! There have been tears and breaking hearts for thee. And mine were nothing, had I such to give; But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree, Which living waves there thou didst cease to live, And saw around me the wild field revive With fruits and fertile promise, and the Spring Come forth her work of gladness to contrive,
With all her reckless birds upon the wing, (7) I turu'd from all she brought to those she could not bring.
I turn'd to thee, to thousands, of whom each
And one as all a ghastly gap did make
In his own kind and kindred, whom to teach
Forgetfulness were mercy for their sake;
The Archangel's trump, not Glory's, must awake
Those whom they thirst for; though the sound of fame
May for a moment soothe, it cannot slake
The fever of vain longing, and the name
So honored but assumes a stronger, bitterer claim.
XXXII. They mourn, but smile at length; and, smiling, mourn The tree will wither long before it fall; The hull drives on, though mast and sail be torn; The roof-tree sinks, but moulders on the hall In massy hoariness ; the ruined wall Stands when its wind-worn battlements are gone; The bars survive the captive they enthral;
The day drags through though storms keep out the sun; And thus the heart will break, yet brokenly live on :
Even as a broken mirror, which the glass
In every fragment multiplies; and makes
A thousand images of one that was,
The same, and still the more, the more it breaks ;
And thus the heart will do which not forsakes,
Living in shattered guise, and still, and cold,
And bloodless, with its sleepless sorrow aches,
Yet withers on till all without is old,
Shewing no visible sign, for such things are untold.
There is a very life in our despair,
Vitality of poison,-a quick root
Which feeds these deadly branches; for it were
As nothing did we die; but Life will suit
Itself to Sorrow's most detested fruit,
Like to the appies on the (8) Dead Sea's shore,
All ashes to the taste; Did man compute
Existence by enjoyment, and count o'er [threescore ? Such hours 'gainst years of life,-say, would he name
XXXV. The Psalmist numbered out the years of man: They are enough; and if thy tale be true, Thou, who didst grudge him even that fleeting span, More than enough, thou fatal Waterloo! Millions of tongues record thee, and anew Their children's lips shall echo them, and say “Here, where the sword united nations drew,
“Our countrymen were warring on that day!" And this is much and all which will nat pass away.
There sunk the greatest, nor the worst of inen,
Whose spirit antithetically mixt
One moment of the mightiest, and again
On little objects with like firmness fixt,
Extreme in all things I hadst thou been betwixt,
Thy throne had still been thine, or never been;
For daring made thy rise as fall: thou seek'st
Even now to re-assume the imperial mien,
And shake again the world, the Thunderer of the scene !
Conqueror and captive of the earth art thou !
She trembles at thee still, and thy wild name
Was ne'er more bruited in men's minds than now
That thou art nothing, save the jest of fame
Who wooed thee once, thy vassal, and became
The flatterer of thy fierceness, till thou wert
A god unto thyself; nor less the same
To the astounded kingdoms all inert,
Who deem'd thee for a time whate'er thou didst assert.
Oh, more or less than man--in high or low,
Battling with nations, flying from the field;
Now making monarchs' necks thy footstool, now
More than thy meanest soldier taught to yield;
An empire thou couldst crush, command, rebuild,
But govern not thy pettiest passion, nor,
However deeply in men's spirits skill'd,
Look through thine own, nor curb the lust of war, Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest star.
XXXIX. Yet well thy soul hath brook'd the turning tide With that untaught innate philosophy, Which, be it wisdom, coldness, or deep pride, Isgall and wormwood to an enemy. When the whole host of hatred stood hard by, To watch and mock thee shrinking, thou hast smiled With a sedate and all-enduring eye,
When Fortune fled her spoil'd and favourite child, He stood unbowed beneath the ills upon him piled.
Sager than in thy fortune; for in them
Ambition steel'd thee on too far to show
That just habitual scorn which could contemn
Men and their thoughts; 'twas wise to feel, not so
To wear it ever on thy lip and brow,
And spurn the instruments thou wert to use
Till they were turn’d unto thine overthrow:
'Tis but a worthless world to win or lose;
So hath it proved to thee, and all such lot who choose,
XLI. Jf, like a tower upon a headlong rock, Thou hadst been made to fall or stand alone, Such scorn of man had helped to brave the shock ; But men's thoughts were the steps which paved thy Their admiration thy best weapon shone;
[throne The part of Philip's son was thine, not then (Unless aside thy purple hath been thrown)
Like stern Diogenes to mock at men ;
For sceptred cynics earth were far too wide a den.
But quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
And motion of the soul which will not dwell
In its own narrow being, but aspire
Beyond the fitting medium of desire;
And, but once kindled, quenchless evermore,
Preys upon high adventure, nor can tire
Of anght, but rest; a fever at the core,
Fatal to him who bears, to all who ever bore.
This makes the madman who have made men mad
By their contagion; Conquerors and Kings,
Founders of sects and systems, to whom add
Sophists, Bards, Statesinan, all unquiet things
Which stir too strongly the soul's secret springs,
And are themselves the fools to those they fuol;
Envied, yet how unenviable! what stings
Are theirs! One breast laid open were a school Which would unteach mankind the Inst to shine or rule.