Page images


Ar that dread season when th' indignant north
Poured to vain wars her tardy numbers forth,
When Frederic bent his ear to Europe's cry,
And fanned too late the flame of liberty;
By feverish hope oppressed,and anxious thought,
In Dresden's grove the dewy cool I sought.
Through tangled boughs the broken moonshine

And Elbe slept soft beneath his linden shade
Yet slept not all ;-I heard the ceaseless jar,
The rattling wagons, and the wheels of war,
The sounding lash, the march’s mingled hum,
And, lost and heard by fits, the languid drum;
O’er the near bridge the thundering hoofs that

trode, And the far-distant fife that thrilled along the

road. Yes, sweet it seems across some watery dell

To catch the music of the pealing bell;
And sweet to list, as on the beach we stray,
The ship-boy's carol in the wealthy bay :
But sweet no less,when Justice points the spear,
Of martial wrath the glorious din to hear,
To catch the war-note on the quivering gale,
And bid the blood red paths of conquest hail.

O, song of hope, too long delusive strain.
And hear we now thy flatiering voice again ?
But laie, alas, I left thee cold and still,
Stunned by the wrath of Heaven, on Pratzen's

hill. 0, on that hill may no kind month renew The fertile rain, the sparkling suminer dew. Accursed of God, may those bleak summits tell The field of anger where the mighty fell. There youthful Faith and high born Courage rest, And, red with slaughter, Freedom's humbled

crest, There Europe,soiled with blood her tresses gray, And ancient Honor's shield – all vilely thrown

away. Thus mused my soul, as in succession drear Rose each grim shape of Wrath and Doubt and

Defeat and shame in grizzly vision passed,

And Vengeance, bought with blood, and glori.

ous Death the last. Then as my gaze their waving eagles met, And through the night each sparkling bayonet, Still memory told how Austria's evil hour Had felt on Praga’s field a Frederic's power, And Gallia's vaunting train, and Mosco's horde, Had fleshed the maiden steel of Brunswic's

sword. 0! yet, I deemed, that Fate, by Justice led, Might wreath once more the veteran's silver


That Europe's ancient pride would yet disdain
The cumbrous sceptre of a single reign;
That conscious right would tenfold strength af-

And heaven assist the patriot's holy sword,
And look in mercy through th' auspicious sky,
To bless the saviour host of Germany.
And are they dreams, these bodings, such as

shed Their lonely comfort o'er the hermit's bed ? And are they dreams ? or can the Eternal Mind Care for a sparrow, yet neglect mankind ? Why, if the dubious battle own his power, And the red sabre, where he bids, devour, Why then can one the curse of worlds deride,

And millions weep a tyrant's single pride ?

Thus sadly musing, far my footsteps strayed, Rapt in the visions of the Aonian maid. It was not she, whose lonely voice I hear Fall in soft whispers on my love-lorn ear; My daily guest, who wont my steps to guide Through the green walks of scented even-tide, Or stretched with re in noonday ease along, To list the reaper's chaunt, or throstle's song: But she of loftier port, whose grave control Rules the fierce workings of the patriot's soul; She, whose high presence, o'er the midnight oil, With fame's bright promise cheers the student's

toil ;

That same was she, whose ancient lore refined
The sober hardihood of ney's mind.
Borne on her wing, no more I seemed to rove
By Dresden’s glittering spires, and linden grove;
No more the giant Elbe, ali silver bright,
Spread his broad bosom to the fair moonlight,
While the still margent of his ample flood
Bore the dark image of the Saxon wood
(Woods happy once, that heard the carols free
Of rustic love, and cheerful industry;
Now dull and joyless lie their alleys green,
And silence marks the tract where France has


Far other scenes than these my fancy viewed ;
Rocks robed in ice, a mountain solitude ;
Where on Helvetian hills, in godlike state,
Alone and awful, Europe's angel sate.
Silent and stern he sate ; then bending low,
Listened the ascending plaints of human wo,
And waving as in grief his towery head,
• Not yet, not yet the day of rest,' he said ;

It may not be. Destruction's gory wing
Soars o'er the banners of the younger king,
Too rashly brave, who seeks with single sway
To stemn the lava on its destined way.
Poor, glittering warriors, only wont to know
The bloodless pageant of a martial show;
Nurselings of peace,

for fiercer fights prepare, And dread the step-dame sway of unaccustomed


They fight, they bleed-0, bad that blood

been shed When Charles and valor Austria's armies led, Had these stood forth the righteous cause to

shield, When victory wavered on Moravia's field, Then France had mourned her conquests made

in vain, Her backward-beaten ranks, and countless slain, Then had the strength of Europe's freedom


« PreviousContinue »