Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

}

“ Though in the struggle this devoted head
“ Sink ere the closing day among the dead !”.
He spoke, and instant hears the doubling drum
Beat loud to arms,—the scouts all breathless come ;
Swift fly through all the camp the quick alarms,
And ruin'd tow'rs re-echo loud to arms !"
The Hero hears the Gallic shouts succeed,
With youthful vigour mounts his fiery steed,
And urges on, to conquer or to bleed.

Now the dim dawn advanc'd in mantle grey, , And red’ning skies foretold the rising day; While on the right the storks, an order'd train, Forsaking Nilus and his slimy plain, Due to the west direct their figur'd flight, Their countless numbers dim the dawning light, Well pleasd the British squadrons hail the sight, ç Oh grant,” they cried, “ that we may thus regain, “ When Peace has crownd our toils, our native plain, 66 Forsake those noxious fields, and climes unblest, “ And seek the haunts of freedom in the west.”

Now fierce throevery rank the battle rag'd,
Bold at their head, the 'veteran Chief engag'd,
Conspicuous now he animates his host,
And now in clouds of sulphurous smoke is lost.
His searching eye, like lightning's rapid glance,
Darts through the field where'er the foes advance

[ocr errors]

His steady voice directs the thundering force
That checks their hostile rage, and turns th' impetuous

course :

Yet still ungovern'd fury rages round,
And coursers plunge, and dying cries resound,
And mingled carnage loads th' ensanguin'd ground.
Now pierc'd with mortal wounds, his steed no more
Thro' vanquish'd foes the gallant leader bore ;
Dismounted and alone they see him stand,
And urge the fierce attack on every hand;
Her wonted succour even hope denies,
And death glad hovering marks his glorious prize :
With rapid haste, and well directed aim,
To save his friend heroic SIDNEY came,
And springing lightly on the bloody plain,
He to the warrior's hand resigns the rein,---
With active force the leader mounts again ;
With various fortune sways the dubious fight,
Till veteran troops, advancing on the right,
On Scotia's mountaineers their fury pour ;
Dauntless they march to meet the fiery show'r,
Hardy and bold, inur’d to toil severe,
Th’ extremes of every clime they patient bear,
And haggard want and discipline austere-
And now, with fervid hearts and bloody hands,
Wrest the proud flag from Gallia's bravest bands,

}

}

That spread dismay so oft where battle flam'd,
Invincible, by impious folly nam’d.
Vain boast !
For see, where bleeding, gasping on the ground,
Their scatter'd arms in bright confusion round;
Th' unconquer'd legion, terrible in death,
To British prowess yield their parting breath;
Victorious shouts proclaim the triumph nigh,
And warriors in the arms of conquest die.
The leader with redoubled ardour glows,
Pours the full tide of vengeance on his foes,
Yet ready mercy to the suppliant shews :
Where the fierce conflict thickest rages round,
He flies regardless of the fiery wound;
Life's crimson current flows unfelt, unseen,
While resolutely calm, with steady mien,
He presses onward, rules the stormy fight,
And urges on the slow reluctant flight,
But ah! in vain, dim shades obscure the light,
The conquering squadrons swim before his sight :
Th’ attendant chiefs, in solemn silence trace
The pale suffusion o'er his manly face;
Soft from his steed, with tenderest care convey'd
Reclining on their arms, behold him laid:
With fearful awe, the doom they now await,
And hang suspended on their general's fate !

1

}

Th' experienc'd sage explores the latent wound, But in his looks no ray of hope is found; Mute horror chills the sad spectators round. Oh Chief belov'd! thy grateful country's boast ! To all our hopes and prayers for ever lost ! Great was the conflict,--bloody was the strife, The dear-bought triumph purchas'd with thy life! 'Tis done,-for see, the Gallic flag appears, Th' applauding shout the dying hero cheers, Reviving spirit animates his eyes, “ Though last, yet happiest day !”—he faintly cries. Yet does a nobler conquest still remain, To vanquish agony, and smile in pain : In Virtue's triumph yield thy latest breath, Unmov'd, unconquer’d, in the arms of death!

[blocks in formation]

" The hours that we have spent,
" When we have chid the hasty-footed time.
« For parting us.

SHAKESPEARE,

Dear Beatrice, with pleasure I read your kind letter,
On the subject, methinks, there could scarce be a better:
How vivid the scenes it recall'd to my view,
And how lively it waken'd remembrance anew !
Yet our souls are só crusted with housewifery moss,
That Fancy's bright furnace yields nothing but dross

1

« ZurückWeiter »