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26 In all countries.
26 Great part of Christendom was infected with French prin
ciples. 27 And many a tyrant 27, 28 The heads of the succes28 Not believing his baptism. sive parties who domineered over
revolutionary France. 29 And a world without re- 29, 30 Emphatical repetition.
ligion, 30 And rebellion against the
Almighty. 31 And trees withering
31 “ Trees.”—The gentry. 32 And rivers turned out of 32 The whole system of things their courses.
changed. 33 Strange and new growth 33, 34 The canaille getting into 34 In the grass of the fields, power. 35 And the trees falling, 35 The gentry who were
withering, now fall. 36 The oaks of the high ac- 36 The noblesse.
clivities, 37 And the lowering of moun- 37 Even sovereign states detains
stroyed 38 To the level of even plains, 38 And formed into Republics. 39 The lifting up of the vales 39, 40, 41, 42 The same meaning 40 To an equal surface with as before, in other words to make the hills,
it more striking. 41 The mighty become nobody, 42 The weak with feet at li
berty, 43 And the operations of 43, 44 The arts and sciences imknowledge
proving rapidly and astonishingly. 44 Like the splendour of the
45 Two years there are 45 From 1812 to 1814.
of armies, 47 And to convert cities 47, 48 Literally accomplished in 48 Into small villages, Russia by extensive conflagrations. 49 To level the face of the 49 To throw down assumed doearth.
minion. 50 And the work will be done, 50 The restoration of the former
order of things. 51 God will come in all his 51, 52 “God will come.”
power 52 And he will overcome.
This agrees with the description given us in the fiftieth Psalm of the phrase to come, where Asaph says, “Our God shall come and shall not keep silence, a fire shall devour
before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. “Gather
“ Gather my saints together unto me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
Such was the coming of Christ at the destruction of Jerusalem. He did not keep silence, the spreading of the Gospel followed the metaphorical fire and tempest. He called to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he might judge his people, and gather his saints together unto him, agreeably to the description of the coming in the 35th of Isaiah, where it is said, God will come with vengeance and a recompense.
So at the conclusion of the revolutionary war, he came with “Vengeance and a recompense;" vengeance on those who had crucified and put him to an open shame, and a recompense to those who had kept covenant with him. Fire, both literal and metaphorical devoured before him, and it was very tempestuous round about him. He called to the heavens and the earth (to men of high and of low degree) at that time when he judged his people, gathering his "saints” together to him, (those who had continued in his covenant.) He did not keep “silence.” The increased preaching of the Gospel followed.
“And he will overcome.” That God fought for his "saints” and reserved to himself the victory must be known to all who are in any degree acquainted with the power of the Russian campaign of 1812, in which the greater part of Napoleon's grand army, consisting of 680,000 men and 176,850 horses, and composed of a great many different nations, (“the country of France being in alliance with many other countries,” lines 13, 14,) miserably perished from fire, and cold and hunger. This “multitude of men,' (lines 9—11) "ever formidable to the enemy, were only overcome by the elements.” A lively and touching picture of that terrible overthrow is given by M. Labaume, an officer in that very army, in his narration of that campaigne, who ascribes its disastrous results to the vengeance of an offended God. His work is full of most striking passages, of which some idea may be conceived from the few following extracts :
“Je raconte ce que j'ai vu: témoin d'un des plus grands désastres qui aient jamais affligé une nation puissante. Réduit comme tous mes compagnons d'armes, à lutter contre les
derniers besoins ; transi de froid, tourmenté par la faim, en proie à tous les genres de souffrances, incertain, au lever de chaque soleil, si je verrais les derniers rayons du soir, doutant, le soir si je verrais un jour nouveau ; tous mes sentimens, semblaient s'être concentrés dans le désir de vivre pour conserver la mémoire de ce que je voyais; animé par cet indicible désir, toutes les nuits, assis devant un mauvais feu, sous une température de vingt à vingt-deux degrès au dessous de la glace, entouré de morts et de mourans, je retraçais les événemens de la journée. Le même couteau qui m'avait servi à dépecer du cheval pour me nourrir, était employé à tailler des plumes de corbeau; un peu de poudre à canon, délayée dans le creux de ma main avec de la neige fondue, me tenait lieu d'encre et d'ecritoire. ** * *
Ayant sans cesse devant les yeux le spectacle de cette foule de guerriers, misérablement exterminés dans de lointains déserts, je n'ai été soutenu que par l'idée de rendre hommage à leur constance, à un courage qui ne s'est jamais démenti, enfin, à des exploits d'autant plus héroïques, qu'ils étaient perdus pour la patrie, et semblaient l'être pour la gloire. Heureux si j'ai pu prouver, par cette relation importante, qu'au milieu de tant de désastres, nos braves ont tours été dignes d'eux-mêmes, qu'ils n'ont point manqué à leur ancienne renommée, et que, toujours redoutables à l'ennemi, ils n'ont été vaincus que par les élémens?” Preface, pp. i. et seq. Again in the body of the work,
“Quel effrayant tableau me présenta, cette multitude d'hommes, accablée de toutes les misères, et contenue dans un marais ! Elle, qui deux mois auparavant, triumphante, couvrait la moitié de la surface du plus vaste des empires. Nos soldats, pâles, défaits, mourans de faim et de froid, n'ayant pour se preserver des rigueurs de la saison que des lambeaux de pelisses, ou des peaux de mouton toutes brûlées, se pressaient en gémissant le long de cette rive infortunée."
Translation. I recount what I have actually seen; a witness to one of the greatest disasters which ever afflicted a powerful nation. * Reduced, like all my companions in arms, to struggle against the most urgent necessities, benumbed with cold, tormented by hunger, a prey to every species of suffering, uncertain as the sun arose each day whether I should behold his rays
when setting, doubting every evening whether I should ever see the morrow; all my sentiments appeared to be concentrated in the desire of living to preserve the memory of what I saw: animated by this
* Apprehensive that a portion of our readers may not understand the original, we have ventured to add a translation of the extract from Mous. Labaume's work.- Editors.
inexpressible desire, I, every night, seated before a miserable fire, the atmosphere at a temperature of from 20° to 22° below freezing point, surrounded by the dead and the dying, retraced the events of the day. The same knife which had served me to cut off a piece of horse-flesh for nourishment, was employed in making pens of crow-quills; a little gunpowder, mixed with some melted snow, in the hollow of my hand, served me for ink and inkstand. *
“Having incessantly before my eyes the sight of that crowd of warriors, who had been miserably exterminated in distant deserts, I was supported only by the idea of paying a tribute of homage to their constancy,—to a courage which had never failed, and, finally to exploits which were so much the more heroic, as that they were lost to their country, and in appearance, to glory.
“Happy shall I be if I have been able to prove, by this important narration, that, surrounded by so many disasters, our brave countrymen always acted in a manner worthy of themselves,—that they have never fallen short of their ancient renown, and that, ever redoubtable to the enemy, they were overcome by the elements alone.” Preface, pp. i. et seq. Again, in the body of the work,
“What a frightful picture was presented to me by that multitude of men, overwhelmed by every species of misery, and occupying a marsh! A multitude which, two months previously, had covered, in triumph, half the surface of the most extensive of empires. Our soldiers, pale, cast down, dying with hunger and cold, having, to protect them from the rigours of the season, nothing but the rags of their cloaks, or sheep skins, partly destroyed by fire, groaning, crowded along the bank of that unfortunate river."
EPITAPH ON A POET.
By the late EDWARD WILLIAMS.
Heaven's first decree.
Thou'rt the glow
Which poets know
Hail thee, Harmony !
Merry maidens gay,
And summer's bloom
With richest rapture peering :
DOVASTON. CYSONEDD.—Ton, “ Gorhofedd gwyr Hurlech.”
Daeth o nev Gysonedd gwirvodd,
Cyntav raith y Tad.
Ti gwres ceirdd,
O gyvoeth gwych ddarvelydd:
Hael cysonedd mad.
Y morwynion syw.
Y geuav wyll,
A blodion bav yn hylon: