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That then – O! disgrace upon
manhood! You should falter, should cling to your pitiful breath, Cower down into beasts, when you might have stood men,
And prefer the slave's life of prostration to death! It is strange, it is dreadful ; — shout, Tyranny! shout
Through your dungeons and palaces, “ Freedom is o'er !" If there lingers one spark of her life, tread it out,
And return to your empire of darkness once more! MOORE.
V. - " BREAKERS AHEAD."
I NE'ER can forget it, that night of dismay;
Its horrors still
rise in appalling array.
No; were I to live to a pātriarch's age,
’T will still be recorded in memory's page:
Still rings in my ears the announcement so dread,
Once heard, ne'er forgotten, of “ breakers ahead ! ”
The breeze that kissed lightly the face of the deep
Its billows seemed scarcely to wake from their sleep,
And gayly our bark, like a swan in its pride,
Was slowly and gracefully breasting the tide,
When the voice of the mariner heaving the lead
Rang forth the alarm of " breakers ahead!”
There was rushing on deck, there was running below,
There was terror and madness, the frenzy of woe,
The scream of dismay that pierced wildly the air,
The agonized dumbness of silent despair;
And many a slumberer
from his bed,
Half conscious, but echoing " breakers ahead!"
There was bending of knees, there were efforts to pray,
From lips unaccustomed that tribute to pay;
While the triumph of faith in that moment was seen,
In meek resignation depicted serene;
The calm of the soul o'er the features was spread,
It heard without shrinking of “breakers ahead!”
There were pleadings for mercy, and vows without end,
Petitions, and promises life to amend :
- 0, save us we perish !” the heart-broken cry;
0, save us, poor sinners, unfitted to die!”
With ravings of soul, fit to waken the dead,
All wrung by the warning of “ breakers ahead!”
O God, in thy mercy, give us to discern
Thy judgments impending, thy warnings to learn ;
From reckless contempt of thy word and thy will
Let thy Spirit of comfort deliver us still;
And faith in the Saviour, for sinners who bled,
Be our safeguard and refuge 'mid " breakers ahead !”
ONWARDS! throw all terrors off!
Slight the scorner, scorn the scoff!
In the race, and not the prize,
Glory's true distinction lies.
Triumph herds with meanest things, –
Common robbers, vilest kings,
Midst the reckless multitude!
But the generous, but the good,
Stand in modesty alone,
Still serenely struggling on,
Planting peacefully the seeds
Of bright hopes and better deeds.
Mark the slowly-moving plough:
Is its day of victory now ?
It defiles the emerald sod,
'Whelms the flowers beneath the clod.
Wait the swiftly coming hours, –
and sweeter flowers,
Richer fruits, will soon appear,
Cornucopias of the year!
Shout for the mighty men
Who died along this shore, -
Who died within this mountain's glen !
For never nobler chieftain's head
Was laid on Valor's crimson bed,
Nor ever prouder gore
Sprang forth, than theirs who won the day
Upon thy strand, Thermopylæ!
Shout for the mighty men,
Who on the Persian tents,
Like lions from their midnight den
Bounding on the slumbering deer,
Rushed a storm of sword and spear;
Like the roused elements
Let loose from an immortal hand,
To chasten or to crush a land !
But there are none to hear;
Greece is a hopeless slave.
LEONIDAS! no hand is near
To lift thy fiery falchion now :
No warrior makes the warrior's vow
Upon thy sea-washed
The voice that should be raised by men
Must now be given by wave and glen.
And it is given !- the surge,
The tree, the rock, the sand,
On Freedom's kneeling spirit urge,
In sounds that speak but to the free,
of thine and thee!
The vision of thy band
Still gleams within the glorious dell
Where their gore hallowed, as it fell!
And is thy grandeur done?
Mother of men lil these !
Has not thy outcry gone
Where Justice has an ear to hear ?
Be holy! God shall guide thy spear,
Till in thy crimsoned seas
Are plunged the chain and scimitar;
GREECE shall be a new-born star !
VIII. - THE FALL OF D'ASSAS.
ALONE, through gloomy forest shades,
A soldier went by night;
No moonbeam pierced the dusky glades,
No star shed guiding light.
Yet, on his vigil's midnight round,
The youth all cheerly passed !
Unchecked by aught of boding sound
That muttered in the blast.
Where were his thoughts that lonely hour ?
In his far home, perchance -
His father's hall, his mother's bower-
vines of France.
Hush ! hark ! did stealing steps go by?
Came not faint whispers near ?
No!—The wild wind hath many a sigh
Amidst the foliage sere.
Hark! yet again ! — and from his hand
hath wrenched the blade ?
O, single, midst a hostile band,
Young soldier, thou ’rt betrayed !
« Silence !” in under-tones they cry,
“No whisper ! — not a breath !
The sound that warns thy comrades nigh
Shall sentence thee to death!
Still at the bayonet's point he stood,
And, strong to meet the blow,
He shouted, mid his rushing blood,
“ Arm! arm! Auvergne !
The stir, the tramp, the bugle-call
He heard their tumults
And sent his dying voice through all,
“ Auvergue Auvergne ! — the foe!”
To the sages who spoke, to the heroes who bled,
To the day and the deed, strike the harp-strings of glory! Let the song of the ransomed remember the dead, And the tongue of the eloquent hallow the story!
O'er the bones of the bold
Be that story long told,
And on Fame's golden tablets their triumphs enrolled.
Who on Freedom's
hills Freedom's banner unfurled, And the bēacon-fire raised that gave light to the world ! They are gone
mighty men ! —and they sleep in their fame ; Shall we ever forget them? O, never! no, never !
Let our sons learn from us to embalm each great name, And the anthem send down, Independence forever ! ”
Wake, wake, heart and tongue !
Keep the theme ever young;
Let their deeds through the long line of ages be sung,
Who on Freedom's green hills Freedom's banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world !
X. — THE SEED OF FREEDOM'S TREE.
Stanzas to the memory of the Spanish patriots, killed in resisting the
Regency and the Duke of Angoulême.
BRAVE men, who at the Trocade'ro fell
Beside your cannons, conquered not, though slain,
There is a victory in dying well
For Freedom, and ye have not died in vain ;
For, come what may, there shall be hearts in Spain
To honor, ay, embrace your martyred lot,
Cursing the bigot's and the Bourbon's chain,
And looking on your graves, though trophied not,
As holier hallowed ground than priests could make the spot!
What though your cause be baffled, freemen cast
In dungeons, dragged to death, or forced to flee ?
Hope is not withered in Affliction's blast;
The patriot's blood's the seed of Freedom's tree !
And short your orgies of revenge shall be,
Cowled dēmons of the Inquisitorial cell !
Earth shudders at your victory! for ye
Are worse than common fiends from heaven that fell,
The baser, ranker sprung Autochthones * of hell !
Go to your bloody rites again! Bring back
The hall of horrors and the assessor's
Recording answers shrieked upon the rack !
Smile o'er the gaspings of spine-broken men!
Preach, perpetrate damnation in your den ! -
Then let your altars, ye blasphemers! peal
With thanks to Heaven, that let you loose again,
To practice deeds with torturing fire and steel
No eye may search, no tongue may challenge or reveal ! * Pronounced or-tök'tho-neez. The word means of the land itself, or aboriginal inhabitants ; natives of the soil as distinguished from settlers.