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No stinted draught, no scanty tide, -
The gushing flood the tartans dyed.
Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain,
And showered his blows like wintry rain ;
And, as firm rock, or castle roof,
Against the winter-shower is proof,
The foe, invulnerable still,
Foiled his wild rage by steady skill ;
Till, at advantage ta'en, his brand
Forced Roderick's weapon from his hand;
And, backward borne upon the lea,
Brought the proud chieftain to his knee.
Now, yield thee, or, by Him who made
The world, thy heart’s blood dyes my blade !"
Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy!
Let rěcreant yield, who fears to die.”
Like adder darting from his coil,
Like wolf that dashes through the toil,
Like mountain-cat who guards her young,
Full at Fitz-James's throat he sprung;
Received, but recked not of, a wound,
And locked his arms his foeman round.
Now, gallant Saxon, hold thine own!
No maiden's hand is round thee thrown!
That desperate grasp thy frame might feel
Through bars of brass and triple steel !
They tug, they strain !
Down, down they go,
The Gael above, Fitz-James below.
The chieftain's gripe his throat compressed;
His knee was planted on his breast;
His clotted locks he backward threw,
Across his brow his hand he drew,
From blood and mist to clear his sight;
Then gleamed aloft his dagger bright!
But hate and fury ill supplied
The stream of life's exhausted tide,
And all too late the advantage came,
To turn the odds of deadly game;
For, while the dagger gleamed on high,
Reeled soul and sense, reeled brain and eye.
Down came the blow! but in the heath
The ērring blade found bloodless sheath.
The struggling foe may now unclasp
The fainting chief's relaxing grasp.
Unwounded from the dreadful close,
But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.
How little recks it where men die, when once the moment 's past
In which the dim and glazing eye has looked on earth its last ;
Whether beneath the sculptured urn the coffined form shall rest,
Or, in its nakedness, return back to its mother's breast !
Death is a common friend or foe, as different men may hold,
And at its summons each must go, the timid and the bold;
But when the spirit, free and warm, deserts it, as it must,
What matter where the lifeless form dissolves again to dust ?
'T were sweet, indeed, to close our eyes with those we cherish near,
And, wafted upwards by their sighs, soar to some calmer sphere;
But whether on the scaffold high, or in the battle's van,
The fittest place where man can die is where he dies for man!
XLVI. - HIGHLAND CORONACH, OR FUNERAL SONG. He is gone on the mountain, he is lost to the forest, Like a summer-dried fountain, when our need was the sorest. The fount, reäppearing, from the rain-drops shall borrow; But to us comes no cheering, to Duncan no morrow!
The hand of the reaper takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper wails manhood in glory;
The autumn winds, rushing, waft the leaves that are serest,
But our flower was in flushing when blighting was nearest.
Fleet foot on the corei,* sage counsel in cumber,
Red hand in the foray, how sound is thy slumber!
Like the dew on the mountain, like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain, thou art gone, and for ever!
Be patient, O, be patient ! put your ear against the earth ;
Listen there how noiselessly the germ of the seed has birth ;
How noiselessly and gently it upheaves its little way,
Till it parts the scarcely broken ground, and the blade stands up
in the day!
Be patient, O, be patient! the germs of mighty thought
Must have their silent undergrowth, must under ground be wrought;
But as sure as ever there's a Power that makes the grass appear,
Our land shall be green with LIBERTY, the blade-time shall be here.
Be patient, 0, be patient! go and watch the wheat-ears grow !
So imperceptibly, that ye can mark nor change nor throe ;
Day after day, day after day, till the ear is fully grown;
And then, again, day after day, till the ripened field is brown.
Be patient, O, be patient! though yet our hopes are green,
The harvest-fields of Freedom shall be crowned with the sunny
sheen : Be ripening! be ripening! mature your silent way, Till the whole broad land is tongued with fire, on Freedom's
XLVIII. — JAFFAR : AN EASTERN TRADITION.
JAFFAR', the Barmekide, the good vizier,
poor man's hope, the friend without a peer,
Jaffar was dead, slain by a doom unjust!
And guilty Ha'roun, sullen with mistrust
Of what the good and e'en the bad might say,
Ordained that no man living, from that day,
Should dare to speak his name, on pain of death :
All Araby and Persia held their breath.
All but the brave Mondeer. He, proud to show
How far for love a grateful soul could go,
And facing death for very scorn and grief
(For his great heart wanted a great relief),
Stood forth in Bagdad daily in the square,
Where once had stood a happy house; and there
Harangued the tremblers at the scimitar
On all they owed to the divine Jaffar'.:
Bring me the man ! ” the calif cried. -
Was brought, was gazed upon. The mutes began
To bind his arms. Welcome, brave cords ! ” cried he;
“ From bonds far worse Jaffar delivered me;
From wants, from shames, from loveless household fears;
Made a man's eyes friends with delicious tears;
Restored me, loved me, put me on a par
With his great self. - How can I pay Jaffar“?”
Haroun, who felt that on a soul like this
The mightiest vengeance could but fall amiss,
Now deigned to smile, as one great lord of fate
Might smile upon another half as great,
And said: “Let worth grow frenzied, if it will ;
The calif's judgment shall be master still.
Go; and, since gifts thus move thee, take this gem,
The richest in the Tartar's diadem,
And hold the giver as thou deemest fit.”
“ Gifts !” cried the friend. He took; and, holding it
High toward the heaven, as though to meet his star,
Exclaimed, “ This, too, I owe to thee, Jaffar!”
XLIX. — THE AMERICAN HERO.*
Why should vain mortals tremble at the sight of
Death and Destruction in the field of battle,
Where blood and carnage clothe the ground in crimson
Sounding with death-groans ?
Death will invade us by the means appointed,
And we must all bow to the king of terrors ;
Nor am I anxious, if I am preparëd,
What shape he comes in.
Infinite Goodness teaches us submission,
Bids us be quiet under all His dealings,
Never repining, but for ever praising
God our Creator.
Then to the wisdom of my Lord and Master
I will commit all that I have or wish for:
Sweetly as babes sleep will I give my life up,
When called to yield it.
Now, Mars, I dare thee, clad in smoky pillars,
Bursting from bomb-shells, roaring from the cannon,
Rattling in grape-shot like a storm of hailstones,
While hostile hearts quick palpitate for havoc,
Let slip your bloodhounds, — ay, your British lions, –
As Death undaunted, nimble as the whirlwind,
Frightful as dēmons !
Let ocean waft on all your floating castles,
Fraught with destruction horrible in nature ;
Then, with your sails filled by a storm of vengeance,
Bear down to battle.
From the dire caverns made by ghostly miners,
Let the explosion, dreadful as volcanoes,
Heave the broad town, with all its wealth and people,
Quick to destruction.
Still shall the banner of the King of Heaven
Never advance where I'm afraid to follow !
While that precedes me, with
bosom, War, I defy thee!
L. — THE STRUGGLE FOR FAME.
IF thou wouldst win a lasting fame,
If thou the immortal wreath wouldst claim,
And make the future bless thy name, -
Begin thy perilous career ;
Keep high thy heart, thy conscience clear,
And walk thy way without a fear.
And if thou hast a voice within,
That ever whispers, • Work and win,”
And keeps thy soul from sloth and sin ;-
If thou canst plan a noble deed,
And never flag till it succeed,
Though in the strife thy heart should bleed ;-
If thou canst struggle day and night,
And, in the envious world's.despite,
Still keep thy cyn'osure in sight; -