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For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved,--and forever grew still !
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there roll'd not the breath of his pride ;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal !
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
STANZAS FOR MUSIC
THERE be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull’d winds seem dreaming.
And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep;
Whose breast is gently heaving,
As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.
SO, WE'LL GO NO MORE A ROVING
So, we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.
STANZAS WRITTEN ON THE ROAD
BETWEEN FLORENCE AND PISA
Oy, talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is
wrinkled ? 'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled. Then away with all such from the head that is hoary ! What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory!
Oh FAME!—if I e'er took delight in thy praises,
'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.
SONG OF THE SOUTH-SEA ISLANDERS
How pleasant were the songs of Toobonai,
When summer's sun went down the coral bay!
Come, let us to the islet's softest shade,
And hear the warbling birds! the damsel said:
The wood-dove from the forest-depth shall coo,
Like voices of the gods from Boolotoo:
We'll cull the flowers that grow above the dead,
For these most bloom where rests the warrior's head;
And we will sit in twilight's face, and see
The sweet moon glancing through the tooa tree,
The lofty accents of whose sighing bough
Shall sadly please us as we lean below;
Or climb the steep, and view the surf in vain
Wrestle with rocky giants o'er the main,
Which spurn in columns back the baffled spray.
How beautiful are these! how happy they,
Who, from toil and tumult of their lives,
Steal to look down where nought but ocean strives !
Even he too loves at times the blue lagoon,
And smooths his ruffled mane beneath the moon.
Yes—fron the sepulchre we'll gather flowers,
Then feast like spirits in their promised bowers,
Then plunge and revel in the rolling surf,
Then lay our limbs along the tender turf,
And, wet and shining from the sportive toil,
Anoint our bodies with the fragrant oil,
And plait our garlands gather'd from the grave,
And wear the wreaths that sprung from out the brave.
But lo! night comes, the Mooa woos us back,
The sound of mats are heard along our track;
Anon the torchlight dance shall Aling its sheen
In flashing mazes o'er the Marly's green;
And we too will be there; we too recall
The memory bright with many a festival,
Ere Fiji blew the shell of war, when foes
For the first time were wafted in canoes.
Alas! for them the flower of mankind bleeds :
Alas! for them our fields are rank with weeds:
Forgotten is the rapture, or unknown,
Of wandering with the moon and love alone.
But be it so they taught us how to wield
The club, and rain our arrows o'er the field:
Now let them reap the harvest of their art !
But feast to-night ! to-morrow we depart.
Strike up the dance! the cava bowl fill high!
Drain every drop !-to-morrow we may die.
In summer garments be our limbs array'd,
Around our waists the tappa's white display'd;
Thick wreaths shall form our coronal, like spring's,
And round our necks shall glance the hooni strings; 50
So shall their brighter hues contrast the glow
Of the dusk bosoms that beat high below.
But now the dance is o'er-yet stay awhile;
Ah, pause ! nor yet put out the social smile.
To-morrow for the Mooa we depart,
But not to-night-to-night is for the heart.
Again bestow the wreaths we gently woo,
Ye young enchantresses of gay Licoo !
How lovely are your forms ! how every sense
Bows to your beauties, soften'd, but intense,
Like to the flowers on Mataloco's steep,
Which fling their fragrance far athwart the deep!
We too will see Licoo; but-oh! my heart !
What do I say ?-to-morrow we depart !
ON THIS DAY I COMPLETE MY THIRTY
MissOLONGHI, Jan. 22, 1824. 'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move :
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!
My days are in the yellow leaf ;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone !
The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.
But 'tis not thus—and 'tis not here-
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now,
Where glory decks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.