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It was a dread, yet spirit-stirring sight! The billows foamed beneath a thousand oars; Fast as they land the red-cross ranks unite, Legions on legions brightening all the shores. Then banners rise, and cannon's signal roars. Then peals the warlike thunder of the drum, Thrills the loud fife, the trumpet-flourish pours, And patriot hopes awake, and doubts are dumb, For, bold in freedom's cause, the bands of ocean come!
A various host they came—whose ranks display
A various host—from kindred realms they came,
Their eyes of azure, and their locks of brown, And the blunt speech that bursts without a pause, And freeborn thoughts, which league the soldier with the laws.
And oh! loved warriors of the minstrel's land! Yonder your bonnets nod, your tartans wave! The rugged form may mark the mountain band, And harsher features, and a mien more grave; But ne'er in battle-field throbbed heart so brave As that which beats beneath the Scottish plaid; And when the pibroch bids the battle rave, And level for the charge your arms are laid, Where lives the desperate foe, that for such onset staid?
Hark! from yon stately ranks what laughter rings, Mingling wild mirth with war's stern minstrelsy . His jest, while each blithe comrade round him flings, And moves to death with military glee: Boast, Erin, boast them! tameless, frank, and free, In kindness warm, and fierce in danger known, Rough Nature's children, humorous as she; And he, yon chieftain—strike the proudest tone Of thy bold harp, green isle!—the hero is thine own.
Sir W. Scott. THE FLIGHT OF FAITH.
The dove let loose in eastern skies,
Returning fondly home,
Where idle warblers roam.
But high she shoots through air and light,
Above all low delay,
Nor shadow dims her way.
So grant me, God, from earthly care,
From pride and passion free,
To hold my course to thee.
No lure to tempt, no art to stay
Thy sunshine on her joyful way,
Sweet day!—so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky; The dew shall weep thy fall to night; For thou must die!
Sweet rose !—whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye: Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die!
Gay spring! so full of sweets and bloom,
A casket stored with every joy; Thy evening music tolls thy doom; For thou must die!
Virtue alone unfading flower!
Whose root nor time nor death can sever, Though final flames all else devour, Shall live for ever!
Herbert. PARADISE AND THE PERI.
FROM LALLA BOOKH.
One morn a Peri at the gate
Of life within, like music flowing,
Through the half-open portal glowing,
'How happy,' exclaimed this child of air,
'Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall; Though mine are the gardens of earth and sea, And the stars themselves have flowers for me,
One blossom of heaven out-blooms them all!
'Though sunny the lake of cool Cashmere, With its plane-tree isle reflected clear.