Page images

And in they burst, and on they rushed, while, like a guiding

star, Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of Navarre.

Now, God be praised, the day is ours! Mayenne hath turned

his reinD'Aumale hath cried for quarter--the Flemish Count is

slain. Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds before a Biscay

gale; The field is heaped with bleeding steeds, and flags, and

cloven mail. And then we thought on vengeance, and, all along our van, " Remember St. Bartholomew!" was passed from man to

man: But out spake gentle Henry—“No Frenchman is my foe; Down, down with every foreigner! but let your brethren

go.— Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war, As our sovereign lord, King Henry, the soldier of Navarre !

Ho! maidens of Vienna; ho! matrons of Lucerne;
Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those who never shall

return. Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles, That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spear

men's souls. Ho! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be

bright; Ho! burghers of St. Genevieve, keep watch and ward to

night; For our God hath crushed the tyrant, our God hath raised

the slave, And mocked the counsel of the wise, and the valour of the

brave. Then glory to His holy name, from whom all glories are; And glory to our sovereign lord, King Henry of Navarre !



TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky

When storms prepare to part, I ask not proud Philosophy

To teach me what thou art.

Still seem as to my childhood's sight,

A midway station given, For happy spirits to alight,

Betwixt the earth and heaven.

Can all that optics teach unfold

Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamt of gems and gold

Hid in thy radiant bow?

When Science from Creation's face

Enchantment's veil withdraws, What lovely visions yield their place

To cold material laws !

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,

But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams

Was woven in the sky.

When, o'er the green undeluged earth,

Heaven's covenant thou didst shine, How came the world's gray fathers forth,

To watch thy sacred sign!

And when its yellow lustre smiled

O’er mountains yet untrod, Each mother held aloft her child,

To bless the bow of God.

Methinks thy jubilee to keep,

The first-made anthem rang,
On earth delivered from the deep,

And the first poet sang.

Nor ever shall the Muse's eye

Unraptured greet thy beam:
Theme of primeval prophecy,

Be still the poet's theme.

The Earth to thee her incense yields,

The lark thy welcome sings,
When, glittering in the freshened fields,

The snowy mushroom springs,

How glorious is thy girdle, cast

O'er mountain, tower, and town!
Or mirrored in the ocean vast,

A thousand fathoms down!

As fresh in yon horizon dark,

As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark

First sported in thy beam.

For, faithful to its sacred page,

Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
Nor lets the type grow dim with age

That first spoke peace to man.



ONE gusty day, now stormy and now still,
I stood apart upon the western hill,
And saw a race at sea :--A gun was heard,
And two contending boats at length appeared :
Equal a while; then one was left behind,
And for a moment had her chance resigned,
When in that moment, up a sail they drew-
Not used before their rivals to pursue.
Strong was the gale! in hurry now there came
Men from the town, their thoughts, their fears the same.
And women, too! affrighted maids and wives,
All deeply feeling for their sailors' lives.

The strife continued : in a glass we saw
The desperate efforts, and we stood in awe;
When the last boat shot suddenly before,
Then filled and sank-and could be seen no more!
Then were those piercing shrieks, that frantic flight-
All hurried! all in tumult and affright!
A gathering crowd from different streets drew near;
All ask, all answer-none attend, none hear!
One boat is safe ; and see! she backs her sail
To save the sinking-will her care avail?
Oh! how impatient on the sands we tread,
And the winds roaring, and the women led,
As up and down they pace with frantic air,
And scorn a comforter, and will despair:
They know not who in either boat is gone,
But think the father, husband, lover one.
And who is she apart? She dares not come
To join the crowd, yet cannot rest at home:
With what strong interest looks she at the waves,
Meeting and clashing o'er the seamen’s graves !
'Tis a poor girl betrothed-a few hours more,
And he will be a corpse upon the shore.



DARK is the night-how dark! No light! no fire !
Cold on the hearth the last faint sparks expire ! .
Shivering, she watches by the cradle side,
For him who pledged her love-last year a bride!

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

“Hush! 'Tis the dice-box! Yes, he's there !-he's there!
For this for this, he leaves me to despair!
Leaves love-leaves truth-his wife-his child-for what ?
The wanton's smile—the villain-and the sot!

“Yet I'll not curse him. No! 'Tis all in vain ! 'Tis long to wait, but sure he'll come again! And I could starve, and bless him, but for you, My child! My child! Oh fiend !”—The clock strikes two.

[ocr errors]

“Can he desert us thus ? He knows I stay,
Night after night, in loneliness, to pray
For his return—and yet he sees no tear !
No! no! It cannot be! He will be here !

[ocr errors]

They're gone! they're gone! the glimmering spark hath fled !
The wife and child are numbered with the dead !
The gambler came at last-but all was o'er ;
Dread silence reigned around.—The clock struck four.



I KNEW my father's chimney top,

Though nearer to my heart than eye,
And watched the blue smoke curling up

Between me and the winter sky.

Wayworn I traced the homeward track,

My wayward youth had left with joy ;

« PreviousContinue »