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Those sordid truths, that cross the track
Of each sweet thought, and drive them back
Full into all the mire, and strife,
And vanities of that man's life,
Who, more than all that e'er have glowed
With Fancy's flame (and it was his,
If ever given to mortal) showed
What an imposter Genius is
How, with that strong mimetic art,
Which is its life and soul, it takes
All shapes of thought, all hues of heart,
Nor feels, itself, one throb it wakes :
How like a gem its light may smile
O'er the dark path, by mortals trod, Itself as mean a worm, the while,
As crawls along the sullying sod; What sensibility may fall
From its false lip, what plans to bless, While home, friends, kindred, country, all,
Lie waste beneath its selfishness.
How, with the pencil hardly dry
From colouring up such scenes of love And beauty, as make young hearts sigh,
They, who can thus describe and move,
The very workers of these charms, Nor seek, nor ask a heaven, above
Some Maman's or Theresa's arms!
How all, in short, that make the boast
And, while with Freedom on their lips,
Sounding her timbrels, to set free
This bright world, labouring in th' eclipse
Of priestcraft and of slavery,
They may, themselves, be slaves as low
As ever Lord or Patron made,
To blossom in his smile, or grow,
Like stunted brushwood in the shade!
Out on the craft, I'd rather be
One of those hinds, that round me tread, With just enough of sense to see
The noon-day sun that's o'er my head, Than thus, with high-built genius curst,
That hath no heart for its foundation, Be all, at once, that's brightest-worst
Sublimest- meanest in creation !
I see before me the Gladiator lie:
He leans upon his hand-bis inanly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually low-
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
The arena swims around him-he is gone,
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch
He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes
He recked not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother-he, their sire
Butchered to make a Roman holiday
All this rushed with his blood-Shall he exsire
And unrevenged ?-Arise ! ye Goths, and glut your ire!
There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily, and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell, .
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell;
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!
Did ye not hear it? No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined ;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet-
But, hark !--that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! Arm! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar!
Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sat Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
That sound the first amid the festival,
And caught its tone with death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone would quell He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon nights so sweet such awful morn could rise !
And there was mounting in hot haste : the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near the beat of the alarming drum,
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering, with white lips—“The foe! They come,
they come !"
And wild and high the “ Cameron s gathering” rose !
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes :-
Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years,
And Evans, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!