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Yet knew not his country that ominous hour,
Ere the loud matin bell was rung,
Had the dirge of her champion sung!
On the high-born blood of a martyr slain, No anthem was sung at his holy death bed; No weeping there was, when his bosom bled, And his heart was rent in twain!
Oh, it was not thus when his oaken spear
And hosts of a thousand were scatter'd, like deer,
When he strode in the wreck of each well fought field
With the yellow-hair'd chiefs of his native land; For his lance was not shiver'd in helmet or shield, And the sword that seem'd fit for Archangel to wield Was light in his terrible hand!
Yet bleeding and bound, though the Wallace Wight For his long lov'd country die,
The bugle ne'er sung to a braver knight
Than William of Elderslie!
ODE TO WINTER.
WHEN first the fiery mantled Sun
His heav'nly race began to run,
Smil'd the SPRING with angel face;
Rush'd into her sire's embrace....
Her bright-hair'd sire, who bade her keep
Forever nearest to his smiles....
On CALPE'S olive-shaded steep,
Or India's citron-cover'd isles,
More remote and buxom brown
The QUEEN OF VINTAGE bow'd before his throne:
A rich pomegranate gemm'd her crown,
A ripe sheaf bound her zone. But howling WINTER fled afar To hills that prop the Polar star,
And loves on deer-borne car to ride,
Whirls to death the roaring whale, Round the pole where Runic Oden
Howls his war-song to the gale: Save when down the Ravaged globe He travels on his native storm, Deflowering Nature's grassy robe,
And trampling on her faded form;
Till light's returning lord assume
The shaft that drives him to the northern field,
Of power to pierce his raven plume,
O, sire of storms! whose savage ear
Fast descending as thou art,
Then sullen Winter, hear my prayer,
And gently rule the ruined year; Nor chill the wanderer's bosom bare,
Nor freeze the wretch's falling tear; To shivering Want's unmantled bed,
Thy horror-breathing agues cease to lend,
And mildly on the orphan head
Of Innocence descend!
But chiefly spare, O King of Clouds,
The sailor on his airy shrouds....
When wrecks and beacons strew the steep,
Breathe on yonder tented shores,
To many a deep and dying groan?
Or start ye, dæmons of the midnight air,
At shrieks and thunders louder than your own?
Alas! e'en your unhallowed breath
May spare the victim fallen low: But man will ask no truce to death.... No bound to human woe!
I'LL bid the hyacinth to blow,
I'll teach my grotto green to be; And sing my true-love all below
The holly-bow'r and myrtle tree.
There all his wild-wood scents to bring, The sweet south wind shall wander by And with the music of his wing
Delight my rustling canopy.
Come to my close and clust'ring bow'r
With all thy rural echoes come,
Sweet comrade of the rosy day, Wafting the wild bee's gentle hum, Or cuckow's plaintive roundelay.