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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
Was true to that knight forlorn, And hosts of a thousand were scatter'd, like deer,
At the blast of the hunter's horn; When he strode in the wreck of each well fought field
With the yellow-haird 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,
Than William of Elderslie!
ODE TO WINTER.
When first the fiery mantled Sun
Smild the SPRING with angel face;
Rush'd into her sire's embrace....
Forever nearest to his smiles....
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,
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,
And crystal-covered shield.
O, sire of storms! whose savage ear
Fast descending as thou art,
Spells to touch thy stony heart?
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,
Breathe on yonder tented shores,
Where the dark-brown Danube roars !. O, winds of Winter! list
there 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
Thou spirit of a milder clime,
Of mountain-heath, and moory-thyme.
With all thy rural echoes come,
Sweet comrade of the rosy day, Wafting the wild bee's gentle hum,
Or cuckow's plaintive roundelay.