Page images

2. “They come around me here', and

My days of life are o'er', –
That I shall mount my noble steed

And lead my band no more';
They come', and to my beard they dare

To tell me, now', that I',
Their own liege-lord and master born',

That I'_ha! ha!-must die'!

3. “And what is Death? I've dared him oft

Before the Paynim's spear';


he's enter'd at my gate',-
Has come to seek me here?
I've met him,' faced him', scorn'd him',

When the fight was raging hot':
I'll try his might'; I'll brave his power'.

Defy, and fear him not!

4. (4) “Ho! sound the tocsin from the tower,

And fire the culverin'!
Bid each retainer arm with speed';

vassal in'!
(25) Up with my banner on the wall!!

The banquet-board prepare!
Throw wide the portal of my hall',

And bring my armor there'!"

5. (*) A hundred hands were busy then';

The banquet forth was spread',
And rang the heavy oaken floor

With many a martial tread';
While, from the rich, dark tracery

Along the vaulted wall,
Lights gleam'd on harness, plume, and spear,

O’er the proud old Gothic hall.

6. (*) Fast hurrying through the outer gate,

The mail'd retainers pour'd,-
On through the portal's frowning arch,

And throng'd around the board.
While at its head, within his cark,

Carved oaken chair of state,
Arm’d cap-à-pie, stern Rudiger,

With girded falchion, sate.

I see you

7. (P4) “Fill every beaker up, my men'!

Pour forth the cheering wine'!
There's life and strength in every drop:

Thanksgiving to the vine!
all thére, my

vassals true' ?
(p2) Mine eyes are waxing dim;
(P4) Fill round', my tried and fearless ones',

Each goblet to the brim'!
8. “Ye're there, but


not! (P4) Draw forth each trusty sword', And let me hear your faithful steel Clash once around


I hear it faintly. (p5 $5) Louder yet!

(po) What clogs my heavy breath?
(P5 f5) Up', all'! and shout for Rudiger,

'Defiance unto Death!'
9. Bowl rang to bowl', steel clang'd to steel',

And rose a deafening cry',
That made the torches flare around,

And shook the flags on high':
(5 f5) "Ho! cravens! do ye fear him?
Slaves! traitors ! have


Ho! cowards ! have

To meet him here alone?

[ocr errors]

left me

10. “But I defy him'! Let him come'!"
Down rang


massy cup,
While from its sheath the ready blade

Came flashing half-way up;
And, with the black and heavy plumes

Scarce trembling on his head',
There, in his dark’, carved oaken chair,

Old Rudiger sat',-dead!




1. THE Present Age. In these brief words what a world of thought is comprehended'l what infinite movements! what joys and sorrows'! what hope and despair'! what faith and doubt'! what silent grief and loud lament'! what fierce conflicts and subtle schemes of policy'! what private and public revolutions'! In the period through which many of us have passed, what thrones have been shaken ! what hearts have bled! what millions have been butchered by their fellow-creatures ! what hopes of philanthropy have been blighted! And, at the same time, what magnificent enterprises have been achieved ! what new provinces won to science and art! what rights and liberties secured to pations !

2. It is a privilege to have lived in an age so stirring, so pregnant, and so eventful! It is an age never to be forgotten. Its voice of warning and encouragement is never to die. Its impression on history is indelible. Amidst its events, the American Revolution, the first distinct, solemn assertion of the rights of men, and the French Revolution, that volcanic force which shook the earth to its center, are never to pass from men's minds. Over this

age, the night will indeed gather more and more, as time rolls away; but in that night two forms will appear,- Washington and Napoleon; the one a lurid meteor', the other a benign', serene', and undecaying star'.

3. Another American name will live in history,--your Franklin; and the kite which brought lightning from heaven will be seen sailing in the clouds by remote posterity, when the city where he dwelt may be known only by its ruins. There is, however, something greater in the age than its greatest men: it is the appearance of a new power in the world, the appearance of the multitude of men on that stage where as yet the few have acted their parts alone. This influence is to endure to the end of time.

4. What more of the present is to survive? Perhaps much of which we now take no note. The glory of an age is often hidden from itself. Perhaps some word has been spoken in our day, which we have not deigned to hear, but which is to grow clearer and louder through all ages. Perhaps some silent thinker among us is at work in his closet, whose name is to fill the earth. Perhaps there sleeps in his cradle some reformer who is to move the church and the world', who is to open a new era in history', who is to fire the buman soul with new hope and new daring.

5. What else is to survive the age ? That which the age has little thought of, but which is living in us all : I mean the soul', the immortal spirit'. Of this all ages are the unfoldings; and it is greater than all. We must not feel, in the contemplation of the vast movements in our own and former times, as if our selves were nothing. I repeat it, we are greater than all. We are to survive our age', to comprehend it', and to pronounce ića

sentence'. As yet, however, we are compassed with darkness The issues of our time, how obscure! The future, into which it opens, who of us can foresee? To the Father of all Ages I commit this future with humble yet courageous and unfaltering hope.




1. Ay, tear her tatter'd ensign down'!

Long has it waved on high,
And many a heart has danced to see

That banner in the sky';
Beneath it


the battle-shout',
And burst the cannon's roar':
The meteor of the ocean-air

the clouds no more!

2. Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,

Where knelt the vanquish'd foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood

And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,

Or know the conquer'd knee:
The harpies of the shore shall pluck

The eagle of the sea !

3. Oh, better that her shatter'd hulk

Should sink beneath the wave':
Her thunders shook the mighty deep';

And there skould be her grave'.
Nail to the mast her holy flag',

Set every threadbare sail',
And give her to the god of storms',

The lightning and the gale!





1. GENIUS, to enjoy and to communicate happy and exalting life, must have union with the moral and the spiritual'; with the truth which they inspire'; with the beauty which they sanctify. These belong to the soul's moral and progressive being'; and these', good and fair forever', no genius can exhaust', and no genius can transcend'. Genius, therefore, to act in freedom and in a right direction, must be of faith, and love, and hope: of the faith which can reverence and can trust; of the love which can receive and give; of the hope which faith and love sustain, which gleams cheeringly over the path of humanity, and which, by large sympathy, has large wisdom.

2. These are the principles which connect us with the universe of highest thought and of most enduring beauty. It is by faith that poetry, as well as devotion, soars above this dull earth; that imagination breaks through its clouds', breathes a purer air', and lives in a softer light'. It is love that gives the poet the whole heart of man; and it is by love that he speaks to the whole heart of man forever. Hope, which is but our ideal future, lives ?ven in our most prosaic experience, and is a needful solace to our daily toils.

We can then but ill spare it from our poetic dreams. We can but ill endure, among so many sad realities, to rob anticipation of its pleasant visions.

3. In speaking thus, I would not imply that life can be always sunshine. By no means. Its afflictions are many'; they are universal'; they are inevitable'. Because they are so, life can endure to lose none of its alleviations. Much that belongs merely to the present it must of necessity lose. Wretched it is, indeed, if it must likewise resign the future. Much will be carried from us, as our years decline, which years that come never can restore. Hours there are—brief, happy hours—in experience, which may not be forgotten, but are no more to be renewed. They can be but once, and the effort to repeat is to destroy them. They go to the past as a dream; they are no more, except that now and then their shadows mock us through the mist of days.

4. Pure enjoyments, and bright expectancies, the most meager souls have known some time in their existence; and the most

« PreviousContinue »