Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

And sang : “Hurrah for Tubal Cain !

Our stanch good friend is he ;
And for the ploughshare and the plough

To him our praise shall be.
But while oppression lifts its head,

Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the plough,

We'll not forget the sword !”

“Pledges of thy love and faith, Proved on many a field of death,

Not by me are needed." Maryelled much that henchman bold, That his laird, so stout of old, Now so meekly pleaded.

CHARLES MACKAY.

“Woe's the day,” he sadly said, With a slowly shaking head,

And a look of pity; “Ury's honest lord reviled, Mock of knave and sport of child,

In his own good city!

"Speak the word, and, master mine, As we charged on Tilly's line,

And his Walloon lancers, Smiting through their midst, we'll teach Civil look and decent speech

To these boyish prancers !"

“Marvel not, mine ancient friend, Like beginning, like the end !”

Quoth the laird of Ury; “Is the sinful servant more Than his gracious Lord who bore

Bonds and stripes in Jewry ?

• BARCLAY OF URY.
Up the streets of Aberdeen,
By the kirk and college green,

Rode the laird of Ury;
Close behind him, close beside,
Foul of mouth and evil-eyed,

Pressed the mob in fury.
Flouted him the drunken churl,
Jeered at him the serving-girl,

Prompt to please her master;
And the begging carlin, late
Fed and clothed at Ury's gate,

Cursed him as he passed her.
Yet with calm and stately mien
Up the streets of Aberdeen

Came he slowly riding:
And to all he saw and heard
Answering not with bitter word,

Turning not for chiding.
Came a troop with broadswords swinging,
Bits and bridles sharply ringing,

Loose and free and froward :
Quoth the foremost, “Ride him down !
Push him! prick him! Through the town

Drive the Quaker coward !”
But from out the thickening crowd
Cried a sudden voice and loud :

“ Barclay! Ho! a Barclay !"
And the old man at his side
Saw a comrade, battle-tried,

Scarred and sunburned darkly ; Who, with ready weapon bare, Fronting to the troopers there,

Cried aloud : “God save us ! Call ye coward him who stood Ankle-deep in Lutzen's blood,

With the brave Gustavus ?”

“Give me joy that in his name I can bear, with patient frame,

All these vain ones offer ; While for them he suffered long, Shall I answer wrong with wrong,

Scoffing with the scoffer?

“Happier I, with loss of all, — Hunted, outlawed, held in thrall,

With few friends to greet me, Than when reeve and squire were seen Riding out from Aberdeen

With bared heads to meet me;

“When each goodwife, o'er and o'er, Blessed me as I passed her door ;

And the snooded daughter, Through her casement glancing down, Smiled on him who bore renown

From red fields of slaughter.

“Hard to feel the stranger's scoff, Hard the old friends' falling off,

Hard to learn forgiving ; But the Lord his own rewards, And his love with theirs accords

Warm and fresh and living.

“ Nay, I do not need thy sword, Comrade mine," said Ury's lord;

“Put it up, I pray thee. Passive to his holy will, Trust I in my Master still,

Even though he slay me.

Through this dark and stormy night Faith beholds a feeble light

Up the blackness streaking ;

[blocks in formation]

Knowing this, - that never yet

THE DRUMMER-BOY'S BURIAL. Share of truth was vainly set In the world's wide fallow;

All day long the storm of battle through the After hands shall sow the seed,

startled valley swept ; After hands from hill and mead

All night long the stars in heaven o'er the slain Reap the harvests yellow.

sad vigils kept. Thus, with somewhat of the seer,

O the ghastly upturned faces gleaming whitely Must the moral pioneer

through the night! From the fuiure borrow, —

1.o the heaps of mangled corses in that dim sepulClothe the waste with dreams of grain,

chral light! And, on midnight's sky of rain, Paint the golden morrow!

One by one the pale stars faded, and at length JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.

the morning broke; But not one of all the sleepers on that field of

death awoke. THE SOLDIER'S DREAM..

Slowly passed the golden hours of that long bright Our bugles sang truce, – for the night-cloud had summer day, lowered

And upon that field of carnage still the dead And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky; unburied lay. And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered,

Lay there stark and cold, but pleading with a The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

dumb, unceasing prayer,

" ! For a little dust to hide them from the staring When reposing that night on my pallet of straw, sun and air.

By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain ; At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw, But the foeman held possession of that hardAnd thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again. the morning I dreamt it again. I won battle-plain,

In unholy wrath denying even burial to our slain. Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array,

Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track : Once again the night dropped round them, 'T was autumn, — and sunshine arose on the way night so holy and so calm To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me That the moonbeams hushed the spirit, like the back.

sound of prayer or psalm.

On a couch of trampled grasses, just apart from all | And they robed the icy body, while no glow of the rest,

maiden shame Lay a fair young boy, with small hands meekly Changed the pallor of their foreheads to a flush folded on his brcast.

of lambent flame.

Death had touched him very gently, and he lay For

antly and he lay For their saintly hearts yearned o'er it in that as if in sleep;

hour of sorest need, Even his mother scarce had shuddered at that | And they felt that Death was holy, and it sancslumber calm and deep.

tified the deed.

But they smiled and kissed each other when For a smile of wondrous sweetness lent a radiance

their new strange task was o'er, to the face,

| And the form that lay before them its unwonted And the hand of cunning sculptor could have

garments wore. added naught of grace

| Then with slow and weary labor a small grave To the marble limbs so perfect in their passion they hollowed out, less tepose,

And they lined it with the withered grass and Robbed of all save matchless purity by hard, leaves that lay about. unpitying foes.

But the day was slowly breaking ere their holy And the broken drum beside him all his life's work was done, short story told :

And in crimson pomp the morning again heralded How he did his duty bravely till the death-tide the sun. o'er him rolled.

And then those little maidens — they were

children of our foes Midnight came with ebon garments and a diadem Laid the body of our drummer-boy to undisof stars,

turbed repose.

ANONYMOUS. While right upward in the zenith hung the fiery

planet Mars. Hark! a sound of stealthy footsteps and of voices NOT ON THE BATTLE-FIELD. whispering low,

"To fall on the battle-field fighting for my dear country, - that Was it nothing but the young leaves, or the would not be hard." - The NeighBORS. brooklet's murmuring flow?

O No, no, -- let me lie

Not on a field of battle when I die! .. Clinging closely to each other, striving never to Let not the iron tread look round

Of the mad war-horse crush my helméd head; As they passed with silent shudder the pale Nor let the reeking knife, corses on the ground,

That I have dráwn against a brother's life,

Be in my hand when Death Came two little maidens, — sisters, — with a Thunders along, and tramples me beneath light and hasty tread,

His heavy squadron's heels, And a look upon their faces, half of sorrow, half | Or gory felloes of his cannon's wheels. of dread.

From such a dying bed, And they did not pause nor falter till, with Though o'er it float the stripes of white and red, throbbing hearts, they stood

And the bald eagle brings Where the drummer-boy was lying in that The clustered stars upon his wide-spread wings partial solitude.

To sparkle in my sight,

| 0, never let my spirit take her flight ! They had brought some simple garments from

I know that beauty's eye their wardrobe's scanty store, And two heavy iron shovels in their slender | Is all the brighter where gay pennants fly,

And brazen helmets dance, hands they bore.

And sunshine flashes on the lifted lance ; Then they quickly knelt beside him, crushing I know that bards have sung, back the pitying tears,

| And people shouted till the welkin rung, For they had no time for weeping, nor for any in honor of the brave girlish fears.

Who on the battle-field have found a grave ;

BYROX.

I know that o'er their bones

| Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath Have grateful hands piled monumental stones.

blown, Some of those piles I've seen :

That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. The one at Lexington upon the green Where the first blood was shed,

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the

blast, And to my country's independence led;

And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed ; And others, on our shore, The “Battle Monument” at Baltimore,

And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and

chill, And that on Bunker's Hill.

And their hearts but once heaved, and forever Ay, and abroad, a few more famous still ; Thy “ tomb,” Themistocles,

grew still ! That looks out yet upon the Grecian seas,

And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide, And which the waters kiss

But through it there rolled not the breath of his That issue from the gulf of Salamis.

pride : And thine, too, have I seen,

And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, Thy mound of earth, Patroclus, robed in green,

And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf. That, like a natural knoll, Sheep climb and nibble over as they stroll, | And there lay the rider distorted and pale, Watched by some turbaned boy,

With the dewon his brow and the rust on his mail; Upon the margin of the plain of Troy.

And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
Such honors grace the bed,

The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
I know, whereon the warrior lays his head,
And hears, as life cbbs out,

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, The conquered flying, and the conqueror's shout; And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; But as his eye grows dim,

| And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the What is a column or a mound to him ?

sword, What, to the parting soul,

Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord ! The mellow note of bugles ? What the roll

Of drums ? No, let me die · Where the blue heaven bends o'er me lovingly, And the soft summer air,

WAR. As it goes by me, stirs my thin white hair,

Ah! whence yon glare, And from my forehead dries

That fires thearch of heaven?—that dark red smoke The death-damp as it gathers, and the skies Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched Seem waiting to receive

In darkness, and pure and spangling snow My soul to their clear depths ! Or let me leave Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers The world when round my bed

round ! Wife, children, weeping friends are gathered, | Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals And the calm voice of prayer

In countless echoes through the mountains ring, And holy hymning shall my soul prepare Startling pale midnight on her starry throne! To go and be at rest

Now swells the intermingling din ; the jar With kindred spirits, — spirits who have blessed

Frequent and frightful of the bursting bomb; The human brotherhood

| The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout, By labors, cares, and counsels for their good.

The ceaseless clangor, and the rush of men
. . 'JOHN PIERPONT.

Inebriate with rage ; - loud, and more loud
The discord grows; till pale death shuts the scene,
And o'er the conqueror and the conquered draws

His cold and bloody shroud. – Of all the men THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB. Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there,

In proud and vigorous health ; of all the hearts THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, That beat with anxious life at sunset there, And his cohorts weregleamingin purple and gold; How few survive, how few are beating now ! And the sheen of their spears was like stars on All is deep silence, like the fearful calm the sea,

That slumbers in the storm's portentous pause ; When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. Save when the frantic wail of widowed love

Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green, With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay That host with their banners at sunset were seen ;/ Wrapt round its struggling powers.

The gray morn | As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep, Dawns on the mournful scene; the sulphurous For their mother, — may Heaven defend her !

smoke Before the icy wind slow rolls away,

The moon seems to shine just as brightly as then, And the bright beams of frosty morning dance | That night when the love yet unspoken Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood | Leaped up to his lips, -when low, murmured vows Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms, 1 Were pledged to be ever unbroken; And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes, Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful He dashes off tears that are welling, path

And gathers his gun closer up to its place,
Of the outsallying victors; far behind,

As if to keep down the heart-swelling.
Black ashes note where their proud city stood.
Within yon forest is a gloomy glen, .

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine-tree, Each tree which guards its darkness from the day

The footstep is lagging and weary ; Waves o'er a warrior's tomb.

Yetonward he goes, through the broad belt of light,

Toward the shades of the forest so dreary. War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, Hark! wasit the night-wind that rustled the leaves? The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade, Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing ? And to those royal murderers whose mean It looked like a rifle : “Ha! Mary, good by !” thrones

And the life-blood is ebbing and plashing. Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore, The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean.

| All quiet along the Potomac to-night, — Guards, garbed in blood-red livery, surround

No sound save the rush of the river; Their palaces, participate the crimes

While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead; — That force defends, and from a nation's rage

The picket 's off duty forever.

MRS. ETHEL LYNN BEERS. Secure the crown, which all the curses reach That famine, frenzy, woe, and penury breathe. · These are the hired bravos who defend The tyrant's throne.

CIVIL WAR.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

“RIFLEMAN, shoot me a fancy shot

Straight at the heart of yon prowling vidette ; THE PICKET-GUARD.

Ring me a ball in the glittering spot

That shines on his breast like an amulet!" “ALL quiet along the Potomac,” they say,

“Except now and then a stray picket “Ah, captain ! here goes for a fine-drawn bead, Is shot, as he walks on his beat, to and fro, There's music around when my barrel 's in By a rifleman hid in the thicket.

tune!” "T is nothing: a private or two, now and then, Crack ! went the rifle, the messenger sped, Will not count in the news of the battle ;

And dead from his horse fell the ringing dragoon. Not an officer lost, — only one of the men, Moaning out, all alone, the death rattle." “Now, rifleman, steal through the bushes, and

snatch All quiet along the Potomac to-night,

From your victim some trinket to handsel first Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming ;

blood : Their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon, A button, a loor, or that luminous patch

Or the light of the watch-fires, are gleaming. 1 That gleamsin the moon like a diamond stud!" , A tremulous sigh, as the gentle night-wind

Through the forest leaves softly is crecping ; | “O captain ! I staggered, and sunk on my track, While stars up above, with their glittering eyes, When I gazed on the face of that fallen vidette, Keep guard, — for the army is sleeping. For he looked so like you, as he lay on his back,

That my heart rose upon me, and masters me yet. There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread

As he tramps from the rock to the fountain, “But I snatched off the trinket, — this locket of And he thinks of the two in the low trundle-bed, gold; Far away in the cot on the mountain.

An inch from the centre my lead broke its way, His musket falls slack ; his face, dark and grim, Scarce grazing the picture, so fair to behold, Grows gentle with memories tender,

Of a beautiful lauly in bridal array.”

« AnteriorContinuar »