But yet, to sum this hour of ill,
Look, ere thou leavest the fatal hill,
Back on yon broken ranks
Upon whose wild confusion gleams
The moon, as on the troubled streams
When rivers break their banks,
And, to the ruin'd peasant's eye,
‘Objects half seen roll swiftly by,
Down the dread current hurl’d :
So mingle banner, wain, and gun,
Where the tumultuous flight rolls on
Of warriors, who, when morn begun,
Defied a banded world.


List frequent to the hurrying rout
The stern pursuers’ vengeful shout
Tells that upon their broken rear
Rages the Prussian's bloody spear.
So fell a shriek was none,
When Beresina's icy flood
Redden’d and thaw’d with flame and
And, pressing on thy desperate way,
Raised oft and long their wild hurra,
The children of the Don.
Thine ear no yell of horror cleft
So ominous, when, all bereft
Of aid, the valiant Polack left—
Ay, left by thee—found soldier's grave
In Leipsic's corpse-encumber'd wave.
Fate, in those various perils past,
Reserved thee still some future cast;
On the dread die thou now hast
Hangs not a single field alone,
Nor one campaign; thy martial fame,
Thy empire, dynasty, and name,
Have felt the final stroke;
And now, o'er thy devoted head
The last stern vial's wrath is shed,
The last dread seal is broke.


Since live thou wilt, refuse not now Before these demagogues to bow,

Late objects of thy scorn and hate,
Who shall thy once imperial fate
Make wordy theme of vain debate
Or shall we say thou stoop'st less low
In seeking refuge from the foe
Against whoseheart, in prosperouslife,
Thine hand hath ever held the knife?
Such homage hath been paid
By Roman and by Grecian voice,
And there were honour in the choice,
If it were freely made.
Then safely come : in one so low,
So lost, we cannot own a foe;
Though dear experience bid us end
In thee we ne'er can hail a friend.
Come, howsoe'er: but do not hide
Close in thy heart that germ of pride,
Erewhile, by gifted bard espied,
That “yet imperial hope”;
Think not that for a fresh rebound,
To raise ambition from the ground,
We yield thee means or scope.
In safety come : but ne'er again
Hold type of independent reign;
No islet calls thee lord,
We leave thee no confederate band,
No symbol of thy lost command,
To be a dagger in the hand
From which we wrench'd the


Yet even in yon sequester'd spot
May worthier conquest be thy lot
Than yet thy life has known;
Conquest, unbought by blood or harm,
That needs nor foreign aid nor arm,
A triumph all thine own.
Such waits thee when thou shalt
Those passions wild, that stubborn
That marr'd thy prosperous scene:
Hear this from no unmoved heart,
Which sighs, comparing what thou art
With what thou might'st have

XIX. too, whose deeds of fame

renew’d Bankrupt a nation's gratitude, To thine own noble heart must owe More than the meed she can bestow. For not a people's just acclaim, Not the full hail of Europe's fame, Thy Prince's smiles, thy State's decree, The ducal rank, the garter'd knee,_ Not these such pure delight afford As that, when hanging up thy sword, Well may'st thou think, ‘This honest

steel Was ever drawn for public weal; And, such was rightful Heaven's

decree, Ne'er sheathed unless with victory !’


[ocr errors]

Look forth once more with soften’d
Ere from the field of fame we part;
Triumph and sorrow border near,
And joy oft melts into a tear.
Alas! what links of love that morn
Has war's rude hand asunder torn
For ne'er was field so sternly fought,
And ne'er was conquest dearer bought.
Here piled in common slaughter sleep
Those whom affection long shall weep:
Here rests the sire, that ne'er shall
His orphans to his heart again;
The son, whom on his native shore
The parent's voice shall bless no more;
The bridegroom, who has hardly
His blushing consort to his breast;
The husband, whom through many a
Long love and mutual faith endear.
Thou canst not name one tender tie,
But here dissolved its relics lie
O ! when thou see'st some mourner's
Shroud her thin form and visage pale;

[blocks in formation]

XXI. Period of honour as of woes, Whatbright careers’twas thine to close! Mark'd on thy roll of blood what names To Briton's memory, and to Fame's, Laid there their last immortal claims Thou saw'st in seas of gore expire Redoubted Picton's soul of fire, Saw'st in the mingled carnage lie All that of Ponsonby could die, De Lancey change Love's bridalwreath For laurels from the hand of Death, Saw'st gallant Miller's failing eye Still bent where Albion's banners fly, And Cameron in the shock of steel Die like the offspring of Lochiel; And generous Gordon 'mid the strife Fall while he watch'd his leader's life. Ah! though her guardian angel's shield Fenced Britain's hero through the field, Fate not the less her power made known, Through his friends' hearts to pierce his own | XXII. Forgive, brave Dead, the imperfect lay! Who may your names, your numbers, say? What high-strung harp, what loftyline, To each the dear-earn'd praise assign, From high-born chiefs of martial fame To the poor soldier's lowlier name Lightly ye rose that dawning day, From your cold couch of swamp and clay, To fill, before the sun was low, The bed that morning cannot know.

Oft may the tear the green sod steep,
And sacred be the heroes' sleep,
Till time shall cease to run ;
And ne'er beside their noble grave,
May Briton pass and fail to crave
A blessing on the fallen brave
Who fought with Wellington


Farewell, sad Field ! whose blighted
Wears desolation's withering trace;
Long shall my memory retain
Thy shatter'd huts and trampledgrain,
With every mark of martial wrong,
That scathe thy towers, fair Hougo-
Yet though thy garden's green arcade
The marksman's fatal post was made,
Though on thy shatter'd beeches fell
The blended rage of shot and shell,
Though from thy blacken'd portals
Their fall thy blighted fruit-trees
Has not such havoc brought a name
Immortal in the rolls of fame
Yes, Agincourt may be forgot,
And Cressy be an unknown spot,
And Blenheim's name be new ;
But still in story and in song,
For many an age remember'd long,
Shall live the towers of Hougomont,
And field of Waterloo.

STERN tide of human Time ! that know'st not rest, But, sweeping from the cradle to

the tomb, Bear'st everdownward on thy dusky breast Successive generations to their doom;

While thy capacious stream has equal room

For the gay bark where pleasure's streamers sport,

And for the prison-ship of guilt and gloom,

The fisher-skiff, and barge that bears a court,

Still wafting onward all to one dark

silent port;

Stern tide of Time ! through what mysterious change Of hope and fear have our frailbarks been driven | For ne'er before, vicissitude so strange Was to one race of Adam's offspring given. And sure such varied change of sea and heaven Such unexpected bursts of joy and woe, Such fearful strife as that where we have striven, Succeeding ages ne'er again shall know, Until the awful term when thou shalt cease to flow !

Well hast thou stood, my Country! the brave fight Hast well maintain'd through good report and ill; In thy just cause and in thy native might, And in Heaven's grace and justice constant still ; Whether the banded prowess, strength, and skill Of half the world against thee stood array'd, Or when, with better views and freer will, Beside thee Europe's noblest drew the blade, Each emulous in arms the Ocean Queen to aid.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The characteristic obstinacy of Napoleon was never more fully displayed than in what we may be permitted to o will prove the last of his fields. He would listen to no advice, and allow of no obstacles. An eyewitness has given the following account of his demeanour towards the end of the action:—

‘It was near seven o'clock; Bonaparte, who till then had remained upon the ridge of the hill whence he could best behold what passed, contemplated with a stern countenance the scene of this horrible slaughter. The more that obstacles seemed to multiply, the more his obstinacy seemed to increase. He became indignant at these unforeseen difficulties; and, far from fearing to push to extremities an army whose confidence in him was boundless, he ceased not to pour down fresh troops, and to give orders to march forward—to charge with the bayonet—to carry by storm. . He was repeatedly informed, from different points, that the day went against him, and that the

troops seemed to be disordered; to which he only replied,—"En-avant / En-avant/" '

‘One general sent to inform the Emperor that he was in a position which he could not maintain, because it was commanded by a battery, and requested to know, at the same time, in what way he should protect his division from the murderous fire of the English artillery. “Let him storm the battery,” replied Bónaparte, and turned his back on the aide-de-camp who brought the message.”—Relation de la Bataille de Mons. St. Jean. Parum Témoin Oculaire. Paris. 1815, 8vo, p. 51.


[ocr errors]

It has been reported that Bonaparte charged at the head of his guards, at the last period of this dreadful .#. This, however, is not accurate. He came down indeed to a holiow part of the high road, leading to Charleroi, within less than a quarter of a mile of the farm of La Haye Sainte, one of the points most fiercely disputed. Here he harangued the guards, and informed them that his preceding operationshad destroyed the British infantry and cavalry, and that they had only to support the fire of the artillery, which they were to attack with the bayonet. This exhortation was received with shouts of Vize ! Empereur, which were heard over all our line, and led to an idea that Napoleon was charging in person. But the guards were led on by Ney; nor did Bonaparte approach nearer the scene of action than * spot already mentioned, which the rising banks on each side rendered secure from all such balls as did not come in a straight line. . He witnessed the earlier part of the battle from places yet more remote, particularly from an observatory which had been placed there by the King of the Netherlands, some weeks before, #: the purpose of surveying , the country. It is not meant to infer from these particulars that Napoleon showed, on that

« 前へ次へ »