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THE DANCE OF DEATH. (1815.)

NIGHT and morning were at meeting
Over Waterloo;
Cocks had sung their earliest greeting;
Faint and low they crew,
For no paly beam yet shone
On the heights of Mount Saint John ;
Tempest-clouds prolong’d the sway
Of timeless darkness over day;
Whirlwind, thunder-clap, and shower,
Mark'd it a predestined hour.
Broad and frequent through the night
Flash'd the sheets of levin-light;
Muskets, glancing lightnings back,
Show'd the dreary bivouac
Where the soldier lay,
Chill and stiff, and drench'd with
rain,
Wishing dawn of morn again,
Though death should come with day.

'Tis at such a tide and hour,
Wizard, witch, and fiend have power,
And ghastly forms through mist and
shower
Gleam on the gifted ken;
And then the affrighted prophet's ear
Drinks whispers strange of fate and
fear,
Presaging death and ruin near
Among the sons of men ;-
Apart from Albyn's war-array,
'Twas then grey Allan sleepless lay;
Grey Allan, who, for many a day,
Had follow'd stout and stern,
Where, through battle's rout and reel,
Storm of shot and hedge of steel,
Led the grandson of Lochiel,
Valiant Fassiefern.
Through steel and shot he leads no
more,
Low laid 'mid friends' and foemen's
gore—

But long his native lake's wild shore,
And Sunart rough, and high Ard-
gower,
And Morven long shall tell,
And proud Bennevis hear with awe,
How, upon bloody Quatre-Bras,
Brave Cameron heard the wild hurra
Of conquest as he fell.

Lone on the outskirts of the host
The weary sentinel held post,
And heard, through darkness far aloof,
The frequent clang of courser's hoof,
Where held the cloak'd patrol their
course,
And spurr'd 'gainst storm the swerv-
ing horse.
But there are sounds in Allan's ear
Patrol nor sentinel may hear,
And sights before his eye aghast
Invisible to them have pass'd,
When down the destined plain,
"Twixt Britain and the bands of France,
Wild as marsh-borne meteor's glance,
Strange phantoms wheel'd a revel
dance,
And doom'd the future slain.
Such forms were seen, such sounds
were heard,
When Scotland's James his march
prepared
For Flodden's fatal plain;
Such, when he drew his ruthless sword,
As Choosers of the Slain, adored
The yet unchristen’d Dane.
An indistinct and phantom band,
They wheel'd their ring-dance hand
in hand,
With gestures wild and dread :
The Seer, who watch'd them ride
the storm,
Saw through their faint and shadowy
form
The lightning's flash more red;
And still their ghastly roundelay
Was of the coming battle-fray,
And of the destined dead :

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