Imágenes de páginas



But ye the mountain stream shall turn,
And lay its secret channel bare,
And hollow, for your sovereign's urn,
A resting-place forever there:
Then bid its everlasting springs
Flow back upon the king of kings;
And never be the secret said,
Until the deep give up his dead.

My gold and silver ye shall fling

Back to the clods, that gave them birth;~~
The captured crowns of many a king,
The ransom of a conquered earth:
For, e'en though dead, will I control
The trophies of the capitol.

But when, beneath the mountain tide,
Ye've laid your monarch down to rot,
Ye shall not rear upon its side

Pillar or mound to mark the spot;
For long enough the world has shook
Beneath the terrors of my look;
And, now that I have run my race,
The astonished realms shall rest a space.

My course was like a river deep,

And from the northern hills I burst, Across the world, in wrath to sweep,

And where I went the spot was cursed,

Nor blade of grass again was seen
Where Alaric and his hosts had been.


See how their haughty barriers fail
Beneath the terror of the Goth,
Their iron-breasted legions quail
Before my ruthless sabaoth,
And low the queen of empires kneels,
And grovels at my chariot-wheels.

Not for myself did I ascend

In judgment my triumphal car;
'T was God alone on high did send
The avenging Scythian to the war,
To shake abroad, with iron hand,
The appointed scourge of his command.

With iron hand that scourge I reared
O'er guilty king and guilty realm ;
Destruction was the ship I steered,
And vengeance sat upon the helm,
When, launched in fury on the flood,
I ploughed my way through seas of blood,
And, in the stream their hearts had spilt,
Washed out the long arrears of guilt.

Across the everlasting Alp

I poured the torrent of my powers,
And feeble Cæsars shrieked for help,
In vain, within their seven-hilled towers;
I quenched in blood the brightest gem
That glittered in their diadem,
And struck a darker, deeper dye
In the purple of their majesty,


[blocks in formation]

And bade my northern banners shine Upon the conquered Palatine.

My course is run, my errand done;
I go to Him from whom I came;
But never yet shall set the sun

Of glory that adorns my name; And Roman hearts shall long be sick, When men shall think of Alaric.

My course is run, my errand done;
But darker ministers of fate,
Impatient, round the eternal throne,
And in the caves of vengeance, wait;
And soon mankind shall blench away
Before the name of Attila.




THE deathless leaf that bound

The bald first Cæsar's brow;
That men of worth have battled for
From days of old till now;

For which the statesman toils,
The poet breathes his songs,
The patriot dares his country's foe,
To vindicate her wrongs;-


Point-to what field of fame?
Where shall the conquest be?
What hand shall ever twine

The laurel wreath for me?

Say, shall I hope to wake
Sweet echoes from the lyre,
And lay a gift upon the shrine
That burns with holy fire?

Ah, no! slight praise awaits

The poet's breathing strains;
But cold applause or heartless sneer
May recompense his pains.
Poems are under par in our
Utilitarian times;

And mothers frown, suspiciously,
On all who deal in rhymes.

Or shall I strive to win

The warrior's hard earned glory;

And leave a name posterity

Shall read in martial story?
Alas, the faded pomp of war!
In these pacific days,
The soldier rests in idleness

On his uncrimsoned bays;
He seldom dreams of conquest,
Save in his morning calls;
And wins his proudest laurels,
At promenades and balls.


[blocks in formation]

A painter? It is joy

To gaze in beauty's eyes;
To image scenes of fairy land,
Green woods and sunny skies-
But then to work similitudes
Of ugly chins and noses,
And give a rosy hue to cheeks
That never dreamed of roses;

To see in living subjects charms
That no one else can see,
And make a beauty of a fright—
Would never do for me.

A statesman? Shall I talk
Of burning midnight tapers,
Speak speeches, quite extempore,
All ready for the papers;

Fight duels on demand,

Write essays by the lot,

To-day, sit through a long harangue,

To-morrow, stand a shot?

Consent to think and act

As other people bid?

I hardly think I ever can:
I'm sure I never did.

Then take again the gift,

You proffered me but now;

That broad and glossy leaf was plucked
To deck a prouder brow.

« AnteriorContinuar »