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It was the wild midnight,
A storm was on the sky;

The lightning gave its light,
And the thunder echoed by.

The torrent swept the glen,
The ocean lash'd the shore;

Then rose the Spartan men,
To make their bed in gore

Swift from the deluged ground
Three hundred took the shield ;

Then, silent, gather'd round
The leader of the field.

He spoke no warrior-word,
He bade no trumpet blow ;

But the signal thunder roar'd,
And they rush’d upon the foe.

The fiery element
Show'd, with one mighty gleam,

Rampart, and flag, and tent,
Like the spectres of a dream.

All up the mountain side,
All down the woody vale,

All by the rolling tide
Waved the Persian banners pale.

And King Leonidas.
Among the slumbering band,

Sprang foremost from the pass,
Like the lightning's living brand.

Then double darkness fell,
And the forest ceased its moan ;

But there came a clash of steel,
And a distant, dying groan.

Anon, a trumpet blew,
And a fiery sheet burst high,

That o'er the midnight threw
A blood-red canopy.

A host glared on the hill,—
A host glared by the bay;

But the Greeks rush'd onwards still,
Like leopards in their play.

The air was all a yell,
And the earth was all a flame,

Where the Spartan's bloody steel
On the silken turbans came.

And still the Greek rush'd on
Beneath the fiery fold,

Till, like a rising sun,
Shone Xerxes' tent of gold.

They found a royal feast,
His midnight banquet, there !

And the treasures of the east
Lay beneath the Doric spear.

Then sat to the repast
The bravest of the bravel

That feast must be their last,-
That spot must be their grave.

They pledged old Sparta's name
In cups of Syrian wine,

And the warrior's deathless fame
Was sung in strains divine.

They took the rose-wreath'd lyres
From eunuch and from slave;

And taught the languid wires
The sounds that freedom gave.

But now the morning star
Crown'd (Eta's twilight brow :

And the Persian horn of war
From the hills began to blow.

Up rose the glorious rank,
To Greece one cup pour'd high,

Then, hand in hand, they drank
“To Immortality 1"

Fear on King Xerxes fell,
When, like spirits from the tomb,

With shout and trumpet-knell,
He saw the warriors come.

But down swept all his power,
With chariot and with charge;

Down pour'd the arrowy shower,
Till sank the Dorian's targe.

They march'd within the tent,
With all their strength unstrung;

To Greece one look they sent,
Then on high their torches flung.

To heaven the blaze uproll'd,
Like a mighty altar-fire;

And the Persians' gems and gold
Were the Grecians' funeral pyre.

Their king sat on the throne,
His captains by his side,-

While the flame rush'd roaring on,
And their paean loud replied 1

Thus fought the Greek of old,—
Thus will he fight again!

Shall not the selfsame mould
Bring forth the selfsame men 2

CHA RLF's Wolfe was born in Dublin, on the 14th of December, 1791. He received his early education at a school in Winchester: his classical attainments distinguished him when very young; and on entering, in 1809, the University of his native city, he had already given proofs of the genius which, although perceived and appreciated by all who knew him, was unhappily known to the world only when death had removed him alike from censure and praise. In College he soon became remarkable; obtained a scholarship; gained several prizes, and attracted general attention as one of the most promising young men of the time. His mind, however, appears to have been reflective rather than energetic ; and when the chief excitements to distinction ceased to influence him, he preferred the easy life of a country curate to the continued struggle for academic fame. It is said, however, that his ambitious hopes were chilled by the unfavourable result of a deep attachment: one of his friends writes, that “it pressed upon both mind and body; until this unfortunate epoch of his life, he had been in the enjoyment of robust health, but the sickness at his heart soon communicated itself to his whole frame. Even his general deportment was quite altered.” He settled in an obscure corner of Tyrone County, and was afterwards removed to the curacy of Castle Caulfield, in the diocese of Armagh :—his duties were discharged with unremitting zeal; and he succeeded in obtaining the affection as well as the respect of his parishioners. In the spring of 1821, symptoms of consumption made their appearance, and he was at length induced by his friends to remove from his parish, and commence a search after health in more genial climates. For a short time he resided in Devon. shire, and afterwards at Bourdeaux. His restoration to health was but temporary. “The fatal disease,” writes his amiable and excellent biographer, Mr. Russell, “which had been long apprehended, proved to have taken full hold of his constitution. The bounding step which expressed a constant buoyancy of mind, became slow and feeble: his robust and upright figure began to droop; his marked and prominent features aequired a sharpness of form; and his complexion, naturally fair, assumed the pallid cast of wasting disease.” He died at the Cove of Cork, on the 21st of February, 1823.

While at College Mr. Wolfe wrote the Poem which has, perhaps, obtained as wide a popularity as any single production in the English language. It was not, however, until after his death that the world became conscious of his value, and of the loss it had sustained. The lines on the burial of Sir John Moore, were printed in Captain Medwin’s “Conversations of Lord Byron," by whom they were highly praised, and to whom the author of the work attributed them. Soon after the publication of the book, however, they were claimed for Mr. Wolfe by several of his friends, and ample proof was adduced of his right to the celebrity they were calculated to confer. Upon how slight chances does immortality depend! The Poem, small as it is, has been the means of registering the writer's name in the records of fame; and though it cannot be doubted that the circumstances connected with the publicity it obtained. and the sympathy consequently excited by the early death of one who had already manifested so much genius, has greatly increased the admiration produced by it— and will prevent the critic from exercising a sound judgment in considering it, its exceeding beauty will not be denied. Although Mr. Wolfe produced but few other Poems, he afforded sufficient proof that if circumstances had directed his mind to the cultivation of poetry, he would have greatly surpassed this composition, which he so little imagined would become famous. He appears to have been quite indifferent to the fate of his “Lines:” they had been circulated full of errors, from one Newspaper to another; and probably the author had himself forgotten their production. Fortunately for his posthumous fame—that same which many so ardently covet—they had been repeated by him to a few of his acquaintances, one of whom was in his so. ciety when part of them was written, or they would now be wandering without an owner; and the name of Charles Wolfe as little known to the world, as that of any of the “gems” which

“The dark, unfathomed depths of ocean bear.”

The Poem has been compared, we think unwisely, with Campbell's “Hohenlinden,” to which it is certainly inferior. If Mr. Wolfe had anticipated the sensation his “Lines” created, he would, no doubt, have materially improved his composition, and have refined the structure of his verse, without impairing its vigour.



Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, As his corse to the rampart we hurried;

Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.

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