Imágenes de páginas
PDF

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,

Heaven did a recompense as largely send : He gave to misery (all he had) a tear,

He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,)

The bosom of his Father and his God.

HOHENLINDEN.'

BY CAMPBELL.

On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay th' untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow

Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat, at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light

The darkness of her scenery.

By torch and trumpet fast arrayed,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neighed,

To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills with thunder riven,
Then rushed the steed to battle driven,
And louder than the bolts of heaven,

Far flashed the red artillery.

1 A village in Germany, where the Austrians and Bavarians were completely defeated by the French under Moreau.

2 The Danube.

But redder yet that light shall glow,
On Linden's hills of stained snow;
And bloodier yet the torrent flow

Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'Tis morn, but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank, and fiery Hun,

Shout in their sulph'rous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory, or the grave !
Wave, Munich !5 all thy banners wave,

And charge with all thy chivalry!
Few, few shall part where many meet!
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet

Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.

THE AFRICAN CHIEF.'

BY BRYANT.
CHAINED in the market-place he stood,

A man of giant frame,
Amid the gathering multitude

That shrunk to hear his name

3 The French.
4 The Austrian.

5 The capital of Bavaria ; here, by the figure metonyme, the Bavarias army.

The story of the African Chief, related in this ballad, may be found in the African Repository for April, 1825. The subject of it was a warrior of majestic stature, the brother of Yarradee, king of the Solima nation. He had been taken in battle, and was brought in chains for sale to the Rio Pongas, where he was exhibited in the market-place, his ankles still adorned with the massy rings of gold which he wore when captured. The refusal of his captor to listen to his offers of ransom drove him mad, and he died a maniac.

All stern of look and strong of limb,

His dark eye on the ground :And silently they gazed on him,

As on a lion bound.

Vainly, but well, that chief had fought,

He was a captive now,
Yet pride, that fortune humbles not,

Was written on his brow.
The scars his dark broad bosom wore,

Showed warrior true and brave; A prince among his tribe before,

He could not be a slave.

Then to his conqueror he spake

“My brother is a king ; Undo this necklace from my neck,

And take this bracelet ring,
And send me where my brother reigns,

And I will fill thy hands
With store of ivory from the plains,

And gold-dust from the sands."

“Not for thy ivory nor thy gold

Will I unbind thy chain;
That bloody hand shall never hold

The battle-spear again.
A price thy nation never gave,

Shall yet be paid for thee;
For thou shalt be the Christian's slave,

In lands beyond the sea.”

Then wept the warrior chief, and bade

To shred his locks away;
And one by one, each heavy braid

Before the victor lay.

Thick were the platted locks, and long,

And closely hidden there
Shone many a wedge of gold among

The dark and crisped hair.

“Look, feast thy greedy eye with gold

Long kept for sorest need :
Take it thou askest sums untold,

And say that I am freed.
Take it-my wife, the long, long day,

Weeps by the cocoa-tree,
And my young children leave their play,

And ask in vain for me.”

"I take thy gold-but I have made

Thy fetters fast and strong,
And ween that by the cocoa-shade

Thy wife will wait thee long.”
Strong was the agony that shook

The captive's frame to hear,
And the proud meaning of his look

Was changed to mortal fear.

His heart was broken-crazed his brain :

At once his eye grew wild ;
He struggled fiercely with his chain,

Whispered, and wept, and smiled ;
Yet wore not long those fatal bands,

And once, at shut of day,
They drew him forth upon the sands,

The foul hyena's prey.

JASPAR.

BY SOUTHEY.

JASPAR was poor, and vice and want

Had made his heart like stone; And Jaspar looked with envious eyes

On riches not his own.

On plunder bent, abroad he went

Toward the close of day,
And loitered on the lonely road

Impatient for his prey.

No traveller came, he loitered long,

And often looked around,
And paused and listened eagerly

To catch some coming sound.
He sate him down beside the stream

That crossed the lonely way.
So fair a scene might well have charmed

All evil thoughts away :

He sate beneath a willow-tree

Which cast a trembling shade ; The gentle river full in front

A little island made ;
Where pleasantly the moonbeam shone

Upon the poplar-trees,
Whose shadow on the stream below

Played slowly to the breeze.
He listened—and he heard the wind

That waved the willow-tree;
He heard the waters flow along,

And murmur quietly.

« AnteriorContinuar »