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And the Alpine herdsman's lay,
To a Swiizer's heart so dear!
No more for them to hear.
Till the Schrekhorn's peaks reply,
When spear-heads light the lakes,
When trumpets loose the snows,
The glacier's mute repose ;
In the burning hamlet's light; Then from the cavern of the dead, Shall the sleeper wake in might!
With a leap, like Tell's proud leap,
When away the helm he flung*
From the flashing billow sprung!
In the ancient garb they wore
And their voices shall be heard,
And be answer'd with a shout,
And the signal-fires blaze out.
As those of that proud day,
And when the rocks came down
On the dark Morgarten dell,
Before our fathers fell !
In a land that wears the chain,
Untrampled must remain! * The point of rock on which Tell leaped from the boat of Gessler is marked by a chapel, and called the Tellensprung.
Crowned helmets, as a distinction of rank, are mentioned in Simond's Switzerland.
| The Kureihen, the celebrated Ranz des Vaches.
And the yellow harvest ware
For no stranger's band to reap,
The men of Grutli sleep!
ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF AN ANCIENT BATTLE.
The Swiss, even to our days, have continued to celebrate the anniversaries of ancient battles with much solemnity; assembling in the open air on the fields where their ancestors fought, to hear thanksgivings offered up by the priests, and the names of all who shared in the glory of the day enumerated. They afterwards walk in procession to chapels always erected in the vicinity of such scenes, where masses are sung for the souls of the departed.
See Planta's History of the Helvetic Confederacy.
Look on the white Alps round!
If yet they gird a land
Forget ye not the band,
Our silent hearts may burn,
And home our steps may turn,
Up to the shining snows,
The sound of battle rose !
They saw the knightly spear,
Borne down, and trampled here!
Praise to the mountain-born,
The brethren of the glen!
They stood as peasant-men!
If yet, along their steeps,
Free as the chamois leaps :
When winter-stars gleam cold,
May proudly yet be told,
If yet the Sabbath bell
Think on the battle deil!
Some of the native Brazilians pay great veneration to a certain bird that sings mournfully in the night time. They say it is a mesa senger which their deceased friends and relations have sent, and that it brings them news from the other world.
See Picart's Ceremonies and Religious Customs.
Thou art come from the spirits’ land, thou bird !
Thou art come from the spirits' land !
And tell of the shadowy band !
In the light of that summer shore,
They are there—and they weep no more!
And we know they have quench'd their sever's thirst
From the Fountain of Youth ere now, *
Which none may find below!
From the land of deathless flowers,
Though their hearts were once with ours;
And bent with us the bow,
Which are told to other's now!
Can those who have loved forget ?
Do they love-do they love us yet?
And the father of his child?
His wanderings through the wild ?
And they speak pot from cave or hill;
But say, do they love there sjill ?
* An expedition was actually undertaken by Juan Ponce de Leon, in the 16th century, with the view of discovering a wonderful fountain, believed by the natives of Puerto Rico
to spring in one of the Lucayo Isles, and to possess the virtue of restoring youth to all who bathed in its waters.
See Robertson's History of America.
THE STRANGER IN LOUISIANA..
An early traveller mentions a people on the banks of the Mississippi who burst into tears at the sight of a stranger. The reason of this is, that they fancy their deceased friends and relations to be only gone on a journey, and being in constant expectation of their return, look for them vainly among these foreign travellers.
Picart's Ceremonies and Religious Customs.
“J'ai passe moi-meme,” says Chateaubriand in his Souvenirs d'Amerique, "chez une peuplade indienne qui se prenait a pleurer a la vue d'un voyageur, parce qu'il lui rappelait des amis partis pour la Contree des Ames, et depuis long-tems en voyage."
We saw thee, O stranger, and wept !
We saw thee, O Stranger, and wept ! We look'd for the maid of the mournful song, Mourpful, though sweet-she hath left us long! We told her the youth of her love was gone, And she went forth to see him-she passed alone ; We hear not her voice when the woods are still, From the bower where it sang like a silvery rill. The joy of her sire with her smile hath fled, The winter is white on his lonely head, He hath none by his side when the wilds we track, He hath none when we rest-yet she comes not back! We looked for her eye on the feast to shine, For her breezy step-but the step was thine!