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The shouts of hosts exulting or defying,
The press of multitudes that strive or yield!
And the loud startling clash of spear and shield,
Sudden as earthquake's burst ; and blent, with these,
The last wild shriek of those whose doom is seal'd
In their full mirth ;-all deepening on the breeze,
As the long stormy roll of far-advancing seas !
And nearer yet the trumpet's blast is swelling,
Loud, shrill, and savage, drowning every cry ;
And, lo! the spoiler in the regal dwelling,
Death—bursting on the halls of revelry!
Ere on their brows one fragile rose-leaf die,
The sword hath raged through joy's devoted train :
Ere one bright star be faded from the sky,
Red flames, like banners, wave from dome and fane ;
Empire is lost and won-Belshazzar with the slain. *
* As originally written, the following additional stanzas (after wards omitted) concluded this poem :
Fallen is the golden city!-in the dust,
Spoil'd of her crown, dismantled of her state,
She that hath made the strength of towers her trust,
Weeps by her dead, supremely desolate!
She that beheld the nations at her gate,
Thronging in homage, shall be callà no more
Lady of kingdoms! Who shall mourn her fate 1
Her guilt is full, her march of triumph o'er-
What widow'd land shall now her widowhood deplore ?
Sit thou in silence! Thou that wert enthroned
On many waters!-thou, whose augurs read
The language of the planets, and disown'd
The Mighty Name it blazons :-veii thy head,
Daughter of Babylon -the sword is red
From thy destroyer's harvest, and the yoke
Is on thee, O most proud for thou hast said,
“I am, and none beside!" Th' Eternal spoke,
Thy glory was a spoil, thine idol-gods were broke'
But go thou forth, O Israel ?-wake ! rejoice!
Be clothed with strength, as in thine ancient day!
Renew the sound of harps, th' exulting voice,
The mirth of timbrels loose the chain, and say
God hath redeem'd his people from decay
The silent and the trampled shall arise !
--Awake !-put on thy beautiful array,
O long-forsaken Zion to the skies
Send up on every wind thy choral melodies !
And lift thy head !-Behold thy sons returning,
Redeem'a from exile, ransom'd from the chain,
Light hath revisited the house of mourning,
She that on Judah's mountains wept in vain,
Because her children were not-dwells again,
Girt with the lovely through thy streets, once more,
City of God! shall pass the bridal train,
And the bright lamps their festive radiance pour,
And the triumphal hyinns thy joy of youth restore.
“ Thou strivest nobly,
When hearts of sterner stuff perhaps had sunk;
And o'er thy fall, if it be so decreed,
Good men will mourn, and brave men will shed tears,
Fame I look not for,
But to sustain, in Heaven's all-seeing eye,
Before my fellow men, in mine own sight,
With graceful virtue and becoming pride,
The dignity and honor of a man,
Thus station'd as I am, I will do all
That man may do."
Miss Baillie's Constantine Paleologus.
The fires grew pale on Rome's deserted shrines,
In the dim grot the Pythia's voice had died ;
-Shout, for the City of the Constantines,
The rising city of the billow-side,
The City of the Cross great ocean's bride,
Crown'd with her birth she sprung !-long ages past,
And still she look'd in glory o’er the tide,
Which at her feet barbaric riches cast,
Pour'd by the burning East, all joyously and fast.
long ages past !-they left her porphyry halls
Still trod by kingly footsteps. Gems and gold
Broider'd her mantle, and her castled walls
Frown'd in their strength; yet there were signs which told
The days were full. The pure high faith of old
Was changed; and on her silken couch of sleep
She lay, and murmur'd if a rose-leaf's fold
Disturb'd her dreams; and callid her slaves to keep
Their watch, that no rude sound might reach her o'er the deep.
But there are sounds that from the regal dwelling
Free hearts and fearless only may exclude ;
'Tis not alone the wind, at midnight swelling,
Breaks on the soft repose by, luxury, wood!
There are unbidden footsteps, which intrude
Where the lamps glitter, and the wine-cup flows,
And darker hues have stain'd the marble, strew'd
With the fresh myrtle, and the short-lived rose,
And Parian walls have rung to the dread march of foes.
A voice of multitudes is on the breeze,
Remote yet solemn as the night-storm's roar
Through Ida's giant-pines! Across the seas
A murmur comes, like that the deep winds bore
From Tempé's haunted river to the shore
Of the reed-crown's Eurotas; when, of old,
Dark Asia sent her battle-myriads o'er
Th’indignant wave, which would not be controllid,
But past the Persian's chain in boundless freedom rolld.
And it is thus again ?-Swift oars are dashing
The parted waters, and a light is cast
On their white foam-wreaths, from the sudden flashing
Of Tartar spears, whose ranks are thickening fast.
There swells a savage trumpet on the blast,
A music of the deserts, wild and deep,
Wakening strange echoes, as the shores are pass'd
Where low imidst Ilion's dust her conquerors sleep, U'ershadowing with high names each rude sepulchral heap.
War from the West !--the snows on Thracian hills
Are loosed by Spring's warm breath ; yet o'er the lands
Which Hæmus girds, the chainless mountain rills
Pour down less swiftly than the Moslem bands.
War from the East midst Araby's lone sands,
More lonely now the few bright founts may be,
While Ismael's bow is bent in warrior-hands
Against the Golden City of the sea : 1
-Oh! for a soul to fire thy dust, Thermopylæ!
Hear yet again ye mighty S-Where are they,
Who, with their green Olympic garlands crown'd,
Leap'd up, in proudly beautiful array,
As to the banquet gathering, at the sound
Of Persia's clarion ?-Far and joyous round,
From the pine-forests, and the mountain-snows,
And the low sylvan valleys, to the bound
Of the bright waves, at freedom's voice they rose !
-Hath it no thrilling tone to break the tomb's repose ?
They slumber with their swords !—The live-shades
In vain are whispering their immortal tale !
In vain the spirit of the past pervades
The soft winds, breathing through each Grecian vale.
-Yet must Thou wake, though all unarm'd and pale,
Devoted City !-Lo! the Moslem's spear,
Red from its vintage, at thy gates; his sail
Upon thy waves, his trumpet in thine ear! -Awake! and summon those, who yet, perchance, may hear!
Be hush'd, thou faint and feeble voice of weeping!
Lift ye the banner of the Cross on high,
And call on chiefs, whose noble sires
In their proud graves of sainted chivalry,
Beneath the palms and cedars, where they sigh
To Syrian gales – The sons of each brave line,
From their baronial halls shall hear your cry,
And seize the arms which flash'd round Salem's shrine,
And wield for you the swords once waved for Palestine !
All still, all voiceless !-and the billow's roar
Alone replies !-Alike their soul is gone
Who shared the funeral-feast on Eta's shore,
And theirs that o'er the field of Ascalon
Swell’d the crusader's hymn !-Then gird thou on
Thine armor, Eastern Queen! and meet the hour
Which waits thee ere the day's fierce work is done
With a strong heart; so may thy helmet tower
Unshiver'd through the storm, for generous hope is power!
But linger not,-array thy men of might!
The shores, the seas, are peopled with thy foes.
Arms through thy cypress groves are gleaming bright,
And the dark huntsmen of the wild, repose
Beneath the shadowy marble porticoes
Of thy proud villas. Nearer and more near,
Around thy walls the sons of battle close;
Each hour, each moment, hath its sound of fear,
Which the deep grave alone is charter'd not to hear !
Away! bring wine, bring odors, to the shade,
Where the tall pine and poplar blend on high !
Bring roses, exquisite, but soon to fade!
Snatch every brief delight,-since we must die!
Yet is the hour, degenerate Greeks! gone by,
For feast in vine-wreath'd bower, or pillard hall;
Dim gleams the torch beneath yon fiery sky,
And deep and hollow is the tambour's call,
And from the startled hand th' untasted cup will fall.
The night-the glorious oriental night,
Hath lost the silence of her purple heaven,
With its clear stars! The red artillery's light
Athwart her worlds of tranquil splendor driven,
To the still firmament's expanse hath given
Its own fierce glare, wherein each cliff and tower
Starts wildly forth; and now the air is riven
With thunder-bursts, and now dull smoke-clouds lower
Veiling the gentle moon, in her most hallow'd hour.
Sounds from the waters, sounds upon the earth,
Sounds in the air, of battle! Yet with these
A voice is mingling, whose deep, tones give birth
To Faith and Courage! From luxurious ease
A gallant few have started! O'er the seas,
From the Seven Towers, their banner waves its sign,
And Hope is whispering in the joyous breeze,
Which plays amidst its folds. That voice was thine ;
Thy soul was on that band devoted Constantine !
Was Rome thy parent? Didst thou catch from her
The fire that lives in thine undaunted eye?
-That city of the throne and sepulchre
Hath given proud lessons how to reign and die !
Heir of the Cæsars! did that lineage high,
Which, as a triumph to the grave, hath pass'd
With its long march of sceptered imagʻry,
Th'heroic mantle o'er thy spirit cast
-Thou! of an eagle-race the noblest and the last !
Vain dreams! upon that spirit hath descended
Light from the living Fountain, whence each thought
Springs pure and holy! In that eye is blended
A spark, with Earth's triumphal memories fraught,
And, far within, a deeper meaning, caught
From worlds unseen. “A hope, a lofty trust,
Whose resting-place on buoyant wing is sought
its veil, seen darkly from the dust,) În realms where Time no more hath power upon the just.
Those were proud days, when on the battle plain,
And in the sun's bright face, and ’midst the array
Of awe-struck hosts, and circled by the slain,
The Roman cast his glittering mail away,5
And while a silence, as of midnight, lay,
O'er breathless thousands at his voice who started,
Call'd on the unseen, terrific powers that sway
The heights, the depths, the shades; then, fearless-hearted,
Girt on his robe of death, and for the grave departed!
But then, around him as the javelins rush'd,
From earth to heaven swell’d up the loud acclaim;