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THE FESTAL HOUR.
WHEN are the lessons given
When are proud sceptres riven,
Fear ye the festal hour!
When through the regal bower
The marble shrines were crown'd:
And censers waved around ;
Through Rome a triumph pass'd.
With shout and trumpet-blast.
And many a Dryad's bower
As a quick-flashing shower.
A sound of lyre and song,
Swept with that voice along;
* The sword of Harmodius.
† Paulus Æmilius, one of whose sons died a few days before, and another shortly after, his triumph on the conquest of Macedon, when Perseus, king of that country, was led in chains.
And lamps were shining o'er the red wine's foam
'Twas Antony that bade
Sounds, by no mortal made,*
Bright 'midst its vineyards lay
Clear in the golden day;
A cloud came o'er the face
Of night, o'ershadowing space,
Such things have been of yore,
On the grape-clusters pour ;
Turn we to other climes !
And ancient battle-rhymes
* See the description given by Plutarch, in his life of Antony, of the supernatural sounds heard in the streets of Alexandria, the night before Antony's death.
† Herculaneum, of which it is related, that all the inhabitants were assembled in the theatres, when the shower of ashes which covered the city descended.
Stonehenge, said by some traditions to have been erected to the memory of Ambrosius, an early British king; and by others mentioned as a monumental record of the massacre of British chiefs here allu to.
But ere the giant-fane
O’er that old burial-plain
For they return'd no more!
And, on the rushy floor,
the festal hour!
And the rich myrtle's flower
Twine the young glowing wreath!
Like summer's quickening breath!
SONG OF THE BATTLE OF MORGARTEN
p" In the year 1315, Switzerland was invaded by Duke Leopold of
Austria, with a formidable army. It is well attested that this prince repeatedly declared he would trample the audacious rustics under his feet;' and that he had procured a large stock of cordage, for the purpose of binding their chiefs, and putting them to death.
“The 15th of October, 1315, dawned. The sun darted its first rays on the shields and armor of the advancing host; and this being the first army ever known to have attempted the frontiers of the cantons, the Swiss viewed its long line with various emotions. Montfort de Tettnang led the cavalry into the narrow pass, and soon filled the whole space between the mountain (Mount Sattel) and the lake. The fifty men on the eminence (above Morgarten
raised a sudden shout, and rolled down heaps of rocks and stones among the crowded ranks. The confederates on the mountain, perceiving the impression made by this attack, rushed down in close array, and sell upon the flank of the disordered column. With massy clubs they dashed in pieces the armor of the enemy, and dealt their blows and thursts with long pikes. The narrowness of the defile admitted of no evolutions, and a slight frost having injured the road, the horses were impeded in all their motions ; many leaped into the lake; all were startled; and at last the whole column gave way, and fell snddenly back on the infantry; and these last, as the nature of the country did not allow them to open their files, were run over by the fugitives, and many of them trampled to death. A general route ensued, and Duke Leopold was, with much difficulty, rescued by a peasant, who led him to Winterthur, where the historian of the times saw him arrive in the evening, pale, sullen, and dismayed."-PLANTA's History of the Helvetic Confederacy.)
THE wine-month* shone in its golden prime,
And the red grapes clustering hung,
A sound, through vaulted cave,
A sound, through echoing glen,
-'Twas the tread of steel-girt men.
'Midst the ancient rocks was blown, Till the Alps replied to that voice of war With a thousand of their own.
And through the forest-glooms
Flash'd helmets to the day,
Like the larch-boughs in their play.
As the host of the Austrian pass'd;
Up’midst the Righi’sy snows,
The stormy march was heard,
And the leader's gathering word.
Through the rude Morgarten strait, With blazon'd streamers, and lances tall,
Moved onwards in princely state,
* Wine-month, the German name for October.
Hasli, a wild district in the canton of Berne. # Schreckhorn, the peak of terror, a mountain in the canton of Berne. Righi, a mountain in the canton of Schwytz.
They came with heavy chains,
For the race despised so long-
The herdsman's arm is strong!
When they enter'd the rock-defile,
But on the misty height,
Where the mountain-people stood, There was stillness, as of night,
When storms at distance brood.
And a pause--but not of fear,
On wound those columns bright
Between the lake and wood,
Where the mountain-people stood.
All helm'd and mail-array'd,
There were prince and crested knight,
Hemm'd in by cliff and flood,
Where the mountain-people stood.
Their startled foes among,
They came like lauwine* hurld
From Alp to Alp in play,
And the pines are borne away.
And the Switzers rush'd from high,
Like hunters of the deer,
They storm'd the narrow dell,
Was the arm of William Tell.
t William Tell's name is particularly mentioned amongst the confederates at Morgarten.