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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
Where freedom's voice and step are found,

Forget ye not the band,
The faithful band, our sires, who fell
Here, in the narrow battle-dell !

If yet, the wilds among,

Our silent hearts may burn,
When the deep mountain-horn had rung,

And home our steps may turn,
-Home!-home!-if still that name be dear,
Praise to the men who perish'd here!

Look on the white Alps round !

Up to the shining snows
That day the stormy rolling sound,

The sound of battle rose !
Their caves prolong'd the trumpet's blast,
Their dark pines trembled as it pass'd!

They saw the princely crest,

They saw the knightly spear,
The banner and the mail-clad breast

Borne down, and trampled here!
They saw-and glorying there they stand,
Eternal records to the land !

Praise to the mountain-born,

The brethren of the glen!
By them no steel-array was worn,

They stood as peasant-men!
They left the vineyard and the field
To break an empire's lance and shield!

Look on the white Alps round !

If yet, along their steeps,
Our children's fearless feet may bound,

Free as the chamois leaps :
Teach them in song to bless the band
Amidst whose mossy graves we stand!

If, by the wood-fire's blaze,

When winter-stars gleam cold,
The glorious tales of elder days

May proudly yet be told,
Forget not then the shepherd-race,
Who made the hearth a holy place!

Look on the white Alps round !

If yet the sabbath bell
Comes o'er them with a gladdening sound,

Think on the battle-dell !
For blood first bathed its flowery sod,
That chainless hearts might worship God!

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Some of the native Brazilians pay great veneration to a certain bird that sings mournfully in the night-time. They say it is a messenger 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 !
Through the dark pine-grove let thy voice be

And tell of the shadowy band !

We know that the bowers are green and fair

In the light of that summer shore,
And we know that the friends we have lost are

They are there—and they weep no more!


And we know they have quench'd their fever's thirst

From the Fountain of Youth ere now,
For there must the stream in its freshness burst,

Which none may find below!

And we know that they will not be lured to earth

From the land of deathless flowers,
By the feast, or the dance, or the song of mirth,

Though their hearts were once with ours;

Though they sat with us by the night-fire's blaze,

And bent with us the bow,
And heard the tales of our fathers' days,

Which are told to others now!

But tell us, thou bird of the solemn strain!

Can those who have loved forget? We call--and they answer not again

-Do they love--do they love us yet?

Doth the warrior think of his brother there,

And the father of his child ?
And the chief, of those that were wont to share

His wanderings through the wild ?

* 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:

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