« AnteriorContinuar »
Our song in mockery of their state,
hallow'd hall descending,
Rise, Echo ! tell it to the plain,
THE SONG OF DEFEAT AND CAPTIVITY.
ODE VI. Now when the God his way’ring light withdrew And darker shades were doubled to the view, Loose from the martial labours of the day, Around their nightly fires the conquerors lay. By painful march, by sultry beats opprest, They woo'd the balmy dews of genial rest: Rapt joy was theirs, and strains triumphant rung From sacred shells, the neighbouring groves among. But, mid' these sweetest sounds of dear delight, The hand of glory pointed to their sight A dreary cave, by darkling shades o'erbrow'd, The seat of sorrow, and the captive crowd; Where, rankling in the glooms accurs’d, remain Lost by defeat, and mark'd by vengeful pain, The warrior-slaves that, fir'd by furies, wait The long keen horrors of a coming fate; And there, while 'round the savage guards reclin’d, The darkest Dæmons of the troubled mind Added new tortures to their servile chains, Play'd with their wounds, and doubly edg’d their pains. Thus while they labour'd with the anguish'd smart, As shame or passion wrung the conscious heurt, While on the cavern's rude and shaggy brow The night-bird scream'd, and mock'd the notes below, Here breath'd the settled sounds of deep despair, And rav'd the din of madd’ning fury there; Grief's deaden'd Voice, and Terror's shriller cry Gave their wild echoes to the murm'ring sky,
And thus while 'round the various accents brokc,
“ Farewell! for ever now farewell,
my fond soul once joy’d to rove!
“ Each genial grove, each haunted stream
“ Farewell !-0 ye no more are mine,
“ No more with free step shall I tread
66 That bore me to the blissful scene.
“ Now haply shall the dear maid roam,
" Lent lustre to the soul sincere.
" Or at the ev’ning hour,
“And there to weeping maids relate
" The mournful stories of our fate: “ But ah, no art shall move her stubborn grief, " The maids shall tell- but vain the tried relief
« How oft in yonder wood
“ 'Or in the wild waves nigh
“ How oft beneath mine arm have bled “ The savage troop, and how the warrior fell, And join'd with yelling groan the nations of the dead.
“ But hence the light and trifling strain !
“ The listless voice of praise how vain! “ For now what boots it that
martial “ Form’d her brave youths, and gave them to the war?
" What boots it now? for me remains
“ Me, who can boast my spear “ Fix'd Malgru to his fate, and fill’d his sons with fear. “ And shall not the big sounds of war again Wake
fond heart, and shall my spear Leap to new life no more? Must dull Despair
“ Waste my sad length of hours away, “ Shut from the eye of Pleasure and the Day? “ Perish the thought, or to the wretch remove “ That dreams away the soul of life in vain! “ Whose heart ne'er felt the luxury of Love,
“ Nor fear'd of Infamy the pain. “ O cursed, cursed hour! when first my spear “ Fell faithless to its Lord. O cursed hour!
“When Vict’ry's spirit, hov’ring near, “ Fled from my call, and the sad courted power.
66 Of Death, unheedful to my cry, “ Lowr'd stern a sullen frown, and pass'd contemp
so tuous by.
« Smile at each wound, each torture calmly bear, “ And only curse the cruel chance of war: “ Now let them lead me to the fires of fate, " Where round, in horrid shew, the furies wait, “ No lab'ring sigh my secret pain shall speak, “ No stealing tear disgrace my manlier cheek; “ Forbad to conquer, and forbad to bleed,
“ I ask but Death, and court no other meed. The warrior ceas'd—the Lord of Light again Stretch'd his proud ray along th’empurpled plain : Fell the sad sounds, tho' still to Pity's ear The murmuring winds the sorrowing accents bear; There the Muse caught her artless strains of woe, And bade them still in native measures flow; And there, tho' fate the warrior's brow had crown'd With baleful leaves, and wreath'd her cypress round, Firm to herself, and steady to the truth, The Muse, impartial, bless'd the hapless youth; She bade his name with their's inscrib'd to lie, That lov'd with Fame to live, that dar'd with Glory die.
THE DEATH SONG. .
Scattering wide the saddest fear,