Page images
PDF
EPUB

WRITTEN AT STRATHFIELD SAYE.

[ocr errors]

THESE are the groves a grateful people gave
For noblest service; and, from age to age,
May they, to such as come with listening ear,
Relate the story! Sacred is their shade ;
Sacred the calm they breathe-oh, how unlike
What in the field 'twas his so long to know;
Where many a mournful, many an anxious thought,*
Troubling, perplexing, on his weary mind
Preyed, ere to arms the morning-trumpet called ;
Where, till the work was done and darkness fell,
Blood ran like water, and, go where thou wouldst,
Death in thy path-way met thee, face to face.

For on, regardless of himself, He went;
And, by no change elated or depressed,
Fought, till he won the imperishable wreath,

* How strange, said He to me, are the impressions that sometimes follow a battle! After the battle of Assaye I slept in a farm-house, and so great had been the slaughter that whenever I awoke, which I did continually through the night, it struck me that I had lost all my friends, nor could I bring myself to think otherwise till morning came, and one by one I saw those that were living.

Leading the conquerors captive; on he went,
Bating nor heart nor hope, whoe'er opposed ;
The greatest warriors, in their turn, appearing ;
The last that came, the greatest of them all-
One scattering hosts as born but to subdue,
And even in bondage withering hearts with fear.

When such the service, what the recompense ?
Yet, and I err not, a renown as fair,
And fairer still, awaited him at home;
Where to the last, day after day, he stood,
The party-zeal, that round him raged, restraining;
-His not to rest, while his the strength to serve.*

* On Friday, the 19th of November, 1830, there was an assembly at Bridgewater-House, a House which has long ceased to be, and of which no stone is now resting on another. It was there that I saw a Lady whose beauty was the least of her attractions, and she said, “I never see you now.”—“When may I come?”—“Come on Sunday at Five."-"At Five then you shall see me.”—“Remember Five."-And through the evening, wherever I went, a voice followed me, repeating in a tone of mock solemnity, “Remember Five!' -It was the voice of One who had overheard us; and little did he think what was to take place at Five.

On Sunday when the time drew near, it struck me as I was leaving Lord Holland's, in Burlington Street, that I had some engagement, so little had I thought of it, and I repaired to the House, No. 4, in Carlton Gardens. There were the Duke of Wellington's horses at the door, and I said, “The Duke is here.”—“But you are expected, Sir."-I went in and found him sitting with the Lady of the House, the Lady who had made the appointment, nor was it long before he spoke as follows:

“They want me to place myself at the head of a Faction, but I tell them that I never will.

“To-morrow I shall give up my Office and go down into my County to restore order there, if I can restore it. When I return, I shall take my place in Parliament-to approve when I can approve; and, when I cannot, to say so.

I have now served my country forty years—twenty in the field and ten, if not more in the Cabinet; nor, while I live, shall I be found wanting,

WRITTEN IN JULY, 1834.

GREY, thou hast served, and well, the sacred Cause
That Hampden, Sydney died for. Thou hast stood, ,
Scorning all thought of Self, from first to last,
Among the foremost in that glorious field;
From first to last'; and, ardent as thou art,
Held on with equal step as best became
A lofty mind, loftiest when most assailed ;
Never, though galled by many a barbed shaft,
By many a bitter taunt from friend and foe,
Swerving or shrinking. Happy in thy Youth,
Thy Youth the dawn of a long summer-day;
But in thy Age still happier ; thine to earn
The gratitude of millions yet unborn;
Thine to conduct, through ways how difficult,
A mighty people in their march sublime

wherever I may be. But never, no never, will I place myself at the head of a faction.

Having met Lord Grey who was to succeed him in his office again and again under my roof, and knowing our intimacy, he meant that these words should be repeated to him; and so they were, word for word, on that very night.

To the last,” said Lord Grey, “He fulfilled his promise."

From Good to Better. Great thy recompense,
When in their eyes thou read'st what thou hast done;
And may'st thou long enjoy it; may'st thou long
Preserve for them what still they claim as theirs,
That generous fervour and pure eloquence,
Thine from thy birth and Nature's noblest gifts,
To guard what They have gained !

WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT.

SEPTEMBER 3, 1818.

IF Day reveals such wonders by her Light,
What by her Darkness cannot Night reveal ?
For at her bidding when She mounts her throne
The Heavens unfold, and from the depths of Space
Sun beyond Sun, as when called forth they came,
Each with the worlds that round him rolled rejoicing,
Sun beyond Sun in numbers numberless
Shine with a radiance that is all their own!

WRITTEN IN 1834.

WELL, when her day is over, be it said
That, though a speck on the terrestrial globe,
Found with long search and in a moment lost,
She made herself a name-

-a name to live
While science, eloquence, and song divine,
And wisdom, in self-government displayed,
And valour, such as only in the Free,
Shall among men be honoured.

Every sea
Was covered with her sails; in every port
Her language spoken; and, where'er you went,
Exploring, to the east or to the west,
Even to the rising or the setting day,
Her arts and laws and institutes were there,
Moving with silent and majestic march,
Onward and onward, where no pathway was ;
There her adventurous sons, like those of old,
Founding vast empires *-empires in their turn

* North America speaks for itself; and so indeed may we say of India when such a territory is ours in a region so remote ; when a company of merchants, from such small beginnings, have established a dominion so absolute-ai dominion over a people for ages civilized and cultivated, while we were yet in the woods.

R I

« PreviousContinue »