Abbildungen der Seite

But deep and wider grows the trench, as spade and mattock ply,

For we have to cope with fearful odds, and the time is drawing nigh!

Up with the pine-tree banner! Our gallant PRESCOTT stands

Amid the plunging shells and shot, and plants it with his hands;

Up with the shout! for PUTNAM comes upon his reeking bay, With bloody spur and foamy bit, in haste to join the fray; And POMEROY, with his snow-white hairs, and face all flush and sweat,

Unscathed by French and Indian, wears a youthful glory yet.

But thou whose soul is glowing in the summer of thy years, Unvanquishable WARREN, thou, the youngest of thy peers, Wert born and bred, and shaped and made, to act a patriot's part,

And dear to us thy presence is as heart's blood to the heart!






Hark! from the town a trumpet! The barges at the wharf Are crowded with the living freight; and now they're pushing


With clash and glitter, trump and drum, in all its bright


Behold the splendid sacrifice move slowly o'er the bay!
And still and still the barges fill, and still across the deep,
Like thunder-clouds along the sky, the hostile transports


And now they're forming at the Point; and now the lines advance:

We see beneath the sultry sun their polished bayonets


We hear a-near the throbbing drum, the bugle-challenge ring; Quick bursts and loud the flashing cloud, and rolls from wing to wing;

But on the height our bulwark stands, tremendous in its gloom,

As sullen as a tropic sky, and silent as a tomb.

And so we waited till we saw, at scarce ten rifles' length, The old vindictive Saxon spite, in all its stubborn strength; When sudden, flash on flash, around the jagged rampart burst

From every gun the livid light upon the foe accursed.

Then quailed a monarch's might before a free-born people's ire; Then drank the sward the veteran's life, where swept the yeoman's fire.

Then, staggered by the shot, we saw their serried columns reel,

And fall, as falls the bearded rye beneath the reaper's steel; And then arose a mighty shout that might have waked the dead

“Hurrah! they run! the field is won! HURRAH! the foe is fled!"

And every man hath dropped his gun to clutch a neighbour's


As his heart kept praying all the while for home and native land.

Thrice on that day we stood the shock of thrice a thousand foes,

And thrice that day within our lines the shout of victory rose; And though our swift fire slackened then, and, reddening in the skies,

We saw from Charleston's roofs and walls the flamy columns rise,

Yet, while we had a cartridge left, we still maintained the


Nor gained the foe one foot of ground upon that bloodstained height.

What though for us no laurels bloom nor o'er the nameless brave

No sculptured trophy, scroll, nor hatch records a warrior grave!

What though the day to us was lost!-upon that deathless


The everlasting charter stands for every land and age!

For man hath broke his felon bonds, and cast them in the dust,

And claimed his heritage divine, and justified the trust; While through his rifted prison-bars the hues of freedom pour, O'er every nation, race, and clime, on every sea and shore, Such glories as the patriarch viewed, when, 'mid the darkest skies,

He saw above a ruined world the Bow of Promise rise.



On Belshazzar's Feast, see Prophecies of Daniel, chapter v.

To the feast! to the feast!-'tis the monarch commands;
Secure in her strength the proud Babylon stands,
As reckless of all the high vaunts of the foe,

As of the weak zephyrs around her that blow;

With her walls and her bulwarks all power she defies;
Like the cliffs of the mountain her turrets arise;
And swift through her ramparts, so deep and so wide,
Euphrates now rolls his unfordable tide.

Then on to the feast, 'tis the monarch commands;
Secure in her strength the proud Babylon stands!

With silver and gold are her treasuries stored,
And she smiles with disdain at the arrow and sword;
With the choicest of wheat all her granaries teem,
Her oil and her wine in broad rivulets stream;
For twenty long winters no famine she dreads,
For twenty long summers her banquet she spreads.
Then on to the feast,-'tis the monarch commands;
Secure in her strength the proud Babylon stands !

A thousand bright cressets the palace illume,
A thousand rich censers are wafting perfume;
The festival halls heaped with luxury shine,—
High piled are the cates, deep flows the red wine;
The fruits of a province the tables unfold,
The wealth of a kingdom there blazes in gold;

And, hark! the loud flourish of trumpet and drum
Announces aloud that the monarch is come.
Surrounded with all the proud pomp of his court,
How kingly his tread! how majestic his port!
The rose and the myrtle and laurel combined
In a fillet of gold round his temples are twined;
In robes starred with jewels resplendently bright
He moves like a god, in a circle of light :
And now he has taken his seat at the board,
As God he is honoured, as God is adored;
While crowding in thousands the satraps so gay
With their ladies all glittering in costly array,
Exulting like eaglets approaching the sun,

By their stations are ranked, and the feast is begun.

Now let the loud chorus of music ascend;
All voices, all hearts, and all instruments blend:
The flute's mellow tone with the cornet's shrill note,
The harp and the drum and the trump's brazen throat,
And captains and nobles and ladies so bright,
To swell the loud anthem of triumph unite.
Come, make deep libations to honour the king;
Now let our high cheering re-echoing ring,
Yet louder and louder!-the monarch commands;
Secure in her strength the proud Babylon stands !

High praise to our gods of brass, iron, and stone;
But most to great Belus, the guard of the throne:
All gorgeous they stand in our temples displayed,
With gold and with elephant richly inlaid;
Our strength and our glory in city and field,-
In peace our advisers, in battle our shield.
To them, mighty rulers of earth and of heaven,
All honour and power and dominion be given;
By them shall proud Babylon, towering sublime,
Stand fast in her strength till the dotage of time!

Now giving full wing, in the festival hour,

To the thoughts of his heart and the pride of his power, The monarch desires the rich vessels of gold,

The pride of high Salem, before she was sold,

To be brought to the banquet. And now hands profane And idolatrous lips their bright purity stain.

All dim in the service of idols abhorred

Grows the chalice that once shone so bright to the Lord.
But, lo! in the hand of the monarch it foams,

As his eye round the walls half-inebriate roams;
And, hark! he exclaims, "This fair chalice so proud
Was once that Jehovah's whose throne is a cloud;
But, by Babylon torn from his temple and shrine,
Is consecrate now to her glory and mine!
Ye satraps-"

Amazement!-'tis dashed from his hand,
As if struck by some potent invisible wand.
His soul what dire horror has suddenly wrung,
That palsies his nerves and relaxes his tongue?
His visage grows pale with the hues of despair,
And his eye-balls congeal with an ominous glare;
For see! on the wall what strange characters rise:
Some sentence transcribed from the book of the skies
By fingers immortal! How suddenly still

Grows the noise of the banquet!-all fear-struck and chill

Sit the revellers now; bound up is their breath,
As though they had felt the cold vapour of death.
All dimmed is the glory that beamed round the throne,
And the god sits the victim of terrors unknown.

At length words find utterance-" Oh haste, hither call
The Augurs, Chaldeans, Astrologers, all!
Whoever that sentence shall read and expound,

A chain of bright gold on his neck shall be bound;
The third of my realm to his power I bestow,
And the purple of kings on his shoulders shall glow.”

The Astrologers come; but their science is vain;
Those characters dark may no mortal explain,
Save one who to idols ne'er humbled his heart, -
Some Seer to whom God shall his Spirit impart.
And that one exists-of the captives a sage,


grey with the honours and wisdom of age

« ZurückWeiter »