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ON Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast array'd,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh'd
To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills, with thunder riven; Then rush'd the steed, to battle driven; And, louder than the bolts of Heaven, Far flash'd the red artillery.
But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden's hills of stained snow;
And bloodier yet, the torrent flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave!
Wave, Munich! all thy banners wave!
And charge with all thy chivalry!
Few, few shall part, where many meet ;
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.
SWEET Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visit pay'd,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd;
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please;
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene!
How often have I paused on every charm,
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topp'd the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn-bush with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made!
Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,
Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retired,
Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlour splendours of that festive place;
The whitewash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor,
The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door.
The chest contrived a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures placed for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;
The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,
With aspen boughs, and flowers and fennel, gay;
While broken teacups, wisely kept for show,
Ranged o'er the chimney, glisten'd in a row.
Vain transitory splendours! could not all
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall?
Obscure it sinks; nor shall it more impart
An hour's importance to the poor man's heart.
HAPPY insect! what can be
In happiness compared to thee?
Fed with nourishment divine,
The dewy morning's gentle wine!
Nature waits upon thee still,
And thy verdant cup does fill.
Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
Happier than the happiest king!
All the fields which thou dost see,
All the plants belong to thee;
All that summer hours produce,
Fertile made with early juice.
Man for thee does sow and plough;
Farmer he, and landlord thou!
Thou dost innocently enjoy,
Nor does thy luxury destroy.
Thee country hinds with gladness hear,
Prophet of the ripen'd year!
To thee, of all things upon earth,
Life's no longer than thy mirth.
Happy insect! happy thou,
Dost neither age nor winter know.
But when thou'st drunk, and danced, and sung
Thy fill, the flow'ry leaves among,
Sated with thy summer feast,
Thou retir'st to endless rest.
WHERE then shall Hope and Fear their objects find? Must dull suspense corrupt the stagnant mind?
Must helpless man in ignorance sedate,
Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,
No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?
Inquirer, cease; petitions yet remain
Which Heaven may hear, nor deem religion vain.
Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
But leave to Heaven the measure and the choice.
Safe in His power, whose eyes discern afar
The secret ambush of a specious prayer;
Implore His aid, in His decisions rest,
Secure whate'er He gives, He gives the best.
Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires,
And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind,
Obedient passions, and a will resign'd;
For love, which scarce collective man can fill;
For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill ;
For faith, that, panting for a happier seat,
Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat :
These goods for man the laws of Heaven ordain,
These goods He grants, who grants the power to gain;
With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind,
And makes the happiness she does not find.