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LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

39

There was arming heard on land and wave,

When afar the sunlight spread,
And the phantom forms of the tide-worn cave
With the mists of morning fed.

But at eve, the kingly hand

Of the battle-axe and brand, Lay cold on a pile of dead!

THE CAVERN OF THE THREE TELLS.

SWISS TRADITION.

The three founders of the Helvetic Confederacy are thought to sleep in a cavern near the lake of Lucerne. The herdsmen call them the Three Tells; and say that they lie there in their antique garb, in quiet slumber; and when Switzerland is in her utmost need, they will awaken and regain the liberties of the land.

See Quarterly Review, No. 44. The Grütli, where the confederates held their nightly meetings, is a meadow on the shore of the Lake of Lucerne, or Lake of the Forest-cantons, here called the Forest-sea.

Ou ! enter not yon shadowy cave

Seek not the bright spars there,
Though the whispering pines that o'er it wave,
With freshness fill the air:

For there the Patriot Three,

In the garh of old array'd,
By their native Forest-sea

On a rocky couch are laid.
The Patriot Three that met of yore

Beneath the midnight sky,
And leagued their hearts on the Grütli shore,
In the name of liberty!

Now silently they sleep

Amidst the hills they freed;
But their rest is only deep,

Till their country's hour of need.
They start not at the hunter's call,

Nor the Laminer-geyer's cry,
Nor the rush of a sudden torrent's fall,

Nor the Lauwine thundering by!

40

LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

And the Alpine herdsman's lay,

To a Switzer's heart so dear!
On the wild wind floats away,

No more for them to hear.
But when the battle-horn is blown

Till the Schreckhorn's peaks reply,
When the Jungfrau's cliffs send back the tone
Through their eagles' lonely sky ;

When spear-heads light the lakes,

When trumpets loose the snows,
When the rushing war-steed shakes

The glacier's mute repose ;
When Uri's beechen woods waye red

In the burning hamlet's light; Then from the cavern of the dead, Shall the sleepers wake in might!

With a leap, like Tell's proud leap,

When away the helm he flung, *
And boldly up the steep

From the flashing billow sprung!
They shall wake beside their Forest-sea,

In the ancient garb they wore
When they link'd the hands that made us free,
On the Grütli's moonlight shore:

And their voices shall be heard,

And be answer'd with a shout,
Till the echoing Alps are stirrid,

And the signal-fires blaze out.
And the land shall see such deeds again

As those of that proud day, When Winkelried,

on Sempach's plain, Through the serried spears made way;

And when the rocks came down

On the dark Morgarten dell,
And the crowned casques, o'erthrown,

Before our fathers fell!
For the Kühreihen'sf notes must never sound

In a land that wears the chain,
And the vines on freedom's holy ground

Untrampled must remain ! * The point of rock on which Tell leaped from the boat of Gessler is marked by a chapel, and called the Tellensprung.

Crowned helmets, as a distinction of rank, are mentioned in Simond's Switzerland.

• The Kübreihen, the celebrated Ranz des Vaches.

LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

41

And the yellow harvest wave

For no stranger's hand to reap,
While within their silent cave

The men of Grütli sleep!

SWISS SONG,

ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF AN ANCIENT BATTLE.

The Swiss, even to our days, have continued to celebrate the anniversaries of ancient battles with much solempity; 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 freedorn's voice and step are found,

Forget ye not the band,
The faithful band, our sires, who fell
Here, in the narrow battle dell!
Il yet, the wilds among,

Our silent hearts may burn,
When the deep inountain-horu had rung,

And home our steps may tuin,
---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 ruse !
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 !

LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

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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 gleanı cold,
The glorious tales of elder days

May proudly yet be told,
Forget not then the shepherd-race,
Who made the heartha 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 !

THE MESSENGER-BIRD.

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 set thy voice be heard.

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 there,

They are there--and they weep po more!

LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

43

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 teast, 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 lovedo they love us yet i
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 ?
We call them far through the silent night,

And they speak not from cave or hill;
We know, thou bird! that their land is bright,
But

do they love there still?

say,

** An expedition was actually undertaken by Juan Ponce de Leon, in the 16th century, with a 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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