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O joyful hour, when to our longing home

The long-expected wheels at length drew nigh!
When the first sound went forth, “ They come ! they come!"

And hope's impatience quickened every eye!
“ Never had man whom Heaven would heap with bliss
More glad return, more happy hour than this.”
Aloft on yonder bench, with arms dispread,

My boy stood, shouting there his father's name,
Waving his hat around his happy head:

And there, a younger group, his sisters came :
Smiling they stood with looks of pleased surprize,
While tears of joy were seen in elder eyes.
Soon each and all came crouding round to share

The cordial greeting, the beloved sight;
What welcomings of hand and lip were there !

And when those overflowings of delight
Subsided to a sense of quiet bliss,
Life hath no purer deeper happiness.
The young companion of our weary way,

Found here the end desired of all her ills;
She who in sickness pining many a day

Hungered and thirsted for her native hills.
Forgetful now of sufferings past and pain,
Rejoiced to see her own dear home again.
Recovered now, the homesick mountaineer

Sate by the playmate of her infancy,
Her twin like comrade,-rendered doubly dear

For that long absence: full of life was she,
With voluble discourse and eager mien
Telling of all the wonders she had seen.
Here silently between her parents stood

My dark-eyed Bertha, timid as a dove;
And gently oft from time to time she wooed

Pressure of hand, or word, or look of love,
With impulse shy of bashful tenderness,
Soliciting again the wished caress.
The
younger

twain in wonder lost were they,
My gentle Kate, and my sweet Isabel :
Long of our promised coming, day by day,

It had been their delight to hear and tell ;
And now when that long promised hour was come,

Surprize and wakening memory held them dumb.
* But there stood one whose heart could entertain

And comprehend the fullness of the joy, * These lines will convey to the reader no other picture than that of a father's happiness amid his domestic joys, and the fair promise of the future. But they acquire a deeply pathetic interest from the circumstance, that since they were written, that only boy, the pupil and

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The father, teacher, playmate, was again

Come to his only and his studious boy :
And he beheld again that mother's eye,
Which with such ceaseless care had watched his infancy.'

pp. 1–8. The whole of the poem is written in the same easy and flowing stanza, which well suits the familiar epistolary style of the narrative. Section the first is entitled Flanders. The second describes Brussels as it appeared illuminated for the reception of the Emperor Alexander.

• Her mile-long avenue with lamps was hung

Innumerous, which diffused a light like day;
Where thro' the line of splendour, old and young

Paraded all in festival array;
While fiery barges, i lying to and fro,

Illumin'd, as they mov'd, the liquid glass below.' The Poet coutrasts with the gaiety of that festive spectacle, the scene which, only three months before, the city presented, and the sights which still offered themselves in the recesses of the hospital.

' And now within her walls, insatiate Death,
Devourer whom no harvest e'er can fill,
The gleanings of that field was gathering still.'
• Some in the courts of that great hospital,

That they might taste the sun and open air,
Crawled out ; or sate beneath the southern wall ;

Or leaning in the gate, stood gazing there
In listless guise upon the passers by,
Whiling away the hours of slow recovery.
Here might the hideous face of war be seen,

Stript of all pomp, adornment, and disguise;
It was a dismal spectacle, I ween,

Such as might well to the beholder's eyes
Bring sudden tears, and make the pious mind
Grieve for the crimes and follies of mankind.
What had it been then in the recent days

Of that great triumph, when the open wound
Was festering, and along the crowded ways,

Hour after hour was heard the incessant sound
Of wheels, which o'er the rough and stony road

Conveyed their living agonizing load! playmate, the pride and joy of his father, has been suddenly removed, darkening for ever the charms of that mountain scenery, and opening from the fairest scenes of nature a vista into eternity. In these lines Mr. Southey was unconsciously preparing a Son's best epitaph, the expression of a father's complacent affection; and in these the memory of that Son shall outlive the record of the monumental stone.

Hearts little to the melting mood inclined

Grew sick to see their sufferings ; and the thought
Still comes with horror to the shuddering mind,

Of those sad days when Belgian ears were taught
The British soldier's cry, half groan, half prayer,
Breathed when his pain is more than he can bear'

pp. 43-46. The third section contains a description of the field of battle, topographically minute, such as it appeared three months after the dreadful conflict. The spirit in which the survey was taken, is shewn in the following stanzas.

• Was it a soothing or a mournful thought

Amid this scene of slaughter as we stood,
Where armies had with recent fury fought,

To mark how gentle Nature still pursued
Her quiet course, as if she took no care
For what her noblest work had suffered there.
The pears had ripened on the garden wall ;

Those leaves which on the autumnal earth were spread,
The trees, though pierced and scarred with many a ball,

Had only in their natural season shed .
Flowers were in seed whose buds to swell began
When such wild havoc here was made of man!
Throughout the garden, fruits and herbs and flowers

You saw in growth, or ripeness, or decay;
The green and well-trimmed dial marked the hours

With gliding shadow as they past away;
Who would have thought, to see this garden fair,

Such horrors had so late been acted there !' pp. 74–75. “ The Scene of War," is the title of the concluding section of the narrative. It is principally occupied in narrating the sentiments which the Author universally met with among the Belgic peasantry, and in describing the traces of the battle which every where attended his journey. A tribute of grateful admiration, he informs us, was uniformly paid to the conduct of our soldiery; but from every lip he was accosted with the indignant exclamation,

• Wherefore we spared the author of this strife?' Mr. Southey adds in a note, that he

• Met with many persons who disliked the union with Holland, and who hated the Prussians, but none who spoke in favour or even in palliation of Buonaparte. The manner in which this ferocious beast, as they call him, has been treated, has given a great shock to the moral feelings of mankind. The almost general mode of accounting for it on the Continent, is by a supposition that England purposely let him loose froin Elba in order to have a pretext for again attacking France, and crippling a country which she had left too strong, and which would soon have outstripped her in prosperity. I found it im. possible to dispossess even men of sound judgement and great ability of this belief, preposterous as it is; and when they read the account of the luxuries which have been sent to St. Helena for his accommodation, they will consider it as the fullest proof of their opinion.'

Part the second, is entitled the Vision. The Author supposes himself introduced by a grave and venerable personage to the top of a tower“ whose frail foundations upon sand were “ placed,” from which he may look down on the wanderings of the erring crowd below. With this sage, who proves to be a personification of the worldly wisdom of the sceptical philosophy, he enters into a conference, which is sustained with considerable spirit through the first two sections. The Poet does full justice to the sentiments of · The Evil Prophet,' by giving them the utmost plausibility and force of expression ; and our readers will instantly perceive from the following stanzas, that they are not the phantom opinions of an allegorical personage merely which he is combating: The old man,' with hard eye “unabashed and look serene,' replies to the poet's passionate objections to bis lessons, by pointing to the field of slaughter beneath them, and proceeds:

• This but a page of the great book of war

A drop amid the sea of human woes !
Thou canst remember when the Morning Star

Of Freedom on rejoicing France arose,
Over her vine-clad hills and regions gay,
Fair even as Phosphor who foreruns the day.
Such and su beautiful that Star's uprise ;

But soon the glorious dawn was overcast:
A baleful track it held across the skies,

Till now thro' all its fatal changes past,
Its course fulfilled, its aspects understood,
On Waterloo it hath gone down in blood.
Where now the hopes with which thine ardent youth

Rejoicingly to run its race began?
Where now the reign of Liberty and Truth,

The Rights Omnipotent of Equal Man,
The principles should make all discord cease,
And bid poor human kind repose at length in peace?
Behold the Bourbon to that throne by force

Restored, from whence by fury he was cast :
Thus to the point where it began its course,

The melancholy cycle comes at last;
And what are all the intermediate years ?-
What, but a bootless waste of blood and tears!

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The
peace

which thus at Waterloo ye won,
Shall it endure with this exasperate foe?
In gratitude for all that ye have done,

Will France her ancient enmity forego?
Her wounded spirit, her envenomed will
Ye know, and ample means are left her still.
What tho’ the tresses of her strength be shorn,

The roots remain untouched ; and as of old
The bondsman Samson felt his power return

To bis knit sinews, so shall ye behold
France, like a giant fresh from sleep, arise
And rush upon her slumbering enemies.
If we look farther, what shall we behold

But every where the swelling seeds of ill,
Half-smothered fires, and causes manifold

Of strife to come; the powerful watching still
For fresh occasion to enlarge his

power,
The weak and injured waiting for their hour !
Will the rude Cossack with his spoils bear back

The love of peace and humanizing art?
Think ye the mighty Moscovite shall lack

Some specious business for the ambitious heart ;
Or the black Eagle, when she moults her plume,
The form and temper of the Dove assume ?
From the old Germanic chaos hath there risen

A happier order of established things?
And is the Italian Mind from papal prison

Set free to soar upon its native wings ?
Or look to Spain, and let her Despot tell
If there thy high-raised hopes are answered well!
At that appeal my spirit breathed a groan,

But he triumphantly pursued his speech :
O Child of Earth, he cried with loftier tone,

The present and the past one lesson teach!
Look where thou wilt, the history of man
Is but a thorny maze, without a plan!

pp. 125-132. The third section is entitled "The Sacred Mountain. A heavenly voice summons the poet, whom the old man's parting words had filled with consternation and doubt, to a green and sunny summit,

< So fair As well with long lost Eden might compare.' The Author has employed all his exquisite powers of description upon the scenery of this celestial mountain : a heavenly virtue is in its atmosphere, ' to heal, and calm, and purify the • breast.' He follows the Divine Monitress, till at length they

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