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Have dark clouds pass’d on the stormy blast ?
Darker are behind.
They gather'd long, they lower'd low;
All men trembling stood :
They shed a few first drops of woe,
At length they burst in blood !
On smiling France at first,
On guilty France they burst,
Her sainted monarch fell, her princess fled,
Her noblest, best, were number’d with the dead.
In dungeon gloom her maidens' bloom
Was counted cheap as dust;
And the innocent child there only smiled
In its young unguarded trust.
Wealth, beauty, talent died,
And the rivers ran with gore;
Thou hast drunk the blood of thy choicest pride,
Proud France ! and wilt have more ?
The tempest hath not pass’d: the clouds of wrath
Sweep on enfolding in their awful gloom
All lands, Despair before their path;
Behind, the silence of the tomb.
I see them form; I see them rise ;
Fainter grows the light;
Till they enshroud the glorious skies,
And liken day to night.
And beneath are the dusty plains of war,
The steed, and the warrior's brazen car,
The lightning sword, and the cannon's shock,
And the rifle's rattle on rifted rock.
And the soul that dares to do or die !
And his armies sweep from sea to sea,
And he tramples the proud, and enchains the free,
Till the earth at his fury stood aghast,
And the nations shook at his tread as he pass’d.
Hath torn from the forest branch and leaf:
And Europe is weeping tears of blood :—
He sheds no tear of grief.
But there is love in heaven : and angels weep
If men forbear o'er human sufferings :
And freedom's cry, awaking from her sleep,
In the proud conqueror's ear a death-knell rings.
He fell: and, moated by the chafing waves,
For whom all earth had seem'd too small a throne,
For whom unnumber'd myraids had sunk down
Into untimely graves,
Slept in his narrow bed full tranquilly
Long silent years beneath the willow-tree.
Touch, minstrel, touch thy lyre again
To livelier music, for thy lay
Hath been in somewhat mournful solemn strain
For a bright festal day.
What if the world's arena hath been rife
With sounds of discord, and fell deeds of strife,
Here they have been as echoes faint and far ;
Here glide unruffled on the silent hours ;
Peace dwells with Wisdom; and the evening star
Shines ever cloudless o'er these sacred towers.
What, though the tempest often sweep
Recklessly o'er the billowy deep,-
This quiet crystal fountain hath flow'd on,
Shelter'd from every storm that raves anon,
And sent its copious floods
To gladden and renew on every hand
The valleys, and the wild banks, and the woods
Of our great Fatherland.
And might I twine one parting wreath for thee,
Dear college home, by thousand memories dear,
Ere I forsake thy tranquil shores, and steer
To the bleak pathways of the trackless sea ?
'Twere only adding to the debt I owe
Of thanks, and gratitude, and filial love ;
And faint my strains, and feeble were, and low,
To tell thy worth, all praise of mine above.
Nay, rather, grateful prayers shall rise, that He,
Beneath whose favoring smile
Thou art the glory of our native isle,
May ever shield, and guard, and prosper thee.
Ours only be the joy to know,
When in the world tost to and fro,
We once were shelter'd underneath thy walls,
O fairest, noblest, best of Granta's glorious halls.
THERE's music on the winds : and far aloft
It sinks and rises as they rise and sink.
And evermore, like waters from the brink
Of over-joyful springs, in tones most soft
And most melodious, came quick bursts of song,
Like harpers harping on their harps ; and oft
They filld my soul with worship; till among
The caverns of the clouds they seem'd to lose
The magic of their music: none might choose
But hear: the fount was rapture; and to drink,
A joy past utterance: and the morning dews
Chased mist-like the blue ocean waves along,
Till clouds, winds, waters, music-built did seem,
The shadows of an everlasting dream.