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If I thy guileless bosom had,

Mine own would not be dry.”

The Night before Waterloo

There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gather'd then
5 Her beauty and her Chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,

Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again, 10 And all went merry as a marriage bell; But hush i hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising

knell !

Did ye not hear it? — No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;

On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined; 15 No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet

To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet.
But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;

And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before ! 20 Arm! arm ! it is-it is -- the cannon's opening roar!

Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,

And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated: who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise !


And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering with white lips — “The foe!

They come! they come !"



Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The morn the marshaling in arms — the day
Battle's magnificently stern array !
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent
The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heap'd and pent,
Rider and horse — friend, foe-in one red burial blent !




ENGLAND, 1793–1847

Abide with Me

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

5 Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour; 10 What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power ?

Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be ? Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless :

Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness. 15 Where is Death's sting? Where, Grave, thy victory?

I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;

Heaven's morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows


In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.


ENGLAND, 1800–1859

Horatius at the Bridge


The consul's brow was sad, and the consul's speech

was low, And darkly looked he at the wall, and darkly at the foe. “Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes

down; And if they once may win the bridge, what hope to

save the town?" Then out spoke brave Horatius, the captain of the

gate: “To every man upon this earth death cometh, soon

or late: Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed

ye may; I, with two more to help me, will hold the foe in play. 10 In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped

by three.

Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the

bridge with me?" Then out spake Spurius Lartius — a Ramnian proud

was he Lo! I will stand at thy right hand, and keep the

bridge with thee." And out spake strong Herminius — of Titian blood

was he “I will abide on thy left side, and keep the bridge

with thee.“Horatius," quoth the consul, “as thou sayest, so let

it be.And straight against that great array, forth went the

dauntless three. Soon all Etruria's noblest felt their hearts sink to



On the earth the bloody corpses, in the path the

dauntless three. And from the ghastly entrance, where those bold

Romans stood, The bravest shrank like boys who rouse an old bear

in the wood. But meanwhile ax and lever have manfully been

plied, And now the bridge hangs tottering above the boiling

tide. “Come back, come back, Horatius!” loud cried the

fathers all :

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