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omitted

Mont St. Jean,

A Poem,

by William Liddiard

O Heaven, thy arm was there!

Theodore & Laura,

A Tale,

by J. S. Anna Liddiard,
author of Kenilworth, and other poems.

London:
Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and
Browne , and John Cumming, Dublin.
18161816.

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A Great English Dramatist has proverbialized the tediousness of a Twice told Tale. If the Author of the following Poem has not been actuated by an assurance, so little calculated, in his own instance, to excite encouragement, let it not be attributed to any defiance of a maxim, which he will readily subscribe to, but rather to the recollection of the words of a Roman Author, more favourable to his undertaking, and equally skilled in the developement of human character, who tells us that there are Tales, which after being told nine times will still please on repetition. Decies repetita placebit.

A subject so important in its results, as that of Waterloo, or Mont St. Jean, if it does not banish, must render every other topic, at least for a time, comparatively insignificant, and will, the Author hopes, exculpate him from any imputation prejudicial to that feeling, which is synonimous with merit, vi π2v vi and without the possession of which, even the highest Talent deserves to fail in reaping its rewards. It is this consideration alone, he feels, which can justify the Poetical attempt of describing what has been already touched by a Master’s hand. The Field of Waterloo, by Walter Scott.

The Tale of Theodore and Laura, which follows that of Mont St. Jean, owes its birth also to that dreadful, but glorious day. No apology therefore is necessary, on the score of congruity, for its introduction here, though some may be due for its not taking its proper place. Consistency, however, requires an inversion of the rights of precedency, that Theodore and Laura, (to preserve the unity of Time) should follow the Battle of Mont St. Jean.

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Mont St. Jean.

Led by the Muse, how willing we pursue

The flowret’s path,—the Summer sunny way,—

Or wintry prospects clad in russet grey,—

Or the war-shattered woods of Waterloo.

O Bard of Scotia, with thy plaintive song,

Thou lead’st us as with magic hand along,

See Scott’sField of Waterloo, where the descriptive powers of that celebrated Author are so happily exerted in his own peculiar manner. A 2 A1v 2

And pointest out the way

Where hostile bands, with threatening line,

Spread far and wide, resplendent shine,

Courting the glittering ray.

Strewed by the beach autumnal leaf,

We pierce the thicket’s dreary gloom;

Reminding us, that life is brief,

That as we walk, we near the tomb.—

Encircling in the eddying gust,

The half-green—half-embrowned floor,

Proclaiming that we are but dust,

Prepares us well for that’s before.

Yon village, and yon awkward spire,

Demand a pause:—that bloody mire,

Marked by the fetlock, tells the ground;

The long black line, the stubble bare,

3 A2r 3

The slaughtering tale seems to declare,

And yonder sodless mound!

II.

’Tis silent all—not e’en a breath

Plays thro’ the leaves—all still as death,

Save, where from yonder fane the knell

Of time is heard, with solemn swell,

In melancholy mood.

Time keeps his pace—and tho’astound,

Still he sends forth his warning sound,

Amid this solitude.

But where are those who now may hear,

And grateful hail thy stated peel?

—Thy chiming voice—thy wont appeal?

—Or fled—or deaf—if near!――

4 A2v 4

Late on this spot, the fire of life

Shot from the angry eye,

Eager for combat—bound for strife—

To conquer—or—to die!

And now not one is here to tell

How in the fight, his brother fell:

Yon hovering bird of prey

The only guide that speaks the tide

That swept the brave away.

III.

—’Tis loneliness!—save where is seen to crawl

’Yon limping steed, marred by the cruel ball,

To drag his lengthen’d limb along;

Changing his posture—place—with pain,

He seeks for pasture sweet in vain;—

Such is thy portrait now, O Hougomont!

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The hungry kite,

O hateful sight!

Perched on yon bone that bleeds,

Takes his gorged fill,

With gory bill,

Tugs—flaps his wings—and feeds!—

Thousands who jocund with the Sun,

Arose at morn their course to run,

But not like him again

To rise at morning from their bed,

To lift again the freshened head,

And ride above the plain!

IV.

The sable Morn in tears arose;

Her cheek the livery wore of woes,

6 A3v 6

And let fall many a tear:

From Brussels to St. Jean, each tree

The symbol bore of misery,

Wept o’er the clayey bier:

Each green blade wept in unison,

Thro’ mist, when sudden rose the Sun,

And shed reviving light.

――Shone in the dew-drop—on the spire—

Shed o’er the warrior’s helm its fire,

And on the spear rayed bright!

His beams impartial cheered each host,

With hope anew each arm

Was nerved, as if by potent charm;

—Foemen and friends the omen boast.

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V.

Here like the rocks that gird their land,

The Britons take their dauntless stand,

War’s wavy tide to brave;

Bent or to fall—or to succeed,

They pant for glorious, martial deed, Note 1. They pant for glorious martial deed.—Page 7—Line 5. The Battle of Waterloo reminds us of the days of chivalry. Neither ancient nor modern history record deeds of greater heroism than were exhibited on this field of battle, so little in extent, so great in its results—even Officers of foot were compelled to have recourse to their own swords for protection. Both armies seemed anxious to bring it to a personal contest, like the Athenians, who on a particular occasion, we are told, engraved on their shields a small fly, with the inscription, Till I may be seen; implying, that all the Athenians were expected, to approach near enough to the enemy, to be enabled to see the fly—in other words to conquer or to die. K

And for the battle crave.

No vain pursuit of empty fame,

Or plunder base their spur to strife;

They fight for Freedom—and a name,

For that they prize more dear than life.

The Britons want no coat of mail,

Their’s is an armour cannot fail;

Invulnerable crest!—

To give to Europe’s Sons repose,

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Disturb’d by fell and lawless foes,

Religion’s hateful pest.

VI.

And England do not thou despise

The banner’d host so vain and loud,

With rapine fed—of slaughter proud;—

Know, Brussels is the promis’d prize!

Yet let them come with hideous yell,

The British stand on higher ground,

Each heart a well defended mound;

—A never failing citadel.

And such the heart will ever be

That beats and fights for Liberty,

That nerves the sinewy hand;

Where King and Country is the cry,

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Directed by the unerring eye,

The bullets ne’er at random fly,

Impregnable the band! Note II. Impregnable the Band.—Page 9—Line 3. It was a saying of Chabrias, the Athenian General, that an army of Stags, with a Lion for their leader, was more formidable than an army of Lions, led by a Stag.

By promise flushed, with hope elate,

Impatient for command they wait,

Their line they long extend;

Assured they only fight to win,

Eager the combat to begin,—

—Fair Brussels to defend.

A moving wood of spears are seen

’Gainst these to move—a vengeful mien

A stubborn battle to portend,—

A desperate foe unus’d to bend.

Before the night,

You gain the fight;

Fair Brussels town,

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Shall be your own;

Pillage the meed,

If you succeed.

Such was the robber-boon Note III. Such was the robber-boon,Held out by him, &c.—Page 10—Line 4. Buonaparte seems to have followed, to a certain extent, the example of Hannibal, who, amid the difficulties which his troops had to encounter, in passing the Alps, calls upon his army to halt, and points out from a rugged eminence on which they stood, the Capitol against which their army was directed; telling them, at the same time, that by one or two battles at the most, that, and the city would be theirs. Per omnia nive oppleta quùm signis primâ luce motis segniter agmen incederet, pigritiâque et desperatio in omnium vultu emineret; prægresses signa Annibal, in promontorio quodam, unde longè ac latè prospectus erat, consistere jussis mitilibus, Italiam ostentat, subjectosque Alpinis montibus circumpadanos campos; mœniaque eos tum transcendere non Italiæ modo, sed etiam Urbis Romanœ. Cœtera plana proclivia fore: uno, aut summùm altero prœlio arcem et caput Italiæ in manu ac potestate habituros. Liv. Lib.Liber 21.

Held out by him whose tottering power

Was doomed to live, but one short hour;――

The iron-browed Napoleon.

VII.

To martial eye, no finer ken,

Was seen of war-horse and war-men,

Than fill’d the trampled plain;

Wanting no choice of ground,—or skill,—

The right a wood flank’d,—and a hill,

The British had—(their center)—ta’en;

The Mont St. Jean it was yclept,

Which while the proud battalions kept

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Brussels might well all threats defy;

For thro’ the hamlet was the way

To that fair town—and its best stay

To check the daring enemy.

Here joined the left wing of the line,

Where Prussian eagles tow’ring shine,

By the brave Blucher led;

By vengeance, and by nature strong,

Eager for fight—impelled by wrong,

He burned to be the foe among,

—His heart with hope high fed.

Oppos’d to these—and parallel,

Their numbers vain to count or tell, Note IV. Their numbers vain to count or tell.—Page 11—Line 13. Nothing, among the acts of Buonaparte, is more calculated to excite astonishment, than the immense army, with its materiel, which he brought into Belgium. When the shortness of the time is considered, in which he collected this imposing force, and the destruction of men and artillery incident to the fatal campaigns of RusssiaRussia, Leipsic, &c. &c.were there not hundreds of thousands of prisoners sent into France after the first peace? The formation of it could only be equalled by the rapidity with which it was brought into action by its Commander. This, alone, is enough to have immortalized him, were we not enabled to account for it, in some measure, by natural means; by calling to mind his arbitrary power, —that he was to use the words of Demosthenes:— Αμα στςατηγον, και δεσποτην, και ταμιαν. Generalissimo—King—and Pursebearer. The union of these characters in his own person, made it unnecessary to wait for the decision of his Council; Like that of Louis the XI. the King and the Council were carried by the same Horse, that which bore its master.

Gallia’s tri-colour’d ensigns flew.

The Lancer and the Cuirassier

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Held in reserve—behind—but near—

And the tried Guards a chosen few.

VIII.

And now is heard the Cannonade!

Prince Jerome who the left commands

Of Gallia’s chosen veteran bands,

Begins the dreadful trade;

Like to the swelling water flood,

With motion certain—gradual—slow,

When from the main it comes—they go;—

And now they reach yon sheltering wood,

When forth the light’ning came,

And burst of thunder roaring loud;

The wood, one moment wrapt in flame,

—The next within a shroud!—

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The wood impetuous they gain,

—What can such sudden force sustain?

And by their momentary conquest flush’d,

With angry eye, the daring band,

Place to fair Hougomont the brand,—

When forth the British rush’d.

IX.

When Wellington the sight beheld,

His breast with indignation swelled;

And yet to save his band,—

Behind the curtain to retire,

To save them from the sudden fire,

He issued forth command:—

Not long, I ask you to retreat,

Such word is not for Britons meet,

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Soon shall you forward go;

These countless tongues of fire shall then

Be silenced—soon—brave Englishmen!—

—Soon shall you chase the Foe;

With order meet,

A short retreat,

With movement retrograde,

Like the retiring rock-beat wave,

Soon with redoubled strength to lave,

Makes the well train’d Brigade.

What, think’st thou that the cause is fear?

Mistaken—sanguine—Cuiraissier;

Think’st thou they fly to yield?

Too soon thy forward step shall know,

They bend to give a stronger blow,

—But to ensure the field.

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X.

Go on—advance—and meet the foe,

Discover’d only when too late;—

Destruction’s in thy course!—

Not far they fly—they but prepare,—

Change their loose form, for solid square;—

In vain thy vaunted force;

Unmoved they stand,

A bristling band,

As e’er took brand,

Or dar’d the fiercest fight;

A braver few,

Ne’er trigger drew,

More stout, more true,

Led on by gallant Knight.

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Know, that solid square encloses Note V. Know that solid square encloses—Page 16—Line 1. Wellington is said to have more than once thrown himself into the center of solid squares of Infantry.—This act is, at once a proof how much he must have exposed his person, as well as of the confidence he had in his Troops.—Mr. Whitbread, in the House of Commons, termed this a sublime sight, and one, had it taken place in the days of Athens and of Rome, which would have been recorded as such by their Historians.

Him whom in vain thy king opposes,

Tho’ back’d by Soult and Ney!

Thy Marshals who hath one by one

Routed—eclipsed their glory’s sun;—

Napoleon’s sets this Day!

XI.

Twice an hundred mouths of fire

Distend their jaws of fateful ire

From Gallia’s furious line;

Both horse and foot,—beneath their charge,—

With bayonet now, and now with targe,

Their power at once combine.

How beat thy bosom—Wellington!—

How swell’d the heart of Erin’s Son

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What coolness—ardour thine!— Note VI. What coolness, ardour thine!—Page 17—Line 1. Panœtius, in Aulus Gellius, compares a prudent General to a good Wrestler, who never leaves himself exposed in any part, but, with watchful eye, observes the motions of his adversary till the combat is decided.

All thy prowess—all thy art,

Then wanted was—to aid thy heart;

To meet the o’erpowering flood:

Invoked by thee—whom to appal

Was vain.—Thy Genius at thy call

Repelled the sea of blood.

XII.

The Gauls moved on, a living wedge—

And for a moment, gained the ledge,

Hoping with one fell swoop,

—Nor wholly vain—to gain the day,

For Nassau bends beneath their sway;

When Heaven avenging, sent a stay,

In Picton—and his troop.

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Dashed backwards then, the enemy

Beneath his fire destructive fly;—

At their own loss astound!

Driven from the hard-contested post,

As quick move back the angry host,

While thousands strew the ground.

XIII.

Exult not;—for success full dear

Was bought:—Witness the falling tear

Bedewing our great Leader’s eye,—

As now upon his quivering lip,

Death’s seen his favorite’s breath to sip,

—He sees his Picton die!

Yet Picton, if it was thy doom

To meet in fight untimely tomb,

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’Tis grateful still to know,

To him who reads

Heroic deeds,

Before thy fall ’twas thine to hear Note VII. Before thy fall ’twas thine to hearThe cry of—Victory—in thine ear.—Page 19—Line 4. The fall of Picton was not unlike that of General Wolfe.— They both fell in battle, but yet lived to hear the cry of— Victory—a sound which if it could not prevent the agonies 69 K3r 69 of Death, might be supposed to deprive it of its sting.—The word Victory is here only to be taken in a partial sense, that is, the defeat of that particular attack of the enemy made with so much confidence, and repelled, as we are told, not without astonishment on the part of the assailants.

The cry of—Victory!—in thine ear;—

Before thee fly the foe!—

Nor Picton only thou—for here—

Ponsonby closed his bright career, Note VIII. —for here—Ponsonby closed his bright career,—Felled by the lancer’s pike:—Page 19—Line 8. Sir Wm. Ponsonby’s Death was disgraceful to the Enemy.—It is some consolation to know, that scarce one of these Troglodytœ The fierce Troglodytœ were a people bordering upon Æthiopia near the Arabian Gulph, who lived in wretched huts, and fed upon Serpents. or Polish Lancers, who barbarously refused quarter to a defenceless prisoner, were left alive at the close of the memorable day.

Felled by the lancer’s pike:

No quarter give they—merciless

On their defenceless foe they press;

With deadly weapon strike.—

With hand convulsive—eager grasp—

Behold him to his bosom clasp,

As shuts his eye in death,

The semblance—much beloved—of her

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Who was to him in life most dear,

—Mixing her fond name with his latest breath!

XIV.

For this—ye Poles,—for this fell deed,

Justice decreed that day your meed;—

Your hands—with carnage red,—

Each, by its heartless side, hung cold,

Soon doomed to meet its kindred mould,

—So true the Britons steel and lead.

’Yon orchard—Akeldama—well Note IX. ’Yon orchard—Akeldama—wellCan say how, many fought and fellNever again to rise.—Page 20—Line 9. Within half an hour, we are told, 1500 men were killed 70K3v70 at Hugoumont in a little orchard, not exceeding four acres in extent. This place may well be called Akeldama, or the field of blood.

Can say how, many fought and fell

Never again to rise.

As thick as is the seed when strewed

In earth—again to be renewed

In brighter—purer skies!

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United by that leveller Death,

Mingling at length their hovering breath,

Lies many a bleeding corse;

With stiffening limb and glassy eye,

Both friend and foe together lie,

The rider and his horse!

XV.

And now Mont St. Jean is the cry,

’Gainst this your utmost valour ply;

This gained, the foe by thousands die,

Onward, and crown the height.

The word proud Gallia’s sons obey,

Certain to gain the dubious day,

Lavish they fling their lives away,

Seeking the thickest fight.

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The horse of Gallia urged by hate,

Against the infantry advance,

Hoping to crush them with their weight;—

And now not thrice the distance of a lance!—

But dauntless they, and void of dread;—

With steady eye, and sinewy hand,

At once they pour a shower of lead,

And keep immoveable their stand:—

The astonished squadrons broken wheel,

No more the steed obeys the steel;

While many a gallant rider’s rein

Is slackened, as to earth he falls,

’Mid iron sleet, and murderous balls,

—Man’s antidote and bane!

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XVI.

Thus the arch fiend, from Heaven who fell—

Sent by the Omnipotent to Hell,—

Came in the Tempest’s gloomy shroud;

Hail-stones of fire, proclaim’d his knell,

By light’ning’s flash, and sulphury smell,

While peel’d the thunder loud:—

The realms above—then darker seemed

Reflected blaze the ocean streamed;

—Heard were the cries of dire despair!

Such as from birds of omen ill,

Strike on the ear, with horrid thrill,

And load, with notes of woe, the air.

Angry—malignant—and as pale

As Satan, when with vengeful eye,

He saw, and cursed his destiny,—

Napoleon saw his squadrons fail.

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Placed at a distance, in the rear,

Coolly he marked the battle fray;

His heart ’gainst feeling steeled,—or fear,―― Note XI. His heart ’gainst feeling steeled or fear, Well kend he how the battle lay.—Page 24—Line 4. If Napoleon cannot be accused of Cowardice, neither has he much claim to the credit of what is termed—Feeling— unless the latter sentiment has been swallowed up in his Philosophy!—

Well ken’d he how the battle lay.

As he on St. Jean’s fateful ground,

His station held—and look dlooked around

With cool, but eager ken,

He saw the motion,—like a wave,—

Where many a gallant found his grave;――

Confusion both of horse and men.

Vengeance—Ambition—fill his soul,

And in his lurid eye-balls roll,

As they survey the deep dyed field:

Careless how many fall or bleed,

He urges on the ruthless deed;

A hecatomb, so he succeed!

He cries—The Gauls must never yield!

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Thousands and thousands yet in store,

When these have fallen—then thousands more—

We die,—or keep the plain!

XVIII.

And now from yon wood, on his right,

He sees advance—appalling sight!—

Towards Planchenois, a train, Note X. Towards Planchenois a train—Page25—Line 6. The superiority of our great Leaders Skill or Good Fortune was manifest in this skilful stratagem, which decided the Battle in favour of the Allies.—It is by such successful stratagems that the Art of War is most displayed. If attributed to Good Fortune,I would direct the attention of those who are diposed to believe in Chance, to the reply of Timotheus to those who from envy had painted him asleep, and Fortune near him throwing her nets over Fortresses, Cities, &c. If asleep says Timotheus, I can take Towns and Provinces, what might I not expect to do awake?

Spring from the cover, as from lair

The Wolf—then asks he,—

Who they were,

And what the colours that they bear?

Then trembles as he hears

From one who lifts the Telescope,—

No Friends are they—O death to hope!—

—Birth of despondent fear!

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Who on the hazard of a dye,

Had all things placed,—the enemy

Had set at nought, now quails—

Nor wholly yet of hope bereft;—

One chance—one only chance is left!—

The thought, he sanguine hails;—

My veterans yet, I may deceive;—

Let them the force descried believe,

Is Grouchy’s corps that thus out-flanks

The Prussian left;—then we their wing

May turn—as we our squadrons fling

Sudden upon their routed ranks.

XIX.

But this—nor other stratagem

Shall now the rushing torrent stem,

Headed by Wellington.

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Thus forged Napoleon the lie,

Thus riding thro’ the line the cry

Gave—madly raved—On—on;

By such Command, thou dost but send

Thy chosen, to untimely end,

Against unerring fate;

Vainly urge on thy brave elite,

A sturdier foe they go to meet,

Whose hearts for freedom largely beat,

Scorning thy utmost hate.

Tho’ Moskwa lead himself the attack,

Still shalt thou see them driven back,

For now the brave brigade

Whose office ’tis to shield their King,

Meet thy elect with forward spring;—

Beneath their fire a chasm is made.

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XX.

’Twas then Napoleon saw his own,

By edge of British sickle mown,

That echoing thro’ the skies

The Prussian clarionets peeled high,

Chaunted in sounds of harmony

Heaven’s blessing on their brave ally,—

The warrior anthems rise!—

Then Briton’s Leader gave the word,

Onward,—ye brave, with one accord.

A word which scarce he spoke,

Hurrah!—the cry!—as at their head,

The Hero true his legion led,

As thro’ the foes proud ranks they broke.

Never before was seen such strife,

’Twixt fellest foes for fame and life,

As now Napoleon hears and sees.

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They wheel around the falchion stout

The air disturbed, while pennons flout,

And court the wavering breeze.

On every side,

Now havoc wide

A doubtful contest shews,

Each blade well dyed,—

Each steed well tried,—

While thick succeed the blows.

Resounds against the helm, the steel,

While many a Cuirassier,

As back their flying squadrons wheel,

Finds on his croup a bier.

XXI.

As when a thousand Anvils sing, Note XII. As when a thousand anvils ring,At once a thousand Armourers fling,—Page 29—Line 15. When the British and French Cavalry encountered each other, the sound of the British Swords upon the Armour and Helmets of the CuirasssierCuirassier, has been compared by a Private Soldier, to a thousand Tinkers at work, at the same time, upon their pots and kettles.—The simile may not be less appropriate for being humble.—Homer compares the Ocean in a storm to a boiling kettle.—The same great Author has a line which is justly considered as peculiarly expressive of the action it describes. It is where the sword of Menelaus is broken to pieces, on the helm of Alexander.— Αμφι δ’αρ αυτω Τριχθα τε και τετραχθα διατροφὲν εκπεσε χειρος Hom.Homer Iliad. Lib. 3.

At once a thousand Armourers fling

30 E3v 30

Around their arms with circling swing,

And strike aloud the iron ring,

And raise the kindling fire,

So echoing sounds the battered crest,

So hollow rung the plaited breast,

As squadron against squadron prest

With giant strength and ire.

Jena and Friedland are forgot,

E’en Austerlitz remembered not,—

O’er Wagram thrown oblivion’s blot;—

While Moscow’s fire and woe

Are called to mind—and sad defeat

And ignominious retreat,

Before the avenging foe.

For rattling on their steel clad dress,

Onward Britannia’s horse-men press,

With tramp—and trump—and neigh

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The cannon here,

The Musquet there,

Excite no fear,—

Fame only dear,—

Death, or be ours the day!

XXII.

Brave Enemy, we give thee praise,

Our voices to thy valour raise;—

The brave should live in Poet’s lay!— Note XIII. The brave should live in Poet’s lay.—Page 31—Line 7. Alexander when at the tomb of Achilles, at Sigœum, is said to have exclaimed—Happy youth, whose deeds of arms, were destined to be celebrated by an herald, such as Homer, and truly exclaims, adds a Roman Orator, for if no Iliad was extant, his name would have been lost with the destruction of his tomb.

That now thou fall’st, thy Captain blame,

Who wanton mars thy former fame,

Nor counts the thousands slain.

As brave a man, as e’er a troop

Of horsemen led, in saddle-croup,

Upon thee now bears down,

32 E4v 32

The noble Uxbridge, —Britain’s boast,—

He leads them on—himself a host,

To King and Country true.

At every blow, Napoleon’s crown

Is shook—his Sceptre breaks!—is down!

His angry star is red!

He sees his fate,

’Tis now too late,

For all—except—the Dead!

At length ’tis past,

His dye—is cast,

Shook are the chosen few

Panic the van

Seizes—the ban――

The cry is—SaveSauve qui peut!

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XXII.

The victors shout —

On Soldiers—on

The Battle’s ours—the day is won;—

Remembered, aye, shall be St. Jean,— Note XIV. Remembered, aye, shall be St. Jean; Writ in the British Kalendar. He that out-lives this day, and comes safe home, Will yearly on the vigil, feast his neighbours, And say to-morrow is St. Crispian; Then will he strip his sleeve and shew his scars.— Henry 5th.

Writ in the British Kalendar.

They fly—they fly—a mingled heap,

Hurled backward down the hard fought steep;

Death there is seen his own to reap,

By deadly wound and scar.

And ’mid the foremost rank is seen

The Chief,—no more of haughty mien;――

His Veterans e’en deride,

And point to where, with desperate speed,

He hurries on his gory steed,

And cry—O had he died!――

F 34 F1v 34

The trumpet’s clang,—the shriek,—the shout,— Note XV. The Trumpet’s clang—the shriek—the shout, Proclaim a more than flight—a rout; Trampled the wounded and the dead.—Page 34—Line 1. The retreat, or rather complete defeat of the French, reminds us of the disastrous discomfiture of the Israelites, whom the French seem to resemble in their infidelity, as well as their disasters. And upon them that are left alive of you, I will send a faintness into their hearts, in the lands of their enemies, and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee as fleeing from a sword: and they shall fall when none pursueth. Leviticus, Chap. 26.

Proclaim a more than flight—a rout;

Trampled the wounded and the dead,

Banners and caissons,—cannon,—Horse

And Foot, mount o’er the breathless corse,

Ply with remorseless tread!

Thus Ocean, when the tempest’s o’er,

Leaves upon the wave beat shore,

Along the sinuous bay,

Masts, hulks, and men, and stores;――bestrew’d

Upon the beach, the Tempest’s food

Promiscuously lay.

XXIII.

But Night now spread her ebon pall,

And—with the vanquish’d, levelled all

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Beneath her silent reign.

Sleep now arrests the wearied band,

Which shook so long the fateful brand,

Gave peace to all but Pain:

On many ne’er again shall rise

The Morning’s dawn, to greet their eyes,

Nor yield reviving balm;

And they who only live to woe,

Invoke her visit now below,

The sorrowing breast to calm.

XXIV.

At length rose Luna’s trembling light,

As if afraid to meet the sight,—

Robed in her clouded majesty;

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As if afraid to cast her beam,

To meet the warrior’s armour gleam,—

To cast below her eyes;

Fell foes but a few hours before,

Now clasp each other’s limbs of gore,

The same in fate, tho’ not in mail;

They speak—tho’ silent—sternly say,

This is Ambition’s fatal day!—

Sad moral of the tale!—

Yet praised their name,

Enrolled by fame,

The Brave who fell in such a cause,

Who set enslaved Europe free,

Gave welcome rest to—Misery,—

Booned to her Children—Liberty—

For Despotism—Laws.—

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XXV.

How could the soldier better die,

Than as the valiant Ponsonby?—

Than Picton the right arm of war!—

Transmitted down his name afar,

Who falling, fell in victory’s car:

And could there ought the Bridegroom cheer,—

Less bitter make the parting tear—

Hapless De Lancey, ’twas thy doom;—

Laurels with myrtle deck thy tomb!

If ought surpass Love’s tender sigh,

’Tis when the Warrior thus can die!

Tried Gordon too, and Cameron,

Earned in their death the Victor’s crown.

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Miller shall deck the heroic page;—

—Lights sent to guide a future age!

These, and a thousand honoured Dead,

Who bravely fell,—and those who bled,

On Memory’s pillar let them be,

Transmitted to Posterity;—

Nor shall the Champion be forgot,

Who stemmed—despised the cannon’s shot,

And while balls round him deadly flew,

Rode foremost ’mid the undaunted crew,

Brave Anglesea,—who ’neath the knife,

Thought only of the battle strife!

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What Sounds are these, so heavenly sweet,

Upon my raptured ear that break!

Harmonious sounds for angels meet,

That to my ravished senses speak;—

The lengthened note now rises high,

Now low and mournful seems to tell,

Of chastened woe—and now to swell

With other strains of symphony!

Ah! sure it must be strains like these,

That waft the Soul to realms of Peace,—

To Worlds where no fierce passions reign,—

To Worlds beyond the reach of pain!—

—Give! oh give the sounds again!――

40 F4v 40

The Strains that spring from war and woe,

Sooth the ills from whence they flow;—

They waft upon their chords above,—

To Realms prepared but for the brave,—

To Realms of heavenly Peace and Love,

The Souls of such as spurn the grave.

Come,—O come,—they seem to say,

Leave this harsh world and come away!

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Theodore & Laura:

or,
Evening After The Battle,


A Tale.


With


An Ode


On The Year
18151815.

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43 G2r

O Heaven! that one might read

The book of fate;

omitted1 or more lines

If this were seen,

The happiest youth—viewing this progress through

What perils past, what crosses to ensue—

Would shut the book, and lay him down to die.—

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Theodore & Laura;

or, Evening After The Battle.

Soldier.

Unhappy one—whom seek ye there,

With hurried step that speaks despair,

Where fiercest was the battle fought,

As if ’twere Death, alone they sought?

Laura.

I seek for one, who on this plain

Lies mingled with the mighty slain,

46 G3v 46

To gaze upon his fading clay,

And mark life’s fabric sink away;

Then listen to the wind-sobs high,

Moaning sad, a requiem sigh!

How mute this scene,—this scene of Death,

As war had breathed his latest breath;

While the dark prey-bird’s heavy plume

Flapping around, adds tenfold gloom,

Mixed with gaunt wolves, who prowl around,

Eager for prey, too lavish found.

But hark! what moaning voice I hear,

Breaking this tomb-like silence drear;

It ceases,—hark! again more plain,

The breeze wafts near a voice of pain.—

If, Soldier, thou dost pity feel,

If thy heart’s hard not as that steel,

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You’ll aid me from the slain to bear

The living from yon charnel there;—

My Theodore, thy voice I know,

To seek thee there, my love, I go.—

Soldier.

Thy Theodore!—Heavens can it be!

His Wife, his Laura:—follow me—

Tho’ deeply wounded in the strife,

To save him—I would risk my life,

And now methinks I feel less pain,

My weak limbs yet can life sustain;

Tho’ freshly from his wounded side

The blood welled no unscanty tide.

With trembling haste, poor Laura bound

Her torn scarf o’er the bubbling wound,

While by the dim Moon’s pallid light,

Was seen the war-wrecks of the fight;

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There broken weapons, coats of mail,

And mingled limbs,—and features pale;—

Even he—who slaughter oft had viewed,

Shrunk at a field, so thickly strewed;

A stranger tear bedewed his cheek,

As o’er these reliques sad they seek,

What must she feel, who first must tread

Her dreadful path o’er heaps of dead,

Where ’ere she gazed—no sward of green,

But deep died sanguine stains were seen

While an hot vapour-steeming Cloud,

O’er festering victims, formed a shroud;

Yet not a tear—nor even a sigh,

Betrayed her soul’s deep agony!

Each feeling of her mind was wrought

To die, or succour him she sought.—

49 H1r 49

When nearer sounds the feeble moan,

Her name was uttered in a groan.

Breathless, and half elate, she now

To Heaven put up one fervent vow,—

One prayer to Him alone can save,

And snatch the dying from the grave!

The sound had led them near an heap,

High piled with Ruin—slippery steep,—

Where havoc seemed t’ have raged more fell,

Done by the devastating shell—

So when down Etna’s rugged side,

The fiery stream speads horror wide,

Whole villages and towns o’er borne,

As if men’s works, it held in scorn.—

Mid this dire scene, they sad explore;

Hubert’s sword turns the clay-cak’d gore;

50 H1v 50

Shuddering, she gazes on each face,

Fearing his features to retrace

In death—and that perhaps too late

She came to rescue him from fate;—

For all was silent there;—the sound

Had ceased—which led them to the Mound.

Despairing, faint, she paused;――a Steed

Tramped forward, furious, at full speed;

Sudden he stopt;—before her stood,

His flanks, and housings stain’d with blood;

His harness dinted, pierced and tore,

Proved he the brunt of battle bore.

What boding horrors chill’d her breast,

She knew her hand had wrought the crest!

Which still with pride he seemed to wear,

Tossing his floating main in air;

51 H2r 51

Oft had he bowed his steer-like neck,

Which she with ornaments would deck;

It gave her Theodore delight,

To deck him for the promis’d fight;

For oft he’d smile, and fondly swear,

His Steed was proud such gifts to wear.

Few paces forward, they descried

A lifeless Soldier, by whose side

Lay one, whose wound the gorged earth dyed;

Grasping a banner as he lay,

The dear fought trophy of the fray;

’Twas Theodore!—prest to her heart,

She cried—We meet—no more to part!

Help, Hubert help!—haste hither—fly—

He lives—he breathes—he must not die!

52 H2v 52

Vain hope—and flattering as vain!

Death round him winds his icy chain;

Her voice—a moment stay’d his breath,—

Ope’d his dim eye—near closed in death;

He press’d her hand, but vainly tried

Once more to see her—ere he died!

Laura, beloved, —he strove to say,—

The voice like echo—died away.—

No more the sufferer, from that hour

E’er felt a ray of reason’s power:—

Still o’er the plain she’s seen to roam,

And call the fatal fields her home!

To those who wander near the spot,

She’ll cry—Hist—hist—disturb him not!

53 H3r 53

Then wildly pointing to the Mound,

Exclaim— There Theodore—my Theodore,was found!

Peace to the Brave—or friend—or foe,

Who found their rest at Waterloo!—

As we muse o’er the well fought field,

What grave reflection must it yield;

Where lie the brave—the mighty slain?

They sleep upon this battle plain!

This plain of stubble, thick bespread,

It is the cradle of the dead!――

Where side, by side, promiscuous lie

All of the Hero that can die!――

54 H3v 54

But tho’ such havoc rages here,

O! shed not for the dead a tear;

Think of the sad survivors’ grief;

Glory’s red wreath, yields poor relief

To Father—Mother—Children—Wife――

All the dear relatives of life;

When torn from those they wished to see,

Some loved one, of their family.――

For them we mourn—for them sigh,

This clay we tread, no more can die;

For every clod of earth, here strewed,

With life, perhaps, hath been endued.

Here stood the Curaissiers—and there—

Th’ opposing hosts, who knew no fear;

Disputing each, this spot of ground,

Where each, their bloody sojourn found;

55 H4r 55

In life tho’ foes, mingled in death,

Say which were they—now fled their breath—?

Like brothers sworn in amity,

’Till the last trump—they peaceful lie!

Ambition—on this crimson field,

Where once you triumphed—lo! you yield—

Thy victims rest without their fame,

No trophy rear’d to speak their name;

But o’er the field, where heroes bled,

The corn shall droop its heavy head;

Many for valour, famed afar,

Now grace the Victor’s sanguine car;

Remorseless vengeance, doom’d to sate,

Envying their brave companions fate.

Yet one memorial of the fight

Is there to meet our eager sight,

56 H4v 56

Where borne on bullets, and on balls,

Death called the brave, to The Author hopes to be excused at this advanced period of the Christian Æra, in introducing the Scandianvian idea of Oden, calling the brave to his Halls, who were only welcomed there from having performed feats of slaughter. But the idea was strongly suggested from learning, that the black banner of vengeance waved over that memorable field , and was followed with all the ruthless ardour befitting the followers of such a Deity! Woden’s Halls,

The only vestige it contains,

A living Monument remains;

The seared bough—the riddled bark,—

Thro’ which we view the light’s last spark—

Ambition’s emblem!—those who view

The angry storm your honors strew,

May sigh—and think on Waterloo!――

57 I1r

The following little Ode, which made its appearance a short time ago in the Freeman’s Journal having met with a reception which the Author feels can only be attributed to the subject, a subject which cannot fail of interest, when we reflect on the events of the past Year, is from that circumstance inserted here, as a kind of Index, to remind us of actions that have more than equalled the sublime imagination of our immortal Bard, where he invokes his Muse of fire to ascendThe brightest Heaven of invention!A Kingdom for a stage, Princes to act,And Monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Even that imagination which could give to airy nothing a local habitation and a name, could scarcely have been sanguine enough to believe such a wish could ever have been so truly realized.――

I
58 I1v
59 I2r

An Ode on the year 18151815.

What twelve eventful months are o’er!—each hour a year;—

So fast flew time, around this awe-struck Sphere!—

While on his broad wing he bore

The bold Chivalric deeds of yore.

Again the Warrior clad in mail, The Cuirassier.

Reined his fierce Courser on the plain,

And placed the spear in rest;

Then, Steed, to Steed,

And, Man, to Man,

Whole Nations bled ’mid war, and havoc’s clang!

60 I2v 5860

The Second, France. Mistress of the World o’erturned,

The Conqueror deposed,

That nation which all honour spurn’d,

In Slavery’s night enclosed!

There let them lie,—

A people formed for perfidy,

The scorn, and horror of the world:

How abject now from power usurping hurl’d!—

And where is He, the mighty Chief?

Alive entombed;—the dancing sea

Seems mocking his captivity!

He—that Being of renown,

He—before whose slightest frown

Whole Kingdoms trembling bowed,

Now to a barren rock confined,

Where all the elements combined,

The fallen Monarch guard.

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Far, far—from Europe—in an hour

Lost the Imperial Crown, and Power,

Lost in one Battle Day!!!――

But well that Day was fought,

And dearly lost—and oh! how dearly bought!

What thousands doom’d with life to pay

The conquest of that strife.――

Breaks he not his heart for grief,

Seeks he not in death relief,

From bondage so severe?

Ah! now he knows what ’tis to sigh,

In hard captivity to lie,

Hopeless to mark each passing moon,

No hope of Freedom late,—or soon;—

Yet still he braves Despair!

62 I3v 6062

And still with steady eye can look

On what appalled the great, the bravest shook.—

But not NapoleonFrance alone—

Surrounding States, and Kings o’erthrown,

Have filled that Year’s last page;

With Peace it ends—so may it last—

And not a Year again return (of contest like the past!!!)

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Notes to Mont St. Jean.

64 I4v 65 K1r

Notes to Mont St. Jean.

Note 1. They pant for glorious martial deed.—Page 7—Line 5. The Battle of Waterloo reminds us of the days of chivalry. Neither ancient nor modern history record deeds of greater heroism than were exhibited on this field of battle, so little in extent, so great in its results—even Officers of foot were compelled to have recourse to their own swords for protection. Both armies seemed anxious to bring it to a personal contest, like the Athenians, who on a particular occasion, we are told, engraved on their shields a small fly, with the inscription, Till I may be seen; implying, that all the Athenians were expected, to approach near enough to the enemy, to be enabled to see the fly—in other words to conquer or to die. K 66 K1v 66 Note II. Impregnable the Band.—Page 9—Line 3. It was a saying of Chabrias, the Athenian General, that an army of Stags, with a Lion for their leader, was more formidable than an army of Lions, led by a Stag. Note III. Such was the robber-boon,Held out by him, &c.—Page 10—Line 4. Buonaparte seems to have followed, to a certain extent, the example of Hannibal, who, amid the difficulties which his troops had to encounter, in passing the Alps, calls upon his army to halt, and points out from a rugged eminence on which they stood, the Capitol against which their army was directed; telling them, at the same time, that by one or two battles at the most, that, and the city would be theirs. Per omnia nive oppleta quùm signis primâ luce motis segniter agmen incederet, pigritiâque et desperatio in omnium vultu emineret; prægresses signa Annibal, in promontorio quodam, unde longè ac latè prospectus erat, consistere jussis mitilibus, Italiam ostentat, subjectosque Alpinis montibus circumpadanos campos; mœniaque eos tum transcendere non Italiæ modo, sed etiam Urbis Romanœ. Cœtera plana proclivia fore: uno, aut summùm altero prœlio arcem et caput Italiæ in manu ac potestate habituros. Liv. Lib.Liber 21. 67 K2r 67 Note IV. Their numbers vain to count or tell.—Page 11—Line 13. Nothing, among the acts of Buonaparte, is more calculated to excite astonishment, than the immense army, with its materiel, which he brought into Belgium. When the shortness of the time is considered, in which he collected this imposing force, and the destruction of men and artillery incident to the fatal campaigns of RusssiaRussia, Leipsic, &c. &c.were there not hundreds of thousands of prisoners sent into France after the first peace? The formation of it could only be equalled by the rapidity with which it was brought into action by its Commander. This, alone, is enough to have immortalized him, were we not enabled to account for it, in some measure, by natural means; by calling to mind his arbitrary power, —that he was to use the words of Demosthenes:— Αμα στςατηγον, και δεσποτην, και ταμιαν. Generalissimo—King—and Pursebearer. The union of these characters in his own person, made it unnecessary to wait for the decision of his Council; Like that of Louis the XI. the King and the Council were carried by the same Horse, that which bore its master. 68 K2v 68 Note V. Know that solid square encloses—Page 16—Line 1. Wellington is said to have more than once thrown himself into the center of solid squares of Infantry.—This act is, at once a proof how much he must have exposed his person, as well as of the confidence he had in his Troops.—Mr. Whitbread, in the House of Commons, termed this a sublime sight, and one, had it taken place in the days of Athens and of Rome, which would have been recorded as such by their Historians. Note VI. What coolness, ardour thine!—Page 17—Line 1. Panœtius, in Aulus Gellius, compares a prudent General to a good Wrestler, who never leaves himself exposed in any part, but, with watchful eye, observes the motions of his adversary till the combat is decided. Note VII. Before thy fall ’twas thine to hearThe cry of—Victory—in thine ear.—Page 19—Line 4. The fall of Picton was not unlike that of General Wolfe.— They both fell in battle, but yet lived to hear the cry of— Victory—a sound which if it could not prevent the agonies 69 K3r 69 of Death, might be supposed to deprive it of its sting.—The word Victory is here only to be taken in a partial sense, that is, the defeat of that particular attack of the enemy made with so much confidence, and repelled, as we are told, not without astonishment on the part of the assailants. Note VIII. —for here—Ponsonby closed his bright career,—Felled by the lancer’s pike:—Page 19—Line 8. Sir Wm. Ponsonby’s Death was disgraceful to the Enemy.—It is some consolation to know, that scarce one of these Troglodytœ The fierce Troglodytœ were a people bordering upon Æthiopia near the Arabian Gulph, who lived in wretched huts, and fed upon Serpents. or Polish Lancers, who barbarously refused quarter to a defenceless prisoner, were left alive at the close of the memorable day. Note IX. ’Yon orchard—Akeldama—wellCan say how, many fought and fellNever again to rise.—Page 20—Line 9. Within half an hour, we are told, 1500 men were killed 70K3v70 at Hugoumont in a little orchard, not exceeding four acres in extent. This place may well be called Akeldama, or the field of blood. Note X. Towards Planchenois a train—Page25—Line 6. The superiority of our great Leaders Skill or Good Fortune was manifest in this skilful stratagem, which decided the Battle in favour of the Allies.—It is by such successful stratagems that the Art of War is most displayed. If attributed to Good Fortune,I would direct the attention of those who are diposed to believe in Chance, to the reply of Timotheus to those who from envy had painted him asleep, and Fortune near him throwing her nets over Fortresses, Cities, &c. If asleep says Timotheus, I can take Towns and Provinces, what might I not expect to do awake? Note XI. His heart ’gainst feeling steeled or fear, Well kend he how the battle lay.—Page 24—Line 4. If Napoleon cannot be accused of Cowardice, neither has he much claim to the credit of what is termed—Feeling— unless the latter sentiment has been swallowed up in his Philosophy!— 71 K4r 71 Note XII. As when a thousand anvils ring,At once a thousand Armourers fling,—Page 29—Line 15. When the British and French Cavalry encountered each other, the sound of the British Swords upon the Armour and Helmets of the CuirasssierCuirassier, has been compared by a Private Soldier, to a thousand Tinkers at work, at the same time, upon their pots and kettles.—The simile may not be less appropriate for being humble.—Homer compares the Ocean in a storm to a boiling kettle.—The same great Author has a line which is justly considered as peculiarly expressive of the action it describes. It is where the sword of Menelaus is broken to pieces, on the helm of Alexander.— Αμφι δ’αρ αυτω Τριχθα τε και τετραχθα διατροφὲν εκπεσε χειρος Hom.Homer Iliad. Lib. 3. Note XIII. The brave should live in Poet’s lay.—Page 31—Line 7. Alexander when at the tomb of Achilles, at Sigœum, is said to have exclaimed—Happy youth, whose deeds of arms, were destined to be celebrated by an herald, such as Homer, and truly exclaims, adds a Roman Orator, for if no Iliad was extant, his name would have been lost with the destruction of his tomb. 72 K4v 72 Note XIV. Remembered, aye, shall be St. Jean; Writ in the British Kalendar. He that out-lives this day, and comes safe home, Will yearly on the vigil, feast his neighbours, And say to-morrow is St. Crispian; Then will he strip his sleeve and shew his scars.— Henry 5th. Note XV. The Trumpet’s clang—the shriek—the shout, Proclaim a more than flight—a rout; Trampled the wounded and the dead.—Page 34—Line 1. The retreat, or rather complete defeat of the French, reminds us of the disastrous discomfiture of the Israelites, whom the French seem to resemble in their infidelity, as well as their disasters. And upon them that are left alive of you, I will send a faintness into their hearts, in the lands of their enemies, and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee as fleeing from a sword: and they shall fall when none pursueth. Leviticus, Chap. 26.