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Now, see'st thou aught in this lone scene 70 Can tell of that which late hath been !

A stranger might reply,
“ The bare extent of stubble-plain
Seems lately lighten'd of its grain ;

And yonder sable tracks remain
75 Marks of the peasant's ponderous wain,

When harvest-home was nigh.
On these broad spots of trampled ground,
Perchance the rustics danced such round,

As Teniers loved to draw; 80 And where the earth seems scorcb'd by flame,

To dress the homely feast they came,
And toiled the kerchief'd village dame

Around her fire of straw.”


So deem'st thou—so each mortal deems, 85 Of that which is, from that which seems :

But other harvest here,
Than that which peasant's scythe demands,
Was gather'd in by sterner hands,

With bayonet, blade, and spear. 90 No vulgar crop was theirs to reap,

No stinted harvest thin and cheap !
Heroes before each fatal sweep

Fell thick as ripen'd grain ; And ere the darkening of the day, 79. Teniers.—A famous Dutch painter of 82. Regarding the position of the Predivillage scenes.

cate toiled before the Subject, see Cowper, 82. Kerchief'd.-An Adjective in the form Task, 1. 16. of a Participle, formed from a Substantive. See Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 2, 87. Scythe is the object of demands. quiled shore. Note. The word kerchief, derived from couvre chef, means originally 88. Sterner..-The Comparative has refera head covering, a derivation which is en- ence to such words as “than those of tirely forgotten, when we make such com- peasants,” which are easily supplied from pounds as pocket handkerchief.

the context

95 Piled high as autumn shocks, there lay The ghastly harvest of the fray,

The corpses of the slain.


Ay, look again—that line, so black

And trampled, marks the bivouac, 100 Yon deep-graved ruts the artillery's track,

So often lost and won ;
And close beside the harden'd mud
Still shows where, fetlock-deep in blood,

The fierce dragoon, through battle's flood, 105 Dash'd the hot war-horse on.

These spots of excavation tell
The ravage of the bursting shell —
And feel'st thou not the tainted steam,

That reeks against the sultry beam, 110 From yonder trenchèd mound ?

The pestilential fumes declare,
That Carnage has replenish'd there

Her garner-house profound.


Far other harvest-home and feast, 115 Than claims the boor from scythe released,

On these scorch'd fields were known ! Death hover'd o'er the maddening rout, And, in the thrilling battle-shout,

Sent for the bloody banquet out 120 A summons of his own.

Through rolling smoke the Demon's eye
Could well each destined guest espy,
Well could his ear in ecstasy

Distinguish every tone, 111. Fumes.-See Milton's Paradise Lost, 115. See 82, 150, 218, 241, 247, 268, 289, v. 6, note.


125 That fill'd the chorus of the fray

From cannon-roar and trumpet-bray,
From charging squadrons' wild hurra,
From the wild clang, that marked their way,

Down to the dying groan, 130 And the last sob of life's decay,

When breath was all but flown.




Feast on, stern foe of mortal life,
Feast on !—but think not that a strife,

With such promiscuous carnage rife,
Protracted space may

The deadly tug of war at length
Must limits find in human strength,

And cease when these are past.
Vain hope !—that morn's o'erclouded sun
140 Heard the wild shout of fight begun

Ere he attain'd his height,
And through the war-smoke, volumed high,
Still peals that unremitted cry,

Though now he stoops to night. 145 For ten long hours of doubt and dread

Fresh succours from the extended head
Of either hill the contest fed ;

Still down the slope they drew,
The charge of columns pausèd not,
150 Nor ceased the storm of shell and shot;

For all that war could do
Of skill and force was proved that day,
And turn'd not yet the doubtful fray

On bloody Waterloo.


155 Pale Brussels ! then what thoughts were thine, When ceaseless from the distant line

Continued thunders came !

Each burgher held his breath, to hear

These forerunners of havoc near, 160 Of rapine and of flame.

What ghastly sights were thine to meet,
When rolling through thy stately street,
The wounded show'd their mangled plight

In token of the unfinish'd fight, 165 And from each anguish-laden wain

The blood-drops laid thy dust like rain !
How often in the distant drum
Heard'st thou the fell Invader come,

While Ruin, shouting to his band,
170 Shook high her torch and gory brand !-

Cheer thee, fair City! From yon stand,
Impatient, still his outstretch'd hand

Points to his prey in vain, While maddening in his eager mood, 175 And all unwont to be withstood,

He fires the fight again.



« On ! On !” was still his stern exclaim
“ Confront the battery's jaws of flame!

Rush on the levell’d gun! 180 My steel-clad cuirassiers, advance !

Each Hulan forward with his lance,
My Guard-my Chosen-charge for France,

France and Napoleon !"
Loud answer'd their acclaiming shout,
185 Greeting the mandate which sent out

Their bravest and their best to dare
The fate their leader shunn'd to share.

161. What ghastly sights were thine to meet.-An uncommon mode of expression for “What ghastly sights was it thy fate to meet." Compare line 441.

187. This line seems to imply, that Napoleon was a coward-an ungenerous and unjust insinuation.

But He, his country's sword and shield,

Still in the battle-front reveald,
190 Where danger fiercest swept the field,

Came like a beam of light,
In action prompt, in sentence brief

“ Soldiers, stand firm,” exclaimed the Chief,

“ England shall tell the fight !”


195 On came the whirlwind-like the last

But fiercest sweep of tempest-blast-
On came the whirlwind-steel-gleams broke
Like lightning through the rolling smoke;

The war was waked anew ; 200 Three hundred cannon-mouths roar'd loud, And from their throats, with flash and cloud,

Their showers of iron threw.
Beneath their fire, in full career,

Rush'd on the ponderous cuirassier, 205 The lancer couch'd his ruthless spear, And hurrying as to havoc near,

The cohorts' eagles flew.
In one dark torrent broad and strong,

The advancing onset rolld along, 210 Forth harbinger'd by fierce acclaim,

That, from the shroud of smoke and flame,
Peal'd wildly the imperial name.


But on the British heart were lost

The terrors of the charging host ; 215 For not an eye the storm that view'd

Changed its proud glance of fortitude,

215. The order of the words here is very unusual, even in poetry: the subject being the Relat. Pronoun, is placed after the

Object and before the Predicate. The rhythm would suffer, if that were to stand betore the storm.

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