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And I felt troubled and would fain
And when I did descend again, 360 The darkness of my dim abode
Fell on me as a heavy load ;
And yet my glance, too much opprest, 365 Had almost need of such a rest.
It might be months, or years, or days,
I kept no count—I took no note,
And clear them of their dreary mote; 370 At last men came to set me free,
I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where,
I learn'd to love despair.
And all my bonds aside were cast,
And half I felt as they were come 380 To tear me from a second home :
With spiders I had friendship made,
And why should I feel less than they? 385 We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,
358 Recent chain, i.e., the chain which had recently bound ine. 379. As = as i..
Had power to kill—yet, strange to tell !
My very chains and I grew friends, 390 So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are :Regain'd my freedom with a sigh,
SCOTT'S FIELD OF WATERLOO.
SIR WALTER Scott's “Field of Waterloo " is one of the best modern productions of that class to which the battle-scenes of the Iliad belong The descriptive power of the poet is of the highest order, his language is rich and at times majestic, his verse varied and sonorous, his sentiments manly and patriotic. But the peculiar charm of the poem lies in the historic truth and the fresh interest of the events treated of. The Battle of Waterloo was not a fictitious contest between giants or gods, nor of remote date. It was a recent event, upon which the fate of Europe depended; it was the last deadly struggle between England and her implacable enemy; the victory was long contested and dearly bought by torrents of the noblest blood. It is for these reasons that this poem will ever be read by Englishmen not only with the purely æsthetic pleasure, which a beautiful poem naturally produces, but with a pleasure mingled with emotion, satisfaction, and pride
Fair Brussels, thou art far behind,
We yet may hear the hour
From proud St. Michael's tower ;
For many a league around,
Of tangled forest ground.
For access seeks in vain ;
Nor sun, nor air, nor rain.
Our woodland path has cross'd ;
Unvarying through the unvaried shade 25
Until in distance lost.
A brighter, livelier scene succeeds ;
And corn-fields glance between ; 30 The peasant at his labour blithe, Plies the hook'd staff and shorten'd scythe :
But when these ears were green,
Full little was that rustic's hope 35 Their ripening to have seen!
And, lo, a hamlet and its fane :-
Their architecture view;
Immortal WATERLOO !
18. Nor sun, nor air, nor rain.-Nornor instead of neither-nor is confined to poetry.-See Craik on Shakspere, Julius Cæsar, 227.
20. Glancing to the ray.--See Milton's Paradise Lost, 1. 537.
31. “ The reaper in Flanders carries in his left hand a stick with an iron hook, with which be collects as much grain as he can cut, at one sweep, with a short scytbe, which he holds in his right hand.”—W. SCOTT.
34. Full little. - Full expresses plenty, and stands in strange combination with little, which implies scarcity. We should hardly say greatly small.
35. To have seen.-The Infin. Perfect for the Present. See Paradise Lost, 1. 40, Note.
36. Fane, from the Latin fanum, is used for temple or church.
39. Shrine.-A part often stands poetically for the whole; thus, shrine for church.
Fear not the heat, though full and high
And scarce a forest straggler now
These fields have seen a hotter day
Crests the soft hill, whose long smooth ridge 50 Looks on the field below,
And sinks so gently on the dale,
In easier curves can flow.
Forms an opposing screen,
The soften'd vale between
Not the most timid maid need dread
On that wide stubble-ground;
Nor fosse, nor fence are found,