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And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep,
Full many a fathom deep,
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Brave hearts ! to Britain's pride
Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died,
With the gallant good Riou,
Soft sigh the winds of heaven o'er their grave !
While the billow mournful rolls,
And the mermaid's song condoles,
Singing glory to the souls
Of the brave !
[From Gertrude of Wyoming, Part III.]
Hushed were his Gertrude's lips, but still their bland
And beautiful expression seemed to melt
With love that could not die ; and still his hand
She presses to the heart no more that felt.
Ah heart! where once each fond affection dwelt,
And features yet that spoke a soul more fair.
Mute, gazing, agonizing as he knelt, -
Of them that stood encircling his despair,
He heard some friendly words ;-but knew not what they were.
For now, to mourn their judge and child, arrives
A faithful band. With solemn rites between,
'Twas sung, how they were lovely in their lives,
And in their deaths had not divided been.
Touch'd by the music, and the melting scene,
Was scarce one tearless eye amidst the crowd :
Stern warriors, resting on their swords, were seen
To veil their eyes, as pass'd each much-loved shroud-
While woman's softer soul in woe dissolved aloud.
Then mournfully the parting bugle bid
Its farewell, o'er the grave of worth and truth ;
Prone to the dust, afflicted Waldegrave hid
His face on earth ;--him watched in gloomy ruth
His woodland guide ; but words had none to soothe
The grief that knew not consolation's name :
Casting his Indian mantle o’er the youth,
He watch’d, beneath its folds, each burst that came
Convulsive, ague-like across his shuddering frame !
And I could weep;—th’Oneyda chief
His descant wildly thus begun ;
‘But that I may not stain with grief
The death-song of my father's son,
Or bow this head in woe;
For by my wrongs and by my wrath
To-morrow Areouski's breath
(That fires you heav'n with storms of death)
Shall light us to the foe ;
And we shall share, my Christian boy,
The foeman's blood, the avenger's joy!
'But thee, my flower, whose breath was given
By milder genii o'er the deep,
The spirits of the white man's heaven
Forbid not thee to weep;
Nor will the Christian host,
Nor will thy father's spirit grieve
To see thee, on the battle's eve,
Lamenting, take a mournful leave
Of her who loved thee most :
She was the rainbow to thy sight!
Thy sun-thy heaven-of lost delight!-
"To-morrow let us do or die !
But when the bolt of death is hurled,
Ah! whither then with thee to fly
Shall Outalissi roam the world?
Seek we thy once-loved home?—
The hand is gone that cropt its flowers,
Unheard their clock repeats its hours,
Cold is the hearth within their bowers,
And should we thither roam,
Its echoes and its empty tread
Would sound like voices from the dead.
'Or shall we cross yon mountains blue,
Whose streams my kindred nation quaff’d,
And by my side, in battle true,
A thousand warriors drew the shaft?
Ah! there in desolation cold
The desert serpent dwells alone,
Where grass o’ergrows each mouldering bone,
And stones themselves to ruin grown,
Like me, are death-like old :
Then seek we not their camp—for there
The silence dwells of my despair.
‘But hark, the trump !—to-morrow thou
In glory's fires shalt dry thy tears :
Ev'n from the land of shadows now
My father's awful ghost appears
Amidst the clouds that round us roll;
He bids my soul for battle thirst,
He bids me dry the last-the first-
The only tears that ever burst
From Outalissi's soul ;
Because I may not stain with grief
The death-song of an Indian chief.'
(John Hookham FRERE was born in London in 1769, and died at Malta in 1846. The first part of his Whistlecraft poem was published in 1817 as the Prospectus and Specimen of an intended National Work, by William and Robert Whistlecraft of Slow-Market in Suffolk, Harness and Collar Makers. In the following year a second part was issued with the first under the title of The Monks and the Giants; but the work was never completed. Frere contributed much to the Anti-Jacobin, 1797-8, and translated several of the plays of Aristophanes. His Works in Verse and Prose, with a prefatory Memoir, were published in 1872 by his nephews, W. E., and Sir Bartle Frere.]
Frere's versions of the Aristophanic Comedy have an established reputation for spirit of rendering and mastery of metre. His translations from the Poema del Cid, which were printed in Southey's Chronicle, have also a fine balladic lilt; but their literal fidelity to the Spanish has been lately challenged. Of his original work, the best examples are to be found in the Anti-Jacobin and the Whistlecraft fragment. He had a hand in all the great successes of the former,-notably the immortal Needy KnifeGrinder and the excellent imitations of Darwin and Schiller in the Loves of the Triangles and The Rovers. For The Monks and the Giants he adopted an eight-line stanza based upon that of the Italians. It had already been used by Harrington, Drayton, Fairfax, and (as we have seen) in later times by Gay ; it had even been used by Frere's contemporary, William Tennant ; but to Frere belongs the honour of giving it the special characteristics which Byron afterwards popularised in Beppo and Don Juan. Structurally the ottava rima of Frere singularly resembles that of Byron, who admitted that Whistlecraft was his 'immediate model.' But notwithstanding the cleverness and versatility of The Monks ayd the Giants, its interest was too remote and its plan too uncertain to command any but an eclectic audience. Moreover, it was almost immediately eclipsed by Beppo. Byron, taking up the stanza with equal skill and greater genius, filled it with the vigour of his personality, and made it a measure of his own, which it has ever since been hazardous for inferior poets to attempt.
FROM "THE MONKS AND THE GIANTS.'
And certainly they say, for fine behaving
King Arthur's Court has never had its match ;
True point of honour, without pride or braving,
Strict etiquette for ever on the watch :
Their manners were refined and perfect-saving
Some modern graces, which they could not catch,
As spitting through the teeth, and driving stages,
Accomplishments reserved for distant ages.
They looked a manly, generous generation ;
Beards, shoulders, eyebrows, broad, and square, and thick,
Their accents firm and loud in conve
Their eyes and gestures eager, sharp, and quick,
Showed them prepared, on proper provocation,
To give the lie, pull noses, stab and kick;
And for that very reason, it is said,
They were so very courteous and well-bred.
The ladies looked of an heroic race-
At first a general likeness struck your eye,
Tall figures, open features, oval face,
Large eyes, with ample eyebrows arched and high ;
Their manners had an odd, peculiar grace,
Neither repulsive, affable, nor shy,
Majestical, reserved, and somewhat sullen ;
Their dresses partly silk, and partly woollen.
Sir Gawain may be painted in a word-
He was a perfect loyal Cavalier ;
His courteous manners stand upon record,
A stranger to the very thought of fear.
The proverb says, As brave as his own sword;
And like his weapon was that worthy Peer,
Of admirable temper, clear and bright,
Polished yet keen, though pliant yet upright.