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COMPOSED AT THE SAME TIME, AND ON THE SAME OCCASION.
I Dropped my pen;—and listened to the wind
That sang of trees up-torn and vessels tost;
—A midnight harmony, and wholly lost
To the general sense of men by chains confined
Of business, care, or pleasure,—or resigned
To timely sleep.—Thought I, the impassioned strain,
Which, without aid of numbers, I sustain,
Like acceptation from the World will find.
Yet some with apprehensive ear shall drink
A dirge devoutly breathed o'er sorrows past,
And to the attendant promise will give heed,
The prophecy,—like that of this wild blast,
Which, while it makes the heart with sadness shrink,
Tells also of bright calms that shall succeed.
Of mortal Parents is the Hero born
By whom the undaunted Tyrolese are led i
Or is it Tell's great Spirit, from the dead
Returned to animate an age forlorn?
He comes like Phoebus through the gates of morn
When dreary darkness is discomfited:
Yet mark his modest state!—upon his head,
That simple crest—a heron's plume—is worn.
O Liberty! they stagger at the shock;
The Murderers are aghast; they strive to flee
And half their Host is buried:—rock on rock
Descends:—beneath this godlike Warrior, see!
Hills, Torrents, Woods, embodied to bemock
The Tyrant, and confound his cruelty.
Advance—come forth from thy Tyrolean ground
The Land we from our Fathers had in trust, And to our Children will transmit, or die:This is our maxim, this our piety;And God and Nature say that it is just. That which we would perform in arms—we must! We read the dictate in the Infant's eye; In the Wife's smile; and in the placid sky;And, at our feet, amid the silent dust Of them that were before us.—Sing aloud Old Songs, the precious music of the heart!Give, Herds and Flocks! your voices to the wind!While we go forth, a self-devoted crowd, With weapons in the fearless hand, to assert Our virtue, and to vindicate mankind.
Alas! what boots the long, laborious quest