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Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send : He gave to misery (all he had) a tear,
He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
On Linden, when the sun was low,
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
The darkness of her scenery.
To join the dreadful revelry.
Far flashed the red artillery.
1 A village in Germany, where the Austrians and Bavarians were completely defeated by the French under Moreau.
2 The Danube.
But redder yet that light shall glow,
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
Shout in their sulph'rous canopy.
And charge with all thy chivalry! Few, few shall part where many meet ! The snow shall be their winding-sheet, And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.
THE AFRICAN CHIEF.'
CHAINED in the market-place he stood,
A man of giant frame,
That shrunk to hear his name
3 The French.
5 The capital of Bavaria ; here, by the figure metonyme, the Bavarian army.
1 The story of the African Chief, related in this ballad, may be found in the African Repository for April, 1825. The subject of it was a warrior of majestic stature, the brother of Yarradee, king of the Solima nation. He had been taken in battle, and was brought in chains for sale to the Rio Pongas, where he was exhibited in the market-place, his ankles still adorned with the massy rings of gold which he wore when captured. The refusal of his captor to listen to his offers of ransom drove him mad, and he died a maniac.
All stern of look and strong of limb,
His dark eye on the ground :And silently they gazed on him,
As on a lion bound.
Vainly, but well, that chief had fought,
He was a captive now,
Was written on his brow.
Showed warrior true and brave; A prince among his tribe before,
He could not be a slave.
Then to his conqueror he spake
“My brother is a king ; Undo this necklace from my neck,
And take this bracelet ring,
And I will fill thy hands
And gold-dust from the sands.”
“Not for thy ivory nor thy gold
Will I unbind thy chain ;
The battle-spear again.
Shall yet be paid for thee;
In lands beyond the sea.”
Then wept the warrior chief, and bade
To shred his locks away ;
Before the victor lay.
Thick were the platted locks, and long,
And closely hidden there
The dark and crisped hair.
“Look, feast thy greedy eye with gold
Long kept for sorest need :
that I am freed.
Weeps by the cocoa-tree, And my young children leave their play,
And ask in vain for me.”
“I take thy gold—but I have made
Thy fetters fast and strong,
Thy wife will wait thee long."
The captive's frame to hear,
Was changed to mortal fear.
His heart was broken-crazed his brain :
At once his eye grew wild ;
Whispered, and wept, and smiled;
And once, at shut of day,
The foul hyena's prey.
JASPAR was poor, and vice and want
Had made his heart like stone; And Jaspar looked with envious eyes
On riches not his own.
On plunder bent, abroad he went
Toward the close of day,
Impatient for his prey.
No traveller came, he loitered long,
And often looked around,
To catch some coming sound.
He sate him down beside the stream
That crossed the lonely way. So fair a scene might well have charmed
All evil thoughts away :
He sate beneath a willow-tree
Which cast a trembling shade ; The gentle river full in front
A little island made ;
Where pleasantly the moonbeam shone
Upon the poplar-trees,
Played slowly to the breeze.
That waved the willow-tree;
And murmur quietly.