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"Then the mountain echoes rang With the clangour of alarms : Shrill the signal trumpet sang; All our warriors leapt to arms. "On the margin of the flood,
While the frantic foe drew nigh, Grim as watching wolves we stood, Prompt as eagles stretch'd to fly.
"In a deluge upon land
Burst their overwhelming might; Back we hurl'd them from the strand, Oft returning to the fight.
"Fierce and long the combat heldTill the waves were warm with blood, Till the booming waters swell'd
As they sank beneath the flood.* "For on that triumphant day
Underwalden's arms once more
Dash'd invasion from her shore.
Raised our spirits from the dead. "From the dead our spirits rose,
To the dead they soon return'd; Bright, on its eternal close,
Underwalden's glory burn'd.
"Star of Switzerland! whose rays Shed such sweet expiring light, Ere the Gallic comet's blaze
Swept thy beauty into night :
"Star of Switzerland! thy fame
No recording bard hath sung; Yet be thine immortal name
Inspiration to my tongue!+ "While the lingering moon delay'd
In the wilderness of night,
"Gallia's tigers, wild for blood,
"By the trumpet's voice alarm'd,
From the barriers to the lake.
*The French made their first attack on the valley of Underwalden from the lake: but, after a desperate conflict, they were victoriously repelled, and two of their vessels, containing five hundred men, perished in the engagement.
In the last and decisive battle, the Underwalders were overpowered by two French armies, which rushed upon them from the opposite mountains, and surrounded their camp, while an assault, at the same time, was made upon them from the lake.
"In that valley, on that shore,
When the graves give up their dead,
Shall those slumberers quit their bed.
"For the glen that gave them birth
Freedom's cradle, freedom's tomb.
"Then on every side begun
That unutterable fight;
On so horrible a sight.
"Once an eagle of the rock
('Twas an omen of our fate) Stoop'd, and from my scatter'd flock
Bore a lambkin to his mate.
"While the parents fed their young,
Wildly screaming, rush'd between.
"Fiercely fought the eagle-twain,
Though by multitudes opprest,
Till they perish'd on their nest.
'More unequal was the fray
Which our band of brethren waged;
Gaul's remorseless vultures raged.
"In innumerable waves,
Swoln with fury, grim with blood,
"In the whirlpool of that flood,
"Till by tenfold force assail'd,
"Broken into feeble bands,
Fighting in dissever'd parts,
Shouting in the foremost fray,
In their country's evil day.
"On their country's dying bed,
Wives and husbands pour'd their breath;
Many a youth and maiden bled,
At Schaffhausen.-See Coxe's Travels.
In this miserable conflict, many of the women and children of the Underwalders fought in the ranks by their husbands, and fathers, and friends, and fell gloriously for their country.
" Wildly scatter'd o'er the plain,
“ Hail!-all hail! the patriot's grave,
Valour's venerable bed :
Hail! the memory of the brave, “Who shall now your deeds relate?
Hail! the spirits of the dead.
“ Time their triumphs shall proclaim,
And their rich reward be this,
Immortality of fams, “ Virtue, valour, naught avail'd
Immortality of bliss.”
“ On that melancholy plain,
In that conflict of despair, “ Cold and keen th'assassin's blade
How was noble Albert slain?
How didst thou, old warrior, fare?”
“ In the agony of strife, “Underwalden thus expired;
Where the heart of battle bled,
Where his country lost her life,
Glorious Albert bow'd his head.
“ When our phalanx broke away,
And our stoutest soldiers fell,
Where the dark rocks dimm'd the day,
Scowling o'er the deepest dell; “ Down they rush'd with headlong might,
“ There, like lions old in blood, Swifter than the panting wind;
Lions rallying round their den,
Albert and his warriors stood;
We were few, but we were men.
“ Breast to breast we fought the ground, “ How the forest of the foe
Arm to arm repellid the foe;
Every motion was a wound,
And a death was every blow.
“ Thus the clouds of sunset beam “ Thus they hew'd their dreadful way;
Warmer with expiring light; 'Till, by numbers forced to yield,
Thus autumnal meteors stream
Redder through the darkening night.
“ Miracles our champions wrought
Who their dying deeds shall tell !
O how gloriously they fought!
How triumphantly they fell!
“ One by one gave up the ghost,
Slain, not conquerid, -they died free.
Albert stood,-himself a host: “ PLEDGE the memory of the brave,
Last of all the Swiss was he.
“So, when night with rising shade Pledge the venerable grave,
Climbs the Alps from steep to steep,
Till, in hoary gloom array'd, “ Wanderer, cheer thy drooping soul,
All the giant mountains sleep;
“ High in heaven their monarch* stands, Drain the deep delicious bowl,
Bright and beauteous from afar,
Shining unto distant lands
Like a new-created star. * An indiscriminate massacre followed the battle. + Two hundred sell-devoted beroes from the canton of * Mont Blanc; which is so much higher than the surSwitz arriver, at the close of the battle, to the aid of their rounding Alps, that it catches and relains the beams of brethren of Underwalden; and perished to a man, after the sun irenty minutes earlier and later than they, and, having slain thrice their number.
crowned with eternal ice, may be seen from an immense The lavanges are tremendous torrents of melting snow distance purpling with his eastern light, or crimsoned that tumble from the tops of the Alps, and deluge all the with his setting glory while mist and obscurity rest on the country before them.
"While I struggled through the fight, Albert was my sword and shield; Till strange horror quench'd my sight, And I fainted on the field. "Slow awakening from that trance, When my soul return'd to day, Vanish'd were the fiends of France,But in Albert's blood I lay. "Slain for me, his dearest breath On my lips he did resign; Slain for me, he snatch'd his death From the blow that menaced mine. "He had raised his dying head,
And was gazing on my face; As I woke, the spirit fled,
But I felt his last embrace."
"Man of suffering! such a tale
Would bring tears from marble eyes!"
"Ha! my daughter's cheek grows pale!"
"Help! O help! my daughter dies!"
"Calm thy transports, O my wife! Peace! for these dear orphans' sake!"
"O my joy, my hope, my life, O my child, my child, awake!"
"God! O God, whose goodness gives; God! whose wisdom takes awaySpare my child.”
"She lives, she lives!"
"Lives?-my daughter, didst thou say?
"God Almighty, on my knees,
In the dust will I adore
Thine unsearchable decrees;
-She was dead:-she lives once more."
WANDERER'S DAUGHTER. "When poor Albert died, no prayer Call'd him back to hated life: O that I had perish'd there,
Not his widow, but his wife!"
"Dare my daughter thus repine?
"Does not love!-my father, hear; Hear me, or my heart will break ; Dear is life, but only dear
For my parents', children's sake.
"Bow'd to Heaven's mysterious will, I am worthy yet of you; Yes! I am a mother still,
Though I feel a widow, too."
"Mother, widow, mourner, all, All kind names in one, my child;
On thy faithful neck I fall;
"Yes, to Albert I appeal:
Albert, answer from above, That my father's breast may feel All his daughter's heart of love."
"Faint and wayworn as they be
With the day's long journey, sire,
Let thy pilgrim family
Now with me to rest retire."
"Yes, the hour invites to sleep;
Till the morrow we must part:Nay, my daughter, do not weep,
Do not weep and break my heart.
"Sorrow-soothing sweet repose
On your peaceful pillows light; Angel hands your eyelids closeDream of Paradise to-night."
The Wanderer, being left alone with the shepherd, relate his adventures after the battle of Underwalden.
"WHEN the good man yields his breath, (For the good man never dies,) Bright, beyond the gulf of death, Lo! the land of promise lies.
"Peace to Albert's awful shade,
In that land where sorrows cease; And to Albert's ashes, laid
In the earth's cold bosom, peace."
"On the fatal field I lay,
Till the hour when twilight pale, Like the ghost of dying day, Wander'd down the darkening vale.
"Then in agony I rose,
And with horror look'd around, Where, embracing friends and foes, Dead and dying, strew'd the ground.
"Many a widow fix'd her eye,
Weeping, where her husband bled, Heedless, though her babe was by, Prattling to his father dead.
"Wrath in silence heaps his store,
Till the flash has struck the blow.
"Vengeance, vengeance will not stay:
To the unexpecting dead.
"From the Revolution's flood
"Nurst by anarchy and crime,
Bring thy strangest birth to light."
"Prophet! thou hast spoken well,
Of thy country's woes and thine."
"Though the moon's bewilder'd bark,
In a gulf of clouds was lost;
"Still my journey I pursued,
Climbing many a weary steep,
"Stantz-a melancholy pyre
And her hamlets blazed behind,
"Flaming piles, where'er I turn'd,
Cast a grim and dreadful light;
Wildly weltering on the shore.
Soon I spied the sacred spot,
Glimmer'd from my native cot.
"At the sight my brain was fired,
And afresh my heart's wounds bled;
*The town of Stantz, and the surrounding villages, were burnt by the French on the night after the battle of Underwalden, and the beautiful valley was converted into a wilderness.
"Fled; and, ere the noon of day,
Reach'd the lonely goat-herd's nest, Where my wife, my children layHusband-father-think the rest."
The Wanderer informs the shepherd that, after the example of many of his countrymen flying from the tyranny of France, it is his intention to settle in some reme province of America.
"WANDERER, whither wouldst thou roam;
"In the twilight of my day,
I am hastening to the West; There my weary limbs to lay,
Where the sun retires to rest.
"Far beyond th' Atlantic floods,
Stretch'd beneath the evening sky, Realms of mountains, dark with woods, In Columbia's bosom lie.
"There, in glens and caverns rude, Silent since the world began, Dwells the virgin Solitude,
Unbetray'd by faithless man; "Where a tyrant never trod,
Where a slave was never known, But where Nature worships God
In the wilderness alone:
"-Thither, thither would I roam; There my children may be free; I for them will find a home,
They shall find a grave for me.
"Though my fathers' bones afar In their native land repose, Yet beneath the twilight star
Soft on mine the turf shall close.
"Though the mould that wraps my clay When this storm of life is o'er, Never since creation lay
On a human breast before ;
"Yet in sweet communion there, When she follows to the dead, Shall my bosom's partner share
Her poor husband's lowly bed. "Albert's babes shall deck our grave, And my daughter's duteous tears Bid the flowery verdure wave Through the winter waste of years
"Long before thy sun descend,
May thy woes and wanderings cease; Late and lovely be thine end;
Hope and triumph, joy and peace!