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Che sa ridere e trescar.
Foscolo's Essays on Petrarch.
THE DEATH OF LEONIDAS.
BY THE REV, GEORGE CROLY, A. M.
Theimagery in the following lines is highly poetic; but the antiquated style in which it is written, and the spirit of imitation that characterizes its author, cannot be too much censured. The poet who cannot rise to fame by following the impulse of his own genius, will never become immortal by serving a servile apprenticeship to the Muses.-ED.
It was the wild midnight
A storm was on the sky;
And the thunder echoed by..
The ocean lashed the shore;
To make their bed in gore!
Three hundred took the shield ,
• . 1 2 .
He spoke no warrior word,
He bade no trumpet blow; But the signal thunder roar'd,
And they rush'd upon the foe. The fiery element
Show'd with one mighty gleam, Rampart, and flag, and tent,
Like the spectres of a dream.
All up the mountain's side,
All down the woody vale, All by the rolling tide
Waved the Persian banners pale.
And foremost from the pass,
Among the slumbering band, Sprang King Leonidas,
Like the lightning's living brand.
Then double darkness fell,
And the forest ceased its moan : But there came a clash of steel,
And a distant dying groan.
Anon, a trumpet blew,
And a fiery sheet burst high, That o'er the midnight threw,
A blood-red canopy.
A host glared on the hill ;
A host glared by the bay; But the Greeks rush'd onwards still,
Like leopards in their play.
The air was all a yell,
And the earth was all a flame, Where the Spartan's bloody steel
On the silken turbans came.
And still the Greek rush'd on,
Where the fiery torrent roll’d, Till, like a rising sun,
Shone Xerxes’tent of gold.
They found a royal feast,
His midnight banquet there; And the treasures of the East
Lay beneath the Doric spear.
T'hen sat to the repast
The bravest of the brave ! That feast must be their last,
That spot must be their grave.
They pledged old Sparta's name
In cups of Syrian wine, And the warriors deathless fame
Was sung in strains divine.
They took the rose-wreathed lyres
From cunuch and from slave, And taught the languid wires
The sounds that freedom gave. But now the morning star
Crown'd @ta's twilight brow; And the Persian horn of war
From the hills began to blow.
Up rose the glorious rank,
To Greece one cup pour'd high Then, hand in hand they drank “ To immortality!"
Fear on King Xerxes fell,
When, like spirits from the tomb, With shout and trumpet knell,
He saw the warriors come.
But down swept all his power,
With chariot and with charge; Down pour’d the arrowy show'r,
Till sank the Dorian's targe.
They gather'd round the tent,
With all their strength unstrung; To Grecce one look they sent,
Then on high their torches flung.
Their king sat on the throne,
His captains by his side, While the flame rush'd roaring on,
And their Pæan loud replied ;
Thus fought the Greek of old !
Thus will he fight again! Shall not the self-same mould
Bring forth the self-same men?
ONE MOMENT MORE.
We are pleased with the following lines, but we should fear to recommend them to imitation. The warrior seems to have no great delicacy of feeling in declaring his passion so abruptly to his companion ; and we feel disappointed by the poet totally concealing from us the tender scene that is supposed to have taken place between the lovers. We are only told abruptly, and rather unceremoniously, that “the struggle's past." In this there is a want of tenderness,-ED.
One moment more, ere fast and far,
The battle-field I press;
And glory's form caress.
That face,-ah! pale indeed ;-
One moment rein thy steed!
What 'tis such joy to hold !
Ere we in death lie cold !
Waves on my helmet's crest;
Sleeps on a soldier's breast :