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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/465

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ODE FROM THE FRENCH.

ODE FROM THE FRENCH.[1]

I.

We do not curse thee, Waterloo!
Though Freedom's blood thy plain bedew;
There 'twas shed, but is not sunk—
Rising from each gory trunk,
Like the water-spout from ocean,
With a strong and growing motion—
It soars, and mingles in the air,
With that of lost La Bédoyère—[2]
With that of him whose honoured grave
Contains the "bravest of the brave."[3]
A crimson cloud it spreads and glows,
But shall return to whence it rose;
When 'tis full 'twill burst asunder—
Never yet was heard such thunder
As then shall shake the world with wonder—
Never yet was seen such lightning

As o'er heaven shall then be bright'ning!
  1. [These lines "are said to have been done into English verse by R. S. —— P. L. P. R., Master of the Royal Spanish Inqn., etc., etc."—Morning Chronicle, March 15, 1816. "The French have their Poems and Odes on the famous Battle of Waterloo, as well as ourselves. Nay, they seem to glory in the battle as the source of great events to come. We have received the following poetical version of a poem, the original of which is circulating in Paris, and which is ascribed (we know not with what justice) to the Muse of M. de Chateaubriand. If so, it may be inferred that in the poet's eye a new change is at hand, and he wishes to prove his secret indulgence of old principles by reference to this effusion."—Note, ibid.]
  2. [Charles Angélique François Huchet, Comte de La Bédoyère, born 1786, was in the retreat from Moscow, and in 1813 distinguished himself at the battles of Lutzen and Bautzen. On the return of Napoleon from Elba he was the first to bring him a regiment. He was raised to the peerage, but being found in Paris by the Allied army, he was tried by a court-martial, and suffered death August 15, 1815.]
  3. [Michel Ney. (Compare Don Juan, Canto IX. stanza i. line 8.)]