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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 7.djvu/55

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23
THE DEVIL'S DRIVE.

And so sweet to his eye was its sulphury glare,
And so soft to his ear was the cry of despair,
That he perched on a mountain of slain;
And he gazed with delight from its growing height,
Nor often on earth had he seen such a sight,
Nor his work done half as well:
For the field ran so red with the blood of the dead,40
That it blushed like the waves of Hell!
Then loudly, and wildly, and long laughed he:
"Methinks they have little need here of me!"


6.

Long he looked down on the hosts of each clime,
While the warriors hand to hand were—
Gaul—Austrian and Muscovite heroes sublime,
And—(Muse of Fitzgerald arise with a rhyme!)
A quantity of Landwehr![1]
Gladness was there,
For the men of all might and the monarchs of earth,50
There met for the wolf and the worm to make mirth,
And a feast for the fowls of the Air!


7.

But he turned aside and looked from the ridge
Of hills along the river,
And the best thing he saw was a broken bridge,[2]

Which a Corporal chose to shiver;
  1. [The Russian and Austrian troops at the battle of Leipsic, October 16, 1813, were, for the most part, veterans, while the Prussian contingent included a large body of militia.]
  2. [For the incident of the "broken bridge" Byron was indebted to the pages of the Morning Chronicle of November 8, 1813, "Paris Papers, October 30"— "The Emperor had ordered the engineers to form fougades under the grand bridge which is between Leipsic and Lindenau, in order to blow it up at the latest moment, and thus to retard the march of the enemy and give time to our baggage to file off. General