4 MARCH 1871, Page 15


THE ROSE OF LIBERTY.* Do roses bloom, roses bloom In lost Bazeilles, Where shrilled a terrible human wail In the blasting blaze of a living tomb ? 'There they bloom, In lost Bazeilles !

Where men like fiends with frenzy fraught, In a fiery street, In a whirl of bullets and flaming sleet, In a welter of falling ruin fought, 'While women sought, With wavering feet, Scared children clutching close their dress, Babes in their arms, Wildly to fly from hell's alarms !

Who, if they 'seeped the seething press Of murdering swarms,

Felt fiercer harms—

A horrible doom of scorching breath From flame that clung, To mother and child devouring hung, Till all fell smouldering heaped in death, Charred heaps of death Encumbering flung !

• "Amongst the blackened rains of Bazeilles roses are still here and there peep- ing ottt'—Mr. Bullock's letter to the Daily News, November, 1870.

Can roses bloom, roses bloom In lost Bazeilles?

Where flame to stifle the human wail Leapt, fuming, roaring over the doom Of a living tomb, And the sun turned pale Over lost Bazeilles !

Yea, roses blow, roses blow, White rose with red, From you charred fragments of the dead, Crumbling chaos of friend and foe, In a burnt-out woe, With ruin fed !

A rose shall blow, roses blow In the heart of France, Though demons in their orgies dance, And a hectoring, insolent, rude foe Insult with a blow Vanquished France!

Red rose of valour, rose of truth And of purity, Deep-bosomed rose of integrity, Sweet white rose of innocent youth, A beautiful growth, Bloom holily I Rose shall be rife, roses blow rife From a fallen throne, Under whose shadowy shame lay prone Nerveless a nation's mightier life ; From manful spiritual strife, And healthful use of stalwart limbs, Wherewithal soul or body climbs, Debarred : her nobler sons in chains, A crafty vampire drained her veins : Pampered with shows and shams she lay, Poured out until this earth-convulsing day : Then with the shock, That made her throne to rock, She rose dishevelled from her gory clay !

France lies in ashes; the nations, pale, Behold dismayed

Over tire earth an awful shade :

Tyranny stalks in feudal mail O'er hearts that fail, And faiths that fade !

Deep in a mountain's caverned hall,t It is whispered low, Waits in a weird, sepulchral glow, An armed phantom, crowned and tall, Whose hoary beard of centuries Grows on the grey stone where it lies ; While jewelled knights with glittering eyes Glower round In trance profound.

Anon, at age-long intervals, The ghostly king Sends a raven of sable wing From his stupendous prison-walls, To learn how near the fated hour, When he may gather up his power Beholdl no raven comes again.

Beholdl the raven devours the slain !

Vaults asunder Burst in thunder !

Lo! in the hall of mirrors yonder, In a palace consecrate to all Age-long glories of the Gaul, A German wears imperial Purple : Barbarossa lives ! The ghost of a dark age revives, And the heart of every freeman dies, Seeing him rise !

f The legend alluded to affirms that the Emperor Barbarossa waits in a cavern ot the Untersberg, near Salzburg, for the reconstitution of the German Empire. According to other versions, Charlemagne and Charles V.

Yet roses flower, roses flower !

And Liberty, Glorious, ardent, springs to the sky, With breath as of morning, to overpower Slaves that cower In apathy !

Yea, roses bloom ; a rose shall bloom In the grave of France, Whose breath, as of morning, may re-entrance The spectre, till ke slink to the tomb, His eternal doom, Breathed from France She in her lingering agony Dooms her tyrant with an eye Charged with the light of Liberty! RODEN No.