Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant


HIS falchion flash'd along the Nile;
His hosts he led through Alpine snows;
O'er Moscow's towers, that shook the while,
His eagle flag unroll'd—and froze.
Here sleeps he now alone: not one
Of all the kings whose crowns he gave,
Nor sire, nor brother, wife, nor son,
Hath ever seen or sought his grave.
Here sleeps he now alone: the star
That led him on from crown to crown
Hath sunk; the nations from afar
Gazed as it faded and went down.
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He sleeps alone: the mountain cloud
That night hangs round him, and the breath
Of morning scatters, is the shroud
That wraps his martial form in death.
High is his couch: the ocean flood
Far, far below by storms is curl'd,
As round him heaved, while high he stood,
A stormy and inconstant world.
Hark! Comes there from the Pyramids,
And from Siberia's wastes of snow,
And Europe's fields, a voice that bids
The world he awed to mourn him? No:
The only, the perpetual dirge
That's heard there is the seabird's cry,
The mournful murmur of the surge,
The cloud's deep voice, the wind's low sigh.