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TO THE FRAGMENT OF

A STATUE OF HERCULES,

COMMONLY CALLED

THE TORSO.

AND dost thou still, thou mass of breathing stone,
(Thy giant limbs to night and chaos hurled)
Still sit as on the fragment of a world;
Surviving all, majestic and alone ?
What tho' the Spirits of the North, that swept
Rome from the earth when in her pomp she slept,
Smote thee with fury, and thy headless trunk
Deep in the dust mid tower and temple sunk;
Soon to subdue mankind 'twas thine to rise,
Still, still unquelled thy glorious energies !
Aspiring minds, with thee conversing, caught
Bright revelations of the Good they sought;
By thee that long-lost spell in secret given,
To draw down Gods, and lift the soul to Heaven! +

* In the gardens of the Vatican, where it was placed by Julius II., it was long the favourite study of those great men to whom we owe the revival of the arts, Michael Angelo, Raphael, and the Caracci.

+ Once in the possession of Praxiteles, if we may believe an ancient epigram on the Gnidian Venus.

Analecta Vet. Poetarum, III, 200.

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“Say, what remains when Hope is filed ?"
She answered, “Endless weeping !”
For in the herdsman's eye she read
Who in his shroud lay sleeping.

At Embsay rung the matin-bell,
The stag was roused on Barden-fell;
The mingled sounds were swelling, dying,
And down the Wharfe a hern was flying;

*

When near the cabin in the wood,
In tartan clad and forest-green,
With hound in leash and hawk in hood,
The Boy of Egremond was seen.
Blithe was his song, a song of yore;
But where the rock is rent in two,
And the river rushes through,
His voice was heard no more !
'Twas but a step! the gulf he passed ;
But that step-it was his last !
As through the mist he winged his way,
(A cloud that hovers night and day,)
The hound hung back, and back he drew
The Master and his merlin too.
That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of Life!

There now the matin-bell is rung ;
The “ Miserere !” duly sung ;
And holy men in cowl and hood
Are wandering up and down the wood.
But what avail they? Ruthless Lord,
Thou didst not shudder when the sword

* In the twelfth century William Fitz-Duncan laid waste the valleys of Craven with fire and sword; and was afterwards established there by his uncle, David, King of Scotland.

He was the last of the race; his son, commonly called the Boy of Egremond, dying before him in the manner here related; when a Priory was removed from Embsay to Bolton, that it might be as near as possible to the place where the accident happened. That place is still known by the name of the Strid: and the mother's answer, as given in the first stanza, is to this day often repeated in Wharfedale.-See WHITAKER's Hist. of Craven.

Here on the young its fury spent, ,
The helpless and the innocent.
Sit now and answer, groan for groan.
The child before thee is thy own.
And she who wildly wanders there,
The mother in her long despair,
Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping,
Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping;
Of those who would not be consoled
When red with blood the river rolled.

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TREAD lightly here, for here, 'tis said,
When piping winds are hushed around,
A small note wakes from underground,
Where now his tiny bones are laid.
No more in lone and leafless groves,
With ruffled wing and faded breast,
His friendless, homeless spirit roves ;
-Gone to the world where birds are blest!
Where never cat glides o'er the green,
Or school-boy's giant form is seen ;
But Love, and Joy, and smiling Spring
Inspire their little souls to sing !

* Inscribed on an urn in the flower-garden at Hafod.

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