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Even whisper to the idle air ;
Shivered by thy piercing glance,
Pointless falls the hero's lance. Thy magic bids the imperial eagle fly, * And blasts the laureate wreath of victory. Hark, the bard's soul inspires the vocal string ! At every pause dread Silence hovers o'er: While murky Night sails round on raven-wing, Deepening the tempest's howl, the torrent's roar;
Chased by the Morn from Snowdon's awful brow, Where late she sate and scowled on the black wave below.
The red-cross squadrons madly raget,
And mow thro' infancy and age;
Veiling from the eye of day,
Penance dreams her life away;
* See Tacitus, l. xiv. c. 29.
+ This remarkable event happened at the siege and sack of Jerusalem in the last year of the eleventh century. Matth. Paris, IV. 2.
Hear with what heart-felt beat, the midnight bell Swings its slow summons thro’ the hollow pile ! The weak, wan votarist leaves her twilight-cell, To walk, with taper dim, the winding aisle ;
With choral chantings vainly to aspire Beyond this nether sphere, on Rapture's wing of fire.
Hence with the rack and reeking wheel.
While gleams of glory open round,
Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
Each fine feeling as it flows;
Pure as the mountain-snows:
Grim darkness furls his leaden shroud,
Shrinking from her glance in vain.
Her touch unlocks the day-spring from above, And lo! it visits man with beams of light and love.
YES, 'tis the pulse of life! my fears were vain ;
* After a Tragedy, performed for her benefit, at the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane, April 27, 1795.
Blanching each honest cheek with deeds of night,
To drop all metaphor, that little bell
But, Ladies, say, must I alone unmask?
First, how her little breast with triumph swells,
rage, Along the carpet's many-coloured stage; Or lisp her merry thoughts with loud endeavour, Now here, now there,in noise and mischief ever!
A school-girl next, she curls her hair in papers, And mimics father's gout, and mother's vapours ; Discards her doll, bribes Betty for romances ; Playful at church, and serious when she dances;