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Her figure swells! she foams, she raves! Her figure swells to more than mortal size!
Streams of rapture roll along,
Silver notes ascend the skies :
Oh catch it, ere it dies!
Breathing a prophetic flame.
Mona, thy Druid-rites awake the dead !
Even whisper to the idle air ;
Shivered by thy piercing glance,
Pointless falls the hero's lance.
* See Tacitus, l. xiv. c. 29.
Hark, the bard's soul inspires the vocal string!
Chased by the Morn from Snowdon's awful brow, Where late she sate and scowled on the black wave
Lo, steel-clad War his gorgeous standard rears!
The red-cross squadrons madly rage,
And mow thro' infancy and age;
Veiling from the eye of day,
Penance dreams her life away ;
rise. Hear with what heartfelt beat the midnight bell Swings its low 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.
* This remarkable event happened at the siege and sack of Jerusalem in the last year of the eleventh century. Matth. Paris, IV. 2.
Lord of each pang the nerves can feel,
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 :
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.
WRITTEN TO BE SPOKEN BY
YES, 'tis the pulse of life! my fears were vain ;
To drop all metaphor, that little bell
* After a Tragedy, performed for her benefit, at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, April 27, 1795.
Ah, no! she scorns the trappings of her Art ;
But, Ladies, say, must I alone unmask ?
First, how her little breast with triumph swells,
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 ; Tramples alike on customs and on toes, And whispers all she hears to all she knows; Terror of caps, and wigs, and sober notions! A romp! that longest of perpetual motions !