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But ah! what myriads claim the bended knee ?*
Go, count the busy drops that swell the sea.
Proud land! what eye can trace thy niystic lore,
Locked up in characters as dark as night ?f
What eye those long, long labyrinths dare explore, I
To which the parted soul oft wings her flight ;

Again to visit her cold cell of clay,
Charmed with perennial sweets, and smiling at decay?

II. 3.

On yon hoar summit, mildly bright

With purple ether's liquid light,
High o'er the world, the white-robed Magi gaze

On dazzling bursts of heavenly fire ;
Start at each blue, portentous blaze,
Each flame that flits with adverse spire.
But say, what sounds my ear invade
From Delphi's venerable shade ?
The temple rocks, the laurel waves !
“ The God! the God!" the Sibyl cries.||

* According to an ancient proverb, it was less difficult in Egypt to find a god than a man. + The Hieroglyphics.

| The Catacombs. $" The Persians," says Herodotus, “ have no temples, altars, They sacrifice on the tops of the highest mountains." I. 131.

|| Æn. VI. 46, &c.

or statues.

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:
Wake, Echo, wake and catch the song,

Oh catch it, ere it dies!
The Sibyl speaks, the dream is o'er,
The holy harpings charm no more.
In vain she checks the God's control ;
His madding spirit fills her frame,
And moulds the features of her soul.

Breathing a prophetic flame.
The cavern frowns; its hundred mouths unclose!
And, in the thunder's voice, the fate of empire flows!

III. 1.

Mona, thy Druid-rites awake the dead !
Rites thy brown oaks would never dare

Even whisper to the idle air;
Rites that have chained old Ocean on his bed.

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.

* See Tacitus, l. xiv. c. 29.

24

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.

III. 2.

*

Lo, steel-clad War his gorgeous standard rears!

The red-cross squadrons madly rage,

And mow thro' infancy and age;
Then kiss the sacred dust and melt in tears.

Veiling from the eye of day,

Penance dreams her life away; In cloistered solitude she sits and sighs, While from each shrine still, small responses 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.

III. 3.

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Lord of each pang the nerves can feel,

Hence with the rack and reeking wheel.
Faith lifts the soul above this little ball!

While gleams of glory open round,
And circling choirs of angels call,
Canst thou, with all thy terrors crowned,
Hope to obscure that latent spark,
Destined to shine when suns are dark ?
Thy triumphs cease! thro' every land,
Hark! Truth proclaims, thy triumphs cease.!

Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
Benignly points to piety and peace.
Flushed with youth, her looks impart

Each fine feeling as it flows;
Her voice the echo of a heart

Pure as the mountain-snows:

Celestial transports round her play,
And softly, sweetly die

away.
She smiles! and where is now the cloud
That blackened o'er thy baleful reign ?
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.

1

WRITTEN TO BE SPOKEN BY

MRS. SIDDONS.*

Yes, 'tis the pulse of life! my fears were vain ;
I wake, I breathe, and am myself again.
Still in this nether world ; no seraph yet!
Nor walks my spirit, when the sun is set,
With troubled step to haunt the fatal board,
Where I died last—by poison or the sword;
Blanching each honest cheek with deeds of night,
Done here so oft by dim and doubtful light.

To drop all metaphor, that little bell
Called back reality, and broke the spell.
No heroine claims your tears with tragic tone;
A very woman—scarce restrains her own!
Can she, with fiction, charm the cheated mind,
When to be grateful is the part assigned ?

* After a Tragedy, performed for her benefit, at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, April 27, 1795.

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