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• Girt with many a baron bold
Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old
In bearded majesty appear.
In the midst a form divine!
'Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line;
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,
'Attemper'd sweet to virgin grace.
What string symphonious tremble in the air! What strains of vocal transport round her play! Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear; They breathe a soul to animate thy clay. Bright Rapture calls, and, soaring as she sings, Wave in the eye of Heaven her inany-color'd ⚫ wings.
• The verse adorn again
Fierce War, and faithful Love,
"And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction dress'd.
In buskin'd measures move
Pale Grief, aud pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire. [cloud,
Fond impious man! think'st thou yon sanguine
Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of
To-morrow he repairs the golden flood, [day?
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The diff'rent doom our fates assign.
Be thine Despair, and sceptred Care;
To triumph, and to die, are mine. [height. He spoke; and, headlong from the mountain's Deep in the roaring tide he plung'd to endless night.
$77. The Fatal Sisters. An Ode. GRAY.
Now the storm begins to low'r
(Haste, the loom of hell prepare);
Iron slect of arrowy show'r
Hurtles in the darken'd air.
Glitt'ring lances are the loom
Where the dusky warp we strain,
Weaving many a soldier's doom,
Orkney's woe, and Randver's bane.
See the grisly texture grow!
(Tis of human entrails made)
And the weights that play below,
Each a gasping warrior's head.
Shafts for shuttles, dipt in gore,
Sword, that once a monarch bore,
Shoot the trembling cords along :
Keep the tissue close and strong.
Mista, black terrific maid,
Sangrida, and Hilda, see!
Join the wayward work to aid:
Tis the woof of victory.
Ere the ruddy sun be set,
Pikes must shiver, jav'lings sing,
Blade with clatt'ring buckler ineet,
Hauberk crash, and helmet ring.
(Weave the crimson web of war.)
Let us go, and let us fly,
Where our friends the conflict share,
Where they triumph, where they die.
As the paths of fate we tread,
Gondula, and Geira, spread
Wading thro' th' ensanguin'd field,
O'er the youthful king your shield.
We the reigns to slaughter give,
Ours to kill, and ours to spare:
Spite of danger he shall live.
(Weave the crimson web of war.)
They, whom once the desert beach
Pent within its bleak domain,
Soon their ample sway shall stretch)
O'er the plenty of the plain.
Low the dauntless carl is laid,
Gor'd with many a gaping wound:
Fate demands a nobler head;
Soon a king shall bite the ground.
Long his loss shall Eirin weep,
Ne'er again his likeness see;
Long her strains in sorrow steep,
Strains of immortality!
Horror covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the sun.
Sisters, weave the web of death.
Sisters, cease! the work is done.
Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph sing:
Joy to the victorious bands;
Triumph to the younger king.
Mortal, thou that hear'st the tale,
Learn the tenor of our song.
Scotland, through each winding vale,
Far and wide the notes prolong.
Sisters, hence with spurs of speed!
Each her thund'ring falchion wield;
Each bestride her sable steed.
Hurry, hurry, to the field!
$78. The Descent of Odin. An Ode.
UPROSE the king of men with speed,
And saddled straight his coal-black steed:
Down the yawning steep he rode,
That leads to Hela's drear abode.
Him the dog of darkness spied:
His shaggy throat he open'd wide;
While from his jaws, with carnage fill'd,
Foam and human gore distill'd.
Hoarse he bays with hideous din,
Eyes that glow, and fangs that grin ;
And long pursues, with fruitless yell,
The father of the powerful spell."
Onward still his way he takes
(The groaning earth beneath him shakes),
Till full before his fearless eves
The portals nine of hell arise.
Right against the eastern gate, By the moss-grown pile he sat, Where long of yore to sleep was laid The dust of the prophetic Maid. Facing to the northern clime, Thrice he trac'd the Runic rhyme; Thrice pronounc'd, in accents dread; The thrilling verse that wakes the dead; Till from out the hollow ground Slowly breath'd a sullen sound.
To break my iron sleep again,
Till Lok has burst his tenfold chain :
Never, till substantial Night
Has re-assum'd her antient right;
Till wrapt in flames, in ruin hurl'd,
Sinks the fabric of the world.
$79. The Triumphs of Owen. A Fragment. GRAY
OWEN's praise demands my song,
Owen swift, and Owen strong;
Fairest flow'r of Roderic's stem
Gwyneth's shield, and Britain's gem.
He nor heaps his brooded stores,
Ner on all profusely pours;
Lord of ev'ry regal art,
Lib'ral hand, and open heart.
Big with hosts of mighty name,
Squadrons three against him came ;
This the force of Eirin hiding;
Side by side as proudly riding,
On her shadow long and gay
Locklin ploughs the wat'ry way;
There the Norman sails afar
Catch the winds, and join the war :
Black and huge along they sweep,
Burtheus of the angry deep.
Dauntless on his native sands
The dragon-son of Mona stands;
In glitt'ring arms and glory drest,
High he rears his ruby crest.
There the thund'ring strokes begin,
There the press, and there the din;
Talymalfra's rocky shore
Echoing to the battle's roar.
Where his glowing eye-balls turn,
Thousand banners round him barn ;
Where he points his purple spear,
Hasty, hasty Rout is there;
Marking with indignant eye
Fear to stop, and shame to fly:
There Confusion, Terror's child;
Conflict fierce, and ruin wild;
Agony, that pants for breath;
Despair, and honorable death.
From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay:
There sit the sainted Sage, the Bard divine,
The few whom Genius gave to shine
Thro' ev'ry unborn age, and undiscover'd clime,
Rapt in celestial transport they;
Yet hither of a glance from high
They send of tender sympathy,
To bliss the place where on their op'ning soul
First the genuine ardor stole.
'Twas Milton struck the deep-ton'd shell; And, as the choral warblings round him swell, Meek Newton's self bends from his state sublime, And nods his hoary head, and listens to the rhyme...
But, hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth,
With solemir steps and slow,
High Potentates, and Dames of royal birth,
And mitred Fathers, in long order go:
Great Edward, with the lilies on his brow
From haughty Gallia torn ;
And sad Chatillon, on her bridal morn
That wept her bleeding love; and princely Clare;
And Anjou's heroine; and the paler Rose,
The rival of her crown and of her woes,
And either Henry there,
The murder'd Saint, and the majestic Lord
That broke tlie bonds of Rome
(Their tears, their little triumphs o'er
Their human passions now no more,
Save Charity, that glows beyond the tomb).
All that on Granta's fruitful plain
Rich streams of regal bounty pour'd,
And bade these awful fanes and turrets rise,
To hail their Fitzroy's festal morning come;
And thus they speak in soft accord
The liquid language of the skies:
"What is grandeur? what is pow'r ?
§ 80. Ode on the Installation of the Duke of Heavier toil, superior pain.
Grufton. Irregular." GRAY.
HENCE, avaunt ('tis holy ground!) "Comus, and his midnight crew, "And Ignorance with looks profound, "And dreaming Sloth of palid hue,
Mad Sedition's cry profane,
"Servitude that hugs her chain;
"Nor in these consecrated bow'rs
"What the bright reward we gain?
The grateful memory of the Good. "Sweet is the breath of vernal show'r, "The bee's collected treasures sweet, "Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet "The still small voice of Gratitude."
Foremost, and leaning from her gold'n cloud, The venerable Margaret see!
"Let painted Flatt'ry hide her serpent-train in Welcome my noble son (she cries aloud),
"Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain, "Dare the Muse's walk to stain,
"While bright-eyed Science watches round: Hence away, 'tis holy ground!"
To this thy kindred train, and me: "Pleas'd in thy lineaments we trace "A Tudor's fire, a Beaufort's grace. "Thy lib'ral heart, thy judging eye, "The flow'r unheeded shall descry.
"And bid it round heaven's altars shed "The fragrance of its blushing head team Shall raise from earth the latent gem : "To glitter on the diadem.
Lo, Granta waits to lead her blooming Band: "Not obvious, not obtrusive, she "No vulgar praise, no venal incense flings; "Nor dares with courtly tongue refin'd Profane thy inborn royalty of mind: "She reveres herself and thee.
[brow With modest pride to grace thy youthful The laureate wreath, that Cecil wore, she, "And to thy just, thy gentle hand [brings,
Submits the fasces of her sway, "While spirits blest above, and men below, "Join with glad voice the loud symphonious lay. "Thro' the wild waves, as they roar,
With watchful eye and dauntless mien .. </ Thy steady course of honor keep, "Nor fear the rocks, nor seek the shore: "The star of Brunswick smiles serene, "And gilds the horrors of the deep."
§81. A Prayer for Indifference. GREVILLE.
QFT I've implor'd the gods in vain,
And pray'd till I've been weary.
For once I'll try my wish to gain
Of Oberon the Fairy, ....
Sweet airy being, wanton sprite,
That lurk'st in woods unseen,'
And oft by Cynthia's silver light,
Tripp'st gaily o'er the green;
If c'er thy pitying heart was mov'd,
As antient stories tell,
And for th' Athenian maid who lov'd'
Thou sought'st a wondrous spell;
Oh deign once more t'exert thy pow'r!
Haply some herb or tree
Sov'reign as juice of western flow'r,
Conceals a balın for me.'
I ask no kind return of love,
No tempting charm to please;
Far from the heart those gifts remove
That sighs for peace and ease :
Nor peace nor ease the heart can know,
Which, like the needle true,"
Turns at the touch of joy or woe,
But, turning, trembles too.
Far as distress the soul can wound,
'Tis pain in each degree:
'Tis bliss but to a certain bound;
Beyond, is agony.
Take then this treacherous sense of mine,
Which dooins me still to smart;
Which pleasure can to pain refine,
To pains new pangs impart."
Oh haste to shed the sacred balm!
My shatter'd nerves new string;
And for my guest, serenely calm,
The nymph Indifference bring.
At her approach, see Hope, see Fear,
See Expectation fly;
And Disappointment in the rear,
That blasts the promis'd joy.
The tear which pity taught to flow
The eye shall then disown;
The heart that melts for others' woe
Shall then scarce feel its own.
The wounds which now each moment bleed,
Each moment then shall close ;.
And tranquil days shall still succeed
Te nights of calm repose.
O fairy elf! but grant me this,
This one kind comfort send;
And so may never-fading bliss
Thy flow'ry paths attend!
So may the glow-worin's glimm'ring light
Thy tiny footsteps lead
To some new region of delight,
Unknown to mortal tread :
And be thy acorn goblet fill'd
With heaven's ambrosial dew;
From sweetest, freshest, How'rs distill'd,
That shed fresh sweets for you!
And what of life remains for me
I'll pass in sober ease;
br/Half-pleas'd, contented will I be,
Content but half to please.
§ 82. The Fairy's Answer to Mrs. Greville's Prayer for Indifference.
By the Countess of C
WITHOUT preamble, to my friend
These hasty lines I'm bid to send,
Or give, if I am able:
I dare not hesitate to say,
Tho' I have trembled all the day
It looks so like a fable.
Last night's adventure is my theme;
And should it strike you as a dream,
Yet soon its high import
Must make you own the matter such,
So delicate, it were too much
To be compos'd in sport.
The moon did shine serenely bright,
And ev'ry star did deck the night,.
While Zephyr fann'd the trees;
No more assail'd my mind's repose,
Save that yon stream, which murmuring flows,
Did echo to the breeze.
Enrapt in solemn thoughts I sate,
Revolving o'er the turns of fate,
Yet void of hope or fear;
When, lo! behold an airy throng,
With lightest steps, and jocund song,
Surpris'd my eye and ear.
A form superior to the rest
His little voice to are address'dy
And gently thus began ar
I've heard strange things from one of you, "Pray tell me if you think 'tis true; "Explain it if you can.
"Such incense has perfum'd my throne!
"Such eloquence my heart has won!
"I think I guess the hand:
"I know her wit and beauty too,
But why she sends a pray'r so new,
'I cannot understand.
"To light some flames, and some revive,
To keep some others just alive,
"Full oft I am implor'd ;
"But, with peculiar pow'r to please,
"To supplicate for nought but ease!
'Tis odd, upon my word!
"Tell her, with fruitless care I've sought; "And tho' my realms, with wonder fraught, "In remedies abound,
"No grain of cold indifference Was ever yet allied to sense "In all my fairy round.
"The regions of the sky I'd trace, "I'd ransack ev'ry earthly place,
"Each leaf, each herb, each flow'r, "To mitigate the pangs of fear, "Dispel the clouds of black despair, "Or lull the restless hour.
"I would be generous as I'm just; "But I obey, as others must,
Those laws which fate has made. My tiny kingdom how defend, "And what might be the horrid end, "Should man my state invade ?
" "T would put your mind into a rage,
"And such unequal war to wage
"Suits not my regal duty!
"I dare not change a first decree;
"She's doom'd to please, nor can be free:
"Such is the lot of Beauty!"
This said, he darted o'er the plain,
And after follow'd all his train :
No glimpse of him I find :
But sure I am, the little sprite
These words, before he took his flight,
Imprinted on my mind..
§ 83. The Beggar's Petition. ANON. PITY the sorrows of a poor old man, Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest spån ;
Oh give relief, and Heaven will bless your store!
These tatter'd clothes my poverty bespeak,
These hoary locks proclaim any lengthen'd years;
And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek
Has been a channel to a flood of tears.
Yon house erected on the rising ground,
With tempting aspect drew me from my road:
For Plenty there a residence has found,
And Grandeur a magnificent abode.
Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!
Here as I crav'd a morsel of their bread,
A pamper'd menial drove me from the door
To seek a shelter in an humbler shed.
Oh take me to your hospitable doom!
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold!
Short is my passage to the friendly tomb!
For I am poor, and miserably old.
Should I reveal the sources of my grief,
If soft humanity e'er touch'd your breast,
Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
And tears of pity would not be repress'd.
Heaven sends misfortunes; why should we re-
'Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you see; And your condition may be soon like mine, The Child of Sorrow and of Misery.
A little farm was my paternal lot;
Then like the lark I sprightly hail'd the morn ;-
But, ah! oppression forc'd me from my cot';
My cattle died, and blighted was my corn.
My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
Lur'd by a villain from her native home,
Is cast abandon'd on the world's wide stage,
And doom'd in scanty poverty to roam.
My tender wife, sweet soother of my care!
Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree,
Fell, ling'ring fell, a victim to despair!
And left the world to wretchedness and me.
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man, [door,
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span ;
Oh give relief and Heaven will bless your store!
THE peaceful evening breathes her balmy store,
The playful school-boys wanton o'er the green,
Where spreading poplars shade the cottage-door,
The villagers in rustic joy convene.
Amid the secret windings of the wood,
With solemn Meditation let me stray;
This is the hour when to the wise and good-
The heavenly maid repays the toils of day.
The river murmurs, and the breathing gale
Whispers the gently-heaving boughs among: The star of evening glimmers o'er the dale,
And leads the silent host of heaven along. How bright, emerging o'er yon broom-clad height,
The silver empress of the night appears! Yon limpid pool reflects a stream of light, And faintly in its breast the woodland bears. The waters tumbling o'er their rocky bed, Solemn and constant, from yon dell resound; H. h 2 The