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Miscellaneous Poems.

While the lone shepherd, near the shipless main,' Sees o'er her hills advance the long-drawn funeral train.

ODE TO SUPERSTITION."

I. 1.
UENCE, to the realms of Night, dire Demon, hence,

Thy chain of adamant can bind

That little world, the human mind,
And sink its noblest powers to impotence.

Wake the lion's loudest roar,
Clot his shaggy mane with gore,
With flashing fury bid his eye-balls shine;
Meek is his savage, sullen soul, to thine !
Thy touchi, thy deadening touch has steeld the breast,
Whence, through her April-shower, soft Pity smiled;
Has closed the leart each godlike virtue bless'd,
To all the silent pleadings of his child.2

At thy command he plants the dagger deep,
At thy command exults, though Nature bids him weep!

II. 1.
Thou spakest, and lo! a new creation glow'd.

Each unhewn mass of living stone

Was clad in horrors not its own,
And at its base the trembling nations bow'd.

Giant Error, darkly grand,

Grasp'd the globe with iron hand. Circled with seats of bliss, the Lord of Light Saw prostrate worlds adore his golden height. The statue, waking with immortal powers, 2 Springs from its parent earth, and shakes the spheres ; The indignant pyramid sublimely towers, And braves the efforts of a host of

years. Sweet Music breathes her soul into the wind; And bright-eyed Painting stamps the image of the mind.

II. 2.

I. 2. When, with a frown that froze the peopled earth, 3

Thou dartedst thy huge head from high,

Night waved her banners o'er the sky,
And, brooding, gave her shapeless shadows birth,

Rocking on the billowy air,

Ha! what withering phantoms glare ! As blows the blast with many a sudden swell, At each dead pause, what shrill-toned voices yell ! The sheeted spectre, rising from the tomb, Points to the murderer's stab, and shudders by; In every grove is felt a heavier gloom, That veils its genius from the vulgar eye:

The spirit of the water rides the storm, And, through the mist, reveals the terrors of his form.

Round their rude ark old Egypt's sorcerers rise !

A timbrelld anthem swells the gale,

And bids the God of Thunders hail; 3 With lowings loud the captive God replies.

Clouds of incense woo thy smile,

Scaly monarch of the Nile! 4
But ah! what myriads claim the bended knec? 5
Go, count the busy drops that swell the sea.
Proud land! what eye can trace thy mystic lore,
Lock'd up in characters as dark as night?

6 What eye those long, long labyrinths dare explore, 7 To which the parted soul oft wings her flight;

Again to visit her cold cell of clay, Charm'd with perennial swects, and smiling at decay?

I. 3.
O'er solid seas, where Winter reigns,

And holds cach mountain-wave in chains,
The fur-clad savage, ere he guides bis deer

By glistering star-light through the snow,
Breathes softly in her wondering ear
Each potent spell thou badest him know.
By thee inspired, on India's sands,
Full in the sun the Bramin slands;
And, while the panting cigress hies
To quench her fever in the stream,

His spirit laughs in agonies,
Smit by the scorchings of the noontide beam.
Mark who mounts the sacred руге,

4
Blooming in her bridal vest:
She liurls the torch! she fans the fire!

To die is to be blest:
She clasps her lord to part no more,
And, sighing, sinks! but sinks to soar.
O'ershadowing Scotia's desert coast,
The Sisters sail in dusky state,

5
And, wrapt in clouds, in tempests tost,

Weave the airy wch of Fate; 'Written in early youth.

The sacrifice of Iphigenia. * Lucretius, I, 63. 4 The funeral rite of the Hindoos. * The Fates of the Nortbern Mythology. See Mall-t's Antiquities.

II. 3.
On yon hoar summit, mildly bright 8

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 fits 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. 9

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! "An allusion to the Second Sight.

See that fine description of the sudden animation of the Palladium in the second book of the Æneid. 3 The bull, Apis.

4 The Crocodile. 5 According to an ancient proverb, it was less difficult in Egypt 10 find a god than a man. 6 The Hieroglypbics.

The Catacombs. • The Persians, - says Herodotus, have no temples, altars, or statues. They sacrifice on the tops of the highest mountains. I. 131.

? Æn. VI. 46, etc.

Her touch unlocks the day-spring from above, And lo! it visits man with beams of light and love.

The Sibyl speaks, the dream is o'er,
The holy harpings charm no more.
In vain she checks the God's controul;
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 !

VERSES

WRITTEN TO BE SPOKEN BY MRS SIDDONS.'

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 chain'd old Ocean on his bed.

Shiver'd 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 scowld on the black wave below,

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III. 2.

2

Lo, steel-clad War bis gorgeous standard rears!

The red-cross squadrons madly rage,

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

Veiling from the cye of day,

Penance dreams her life away;
In cloister'd solitude she sits and sighs,
While from each shrine still, small responses rise.
Hear, with what heart-felt beat, the midnight bell
Swings its slow summons through the hollow pile!
The weak, wan votarist leaves her (wilight-cell,
To walli, with taper dim, the winding isle;

With choral chantings vainly to aspire,
Beyond this nether sphere, on Rapture's wing of fire.

III. 3.
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 crown'd,
Hope to obscure that latent spark,
Destined to shine when suns are dark:
Thy triumphs cease! through every land,
Hark! Truth proclaims, thy triumphus cease!

Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
Benignly points to piety and peace.
Flush'd 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 blacken'd o'er thy baleful reign ?
Grim darkness furls his leaden shroud,

Shrinking from her glance in vain. See Tacitus, I. viv, c. 29. * This remarkable event happened at the siege and sack of Jerusalem in the last year of the eleventh century. Matth. Paris, p. 34.

Yes, 't is 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
Call’d 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 assign'd?
Ah, no! she scorns the trappings of her Art;
No theme but truth, no prompter but the heart !

But, Ladies, say, must I alone unmask ?
Is here no other actress ? let me ask.
Believe me, those, who best the heart dissect,
Know every Woman studies stage-effect.
She moulds her manners to the part she fills,
As Instinct teaches, or as lumour wills;
And, as the grave or gay her talent calls,
Acts in the drama, till the curtain falls.

First, how her little breast with triumph swells,
When the red coral rings its golden bells!
To play in pantomime is then the rage,
Along the carpet's many-colour'd 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 mimic's 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 perpctual motions!

– Till tamed and tortured into foreign graces, She sports her lovely face at public places ; And with blue, laughing eyes, behind her fan, First acts her part with that great actor, MAN.

Too soon a flirt, approach her and she flies!
Frowns when pursued, and, when entreated, sighs!
Plays with unhappy men as cats with mice;
Till fading beauty hints the late advice.
Her prudence dictates what her pride disdain'd,
And now she sues to slaves herself had chain'd!

Then comes that good old character, a Wife,
With all the dear distracting cares of life;
A thousand cards a day at doors to leave,
And, in return, a thousand cards receive;
Rouge high, play deep, to lead the ton aspire,
With nightly blaze set Portland-place on fire;
Snatchi half a glimpse at Concert, Opera, Hall,
A meteor, traced by none, though seen by all;

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

FROM EURIPIDES. There is a streamlet issuing from a rock. The village-girls, singing wild madrigals, Dip their white vestments in its waters clear, And hang them to the sun. There first I saw her. Her dark and eloquent eyes, mild, full of fire, 'T was heaven to look upon ; and her sweet voice, As tuneable as harp of many strings, At once spoke joy and sadness to my soul !

And, when her shatter'd nerves forbid to roam,
In very spleen-rehearse the girls at home.

Last the grey Dowager, in ancient flounces,
With snuff and spectacles the age denounces ;
Boasts how the Sires of this degenerate Isle
Knelt for a look, and duell'd for a smile.
The scourge and ridicule of Goth and Vandal,
Her tea she sweetens, as she sips, with scandal;
With modern Belles, eternal warfare wages,
Like her own birds that clamour from their cages;
And shuffles round to bear her tale to all,
Like some old Ruin, « nodding to its fall!,

Thus Woman makes her entrance and her exit; Not least an actress, when she least suspects it. Yet Nature oft peeps out and mars the plot, Each lesson lost, each poor pretence forgot; Full oft, with energy that scorns controul, At once lights up the features of the soul ; Unlocks each thought chain'd down by coward Art, And to full day the latent passions start!

- And she, whose first, best wish is your applause, Herself exemplifies the truth she draws. Born on the stage-through every shifting scene, Obscure or bright, tempestuous or serene, Still has your smile her trembling spirit fired! And can she act, with thoughts like these inspired ? Thus from her mind all artifice she flings, All skill, all practice, now unmeaning things ! To you, uncheck'd, each genuine feeling flows; For all that life endears-to you she owes.

Dear is that valley to the murmuring bees ;
And all, who know it, come and come again.
The small birds build there; and, at summer-noon,
Oft have I heard a child, gay among flowers,
As in the shining grass she sate conceald,
Sing to herself

CAPTIVITY Caged in old woods, whose reverend echoes wake When the hern screams along the distant lake, Her little heart oft flutters to be free, Oft sighs to turn the unrelenting key. In vain! the nurse that rusted relic wears, Nor moved by gold-nor to be moved by tears; And terraced walls their black reflection throw On the green-mantled moat that sleeps below.

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TO TWO SISTERS. ' Well may you sit within, and, fond of grief, Look in each other's face, and melt in tears. Well may you shun all counsel, all relief. Oh she was great in mind, though young in years!

Changed is that lovely countenance, which shed Light when she spoke; and kindled sweet surprise, As o'er her frame each warm emotion spread, Play'd round her lips, and sparkled in her eyes.

Once more, Enchantress of the soul,
Once more we hail thy soft control.
-Yet whither, whither didst thou fly?
To what bright region of the sky?
Say, in what distant star to dwell?
(Of other worlds thou scem'st to tell)
Or trembling, fluttering here below,
Resolved and unresolved to go,
In secret didst thou still impart
Thy raptures to the pure in heart?

Perhaps to many a desert shore,
Thee, in his rage, the Tempest bore;
Thiy broken murmurs swept along,
'Mid Echoes yet untuned by song;

Those lips so pure, that moved but to persuade,
Still to the last enliven'd and endear'd.
Those eyes at once her secret soul convey'd,
And ever beam'd delight when you appear'd.

On the death of a younger sister.

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Yet round her couch indulgent Fancy drew
The kindred forms her closing eye required.
There didst thou stand- there, with the smile she knew,
She moved her lips to bless thee, and expired.

Arrested in the realms of Frost,
Or in the wilds of Ether lost.

Far happier thou! 't was thine to soar,
Careering on the winged wind.
Thy triumplis who shall dare explore?
Suns and their systems left behind.
No tract of space, no distant star,
No shock of elements at war,
Did thee detain. Thy wing of fire
Bore thee amidst the Cherub-choir;
And there awhile to thee 't was given
Once more that Voice' beloved to join,
Which taught thee first a flight divine,
And nursed thy infant years

with
from Heaven!

And now to thec she comes; still, still the same
As in the hours gone unregarded by!
To thee, how changed! comes as she ever came,
Health on her cheek, and pleasure in her cye!

Nor less, less oft, as on that day, appears,
When lingering, as prophetic of the truth,
By the way-side she shed her parting tears-
For ever lovely in the light of Youth !

many a strain

FROM A GREEK EPIGRAM.

WRITTEN IN A SICK CHAMBER.
There, in that bed so closely curtain d round,
Worn to a shade, and wan with slow decay,
A father sleeps! Oh huslı'd be every sound!
Soft may we breathe the midnight hours away!

While on the cliff with calm delight she kneels,
And the blue vales a thousand joys recall,
Sce, to the last, last verge her infant steals!
O fly—yet stir not, speak not, lest it fall.

Far better taught, she lays her bosom bare,
And the fond boy springs back to nestle there.

He stirs-yet still be sleeps. May heavenly dreams
Long o'er his smooth and settled pillow rise;
Till through the shutter'd pane the morning streams,
And on the hearth the glimmering rush-light dies.

TO THE FRAGMENT OF A STATUE OF

HERCULES,
COMMONLY CALLED THE TORSO.

THE BOY OF EGREMOND. !
And dost thou still, thou mass of breathing stone

Say, what remains when Hope is fled ?n (Thy giant limbs to night and chaos hurla),

She answer'd, - Endless weeping !, Still sit as on the fragment of a world;

For in the herdsman's eye she read Surviving all, majestic and alone?

Who in his shroud lay sleeping. What though the Spirits of the North, that swept

At Embsay rung the matin-bell, Rome from the earth, when in her pomp she slept,

The stag was roused on Barden-fell; Smote thee with fury, and thy headless trunk

The mingled sounds were swelling, dying, Deep in the dust 'mid tower and temple sunk;

And down the Wharfe a hern was flying; Soon to subdue mankind't was thine to rise,

When near the cabin in the wood, Still, still unquell'd thy glorious energies !

In tartan clad and forest-green, Aspiring minds, with thee conversing, caught?

With bound in leash and hawk in hood Bright revelations of the Good they sought;

The Boy of Egremond was seen. By thee that long-lost spell 3 in secret given,

Blithe was his song, a song

of

yore; To draw down Gods, and lift the soul to Ileaven!

But where the rock is rent in two,
And the river rushes through,

His voice was heard no more!
TO ----.4

'T was but a step! the gulf he pass'd ;

But that step-it was his last! Au! little thought she, when, with wild delight,

As through the mist he wing’d his

way By many a torrent's shining track she flew,

(A cloud that hovers night and day), When mountain-glens and caverns full of night

The hound hung back, and back he drew O'er her young mind divine enchantment threw,

The Master and his merlin too.

That narrow place of noise and strife That in her veins a secret horror slept,

Received their little all of Life! That her light footsteps should be heard no more,

There now the matin-bell is rung; That she should die-nor watch'd, alas, nor wept

The - Miserere!, duly sung;
By thee, unconscious of the

pangs
she bore.

"In the twelfth centary William Fitz-Duncan laid waste the

vallies of Craven with fire and sword; and was afterwards estaMrs Sheridan's.

blished there by bis uncle, David King of Scotland. 2 In the gardens of the Vatican, where it was placed by Julius II,

lle was the last of the race; his son, commonly called the Boy of it was long the favourite study of those great men to whom we owe Egremond, dying before him in the manner bere related ; when a the revival of the arts, Michael Angelo, Raphael, and the Carracci. Priory was removed from Eabsay to Bolton, that it might be as near

Once in the possession of Praxiteles, if we may believe an as possible to the place where the accident happened. That place is ancient epigram on the Gnidian Venus. – Analecta Vet. Poeta- suill known by the name of the Strid; and the mother's answer, as rum, IU. 200,

given in the first stanza, is to this day often repeated in Wharfedale. 4 On the death of her sister.

-See Whitaker's Hist, of Craven.

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