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Each potent spell thou bad'st him know.
His spirit laughs in agonies,
Mark who mounts the sacred pyre,
Blooming in her bridal vest:
To die is to be blest:
She clasps her lord to part no more,
Weave the airy web of Fate;
* The funeral rite of the Hindoos.
+ The Fates of the Northern Mythology. See MALLET's Antiquities.
# An allusion to the Second Sight.
Thou spak’st, and lo! a new creation glowed.
Each unhewn mass of living stone
Was clad in horrors not its own,
And at its base the trembling nations bowed.
Giant Error, darkly grand,
Grasped 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, 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.
Round their rude ark old Egypt's sorcerers rise!
A timbrelled anthem swells the gale,
And bids the God of Thunders hail; † * See that fine description of the sudden animation of the Palladium in the second book of the Æneid.
+ The bull, Apis.
With lowings loud the captive God replies.
Clouds of incense woo thy smile,
Scaly monarch of the Nile! *
in characters as dark as night? # What eye those long, long labyrinths dare explore, $ 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?
On yon hoar summit, mildly bright ||
With purple ether's liquid light,
On dazzling bursts of heavenly fire;
* The Crocodile. + According to an antient 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, no altars, or statues; sacrificing on the tops of the highest mountains.” I. 131.
Start at each blue, portentous blaze,
Her figure swells! she foams, she raves!
Streams of rapture roll along,
Wake, Echo, wake and catch the song,
Oh catch it, ere it dies!
The Sibyl speaks, the dream is o'er,
Breathing a prophetic flame.
* Æn. VI. 46. &c.
Mona, thy Druid-rites awake the dead!
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, *
Chased by the morn from Snowdon's awful brow, Where late she sate and scowled on the black wave below.
Lo, steel-clad War his gorgeous standard rears!
The red-cross squadrons madly rage, t
* See Tacitus, l. xiv. c. 29. + This remarkable event happened at the siege and sack of Jeru. salem in the last year of the eleventh century. Matth. Paris, p. 34.