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Fulfilled, and she sustains her part !
But here her Brother's words have failed ;
Here hath a milder doom prevailed ;
That she, of him and all bereft,
Hath yet this faithful Partner left;
This one Associate that disproves
His words, remains for her, and loves.
If tears are shed, they do not fall
For loss of him—for one, or all ;
Yet, sometimes, sometimes doth she weep
Moved gently in her soul's soft sleep ;
A few tears down her cheek descend
For this her last and living Friend.
Bless, tender Hearts, their mutual lot, And bless for both this savage spot ; Which Emily doth sacred hold For reasons dear and manifoldHere hath she, here before her sight, Close to the summit of this height, The grassy rock-encircled Pound In which the Creature first was found. So beautiful the timid Thrall (A spotless Youngling white as foam) Her youngest Brother brought it home ; The youngest, then a lusty boy, Bore it, or led, to Rylstone-hall With heart brimful of pride and joy!
Power which the viewless Spirit shed
By whom we were first visited ;
Whose voice we heard, whose hand and wings
Swept like a breeze the conscious strings,
When, left in solitude, erewhile
We stood before this ruined Pile,
And, quitting unsubstantial dreams,
Sang in this Presence kindred themes ;
Distress and desolation spread
Through human hearts, and pleasure dead,-
Dead—but to live again on earth,
A second and yet nobler birth;
Dire overthrow, and yet how high
The re-ascent in sanctity !
From fair to fairer ; day by day
A more divine and loftier way!
Even such this blessèd Pilgrim trod,
By sorrow lifted towards her God;
Uplifted to the purest sky
Of undisturbed mortality.
Her own thoughts loved she ; and could bend
A dear look to her lowly Friend ;
There stopped ; her thirst was satisfied
With what this innocent spring supplied :
Her sanction inwardly she bore,
And stood apart from human cares :
But to the world returned no more,
Although with no unwilling mind
Help did she give at need, and joined
The Wharfdale peasants in their prayers.
At length, thus faintly, faintly tied
To earth, she was set free, and died.
Thy soul, exalted Emily,
Maid of the blasted family,
Rose to the God from whom it came !
-In Rylstone Church her mortal frame
Was buried by her Mother's side.
But most to Bolton's sacred Pile, On favouring nights, she loved to go ; There ranged through cloister, court, and aisle, Attended by the soft-paced Doe ; Nor feared she in the still moonshine To look upon Saint Mary's shrine ; Nor on the lonely turf that showed Where Francis slept in his last abode. For that she came ; there oft she sate Forlorn, but not disconsolate : And, when she from the abyss returned Of thought, she neither shrunk nor mourned ; Was happy that she lived to greet Her mute Companion as it lay In love and pity at her feet; How happy in its turn to meet The recognition ! the mild glance Beamed from that gracious countenance ; Communication, like the ray Of a new morning, to the nature And prospects of the inferior Creature !
Most glorious sunset ! and a ray Survives—the twilight of this dayIn that fair Creature whom the fields Support, and whom the forest shields; Who, having filled a holy place, Partakes, in her degree, Heaven's grace ; And bears a memory and a mind Raised far above the law of kind ; Haunting the spots with lonely cheer Which her dear Mistress once held dear : Loves most what Emily loved mostThe enclosure of this church-yard ground; Here wanders like a gliding ghost, And every sabbath here is found; Comes with the people when the bells Are heard among the moorland dells,
A mortal Song we sing, by dower Encouraged of celestial power ;
Finds entrance through yon arch, where way
Lies open on the sabbath-day;
Here walks amid the mournful waste
Of prostrate altars, shrines defaced,
And floors encumbered with rich show
Of fret-work imagery laid low;
Paces softly, or makes halt,
By fractured cell, or tomb, or vault ;
By plate of monumental brass
Dim-gleaming among weeds and grass,
And sculptured Forms of Warriors brave :
But chiefly by that single grave,
That one sequestered hillock green,
The pensive visitant is seen.
There doth the gentle Creature lie
With those adversities unmoved ;
Calm spectacle, by earth and sky
In their benignity approved !
And aye, methinks, this hoary Pile,
Subdued by outrage and decay,
Looks down upon her with a smile,
A gracious smile, that seems to say—
“ Thou, thou art not a Child of Time,
But Daughter of the Eternal Prime ! ”
FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO BRITAIN, TO THE CONSUMMATION OF THE PAPAL
I, who accompanied with faithful pace
Cerulean Duddon from his cloud-fed spring,
And loved with spirit ruled by his to sing
Of mountain-quiet and boon nature's grace;
I, who essayed the nobler Stream to trace
Of Liberty, and smote the plausive string
Till the checked torrent, proudly triumphing,
Won for herself a lasting resting-place;
Now seek upon the heights of Time the source
Of a Holy RIVER, on whose banks are found
Sweet pastoral flowers,and laurels that have crowned
Full oft the unworthy brow of lawless force;
And, for delight of him who tracks its course,
Immortal amaranth and palms abound.
If there be prophets on whose spirits rest
Past things, revealed like future, they can tell
What Powers, presiding o'er the sacred well
Of Christian Faith, this savage Island blessed
With its first bounty. Wandering through the west,
Did holy Paul * a while in Britain dwell,
And call the Fountain forth by miracle,
And with dread signs the nascent Stream invest!
Or He, whose bonds dropped off, whose prison doors
Flew open, by an Angel's voice unbarred ?
Or some of humbler name, to these wild shores
Storm-driven ; who, having seen the cup of woe
Pass from their Master, sojourned here to guard
The precious Current they had taught to flow!
TREPIDATION OF THE DRUIDS.
PERSECUTION. SCREAMS round the Arch-druid's brow the seamew*
LAMENT! for Diocletian's fiery sword -white
Works busy as the lightning ; but instinct As Menai's foam; and toward the mystic ring With malice ne'er to deadliest weapon linked, Where Augurs stand, the Future questioning, Which God's ethereal store-houses afford : Slowly the cormorant aims her heavy flight,
Against the Followers of the incarnate Lord Portending ruin to each baleful rite,
It rages ;-some are smitten in the field— [shield That, in the lapse of ages, hath crept o'er
Some pierced to the heart through the ineffectual Diluvian truths, and patriarchal lore.
Of sacred home ;—with pomp are others gored Haughty the Bard: can these meek doctrines blight And dreadful respite. Thus was Alban tried, His transports ? wither his heroic strains ?
England's first Martyr, whom no threats could shake; But all shall be fulfilled ;—the Julian spear Self-offered victim, for his friend he died, A way first opened; and, with Roman chains,
And for the faith ; nor shall his name forsake The tidings come of Jesus crucified;
That Hill, whose flowery platform seems to rise They come—they spread—the weak, the suffering, By Nature decked for holiest sacrifice*. Receive the faith, and in the hope abide. [hear;
MERCY and Love have met thee on thy road,
Thou wretched Outcast, from the gift of fire
And food cut off by sacerdotal ire,
From every sympathy that Man bestowed !
Yet shall it claim our reverence, that to God,
Ancient of days ! that to the eternal Sire,
These jealous Ministers of law aspire,
As to the one sole fount whence wisdom flowed,
Justice, and order. Tremblingly escaped,
As if with prescience of the coming storm,
That intimation when the stars were shaped;
And still, ʼmid yon thick woods, the primal truth
Glimmers through many a superstitious form
That fills the Soul with unavailing ruth.
As, when a storm hath ceased, the birds regain
Their cheerfulness, and busily retrim
Their nests, or chant a gratulating hymn
To the blue ether and bespangled plain ;
Even so, in many a re-constructed fane,
Have the survivors this Storm renewed
Their holy rites with vocal gratitude:
And solemn ceremonials they ordain
To celebrate their great deliverance;
Most feelingly instructed ’mid their fear-
That persecution, blind with rage extreme, [nance,
May not the less, through Heaven's mild counte-
Even in her own despite, both feed and cheer;
For all things are less dreadful than they seem.
TEMPTATIONS FROM ROMAN REFINEMENTS.
DARKNESS surrounds us; seeking, we are lost
On Snowdon's wilds, amid Brigantian coves,
Or where the solitary shepherd roves
Along the plain of Sarum, by the ghost
Of Time and shadows of Tradition, crost;
And where the boatman of the Western Isles
Slackens his course-to mark those holy piles
Which yet survive on bleak Iona's coast.
Nor these, nor monuments of eldest name,
Nor Taliesin's unforgotten lays,
Nor characters of Greek or Roman fame,
To an unquestionable Source have led;
Enough—if eyes, that sought the fountain-head
In vain, upon the growing Rill may gaze.
Watch, and be firm! for, soul-subduing vice,
Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await.
Fair houses, baths, and banquets delicate,
And temples flashing, bright as polar ice,
Their radiance through the woods—may yet suffice
To sap your hardy virtue, and abate
Your love of Him upon whose forehead sate
The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the
Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts
That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown
Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown,
Language, and letters ;-these, though fondly viewed
As humanising graces, are but parts
And instruments of deadliest servitude !
MONASTERY OF OLD BANGOR *.
That heresies should strike (if truth be scanned
Presumptuously) their roots both wide and deep,
Is natural as dreams to feverish sleep.
Lo! Discord at the altar dares to stand
Uplifting toward high Heaven her fiery brand,
A cherished Priestess of the new-baptized !
But chastisement shall follow peace despised.
The Pictish cloud darkens the enervate land
By Rome abandoned; vain are suppliant cries,
And prayers that would undo her forced farewell ;
For she returns not.—Awed by her own knell,
She casts the Britons upon strange Allies,
Soon to become more dreaded enemies
Than heartless misery called them to repel.
The oppression of the tumult—wrath and scorn-
The tribulation—and the gleaming blades-
Such is the impetuous spirit that pervades
The song of Taliesin ;-Ours shall mourn (turn
The unarmed Host who by their prayers would
The sword from Bangor's walls, and guard the store
Of Aboriginal and Roman lore,
And Christian monuments, that now must burn
To senseless ashes. Mark! how all things swerve
From their known course, or vanish like a dream;
Another language spreads from coast to coast;
Only perchance some melancholy Stream
And some indignant Hills old names preserve,
When laws, and creeds, and people all are lost !
STRUGGLE OF THE BRITONS AGAINST THE BARBARIANS.
Rise!—they have risen : of brave Aneurin ask A BRIGHT-HAIRED company of youthful slaves,
How they have scourged old foes, perfidious friends : Beautiful strangers, stand within the pale
The Spirit of Caractacus descends
Of a sad market, ranged for public sale,
Upon the Patriots, animates their task ;-
Where Tiber's stream the immortal City laves : Amazement runs before the towering casque Angli by name; and not an ANGEL waves Of Arthur, bearing through the stormy field His wing who could seem lovelier to man's eye The virgin sculptured on his Christian shield :- Than they appear to holy Gregory; Stretched in the sunny light of victory bask Who, having learnt that name, salvation craves The Host that followed Urien as he strode
For Them, and for their Land. The earnest Sire, O'er heaps of slain ;—from Cambrian wood and His questions urging, feels, in slender ties Druids descend, auxiliars of the Cross ; [moss Of chiming sound, commanding sympathies ; Bards, nursed on blue Plinlimmon's still abode, DE-IRIANS—he would save them from God's IRE; Rush on the fight, to harps preferring swords, Subjects of Saxon Ælla—they shall sing And everlasting deeds to burning words !
Glad Halle-lujahs to the eternal King !
Nor wants the cause the panic-striking aid For ever hallowed be this morning fair,
Of hallelujahs * tost from hill to hill-
Blest be the unconscious shore on which ye tread, For instant victory. But Heaven's high will And blest the silver Cross, which ye, instead Permits a second and a darker shade
Of martial banner, in procession bear ; Of Pagan night. Afflicted and dismayed,
The Cross preceding Him who floats in air, The Relics of the sword flee to the mountains : The pictured Saviour !-By Augustin led, O wretched Land! whose tears have flowed like They come--and onward travel without dread, fountains;
Chanting in barbarous ears a tuneful prayerWhose arts and honours in the dust are laid Sung for themselves, and those whom they would By men yet scarcely conscious of a care
free! For other monuments than those of Earth ; Rich conquest waits them :the tempestuous sea Who, as the fields and woods have given them birth, Of Ignorance, that ran so rough and high Will build their savage fortunes only there ; And heeded not the voice of clashing swords, Content, if foss, and barrow, and the girth These good men humble by a few bare words, Of long-drawn rampart, witness what they were. And calm with fear of God's divinity.
But, to remote Northumbria's royal Hall,
Where thoughtful Edwin, tutored in the school
Of sorrow, still maintains a heathen rule,
Who comes with functions apostolical ?
Mark him, of shoulders curved, and stature tall,
Black hair, and vivid eye, and meagre cheek,
His prominent feature like an eagle's beak ;
A Man whose aspect doth at once appal
And strike with reverence. The Monarch leans
Toward the pure truths this Delegate propounds,
Repeatedly his own deep mind he sounds
With careful hesitation,—then convenes
A synod of his Councillors :-give ear,
And what a pensive Sage doth utter, hear!
Nor scorn the aid which Fancy oft doth lend
The Soul's eternal interests to promote:
Death, darkness, danger, are our natural lot ;
And evil Spirits may our walk attend
For aught the wisest know or comprehend;
Then be good Spirits free to breathe a note
Of elevation; let their odours float
Around these Converts ; and their glories blend,
The midnight stars outshining, or the blaze
Of the noon-day. Nor doubt that golden cords
Of good works, mingling with the visions, raise
The Soul to purer worlds : and who the line
Shall draw, the limits of the power define,
That even imperfect faith to man affords?
PRIMITIVE SAXON CLERGY #.
“ Man's life is like a Sparrow, mighty King ! How beautiful your presence, how benign, 6. That—while at banquet with your Chiefs you sit | Servants of God! who not a thought will share “ Housed near a blazing fire—is seen to flit With the vain world; who, outwardly as bare “ Safe from the wintry tempest. Fluttering, As winter trees, yield no fallacious sign “ Here did it enter ; there, on hasty wing,
That the firm soul is clothed with fruit divine ! “ Flies out, and passes on from cold to cold ; Such Priest, when service worthy of his care “ But whence it came we know not, nor behold Has called him forth to breathe the common air, “Whither it goes. Even such, that transient Thing, Might seem a saintly Image from its shrine « The human Soul ; not utterly unknown
Descended :-happy are the eyes that meet “ While in the Body lodged, her warm abode ; The Apparition; evil thoughts are stayed “ But from what world She came, what woe or weal At his approach, and low-bowed necks entreat « On her departure waits, no tongue hath shown ; A benediction from his voice or hand; “ This mystery if the Stranger can reveal, Whence grace, through which the heart can “ His be a welcome cordially bestowed †!”
understand, And vows, that bind the will, in silence made.
PROMPT transformation works the novel Lore;
The Council closed, the Priest in full career
Rides forth, an armed man, and hurls a spear
To desecrate the Fane which heretofore
He served in folly. Woden falls, and Thor
Is overturned ; the mace, in battle heaved
(So might they dream) till victory was achieved,
Drops, and the God himself is seen no more.
Temple and Altar sink, to hide their shame
Amid oblivious weeds. O come to me,
Ye heavy laden ! such the inviting voice
Heard near fresh streams #; and thousands, who
In the new Rite—the pledge of sanctity,
Shall, by regenerate life, the promise claim.
Ah, when the Body, round which in love we clung,
Is chilled by death, does mutual service fail ?
Is tender pity then of no avail ?
Are intercessions of the fervent tongue
A waste of hope !–From this sad source have
Rites that console the Spirit, under grief [sprung
Which ill can brook more rational relief:
Hence, prayers are shaped amiss, and dirges sung
For Souls whose doom is fixed! The way is smooth
For Power that travels with the human heart:
Confession ministers the pang to soothe
In him who at the ghost of guilt doth start.
Ye holy Men, so earnest in your care,
Of your own mighty instruments beware!