« PreviousContinue »
While the lone shepherd, near the shipless main,' Sees o'er her hills advance the long-drawn funeral train.
ODE TO SUPERSTITION."
Thy chain of adamant can bind
That little world, the human mind,
Wake the lion's loudest roar,
At thy command he plants the dagger deep,
Each unhewn mass of living stone
Was clad in horrors not its own,
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.
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,
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
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?
And holds cach mountain-wave in chains,
By glistering star-light through the snow,
His spirit laughs in agonies,
To die is to be blest:
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.
With purple ether's liquid light,
On dazzling bursts of heavenly fire;
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;
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,
Breathing a prophetic flame.
WRITTEN TO BE SPOKEN BY MRS SIDDONS.'
Mona, thy Druid-rites awake the dead!
Even whisper to the idle air;
Shiver'd by thy piercing glance,
Pointless falls the hero's lance.
Chased by the Morn from Snowdon's awful brow, Where late she sate and scowld on the black wave below,
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;
With choral chantings vainly to aspire,
Hence with the rack and reeking wheel.
While gleams of glory open round,
Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
Each fine feeling as it flows;
Pure as the mountain-snows :
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;
- To drop all metaphor, that little bell
But, Ladies, say, must I alone unmask ?
First, how her little breast with triumph swells,
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!
Then comes that good old character, a Wife,
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,
Last the grey Dowager, in ancient flounces,
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 ;
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.
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,
Perhaps to many a desert shore,
Those lips so pure, that moved but to persuade,
On the death of a younger sister.
Yet round her couch indulgent Fancy drew
Arrested in the realms of Frost,
Far happier thou! 't was thine to soar,
And now to thec she comes; still, still the same
Nor less, less oft, as on that day, appears,
many a strain
FROM A GREEK EPIGRAM.
WRITTEN IN A SICK CHAMBER.
While on the cliff with calm delight she kneels,
Far better taught, she lays her bosom bare,
He stirs-yet still be sleeps. May heavenly dreams
TO THE FRAGMENT OF A STATUE OF
THE BOY OF EGREMOND. !
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
yore; To draw down Gods, and lift the soul to Ileaven!
But where the rock is rent in two,
His voice was heard no more!
'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;
"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.