Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

66

Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,

“That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey:

II. 3.

"Fill high the sparkling bowl,

“The rich repast prepare,

"Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:

"Close by the regal chair

"Fell Thirst and Famine scowl

"A baleful smile upon their baffled Guest.*

"Heard

ye the din of battle bray,

"Lance to lance, and horse to horse?

their destin'd course,

"Long years of havock+ urge
"And thro' the kindred squadrons mow their way.
"Ye Towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,
"With many a foul and midnight murder fed, ‡
"Revere his Consort's faith, his Father's§ fame,

* Richard the Second (as we are told by all the old writers) was starved to death.

+ Ruinous civil wars of York and Lancaster.

Henry the Sixth, George Duke of Clarence, Edward the Fifth, Richard Duke of York, &c. believed to be murdered secretly in the Tower of London. The oldest part of that structure is vulgarly attributed to Julius Cæsar.

|| Margaret of Anjou, a woman of heroic spirit, who struggled hard to save her husband and her crown.

Henry the Fifth.

"And spare the meek Usurper's* holy head. "Above, below, the rose of snow,t

“Twin'd with her blushing foe, we spread: "The bristled Boart in infant gore

"Wallows beneath the thorny shade.

"Now, Brothers, bending o'er th' accursed loom, Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

[ocr errors]

III. 1.

“ Edward, lo! to sudden fate

66 (Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.) "Half of thy heart|| we consecrate.

[ocr errors]

"(The web is wove. The work is done.)"

[ocr errors]

Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn

Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn:

In yon bright track, that fires the western skies,

They melt, they vanish from my eyes.

But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height

⚫ Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?

* Henry the Sixth, very near being canonized. The line of Lancaster had no right of inheritance to the crown.

+ The white and red roses, devices of York and Lancaster. The silver Boar was the badge of Richard the Third.

Eleanor of Castile died a few years after the conquest of Wales. The heroic proof she gave of her affection for her Lord is well known. The monuments of his regret, and sorrow for the loss of her, are still to be seen at Northampton, Geddington, Waltham, and other places.

[ocr errors]

Visions of glory, spare my aching sight! 'Ye unborn Ages, crowd not on my soul!

No more our long-lost Arthur* we bewail.

All hail, ye genuine Kings,† Britannia's issue, hail! III. 2.

'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.

[ocr errors]

What strings symphonious tremble in the air, 'What strains of vocal transport round her play!

It was the common belief of the Welch nation, that King Arthur was still alive in Fairy-Land, and should return again to reign over Britain.

+ Both Merlin and Taliessin had prophesied, that the Welch should regain their sovereignty over this island; which seemed to be accomplished in the house of Tudor.

Speed, relating an audience given by Queen Elizabeth to Paul Dzialinski, Ambassador of Poland, says, ' And thus she, lion-like rising, daunted the malapert orator no less with her stately port and majestical deporture, than with the tartnesse of her princelie checkes.'

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Hear from the grave, great Taliessin,* hear;
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.

Bright Rapture calls, and soaring, as she sings,

Waves in the eye of Heav'n her many-colour'd wings.

III. 3.

The verse adorn again

'Fierce War, and faithful Love,

'And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction+ drest.

• In buskin'd measures move

'Pale Grief, and 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.

'Fond impious Man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud,
Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day?
To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
'And warms the nations with redoubled ray.

Enough for me: With joy I see

The different doom our fates assign.

* Taliessin, Chief of the Bards, flourished in the sixth century. His works are still preserved, and his memory held in high veneration among his countrymen,

[blocks in formation]

Be thine Despair, and sceptred Care,
To triumph, and to die, are mine.'

He spoke; and headlong from the mountain's height
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.

THE PROGRESS OF POESY.

[IBID.]

I. 1.

AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake,

And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's* harmonious springs

A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of Music winds along,
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,

Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
Now rolling down the steep amain,

Headlong, impetuous, see it pour :

The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.

* The various sources of Poetry, which gives life and lustre to all it touches, are here described; its quiet majestic progress, enriching every subject (otherwise dry and barren) with a pomp of diction and luxuriant harmony of numbers; and its more rapid and irresistible course, when swoln and hurried away by the conflict of tumultuous passions.

« ZurückWeiter »