Imágenes de páginas

To save thy secret soul from nightly fears, From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!"

Such were the sounds, that o'er the crested pride

Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay, As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side He wound with toilsome march his long array.

Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance;

"To arms!" cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering lance.

On a rock, whose haughty brow

Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood, Robed in the sable garb of woe,

With haggard eyes the poet stood (Loose his beard, and hoary hair Streamed, like a meteor, to the troubled air); And with a master's hand, and prophet's fire, Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre. "Hark, how each giant oak, and desert cave,

Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath! O'er thee, oh king! their hundred arms they


Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;

Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day, To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,

That hushed the stormy main :

Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song

Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topped head.

On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,

Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale: Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail; The famish'd eagle screams, and passes by. Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,

Dear as the ruddy drops that warm heart,


Ye died amidst your dying country's cries-
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,

I see them sit; they linger yet,
Avengers of their native land:

With me in dreadful harmony they join,

And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line."

[blocks in formation]

She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs, That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,

From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs What terrors

The scourge of heaven!

round him wait!

Amazement in his van, with Flight combined, And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.

Mighty victor, mighty lord,

Low on his funeral couch he lies!

No pitying heart, no eye afford

A tear to grace his obsequies.

Is the sable warrior fled ?

Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead. The swarm, that in thy noontide beam were born ?

Gone to salute the rising morn.

Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,

While prondly riding o'er the azure realm, In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;

Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm ;

Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

[blocks in formation]

'Edward, lo! to sudden fate

(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun). Half of thy heart we consecrate (The web is wove. The work is done).'

Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn

Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn; In yon bright tract, that fires the western


They melt, they vanish from my eyes.

[ocr errors]

But oh what solemn scenes, on Snowdon's height

Descending slow, their glittering skirts unroll ?

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!

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,
Attempered sweet to virgin-grace.

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

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 Heaven her manycoloured wings.

The verse adorn again

Fierce War, and faithful Love,

And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction dressed.
In buskined 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 san-
guine cloud,

Raised 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. 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.

Gray.-Born 1716, Died 1771.


The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herds wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary


And leaves the world to darkness and to


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Some pious drops the closing eye requires: Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,

Even in our ashes live their wonted fires. For thee, who, mindful of the unhonour'd dead,

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;

If chance, by lonely Contemplation led, Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate;

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
"Oft have we seen him at the peep of

Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so

His listless length at noontide would he stretch,

And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,

Muttering his wayward fancies he would


Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorn, Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

One morn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd hill, Along the heath and near his favourite tree;

Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he. The next, with dirges due in sad array,

Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne;

Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay

Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."


Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth, A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown;

Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,

And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
He gain'd from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd)
a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode

(There they alike in trembling hope repose), The bosom of his Father and his God.

Gray.-Born 1716, Died 1771.


Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Fair Venus' train appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
And wake the purple year!
The attic warbler pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,

The untaught harmony of Spring:
While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs through the clear blue sky
Their gather'd fragrance fling.

Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch

A broader, browner shade;
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beach
O'er-canopies the glade,

Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think

(At ease reclined in rustic state)
How vain the ardour of the crowd,
How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great!

Still is the toiling hand of Care:

The panting herds repose:

Yet hark, how through the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honey'd spring,

And float amid the liquid noon :
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some show their gaily-gilded trim
Quick glancing to the Sun.

To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man:

And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began.
Alike the busy and the gay
But flutter through life's little day,

In Fortune's varying colours drest:
Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance;
Or chill'd by age, their airy dance
They leave in dust to rest.

Methinks I hear in accents low

The sportive kind reply;

"Poor moralist! and what art thou?
A solitary fly!

Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
No painted plumage to display:
On hasty wings thy youth is flown:
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone-
We frolic while 't is May."

Gray.-Born 1716, Died 1771.

Till April starts and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground;
And lightly o'er the living scene
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green.

New-born flocks, in rustic dance,
Frisking ply their feeble feet;
Forgetful of their wint'ry trance
The birds his presence greet:

But chief the sky-lark warbles high
His trembling thrilling ecstacy;
And, lessening from the dazzled sight,
Melts into air and liquid light.

Yesterday the sullen year
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
Mute was the music of the air,
The herd stood drooping by :
Their raptures now that wildly flow,
No yesterday, nor morrow know;
'Tis man alone that joy descries
With forward and reverted eyes.

Smiles on past misfortune's brow,
Soft reflection's hand can trace;
And o'er the cheek of sorrow throw
A melancholy grace:

While hope prolongs our happier hour;
Or deepest shades that dimly lower
And blacken round our weary way,
Gilds with a gleam of distant day.

Still, where rosy pleasure leads,
See a kindred grief pursue;
Behind the steps that misery treads
Approaching comfort view:

The hues of bliss more brightly glow,
Chastised by sabler tints of woe;
And blended form, with artful strife,
The strength and harmony of life.

See the wretch, that long has tost
On the thorny bed of pain,
At length repair his vigour lost,
And breathe, and walk again :
The meanest floweret of the vale,
The simplest note that swells the gale,
The common sun, the air, the skies,
To him are opening Paradise.

Humble Quiet builds her cell

Near the course where pleasure flows;
She eyes the clear crystalline well,
And tastes it as it goes.

Gray.-Born 1716, Died 1771.


Now the golden morn aloft
Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
With vermil cheek, and whisper soft,
She woos the tardy spring:


Mona on Snowdon calls:

Hear, thou king of mountains, hear; Hark, she speaks from all her strings: Hark, her loudest echo rings;

King of mountains, bend thine ear:

Send thy spirits, send them soon,
Now, when midnight and the moon
Meet upon thy front of snow;

See their gold and ebon rod,
Where the sober sisters nod,
And greet in whispers sage and slow.
Snowdon, mark! 'tis magic's hour,
Now the mutter'd spell hath power;
Power to rend thy ribs of rock,

And burst thy base with thunder's shock:
But to thee no ruder spell

Shall Mona use, than those that dwell
In music's secret cells, and lie
Steep'd in the stream of harmony.

Snowdon has heard the strain:
Hark, amid the wondering grove
Other harpings answer clear,
Other voices meet our ear,
Pinions flutter, shadows move,

Busy murmurs hum around,

Rustling vestments brush the ground; Round and round, and round they go, Through the twilight, through the shade, Mount the oak's majestic head, And gild the tufted mistletoe. Cease, ye glittering race of light, Close your wings, and check your flight; Here, arranged in order due, Spread your robes of saffron hue; For lo! with more than mortal fire, Mighty Mador smites the lyre: Hark, he sweeps the master-strings; Listen all

Mason.-Born 1725, Died 1797.


Mother of Wisdom! thou, whose sway
The throng'd ideal hosts obey;

Who bidd'st their ranks, now vanish, now


Flame in the van, or darken in the rear;

Accept this votive verse. Thy reign
Nor place can fix, nor power restrain.
All, all is thine. For thee the ear, and eye,
Rove through the realms of grace, and

The senses thee spontaneous serve,
That wake, and thrill through ev'ry

Else vainly soft, loved Philomel! would flow

The soothing sadness of thy warbled woe:

Else vainly sweet yon woodbine shade With clouds of fragrance fill the glade; Vainly, the cygnet spread her downy plume, The vine gush nectar, and the virgin bloom. But swift to thee, alive and warm, Devolves each tributary charm: See modest Nature bring her simple stores, Luxuriant Art exhaust her plastic powers;

While every flower in Fancy's clime, Each gem of old heroic time, Cull'd by the hand of the industrious Muse, Around thy shrine their blended beams diffuse.

Hail, Mem'ry! hail. Behold, I lead
To that high shrine the sacred maid:
Thy daughter she, the empress of the lyre,
The first, the fairest, of Aonia's quire.

She comes, and lo, thy realms expand!
She takes her delegated stand

Full in the midst, and o'er thy num'rous


Displays the awful wonders of her reign.
There throned supreme in native state,
If Sirius flame with fainting heat,
She calls; ideal groves their shade extend,
The cool gale breathes, the silent showers

Or, if bleak Winter, frowning round, Disrobe the trees, and chill the ground, She, mild magician, waves her potent wand, And ready summers wake at her command. See, visionary suns arise

Through silver clouds and azure skies; See, sportive zephyrs fan the crisped streams; Through shadowy brakes light glance the sparkling beams:

While, near the secret moss-grown cave, That stands beside the crystal wave, Sweet Echo, rising from her rocky bed, Mimics the feather'd chorus o'er her head.

Rise, hallow'd Milton! rise, and say, How, at thy gloomy close of day, How, when "deprest by age, beset with

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »