« PreviousContinue »
Nor second he, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of the abyss to spy.
The living Throne, the sapphire blaze,
Two coursers 2 of ethereal race,
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Scatters from her pictured urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
That the Theban eagle4 bear,
dominion Through the azure deep of air : Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
sublime odes in the English lan-
Confusion on thy banners wait!
They mock the air with idle state.
Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
He wound with toilsome march his long array. Stout Glo'ster 3 stood aghast in speechless trance: “ To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couched his quivering lance.
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
With haggard eyes the poet stood :
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe ;
1. 3. 6 Cold is Cadwallo's5 tongue,
That hushed the stormy main : 1 Edward I. of England.
4 See Milton's “ Paradise Lost," 2 Cambria, the ancient name of book i. line 391. Wales.
5 Welsh bards. 3 Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, married Joan, daughter of Edward I.
Brave Urien? sleeps upon
Smeared with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail : The famished 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 my heart,
Ye died amid your dying country's cries. -
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
Avengers of their native land:
666 Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding sheet of Edward's race:
The characters of hell to trace.
That tear’st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
The scourge of heaven !5 What terrors 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!
1 Welsh bards.
5 Edward II., murdered in Berkley Castle.
4 Isabella, daughter of Philip IV. of France, Edward II.'s queen.
5 Edward III., the conqueror at Creçi and Poictiers.
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm,
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm ; Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind's sway, That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
The rich repast prepare ;
Close by the regal chair
the din of battle bray,
Long years of havoc urge their destined course 3, And through the kindred squadrons mow their way. Ye towers of Julius 4, London's lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murder fed, Revere his consort's5 faith, his father's 6 fame,
And spare the meek usurper's holy head. Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foes, we spread:
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
1 Edward the Black Prince.
5 Margaret of Anjou. 2 According to some writers, Rich- 6 Henry V. ard II. was starved to death.
7 Henry VI. 3 Wars of the Roses.
8 The White and Red Roses, devices 4 The tower of London, the oldest of the Houses of York and Lancaster. part of which is said to have been 9 The boar was the device of built by Julius Cæsar.
Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)
Descending slow, their glittering skirts unroll!
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul !
“ Girt with many a baron bold,
Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
In bearded majesty appear.
What strains of vocal transport round her play!
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.
“ The verse adorn again
Fierce War, and faithful Love,
In buskined 4 measures move
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
1 The line of Tudor.
4 Tragic; the Roman tragic actors 2 Queen Elizabeth.
wore the buskin, or high boot; the 3
Taliessin, chief of the Welsh comedians, the sock or slipper. bards, flourished in the sixth cen- 5 Shakspere. tury