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III. 2.

Nor second he, that rode sublime

Upon the seraph wings of Ecstasy,

The secrets of the abyss to spy.
He passed the flaming bounds of Place and Time :

The living Throne, the sapphire blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw ; but, blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear

Two coursers 2 of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace.

III. 3.

Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er,

Scatters from her pictured urn

Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah! 'tis heard no more_3
O lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? though he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,

That the Theban eagle4 bear,
Sailing with

supreme

dominion Through the azure deep of air : Yet oft before his infant eyes would run

Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrowed of the sun :

Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the Gods how far — but far above the Great.

1 Milton.
2 Dignity and Harmony.
3 Since Dryden's, we have had no

sublime odes in the English lan-
guage.

4 Pindar.

ODE V.

THE BARD.

PINDARIC.

1. 1.
“Ruin seize thee, ruthless king !!

Confusion on thy banners wait!
Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing,

They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,
Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria's 2 curse, from Cambria's tears !”
Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride

Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

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.

I. 2.

66

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 air4)
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, O king! their hundred arms they wave,

Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe ;
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's 5 harp, or soft Llewellyn's 5 lay.

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.

bed:

Brave Urien? sleeps upon

his

craggy
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred', whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topped head.
On dreary Arvon’s2 shore they lie,

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,
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.

II. 1.

666 Weave the warp, and weave the woof,

The winding sheet of Edward's race:
Give ample room, and verge enough

The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death through Berkley's roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonising king !3
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

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.

II. 2.

“Mighty Victor, mighty Lord,

Low on his funeral couch he lies!

1 Welsh bards.
2 The shore of Carnarvon.

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.

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No pitying heart, no eye, afford

A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled ? 1
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noon-tide beams were born,
Gone to salute the rising Morn.
Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows,

While proudly 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, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

II. 3.
6 « 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 ?

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:
The bristled boar' in infant gore

Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursèd loom,
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

III. 1.
Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.)

2

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.

Richard III.

Half of thy heart we consecrate.

(The web is wove. The work is done.)
Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unblessed, 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!
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 kingsl; 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,
Attempered sweet to virgin-grace.2
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,

What strains of vocal transport round her play!
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin 3, hear!

They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.
Bright Rapture calls, and, soaring as she sings,
Waves in the eye of Heaven her many-coloured wings.

III. 3.

“ The verse adorn again

Fierce War, and faithful Love,
And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction dressed.

In buskined 4 measures move
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.5
A voice, as of the cherub-choir 6,

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

6 Milton.

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