Page images

Unwilling I my lips unclose:

Leave me, leave me, to repose.

Once again my call obey.-
Prophetess, arise, and say
What dangers Odin's child await,
Who the author of his fate.

In Hoder's 1 hand the hero's doom :
His brother sends him to the tomb.
Now my weary lips I close :
Leave me, leave me, to repose.

Prophetess, my spell obey :
Once again arise, and say
Who the avenger of his guilt,
By whom shall Hoder’s blood be spilt.

In the caverns of the west,
A wondrous boy shall Rinda bear,
Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,
Nor wash his visage in the stream,
Nor see the Sun's departing beam;
Till he on Hoder's corse shall smile
Flaming on the funeral pile.
Now my weary lips I close:
Leave me, leave me, to repose.

Yet awhile my call obey,
Prophetess, awake, and say
What virgins these, in speechless woe,
That bend to earth their solemn brow;
That their flaxen tresses tear,
And snowy veils that float in air.
Tell me whence their sorrows rose :
Then I leave thee to repose.

1 Odin was anxious about the fate by Odin's other son, Hoder. Hoder of his son Balder, who had dreamed himself was afterwards slain by Vali, he was soon to die. He was killed son of Odin and Rinda.

Ha! no traveller art thou,
King of Men, I know thee now,
Mightiest of a mighty line.

No boding maid of skill divine
Art thou, nor prophetess of good;
But mother of the giant-brood !

Hie thee hence, and boast at home
That never shall inquirer come
To break my iron-sleep again;
Till Lok 1 has burst his tenfold chain.
Never, till substantial Night
Has re-assumed her ancient right;
Till wrapped in flames, in ruin hurled,
Sinks the fabric of the world.




Owen's praise demands my song,
Owen swift, and Owen strong;
Fairest flower of Roderic's 2 stem,
Gwyneth's shield, and Britain's gem;
He nor heaps his brooded stores,
Nor on all profusely pours;
Lord of every regal art,
Liberal hand, and open heart.

Big with hosts of mighty name,
Squadrons three against him came;

This the force of Eirin 4 hiding, 1 Lok is the evil being who con- 2 Roderic II. (the Great), Prince of tinues in chains till the twilight of N. Wales, reigned from 843 to 877 A.D. the gods approaches; when he shall Owen succeeded his father Griffin, break his bonds; the human race, A.D. 1120. the sun and stars shall disappear; the 3 North Wales. earth sink in the sea, and fire con- 4 Ireland. sume the skies. (See Mallet's Northern Antiquities.)

Side by side as proudly riding,
On her shadow long and gay
Lochlin ploughs the watery way;
There the Norman sails afar
Catch the winds, and join the war:
Black and huge along they sweep,
Burthens of the angry deep.

Dauntless, on his native sands,
The dragon-son? of Mona 3 stands;
In glittering arms and glory drest,
High he rears his ruby crest.
There the thundering strokes begin,
There the press, and there the din;
Talymalfra's rocky shore
Echoing to the battle's roar.
Checked by the torrent-tide of blood
Backward Menai rolls his flood;
While, heaped his master's feet around,
Prostrate warriors gnaw the ground.
Where his glowing eye-balls turn,
Thousand banners round him burn
Where he points his purple spear.
Hasty, hasty Rout is there,
Marking with indignant eye,
Fear to stop, and shame to fly.
There Confusion, Terror's child,
Conflict fierce, and ruin wild ;
Agony, that pants for breath,
Despair and honourable death.






Had I but the torrent's might,

With headlong rage and wild affright 1 Denmark.

4 This ode is taken from the Welsh 2 The red dragon was the device of of Aneurim, who was styled “the Cadwallader, which all his descend- Monarch of the Bards :" he was conants bore on their banners.

temporary with Taliessin, about 570 3 Anglesea.


Upon Deïra's squadrons hurled,
To rush, and sweep them from the world!

Too, too secure in youthful pride
By them my friend, my Hoel, died,
Great Cian's son: of Madoc old
He asked no heaps of hoarded gold ;
Alone in Nature's wealth arrayed,
He asked, and had the lovely maid..
To Cattraëth's valein glittering row
Twice two hundred warriors go;
Every warrior's manly neck
Chains of regal honour deck,
Wreathed in many a golden link :
From the golden cup they drink
Nectar, that the bees produce,
Or the grape's ecstatic juice.
Flushed with mirth and hope they burn:
But none from Cattraëth's vale return,
Save Aëron brave and Conan strong
(Bursting through the bloody throng),
And I, the meanest of them all,
That live to weep, and sing their fall.


1. Which of these odes may be considered the finest ? 2. Define Lyric poetry, 3. Who founded Eton College? 4. What does the term “ Pindaric” mean, as applied to an ode? 5. Quote some examples of personification from Ode IV. 6. Scan the first stanza of Ode V. (the Bard). 7. Who was the greatest Lyric poet of antiquity? 8. Explain the historical allusions in Ode V. 9. What is meant by the expression “ buskined measures ? ” 10. What means the term “ fasces? 11. Who was Odin, and to what mythology does he belong? 12. What is meant by “Runic?” 13. What is the general character of the “ Ode?”

[ocr errors]

1 The kingdom of Deira included 2 On the eastern coast of York. the counties of Yorkshire, Durham, shire. Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland.




O thou, the friend of man assigned,
With balmy hands his wounds to bind,

And charm his frantic woe:
When first Distress, with dagger keen,
Broke forth to waste his destined scene,

His wild unsated foe!

By Pella's bard?, a magic name,
By all the griefs his thought could frame,

Receive my humble rite:
Long, Pity, let the nations view
Thy sky-worn robes of tenderest blue,

And eyes of dewy light !

But wherefore need I wander wide
To old Ilissus'a distant side,

Deserted stream, and mute ?
Wild Arun", too, has heard thy strains;
And Echo, midst my native plains,

Been soothed by Pity's lute.

There first the wren thy myrtles shed
On gentlest Otway's 4 infant head,

To him thy cell was shown;
And while he sung the female heart,
With youth's soft notes unspoiled by art,

Thy turtles mixed their own.

Come, Pity, come; by Fancy's aid,

E'en now my thoughts, relenting maid, 1 Euripides.

close to the village where Otway was

born. 2 See note 3, p. 327.

4 An English poet; the author of

“ Venice preserved." 3 The river Arun, in Sussex, flows

« PreviousContinue »