« PreviousContinue »
Great Edward, with the lilies on his brow
From haughty Gallia torn,
And either Henry there,
Ver. 39. Great Edward, with the lilies on his brow] Edwar the Third, who added the fleur de lys of France to the arn of England. He founded Trinity College.
Ver. 41. And sad Chatillon, on her bridal morn] Mary Valentia, Countess of Pembroke, daughter of Guy de Chati lon, comte de St. Paul in France ; of whom tradition say that her husband Audemar de Valentia, Earl of Pembrok was slain at a tournament on the day of his nuptials. SI was the foundress of Pembroke College or Hall, under t] name of Aula Mariæ de Valentia.
Ver. 42. That wept her bleeding Love, and princely Clar Elizabeth de Burg, Countess of Clare, was wife of John Burg, son and heir to the Earl of Ulster, and daughter Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, by Joan Acres, daug ter of Edward the First. Hence the poet gives her the epith of princely. She founded Clare Hall.
Ver. 43. And Anjou's heroine, and the paler rose] Margar of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, foundress of Queen's C lege. The poet has celebrated her conjugal fidelity in 'T Bard,' epode 2d, line 13th.
Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth, hen called the paler rose, as being of the house of York. added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjou.
Ver. 45. And either Henry there] Henry the Sixth a Eighth. The former the founder of King's, the latter t greatest benefactor to Trinity College.
The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,
That broke the bonds of Rome.
Their human passions now no more,
All that on Granta's fruitful plain
Rich streams of regal bounty pour’d,
And thus they speak in soft accord
“ What is grandeur, what is power?
Foremost and leaning from her golden cloud
The venerable Margaret see! “Welcome, my noble son, (she cries aloud)
To this, thy kindred train, and me:
Ver. 66. The venerable Margaret see] Countess of Richmond and Derby; the mother of Henry the Seventh, foundress of St. John's and Christ's Colleges.
Pleased in thy lineaments we trace
“Lo! Granta waits to lead her blooming band,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, she
Nor dares with courtly tongue refined
She reveres herself and thee.
And to thy just, thy gentle hand,
Submits the fasces of her sway,
Ver. 70. A Tudor's fire, a Beaufort's grace] The Countess was a Beaufort, and married to a Tudor: hence the application of this line to the Duke of Grafton, who claims descent from both these families.
Ver. 84. The laureate wreath that Cecil wore, she brings] Lord Treasurer Burleigh was chancellor to the University in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
Through the wild waves as they roar,
Thy steady course of honour keep,
And gilds the horrors of the deep."
THE FATAL SISTERS.
FROM THE NORSE TONGUE.
To be found in the Orcades of Thormodus Torfæus ; Hafniæ, 1697, folio: and also in Bartholinus, p. 617. lib. 3. c. i. 4to.
Vitt er orpit fyrir valfalli, &c. In the eleventh century Sigurd, Earl of the Orkney islands,
went with a fleet of ships and a considerable body of troops into Ireland, to the assistance of Sictryg with the silken beard, who was then making war on his father-in-law Brian, King of Dublin : the earl and all his forces were cut to pieces, and Sictryg was in danger of a total defeat ;
but the enemy had a greater loss by the death of Brian, their king, who fell in the action. On Christmas day (the day of the battle), a native of Caithness in Scotland saw at a distance a number of persons on horseback riding full speed towards a hill
, and seeming to enter into it. Curiosity led him to follow them, till looking through an opening in the rocks he saw twelve gigantic figures resembling women : they were all employed about a loom; and as they wove, they sang the following dreadful song; which when they had finished, they tore the web into twelve pieces, and (each taking her portion) galloped six to the north, and as many to the south. These were the Valkyriur, female divinities, servants of Odin (or Woden) in the Gothic mythology. Their name signifies Choosers of the slain. They were mounted on swift horses, with drawn swords in their hands: and in the throng of battle selected such as were destined to slaughter, and