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Wbile Vengeance, in the lurid air,
In earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice,
The grief-full Muse addrest her infant tongue; The maids and matrons, on her awful voice,
Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung.
Yet he, the bard who first invok'd thy name,
Disdain'd in Marathon its power to feel : For not alone he nurs'd the poet's flame,
But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.
But who is he whom later garlands grace,
Who left awhile o'er Hybla's dews to rove, With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,
Where thou and furies shar'd the baleful grové ?
Wrapt in thy cloudy veil, th' incestuous queen
Sigh'd the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,
And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear'd.
O Fear, I know thee by my throbbing heart :
Thy withering power inspir'd each mournful line; Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine !
Thou who such weary lengths hast past,
Or, in some hollow'd seat
'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries, in tempests brought ? Dark power, with shuddering meek submitted thought, Be mine, to read the visions old Which thy awakening bards have told: And, lest thou meet my blasted view, Hold each strange tale devoutly true. Ne’er be I found, by thee o'er-aw'd, In that thrice-hallow'd eve, abroad, When ghosts, as cottage-maids believe, Their pebbled beds permitted leave; And goblins haunt, from fire, or fen, Or mine, or flood, the walks of men !
O thou whose spirit most possest
By all that from thy prophet broke,
Hence, dull lethargic Peace,
Born in some hoary Beadsman's cell obscure ;
Or in Circæan bower,
Hie to congenial climes,
Or where Italian swains,
Lull their ambrosial hours, And deck with languid trills their tinkling rhymes. But rouse, thou God by Furies drest, In helm with Terror's plumed crest,
In adamantine steel bedight,
Then let the trumpet swell the note, Roaring rough thro’ brazen throat; Let the drum sonorous beat, With thick vibrations hoarsely sweet; Boxen hautboys too be found, Nor be miss'd the fife's shrill sound; Nor yet the bagpipe's swelling strain, Solace sweet to Highland swain, Whether on some mountain's brow, Now squeaking high, now droning low, He plays deft lilts to Scottish lass, Tripping it o'er the pliant grass, Or whether in the battle's fray, He lively pipes a bolder lay; The bolder lay (such magic reigns In all its moving Phrygian strains) Disperses swift to all the train, Fury stern, and pale Disdain, Strikes every fire from every mind, Nor leaves one latent spark behind. Bear me now to tented ground, Where gaudy streamers wave around, Where Britain's ensigns high display'd, Lend the earth a scarlet shade ; And pikes, and spears, and lances gay, Glitter in the solar ray;