Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Mark the year, and mark the night,

When Severn shall re-echo with affright

The shrieks of death, through Berkley's roof that ring,1

Shrieks of an agonizing king!

She-wolf of France,2 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.3 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! *

No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.

Is the sable warrior5 fled? •

Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noontide beam 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.

1 Edward II, murdered in Berkeley Castle.

* Isabel of France, wife of Edward II.

5 Edward III gained many victories in France.

4 Edward III, deserted on his deathbed by his children and robbed in his last moments by his courtiers and mistress, who even drew away the rings off his fingers.

5 The Black Prince.

II. 3.

'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,1

Lance to lance, and horse to horse?

Long years of havoc urge their destined course,
And through the kindred squadrons mow their way.

Ye towers of Julius,2 London's lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murder fed,

Revere his consort's faith,3 his father's fame,4
And spare the meek usurper's holy head.6
Above, below, the rose of snow,6

Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled boar7 in infant-gore

Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursed 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.)

Half of thy heart we consecrate.8
(The web is wove. The work is done.)

1 The wars of York and Lancaster.

s The Tower of London, where Henry VI, George Duke of Clarence, Edward V, and Richard Duke of York, were supposed to be murdered. The oldest part of the structure is attributed to Julius Ctesar.

3 Margaret of Anjou. * Henry V.

* Henry VI, who was nearly canonized.

* The white and red roses, devices of York and Lancaster.

'Richard III was usually known by the name of the Boar, from his device of the silver boar.

"Eleanor of Castile died a few years after the conquest of Wales.

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 kings,2 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.
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.

HI. 3.
'The verse adorn again

Fierce war, and faithful love,
And truth severe, by fairy fiction drest

1 It was a common belief of the Welsh nation that King Arthur was still alive in Fairyland, and would return to reign over Britain.

'Merlin and Taliessin had prophesied that the Welsh should regain their sovereignty over the island, which prophecy seemed to be accomplished in the House of Tudor.

3 Taliessin, chief of the bards, who flourished in the sixth century.

In buskined measures' move
Pale grief, and pleasing pain,
With horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.

A voice,2 as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings3 lessen on my ear,

That lost in long futurity expire.
Fond impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud,

Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,

And warms the nations with redoubled ray. Enough for me; with joy I see

The different doom our fates assign. Be thine despair, and sceptred care,

To triumph, and to die, are mine.' He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.

1 Shakespeare. 2 Milton.

3 The succession of poets, after Milton's time.

[graphic]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

REMOTE, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po;
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door;
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
A weary waste expanding to the skies;
Where'er I roam, whatever realms I see,
My heart, untravelled, fondly turns to thee:
Still to my brother turns with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a length'ning chain.
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend;
Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Blest that abode, where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair:
Blest be those feasts, with simple plenty crowned,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests and pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale;
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.
But me, not destined such delights to share,
My prime of life in wand'ring spent and care;

« AnteriorContinuar »