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Sometimes let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptred pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine;
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskined stage.
But, 0 sad virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower!
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as, warbled to the string,
Drew, iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made hell grant what love did seek.
Or call up him that left half-told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,
That owned the virtuous ring and glass;
And of the wondrous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride;
And if aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of tourneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear;
Not tricked and frounced as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchiefed in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or ushered with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.
And, when the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, Goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe, with heaved stroke,
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallowed haunt.
There, in close covert, by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,
While the bee with honeyed thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such concert as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd Sleep:
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture displayed,
Softly on my eye-lids laid:
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen Genius of the wood.
due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high-embowed roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow
To the full-voiced quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
may with sweetness through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all heaven before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains.—Beautiful!
I linger yet with nature, for the sight
Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness
I learn'd the language of another world.
I do remember me, that in my youth,
When I was wandering-upon such a night
I stood within the Coliseum's wall,
'Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome;
The trees which grew along the broken arches
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar
The watch-dog bay'd beyond the Tiber; and
More near from out the Cæsars' palace came
The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly
Of distant sentinels the fitful song
Begun and died upon the gentle wind.
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach
Appear'd to skirt the horizon, yet they stood
Within a bowshot.
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon
All this, and cast a wide and tender light,
Which soften'd down the hoar austerity
Of rugged desolation, and fill’d up,
As 'twere anew, the gaps
Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
And making that which was not, till the place
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er
With silent worship of the great of old !
The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule
Our spirits from their urns.
“Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
Confusion on thy banners wait;
Though fann'd 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 curse, from Cambria's tears !" Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side He wound, with toilsome march, his long array; Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance; “ To arms !” cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering
1.-2. 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 Stream'd like a meteor to the troubled air); 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 harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay,
1.-3. “ Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hush'd the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed ;
Mountains ! ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topp'd head. On dreary Arvon's shores they lie,
Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale;
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail ; The famish'd 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 amidst 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.