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Full text of "The Poems of Thomas Love Peacock"

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j<mi>vd.5 



i 




HARVARD COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 




From the 
GEORGE NICHOLS FUND 

hiqatathii hy 
JOHN T. W. NICHOLS 

In memory of his father 

GEORGE NICHOLS 

CIassqJiSiS 

FOR ENGLISH LITERATURE 



THE POEMS 

OF 

HOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 



EDITED BY 

BRIMLEY JOHNSON 




f?^ 



LONDON 

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS, LIMITED 

NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & CO. 



^b^%^.^(fiA 




'^i^uj^J)^lcUCi f^^-L 



PREFACE 

In this edition the complete Poetical Works of Peacock 
have been brought together for the first time. The 
songs,^ lyrics, and ballads from the novels are now 
printed among the longer poems, the whole series being 
arranged in chronological order on the authority of 
the poet's grand-daughter, Edith NicoUs. By the 
generous courtesy of Messrs Macmillan & Co., Ltd. 
I'TJhave been permitted to reprint the various pieces 
quoted in her memoir (now arranged under their dates) 
and all the other copyright poems first published- 4n 
The Works of Thomas Love Peacock, including his 
Novels, Poems, Fugitive Pieces, Criticisms, etc., with 
a Preface by the Right Honourable Lord Houghton, a 
Biographical Notice by his granddaughter, Edith Nicolls, 
and Portrait. Edited by Henry Cole, C.B., in three 
volumes. Richard Beniley &* Son, MDCCCLXXV. 

The author's footnotes are retained in full, as being 
eminently characteristic, if somewhat discursive. 

R. B. J. 



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

While Wordsworth was preaching upon morals and 
the art of poetry out of the mouths of Cumberland 
peasants, while Coleridge was perturbing philosophy 
by the exposition of German mysticism, while Shelley 
was calling on liberty in impassioned song, Thomas 
Love Peacock, 'the laughing philosopher,* was con- 
tent to exercise his genius in the composition of 
works whicS were intended primarily to give pleasure. 
His satire is a double-edged weapon that deals its 
blows alike on enthusiasts and gn conventionalism. 
Instead of holding up ideals, he runs down the 
actual, and confines himself — ^for the most part — ^to 
the humorous delineation of his contemporaries, 
offering no contrast but one of classic or chivalrous 
simplicity. He laughs at the theories of other people, 
without expounding any for himself. His keenest 
contempt is reserved for affectation, however in- 
spired : his poetry is never didactic, seldom even 
containing the picture of an ideal. Peacock does 
not deal in maxims, fervid appeals, or tender 
retrospect. 

His early training was peculiarly fitted for 
the encouragement of literary ambitions. From the 
age of sixteen, apparently, he took his education 
into his own hands, and chose the British Museum 
for his schoolmaster. There he read widely, if dis- 
cursively, in Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and 
EngUsh; supplementing such researches by an en- 
thusiastic study of ancient sculpture, which must have 
done much to deepen his sympathy with the spirit and 
the ideals of the classic ages. Having no immediate 
occasion to earn his own livelihood, he found the 



viii THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

means and the leisure to fall in love, to write verses 
and publish them, and to spend long summer months 
in perpetual rambles in the open air. He wandered 
alone over the mountains of Wales, and traced the 
sources of the Thames in the stimulating company 
of Shelley. A casual acquaintance wrote of him at 
this time : * He seems an idly -inclined man, indeed 
he is professedly so in summer; he owns that he 
cannot apply himself to study, and thinks it more 
beneficial to him as a human being entirely to de- 
vote himself to the beauties of the season while they 
last ; he was only happy while out from morning to 
night *. 

Nevertheless, it is clear that Peacock was no dreamer. 
His satiric powers never involved him in a quarrel; 
and he was, in fact, a shrewd and practical man, as 
free from absurdities of his own as he was alive to 
those of others. In the management of affairs he 
proved himself thoroughly efficient by his work at the 
India House, where, like the Mills, he held the impor- 
tant office of examiner. He was in the service of the 
Company for thirty-seven years, and had no little 
influence on its prosperity. His satires upon the 
gospel of steam and the commercial spirit of the age 
did not hinder him from projecting improvements in 
the art of navigation and writing proudly of the 
* iron chickens ' for which he was responsible. Of the 
general nature of his work, he wrote to Shelley: 
' It is not in the common routine of office, but is an 
employment of a very interesting and intellectual 
kind, connected with finance and legislation, in which 
it is possible to be of great service not only to the 
Company, but to the milUons under their dominion^. 

The confession affords a striking contrast to his 
rhymed estimate of official industry, which, itself, 
inevitably recalls the similar and similarly-inspired 
raillery of Charles Lamb : — 



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK ix 

From ten to eleven, ate a breakfast for seven ; 
From eleven to noon, to begin was too soon ; 
From twelve to one, asked, ' What's to be done? ' 
From one to two, found nothing to do ; 
From two to three, began to foresee 
That from three to four, would be a damned bore. 

Peacock acted romantically on the one occasion in 
life with which romance seems most properly con- 
nected — namely, on his marriage. At the age of 
twenty-six he had given his friend Hookham some 
account of a visit to Merionethshire — * the land of all 
that is beautiful in nature, and all that is lovely in 
woman' — during which he said farewell to one Jane 
Gryffydh, * the most innocent, the most amiable, the 
most beautiful girl in existence '. He did not see her 
again for eight years, and apparently made no attempt 
to communicate with her until his appointment at the 
India House had secured him the means to marry. 
Then the memory of his love was sufi&cient. He lost 
no time in seeking her out, but wrote at once: 
' It is more than eight years since I had the happiness 
of seeing you. I can scarcely hope that you have 
remembered me as I have remembered you, yet I feel 
confident that the simplicity and ingenuousness of 
your disposition will prompt you to answer me with 
the same candour with which I write to you. I long 
entertained the hopes of returning to Merionethshire 
under better auspices than those under which I left 
it; but fortune always disappointed me, continually 
offering me prospects which- receded as I approached 
them. Recently she has made me amends for her 
past unkindness, and has given me much present 
good, and much promise of progressive prosperity, 
which leaves me nothing to desire in worldly advan- 
tage but to participate it with you. The greatest 
blessing this world could bestow on me would be to make 
you my wife. Consider if your own feelings would 
allow you to constitute my happiness. I desire only 



X THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

to promote yours, and I desire only you ; for your 
value is beyond fortune, of which I want no more 
than I have. The same circumstances which have 
given me prosperity confine me to London, and to the 
duties of the department with which the E^st India 
Company has entrusted me ; yet I can absent myself 
once in every year for a few days. If you sanction 
my wishes, with what delight should I employ them in 
bringing you to my home ! If this be but a baseless 
dream, if IJam even no more in your estimation than 
the sands of the sea-shore — yet I am sure, as I have 
already said, that you will answer me with the same 
candour with which I have written. Whatever may 
be your sentiments, the feelings with which I now 
write to you, and which more than eight years of 
absence and silence have neither obliterated nor 
diminished, will convince you that I never can be 
otherwise than most sincerely and affectionately your 
friend '. Whether Miss Gryffydh was more amused or 
touched by the ingenuous directness of this remark- 
able letter does not appear, but she accepted the 
offer it contained, and became an excellent and 
devoted wife. She developed, however, a delicacy of 
constitution, at which the Welsh maidens of her 
husband's novels would have been profoundly 
astonished. 

Thomas Love Peacock was born on October i8, 
1785. He was an only child, and his father Samuel, 
of Peacock & Pellatt, St Paul's Churchyard, died 
three years after the boy's birth. His maternal 
grandfather, one Thomas Love, commanded H,M.S. 
Prothee in Lord Rodney's action of April 1782 against 
the French Admiral de Grasse in the West Indies ; and 
he was practically brought up by the old sailor until 
he was sixteen years of age. Grandfather Love is 
said to be the original of Captain Hawltaught in 
A/elincouri. The child was celebrated for his long 



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK xi 

and beautiful flaxen curls, which earned a kiss from 
Queen Charlotte. 

In after years he wrote with unusual insight of 
the little schooling to which he was subjected by the 
indulgent guardians of his youth : — 

1 did not go to any univerBity or public school. I was jux years at 
a private school in Englefield Green. I left it before I was thirteen. 
The master was not much of a scholar ; but he bad the art of inspiring 
his pupils with a love of learning, and he had excellent classical and 
French assistants. I passed many of my best years with my mother, 
taking more pleasure in reading^ than in society. I was early im- 
pressed with the words of Harrb : * To be competently skilled in 
ancient learning is by no means a work of such insuperable pains. The 
very prepress itself is attended with delight, and resembles a journey 
through some pleasant country, where, every mile we advance, new 
charms arise. It is certainly as easy to^ be a scholar as a gamester, 
or many other characters equally illiberal and low. The same 
application, the same quantity of habit, will fit us for one as com- 
pletely as for the other.' Thus encouraged, I took to reading the 
best books, illustrated by the best critics ; and amongst the latter I 
feel especially indebted to Heyne and Hermann. Such was my 
education. 

As already mentioned, Peacock's schoolroom, from 
his sixteenth year, was the British Museum, where Lord 
Houghton has noted that instead of * plodding through 
the limited routine of classic writers under methodical 
instruction, he was traversing the whole range of 
ancient literature with independent zeal, and realising 
to himself the thoughts and images of that wonderful 
phase of human existence in the "old marbles ever 
beautiful ** and abundant relics of architecture brought 
together in our national Museum.* He never became 
a scholar in the strictest sense of the term, but the 
unusual familiarity with classic thought and manners 
so pleasantly acquired, was destined to colour his mind 
and work throughout life. 

He began his career as an author at the age of 
nixieteen by the publication of a few poems, followed 
in 1806 by the rare volume entitled Palmyra and other 
Poems, and in 18 10 by The Genius of The Thames — 



xii THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

projected three years earlier. The first of the novels 
Headlong Hall, appeared in 1816. 

Continuing to live in his grandfather's house a1 
Chertsey, he became engaged to ' a beautiful younj 
lady ' in the neighbourhood, but was separated fron: 
her * by the underhand interference of a third person *. 
Though the happiness of his long married life waj 
unbroken, he never apparently forgot his loss. The 
poems, Newark Abbey, Remember Me^ and A I Mit 
Primiero Amore were inspired by her memory : sh< 
was the original of Miss Touchango in Crotchet Castle 
he ' always wore a locket with her hair in it *, anc 
dreamed of her for some weeks before his death, mor< 
than sixty years later. 

As a young man, indeed, one imagines the hand 
some Peacock to have been something of a dreamer 
Being appointed, no doubt through family interest 
under-secretary to a naval commander, he complainj 
that ' writiug poetry, or doing anything else that ii 
rational, in this floating Infiemo, is almost next to J 
moral impossibility * : he gave up the post in less thai 
a year, devoted himself to * tracing the Thames fron 
its source', and subsequently entered upon the pro 
longed tour over North Wales destined to prove of st 
much influence on his life and work. It was here, a 
we have seen, that he met and wooed the * Caernarvon 
shire nymph ' who eventually became his wife ; her 
he entered upon a close friendship with Shelley, o 
whom — alone among contemporary writers — hi 
appreciation glowed sincere and constant ; here h 
gained that familiarity with the wild scenery an< 
legends of the country jp. which so many of his bes 
stories are laid. 

The intimacy with Shelley, maintained till deatb 
has been immortalized in the character of Scythro; 
(see Nightmare Abbey, where Coleridge appears a 
' Mr Flosky,' Lord Byron as * Mr Cypress,* and Southe 



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK xiii 

as 'Mr Sackbut '), and by various contributions to the 
poet's memoirs. The friends were neighbours for a 
time in Buckinghamshire, taking an almost equal 
delight in long country rambles or * in rowing and 
sailing on the Thames * : during which period our 
author was gaining a certain reputation by the 
publication of various novels and poems. 

This somewhat desultory, though not unproductive, 
eidstence was finally interrupted by an example of 
what seems almost a freak in the history of English 
commerce, which in its course has been of profound 
influence on men of far greater genius than he. The 
reasons inducing the Directors of East India Company 
from time to time to enlist the services of literary 
men, and the effect of such appointments on their 
fortunes, are not quite obvious to-day. But the fact 
that Peacock succeeded James Mill, was succeeded by 
John Stuart Mill, and earned his living under the 
same auspices as Charles Lamb, remains an incident 
of note. Government officials of a later generation, 
certainly, have turned their pens to uses sufficiently 
unofficial ; but no one office has nursed so many 
authors of genius as the old Company of plutocrats. 
and it may be feared that our modem craving for 
efficiency will soon banish the association altogether. 

Peacock, however, was undoubtedly a competent 
and industrious official. His appointment gave him 
a permanent, congenial, and sufficiently remunerative 
career. It evoked that unusual combination of 
practical sense and romantic ambition which char- 
acterised his essentially healthy nature, and literally 
proved his estabUshment in life. As we have seen, 
he immediately summoned the fair Jane of Welsh 
ancestry to share his home, settled down to domestic 
happiness in Stamford Street, Blackfriars, rose in the 
service, brought up a family, spoiled his grandchildren, 
and even adopted a little girl for her remarkable 



xiv THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

likeness to the daughter whose early death trans- 
formed his wife to a ' complete invalid *. 

During early married life, Peacock continued his 
literary work with little interruption, his mother 
accepting the responsibilities beyond the powers 
of a delicate wife ; but her death, in 1833, * added 
greatly to his private anxieties*, and for the 
next twenty years he scarcely published anything 
at all. 

He continued, however, to earn distinction for his 
official services, notably in suggestions for the improve- 
ment of ^team navigation, by evidence before the 
Salt Committee of 1836, and through recommendations 
to occupy the Euphrates against Russia in 1838. 
He also won and maintained the friendship of Lord 
Broughton, though * never very fond of what is usually 
understood by the word Society '. 

In 1852 he apparently regained leisure for writing, 
and contributed a series of articles to Frazer^s Magazine^ 
of which only three are reprinted in the * Collected 
Works *. Gryll Grange, written and published in his 
seventy-sixth year, shows remarkable vitality. * He 
had lived to criticise the views, and laugh at the 
nonsense of three generations. Here he laughed as 
merrily at the third — that rising just now — as he 
had done at the first'. 

Peacock retired in 1856 on a comfortable pension of 
over a thousand pounds, and settled down in the 
country, where he projected a Collection of Miscellanies 
never issued. A letter to a friend on contemporary 
political developments suggests a difficulty he felt at 
this time in entering upon new work. * If I have 
said lately nothing about the Tories, it arises from 
my considering them to be as completely extinct as 
the mammoth. Their successors, the Conservatives, as 
they call themselves, appear to me like FalstafE's otter, 
^' neither fish nor flesh" ; one knows not where to have 



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK xv 

them. I could not. in a dialogue, put into the mouth 
} of one of them the affirmation of any principle which 
I should expect him to adhere to for five minutes '. 

He lingered on for another ten years, spending his 
days for the most part alone in his library or his 
garden, though he loved children, and, to the last, 
delighted in the celebration of village customs. A 
fire which broke out in the roof of his bedroom was, 
i apparently, the direct cause of his last illness. It 
threatened his beloved books, and, with startling 
I energy, he repelled the invitation to safety of, a 
kindly neighbour : ' By the immortal gods, I will 
not move *. A few weeks later he died, in his eighty- 
first year, on the 23rd January 1866, and was buried 
in what was then the New Cemetery, at Shepperton. 

Peacock's grand-daughter, Edith NicoUs, who con- 
tributed the 'Biographical Notice* to his Works, has 
left a vivid description of his personal appearance : — 

The pretty iair.haired boy developed into a fine, tall, handsome 
man, with a profusion of brirht brown hair, eyes of fine dark blue, 
massive brow, and regular features, a Roman nose, a handsome 
mouth, which, when he laughed, as I well remember, turned up at 
the corners, and a complexion fair as a girl's ; bin hair was peculiar 
m its wild luxuriant growth, it seemed to grow all firom the top of the 
head, had no parting, but hung about in thick locks, with a rich wave 
all through it, and as an old man. it turned to that beautiful bright 
silver-white, which one so seldom s^ees ; at hi^ deai h, in his eighty-fir5t 
year, it was as profuse in quantity as when he was a young roan. 

She also tells us that, though averse to society, he 
was always a welcome guest from his genial apprecia- 
tion of wit in others, and his own powers of amusing 
narrative. But, particularly as age grew upon him, 
'his detestation of anything disagreeable made him 
simply avoid whatever fretted him, laughing off all 
sorts of ordinary calls upon his leisure time. His 
love of ease and kindness of heart made it impossible 
that he could be actively unkind to anyone, but 
he would not be worried, and just got away from 



xvi THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

anything that annoyed him*. As Lord Houghton 
expresses it : — 

If his strong proclivit]^ towards the'feelinss and tastes of an 
antique world inspired him with some real sentiment and much 
humorous affectation of hatred of the vaunted progress and actual 
advanta|i;e8 of the a^e in which his lot was cast, the continual recurrence 
of his mmd to the simpler and more graceful aspects of humanity may 
have served to protect his essentially critical nature from any saturnine 
or severe ex|M«ssion, and enabled him to mix with our self-satisfied 
and malcontent society in the spirit of an elder time, before all the 
sherry was dry^ and all the ale bitter, and when men of thought were 
not ashamed of being merry. 

Peacock, in fact, was wise enough to laugh at what 
he could not approve ; and, though somewhat solitary 
and self-sufi&cient, was always ready -to be a boon 
comrade and loyal friend. The man was eminently 
consistent with his best work. 



Like so many novelists, who apparently practise 
the art of poetry as a recreation or as an exercise in 
composition, Peacock is far more conventional in his 
verse than his prose. Anyone familiar with his 
delightful novels will admit that he there created a 
manner of his own (which had its influence on the 
early work of his son-in-law, Mr George Meredith), 
and proved himself expert in the latest phase 
of thought and knowledge. He certainly regarded 
the enthusiasts of the age as fanatical ; but his satire 
neither conceals an intimate and intelligent acquaint- 
ance with their tenets, nor precludes him from admira- 
tion and friendship for the individuals so inspired. We 
have further abundant evidence of his keen and under- 
standing sympathy with progress in practical affairs. 

But in poetry, his criticism betrays an almost 
spiteful antipathy to the best work of his generation 
(always excepting Shelley) ; while his own work is 
mostly confined to a cultured and monotonous 
expression of that classic imitation and conven- 
tional sentiment characterising the della cruscar 



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK xvii 

dead level from which Wordsworth and his friends, 
despite their aflfectations of superiority, were ulti- 
mately destined to rouse and elevate public taste. 

In 1820 he contributed an ingenious and eloquent 
article to Oilier* s Miscellany entitled the Four Ages of 
Poetry, in which he culminates a brief history of the 
art by a few caustic paragraphs on his contemporaries, 
plainly indicating his contempt for the * degenerate fry 
of modem rhymesters and their Olympic judges, the 
magazine critics *. He declares that — 

A poet ia our times it a semMMurbarian in a civilised community. 
His idea*, thoughts, feelings, associations, are all with barbarous 
manners, obsolete customs, and exploded superstitions. The march of 
his intellect is like that of the crab, backward. The brighter the 
light diffused around him by the progress of reason, the thicker is the 
darkness of antiquated barbarism, in which he buries himself like a 
mole, to throw up the barren hillocks of his Cimmerian labours. . . . 
The highest inspirations of poetry are resolvable into three ingredients: 
the rant of unregulated passion, the whining of exaggerat«l feeling 
and the cant of fictitious sentiment : and can therefore serve only to 
ripen a splendid lunatic like Alexander, a puling driviler like Werter, 
or a morbkl dreamer like Wordsworth. 

Peacock, apparently, admired the ancients of each 
generation; but he considered that the general 
'activity of intellect*, inaugurated by Hume and 
Gibbon, Rousseau and Voltaire, created *a necessity 
for even poets to appear to know something of what 
they professed to talk of *, which was fatal to their art. 

He has no mercy for — 

That egregious confraternity of Rhymesters, known by the name of 
the Lake School ; who certainly did receive and cooimunicate to the 
world some of the moit extraordinary poetical impressions that were 
ever heard of, and ripened into models of public virtue, too splendid to 
need illustration. They wrote ver-ies on a new principle, saw rocks 
and rivers in a n<*w fight ; and, remaining studiously ignorant of 
history, society, and human nature, cultivated the phantasy only at 
the expense of the memory and the reason. 

One would be almost tempted to suspect the 
critic of envy or spleen ; but, while we are now able 
to judge the Lake Poets by their ultimate achieve- 



xviii THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

ments and influence ; their contemporaries maj 
perhaps be forgiven for dwelling rather upon the 
somewhat irritating conceits and affectations of titu 
men themselves, their overwhelming confidence ii 
their message to humanity and in their power for its 
delivery. A mutual-admiration society, which thej 
assuredly formed, is always ludicrous to the observer 
and Peacock's witty paraphrase of their theories— 
always, in fact, inferior to their practice — may b« 
enjoyed without malice. He imagines them blandl) 
congratulating each other on the discovery of a ncM 
Evangel : — 

Poetical eeniut is the finest of all things, and we feel that we havi 
more of it than anyone ever had. The way to bring it to perfection h 
to cultivate poetical impressions exclusively. Poetical impremioni 
can be received only among natural scenes— for all that is artificia 
is anti'poetical. Society is artificial, therefore we will live out o 
society. The mountain'* are natural, therefore we will live in th< 
mountains. There we shall be shining models of purity and virtue 
passing the whole day in the innocent and amiable occupation of goin| 
up and down hill, receiving poetical impressions, and commanicatini 
them in immortal verse to admiring generations. 

He concludes that, 'while the historian and th< 
philosopher are advancing in, and accelerating, the 
progress of knowledge, the poet is wallowing in th< 
rubbish of departed ignorance, and raking up th< 
ashes of dead savages to find gewgaws and rattles fa 
the grown babies of the age*. 

One wonders, after such a declaration, that Pea- 
cock himself had the temerity to publish verse. H< 
proved himself, indeed, insensible to the dawning 
ideals of his day, and remained content with th« 
spurious classicism, already moribund, naturally 
voiced in cumbrous odes, rhymed couplets, and *olc 
tales of the contest between natural and supernatura 
love'. His earlier and longer poems — as Lore 
Houghton observes — 

Belong to a time when verR«>-writIng was a gentbman-Iike re 
creation as well as a divine afflatus, and when a critic no mon 



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK xix 

thougrht of dissecting a pleasant piece of rhjrme than a man of science 
would object to the deficient mechanism of the toys of childhood. 
They are full of that imagery which transformed the affections and 
mental faculties into mythological personages, and haunted all nature 
with a new and uninteresting polytheism, while it established a certain 
obligatory diction for verse, that now sounds intolerably forced and 
pedantic 

He had the mannerisms of his school, and he 
intensified the burden of learned allusions by that 
most pernicious of all adjuncts to verse-making, the 
explanatory footnote. Two qualities alone serve to 
raise this portion of his work above the averages and 
render it worthy. A deep love of music tuned his 
ear and saved him from the flat and monotonous 
beat of the mechanical versifier. His genuine famili- 
arity with the classics, commonly affected by this 
school, preserved the purity of his diction, the taste of 
his metaphors, and informed even the most tiresome of 
his efiusions with a certain dignity and grace that 
please while they command respect. 

Finally, Peacock wrote also a number of shorter 
poems so differently inspired as to seem the work of 
another hand. He possessed a fine lyrical gift, both 
sad and joyous, and — what is perhaps even more 
rare — a positive genius for writing ballads. The 
greater number of these were introduced into his 
delightful novels, and have been seldom detached 
from their context, though a few of the best 
appeared with other verse. Such perfect lines as 
Beneath ike Cypress Shade, written in 1 806, show that he 
mastered the lyric form in youth, as Love and Age, 
published ' in Gryll Grange, proves him to have re- 
tained it throughout a life-time. His early ballads, 
again, are scarcely less vigorous and pointed than 
those more generally familiar from the popularity 
of his novels. 

In Ijrrics and ballads Peacock entirely escaped the 
pernicious influences of the school which apparently 



XX THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 

directed his more serious attempts in verse. Though 
still impervious to current influences, he wrote from 
an obviously spontaneous and personal inspiration 
with original genius. Lyrical excellence eludes defini- 
tion ; but Peacock exhibited its essential qualities by 
the tuneful expression of single ideas or moods in 
simple language. He sings of love or grief with deep 
and genuine feeling or natural gaiety: he never 
obscures or weakens his effect by involved metaphor 
or oyer-subtlety. The vigour, restraint, and direct- 
ness of style perfects a form dictated by pure emotion. 
His ballads, whether satirical or merely narrative, are 
entirely free from the spurious archaisms and conscious 
simplicity of most modern examples. Their racy 
vigour betrays neither pose nor effort, but clearly 
arises from natural energy of thought and fluency. 
The old ballads were written in old English, as spoken 
by their authors ; and the best modern ballads are 
colloquial with the colloquialisms of their own age — 
not another's. Peacock is obviously at home in true 
bardic poetry, and wields his power to varied ends, 
never descending to burlesque in satire or to rhymed 
prose in legend. 

The lyrics and ballads of Thomas. Love Peacock 
must always save his memory from oblivion. They 
should further tempt us to search for the excellen- 
cies that leaven his more ambitious, though inferior, 
poetical work. He did not belong to his own age. As 
a poet, he was a revival of a non-poetical generation : 
the last, and not certainly the least, of an almost 
forgotten school whose bondage he escaped, yet 
without falling under the new influences, in his most 
original and independent work. 

R. BRIMLEY JOHNSON. 
Westerham, 1906. 



CHRONOLOGICAL INDEX OF THE POEMS 

DATR PACK 

1795 Epitaph I 

1801 The Lord's Prayer, paraphrased . . i 

1803 * Youth of the year ! celestial spring ! * trans- 

lated from the ItaUan of Guacini . 2 

1804 The Monks of St Mark .... 3 

1805 Stanzas 6 

1805 To Mrs De St Croix, on her Recovery . 6 

1806 Palmyra 7 

„ The Visions of Love 37 

„ Maria's Return to her native Cottage . 32 

„ Fiolfar, King of Norway . . . .35 

„ Henriette , . .44 

„ The Old Man's Complaint . . . .45 

„ On the Death of C. Pembroke, Esq. . , 46 

„ The Rainbow 47 

„ Ellen 48 

„ Farewell to Matilda 48 

„ Mira 50 

„ Amarillis. from the Pastor Fido . . .51 

„ Clonar and Tlamin 52 

„ Foldath in the Cavern of Moma . .53 

„ Dreams, from Petronius Arbiter . .54 

„ Pindar, on the Eclipse of the Sun . .55 

„ To a Young Lady, Netting . . .56 

„ Levi Moses 57 

„ Slender's Love- Elegy . . . .58 

„ A Fragment ....;. 60 

„ Beneath the Cypress Shade . . . 60 

„ The Vigils of Fancy 61 

1808 Remember me 63 

„ Romance 65 

xzi 



xxii CONTENTS 

DATB PAGE 

i8i2 The Genius of the Thames, second edition. 67 
„ Stanzas, written at Sea . . . .116 
„ Inscription for a Mountain Dell . . .119 

„ Necessity 121 

„ Youth and Age 122 

„ Phoedra and Nurse 124 

„ Choral Ode to Love 128 

,, Connubial Equality 130 

181 3 Al Mio Primiero Amore . . . .130 

1814 Translation 131 

„ Lines to a favourite Laurel in the Garden at 

Ankerwyke Cottage . . . .132 
„ Sir Proteus, a satirical ballad . . .134 

181 5 From Headlong Hall : . 

Song 166 

Glee 167 

Love and Opportunity . . . .167 

Terzetto 168 

Ballad . 168 

Chorus 170 

„ The Death of Cfedipus — Speech of the Mes- 
senger to the Chorus, in the CEdiptis at 
Colonus of Sophocles . . . .171 

„ Polyxena to Ulysses, from the Hecuba of 

Euripides 173 

18 16 Prologue to Mr Tobin's comedy of The 

Guardians 174 

„ Epilogue to The Guardians . . .174 

18 17 From Melincourt : 

Translation [Orphica, Hymn xil . .176 
The Tomb of Love . . . .176 

The Ghosts 177 

The Flower of Love . . . .178 
Ballad Terzetto : The Lady, the Knight 

and the Friar .... 178 



CONTENTS 



xxm 



179 
180 
181 
181 
183 
185 



1 81 7 From Melintourt — continued 

Terzetto 

The Morning of Love 

Invocation 

The Sun-Dial . 

Quintetto 

The Magic Bark 

18 18 Sir Hornbook: A Grammatico- Allegorical 

ballad 188 

„ Rhododaphne ; or, the Thessalian Spell . 200 
„ From Nightmare Abbey: 

The Grey Friar ..... 

Song by Mr Cjrpress .... 

Seamen Three ..... 

18 19 The Round Table ; or. King Arthur's Feast . 

1822 From Maid Marian : 
The Bramble 
Michael's Frock 
The Abbot's Nose . 
Kingslea Mere 
A Greenwood Tree 
Matilda and the Friar 
The Proud Sheriflfe 
To Battle 

The Hermit's Cell . 
Bold Robin Hood 
Robin Hood and the two 1 
The Jolly Rover 
Over, Over 
The Friar of Rubygill 
When the Wind Blows 
Farewell to the Forest 



1825 Paper Money Lyrics : 
Pan in Town . 
The Three Little Men 



Grey Friars 



267 
268 
269 
270 

280 
280 
281 
281 
282 
282 
283 
284 
284 
284 
285 
287 
287 
288 
289 
289 

290 
291 
297 



XXIV 



CONTENTS 



1825 Paper Money Lyrics — continued : 
Fly-by-Night . 
A Mood of my own Mind 
Love and the Flimsies . 
The Wise Men of Gotham 
Chorus of Bubble-buyers 
A Border Ballad . 
St Peter of Scotland 
Lament of Scotch Economists 
Caledonian War- Whoop 
Chorus of Scotch Economists 
Ye Kite-Flyers of Scotland 
Chorus of Northumbrians 
Margery Daw 



1826 Margaret Love Peacock 

1829 Catholic Emancipation 

1829 From The Misfortunes of Elphin 

The Circling of the Mead Horns 

The Song of the Four Winds 

A Song of Gwythno Garanhir 

Another Song of Gwythno 

The Consolation of Elphin 

The Mead Song of TaUesin 

Song of the Wind . 

The Indignation of Taliesin with 
Bards of Maelgon Gwyneth 

Talies'n and Melanghel . 

The War-Song of Dinas Vawr 

The Brilliancies of Winter 

Merlin's Apple-Trees 

The Massacre of the Britons 

The Cauldron of Ceridwen 

1 83 1 Rich and Poor ; or. Saint and Sinner 
„ The Fate of a Broom (published in the 
Examiner) .... 



the 



298 
300 
304 
305 
308 

310 
311 
313 
315 
318 
320 
322 
323 
328 
328 

329 
330 
332 
33Z 
334 
335 
336 

338 
340 
341 
342 
343 
345 
348 

350 
35a 



CONTENTS XXV 

DATE PACK 

1 83 1 From Crotchet Castle ; 

Chorus by Mr Trillo .... 353 
We'll Dine and Drink . . . -353 

Beyond the Sea 353 

The Pool of the Diving Friar . .354 

Florence and Blanchfior . . .357 

The Priest and the Mulberry Tree .358 

In the Days of Old . . . -359 

1837 Byp and Nop 360 

„ The Legend of Manor Hall . . . 361 

1842 Newark Abbey, with a Reminiscence of 1807. 

Published in i860 .... 366 

1849 Lines on the Death of Julia, Lord Brough- 

ton's eldest Daughter (MS.) . . 367 

185 1 A Whitebait Dinner at Lovegrove's, in 
Greek and Latin verse (privately 

printed) 368 

„ Fish Feast 369 

1858 In Remembrance of Forty-four Years ago . 369 
i860 From Gryll Grange : 

The Death of Philemon . . . 370 

The Dappled Palfrey .... 372 

Love and Age 373 

A new Order of Chivalry .. . .375 
From Orlando Innamorata . . . 378 
The Spirit-Rappers . . • . 381 

Chorus of Clouds 384 

Chorus — * As before the pike will fly * . 384 
The Legend of Saint Laura . . . 390 

1862 To Lord Broughton, in answer to Birthday 

Greetings 393 

Uncertain Dates : 

Castles in the Air 394 

Midnight. 394 



XXVI CONTENTS 

Uncertain Dates — continued : 

Time 

Choral Ode 

Oh, Nose of Wax ! true Symbol of the Mind 
A Goodlye Ballade of Little John 
Farewell to Meirion .... 
Oh, Blest are They, and They Alone ! 
On Callers 



POEMS 



EPITAPH 

Here lie interred, in silent shade, 

The frail remains of Hamlet Wade ; 

A youth more promising ne'er took breath ; 

But ere fifteen laid cold ill death ! 

Ye young, ye old, and ye of middle age, 

Act well your part, for quit the stage 

Of mortal life, one day you must, 

And, like him, crumble into dust. 

Englefield House, 14th February, 1795. 



THE LORD'S PRAYER 
paraphrased 
A. M. 16 
[Written in 1801, and pubTished in 1806] 

Father of all ! Who dwell' st above ! 

Thy mercies we proclaim : 
To Thee be endless fear and love ; 

All-hallow' d be Thy name. 

Thy kingdom come : Thy will be done 
On earth, as 'tis in Heav'n : 

In ev'ry realm beneath the sun, 
To Thee be glory giv'n. 



TRANSLATION FROM GU ACINI 

Grant us, oh Thou Who cloth'st the field ! 

This day our daily bread : 
As we to others mercy yield. 

On us Thy mercy shed. 

Permit not in temptation's road 

Our heedless steps to stray ; 
Fr^e us from evil's dire abode, 

And guide us -on our way. 

For ever above all to toVr, 

For ever bright to shine. 
Thine is the kingdom. Thine the pow'r, 

And endless glory Thine. 



TRANSLATION 

FROM THE ITALIAN OF GUACINI 

* O Primavera, gioventu del anno * etc. 

Youth of the year 1 celestial spring ! 

Again descend thy silent showers ; 
New loves, new pleasures dost thou bring. 

And earth again looks gay with flowers. 

Dark winter's chilHng storms are flown, 
All nature hails thy reign with gladness, 

All nature smiles, save I alone, 
The victim of eternal sadness. 

Thy rosy smiles, all-cheering spring. 
In vain to welcome I endeavour : 

They but the sad remembrance bring 
Of joys which I have lost for ever ! 
February i, 1803. 



I 



THE MONKS OF ST MARK 

THE MONKS OF ST MARK 
[Written in 1804] 



I Tis midnight : the sky is with clouds overcast ; 
j The forest-trees bend in the loud-rushing blast ; 

The rain strongly beats on these time-ludlowed spires ; 

The lightning pours swiftly its blue-pointed fires ; 

Triumphant the tempest-fiend rides in the dark, 
. And howls round the old abbey-walls of St Mark ! 

' ^he thunder, whose roaring the trav'ller appals, 
S^ms as if with the ground it would level the walls : 
Btit in vain pours the storm-king this horrible rout ; 
The uproar within drowns the uproar without ; 
For the frairs, with Bacchus, not Satan, to grapple, 
. The refectory have met in, instead of the chapel. 

'Stead of singing Te Deums, on ground-pressing knees, 
1 They were piously bawling songs, catches, and glees : 
I Or, all speakers, no hearers, unceasing, untir'd. 
Each stoutly held forth, by the spirit inspir'd. 
Till the Abbot, who only the flock could controul. 
Exclaim' d : ' Augustine I pr'ythee push round the 
I bowl I * 

The good brother obey'd ; but, oh direful mishap ! 
^ Threw its scalding contents in Jeronimo's lap ! 
And o'er his bare feet as the boiling tide stream' d, 
t Poor Augustine fretted, Jeronimo scream'd. 
While Pedro protested, it vexed him infernally. 
To see such good beverage taken externally ! 

The Abbot, Francisco, then feelingly said : 

* Let that poor wounded devil be carried to bed : 



4 THE MONKS OF ST MARK 

And let Augustine, who, I boldly advance, 

Is the whole and sole cause of this fatal mischance. 

If e'er to forgiveness he dare to aspire. 

Now bear to his cell the unfortunate friar.' 

He rose to obey, than a snail rather quicker. 
But, finding his strength much diminished by liquor, 
Declar'd, with a hiccup, he scarcely could stand. 
And begg'd Brother Pedro to lend him a hand. 
Brother Pedro consented, but all was not right. 
Till Nicholas offer' d to carry a light. 

By the head and the feet then their victim they held. 
Who with pain and with fear most tremendously yell'd ; 
And with one little lamp that scarce shone through the 

gloom. 
In path curvilinear march' d out of the room. 
And, unheeding the sound of the rain and the blast, 
Through the long dismal corridor fearlessly pass'd. 

From the right to the left, from the left to the right. 
Brother Nicholas reel'd, inconsiderate wight I 
For not seeing the stairs to the hall-floor that led. 
Instead of his heels he soon stood on his head : 
He rolls to the bottom, the lamp-flame expires, 
And darkness envelopes the wondering friars ! 

He squall'd, for the burning oil pour'd on his hand : 
Bewilder' d did Pedro and Augustine stand : 
Then loud roar'd the thunder, and Pedro, in dread, 
Abandon'd his hold of Jeronimo's head. 
And prone on the floor fell this son of the cowl, 
And howl'd, deeply-smarting, a terrible howl I 

Poor Augustine's bosom with terror was cold. 
On finding his burthen thus slide from his hold : 



THE MONKS OF ST MARK $ 

Then, cautiously stealing, and groping around, 
He felt himself suddenly struck to the ground ; 
Yells, groans, and strange noises, were heard in the dark, 
And, trembling and sweating, he pray'd to St Mark I 

Meanwhile, the good Abbot was boosing about ; 
When, a little alarm' d by the tumult without. 
Occasioned by poor Brother Nich'las's fall 
From the corridor-stairs to the floor of the hall, 
Like a true jolly friend of good orderly laws, 
He serpentined out to discover the cause. 

Bewildered by hquour, by haste, and by fright, 
He forgot that he stood in great need of a Ught ; 
When, hiccuping, reeling, and curving along, 
And humming a stave of a jolly old song. 
He receiv'd a rude shock from an object unseen, 
For he came in full contact with Saint Augustine ! 

By Jeronimo's carcass tripp'd up unawares. 
He was instantly hurl'd down the corridor-stairs ; 
Brother Nicholas there, from the floor cold and damp, 
Was rising with what yet remained of his lamp ; 
And, the worthy superior's good supper to spoil, 
Regal' d his strange guest with a mouthful of oil ! . 

Thence sprung the dire tumult, which, rising so near, 
Had fill'd Augustine with confusion and fear : 
But the sons of St Mark, now appearing with tapers, 
At once put an end to his pray'rs and his vapours ; 
They reel'd back to their bowls, laughed at care and foul 

weather. 
And were shortly all under the table together. 

September, 1804. 



6 TO MRS DE ST CROIX, ON HER RECOVERY 

STANZAS 

[Written about 1805] 

When hope her warm tints on the future shall cast. 
And memory illumine the days that are past, 
May their mystical colours, by fancy combined. 
Be as bright as thy thoughts, and as pure as thy mind. 
May hope's fairy radiance in clouds never set, 
Nor memory look dark with the mists of regret ; 
For thee may their visions unchangeable shine. 
And prove a more brilliant reality thine. 

Many are the forms of fate. 

Much scarcely hoped in life betides. 

Much strongly promised baflles hope, 

Much unexpected by the gods is given, 

Much strongly promised from our hope is riven ; 

Through paths of fate that most impervious seem. 

The darkest paths of life's prospective way. 

Propitious gods make pervious to the day. 

Now, should some god approach me, saying ' Crato, 
When you are dead, you shall be bom anew. 
And be whatever you will, dog, sheep, or goat, 
Oj: man, or horse, for you must have two lives ; 
So have the Fates decreed : choose which you will * ; 
I should at once give answer : * Make me anything 
Rather than man, the only animal 
That good and ill betide alike unjustly '. 

TO MRS DE ST CROIX 

ON HER RECOVERY 

[Written in 1805] 

When wintry storms, with envious pow*r. 
The glorious orb of day o'ercast ; 



PALMYRA 7 

When black and deep the snow-clouds loWr:; 
And cqldly blows th* ungenial blast ; 

The feathered race, no longer gay, 
Who joy*d in summer's glowing reign, 

Sit drooping on the leafless spray, 
And mourn the desolated plain. 

But when, at spring's celestial call. 

Subsides the elemental strife. 
When drifting snows no longer fall. 

And nature kindles into life, 

Eacli little tenant of the grove. 

Makes hill and dale with song resound, 

And pleasure, gratitude, and love, 
From thousand echoes ring around. 

And thus, when thou wast doom'd to pain. 
On sickness* cheerless couch reclin'd, 

Love, duty, friendship, sigh'd in vain, 
And at thy transient loss repin'd. 

But grief and pain no more assail. 
And all with smiles thy steps attend ; 

With renovated bliss they hail 

Their guide, their parent, and their friend. 

PALMYRA 1 

[Published in 1806] 

dvaKTa Tuv TrdvTiov ifirep /3aX- 

\6vTa xp^^o^ /JXLKdpcav. 

Pindar [Fragm. Incert. No. 50.3 

As the mountain-torrent rages, 
Loud, impetuous, swift, and strong, 

1 Palmyra is situated under a barren ridge of hills 
to the west, and open on its other sides to the desert. 



8 PALMYRA 

So tne rapid stream of ages 
Rolls with ceaseless tide along. 
Man's little day what clouds o'ercast I 
How soon his longest date is past ! 
All-conqu'ring Death, in solemn state unfiirl'd. 
Comes, like the burning desert-blast. 
And sweeps him from the world. 

It is about six days' journey from Aleppo, and as many 
from Damascus, and about twenty leagues west of the 
Euphrates, in the latitude of thirty-four degrees, ac- 
cording to Ptolemy. Some geographers havs placed 
it in Sjnria, others in Phoenicia, and some in Arabia. — 
Wood, Ruins of Palmyra. 

That Solomon built Tadmor in the wilderness, we are 
told in the Old Testament ; and that this was the same 
city which the Greeks and Romans called afterwards 
Palmyra, though the Syrians retained the frst name, 
we learn from Josephus. — Ibid. 

We departed from Aleppo on Michaelmas day, 1691, 
and in six easy days' travel over a desert country, came 
to Tadmor. . . . Having passed by the ruins of a 
handsome mosque, we had the prospect of such magni- 
ficent ruins, that if it be lawful to frame a conjecture 
of the original beauty of that place by what is still re- 
maining, I question whether any city in the world could 
have challenged precedence of this in its glory. — Philo- 
sophical Transactions, Lowthrqp's Abridgement, Vol. iii. 

On the fourteenth of March, 175 1, we arrived at the 
end of the plain, where the hills to our right and left 
seemed to meet. We found between those hills a vale, 
through which an aqueduct, now ruined, formerly con- 
veyed water to Palmyra. In this vale, to our right 
and left, were several square towers of a considerable 
height, which, upon a nearer approach, we found were 
the sepulchres of the ancient Palmyrenes. We had 
scarcely passed these venerable monuments, when 
the hills opening discovered to us, all at once, the 
greatest quantity of ruins we had ever seen, all of white 



PALMYRA 9 

The noblest works of human pow*r 
In vain resist the fate-fraught hour ; 
The marble hall, the rock-built tow'r, 

AUke submit to destiny : 
Oblivion's awful storms resound ; 
The massy columns fall around ; 
The fabric totters to the ground, 

And darkness veils its memory ! 

marble, and beyond them, towards the Euphrates, a 
flat waste, as far as the eyes could reach, without any 
object which showed either life or motion. It is 
scarcely possible to imagine anything more striking 
than this view : so great a number of Corinthian pillars, 
mixed with so little wall or solid building, afforded a 
most romantic variety of prospect. — ^Wood. 

Undoubtedly the effect of such i. sight is not to be 

communicated. The reader must represent to himself 

a range of erect columns, occupying an extent of 

more than twenty-six hundred yards, and concealing 

a multitude of other edifices behind them. In this 

space we sometimes find a palace of which nothing 

remains but the courts and walls ; sometimes a temple 

whose peristyle is half thrown down ; and now a 

portico, a gallery, or triumphal arch. Here stand 

groups of columns, whose symmetry is destroyed by 

the fall of many of them ; there we see them ranged 

in rows of such length, that similar to rows of trees, 

they deceive the sight, and assume the appearance 

of continued walls. If from this striking scene 

we cast our eyes upon the ground, another, almost as 

varied, presents itself ; on all sides we behold 

nothing but subverted shafts, some entire, others 

shattered to pieces, or dislocated in their joints ; and 

on which side soever we look, the earth is strewed with 

vast stones half buried, with broken entablatures, 

damaged capitals, mutilated friezes, disfigured reliefs, 

effac^ sculptures, violated tombs, and altars defiled 

by dust. — Volney, Travels in Syria, 



lo PALMYRA 



'Mid Syria's barren world of sand, 
Where Thedmor's marble wastes expand i. 
Where Desolation, on the blasted plain, 
Has fix'd his adamantine throne, 
I mark, in silence and alone. 
His melancholy reign. 
These silent wrecks, more eloquent than speech. 

Full many a tale of awful note impart ; 
Truths more sublime than bard or sage can teach 
This pomp of ruin presses on the heart. 

Whence rose that dim, mysterious sound, 
That breath* d in hollow murmurs round ? 
As sweeps the gale 
Along the vale. 
Where many a mould'ring tomb is spread. 
Awe-struck, I hear. 
In fancy's ear. 
The voices of th' illustrious dead : 
As slow they pass along, they seem to sigh 
* Man, and the works of man, are only born to die !* 

Ill 

As scatter' d round, a dreary space. 

Ye spirits of the wise and just ! 
In reverential thought I trace 

The mansions of your sacred dust, 

^ Or, at the purple dawn of day, 
Tadmor's marble wastes survey. — Grainger. 
Of several ancient ways of writing this name, the 
dedfiop of the Alexandrian copy comes nearest to 
the pronunciation of the present Arabs. — Wood. 

I have adopted this pronunciation as a more poetical 
one than Tedmor or Tadmor. 



PALMYRA II 

Enthusiast Fancy, rob'd in light, 
Pours on the air her many sparkling rays, 
Redeeming from Oblivion's deepening night 
The deeds of ancient days. 

The mighty forms of chiefs of old, 
To Virtue dear, and Patriot Truth sublime, 

In feeble splendour I behold. 
Discovered dimly through the mists of Time, 
As through the vapours of the mountain-stream 
With pale reflection glows the sun's declining beam. 



Still as twiUght's mantle hoary 

Spreads progressive on the sky, 
See, in visionary glory, 

Darkly-thron'd, they sit on high. 
But whose the forms, oh Fame, declare. 
That crowd majestic on the air ? 
Bright Goddess I come, on rapid wings. 
To tell the mighty deeds of kings. 

Where art thou. Fame ? 

Each honoured name 
From thy eternal roll unfold : 

Awake the lyre. 

In songs of fire. 
To chiefs renowned in days of old. 

I call in vain ! 

The welcome strain 
Of praise to them no more shall sound : 

Their actions bright 

Must sleep in night. 
Till Time shall cease his mystic round. 
The dazzling glories of their day 
The stream of years has swept away ; 
Their names that struck the foe with fear. 
Shall ring no more on mortal ear I 



12 PALMYRA 



Yet faithful Memory's raptur'd eye 
Can still the godlike form descry^. 
Of him, who, on Euphrates' shore. 
From Sapor's brow his blood-stain' d laurels tore, 
And bade the Roman banner stream unfurl'd ; 
When the stern Genius of the startling waved* 
Beheld on Persia's host of slaves 
Tumultuous ruin hurl'd ! 

^ At the time when the East trembled at the name 
of Sapor, he received a present not unworthy of the 
greatest kings ; a long train of camels, laden with the 
most rare and valuable merchandises. The rich offer- 
ing was accompanied by an epistle, respectful, but not 
servile, from Odenathus, one of the noblest and most 
opulent senators of Palmyra. ' Who is this Odenathus ' 
(said the haughty victor, and he commanded that the 
presents should be cast into the Euphrates) * that he 
thus insolently presumes to write to his lord ? If he 
entertain a hope of mitigating his punishment, let him 
fall prostrate before the foot of our throne, with his 
hands bound behind his back. Should he hesitate, 
swift destruction shall be poured on his head, on his 
whole race, and on his country '. The desperate ex- 
tremity to which the Palmyrenian was now reduced, 
called into action all the latent powers of his soul. He 
met Sapor ; but he met him in arms. Infusing his 
own spirit into a little army, collected from the viUages 
of Syria, and the tents of the desert, he hovered round 
the Persian host, harassed their retreat, carried off 
part of the treasure, and, what was dearer than any 
treasure, several of the women of the Great King, who 
was at last obliged to repass the Euphrates, with some 
marks of haste and confusion. By this exploit, Oden- 
athus laid the foundation of his future fame and for- 
tunes. The majesty of Rome, oppressed by a Persian, 
was protected by a Syrian or Arab of Palmyra. — 
Gibbon. 



PALMYRA 13 

Meek Science too, and Taste refined, 

The grave with deathless flow'rs have dress* d, 

Of him whose virtue-kindling mind ^ 
Their ev'ry charm supremely bless' d ; 

Who trac'd the mazy warblings of the lyre 
With all a critic's art, and all a poet's fire. 



Where is the bard, in these degen'rate days, 

To whom the muse the blissful meed awards, 
Again the dithyrambic song to raise, 

And strike the golden harp's responsive chords ? 

Be his alone the song to swell, 

The all-transcendant praise to tell 
Of yon immortal form, 

That bursting through the veil of years, 

In changeless majesty appears. 
Bright as the sunbeams thro' the scatt'ring storm ! 
What countless charms around her rise ! 2 

^ Longinus. 

* Aurelian had no sooner secured the person and 
provinces of Tetricus, than he turned his arms against 
Zenobia, the celebrated queen of Palmyra and the East. 
Modem Europe has produced several illustrious women 
who have sustained with glory the weight of empire, 
nor is our own age destitute of such distinguished 
characters. But Zenobia is perhaps the only female 
whose superior genius broke through the servile in- 
dolence imposed on her sex by the climate and manners 
of Asia. She claimed her descent from the Macedonian 
kings of Egypt, equalled in beauty her ancestor Cleo- 
patra, and far surpassed that princess in chastity and 
valour. Zenobia was esteemed the most lovely, as well 
as the most heroic, of her sex. She was of a dark com- 
plexion (for in speaking of a lady these trifles become 
important). Her 'teeth were of a pearly whiteness, and 
her large black eyes sparkled with uncommon fire, 



14 PALMYRA 

What dazzling splendour sparkles in her eyes I 
On her radiant brow enshrin'd, 
Minerva's beauty blends with Juno's grace ; 

The matchless virtues of her godlike mind 
Are stamp' d conspicuous on her angel-face. 



Hail, sacred shade, to Nature dear ! 
Though sorrow clos'd thy bright career. 
Though clouds obscur'd thy setting day, 
Thy fame shall never pass away I 
Long shall the mind's unfading gaze 
Retrace thy pow'r's meridian blaze. 

When o'er Arabian desert, vast and wild. 

And Egypt's land (where Reason's wakeful eye 

First on the birth of Art and Science smil'd. 
And bade the shades of mental darkness fly). 

And o'er Assyria's many-pec pled plains. 

By Justice led, thy conqu'ring armies pour'd, 

tempered by the most attractive sweetness. Her voice 
was strong and harmonious. Her manly understand- 
ing was strengthened and adorned by study. She was 
not ignorant of the Latin tongue, but possessed in equal 
perfection the Greek, the Sjnriac, and the Eygptian 
languages. She had drawn up for her own use an 
epitome of Oriental history, and familiarly compared 
the beauties of Homer and Plato, under the tuition of 
the sublime Longinus. — Gibbon. 

If we add to this her uncommon strength, and con- 
sider her excessive military fatigues, for she used no 
carriage, generally rode, and often marched on foot 
three or four miles with her army ; and if we at the 
same time suppose her haranguing her soldiers, which 
she used to do in a helmet, and often with her arms 
bare, it will give us an idea of that severe character 
of vtaasculine beauty, which puts one more in mind of 
Minerva than Venus. — Wood. 



PALMYRA IS 

When humbled nations kiss'd thy silken chains, 
Or fled dismayed from Zabdas' ^ victor-sword: 
Yet vain the hope to share the purple robe 2, 
Or snatch from Roman arms the empire of the globe. 

1 Zenobia's general. 

2 From the time of Adrian to that of Aurelian, for 
about 140 years, this city continued to flourish, and 
increase in wealth and power, to that degreee, that 
when the Emperor Valerian was taken prisoner by 
Sapor, King of Persia, Odenathus, one of the lords of 
this town, was able, whilst Gallienus neglected his duty 
both to his father and his country, to bring a powerful 
army into the field, and to recover Mesopotamia from 
the Persians, and to penetrate as far as their capital 
city Ctesiphon. Thereby rendering so considerable a 
service to the Roman state, that GalUenus thought 
himself obliged to give him a share in the empire : of 
which action Trebellius PoUio, in the Life of Gallienus, 
has these words : Laudaiur ejus (Gallieni) optimum 
factum, qui OdencUum participato imperio Augustum 
vocavit, ejusque monetan, ques Persas captos traheret, 
cudi jussit ; quod et Senatus et Urbs et omnis cBtas gra- 
tanter accepit. The same, in many places, speaks of 
this Odenathus with great respect ; and mentioning 
his death, he say^ : Iratum fuisse Deum Republicce 
credo, qui interfecto Valeriano noluit OdencUum reservare. 
But by a strange reverse of fortune, this honour and 
respect to Odenathus occasioned the sudden ruin and 
subversion of the city. For he and his son Herodes 
being murdered by Maeonius, their kinsman, and dying 
with the title of Augustus, his wife Zenobia, in right 
of her son Vaballathus, then a minor, pretended to take 
ui>on her the government of the East, and did ad- 
minister it to admiration : and when, soon after, 
GaUienus was murdered by his soldiers, she grasped 
the government of Egypt, and held it during the short 
reign of the Emperor Claudius Gothicus. But Aurelian 
coming to the imperial dignity, would not suffer the title 
of Augustus in this family, though he was contented 



i6 PALMYRA 



Along the wild and wasted plain 
His vet' ran bands the Roman monarch led, 
And roU'd his burning wheels o*er heaps of sh 

The prowling chacal heard afar 

The devastating yell of war, 
And rush'd, with gloomy howl, to banquet on the de 

that they should hold under him as vice CcBsaris 
plainly appears by the Latin coins, of Aurelian 
the one side, and Vaballathus on the other, with tl 
letters, V. C. R. IM. OR ; w^tich P. Harduin has n 
judiciously interpreted, Vice C^saris Rector 
PERU Orientis, without the title of Caesar or Angus 
and with a laurel instead of a diadem. But both Va 
lathus and Zenobia are styled SEBASTOI in the Gi 
coins, made, it is probable within their own jurisdict 
But nothing less than a participation of the em 
contenting Zenobia, and Aurelian persisting not to h 
it dismembered, he marched against her ; and ha^^ 
in two battles routed her forces, he shut her up and 
sieged her in Palmyra, and the beseiged finding 1 
the great resistance they made availed not against 1 
resolute emperor, they yielded the town ; and Zen< 
flying with her son was pursued and taken ; with wl 
Aurelian being contented spared the city, and marc 
for Rome with his captive lady ; but the inhabits 
believing he would not return, set up again for th 
selves, and, as Vopiscus has it, slew the garrison 
had left in the place. Which Aurelian understand 
though by this time he was gotten into Europe, "v 
his usual fierceness, speedily returned, and colled 
a sufficient army by the way, he again took the c 
without any great opposition, and put it to the sw 
with uncommon cruelty (as he himself confesses i 
letter extant in Vopiscus), and delivered it to the pill 
of his soldiers. — Philosophical Transactions, 



PALMYRA 17 



For succour to Palmyra's walls 

Her trembling subjects fled, confounded. 
But wide amid her regal halls 

The whirling fires resounded. 
Onward the hostile legions pour'd : 

Nor beauteous youth, nor helpless age 1, 
Nor female charms, by savage breasts ador'd. 
Could check the Roman's barb'rous rage. 
Or blunt the murd'rous sword. 
Loud, long, and fierce, the voice of slaughter roared, 
The night-shades fell, the work of death was o'er^ 
Palmyra's sun had set, to rise no more ! 



What mystic form, uncouth and dread. 
With wither' d cheek, and hoary head. 
Swift as the death-fire cleaves the sky. 
Swept on sounding pinions by ? 

^ The following is the letter of Aurelian above alluded 
to : Aurelianus Augustus Ceionio Basso : Non oportet 
ulterius progredi militum gladios, jam satis Palmyren- 
onim caesum atque occisum est. Mulierihus non 
Pepercimus, infantes occidimus, senes jugulavimus, rus- 
ticos interemimus, cui terras, cui urbem, deinceps 
relinquemus ? Parcendum est iis qui remanserunt. 
Credimus enim paucos tam multorum suppliciis esse 
correctos. Templum san^ solis, quod apud Palmyram 
aquilifer legionis tertiae cum vexilliferis et draconario 
comicinibus atque liticinibus diripuerunt, ad earn 
formam volo, quae fuit, reddi. Habes trecentas auri 
libras Zenobiae capsulis : habes argenti mille octingenta 
pondo e Palmyrenorum bonis : habes gemmas regias. 
Ex his omnibus fac cohonestari templum : mihi et diis 
immortalibus gratissimum feceris. Ego ad Senatum 
scribam, petens ut mittet pontificem, qui dedicet 
templum. 



la PALMYRA 

'Twas Time : I know the Foe of Kings, 

His scythe, and sand, and eagle wings : 

He cast a burning look around. 

And wav'd his bony hand, and frown' d. 

Far from the spectre's scowl of fire 

Fancy's feeble forms retire. 

Her air-born phantoms melt away. 

Like stars before the rising day. 



Yes, all are flown 1 
I stand alone. 
At ev'ning's calm and pensive hour, 
'Mid wasting domes, 
And mould' ring tombs, 
The wrecks of vanity and pow'r. 
One shadowy tint enwraps the plain ; 
No form is near, no sounds intrude. 
To break the melancholy reign 
Of silence and of solitude. 
How oft, in scenes like these, since Time began, 
With downcast eye has Contemplation trod. 
Far from the haunts of Folly, Vice, and Man, 

To hold sublime communion with her God I 
How oft, in scenes like these, the pensive sage 

Has mourn'd the hand of Fate, severely just. 
War's wasteful course, and Death's unsparing rage. 

And dark Oblivion, frowning in the dust 1 
Has mark'd the tombs, that kings o'erthrbwn declare. 
Just wept their fall, and sunk to join them there I 

XII 

In yon proud fane, majestic in decay *, 
How oft of old the swelling hymn arose, 

^ Architecture more especially lavished her oma- 
ments, and displayed her magnificence, in the temple 



PALMYRA 19 

In loud thanksgiving to the Lord of Day, 
Or pray'r for vengeance on triumphant foes ! 
"Twas there, ere yet Aurelian's hand 
Had kindled Ruin's smould'ring brand. 
As slowly mov'd the sacred choir 
Around the altar's rising fire, 
The priest, with wild and glowing eye. 
Bade the flower-bound victim die ; 
And while he fed the incense-flame. 

With many a holy mystery, 
Prophetic inspiration came 

To teach th' impending destiny. 
And shook his venerable frame 

With most portentous augury 1 
In notes of anguish, deep and slow. 
He told the coming hour of woe ; 
The youths and maids, with terror pale. 
In breathless torture heard the tale, 
And silence hung 
On ev'ry tongue. 
While thus the voice prophetic rung : 



* Whence was the hollow scream of fear. 
Whose tones appall' d my shrinking ear ? 
Whence was the modulated cry. 
That seem'd to swell, and hasten by ? 

of the sun, the tutelar deity of Palmyra^ The square 
court which enclosed it was six hundred and seventy- 
nine feet each way, and a double range of columns 
extended all round the inside. In the middle of the 
vacant space, the temple presents another front of forty- 
seven feet by one hundred and twenty-four in depth, 
and around it runs a peristyle of one hundred and 
forty columns. — Volney. 



PALMYRA 

What sudden blaze ilium' d the night ? 
Ha ! 'twas Destruction's meteor-light 1 
Whence was the whirlwind's eddying breath ? 
Ha ! 'twas the fiery blast of Death ! 



' See ! the mighty God of Battle 

Spreads abroad his crimson train 1 
Discord's myriad voices rattle 

O'er the terror-shaken plain. 
Banners stream, and helmets glare, 
Show'ring arrows hiss in air ; 
Echoing through the darken' d skies. 
Wildly-mingling murmurs rise, 
The clash of splendour-beaming steel. 

The buckler ringing hollowly, 
The cymbal's silver-sounding peal. 

The last deep groan of agony. 
The hurrying feet 
Of wild retreat, 
The length' ning shout of victory I 



* O'er our plains the vengeful stranger 

Pours, with hostile hopes elate : 
Who shall check the threat' ning danger ? 

Who escape the coming fate ? 
Thou ! that through the heav'ns afar. 

When the shades of night retire. 
Proudly roll'st thy shining car, 

Clad in sempiternal fire 1 
Thou ! from whose benignant light 

Fiends of darkness, strange and fell. 
Urge their ebon-pinion' d flight 

To the central caves of hell ! 



PALMYRA 

Sun adored ! attend our call I 

Must thy favour' d people fall ? 

Must we leave our smiling plains, 

To groan beneath the stranger's chains ? 

Rise, supreme in heav'nly pow'r. 

On our foes destruction show'r ; 

Bid thy fatal arrows fly. 

Till their armies sink and die ; 

Through their adverse legions spread 

Pale Disease, and with'ring Dread, 

Wild Confusion's fev'rish glare. 

Horror, Madness, and Despair ! 



* Woe to thy numbers fierce and rude i. 

Thou madly-rushing multitude. 
Loud as the tempest that o'er ocean raves ! 
Woe to the nations proud and strong. 
That rush tumultuously along. 
As rolls the foaming stream its long-resounding waves ! 
As thQ noise of mighty seas. 
As the loudly-murmuring breeze. 
Shall gath'ring nations rush, a pow'rful band : 
Rise, God of Light, in burning wrath severe. 
And stretch, to blast their proud career. 
Thy arrow-darting hand 1 
Then shall their ranks to certain fate be giv'n, 
Then on their course Despair her fires shall cast, 

^ Woe to the multitude of many people, that make 
a noise like the noise of the seas, and to the rushing of 
nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty 
waters ! The nations shall rush like the rushing of 
many waters ; but God shall rebuke them, and they 
shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the 
mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing 
before the whirlwind. — Isaiah, c. xvii, v. 12. 



22 PALMYRA 

Then shall they fly, to endless ruin driv'n. 
As flies the thistle-down before the mountain-blast I 



' Alas 1 in vain, in vain we call ! 
The stranger triumphs in our fall ! 
And Fate comes on, with ruthless frown, 
To strike Palmyra's splendour down. 
Urg'd by the steady breath of Time, 
The desert-whirlwind sweeps sublime, 
The eddying sands .in mountain-columns rise : 
Borne on the pinions of the gale. 
In one concentred cloud they sail. 

Along the darken' d skies. 
It falls ! it falls ! on Thedmor's walls 
The whelming weight of ruin falls ! 
Th' avenging thunder-bolt is hurl'd, 
Her pride is blotted from the world. 

Her name unknown in story : 
The trav'ller on her site shall stand, 
And seek, amid the desert-sand, 

The records of her glory ! 
Her palaces are crush'd, her tow'rs o'erthrown, 
Oblivion follows stem, and marks her for his own I * 



How oft, the festal board around. 
These time-worn walls among, 

Has rung the full symphonious sound 
Of rapture-breathing song I 
Ah 1 little thought the wealthy proud, 
When rosy pleasure laugh' d aloud. 
That here, amid their ancient land. 

The wand'rer of the distant days 

Should mark, with sorrow-clouded gaze, 
The mighty wilderness of sand ; 



PALMYRA :2$ 

While not a sound should meet his estr. 
Save 'of the desert-gales that sweep, 
In modulated murmurs deep, 

The wasted graves above, 
Of those who once had revell'd here. 

In happiness and love ! 



Short is the space to man assigned 

This earthly vale to tread ; 
He wanders, erring, weak, and blind. 

By adverse passions led. 
Love, the balm of ev'ry woe. 
The dearest blessing man can know ; 
Jealousy, whose pois'nous breath 

Blasts affection's opening bud ; 
Stem Despair, that laughs in death ; 

Black Revenge, that bathes in blood ; 
Fear, that his form in darkness shroucfs. 

And trembles at the whisp'ring air ; 
And Hope, that pictures on the clouds 
Celestial visions, false, but fair ; 
All rule by turns : 
To-day he burns 
With ev'ry pang of keen distress ; 
To-morrow's sky 
Bids sorrow fly 
With dreams of promis'd happiness. 



From the earliest twilight-ray, 
That mark'd Creation's natal day. 

Till yesterday's declining fire. 
Thus still have roll'd, perplex' d by strife. 
The many-clashing wheels of life, 
And still shall roll, till TiME's last beams expire. 



24 PALMYRA 

And thus, in ev'ry age, in ev'ry clime. 

While circling years shall fly. 
The vaxying deeds that mark the present time 

Will be but shadows of the days gone by. 



Along the desolated shore. 

Where, broad and swift, Euphrates flows. 
The trav'ller's anxious eye can trace no more 

The spot where once the Queen of cities ^ rose. 
Where old Persepolis sublimely tow'r'd. 
In cedar-groves embow'r'd, 

A rudely-splendid wreck alone remains, 
The course of Fate no pomp or poVr can shun. 

Pollution tramples on thy giant-fanes, 
Oh City of the Sun 1 2 
Fall'n are the Tyrian domes of wealth and joy. 
The hundred gates of Thebes, the tow'rs of Troy ; 
In shame and sorrow pre-ordain' d to cease. 
Proud Salem met th* irrevocable doom ; 
In darkness sunk the arts and arms of Greece, 
And the long glories of imperial Rome. 



When the tyrant's iron hand 
The mountain-piles of Memphis rais'd. 
That still the storms of angry Time defy, 
In self -adoring thought he gaz'd. 
And bade the massive labours stand. 

Till Nature's self should die ! 
Presumptuous fool ! the death-wind came, 
And swept away thy worthless name ; 
And ages, with insidious flow. 
Shall lay those blood-bought fabrics low. 



1 



Bg-bylon. 



2 Balbec, the Heliopolis of the Greeks and Romans. 



PALMYRA 25 

Then shall the stranger pause, and oft be told, 
* Here stood the mighty Pyramids of old I ' 
And smile, half-doubtful, when the tale he hears, 
That speaks the wonders of the distant years. 



Though NIGHT awhile usurp the skies, 
Yet soon the smiling morn shall rise, 

And light and Hfe restore ; 
Again the sunbeams gild the plain ^ ; 

^ Let clouds rest on the hills, spirits fly, and trav- 
ellers fear. Let the winds of the woods arise, the 
sounding storms descend. Roar streams, and windows 
flap, and ^een- winged meteors fly ; rise the pale moon 
from behind her hills, or enclose her head in clouds ; 
night is alike to me, blue, stormy, or gloomy the sky. 
Night flies before the beam, when it is poured on the hill. 
The young day returns from his clouds, but we return no 
more. 

Where axe our chiefs of old ? Where our kings of 
mighty name ? The fields of their battles are silent ; 
scarce their mossy tombs remain. We shall also be 
forgotten. This lofty house shall fall. Our sons shall 
not behold the ruins in grass. They shall ask of the 
aged ' Where stood the walls of our fathers ? ' — [See 
the beautiful Httle poem of The Bards in the notes on 
Ossian's Croma]. 

Raise, ye bards, said the mighty Fingal, the praise of 
unhappy Mgina. Call her ghost, with your songs, to 
our hills ; that she may rest with the fair of Morven, 
the sunbeams of other days, and the delight of heroes 
of old. I have seen the walls of Balclutha, but they 
were desolate. The fire had resounded in the halls : 
the voice of the people was heard no more. The stream 
of Clutha was removed from its place, by the fall of the 
walls. The thistle shook, there, its lonely head : the 
moss whistled to the wind. The fox looked out from 



26 PALMYRA 

The youthful day returns again. 
But man returns no more. 
Though Winter's frown severe 
Deform the wasted year. 
Spring smiles again, with renovated bloom ; 
But what sweet Spring, with genial breath. 
Shall chase the icy sleep of death. 
The dark and cheerless winter of the tomb ? 

Hark ! from the mansions of the dead. 
What thrilling sounds of deepest import spread ! 
Sublimely mingled with the eddjdng gale, 
Full on the desert-air these solemn accents sail : 



* Unthinking man ! and dost thou weep. 

That clouds o'ercast thy little day ? 
That Death's stem hands so quickly sweep 

Thy ev'ry earthly hope away ? 
Thy rapid hours in darkness flow, 

But well those rapid hours employ. 
And they shall lead from realms of woe 

To realms of everlasting joy. 
For though thy Father and thy God 
Wave o'er thy head His chast'ning rod, 

Benignantly severe, 
Yet future blessings shall repair, 

the windows, the rank grass of the wall waved round 
his head. Desolate is the dwelling of Moina, silence 
is in the house of her fathers. Raise the song of mourn- 
ing, oh bards, over the land of strangers. They have 
but fallen before us : for, one day, we must fall. Why 
dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days? 
Thou lookest from thy towers to-day ; yet a few years, 
and the blast of the desert comes ; it howls in thy empty 
court, and whistles round thy half-worn shield. — 
Ossian. 



THE VISIONS OF LOVE 27 

In tenfold measure, ev'ry care, 
That marks thy progress here. 

XXV 

* Bow THEN TO Him, for He is good, 

And loves the works His hands have made ; 
In earth, in sdr, in fire, in flood. 

His parent-bounty shines displayed. 
Bow THEN TO Him, for He is just. 

Though mortals scan His ways in vain ; 
Repine not, children of the dust ! 
For He in mercy sends ye pain. 
Bow THEN to Him, for He is great. 
And was, ere Nature, Time, and Fate, 
Began their mystic flight ; 
And still shall be, when consummating flame 
Shall plunge this universal frame 

In everlasting night. 
Bow THEN TO Him, the Lord of all, 
Whose nod bids empires rise and fall. 

Earth, Heav'n, and Nature's Sire ; 
To Him, Who, matchless and alone. 
Has fix'd in boundless space His throne, 
Tnchang'd, unchanging still, while worlds and suns 
expire 1 ' 

THE VISIONS OF LOVE 
[Published in 1806] 

Senza I'amabile 
Dio di Citera, 
I di non torano 
Di primavera ; 
Non spira un zefiiro, 

Non spunta un fior — Metastasio. 
To chase the clouds of life's tempestuous hours, 
o strew its short but weary way with flow'rs, 



28 THE VISIONS OF LOVE 

New hopes to raise, new feelings to impart, 
And pour celestial balsam on the heart ; 
For this to man was lovely woman giv'n. 
The last, best work, the noblest gift of Heav'n. 

At Eden's gate, as ancient legends say. 
The flaming sword for ever bars the way ; 
Not ours to taste the joys our parents shar'd, 
But pitying Nature half our loss repair' d, 
Our wounds to heal, our murmurs to remove, 
She left mankind the paradise of Love. 

All-conqu'ring Love ! thy pow'rful reign surrounds 
Man's wildest haunts, and earth's remotest bounds : 
Alike for thee th' untainted bosom glows 
'Mid eastern sands and hyperborean snows : 
Thy darts unerring fly with strong control. 
Tame the most stern, and nerve the softest soul. 
Check the swift savage of the sultry zone. 
And bend the monarch on his glitt'ring throne. 

\Vhen wakeful Memory bids the mind explore 
The half-hid deeds of years that are no more. 
How few the scenes her hand can picture there 
Of heart-felt bliss untroubled by a care ! 
Yet many a charm can pow'rful Fancy raise. 
To point the smiling path of future days ; 
There too will Hope her genial influence blend. 
Faithless, but kind ; a flatt'rer, but a friend. 

But most to cheer the lover's lonely hours. 
Creative Fancy wakes her magic pow'rs ; 
Most strongly pours, by ardent love refin'd. 
Her brightest visions on the youthful mind. 
Hence, when at eve with lonely steps I rove 
The flow'r-enamell'd plain or dusky grove. 



THE VISIONS OF LOVE 29 

Or press the bank with grassy tufts o'erspread, 
Where the brook murmurs o'er its pebbly bed ; 
Then steals thy form, Rosalia, on my sight, 
In artless charms pre-eminently bright : 
By Hope inspired, my raptur'd thoughts engage 
To trace the lines of Fate's mysterious page 
At once in air, the past, the present, fade ; 
In fairy-tints the future stands display 'd ; 
No clouds arise, no shadows intervene, 
To veil or dim the visionary scene. 

Within the sacred altar's mjrstic shade, 
I see thee stand, in spotless white array' d ; 
I hear thee there thy home, thy name resign, 
I hear the awful vow that seals thee mine. 
Not on my birth propitious Fortune smil'd. 
Nor proud Ambition mark'd me for her child ; 
For me no dome with festal splendour shines ; 
No pamper'd lacquies spread their length'ning lines, 
No venal crowds my nod obsequious wait ; 
No summer-friends besiege my narrow gate ; 
Joys such as these, if jo5rs indeed they be. 
Indulgent Nature ne'er design' d for me : 
I ask them not : she play'd a kinder part : 
She gave a nobler gift, Rosalia's heart. 

The simple dwelling by affection rear'd ; 
The smiling plains, by calm content endear' d ; 
The classic book-case, deck'd with learning's store, 
Rich in historic truth, and bardic lore ; 
The garden- walks, in Nature's liv'ry dress' d ; 
Will these suffice to make Rosalia bless' d ? 
And will she never feel a wish to roam 
Beyond the limits of our rural home ? 

How sweet, when Spring has crown'd, by genial 
showers, 
The woods with verdure, and the fields with flow'rs. 



30 THE VISIONS OF LOVE 

When fleeting Summer holds his burning reign. 
Or fruitful Autumn nods with golden grain, 
With thee, deax girl, each well-known path to tread, 
Where blooming shrubs their richest odours shed. 
With thee to mark the seasons* bright career. 
The varied blessings of the rip'ning year. 

When frost-crown' d Whiter binds the earth in 
chains. 
And pours his snow-storms on the whit'ning plains, 
Then shall the pow'r of constant Love be found. 
To chase the deep'ning gloom that low'rs around. 
Beside the cheerful fire's familiar blaze. 
Shall Memory trace the deeds of long-past days ; 
Of those propitious hours when first I strove 
To win thy gentle ear with tales of love, 
When, while thy angel-blushes half-conceal' d 
The kind consent thy bashful smiles reveal' d, 
From those bright eyes a soft expression stole, 
That spoke the silent language of the soul. 

Or haply then the poet's song may cheer 
The dark death-season of th' accomplish' d year : v 
Together then we'll roam the sacred plain, 
Where the bright Nine in ceaseless glory reign ; 
By Homer led, through Trojan battles sweep ; 
With Virgil cleave the tempest-beaten deep ; 
Trace the bold flights of Shakespeare's muse of fire ; 
Strike the wild cords of Gray's enraptur'd l3n:e ; 
From Milton learn with holy zeal to glow ; 
Or weep with Ossian o'er a tale of woe. 
Nor less shall Music charm : her pow'r sublime 
Shall oft beguile the ling* ring steps of Time : 
Then, as I watch, while my Rosalia sings. 
Her seraph fingers sweep the sounding strings. 
On soft response to sorrow's melting lay. 
Or joy's loud swell, that steals our cares [away. 



THE VISIONS OF LOVE 31 

My heart shall vibrate to the heav'nly sound, 
And bless the stars our mutual fates that bound. 



And oft, when darkness veils the stormy skies, 
Beneath our roof shall Friendship's voice arise ; 
On ev*ry breast her sacred influence pour'd, 
Shall crown with gen'rous mirth our social board ; 
The chosen few, to Taste and Virtue dear, 
Shall meet a welcome, simple, but sincere. 

Not from our door, his humble pray'r denied. 
The friendless man shall wander unsupplied ; 
Ne'er shall the wretch, whom fortune's ills assail. 
Tell there in vain his melancholy tale : 
Thy heart, where Nature's noblest feelings glow. 
Will throb to heal the bending stranger's woe ; 
On mercy's errand wilt thou oft explore 
The crazy dwellings of the neighb'ring poor, 
To blunt the stings of want's unsparing rage. 
To smooth the short and painful path of age. 
The childless widow's drooping head to raise. 
And cheer her soul with hopes of better days : 
For thee the pray'r affliction's child shall frame, 
And lisping orphans bless Rosalia's name. 

Soon shall new objects thy aflection share. 
New hopes, new duties claim Rosalia's care. 
How will thy anxious eye exulting trace 
The charms and virtues of thy infant-race ! 
Thy tender hand with sense and taste refin'd 
Shall stamp each impulse of the rip'ning mind. 
And early teach their little, steps to stray 
Through Virtue's paths, and Wisdom's flow'ry way. 

Thus may our lives in one smooth tenor flow ; 
Posssess'd of thee, I ask no more below. 



32 MARIA'S RETURN 

That constant love, which bless' d with genial rays 

The bright and happy spring-time of our days, 

Shall still dispel the clouds of woe and strife 

From the full summer of progressive life. 

The hand of Time may quench the ardent fire 

Of rising passion, and of young desire ; 

But that pure flame esteem first taught to burn 

Can only perish in the silent urn. 

And when the last, the solemn hour draws near, 

That bids us part from all that charm' d us here. 

Then on our thoughts the heav'nly hope shall rise. 

To meet in higher bliss, in better skies. 

In those bright mansions of the just above, 

Where all is Rapture, Innocence, and Love. 



MARIA'S RETURN TO HER NATIVE COTTAGE 

[First published in 1806] 

Si perda la vita, 

Finisca ill martire ; 

E me^lio morire, 

Che viver cosi. — Metastasio. 

The whit'ning ground 
In frost is bound ; 
The snow is swiftly falling ; 
While coldly blows the northern breeze. 
And whistles through the leafless trees, 
In hollow sounds appalling. 

On this cold plain. 
Now reach' d with pain. 
Once stood my father's dwelling : 
Where smiling pleasure once was found. 
Now desolation frowns around, 
And wintry blasts are yelling. 



MARIANS RETURN 33 

Hope's visions wild 
My thoughts beguil'd. 
My earliest days delighting. 
Till unsuspected treach'ry came. 
Beneath affection's specious name. 
The lovely prospect blighting. 

With many a wile 
Of blackest guile 
Did Henry first deceive me : 
What winning words to him were giv'n ! 
He swore, by all the pow*rs of Heav'n, 
That he would never leave me. 

With fondest truth 
I lov'd the youth : 
My soul to guilt a stranger. 
Knew not, in those too simple hours. 
That oft beneath the sweetest floVrs 
Is couch* d the deadliest danger. 

With him to roam 

I fled my home ; 

I burst the bonds of duty ; 

I thought my days in joy would roll ; 

But Henry hid a demon's soul 

Beneath an angel's beauty ! 

Shall this poor heart 
E'er cease to smart ? 
Oh never ! never I never I 
Did avarice whisper thee, or pride. 
False Henry ! for a wealthier bride 
To cast me off for ever ? 

My sire was poor : 
No golden store 



54 MARIA'S RETURN 

Had he, no eartlily treasure : 
I only could his griefs assuage. 
The only pillar of bis age. 

His only source of pleasure. 

With anguish wild, 
He mias'd his child, 
And long in vain he sought her : 
TKe fiercest thunderbolts of heav'n 
Shall on thy guilty head be driv'n, 

Thou DISOBEDIENT DAUGHTER ! 



I feel his fears, 
1 see his tears, 
I hear his groans ol sadness : 
My cruel falsehood seal'd his doom : 
He seems to curse me from the tomb, 
And fire my brain to madness ! 

Oh 1 keenly blow. 
While drifts the snow, 
The cold nocturnal breezes ; 
On me the gathering snow-flakes rest. 
And colder grows aiy friendless tn-east ; 
My very heart-blood freezes I 

'Tit midnight deep. 

And thousands sleep. 

Unknown to guilt and sorrow ; 

They think not of a WTetch like me, 

Who cannot, dare not, hope to see 

The rising light to-morrow \ 

An outcast hurl'd 
From all the world. 
Whom none would love or cherish. 
What now remains to end my woes, 



FIOLFAR, KING OF NORWAY $$ 

But here, amid the deep'ning snows. 
To lay me down and perish ? 

Death's icy dart 
Invades my heart : 
Just Heav*n 1 all-good 1 all-seeing 1 
Thy matchless mercy I implore. 
When I must wake, to sleep no more, 
In realms of endless heinff ! 



FIOLFAR, KING OF NORWAY i 

[First published in i8o6] 

agmina 
Ferrata vasto diruit impetu 

Horace [Odes iv, xiv, 29-30]. 



In the dark-rolUng waves at the verge of the west 
The steeds of Bellinger 2 had hastened to rest. 
While Hrimfax^ ad vane' d through the star-spangled 

plain. 
And shook the thick dews from his grey-flowing mane ; 
The moon with pale lustre was shining on high, 
And meteors shot red down the paths of the sky. 

* Though the names of Odin and Thor, the Fatal 
Sisters, and the Hall of Valhalla, be familiar to the 
readers of English poetry, yet, as the minutiae of the 
Gothic Mythology are not very generally known, I have 
subjoined a few short explanatory notes, which, though 
they cannot be expect^ to afford much insight into 
the general system, will, I trust, be sufficient to enable 
my readers to comprehend such parts of it as are alluded 
to in this poem. 

2 Day. ' The steed of the evening twilight. 



3$ FIOLFAR, KING OF NORWAY 

"By the shore of the ocean Fiolfar reclin'd, 
Where through the rock-fissures loud- murmur' d the 
wind, m 

For sweet to his ear was the deep -dashing flow ■ 

Of the foam-cover 'd billows that thunder 'd below, 
— ' Alas ! ' he exclaim'd, ' weresthe hopes of my youth, 
Though raised by affection, unfounded on truth ? 
Ye are fiown, ye sweet prospects, deceitfully fair. 
As the light-rolling gossamer melts into air ■ 
As the wild'beating ocean, with turbulent roar, 
Eflfaces my steps on the sands of the shore ! 
Thy waters, oh NroRD ! ^ tumultuously roll, 
And such are the passions that war in my soul r 
Thy meteors, oh NoRVEm t ^ malignantly dart. 
And such are the death-flames that burn in my heart 
NiTAi^PHA I my love ! on the hill and the plain, 
In the vale and the wood^ have I sought thee in vain ; 
Through the nations for thee have I carried afar 
The sunshine of peace and the tempests of war ; 
Through danger and toil I my heroes have led. 
Till hope's latest spark in my bosom was dead I 
Cold^ silent, and dark are the halls of thy sires, 
And hush'd are the harps, and extinguish* d the fires ; 
The wild autumn -blast in the lofty hall roars. 
And the yellow leaves roll through the half-opeo doors. 
NiTALPHA 1 when rapture invited thy stay. 
Did force or inconstancy bear thee away ? 
Ah, no ! though in vain 1 thy footsteps pursue* 
I will not, I cannot, believe thee untrue : 
Perchance thou art doom'd in confinement to moan, 
To dwell in the rock's dreary caverns alone. 
And Lok's ^ cruel mandates, whOe fast thy teaurs flow, 
Forbid thy Fiolfar to solace thy woe, 

1 The god of the sea and wind. ^ Night. 

* Lok, though he ranked amongst the Scandinavian 

Deities* had all the attributes of a demon. He w^ 



FIOLFAR, KING OF NORWAY 37 

Condemn thee unvarying anguish to bear, 

And leave me a prey to the pangs of despair'. — 

Ha ! whence were those accents portentous and dread. 

Like the mystical tones of the ghosts of the dead, 

In echoes redoubling that rung through the gloom, 

As the thunder resounds in the vaults of the tomb ? 

— * FiOLFAR I * — He started, and wond'ring descried 

A sable-clad form standing tall by his side : 

His soul-piercing eyes as the eagle's were bright, 

And his raven-hair flowed on the breezes of night. 

— * FiOLFAR 1 ' he cried, * thy afifliction forsake : 

To hope and revenge let thy bosom awake ; 

For he, that Nitalpha from liberty tore. 

Is Lochlin's proud monarch, the bold Yrrodore. 

Still constant to thee, she the traitor abhorr'd ; 

Haste 1 haste ! let thy valour her virtue reward : 

For her let the battle empurple the plain : 

In the moment of conquest I meet thee again '. — 

He ceas'd, and Fiolfar beheld him no more ; 

Nor long paus'd the youth on the dark-frowning shore : 

— * Whatever be thy nature, oh stranger I ' he said, 

Thou hast call'd down the tempest on Yrrodore's 

head: 
The broad-beaming buckler and keen-biting glaive 
Shall ring and resound on the fields of the brave. 
And vengeance shall burst, in a death-rolling flood. 
And deluge thy altars, Valfander ^, with blood ! ' 



To Loda's dark circle and mystical stone 2, 
With the grey-gather' d moss of long ages o'ergrown, 

the enemy of Gods and Men, and the author of crimes 
and calamities. 

* A name of Odin, the chief of the gods. 

* The circle of Loda, or Loden, was a rude circle of 



I 



3S FIOLFAR, KING OF NORWAY 

While the black car of Nohver was central in air, 

Did the harp-bearing bards of Fiolfar repair ; 

The wild- breathing chords, as they solemnly sung, 

In deep mod^ilatioas responsively rung ; 

To the hall of Valhalla ^ where monarchs repose, 

The full-swelling war-song symphoniously rose : 

— ' The mountains of LocHLiN shall ring with alarms, 

For the heroes of Norway are rising in arms ; 

The heroes of Norway destruction shall pour 

On the wide- spreading plains of the bold Yrrodorb. 

Valfander [ look down from thy throne in the skies 

Our suppliant songs from thy altar arise : 

Be thou too propitious, invincible Thor I ^ 

And lend thy strong aid to our banners of war. 

As the white-beating stream from the rock rushes down, 

Fiolfar' s young warriors will speed to renown. 

Ye spirits of chieftains, tremendous in fight I 

That dwell with Valfander in halls of dehght ; 

Awhile from your cloud-circled mansions descend ; 

On the steps of your sons throngh the battle att^end, 

When the raven shall hover on dark- flapping wing, 

And the eagle shall feed on the foes of our king ! * — 

As full to the wind rose the soul- thrilling tones. 

Strange murmurs rung wild from the moss- covered 

stones ; 
The ghosts of the mighty, rejoicing, came forth, 
And roll'd their tMn forms on the blasts of the north 
On hght-flying meteors triumphantly driven. 
They scatter' d their signs from the centre of heav'n 
The skies %yere all glowing, portentously bright, 



It 

4 



stones, used as a place of worship amongst the Scan- 
dinavians. 

^ The hall of Odin, where the spirits of the heroes 
who died in battle drank mead and beer from the skulls 
of their enemies, 

'^ The Gothic Mars. 



FIOLFAR, KING OF NORWAY 39 

With strong coruscations of vibrating light * : 
In shadowy forms, on the long-streaming glare. 
The insignia of battle shot swift through tiie air ; 
In!(lines and in circles successively whirl' d. 
Fantastical arrows and jav'lins were hurl'd 2, 
That, flashing and falling in mimic afliray. 
In the distant horizon died darkly away. 
Where a blood-dropping banner seem'd slowly to sail, 
And expand its red folds to the death-breathing gale. 
FiOLFAR look'd forth from his time-honour'd halls, 
Where the trophies of battle emblazon' d the walls : 
He heard the faint song as at distance it swell'd, 
And the blazing of ether with triumph beheld ; 
He saw the white flames inexhaustibly stream. 
And he knew that his fathers rode bright on the beam, 

^ It is well known with what superstitious anxiety 
the Aurora Borealis was formerly regarded. Ignorance 
and credulity readily discerned in its brilliant pheno- 
mena the semblance of aerial battles : and it is not 
surprising, that from such a source the valiant should 
draw prognostics of victory, and the timid of defeat 
and destruction. Thus Lucan, in describing the pro- 
digies which preceded the civil war : 

Tum ne qua futuri 
Spes saltem trepidas mentes levet, addita fati 
Pejoris manifesta fides, superique minaces 
Prodigiis terras implerunt, aethera, pontum. 
Ignota obscurae viderunt sidera noctes, 
Ardentemque polum flammis, coeloque volantes 
Obliquas per inane faces, crinemque timendi 
Sideris, et terris mutantem regna comefen. 
. Fulgura fallaci micuerunt crebra sereno, 
Et varias ignis denso dedil aere formas ; 
Nunc jaculum longo, nunc sparse lumine lampas 
Emicuit coelo. — [Pharsalia, i, 522-33]. 

' The northern lights which appeared in London in 
1560 were denominated burning spears. 



4*> 



FIOLFAR. KING OF NORWAY 



That the sphits of warriors of ages loog past 

Were flying subEme on the wings of the hlast. 

— ' Ye heroes i* he med, ' that in danger arose* 

The bulwark of friends and the terror of foes ; 

By Oi>iN with glory eternally crown' d ; 

By valour and virtue for ever renownM ; 

Like yours may my arm in the conflict be strong, 

Like yours may my name be recorded ia song. 

And when Hilda and Mista * my spirit shall bear 

The joys of Valhalla and Odin to share, 

Oh then may you smile on the deeds I have done. 

And hend forward with joy to acknowledge yonr son I '' 



^ 

^ 



The sword clattered fiercely on helm and on shield, 
For Norway and Lochlin had met m the field ; 
The long lances shiver' d, the swift arrows flew. 
The string shrilly twang' d on the flexible yew ; 
Rejoicing, the Valkyrs strode through the plain, 
And guided the death-blow, and singled the slain. 
Long, long did the virgins of Lochlin deplore 
The youths whom their arms shoold encircle no m< 
For, strong as the whirlwinds the forest that tear, 
And strew with its boughs the vast bosom of air. 
The Norweyans bore down with alT-conquering force, 
And havoc and slaughter attended their course. 
Fiolfar through danger triumphantly trod. 
And scatter' d confusion and terror abroad ; 
Majestic as Balder^, tremendous as Thoh* 
He plung*d in the red -foaming torrent of war : 



^ Two of the Valkyr 3D. or fatal sisters, 
^The Scandinavian Apollo, the son of 



I 

I 



Odin, He 

was the most amiable and beautiful of all the Deities ; 
and drove the chariot of the sun, tiU, being lolled by 
Hoder through the machinations of Lok, he was com- 
peU'd to fix his residence in the palace of Hela, when 
his of&ce was transferred to Dellinger. 



FJOLFAR, KING OF NORWAY 41 

Through the thickest of battle he hasten' d at length 
Where Yrrodore stood in the pride of his strength : 
— ' Turn, traitor 1 * he cried, ' thy destruction is nigh I 
Thy soul to the regions of Hela ^ shall fly, 
Where the base and the guilty for ever are toss'd 
Through Nilfhil's nine worlds of unchangeable frost ! ' 
— * Vain boaster 1 no I never shall Yrrodore yield I ' — 
But the sword of Fiolfar had shattered his shield : 
Indignantly Yrrodore sprung on the foe. 
And rear'd his strong arm for a death-dealing blow. 
But the monarch of Norway impatiently press' d, 
And sheath* d the bright steel in his enemy's breast. 
Swift flowed the black blood, and in anguish he breath' d. 
Yet he mutter' d these words as expiring he writh'd : 
— * And deem'st thou, Fiolfar, the conquest is thine ? 
No I victory, glory, and vengeance are mine I 
In triumph I die ; thou shalt languish in pain : 
For ne'er shall Nitalpha delight thee again ! 
The wakeful duergi 2 the caverns surround. 
Where in magical slumbers the maiden is bound ; 
Those magical slumbers shall last till the day, 
When Odin shall summon thy spirit away : 
Then, then shaD she wake to remembrance and pain, 
To seek her Fiolfar, and seek him in vain, 
Lxmg years of unvarying sorrow to prove. 
And weep and lament on the grave of her love ! ' — 
He said, and his guilt-blacken' d spirit went forth. 
And rush'd to the caves of the uttermost north ; 



* The Goddess of Death. She presided over Nilfhil, 
or Nistheimr, the hell of the Gothic nations, which 
was situated in the frozen regions at the North Pole. 
At the South Pole was the region of fire, inhabited by 
Snrtur, the enemy of Odin, and his attendant genii and 
^[iants, by whom, in the twilight of the Gods, the world 
IS to be consumed. 

' Dwarfs. 



42 FJOLFAR, KING OF NORWA Y 

Still destin'd to roam through the frost-cover' d plain, 
Where Hela has fix'd her inflexible reign, 
Till the day when existence and nature shall end. 
When the last fatal twilight on earth shall descend. 
When Fenris and Lok, by all beings accurst, 
Their long-galling chains shall indignantly burst. 
When the trump of Heimdaller the signal shall peal 
Of the evils Creation is destin'd to feel. 
And SuRTUR shall scatter his ruin-fraught fire. 
And earth, air, and ocean, burn, sink, and expire ! 



Now dreary and dark was the field of the dead. 
For Norway had conquer' d, and Lochlin had fled : 
The hoarse raven croak' d from the blood-streaming 

ground, 
Where the dead and the dying lay mingled around : 
The warriors of Norway were sunk in repose. 
And rush'd, in idea, again on their foes ; 
Yet lonely and sad did Fiolfar remain 
Where the monarch of Lochlin had fall'n on the 

plain ; 
In the silence of sorrow he lean'd on his spear. 
For Yrrodore's words echoed still in his ear : 
When sudden, through twilight, again he descried 
The sable-clad form standing tall by his side : 
— * Behold me, Fiolfar : my promise I keep : 
NiT ALPHA is fetter' d in magical sleep : 
Yet I to thy arms can the maiden restore, 
And passion and vengeance shall harm her no more. 
The monarch of Lochlin, enrag'd at her scorn, 
Confin'd her in Deuranil's caverns forlorn. 
Nor dar'd he endeavour, though deeply he sigh'd. 
By force to obtain what affection denied'. — 

* Strange being ! what art thou ? thy nature declare *. — 

* The name of Nerimnher from mortals I bear : 



FJOLFAR. KING OF NORWAY 43 

'Mid desolate rocks, in a time-hollow' d cell. 

At distance from man and his vices I dwell ; 

But, obedient to Odin, I haste from the shade, 

When virtue afflicted solicits my aid ; 

For the mystical art to my knowledge is giv'n, 

That can check the pale moon as she rolls through the 

heav'n. 
Can strike the dark dwellers of Nilfhil with dread. 
And breathe the wild verse that awakens the dead. 
My voice can the spells of thy rival destroy : 

Then follow, Fiolfar, I lead thee to joy 1 * 

As flowed the deep accents mysterious and stern, 
Fiolfar felt hope to his bosom return ; 
He followed the stranger by vale and by flood, 
Till they pierc'd the recesses of Duranil's wood : 
Through untrodden thickets of ash and of yew, 
Whose close-twining boughs shut the sky from their 

view. 
Slow-toiling they wound, till before them arose 
The black-yawning caves of Nit alpha's repose. 
A blue-burning vapour shone dim through the gloom, 
And roll'd its thin curls round a rude-fashion' d tomb, 
Where the weary duergi, by magic constrain' d, 
\^th eyes never closing, their station maintain' d. 
Loud shouting they rose when the strangers advanc'd. 
But fear glaz'd their eyes, and they paus'd as entranc'd. 
While the mighty Nerimnher, in fate-favour' d hour. 
Thus breath' d the strong spell that extinguish' d their 

pow'r : 
— * By the hall of Valhalla, where heroes repose. 
And drink beer and mead from the skulls of their foes ; 
By the virtues of Freyer ^, and valour of Thor ; 
By the twelve giant-sisters, the rulers of war ; ■/, 
By the unreveal'd accents, in secret express' d, ^ 
Of old by Valfander to Balder address' d ; 

' The son of Niord. 



44 HENRIETTE 

By the ills which the guilty and dastardly share ; 

■ By Hela's dominions of pain and despair ; 

1: By SuRTu's wide regions of death-spreading fire ; 

'; Hence, children of evil ! duergi, retire I ' — 

;, The duergi with yells made the cavern resound, 

!' I As, reluctantly yielding, they sunk through the gror 

! And the youth felt his breast with anxiety swell, 

? j While thus the magician concluded the spell : 

jj — * Fair maid, whom the tomb's dreary confines 
\ . round, 

'^ Whom the dark, iron slumber of magic has bound 

I Let life and delight re-illumine thine eyes, 

i Arise, star of beauty I Nitalpha, arise ! ' — 

The vapour-flame died in a bright-beaming flash ; 

i The tomb burst in twain with an earth-shaking crj 

i . All wonder, Nitalpha arose in her charms, 

I She knew her Fiolfar, she flew to his arms, 

Ij * And he found ev'ry shadow of sorrow depart, 

'■ As he clasp' d the dear maiden again to his heart. 

HENRIETTE 
[Published in 1806] 

Loud and long the church-bells ringing 

Spread their signals on the air ; 
Tow'rds his Ellen lightly springing. 

Faithless Edward hastens there. 
Can he dare to wed another ? 

Can he all his vows forget ? 
Can he truth and conscience smother. 

And desert his Henriette ? 

\. Pale remorse my steps attending, 

■ Whither can I hope to fly ? 

j, When shall all my woes have ending ? 

.' Never, never, till I die I 



THE OLD MAN'S COMPLAINT 45 

Can the youth who once ador'd me, 

Can he hear without regret. 
Death has that repose restored me, 

He has stol'n from Henriette ? 

Brightly smiles the summer morning 

On my Edward's nuptial day ; 
While the bells, with joyous warning. 

Call to love and mirth away. 
How this wretched heart is throbbing I 

Ere the evening sun shall set. 
Death shall ease my bosom's sobbing, 

Death shall comfort Henriette. 

Cruel youth, farewell for ever 1 

False as thou hast been to me. 
Ne'er till Fate my thread shall sever. 

Can I turn my thoughts from thee. 
Guilt and shame thy soul enslaving. 

Thou may'st weep and tremble yet. 
When thou seest the willow waving 

O'er the grave of Henriette ! 



THE OLD MAN'S COMPLAINT 
[Published in 1806] 

On Eternity's confines I stand. 

And look back on the paths I have trod : 
I pant for the summoning hand, 

That shall call me away to my God I 

My temples are sprinkled with snow ; 

The sands of existence decline ; 
The dwelling is cheerless and low. 

The dwelling that soon must be mine. 



46 THE DEATH OF CHARLES PEMBROKE 

No longer beside me are found 

The forms that of old were so dear ; 

No longer the voices resound, 

That once were so sweet to mine ear. 

The wife of my bosom is lost ; 

Long, long, has she sunk into sleep : 
My boy on the ocean was toss'd. 

He rests in the caves of the deep. 

A villain my daughter betray* d ; 

Her home and her father she fled : 
But Heav'n has in justice repaid 

The tears he has caus'd me to shed. 

Her peace and her honour he stole ; 

Abandon' d, despairing, she died : 
Remorse quickly seiz'd on his soul. 

And he rests in the grave by her side. 

Oh ! where are the friends of my youth. 
The lovely, the good, and the brave ? 

All flown to the mansions of Truth ! 

All pass'd through the gates of the grave ! 

On parents, and children, and friends, 
Have mortality's arrows been driv'n ; 

But swiftly the darkness descends, 

And my spirit shall join them in Heav'n ! 

ON THE DEATH OF CHARLES PEMBROKE,Es 

[Published in 1806] 

Where yon green tombs their heads promiscuo 

raise, 
With tearful eyes let Friendship mark the spot 
Where Pembroke slumbers. Upright and sincere. 
For public worth esteem' d, for private lov'd. 



THE RAINBOW 47 

ving Virtue smil'd upon his life, 
>ft-eyed sorrow consecrates his urn. 
that spot where rests his honour' d dust, 
►ortive child may spend his idle hours, 
iking that the silent form below 
nee like him, like him was wont to play, 
>wn to care. Thrice happy innocent 1 
:oo shalt fall, and on thy humble grave 
sr child, unthinking as thyself, 
SLS the lark, and rosy as the mom, 
rolic in his turn. Thus 'tis with man : 
iUumn*s leaves the present race decays, 
r race succeeds ^, But after death 
/"iRTUE live, and live to die no more, 
:er climes, from mortal eyes retir'd. 
Pembroke, there thy sainted spirit dwells, 
rlasting rest ; there, far remov'd 
ill the troubles of the world, enjoys 
re reward of goodness here below, 
1, boundless happiness above. 



THE RAINBOW 

[Published in i8o6] 

ly has pass'd in storms, though not unmix'd 

ransitory calm. The western clouds, 

ing slow, unveil the glorious sun, 

c in decline. The wat'ry east 

Bvith the many- tinted arch of Heav'n. 

1 it as a pledge that brighter skies 

less the coming morn. Thus rolls the day, 

art dark day of life ; with tempests thus, 

eting sunshine chequer'd. At its close, 

^ cf. Homer, [Iliad vi, 146-9]. 



48 , FAREWELL TO MATILDA 

When the dread hour draws near, that bursts all ties, 
All commerce with the world, Religion pours 
Hope's fairy-colours on the virtuous mind, 
And, like the rainbow on the evening clouds. 
Gives the bright promise that a happier dawn 
Shall chase the night and silence of the grave. 



ELLEN 

[Published in 1806] 

The marble tomb, in sculptured state display' d, 
Decks the vile earth where wealthy vice is laid ; 
But no vain pomp its hollow splendour throws, 
Where Beauty, Virtue, Innocence, repose. 
The cypress tow'rs, the waving willows weep. 
Where Ellen sleeps the everlasting sleep. 
Where with a sigh the passing stranger sees 
The long rank grave-grass bending in the breeze. 



FAREWELL TO MATILDA 
[Published in 1806] 

Oui, pour jamais 
Chassons 1' image 
De la volage 
Que j'adorais — Pamy. 

Matilda, farewell ! Fate has doom'd us to part. 
But the prospect occasions no pang to my heart ; 
No longer is love with my reason at strife, 
Though once thou wert dearer, far dearer than life. 



FAREWELL TO MATILDA 49 

As together we roam'd, I the passion confessed, 
"Which thy beauty and virtue had rais*d in my breast ; 
That the passion was mutual thou mad'st me believe, 
And I thought my Matilda could never deceive. 

My Matilda ! no, false one ! my claims I resign : 
Thou canst not, thou must not, thou shalt not be mine : 
I now scorn thee as much as I lov*d thee before. 
Nor sigh when I think I shall meet thee no more. 

Though fair be thy form, thou no lovers wilt find. 
While folly and falsehood inhabit thy ipind. 
Though coxcombs may flatter, though idiots may prize. 
Thou art shunn'd by the good, and contemn'd by the 
wise. 

Than mine what affection more fervent could be. 
When I thought* eVry virtue was centred in thee ? 
Of the vows thou hast broken I will not complain. 
For I mourn not the loss of a heart I disdain. 

Oh I hadst thou but constant and amiable prov'd 
As that fancied perfection I formerly lov'd. 
Nor absence, nor time, though supreme their control. 
Could have dimm'd the dear image then stamped on my 
soul. 

How bright were the pictures, untinted with shade, 
By Hope's glowing pencil on Fancy pourtra^d ! 
Sweet visions of bliss ! which I could not retain ; 
For they like thyself, were deceitful and vain. 

Some other^ perhaps, to Matilda is dear. 
Some other, more pleasing, though not more sincere ; 
May he fix thy light passions, now wav'ring as air. 
Then leave thee, inconstant, to shame and despair ! 



so MIRA 

Repent not, Matilda, return not to me : 
Unavailing thy grief, thy repentance will be : 
In vain will thy vows or thy smiles be resum'd, 
For Love, once extinguish' d, is never relum'd. 



MIRA 
[Published in 1806] 

Beneath yon yew-tree's silent shade. 
Long, tufted grass the spot discloses 

Where, low in death untimely laid. 
Pale Mira's silent form reposes. 

The plaintive bird, at ev'ning-close. 

Pours there her softly-mournful numbers ; 

The earth its earliest sweets bestows. 
To deck the grave where Mira slumbers. 

There summer's brightest flow'rs appear ; 

There oft the hollow breeze is swelling ; 
The passing stranger drops a tear 

On Mira's dark and narrow dwelling. 

The moralist, with musing eyes. 

Loves there his pensive steps to measure : 
' How vain is human pride ! ' he cries ; 

' Now soon is lost each earthly treasure I 

' To snatch the fleeting bubble, joy. 
How weak is ev'ry fond endeavour ! 

We rush to seize the glitt'ring toy ; 
It bursts, it vanishes for ever ! 

' How soon our pleasures pass away ! 

How soon our bliss must 3deld to sorrow ! 
The friend, with whom we smile to-day. 

May wither in his shroud to-morrow I ' 



AMARILLIS 51 

AMARILLIS 

FROM THE PASTOR FIDO 

[Published in 1806] 

DuNQUE addio, care selve. 

Care mie selve, addio. 

Ricevete questi ultimi sospiri, 

Fin che sciolta da ferro ingiusto, e crudo, 

Tomi la mia fredd' ombra 

A le vostr* ombre amate. 

Che nel penoso inferno 

Non pu6 gir innocente, 

N^ pud star tra beati 

Disperata e dolente. 

i' moro, e senza colpa, 
E senza frutto ; e senza te, cor mio : 
Mi moro, oime, Mirtillo. 

Dear woods, your sacred haunts I leave : 
Adieu ! my parting sighs receive ! 
Adieu ! dear native woods, adieu ! 
Which I no more am doom'd to view. 

From ev'ry joy remov'd ; 
Till from the cold and cruel urn 
My melancholy shade shall turn 

To seek your shades belov'd. 
For, free from guilt I cannot go 
To join the wailing ghosts below. 
Nor can despair and bleeding love 
Find refuge with the blest above. 



In youth and innocence I die ; 
The cold grave-stone must be my pillow ; 
From life, from love, from hope I fly ; 
Adieu ! a long adieu ! Mirtillo 



52 CLONAR AND TLAMIN 



CLONAR AND TLAMIN 

IMITATED FROM A LITTLE POEM IN MACPHERSON'S NOTES 
ON OSSIAN 

[Published in 1806] 

' The loves of Clonar and Tlamin were rendered 
famous in the north by a fragment of a lyric poem, still 
preserved, which is ascribed to Ossian. It is a dia- 
logue between Clonar and Tlamin. She begins with 
a soliloquy, which he overhears '. 

TLAMIN 

Son of CoNGLAs of Imor ! thou first in the battle ! 
Oh Clonar, young hunter of dun-sided roes ! 
Where the wings of the wind through the tall branches 
rattle, 
Oh, where does my hero on rushes repose ? 

By the oak of the valley, my love, have I found thee. 
Where swift from the hill pour thy loud-rolling 
streams ; 
The beard of the thistle flies sportively round thee. 
And dark o'er thy face pass the thoughts of thy 
dreams. 

Thy dreams are of scenes where the war-tempest rages : 
Tlamin's youthful warrior no dangers appal : 

Even now, in idea, my hero engages, 

On Erin's green plains, in the wars of Fingal. 

Half hid, by the grove of the hill, I retire : 

Ye blue mists of Lutha ! why rise ye between ? 

Why hide the young warrior whose soul is all fire. 
Oh why hide her love from the eyes of Tlamin ? 



FOLDATH IN THE CAVERN OF MOM A 53 



As^the vision that flies with the beams of the morning. 
While fix*d on the mind its bright images prove. 

So fled the young sunbeam these valleys adorning ; 
Why flies my Tlamin from the sight of her love ? 



Oh Clonar ! my heart will to joy be a stranger, 
Till thou on our mountains again shalt be seen ; 

Then why wilt thou rush to the regions of danger, 
Far, far from thejove of the mournful Tlamin ? 

CLONAR 

The signals of war are from Selma resounding I 
With morning we rise on the dark-rolling wave : 

Towards green-valleyed Erin our vessels are bounding ; 
I rush to renown, to the fields of the brave ! 

Yet around me when war's hottest thunders shall rattle. 
Thy form to my soul ever present shall be ; 

And should death's icy hand check my progress in battle, 
The last sigh of Clonar shall rise but for thee. 



FOLDATH IN THE CAVERN OF MOMA 

from the same 

[Published in 1806] 

FOLDATH {addressing the spirits of his fathers) 

In your presence dark I stand : 
Spirits of my sires ! disclose, 

Shall my steps o'er Atha's land. 
Pass to Ullin of the roes ? 



54 DREAMS 

ANSWER 

Thou to Ullin's plains shalt go : 
There shall rage the battle loud : 

O'er the fall'n thy fame shall grow, 
Like the gathering thunder-cloud. 

There thy blood-stain' d sword shall gleam, 
Till, around while danger roars, 

Cloncath, the reflected beam. 

Come from Moruth's sounding shores. 



DREAMS 

FROM PETRONIUS ARBITER 

[Published in 1806] 

Somnia, quae mentes ludunt volitantibus umbris, etc. 
— Petronius [Satyricon, civ]. 

Dreams, which, beneath the hov'ring shades of night, 

Sport with the ever-restless minds of men. 

Descend not from the gods. Each busy brain 

Creates its own. For when the chains of sleep 

Have bound the weary, and the lighten' d mind 

Unshackled plays, the actions of the light 

Become renew' d in darkness. Then the chief. 

Who shakes the world with war, who joys alone 

In blazing cities, and in wasted plains, 

O'erthrown battalions sees, and dying kings. 

And fields o'erflow'd with blood. The lawyer dreams 

Of causes, of tribunals, judges, fees. 

The trembling miser hides his ill-gain' d gold, 

And oft with joy a buried treasure finds. 

The eager hunter with his clam'rous dogs 

Makes rocks and woods resound. The sailor brings 



PINDAR ON THE ECLIPSE OF THE SUN 55 

His vessel safe to port, or sees it whelm'd 

Beneath the foaming waves. The anxious maid 

Writes to her lover, or beholds him near. 

The dog in dreams pursues the tim'rous hare. 

The wretch, whom Fortune's iron hand has scourg'd. 

Finds in his slumbers all his woes revived. 



PINDAR ON THE ECLIPSE OF THE SUN 

[Published in 1806] 

'A/cris deXiov TrokOaKove, k.t,\. — Pindar [Carmen in Def. 
Solis, 1. I.] 

All-enlight'ning, all-beholding, 

All-transcending star of day ! 
Why, thy sacred orb enfolding. 

Why does darkness veil thy ray ? 

On thy life-difiEusing splendour 
These portentous shades that rise, 

Vain the strength of mortals render. 
Vain the labours of the wise. 

Late thy wheels, through ether burning, 

Roll'd in unexampled light : 
Mortals mourn thy change, returning 

In the sable garb of night. 

Hear, oh Phoebus ! we implore thee, 

By Olympian Jove divine ; 
Phoebus ! Thebans kneel before thee. 

Still on Thebes propitious shine. 

On thy darken' d course attending. 
Dost thou signs of sorrow bring ? 

Shall the summer rains descending. 
Blast the promise of the spring ? 



$6 TO A YOUNG LADY, NETTING 

Or shall War, in evil season, 
Spread unbounded ruin round ? 

Or the baleful hand of Treason 
Our domestic joys confound ? 

By the bursting torrent's power. 

Shall our rip'ning fields be lost ? 
Shall the air with snow-storms lower, 
Or the soil be bound in frost ? 

Or shall ocean's waves stupendous. 

Unresisted, unconfin'd, 
Once again, with roar tremendous. 

Hurl destruction on mankind ? 



TO A YOUNG LADY, NETTING 
[Published in 1806] 

While those bewitching hands combine. 
With matchless grace, the silken line. 
They also weave, with gentle art, 
Those stronger nets that bind the heart. 

But soon all earthly things decay : 
That net in time must wear away : 
E'en Beauty's silken meshes gay 
No lasting hold can take : 

But Beauty, Virtue, Sense, combin'd, 
(And all these charms in thee are join'd) 
Can throw that net upon the mind, 
No human heart can e'er unbind. 
No human pow'r can break. 



LEVI MOSES . . _ .. 57 

LEVI MOSES 

[Published in 1806] 

Sed qu6 divitias haec per tormenta coactas ? 

Cum furor haud dubius, cum sit manifesta phrenesis, 

Ut locuples moriaris egenti vivere fato ? 

Juvenal [Sat., xiv, 136]. 

Ma name'sh Levi Moshesh : I tink I vash born. 

Dough I cannot exactly remember, 
In Roshemary Lane, about tree in de morn, 

Shome time in de mont of November. 
Ma fader cried ' clothesh \ trough de shtreetsh ash he 
vent, 

Dough he now shleeping under de shtone ish, , 
He made by hish bargains two hundred per shent, 
V. And dat way he finger'd de monish. 

Ma fader vash vise : very great vash hish shenshe : 

De monish he alvaysh vash turning : 
And early he taught me poundsh, shillingsh, and penshe ; 

' For ', shaysh he, ' dat ish all dat*sh vorth learning. 
Ash to Latin and Greek, 'tish all nonshenshe, I shay, 

Vhich occasion to shtudy dere none ish ; 
But shtick closhe to Cocker, for dat ish de vay. 

To teach you to finger de monish '. 

To a shtock-broker den I apprentishe vash bound. 

Who hish monish lov'd very shinsherely ; 
And, trough hish inshtructions, I very shoon found, 

I ma bushinesh knew pretty clearly. 
Shaysh he ; ' cheat a little : 'tish no shuch great crime. 

Provided it cleverly done ish ' : 
Sho I cleverly cheated him every time 

I could manage to finger hish monish. 



58 SLENDER'S LOVE-ELEGY 

And den I shet up for a broker mashelf, 

And Fortune hash shmil'd on ma laborsh ; 
I've minded de main-chanshe, and shcrap'd up de pel 

And niin'd von half of ma neighboursh. 
If any von cash on goot bondsh vould obtain. 

Very shoon ready for him de loan ish ; 
And about shent per shent ish de int'resht I gain. 

And dat vay I finger de monish. 

To part vit ma monish I alvaysh vash loth ; 

For ma table no daintiesh I dish up : 
I dine on two eggsh, and I shup on de broth, 

But I feasht vonsh a veek like a bishop ! 
Ev'ry Shaturday night, on a grishkin of pork 

I regale bote mashelf and ma croneish ; 
And I play on de grishkin a goot knife and fork. 

Dough dat runsh avay vit de monish ! 

To de presheptsh ma fader inshtill'd in ma mind 
I have ever been conshtant and shteady : 

To learning or pleasure I ne'er vash inclin'd. 
For neider vould bring in de ready. 

And into ma pocketsh de monish to bring 
Ma perpetual shtudy alone ish, 

For de monish indeed ish a very goot ting, 
* Oh, a very goot ting ish de monish ! 



SLENDER'S LOVE-ELEGY 
[Published in 1806] 

Come, Polyhymnia, heav'nly maid ! 
Oh deign an humble bard to aid. 
Whose heart in tenfold chains is laid. 
In Cupid's cage : 



SLENDER'S LOVE^ELEGY 59 

To Anna's name I strike the string ; 
Thence all my pains and pleasures spring : 
Yes, I aspire thy praise to sing. 
Oh sweet Anne Page ! 

The lustre of thy soft blue eyes, 
Thy lip that with the coral vies, 
Might bid love's flames the breast surprise 

Of stoic sage : 
And cold indeed his heart must be, 
Who could thy matchless features see. 
And not at once exclaim with me. 

Oh sweet Anne Page ! 

Wealth, pow'r, and splendour, I disown : 
To them no real joys are known : 
Thy unaffected charms alone 

My heart engage : 
Thou canst alone my bosom fire. 
Thou canst alone my muse inspire, 
To thee alone I tune the lyre. 

Oh sweet Anne Page ! , 

Against my passion's fond appeal 
Should' st thou thy gentle bosom steel, 
What pow'r the pangs I then should feel 

Could e'er assuage ? 
To woods, to mountains would I fly ; 
Thy dear lov'd name unceasing sigh, 
Till thousand echoes should reply : 

Oh sweet Anne Page ! 

I cannot boast the art sublime, 
Like some great poets of the time. 
To sing, in lofty-sounding rhyme. 
Of amorous rage : 



6o BENEATH TBEVYFRESS SHADE 

But lave has taught me to complain ; 
Love has mspir'd this humble strain ; 
Then let me not Still sigh In vain. 
Oh sweet Anne Page ! 

A FRAGMENT 

[Published ia 1806] 

Nay, deem me not insensible, Cesario, 

To female charms : nor think this heart of mine 

Is cas'd in adamant ; because, forsooth, 

I cannot ogle, and hyperbolise, 

And whisper tender nothings in the ear 

Of ev'ry would-be beauty; holding out 

The bright but treach'rous fiame of flattery. 

To watch the she-moths of a drawing-room 

Sport round the beam, and burn their pretty wings, 

Ere conscious of their danger : yet, believe me, 

I love a maid whose antranscended form 

Is yet les3 lovely than her spotless mind. 

With modest frankness, unaffected genius, 

Unchang*d good -humour, beauty void of art. 

And pohsh'd wit that seeks not to offend, 

And %vinning smiles that seek not to betray, 

She charms the sight, and fascinates the souL 

Where dwells this matchless nymph ? alas, CesapCio I 

'Tis but a sickly creature of my fancy , 

Unparallerd in nature. 



\ 



BENEATH THE CYPRESS SHADE 
[Written after 1 B06J 

I DUG, beneath the cypress shade, 
W^hat well might seem an elfin's grave ; 

And every pledge in earth I laid, 
That erst thy false affection gave. 



THE VIGILS OF FANCY 6i 

I pressed them down the sod beneath ; 

I placed one mossy stone above ; 
And twined the rose's fading wreath 

Around the sepulchre of love. 

Frail as thy love, the flowers were dead. 

Ere yet the evening sun was set : 
But years shall see the cypress spread. 

Immutable as my regret. 



THE VIGILS OF FANCY 
[Written 1806] 

NO. I 

The wind is high, and mortals sleep. 
And through the woods resounding deep. 
The wasting winds of Autumn sweep. 
While waves remurmur hollowly. 

Beside this lake's sequester' d shore. 
Where foam-crowned billows heave and roar. 
And pines, that sheltered bards of yore, 
Wave their primeval canopy. 

At midnight hour I rove alone, 
And think on days for ever flown. 
When not a trace of care was known. 
To break my soul's serenity. 

To me, when day's loud cares are past. 
And coldly blows th' autumnal blast. 
And yellow leaves around are cast 
In melancholy revelry. 



62 THE VIGILS OF FANCY 

While Cynthia rolls through fields of blue, 
'Tis sweet these fading groves to view. 
With ev'ry rich and varied hue 
Of foliage smiling solemnly. 

Matur'd by Time's revolving wing, 
These fading groves more beauties bring 
Than all the budding flow'rs of Spring, 
Or Summer's glowing pageantry. 

All hail I ye breezes wild and drear, 
That peal the death-song of the year. 
And with the waters thund'ring near 
Combine in awful harmony ! 

Methinks, as round your murmurs sail, 
I hear a spirit in the gale, 
That seems to whisper many a tale 
Of dark and ancient mystery. 

Ye bards, that in these sacred shades. 
These tufted woods and sloping glades, 
Awoke, to charm the sylvan maids. 
Your soul-entrancing minstrelsy ! 

Say, do your spirits yet delight 
To rove, beneath the starry night. 
Along this water's margin bright. 
Or mid the woodland scenery. 

And strike, to notes of tender fire. 
With viewless hands the shadowy lyre. 
Till all the wandering winds respire 
A more than niortal symphony ? 

Come, Fancy, come, romantic maid ! 
No more in rainbow vest array* d 
But robed to suit the sacred shade 
Of midnight's deep sublimity. ^^ 



REMEMBER ME 63 

By thee inspir'd I seem to hold 
High converse with the good and bold, 
Who fought and fell, in days of old, 
To guard their country's liberty. 

Roused from oblivion's mouldering urn. 
The chiefs of ancient times return ; 
Again the battle seems to bum, 

And rings the sounding panoply I 

And while the war-storm rages loud. 
In yonder darkly rolling cloud, 
Their forms departed minstrels shroud. 
And wake the hymns of victory. 

Far hence all earthly thoughts be hurl'd ! 
Thy regions. Fancy, shine unfurl'd, 
Amid the visionary world 
I lose the sad reality. 

Led by thy magic pow'r sublime, 
From shore to shore, from clime to clime, 
Uncheck'd by distance or by time, 
My steps shall wander rapidly. 

Thy pow'r can all the past restore, 
Bid present ills afflict no more. 
And teach the spirit to explore ■ 

The volume of futurity. 

REMEMBER ME « 

[Written after 1808] 

E tu, chi sa se mai 

Te sowerrai di me ? — ^Metastasio. 

Aj^D what are life's enchanting dreams. 
That melt, like morning mists, away ? 

And what are Fancy's golden beams. 
That glow with transitory day ? 



REMEMBER ME 

WMe adverse stars my steps impel, 
To climes remote, my love^ from thee, 

Will that dear breast with pity swell. 
And wilt thou still remember me ? 

Alas ! I hoped from Britaia'a shore 

My wayward feet would never rove : 
1 hoped to share my little store. 

With thee, my first, my only love ! 
No more those hopes my breast elate ; 

No more thy lovely form I see : 
But thou wilt mourn thy wanderer's fate. 

And thou wilt still remember me* 

When t^vilight shades the world o'er hung. 

Oft hast thou loved with me to stray. 
While Philomela sweetly sung 

The dirge of the departing day» 
But when onr cherished meads and bowers 

Thy solitary haunts shall be. 
Oh 3 then recall those blissful hours : 

Oh ! then, my love, remember me* 

When Spring shall bid the forest live. 

And clothe the hills and vales with green ; 
Or summer* s ripening hand shall give 

New beauties to the sylvan scene : 
Reflect that thus my prospects smiled 

Till changed by Fortune*s stern decree : 
And wintry storms severe and wild, 

Shall bid thee still remember me. 

For wintry storms have overcast 1 
And blighted all my hopes of joy : 

Vain jcys of life, so quickly past ! 

Vaia hope that clouds so soon destroy I J 

ff ■ 



ROMANCE 6$ 

Around us cares and dangers grow : 

Between us rolls the restless sea : 
Yet this one thought shall soothe my woe. 

That thou wilt still remember me. 

And when, thy natal shades among. 

While noontide rays their fervours shower, 
The poet's sadly pleasing song 

Shall charm thy melancholy hour ; 
When Zephyr, rustling in the grove. 

Sighs feebly through the spreading tree. 
Think 'tis the whispering voice of love. 

And pity, and remember me ! 

Remember me, when morning's call 

Shall bid thee leave thy lonely bed : 
Remember me, when evening fall 

Shall tinge the skies with blushing red : 
Remember me, when midnight sleep 

Shall set excursive fancy free ; 
And should'st thou wake, and wake to weep, 

Still, in thy tears, remember me. 

Farewell, my love ! the paths of truth, 

The paths of happiness pursue : 
But ever mindful of the youth. 

Who loved thee with a flame so true. 
And though to thy transcendent form 

Admiring courts should bow the knee, 
Still be thy breast with pity warm, 

Still, still, my love, remember me. 

ROMANCE 
[Published in 1806] 

Death ! the mourner's surest aid 1 

Mark my sad devotion : 
Hear a lost, forsaken maid, 

Mourn with wild emotion. 



66 ROMANCE 

I my griefs unpitied pour 
To the winds that round me roar. 
On the billow-beaten shore 
Of the lonely ocean. 

Where the sea's extremest line 
Seems with ether blended, 

Still I see the white sails shine 
To the breeze extended. 

False one ! still I mark thy sail 

Spread to catch the favouring gale. 

Soon shall storms thy bark assail. 
And thy crimes be ended I 

By the mighty tempests tost. 

Death-flames round thee burning. 

On a bleak and desert coast, 
Whence is no returning ; — 

Thou o'er all thy friends shall weep. 

Buried in th' unpitying deep ; 

Thou thy watch of woe shalt keep. 
Vainly, deeply, mourning. 

Unattended shalt thou rove. 
O'er the mountain dreary. 

Through the haunted, pathless grove. 
Through the desert eerie : 

Unassuaged thy tears thall flow ; 

None shall sooth or share thy woe, 

When thy blood runs cold and slow, 
And thy limbs are weary ! 

Far from haunts of human kind. 
Vengeful heaven impelling, 

Thou thy dying bed shall find. 
Where cold blasts are yelling. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 67 

None shall hear thee, none shall save. 
In thy monumental cave. 
None shall weep, where tempests rave 
Round thy narrow dwelling ! 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES H 
[Second edition, published in 18 12] 

PART I 

AAAISTOS nOTAMON EHI TAIAN 'inSI.— 'OM.- 
[Homer, Odyssey xi, 239.] 

Ton ^ questo '1 terren, ch* i* toccai pria ? * 

Ton ^ questo '1 mio nido, 

►ve nudrito fui si dolcemente ? 

Ton 6 questa la patria in ch' io mi fido 

[adre benigna e pia, 

he copre Tuno e I'altro mio parente ? — Petrarca^ 

iPRCEMIUM 

Sweet was the choral song, 

When in Arcadian vales. 

Primeval shepherds twined the Aonian wreath. 

While in the dying gales. 

That sighed the shades among, ' 

Rapt fancy heard responsive spirits breathe. 

Dryads and Genii wandered then 

Amid the haunts of guileless men. 

As yet unknown to strife : 

Ethereal beings poured the floods, 

Dwelt in the ever waving woods, 

And filled the varied world with intellectual life. 

Ah ! whither are they flown. 

Those days of peace and love 

So sweetly sung by bards of elder time ? 

When in the startling grove 



ea THE GEsWIUS OF THE THAMES 



ANALYSIS OF THE FIRST PART 

An Autumnal night on the banks of the Thames. 
Eulogium of the Thames- Characters of several 
rivers of Great Britain. Acknowledged superiority 
of the Thames, Address to the Genius of the Thames, 
View of some of the principal rivers of Europe, Asia. 
Africa, and America- Pre-eminence of the Thames* 
General character of the rwer. The port of London. 
The naval dominion of Britain and extent of her com- 
merce and navigation. Tradition that an immense 
forest occupied the site of the metropolis. Episode 
of a Druid, supposed to have taken refuge in that forest, 
after the expuiion of Mona, 



The battle-blast was blown, 
And misery came, and cruelty and crimen 
Far from the desolated hills, 
Polluted meads, and blood-stained riUs, 
Their guardian genii flew ; 
And through the woodlands, waste and wild. 
Where erst perennial snmmer smiled, 
Infuriate passions prowled, and wintry whirlwinds 
blew. 

Yet where light breezes sail 

Along the sylvan shore, 

The bard sdll feels a sacred influeace nigh : 

When the far torrent's roar 

Floats through, the twilight vale, 

And, echoing low, tlie forest-depths reply. 

Nor let the throng his dreams despise 

Who to the rural deities 

From courts and crowds retires : 

Since Imman grandeur's proudest scheme 

Is but a fabric of a dream, 

A meteor-kindled pile, that, while we gaze, expires.. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 69 



The moonlight rests, with solemn smile, 

On sylvan shore and willowy isle : 

While Thames beneath the imaged beam. 

Rolls on his deep and silent stream. 

The wasting wind of autumn sighs : 

The oak's discoloured foliage flies : 

The grove, in deeper shadow cast. 

Waves darkly in the eddying blast. 

All hail, ye breezes loud and drear. 

That peal the death-song of the year ! 

Your rustling pinions waft around 

A voice that breathes no mortal sound. 

And in mysterious accents sings 

The flight of time, the change of things. 

The seasons pass in swift career : 

Storms close, and zephyrs wake, the year : 

The streams roll on, nor e*er return 

To fill again their parent urn ; 

But bounteous nature, kindly-wise, 

Their everlasting flow supplies. 

Like planets round the central sun. 

The rapid wheels of being run. 

By laws, from earliest time pursued, 

Still changed, still wasted, still renewed. 

Reflected in the present scene. 

Return the forms that once have been : 

The present's var3dng tints display 

The colours of the future day. 

II 
Ye bards, that, in these secret shades, 
These tufted woods and sloping glades, 
Awoke, to charm the sylvan maids, 
Your soul-entrancing minstrelsy 1 
Say, do your spirits yet delight 
To rove, beneath the starry night. 



70 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Along this water's margin bright, 
Or mid the woodland scenery ; 
And strike, to notes of tender fire. 
With viewless hands the shadowy lyre. 
Till all the wandering winds respire 
A wildly-awful symphony ? 



Hark ! from beneath the aged spray, 

Where hangs my humbler lyre on high. 
Soft music fills the woodlands grey, 

And notes atrial warble by ! 
What flying touch, with elfin spell, 
Bids its responsive numbers swell ? 
Whence is the deep u^olian strain, 

That on the wind its changes flings ? 
Returns some ancient bard again. 

To wake to life the slumbering strings ? 
Or breathes the spirit of the scene 
The lightly-trembling chords between. 
Diffusing his benignant power 
On twilight's consecrated hour ? 



Even now, methinks, in solemn guise. 
By yonder willowy islet gray, 

I see thee, sedge-crowned Genius ! rise. 
And point the glories of thy way. 
Tall reeds around thy temples play^ ; 



^ Huic deus ipse loci fluvio Tiberinus amoeno 
Populeas inter senior se adtoUere frondis 
Visus : eum tenuis glauco velebat amictu 
Carbasus, et crinis umbrosa tegebat arundc- 
Virgil [^neid, viii, 31-4]. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 71 

Thy hair the liquid crystal gems : 

To thee I pour the votive lay, 
Oh Genius of the silver Thames ! 



The tutelary spirits, that formerly animated the scenes 
of nature, still continue to adorn the visions of poetry ; 
though they are now felt only as the creatures of 
imagination, and no longer possess that influence of real 
existence, which must have imparted many enviable 
sensations to the mind of the ancient polytheist. 

Of all these fabulous beings, the Genii and Nymphs 
of rivers and fountains received the largest portion of 
human adoration. In them an enthusiastic fancy 
readily discerned the agency of powerful and bene- 
volent spirits, diffusing wealth and fertility over the 
countries they adorned. — * Rivers are worshipped ' 
says Maximus Tyrius {Dissertatio VIII. Ei ^eots dydX/xara 
idovriop) * on account of their utility, as the Nile by 
the Egyptians ; or of their beauty, as the Peneus by 
the Thessalians ; or of their magmtude, as the Danube 
by the Scythians ; or of mythological traditions, as the 
Achelous by the iEtohans ; or of particular laws, as the 
Eurotas by the Spartans ; or of religious institutions, 
as the nisus by the Athenians.' 

These local divinities are the soul of classical land- 
scape ; and their altars, by the side of every fountain, 
and in the shade of every grove, are its most interesting 
and characteristic feature. From innumerable pas- 
sages that might be cited on this subject, it will be 
suf&cient to call to mind that beautiful description of 
Homer : 

"Affreos iyydi itrav, Kal iirl KpTJvtjp d<piKOPTO 
TvicTi)Pf KoKKlpoop, odep {fdpevoPTO iroXtrat, 
T^i' Tolrja' 'IdaKOs, Kal Nifptroj, ^5^ TLoKijicrup' 
*Afi<f>l 8* &p alyeLpup ibkTOTp€<f>i(ap ijp &\aoi 
ndpTOffe KVK\oT€pis' Kard 5^ xf/vxpi^P p^^p VSujp 
*T\f/60€P iK irirpTji' /3(i>//.6s 5 iip&irep'^e rh-vtcro 
J!iv/Mf>dujpf odi TdPTCs iirip^l^effKOP ddlrai, 

[Homer, Odyssey xvii, 205-11.] 



72 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



The shepherd-youth, on Yarrow braes. 
Of Yarrow stream has sung the praise, 

To love and beauty dear : 
And long shall Yarrow roll in fame. 
Charm with the magic of a name, 

And claim the tender tear* 
Who has not wept, in pastca-al lay. 

To hear the maiden's aong of woe, 
Who mourned her lover snatched away^ 

And plunged the sounding surge below ? 
The maid who never ceased to weep. 

And tell the ^vinds her tale of sorrow. 
Till on his breast she sunk to sleep. 

Beneath the lonely waves of Yarrow. 



The minstrel oft, at evening-fall. 
Has leaned on Roxburgh's ruined wall. 
Where, on the wreck of grandeur past. 
The wild wood braves the sweeping blast : 
And while, beneath the embowering shade. 

Swelled, loud and deep, his notes of flame, 
Has called the spirits of the glade. 

To hear the voice of Teviot's fame, 

VII 

Wlnle artless love and spotless truth, 
Delight the w*akiiig dreams of youth ; 
While nature's beauties, softly wild, 
Are dear to nature's wandering cbUd ; 
The Ijrre shall ring, where sparkliug Tweed, 
By red- stone cliflf, and broom-flowered mead. 
And ivied walls in fair decay, 
Kesounds along his rock-strown way* 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 73 

There oft the baxd, at midnight still. 

When rove his eerie steps alone, 
Shall start to hear, from haunted hill, 

The bugle blast at distance blown : 
And oft his raptured eye shall trace. 

Amid the visionary gloom. 
The foaming courser's eager pace, 

The mail-clad warrior's crimson plume. 
The beacons, blazing broad and far. 

The lawless marchmen ranging free. 
And all the pride of feudal war. 

And pomp of border chivalry. 



And Avon too has claimed the lay. 
Whose listening wave forgot to stray. 

By Shakespeare's infant reed restrained : 
And Severn, whose suspended swell 
Felt the dread weight of Merlin's spell. 
When the lone spirits of the dell 

Of Arthur's fall complained. 
And sweetly winds romantic Dee, 

And Wye's fair banks all lovely smile : 
But all, oh Thames 1 submit to thee, 

The monarch-stream of Albion's isle. 



IX 

From some ethereal throne on high. 

Where clouds in nectar-dews dissolve. 
The muse shall mark, with eagle-eye, 
The world's diminished orb revolve. 
At once her ardent glance shall roll. 
From clime to clime, from pole to pole, 
O'er waters, curled by zephyr's wing. 
O'er shoreless seas, by whirlwinds tost ; 



74 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

0*er valleys of pterennial spring, 

And wastes of everlasting frost ; 
O'er deserts where the Siroc raves, 
And heaves the sand in iiery i^^ves ; 
O'er caverns of mysterious gloom : 
O'er lakes, where peaceful islets "bloom. 
Like emerald spots, serenely-bright. 
Amid a sapphire field of light ; 
0*er moTititain'Summits, thunder-riven, 
That rear eternal snows to heaven ; 
O'er rocks, in wild confusion hurled. 
And woods, coeval with the world. 



Her eye shall thence the course explore 

Of every river wandering wide. 
From tardy Lena's frozeu shore 

To vast La Plata's sea-like tide. 
Where Oby's barrier-hillows freeze, 

And Dwina's waves in snow- chains rest : 
Where the rough blast from Arctic seas 

Congeals on Volga's ice-cold breast * : 
W^ere Rhine impels his confident springs 

Tumultuous down the Rhsetian steep ^^ 
Where Danube's world of waters brings 

Its tribute to the Euxine deep : 
Where Seine, beneath Lutetian towers, 

Leads humbly his polluted stream, 
RecalUng still the blood-red hours 

Of frantic freedom* s transient dream i 
Where crowns sweet Loire his fertile soil : 
Where Rhone's impetuous eddies boil : 

* And Volga, on whose face the north wind freete 
— Beaumont and Fletcher* 

- Rhenus, Rceticarum Alpium inaccesso ac pr^cig 
vertice ortus — ^Tacitus IGermania, I]. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 75 

Where Garonne's pastoral waves advance. 

Responsive to the song and dance, 
When the full vintage calls from toil 

The youths and maids of southern France 
Where homed Po's once-raging flood 

Now moves with slackened force along ^ 
By hermit-isle and magic wood, 

The theme of old chivalric song : 
Where yellow Tiber's turbid tide 

In mystic murmurings seems to breathe 
Of ancient Rome's imperial pride, 
That passed away, as blasts divide 

November's vapoury wreath : 
Where proud Tajo's golden river 

Rolls through frui-fiul realms afar : 
Where Romantic Guadalquiver, 

Wakes the thought of Moorish war : 
Where Peneus, smoothly-flowing 2, 

Or Meander's winding-shore, 

^ £t gemina auratus taurino cornua voltu 
Eridanus : buo non alius per pinguia culta 
In mare purpureum violentior effluit anmie. 

Virgil [Georgics, iv, 371-3]. 

Impetuosissimum amnem olim Padum fuisse, ex aliis 
locis manifestum est ; quamquam nunc ejus natura 
diversa esse narratur — Heyne. 

2 Down whose blood empurpled water 
Mightiest chiefs, in death-cold sleep. 

Victims stem of mutual slaughter, 
Rolled towards the Atlantic deep : 

Where soft Peneus, etc. 

The propriety of this epithet may be questioned. 
.' The vale of Tempe ', says Dr Gillies, ' is adorned by 
the hand of nature with every object that can gratify 
the senses or delight the fancy. The gently-flowing 
Peneus intersects the middle of the plain. Its waters 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Chaxm the pensive wanderer, glowing 

Witli the love of Grecian lore : 
Where Alpheus, wildly-falling. 

Dashes far the sparkling spray ; 
In the eternal sound recalling 

Lost Arcadia's heaven-taught lay ; 
Following dark, in strong commotion 

Through the night of central caves. 
Deep beneath the unmingliag ocean*. 

Arethusa's flying waves : 



are increased by perennial cascades from the gree 
mountains, and thus rendered of sufficient depth fa 
vessels of considerable burthen. The rocks are every^ 
where planted with vines and olives ; and the banks 
of the river, and even the river itself, are ovra-shaded 
with lofty forest-trees^ which defend those who sail 
upon it itom the sun's meridian ardour '. He adds 
in a note : * I know not why Ovid says, P^ turns ab ima 
efftisus Pindo spumosis voivitur undis {Metam. i* $6^}. 
jElian, from whom the description in the text is taken ^ 
says, that the Peneus flows Aijcrjf fXaiois smootn as oil ** 

Livy^s description, which seems to have escaped 
Dr G., is singularly contradictt^ry : Sunt enim Tempe, 
saHus^ eiiam si non hdlo fiat, infesius, transitu difficihs : 
nam prater angusiias per quinqu€ miUia, qua exi^uum 
jumento onu^io iter esi, rupes uirimqufi ita abscUsis sunt, 
ut despici vix sine vertigine quaaam simiil ocuhrum 
animique possit. Terwet et sonitus et altitudo p^r 
mediam valle m flueniis Penei amnis . [Li vy, HisL^ xHv, 6, ] 

The sonitus coincides with the description of Ovid, the 
aiiitudo with that of .Elian, It is difficult to reconcile 
the terms with each other : since aliissima qn^que 
flumina minima sono labnntur. We may suppose, that 
the Peneus is a torrent in the upper part of the vale» and 
gains a smoother course as it proceeds. 

^ T^v Si SdXaucrft*' 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 7y 

Where Tigris runs, in rapid maze : 

Where swift Euphrates brightly strays ; 
To whose lone wave the night-breeze sings 
A song of half -forgotten days 

And old Assyrian kings : 
Where Gauge's fertile course beside. 

The Hindu roves, alone to mourn, 
And gaze on heaven's resplendent pride. 

And watch for Veeshnu*s tenth return, 
When fraud shall cease, and tyrant power 

Torment no more, to ruin hurled. 
And peace and love their blessings shower, 

O'er all the renovated world : 
Where Nile's mysterious sources sleep ^ : 

Where Niger sinks in sands unknown : 
Where Gambia hears, at midnight deep, 

Afflicted ghosts for vengeance groan 2 : 



^ Bruce penetrated to the source of the eastern 
branch of the Nile : that of the western, which is the 
principal branch, has never yet been visited by any 
European. 

2 The Niger has been generally supposed to ter- 
minate in a lake in the desert, where its waters are 
evaporated by the heat of the sun. Mr Jackson, in 
his account of the empire of Morocco, adduces authori- 
ties to show, that the Nile and the Niger are actually 
the same river ; a supposition which Major Rennel, 
in his geographical illustrations of Mr Park's Travels in 
Africa, had previously demonstrated to be altogether 
inadmissible. We may here, perhaps, apply the words 
of an Italian poet : 

Quel Sorridano 6 re dell' Esperia, 
Ove Balcana fiume si distende : 
II Nilo crede alcun, che questo sia. 
Ma chi lo crede, poco sen' intende. 

Bemi, Orlando Innamorato, 



78 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Where Mississippi's giant stream 

Through savage realms impetuous pours : 
Where proud Potomac's cataracts gleam. 

Or vast Saint Lawrence darkly roars : 
Where Amazon her pomp unfolds 

Beneath the equinoctial ray, 
And through her drear savannahs holds 

Her long immeasurable way : 
Where'er in youthful strength they flow» 

Or seek old ocean's wide embrace, 
Her eagle-glance the muse shall throw. 

And all their pride and power retrace : 
Yet* wheresoever, from copious urn. 

Their bursting torrents fiash and shine. 
Her eye shall not a stream discern 

To vie, oh sacred Thames f with thine. 



Xf 



Along thy course no pine-clad steep, 
No alpine summits, proudly tower : 

Ko woods, impenetrably deep, 

0*er thy pure mirror darkly lower : 
The orange-grove, the myrtle-bower. 

The vine, in rich luxuriance spread ■ 
The charms Italian meadows shower ; 

The sweets Arabian valleys shed ; 

The roaring cataract, wild and white ; 

The lotos-flower, of aznre Ugbt ; 

The fields, where ceaseless summer smiles ; 

The bloom, that decks the JEg^sji isles : 

The hDls, that touch the empyreal plain, 

Olympian Jove*s sublime domain ; 

To other streams atl these resign : 

Still none, oh Thames ! shall vie with thine. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 79 



For what avails the myrtle-bower, 

Where beauty rests at noon-tide hour ; 

The orange groves, whose blooms exhale 

Rich perfume on the ambient gale ; 

And all the charms in bright array, 

Which happier climes than thine display ? 

Ah ! what avails, that heaven has rolled 

A silver stream o'er sands of gold, 

And decked the plain, and reared the grove, 

Fit dwelling for primeval love ; 

If man defile the beauteous scene. 

And stain with blood the smiling green ; 

If man's worst passions there arise. 

To counteract the favouring skies ; 

If rapine there, and murder reign. 

And human tigers prowl for gain. 

And tyrants foul, and trembling slaves. 

Pollute their shores, and curse their waves ? 

XIII 

Far other charms than these possess. 
Oh Thames ! thy verdant margin bless : 
Where peace, with freedom, hand-in-hand. 
Walks forth along the sparkling strand. 
And cheerful toil, and glowing health. 
Proclaim a patriot nation's wealth. 
The blood-stained scourge no tjnrants wield : 
No groaning slaves invert the field : 
But willing labour's careful train 
Crowns all thy banks with waving grain. 
With beauty decks thy sylvan shades. 
With livelier green invests thy glades. 
And grace, and bloom, and plenty, pours 
On thy sweet meads and willowy shores. 



So THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

xrv 



^ 



The plain, where herds unnumbered rove, 
Tke Laurelled path, the beechen grove. 
The lonely oak*s expansive pride, 
The spire, througti distant trees descried, 
The cot, with woodbine wreathed around,. 
The field, with waving corn embroiAiied, 
The fall, that turns the frequent hill, 
The seat, that crowns the woodland hill. 
The sculptured arch, the regal dome, 
The fisher's willow- mantled home, 
The classic temple, flower- entwined, 
In quick succession charm the mind, 
Till, where thy widening current ghdes 
To mingle ^sith the turbid tides, 
Thy spacious breast displays unfurled 
The ensigns of the assembled world. 



3nr 

Throned in Augusta's ample portj 
Imperial commerce holds her court, 

And Britain's power sublimes : 
To her the breath of every breeze 
Conveys the wealth of subject seas, 

And tributary climes. 
Adventurous courage guides the helm 
From every port of every realm : 
Through gales that rage, and waves that wh 

Unnumbered vessels ride : 
Till all their various ensigns fly, 
Beneath Britannia's milder sky, 
W'^ere roves, oh Thames ! the patriot's eye 

0*er thy refulgent tide. 
The treasures of the earth are thine : 
For thee Golcondian diamonds shine ; 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 8i 

For thee, amid the dreary mine, 

The patient suflferers toil : 
Thy sailors roam, a dauntless host. 
From northern seas to India's coast, 
And bear the richest stores they boast 

To bless their native soil. 



XVI 

O'er states and empires, near and far. 

While rolls the fiery surge of war, 

Thy country's wealth and power increase, . 

Thy vales and cities smile in peace ; 

And still, before thy gentle gales. 

The laden bark of commerce sails ; 

And down thy flood, in youthful pride, 

Those mighty vessels sternly glide, 

Destined, amid the tempest's rattle. 

To hurl the thunder-bolt of battle, 

To guard, in danger's hottest hour, 

Britannia's old prescriptive power. 

And through winds, floods, and fire, maintain 

Her native empire of the main. 



XVII 

The mystic nymph, whose ken sublime 
Reads the dark tales of eldest time, 
Scarce, through the mist of years, descries 
Augusta's infant glory rise. 
A race, from all the world estranged. 
Wild as the uncultured plains they ranged. 
Here raised of yore their dwellings rude, 
Beside the forest-solitude. 
For then, as old traditions tell, 
Where science now and splendor dwell, 



S2 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Along the stream's wild margin spread 
A lofty for^t's mazes dread ^, 
None dared, with step profane, impress 
Those labyrinths of loneliness. 
Where dismal trees, of giant-size ^, 

Entwined their tortuous boughs on Mgh, 

Nor hailed the cheerful morn's uprise. 

Nor glowed beneath the evening sky* 
The dire religion of the scene 

The rustic's trembling mind alarmed : 
For oft, the parting boughs between, 
'Twas said, a dreadful form was seen, 
Of horrid eye, and threatening mien. 

With lightning'brand and thunder armed, 
Not there, in sutishine-chequered shade. 
The sylvan nymphs and genii strayed ; 
But horror reigned, and darkness drear. 
And silence, and mysterious fear : 
And superstitious rites were done. 

Those haunted glens and dells among. 
That never felt the genial sun, 

Nor heard the wild bird's vernal aong : 
To gods malign the incense-pyre 
Was kindled with unearthly fire. 
And human blood had oft bedewed 
Their ghastly altars, dark and rude. 
There feebly fell, at noontide bright. 
A dim, discoloured, dismal light, 
Such as a lamp's pale glimmerings shed 
Amid the mansions of the dead, 

' The existence of this forest is attested by Fitz- 
stephen. Some vestigea of it remained in the reign 
of Henry the Second* 

^ Several lines in this description are imitated from 
Vir^l, Lucan, and Tasso. — ^^neid, viii, 349* Ph&r- 
saiia, iii, 339, Gerus. lib. ^tili. pn 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 83 

The Druid's self, who dared to lead 
The rites barbaric gods decreed, 

Beneath the gloom half-trembling stood 
As if he almost feared to mark, 
In all his awful terrors dark. 

The mighty monarch of the wood. 



The Roman came : the blast of war 

Re-echoed wide o'er hill and dell : 
Beneath the storm, that blazed afar. 

The noblest chiefs of Albion fell. 
The Druids shunned its rage awhile 
In sylvan Mona's haunted isle. 
Till on their groves of ancient oak 
The hostile fires of ruin broke, 
And circles rude of shapeless stone, 
With lichens gray and moss o'ergrown. 
Alone remained to point the scene. 
Where erst Andraste's rites had been. 
When to the dust their pride was driven ; 

When waste and bare their haunts appeared ; 
No more the oracles of heaven. 

By gods beloved, by men revered. 
No refuge left but death or flight, 

They rushed, unbidden, to the tomb. 
Or veiled their heads in caves of night, 

And forests of congenial gloom. 



There stalked in murky darkness wide. 

Revenge, despair, and outraged pride : / 

Funereal songs, and ghastly cries. 

Rose to their dire divinities. 

Oft, in their feverish dreams, again 

Their groves and temples graced the plain ; 



S4 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

And stern Andraste's fiery form ^ 
Called from its caves the slumbering storm, 
And whelmed, with thunder-rolling hand, 
The flying Roman's impious band. 

XX 

It chanced, amid that forest's shade, 

That frowned where now Augusta towers, 
A Roman youth bewildered strayed. 

While swiftly fell the evening hours. 
Around his glance inquiring ran : 
No trace was there of living man ; 
Forms indistinct before him flew : 
The darkening horror darker grew : 
Till night, in death-like stillness felt, 
Around those dreary mazes dwelt. 

1 ' Amongst our Britons ', says Mr Baxter, as quoted 
by Mr Davies, Mythology and Rites of the British 
Druids, p. 617, ' even of the present day, Andras is a 
popular name of the goddess Malen, or the lady, whom 
the vulgar call Y Vail, that is. Fauna Fatua, and Mam 
y Drwg, the Devil's Dam, or Y Wrach, the old hag. . . 
Some regarded her as a flying spectre. . . . That 
name corresponded not only with Hecate, Bellona, and 
Enyo, but also with Bona Dea, the great mother of the 
gods, and the terrestrial Venus. ... In the fables of 
the populace, she is styled Y Vad Ddu Hyll, that is 
Bona Furva Effera, and on the other hand, Y Vad Velen, 
that is, Helena, or Bona Flava. . . Agreeably to an 
ancient rite, the old Britons cruelly offered human 
sacrifices to this Andrasta : whence,' as Dion relates, 
our amazon, Vondicea (Boadicea), invoked her with 
mprecations, previous to her engagement with the 
Romans. The memory of this goddess, or fury, re- 
mains to the present day ; for men in a passion growl 
at each other, Mae rhyw Andras arnochwi : Some 
Andrasta possesses you '. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 85 

Sudden, a blaze of lurid blue, 

That flashed the matted foliage through, 

Illumed, as with Tartarean day, 

The knotted trunks and branches grey. 

Sensations, wild and undefined. 

Rushed on the Roman warrior's mind : 

But deeper wonder filled his soul. 
When on the dead still air around. 
Like symphony from magic ground. 

Mysterious music stole : 
Such strains as flow, when spirits keep, 
Around the tombs where wizards sleep. 
Beneath the cypress foliage deep, 

The rites of dark solemnity ; 
And hands unearthly wildly sweep 

The chords of elfin melody. 



The strains were sad : their changeful swell. 

And plaintive cadence, seemed to tell 

Of blighted joys, of hopes o'erthrown, 

Of mental peace for ever flown. 

Of dearest friends, by death laid low, 

And tears, and unavailing woe. 

Yet something of a sterner thrill 

With those sad strains consorted ill, 

As if revenge had dared intrude 

On hopeless sorrow's darkest mood. 



Guided by those sulphureous rays, 
The Roman pierced the forest maze ; 
Till, through the opening woodland reign, 
Appeared an oak-encircled plain. 
Where giant boughs expanded high 
Their storm-repelling canopy, 



86 



THE GENIUS OF TifE THAMES 



And, central in the sacred round, 
Andraste's moss-grown altar frowned. 



The mystic flame of lurid blue 

There shed a dnbious, mournftil light. 
And half-revealed to human view 

The secret majesty of night. 
An ancient raan< in dark attire, 
Stood by the solitary fire : 
The varying flame his form displayed. 
Ha]f -tinged ivith hght, half-veiled in shade. 
His grey hair, gemmed with midnight dew, 
Streamed down his robes of sable hue : 
His cheeks were snnk : his beard was white 
But his large eyes were fiery-bright, 
And seemed through flitting shades to rangei 
With ivild expression, stern and strange. 
There, where no wind was heard to sigh, 
Nor wandering streamlet murmured by. 
While every voice of nature slept. 
The harp's symph onions strings he swept : 
Such thrilling tones might scarcely be 
The touch of mortal minstrelsy ; 
Now tolling loud, and deep, and dread. 
As if the sound would wake the dead, 
Now soft, as if, with tender close. 
To bid the parted soul repose* 



The Roman youth with wonder gaied 
On those dark eyes to heaven upraised. 
Where struggling passions wildly shone, 
With fearful lustre, not their own. 
Awhile irresolute he stood : 
At length he left the sheltering wood, 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES Zy 

And moved towards the central flame : 
But, ere his lips the speech could frame, 
— * And who art thou ? ' the Druid cried. 
While flashed his burning eye-balls wide — 
' Whose steps unhallowed boldly press 
This sacred grove's profound recess ? 
Ha ! by my injured country's doom ! 
I know the hated arms of Rome. 
Through this dark forest's pathless way 

Andraste's self thy steps has led, 
To perish on her altars grey, 

A grateful offering to the dead. 
Oh goddess stern ! one victim more 
To thee his vital blood shall pour, 
And shades of heroes, hovering nigh, 
Shall joy to see a Roman die ! 
With that dread plant, that none may name, 

I feed the insatiate fire of fate : 
Roman ! with this tremendous flame 

Thy head to hell I consecrate ! * ^ 
And, snatching swift a blazing brand, 

He dashed it in the Roman's face. 
And seized him with a giant's hand. 

And dragged him to the altar's base. 
Though worn by time and adverse fate, 
Yet strength unnaturally great 
He gathered then from deadly hate 

And superstitious zeal : 
A dire religion's stern behest 
Alone his frenzied soul possessed ; 
Already o'er his victim's breast 
Hung the descending steel. 

* Te. Appi, uumque caput sanguine hoc consecro. 

Livius, iii, 48. 
Agli infernali dei 
Con questo sangue il capo^tuo consacro — ^Alfieri. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



The scene^ the form, the act, combined, 
A moment on. the Roman's mind 
An enervating inaueace poured : 
But to himself again restored. 
Upspringing light, he grasped his foe, 
And checked the meditated blow, 
And on the Druid's breast repelled 
The Bteel his own wild fury held. 
The vital stream flowed fast away, 
And stained Andraste's altars grey. 



More ghastly pale his features dire 
Gleamed iu that blue funereal fire : 
The death-mists from his brow distilled : 
But still his eyes strange lustre filled, 
That seem.ed to pierce the secret springs 
Of unimaginable things* 
No longer, with malignant glare. 
Revenge unsated glistened there, 
And deadly rage, and stern despair : 
All trace of evil passions fled. 
He seemed to commune with the dead» 
And draw from them, without alloy, 
The raptures of prophetic joy. 



A sudden breeze his temples fanned : 
His harp, untouched by human l^Bd* 
Sent forth a sound, a thrilHng sound, 
That rang through all the mystic, round : 
The incense-liame rose broad and bright, 
In one mde stream of meteordight* 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 89 

He knew what power illumed the blaze, 
What spirit swept the strings along : 

Full on the youth his kindling gaze 
He fixed, and poured his soul in song. 



XXVIII 

' Roman I life's declining tide 

From my bosom ebbs apace : 
Vengeance have the gods denied 

For the ruin of my race. 
Triumph not : in night compressed. 
Yet the northern tempests rest. 
Doomed to burst, in fatal hour. 
On the pride of Roman power. 



' Sweetly beams the morning ray : 

Proudly falls the noon-tide glow : 
See ! beneath the closing day, 

Storm-clouds darken, whirlwinds blow 1 
Sun-beams gild the tranquil shore : 
Hark ! the midnight breakers roar ! 
O'er the deep, by tempests torn, 
Shrieks of shipwrecked souls are borne I 



* Queen of earth, imperial Rome 

Rules, in boundless sway confessed. 
From the day-star's orient dome 

To the limits of the west. 
Proudest work of mortal hands. 
The ETERNAL CITY stauds : 
Bound in her all-circling sphere, 
Monarchs kneel, and nations fear. 



90 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

XXXI 

' Hark ! the stream of ages raves : 
Gifted eyes its course behold : 
Down its all-absorbing waves 

Mightiest chiefs and kings are rolled. 
Every work of human pride. 
Sapped by that eternal tide, 
Shall the raging current sweep 
Tow'rds oblivion's boundless deep. 



' Confident in wide control, 

Rome beholds that torrent flow. 
Heedless how the waters roll, 

Wasting, mining, as they go. 
That sure torrent saps at length 
Walls of adamantine strength : 
Down its eddies wild shall pass 
Domes of marble, towers of brass. 



' As the sailor's fragile bark. 

Beaten by the adverse bteeze, 
Sinks afar, and leaves no mark 
Of its passage o'er the seas ; 
So shall Rome's colossal sway 
In the lapse of time decay, 
Leaving of her ancient fame 
But the memory of a name. 



' Vainly raged the storms of Gaul 

Round dread Jove's Tarpeian dome : 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 91 

See in flames the fabric fall ! * 

'Tis the funeral pyre of Rome ! 
Red-armed vengeance rushes forth 
In the whirlwinds of the north : 
From her hand the sceptre riven 
To transalpine realms is given. 

XXXV 

' Darkness veils the stream of time, 
As the wreck of Rome dissolve : 
Years of anarchy and crime 
In barbaric night revolve. 
From "the rage of feudal strife 
Peace and freedom spring to life, 
Where the morning sunbeams smile 
On the sea-god's favourite isle. 

* Hail ! all hail ! my native land ! 

Long thy course of glory keep : 
Long thy sovereign sails expand 

O'er the subjugated deep I 
When of Rome's unbounded reign 
Dust and shade alone remain, 
Thou thy head divine shalt raise, 
Through interminable days. 

'Death-mists hover : voices rise : 
I obey the summons dread : 

On the stone my life-blood dyes 
Sinks to rest my weary head. 

^ Bed nihil aeque, quam incendium Capitolii, ut finem 
imperio adesse crederent, impulerat. Captam olim d 
Gallis urhem ; sed, integra Jovis sede, mansisse im- 
perium. Fatali nunc igne, signum ccslestis xycb datum, 
et possessionem rerum humanarum transalpinis gentibus 
portendi, superstitione vana Druidae canebant — Tacitus 
[Histories, iv, 54.] 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Far from scenes of night and woe, 
To_eternal groves I go. 
Where for me my brethren wait 
By Andraste's pilace-gate \ 

PART IT 

Qnidquid sol oriens* quidquid et occidens 
Novit; cseruleis oceanus fretia 

Quidquid vel veniens vel fuglens lavat. 

Etas Pegaseo conripiet gradu 

Seneca [Troades, 383-6]. 



I 9^ 

H Return to the banks of the Thames. The influence 

B of spring on the scenery of the river. The tranquil 

" beauty of the valleys of the Tham^ contrasted with 

the sublimity of more open and elevated regions. 

I Allusion to the war 01^ the Danube. Ancient wars on 
the Thames. Its present universal peace. View of 
the course of the Thames. Its source near Kemble 
Meadowp Comparative reflectioas on time, Ewa.n. 
Lechlade. Radcote. Godstow nunnery : Rosamond. 
Oxford. Apostrophe to science. Nuneham Court- 
nay : Mason. The Vale of Marlow. Hedsor. Clief- 
den. Windsor. Cooper's Hill. Runnymead, Twit- 
nam : Pope; Richmond : Thomson. Chelsea and 
Greenwich. The Tower, Tilbury Fort. Hadleigh 
Castle. The Nore. General allusion to the illus- 
\ trious characters that have adorned the banks of the 

K Thames. A summer evening on the river at Rich- 
■ mond. Comparative ad version to the aacient state 
" of the Euphrates and .\raxes. at Babylon and Perse- 
polis* Present desolation of those scenes. Reflections 
on the fall of nations. Conclusion. 



Oh Genius of that sacred urnj 
Adored hy all the Naiad train 1 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 93 

Once more my wandering steps return 
To trace the precincts of thy reign : 
Once more, amid my native plain, 
I roam thy devious course along. 
And in the oaken shade again 
Awake to thee the votive song. 
Dear stream 1 while far from thee I strayed. 
The woods, that crown my natal glade. 
Have mourned on all the winds of heaven 
Their yellow faded foliage driven ; 
And winter, with tempestuous roar, 
Descending on thy wasted shore. 
Has seen thy turbid current flow 
A deluge of dissolving snow. 



But now, in spring's more soft control. 

Thy turbid waves subside. 
And through a narrower channel roll 

A brighter, gentler tide. 
Emerging now in light serene. 
The meadows spread their robes of green 
The weeping wfllow droops to lave 
Its leafy tresses in the wave ; 
The poplar and the towering pine ^ 
Their hospitable shade combine : 
And, flying like the flying day. 
The silent river rolls away. 

Ill 
Not here, in dreadful grandeur piled, 
The mountain's pathless masses rise, 

^Qua pinus ingens albaque populus 
Umbram hospitalem consociare amant 
Ramis, et obliquo laborat 
Lympha fugax trepidare rivo. 

Horace [Orfes ii, iiii, 12-15]. 



94 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



Where wandering fancy's lonely cMd 

Might meet the spirit of the skies : 
Not here, irom misty summits hoar. 

Where shattered firs axe rooted strong-, 
With headlong force and th tin tiering roar 

The bursting torrent foams along : 
Sublime the charms such sceaes contain : 
For nature on her mountain reign 
Delights the treasures to digpease 
Of all her wild magnificence : 
But thou art sweet, my native stream ! 

Thy waves in liquid lustre play, 
And glitter in the morning beam, 

And chime to rest the closing day : 
While the vast mountam's dizzy steep 

The whirlwind's eddying rage assails. 
The gentlest zephyrs softly sweep 

The verdure of thy sheltered vales : 
While o'er the wild and whitening seas 

The unbridled north triumphant roars, 
Thy stream scarce ripples in the breeze. 

That bends the willow on thy shcn^ea : 
And thus, while war o'er Europe flings 
Destruction from his crimson wings. 
While Danube's wasted banks around 
The steps of mingling foes resound, 
Thy pure waves wash a stainless sail, 
To crown a patriot people's toiL 



Yet on these shores, in elder days. 
Arose the battle's maddening blaze : 
Even here, where now so softly swells 
The music of the village bells, 
The painted savage rolled to war 
The terrors of the scythed car. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 95 

And wide around, with fire and sword, 
The devastating Roman poured : 
Here shouted o'er the battle-plain 
The Pict, the Saxon, and the Dane : 
And many a long succeeding year 
Saw the fierce Norman's proud career, 
The deadly hate of feudal foes, 
The stain that dyed the pallid rose. 
And all the sanguinary spoil 
Of foreign and intestine broil. 



But now, through banks from strife remote. 

Thy crystal waters wind along. 
Responsive to the wild bird's note. 

Or lonely boatman's careless song. 
Oh ! ne'er may thy sweet echoes swell 
Again with war's demoniac yell ! 
Oh ! ne'er again may civil strife 
Here aim the steel at kindred life ! 
Ne'er may those deeds of might and crime, 
That stain the rolls of feudal time. 
Again pollute these meads and groves. 
Where science dwells, and beauty roves I 
And should some foreign tyrant's band 
Descend to waste the beauteous land, 
Thy swelling current, eddying red. 
Shall roll away the impious dead. 



Let fancy lead, from Trewsbury Mead i. 
With hazel fringed, and copsewood deep, 

^ The Thames rises in a field called Trewsbury Mead 
sar the villages of Tarlton and Kemble, in Gloucester- 
lire. 



96 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Where scarcely s^n, througli brilliant green. 

Thy infant waters softly creep. 

To where the wide- expanding Nore 

Beholds thee, with tumultuous roar. 

Conclude thy devious race, 
And rush, with Med way's confluent wave. 
To seek, where mightier billows rave, 

Thy giant sire's embrace^ 



vn 

Where Kemble's wood-embosomed spire 

Adams the solitary glade, 
And ancient trees, in green attire i, 

DiSuse a deep and pleasant shade. 
Thy bounteous urn, light- murmuring, flings 
The treasures of its iafaut springs, 
And fast, beneath its native hill, 
Impels the silver- sparkling rill, 
With fiag-flowers fringed and whispering reeds,' 
Along the many-coloured meads. 

^ I am slightly indebted, in this stanza, to one 
Ariosto^s most exquisite descriptions : 

La fonte discorrea per mezzo un prato, 
D'arbori antiqui e di bell' ombre adorno, 
Che i viandanti col mormorio grato 
A bere iuvita. e a far seco soggioruo. 
Un culto monticel dal manco la to 
Le difende il calor del mezzo giorno. 
Qui%nj come i begh occhi prima torse, 
D'un cavalier la giovane s'accorse : 
D'un cavalier, che all' ombra d'un boschetto, 
Nel margin verde, e bianco, rosso, e giaUo, 
Sedea pensoso, tacito. e soletto, 
Sopra quel chieiro e liquido cristallo. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 97 

VIII 

Thames ! when, beside thy secret source. 
Remembrance points the mighty course 

Thy defluent waters keep ; 
Advancing, with perpetual flow. 
Through banks still widening as they go. 

To mingle with the deep ; 
Emblemed in thee, my thoughts surv6y 

Unruflfled childhood's peaceful hours, 
And blooming youth's delightful way 

Through sunny fields and roseate bowers • 
And thus the scenes of life expand 
Till death draws forth, with steady hand, 

Our names from his capacious urn ; 
And dooms alike the base and good, 
To pass that all-absorbing flood. 
O'er which is no return. 



Whence is the ample stream of time ? ^ 

Can fancy's mightiest spell display, 
Where first began its flow sublime. 

Or where its onward waves shall stray ? 
What gifted hand shall pierce the clouds 

Oblivion's fatal magic rears. 
And lift the sable veil, that shrouds 

The current of the distant years ? 
The sage with doubt the past surveys. 

Through mists which memory half dispels : 
And on the course of future days 

Impenetrable darkness dwells. 

1 Whence is the stream of years ? whither do they 
oil along ? where have they hid, in mist, their many- 
oloured sides ? ' — Ossian. 



98 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



The present rolls in light : awhile 
We hail its evanescent smile, 

Rejoicing as it flies : 
Ephemera on the summer-stream, 
Heedless of the descending beam, 

And distant lowering skies. 
False joys, with fading flowerets crowned. 
And hope, too late delusive found, 

And fancy's meteor-ray. 
And all the passions, light and vain 
That flU ambition's fatal train, 

Attend our downward way. 
Some struggle on, by tempests driven : 
To some a gentler course is given : 
All down the self-same stream are rolled : 
Their day is passed — their tale is told. 



Youth flies, as bloom forsakes the grove, 

> When icy winter blows : 
And transient are the smiles of love. 

As dew-drops on the rose. 
Nor may we call those things our own *, 
Which, ere the new-born day be flown, 

By chance, or fraud, or lawless might. 
Or sterner death's supreme award, 
Will change their momentary lord. 

And own another's right. 
As oceans now o'er quicksands roar. 
Where fields and hamlets smiled of yore ; 

^ tamquam 
Sit proprium quidquam, puncto quod mobilis horse, 
Nunc prece, nunc pretio, nunc vi, nunc sorte suprema, 
Permutet dominos, et cedat in altera jura 

— Horace, [Epistles, II, ii, 17 1-4] 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 99 

As now the purple heather blows, 
Where once impervious forests rose ; 
So perish from the burthened ground 

The monuments of human toil : 
Where cities shone, where castles frowned. 

The careless ploughman turns the soil. 



How many a chief, whose kindling mind 

Convulsed this earthly scene. 
Has sunk, forgotten by mankind. 

As though he ne'er had been ! 
Even so the chiefs of modern days. 
On whom admiring nations gaze. 

Shall sink, by common fate oppressed : 
Their name, their place, remembered not : 
Not one grey stone to point the spot 
Of' their eternal rest. 



Flow proudly, Thames ! the emblem bright 

And witness of succeeding years ! 
Flow on, in freedom's sacred light. 

Nor stained with blood, nor swelled with tears. 
Sweet is thy course, and clear, and still. 
By Ewan's old neglected mill : 
Green shores thy narrow stream confine. 
Where blooms the modest eglantine. 
And hawthorn-boughs o'ershadowing spread 
To canopy thy infant bed. 
Now peaceful hamlets wandering through, 
And fields in beauty ever new. 
Where Lechlade sees thy current strong 
First waft the unlabouring bark along ; 
Thy copious waters hold their way 
Tow'rds Radcote's arches, old and grey^ 



lOO 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



Where triumphed erst the rebel host^ 
When hapless Richard's hopes were lost> 
Aad Oxford sought, with htimhled pride^ 
Existence from th}'^ guardian tide. 



The wild-flower waves, ia lonely bloom, i^^ 

On Godstow's deaolated wall : 
Their thin shades flit through twHight gloom, 

And murmured accents feebly fall* 
The aged haiel nurtures there* 
Its hollow fruit, so seeming fair, 
And lightly throws its humble shade. 
Where Rosamonda's form is laid. 
The rose of earth, the sweetest flower 

That ever graced a monarch's breast^ 
In vernal beauty's loveliest hour, 

Beneath that sod was laid to rest. 
In vain, the bower of love around. 
The Dsedalfian path was wound : 
Alas 1 that jealous hate should find 
The clue for love alone deigned I 

1 Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford and Duke of 
Ireland, the favourite of Richard the Second, was 
defeated in the vicinity of Radcote by the Earl of 
DerbVr in the year 1387^ and escaped by summing 
with ):iis horse across the river. 

2 A small chapel, and a wall, enclosing an ample 
space, are all now remaining of Godstow Nuuuery. 
A hazel grows near the chapel, the fmit of which ii 
always apparently perfect, but is invariably found 
to be hollow. 

This nunnery derives its chief interest from having 
been the burial-place of the beautiful Rosamond, who 
appears, after her death, to have been regarded as 
a aaint. 



i 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES xoi 



The venomed bowl — the mandate dire — 
The menaced steel's uplifted glare — 

The tear, that quenched the blue eye's fire— 
The humble, ineffectual prayer : 

All these shall live, recorded long 

In tragic and romantic song, 

And long a moral charm impart, 

To melt and purify the heart. 

A nation's gem, a monarch's pride. 

In youth, in loveliness, she died : 

The morning sun's ascending ray 

Saw none so fair, so blest, so gay : 

Eire evening came, her funeral knell 

Was tolled by Godstow's convent bell. 

XVI 

The marble tomb, the illumined shrine. 

Their unavailing splendour gave — 
Where slept in earth the maid divine, 

The votive silk was seen to wave. 
To her, as to a martyred saint. 

His vows the weeping pilgrim poured : 
The drooping traveller, sad and faint. 

Knelt tiiere, and found his strength restored : 
To that fair shrine, in solemn hour, 

Fond youths and blushing maidens came, 
And gathered from its mystic power 

A brighter, purer, holier flame : 
The lightest heart with awe could feel 

The charm her hovering spirit shed : 
But superstition's impious zeaP 

Distilled its venom on the dead ! 

^ A fanatical priest, Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, visiting 
the nunnery at Godstow, and observing a tomb, covered 
with silk, and splendidly illuminated, which he found. 



fc 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



The Olu mined shrine has passed away : 

The sculptured stone in dust is laid : 
But when the midnight breezes play 

Amid the barren hazel's shade. 
The lone enthusiaatt lingering n&ar. 

The youth, whom slighted passion grieves. 
Through fancy's magic spell may hear 

A spirit in the whispering leaves ; 
And dimly see, while mortals sleeps 

Sad forms of cloistered maidens move. 
The transient dreams of life to weep. 

The fading flowers of youth and love I 



Now, rising o'er tlie level pVam, 

Mid academic groves enshrined, 
The Gothic tower, the Grecian fane. 

Ascend, in solemn state combined. 
Science, beneath those classic spijes, 
Illumes her watch-lamp's orient fires. 
And pours its everlasting rays 
On archives of primeval days* 
To her capacious view unfuded. 
The mental and material world 

on inqairy, to be the tomb of Rosamond, commanded 
hear to be taken up, and buried withoui the church, lest the 
Chrutian religion should grow into contsmpt. This brutal 
order was instantly obeyed: 'but the chaste sisters', 
says Speed, gathered her bones, and put them in a 
perfumed bag, enclosing them so in lead, and laid them 
again in the church, under a fair large grave-stone, 
about whose edges a fillet of brass was inlaid^ and 
thereon written her name and praise : these bones were 
at^the suppression of the nunnery so found.' 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 103 

Their secrets deep display : 
She measures nature's ample plan. 
To hold the light of truth to man. 

And guide his erring way. 



XIX 

Oh sun-crowned science ! child of heaven I 
To wandering man by angels given ! 
Still, nymph divine ! on mortal sight 
Diffuse thy intellectual light, 
Till all the nations own thy sway, 
And drink with joy the streams of day 1 
Yet lov'st thou, maid ! alone to rove 
In cloister dim, or polished grove. 
Where academic domes are seen 
Emerging grey through foliage green ? 
Oh ! hast thou not thy hermit seat. 

Embosomed deep in mountains vast. 
Where some fair valley's still retreat 

Repels the north's impetuous blast ? 
The falling stream there murmurs by : 
The tufted pine waves broad and high : 
And musing silence sits beneath, 
Where scarce a zephyr bends the heath. 
And hears the breezes, loud and strong. 
Resound the topmost boughs among. 
There peace her vestal lamp displays, 
Undimmed by mad ambition's blaze, 
And shuns, in the sequestered glen, 
The storms that shake the haunts of men. 
Where mean intrigue, and sordid gain. 
And frenzied war's ensanguined reign. 
And narrow cares, and wrathful strife. 
Dry up the sweetest springs of life. 



I04 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



Oh ! might my steps, that darkly roam, 
Attain at last thy mountain home, 
And rest, from earthly trammels free, 
With peace, and liberty, and thee ! 
Around while faction's tempests sweep. 
Like whirlwinds o'er the wintry deep, 
And, down the headlong vortex torn, 
The vain, misjudging crowd is borne ; 
'Twere sweet to mark, re-echoing far. 
The rage of the eternal war. 
That dimly heard, at distance swelling. 
Endears, but not disturbs, thy dwelling. 

XXI 

But sweeter yet, oh trebly sweet ! 
Were those blest paths of calm retreat, 
Might mutual love's endearing smile 
The lonely hours of life beguile ! 
Love, whose celestial breath exhales 
Fresh fragrance on the vernal gales ; 
Whose starry torch and kindling eye 
Add lustre to the summer sky ; 
Whose tender accents cheer the day, 
When autumn's wasting breezes sway ; 
Whose heavenly flame the bosom warms, 
When freezing winter wakes in storms ! 



Not in the glittering halls of pride. 
Where spleen and sullen pomp reside. 
Around though Paphian odours breathe. 
And fashion twines her fading wreath, 
Young fancy wakes her native grace. 
Nor love elects his dwelling-place. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 105 

But in the lone, romantic dell, 
Where the rural virtues dwell. 
Where the sylvan genii roam. 
Mutual love may find a home. 
Hope, with raptured eye, is there, 
Weaving wreaths of pictured air : 
Smiling fancy there is found, 
Tripping light on fairy ground, 
Listening oft, in pine-walks dim. 
To the wood-nymph's evening hymn. 

XXIII 

But whither roams the devious song, 
While Thames, unheeded, flows along. 
And, sinking o'er the level mead, 
The classic domes and spires recede ? 
The dashing oar the wave divides : 
The light bark down the current glides : 
The furrowed stream, that round it curls, 
In many a murmuring eddy whirls. 
Succeeding each as each retires, 
Wood-mantled hills and tufted spires. 
Groves, villas, islets, cultured plains, 
Towers, cities, palaces, and fanes, 
As holds the stream its swift career, 
Arise, and pass, and disappear. 

^ XXIV 

O'er Nuneham Courtnay's flowery glades 
Soft breezes wave their fragrant wings. 
And still, amid the haunted shades. 

The tragic harp of Mason rings. 
Yon votive urn, yon drooping flowers. 
Disclose the minstrel's favourite bowers, 
Where first he tuned, in sylvan peace, 
To British themes the lyre of Greece. 
Delight shall check the expanded sail 



io6 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

In woody Marlow's winding vale : 

And fond regret for scenes so fair 

With backward gaze shall linger there. 

Till rise romantic Hedsor's hills, 

And Cliefden's groves, and springs, and rills. 

Where hapless Villars, doomed to prove 

The ills that wait on lawless love, 

In festal mirth, and choral song. 

Impelled the summer-hours along, 

Nor marked, where scowled expectant by 

Despair, and shame, and poverty. 

XXV 

The Norman king's embattled towers 

Look proudly o'er the subject plain. 
Where, deep in Windsor's regal bowers, 

The sylvan muses hold their reign. 
From groves of oak, whose branches hoar 
Have heard primeval tempests roar, 
Beneath the moon's pale ray they pass 
Along the shore's unbending grass, 
And songs 6f gratulation raise, 
To speak a patriot monarch's praise. 

XXVI 

Sweetly, on yon poetic hill. 

Strains of unearthly music breathe. 
Where Denham's spirit, hovering still, 

Weaves his wild harp's aerial wreath. 
And sweetly, on the mead below. 
The fragrant gales of summer blow : 
While flowers shall spring, while Thames shall 
flow, 

That mead shall live in memory. 
Where valour, on the tented field, 
Triumphant raised his patriot shield. 
The voice of truth to kings revealed, 

And broke the chains of tyranny. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 107 



The stream expands : the meadows fly : 
The stately swan sails proudly by : 
Full, clear, and bright, with devious flow. 
The rapid waters murmuring go. 
Now open Twitnam's classic shores, 
Where yet the moral muse deplores 

Her Pope's unrivalled lay : 
Unmoved by wealth, unawed by state. 
He held to scorn the little great, 

And taught life's better way. 
Though tasteless folly's impious hand 
Has wrecked the scenes his genius planned- 
Though low his fairy grot is laid, 
And lost his willow's pensive shade ; — 
Yet shall the ever-murmuring stream. 
That lapt his soul in fancy's dream. 
Its vales with verdure cease to crown. 
Ere fade one ray of his renown. 



Fair groves, and villas glittering bright, 
Arise on Richmond's beauteous height ; 
Where yet fond echo warbles o'er 
The heaven-taught songs she learned of yore. 
From mortals veiled, mid waving reeds. 

The airy lyre of Thomson sighs. 
And whispers to the hills and meads : 

In yonder grave a druid lies ! 
The seasons there, in fixed return. 
Around their minstrel's holy urn 

Perennial chaplets twine : 
Oh ! never shall their changes greet, 
Inmiortal bard ! a song more sweet, 
A soul more pure than thine ? 



Io8 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Oh Tba-mes I in conscious glory glide 
By those fair piles tha^t crown tlty tide, 
%Vliere, worn witb toil ^om tumult far, 
The veteran hero rests from %var. 
Here, marked by many a well-fought fieldi 
On high the soldier hangs his shield ; 
The seaman there has furled his sail. 
Long rent by many an adverse gale* 
Remembered perils, braved and past. — 
The raging fight, the whelmiiig blast, 
The hidden rock, the stormy shore. 
The mountain-breaker's deepening roar, — 
Recalled by fancy's spell divine, 
Endear their evening's calm decline, 
And teach their children, listening near, 
To emulate their sires' career. 



But swiftly urge the gliding bark. 
By yon stern walls and chambers dark, 
\^liere guilt and woe, in night concealed^ 
Unthought, unwitnessed, unrevealed. 
Through lengthened ages scowling stood, 
Mid shrieks of death, and tears of blood. 
No heart may think, no tongue declare, 
The fearful mysteri^ hidden there : 
Justice averts her trembling eye, 
And mercy weeps, and hastens by K 



Long has the tempest's rage been spent 
On yon unshaken battlement, 

1 Fama di loro mondo esser non lassa : 
Misericordia e giustizia gli sdegna : 
Non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa — Dante. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 109 

Memorial proud of days sublime, 
Whose splendor mocks the power of time. 
There, when the distant war-storm roared. 
While patriot thousands round her poured. 
The British heroine grasped her sword. 

To trace the paths of victory : 
But in the rage of naval fight, 
The island-genius reared his might. 
And stamped, in characters of Hght, 

His own immortal destiny. 

XXXII 

Ascending dark, on uplands brown. 
The ivied walls of Hadleigh frown : 
High on the lonely mouldering tower 
Forms of departed ages lower. 
But deeper, broader, louder, glide 
The waves of the descending tide ; 
And soon, where winds unfettered roar. 
Where Medway seeks the opening Nore, 
Where breakers lash the dark-red steep ^, 
The barks of Britain stem the deep. 

-1 

XXXIII 

Oh king of streams 1 when, wandering slow, 
I trace thy current's ceaseless flow. 
And mark, with venerating gaze, 

Reflected on thy liquid breast. 
The monuments of ancient days. 

Where sages, bards, and statesmen rest ; 
WhQ, waking erst the ethereal mind. 
Instructed, charmed, and blessed mankind ; 
The rays of fancy pierce the gloom 
That shrouds the precincts of the tomb, 

^ The red cliffs of the isle of Sheppy. 



no THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

And call again to life and light 
The forms long wrapped in central night. 
• From abbeys grey and castles old. 
Through mouldering portals backward rolled. 
Glide dimly forth, with silent tread. 
The shades of the illustrious dead. 
Still dear to them their native shore. 
The woods and fields they loved of yore ; 
And still, by farthest realms revered. 
Subsists the rock-built tower they reared 
Though lightnings round its summit glow. 
And foaming surges burst below. 



Thames ! I have roamed, at evening hours, 
Near beauteous Richmond's courtly bowers. 
When, mild and pale, the moonbeams fell 
On hill and islet, grove and dell, 
And many a skiff, with fleecy sail 
Expanded to the western gale, 
Traced on thy breast, serenely-bright. 
The lengthening line of silver light ; 
And many an oar, with measured dash 

Accordant to the boatman's song, 
Bade thy pellucid surface flash, 

And whirl, in glittering rings, along ; 
While from the broad and dripping blade 

The clear drops fell, in sparkling showers. 
Bright as the crystal gems, displayed 

In Amphitrite's coral bowers. 
There beauty wooed the breeze of night. 

Beneath the silken canopy. 
And touched, with fljdng fingers light. 

The thrilling chords of melody. 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



It seemed, that music's inmost soul 

Was breathed upon the wandering airs, 
Charming to rest, with sweet control, 

All human passions, pains, and cares. 
Enthusiast voices joined the sound, 
And poured such soothing strains around. 
That well might ardent fancy deem. 

The sylphs had led their viewless band. 
To warble o'er the lovely stream 

The sweetest songs of fairyland. 
Now, breathing wild, with raptured swell. 

They floated o'er the silent tide ; 
Now, soft and low, the accents fell, 
And, seeming mystic tales to tell. 

In heavenly murmurs died. 



Yet that sweet scene of pensive joy 

Gave mournful recollections birth. 
And called to fancy's wild employ 

The certain destinies of earth. 
I seemed to hear, in wakening thought. 

While those wild minstrel accents rung, 
Whate'er historic truth had taught, 

Or philosophic bards had sung. 
Methought a voice, severe and strange, 
Whispered of fate, and time, and change. 
And bade my wandering mind recall, 
How nations rise, and fade, and fall. 



Thus fair, of old, Euphrates rolled. 

By Babylon's imperial site : 
The lute's soft swell, with magic spell, 

Breathed rapture on the listening night : 



112 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 

Love-whispering youths and maidens fair 
In festal pomp assembled there, 
Where to the stream's responsive moan 
The desert gale now sighs alone. 

XXXVIII 

Still changeless, through the fertile plain, 

Araxes, loud-resounding, flows. 
Where gorgeous despots fixed their reign 

And Chil-minar's proud domes arose ^. 
High on his gem-emblazoned throne 

Sate kneeling Persia's earthly god : 
Fair slaves and satraps round him shone, 

And nations trembled at his nod : 
The mighty voice of Asia's fate 
Went forth from every golden gate. 
Now pensive steps the wrecks explore. 
That skirt the solitary shore : 
The time-worn column mouldering falls. 
And tempests rock the roofless walls. 



Perchance, when many a distant year. 
Urged by the hand of fate, has flown. 

Where moonbeams rest on ruins drear. 
The musing sage may rove alone ; 

And many an awful thought sublime 

May fill his soul, when memory shows, . 

^The plain of Persepolis is watered by the great 
river Araxes or Bendemir. The ancient palace of the 
kings of Persia, called by the inhabitants Chil-minar, 
i.e. forty columns, is situated at the foot of the moun- 
tain : the walls of this stately building are still standing 
on three sides; and it has the mountain on the 
east ' — Universal History, 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 113 

That there, in days of elder time. 

The world's metropolis arose ; 
Where now, by mouldering walls, he sees 

The silent Thames unheeded flow. 
And only hears the river-breeze, 

Through reeds and willows whispering low. 



Where are the states of ancient fame ? 
Athens, and Sparta's victor-name, 
And all that propped, in war and peace. 
The arms, and nobler arts, of Greece ? 
All-grasping Rome, that proudly hurled 
Her mandates o'er the prostrate world. 
Long heard mankind her chains deplore. 
And fell, as Carthage fell before \ 

^ Sanazzaro, in his poem De partu Virginis, has a 
fine passage on the fallen state of Carthage, which 
Tasso has imitated in the Gerusalemme Liberata : 

Et[qui vertentes inmania saxa juvencos 
Flectit arans, qua devictae Carthaginis arces 
Procubuere, jacentque infausto in litore turres 
Eversae. Quantum ilia metus, quantum ilia laborum 
Urbs dedit insultans Latio et Laurentibus arvis I 
Nunc passim vix reliquias, vix nomina servans, 
Obruitur propriis non agnoscenda ruinis. 
Et quermiur genus infelix humana labare 
Membra aevo, quum regna palam moriantur, et urbes. 

Giace I'alta Cartago : appena i segni 
Dell'alte sue mine il lido serba. 
Muojono le citti ; muojono i regni ; 
Copre i fasti e le pompe arena ed erba : 
E fuom d'esser mortal par che si sdegni. 
O nostra mente cupida e superba I 



H4 THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 



Is this the crown, the final meed, 

To man's sublimest toils decreed ? 

Must all, from glory's radiaat heigtit, 

Descend alike the paths of night ? 

Must she, whose voice of power resounds 

On utmost ocean's loneliest bounds, 

In darkness meet the whelming doom 

That crushed the sovereign strength of Rome, 

And o'er the proudest states of old 

The storms of desolation rolled ? 



Time, the foe of man's dominion j 

Wheels around in ceaseless flight. 
Scattering from his hoary pinion 

Shades of everlasting night. 
Still, beneath his fron^n appalling, 

Man and all his works decay : 
StLQ, before him, smftly-f ailing, 

Kings and kingdoms pass away. 



Cannot the hand of patriot zeal. 
The heart that seeks the public weal. 

The comprehensive mind. 
Retard awhile the storms of fate. 
That, swift or slow, or soon or late. 
Shall hnrl to ruin every state, 

And leave no trace behind ? 



Oh Britain t oh my native land ! 
To science, art, and freedom dear ! 



THE GENIUS OF THE THAMES 115 

Whose sails o'er farthest seas expand, 
And brave the tempest's dread career I 

When comes that hour, as come it must, 

That sinks thy glory in the dust, 

May no degenerate Briton live. 
Beneath a stranger's chain to toil, 

And to a haughty conqueror give 
The produce of thy sacred soil I 

Oh ! dwells there one, on all thy plains, 

If British blood distend his veins, 

Who would not burn thy fame to save. 

Or perish in his country's grave ? 



XLV 

Ah I sure, if skill and courage true 

Can check destruction's headlong way, 
Still shall thy power its course pursue. 

Nor sink, but with the world's decay. 
Long as the cliffs that girds thine isle 

The bursting surf of ocean stems. 
Shall commerce, wealth, and plenty smile 

Along the silver-eddying Thames ^ : 
Still shall thine empire's fabric stand, 
Admired and feared from land to land. 
Through every circling age renewed, 
Unchanged, hinshaken, unsubdued ; 
As rocks resist the wildest breeze, 
That sweeps thy tributary seas. 

2 noTaAt6s ireo itf^jioos, APrTOPAINHZ. 

[Homer, Iliad, xxi, 130.] 



1X6 STANZAS, WRITTEN AT SEA 

STANZAS. WRITTEN AT SEA^ 
[Published in 1812] 

Thou white-rolling sea ! from thy foam-crested billows. 

That restlessly flash in the silver moon-beam. 
In fancy I turn to the green-waving willows. 

That rise by the side of my dear native stream. 
There softly in moonlight soft waters are playing, 

Which light-breathing zephyrs symphoniously sweep ; 
While here the loud wings of the north-wind are 
swaying, 

And whirl the white spray of the wild-dashing deep. 



Sweet scenes of my childhood ! with tender emotion. 

King memory, still wakeful, your semblance por- 
trays : 
And I sigh, as I turn from the wide-beating ocean 

To the paths where I roamed in my infantine days. 
In fancy before me the pine-boughs are waving. 

Beneath whose deep canopy musing I strayed ; 
In crystalline waters their image is laving. 

And the friends of my bosom repose in their shade. 

Ill 

Ye fair-spreading fields, which fertility blesses ! 

Ye rivers, that murmur with musical chime ! 
Ye groves of dark pine, in "whose sacred recesses 

The nymph of romance holds her vigils sublime ! 
Ye heath-mantled hills, in lone wildness ascending ! 

Ye valleys, true mansions of peace and repose ! 
Ever green be your shades, nature's children defending. 

Where liberty sweetens what labour bestows. 

^ In the North Sea on board a man-of-war in 1809. 



STANZAS, WRITTEN AT SEA 117 

IV 

Oh blest, trebly blest, is the peasant's condition 1 

From courts and from cities reclining afar, 
He hears not the summons of senseless ambition, 

The tempests of ocean, and tumults of war. 
Round the standard of battle though thousands may 
rally 

When the trumpet of glory is pealing aloud. 
He dwells in the shade of his own native valley, 

And turns the same earth which his forefathers 
ploughed. 

V 

In realms far remote while the merchant is toiling. 

In search of that wealth he may never enjoy ; 
The land of his foes while the soldier is spoiling, 

When honour commands him to rise and destroy ; 
Through mountainous billows, with whirlwinds con- 
tending. 

While the mariner bounds over wide-raging seas, 
Still peace, o'er the peasant her mantle extending, 

Brings health and content in the sigh of the breeze. 

VI 

And happy, who, knowing the world and its treasures, 

Far, far from his home its allurements repels. 
And leaves its vain pomps and fantastical pleasures. 

For the woodlands where wisdom vnth solitude dwells. 
With the follies of custom disdaining compliance, 

He leaves not his country false riches to find ; 
But content with the blessings of nature and science, 

He pants for no wealth but the wealth of the mind. 

VII 

The beauties are his of the sweet-blushing morning. 
The dew-spangled field, and the lark's matin-song : 

And his are the charms the full forest adorning, 
When sport the noon-breezes its branches among : 



n8 



STANZAS, WRITTEN AT SEA 



1 



And his, sweeter yet, is the twilight oi even, 

When melts the soft ray from the far-fiashing floods, 

And fancy descends from the westerly heaven. 
To talk with the spirit that sings in the woods, 



In some hermit vale had kind destiny placed me, 

'■Mid the silence of nature all lonely and drear, 
Oh, ne'er from its covert ambition had chased me, 

To join the vain crowd in its frenzied career ! 
In the hannts of the forest my fancy is dwelling, 

In the mystical glade, by the lone river's shore, 
Though wandering afar where the night-breeze is_ 
swelling, 

And waters unbonnded tumnltnoualy roar. 

IX 

I hail thee, dark ocean, in beanty tremendous ! 

I love the hoarse dash of thy far-sonnding waves 
But he feels most truly thy grandeur stupendous, 

Who in solitude sits mid thy surf-beatea caves. 
From thy cUfis and thy caverns, majestic and hoary, 

Be mine to look forth on thy boundless array. 
Alone to look forth on thy vast-rolling glory. 

And hear the deep lessons thy thunders convey. 



But hope softly whispers, on moon-b^-ms descending; — 

Despond not, oh mortal I thy sorrows are vain : 
The heart, which misfortune and absence are rending, 

Love, friendship, and home shall enrapture again* 
Though the night-billows rave to the tempest's com- 
motion. 

In the mild breath of morning their fury shall cease ; 
And the vessel, long tossed on the storm-troubled ocea.Q« 

Shall furl her torn sails in the harbour of peace 



I 



INSCRIPTION FOR A MOUNTAIN-DELL 119 

INSCRIPTION FOR A MOUNTAIN-DELL 
[Published in 18 12] 

Whoe'er thou art, thy love of nature led 

These cloud-capped rocks and pathless heights to 
climb I 

Approach this dell with reverential dread, 
Where, bosomed deep in solitudes sublime, 
Repose the secrets of primeval time. 

But if thy mind degenerate cares degrade. 
Or sordid hopes convulse, or conscious crime. 

Fly to the sunless glen's more genial shade. 
Nor with unhallowed steps this haunted ground invade. 

II 
Here sleeps a bard of long-forgotten years : 

Nameless he sleeps, to all the world unknown : 
His humble praise no proud memorial bears : 

Remote from man, he lived and died alone. 

Placed by no earthly hand, one mossy stone 
Yet marks the sod where his cold ashes lie. 

Across that sod one lonely oak has thrown 
Its tempest-shattered branches, old and dry ; 
And one perennial stream runs lightly-murmuring by. 

Ill 
He loved this dell, a solitary child. 

And placed that oak, an acorn, in the sod : 
And here, fuU oft, in hermit-visions wild. 

In scenes by every other step untrod, 

With nature he conversed, and nature's god. 
He fled from superstition's murderous fane. 

And shunned the slaves of Circe's baleful rod. 
The mean, malignant, mercenary train, 
That feed at Moloch's shrine the unholy fires of gain. 



no INSCRIPTION FOR A MOUNTAIN-DELL 

TV 

The stream, that murmured by his favotirite stone, 

The breeze, that rustled through his youthful tree, 
To fancy sung, in sweetly- mingled tone, 

Of future joys, which fate forbade to be. 

False as the calm of summer's treacherous sea 
Is beauty's smile, in magic radiance drest. 

Far from that fatal shore, fond wanderer, flee I 
Rocks lurk beneath the ocean's limpid breast. 
And, deep in caves of nighty storms darkly-brcioding 
rest. 






I 

Ix>ve poured the storm that wrecked his youthful 
prime : 

Beneath hi^ favourite tree his bones were laid : 
Through rolling ages towered its strength sublime. 

Ordained, unseen, to flourish and to fade. 

Its mossy boughs, now sapless and decayed, 
Fall in the blast, and moulder in the shower : 

Yet be the stately wreck with awe surveyed. 
Sad monument of time's unsparing power, 
That shakes the marble dome, and adamantine tower- 



Such was the oak, from whose prophetic shell 
Breathed the primeval oracles of Greece : 

And here, perhaps, his gentle shade may dwell, 
Diffusing tenderness and heavenly peace. 
Of power to bid the rage of passion cease, 

When some fond youth, capricious beauty *5|slave, 
Seeking from care in solitude release. 

Shall sit upon the minstrel's lonely grave. 
And hear through withered bought the mountain- 
breezes rave. 



NECESSITY 121 



NECESSITY 

[Written after 1811] 
'E7<b Kal 5td UoT^as. — ^Euripides, Alcestis [962]. 

STROPHE 

My steps have pressed the flowers, 

That to the Muses' bowers 

The eternal dews of Helicon have given : 

And trod the mountain height, 

Where Science, young and bright, 

Scans with poetic gaze the midnight-heaven ; 

Yet have I found no power to vie 

With thine, severe Necessity ! 

No counteracting spell sublime, 

By Orpheus, breathed in elder time, 

The tablets of initiate Thrace contain ; 

No drug imbued with strength divine. 

To sons of ^sculapian line. 

By pitying Phoebus taught, to soothe the stings of pain. 

ANTISTROPHE 

Thee, goddess, thee alone 

None seek with suppliant moan : 

No votive wreaths thine iron altars dress : 

Immutably severe. 

The song thou dost not hear. 

That speaks the plaint of mortal wretchedness. 

Oh, may I ne'er more keenly feel 

Thy power, that breaks the strength of steel. 

With whose dread course concordant still 

Jove executes his sovereign will : 

Vain were his might, unseconded by thee. 



r 



122. 



YOUTH AND AGE 




Regret or shame thou caast not know ; 
Nor pity for terrestrial woe 

Can check thy onward course, or change thy stem^ 
decree. 



And thou, io patience be^r thy doom, 

Beneath her heaviest bonds opprest ; 

Tears cannot burst the marble tomb. 

Where e'en the sons of gods must rest. 

In IHe, in death, most loved, most blest, 

Was she ior whom our fmildess tears are shed ; 

And round her cold sepulchral bed, 

Unhke the tombs of the promiscuous dead. 

Wreaths of eternal fame shall spread, 

Byjmatchless virtue merited. 

There 'oft the traveller from his path shall turn, 

To grace ^^ith holy rites her funeral urn. 

And muse beaeath the lonely cypress shade, 

ThatVaves, in silent gloom, where her remains are laid J 



YOUTH AHD AGE 
[Written after i3ii] 

Euripides. Hetcuks Furens [637] 

To me the hours of youth are dear^ 
In transient light that flow ! 
But age is heavy, cold, and drear, 
As winter's rocks of snow. 
Already on my brows I feel 
His grasp of ice and fangs of steel. 
Dimming the visual radiance pale. 
That sooa eternal night shall veiL 



YOUTH AND AGE 123 

Oh ! not for all the gold that flings, 
Through domes of oriental kings, 
Its mingled splendour, falsely bright. 
Would I resign youth's lovelier light. 
For whether wealth its path illume. 
Or toil and poverty depress. 
The days of youth are days of bloom, 
And health, and hope, and loveliness. 
Oh ! were the ruthless demon, Age, 
Involved by Jove's tempestuous rage. 
And fast and far to ruin driven, 
Beyond the flaming bounds of heaven. 
Or whelmed where arctic winter broods 
O'er Ocean's frozen solitudes. 
So never more to haunt again 
The cities and the homes of men. 

Yet, were the gods the friends of worth. 
Of justice, and of truth. 
The virtuous and the wise on earth 
Should And a second youth. 
Then would the true glory shine unfurled, 
A light to guide and guard the world. 
If, not in vain with time at strife, 
The good twice ran the race of life. 
While vice, to one brief course confined. 
Should wake no more to curse mankind. 
Experience then might rightly trace 
The lines that part the good and base. 
As sailors read the stars of night. 
Where shoreless billows murmuring roll. 
And guide by their unerring light 
The vessel to its distant goal. 
But, since no signs from Jove declare 
That earthly virtue claims his care ; 
Since folly, vice, and falsehood prove 
As many marks of heavenly love ; 



IZ4 PHCEDRA AND NURSE 

The life of man in darkness flies ■ 
The thirst of truth and wisdom diea ; 

And love and beauty bow the knee 

To gold's supreme divinity. 



PHCEDRA AND NURSE 



*Q KUKh Bfrjr^p irruycptLt re if 6^ m 

Euripides, Hippo^yttts [177] 

Nurse : On, ills of hie t relentless train 
Of sickness, tears, and wasting pain \ 
Where shall I turn ? what succour claim 
To warm with health thy faihng frame ? 
Thy couch, by which so long ive mourn, 
Forth from the palace doors is borne ; 
Turn on these scenes thy languid sight. 
That breathe of life, and smile in light, 
But now thy every wish was given 
To draw the ethereal heirs of heaven ; 
Soon will thy fancy's wandering train 
Recall the chamber's gloom again 1 
Charmless all present objects seem : 
The absent fill thy feverish dream : 
Thy half -formed thoughts new thoughts destroy, < 
Nor leave one transient pause of joy. 
Yet better feel the sharpest pains, 
That rend the nerves, and scorch the veins. 
Than the long watch of misery prove 
By the sick couch oi those we love. 
In the worst pangs of sickness known. 
Corporeal sufferance reigns alone ; 
The double pangs our vigils share 
Of manual toil and mental care. 
The days of man in misery flow : 
No rest from toil and teai^ we know ; 



PHCEDRA AND NURSE 125 

The happier slumbers of the tomb 

Are wrapped in clouds, and veiled in gloom. 

And hence our abject spirits shrink 

Form pressing that oblivious brink, 

Still fondly lingering to survey 

The radiance of terrestrial day. 

Through -fear that fate's unpitying breath 

May burst the deep repose of death. 

And ignorance of those paths of dread 

Which no returning step may tread. 

We trace the mystic legends old 

That many a dreaming bard has told, 

And hear, half-doubting, half-deceived, 

The songs our simpler sires believed. 

Phaedra : Give me your hands. My strength has fled. 
Uplift my frame. Support my head. 
Unclasp the bands that bind my hair, 
A weight I have not power to bear. 
And let my loosened tresses flow 
Freely on all the winds that blow. 



Nurse : My child, let hope thy bosom warm : 
Convulse not thus thy sickly form : 
Thy mind let tranquU virtue steel 
To bear the ills that all must feel. 
Since human wisdom shuns in vain 
The sad necessity of pain. 

Phoedra : Oh, place me on some flowery glade. 
Beneath tie poplar's murmuring shade. 
Where many a dewy fountain flings 
The treasures of its crystal springs. 
There let me draw, in transient rest, 
A draught to cool my burning breast. 



136 PH(EDRA AND NURSE 



^ 



Nurse : Alas ! what wards are these, my child ? 
Oh breathe not strains so sadly wild, 
That seem with frenzy's tint imbued, 
Before the listening multitude. 

Phasdra : Oh I bear me to these heights divine, 
Where wild winds bend the mountain pme< 
Where, to the dog's melodious cry. 
The rocks and caverned glens reply. 

By heaven. I long to grasp the spear, 
Hang on the track o! flying deer, 
Shout to the dogs, as fast we sweep 
Tumultuous down the sylvan steep, 
And hurl along the tainted air 
The javelin from my streaming h^ir. 

Nurse : Alas t what may these visions be ? 
What are tlie dogs and woods to thee ? 
Wky is it thus thy fancy roves 
To lonely springs and cjrpress groves, 
When here the hanging rock distils 
Its everlasting crystal rills ? 

Phcsdra : Goddess of Limna's sandy bounds. 
Where many a courser's hoof resounds ; 
Would 1 were on thy field of fame. 
Conspicuous in the equestrian game. 

Nurse : Still from thy lips such strains depart 
As thrill with pain my aged heart. 
Now on the mountain heights afar 
You long to urge the sylvan war \ 
Now, on the billow- bordering sand. 
To guide the rein with desperate hand. 
What gifted mind "a mysterious skill 
ShaU say whence springs thy secret ill ? 
For sure some god's malignant sway 
Turns thee from reason's paths away. 



PHCEDRA AND NURSE 127 

Phcedra ; Where has my darkened fancy strayed ? 
What has my rash delirium said ? 
How lost, alas I how fallen am I, 
Beneath some adverse deity ! 
Nurse, veil my head. The dream is past ; 
My mournful eyes on earth I cast : 
The thoughts I breathe my memory rend. 
And tears of grief and shame descend. 
Sad is the change, when reason's light 
Bursts on the waste of mental night. 
Severe the pangs of frenzy's hour : 
But, when we feel its scorpion power. 
Oh, might the illusion never fly ! 
For 'twere some blessing so to die, 
Ere yet returning sense could show 
The dire reality of woe. 

Nurse : I veil thee ! when shall death so spread 
His veil around my weary head ? 
Truths, oft by sages sought in vain, 
Long life and sad experience gain. 
Let not the children of mankind 
Affection's bonds too closely bind. 
But let the heart unshackled prove 
The links of dissoluble love. 
Loose be those links, and lightly held ; 
With eajse compressed, with ease repelled ; 
More tender ties the health destroy. 
And bring long grief for transient joy. 
Ill may one feeble spirit bear. 
When double feelings claim its care. 
The pangs that in the heart concur. 
Such pangs as now I feel for her. 
For love, like riches, in excess, 
Has more the power to curse than bless : 
And wisdom turns from passion's strife. 
To seek the golden mean of life. 



128 CHORAL ODE TO LOVE 



CHORAL ODE TO LOVE 



["Bpws, *B/)a>s, 6 Kar* dfifidrcjv. 

Euripides, Hippolytus [525] 

[Written after 18 12] 



Oh love ! oh love ! whose shafts of fire 
Invade the soul with sweet surprise, 
Through the soft dews of young desire 

Trembling in beauty's azure eyes I 
Condemn not me the pangs to share 
Thy too impassioned votaries bear. 
That on the mind their stamp impress, 
Indelible and measureless : 
For not the sun's descending dart. 
Nor yet the lightning brand of Jove, 
Fall like the shaft that strikes the heart. 
Thrown by the mightier hand of love. 



Oh ! vainly, where, by Letrian plains, 

Tow'rd Dian's dome Alpheus bends. 
And from Apollo's Pythian fanes. 

The steam of hecatombs ascends ; 
While not to love our altars blaze ; 
To love, whose tyrant power arrays 
Against Mankind each form of woe 
That hopeless anguish bleeds to know : 
To love who keeps the golden key. 

That, when more favoured lips implore. 
Unlocks the sacred mystery 

Of youthful beauty's bridal door. 



CHORAL ODE TO LOVE 129 



Alas ! round love's despotic power, 

Their brands what forms of terror wave J 
The CEchalian maid in evil hour, 

Venus to greet Alcides gave. 
As yet in passion's love unread. 

Unconscious of connubial ties. 
She saw around her bridal bed 

Her native city's flames arise. 
All hapless maid ! mid kindred gore 

Whose nuptial torch the Furies bore ! 
To him consigned, an ill-starred bride. 

By whom her sire and brethren died. 



Oh towers of Thebes ! oh sacred flow 

Of mystic Dirce's fountain tides ! 
Say in what shapes of fear and woe 

Love through his victim's bosom glides ? 
She, who to heaven's imperial sire 

The care-dispelling Bacchus bore, 
'Mid thunder and celestial fire 

Embraced, and slept, to wake no more. 
Too powerful love, inspiring still 

The dangerous risk, the frantic will. 
Bears like the bee's mellifluous wing, 

A transient sweet, a lasting sting. 



X30 AL MIO PRIMIERO AMORE 

CONNUBIAL EQUALITY 

Mschylas, Prometheus [887] 

[Written in 1812] 

Oh ! wise was he, the first who tanght 
This lesson of observant thought. 
That equal fates alone may bless 
The bowers of nuptial happiness ; 
That never where ancestral pride 
Inflames, or affluence rolls its tide. 
Should love's ill-omened bonds entwine 
The offspring of an humbler line. 

AL MIO PRIMIERO AMORE 
. [Written in 1813] 

I 

To many a shrine my steps have strayed. 
Ne'er from their earliest fetters free : 

And I have sighed to many a maid, 
Though I have never loved but thee. 



Youth's visioned scenes, too bright to last. 
Have vanished to return no more : 

Yet memory loves to trace the past. 
Which only memory can restore. 

m 

The confidence, no heart has felt 
But when with first illusions warm. 

The hope, on one alone that dwelt. 

The thought, that knew no second form,- 



TRANSLATION 131 



All these were ours : and can it be 
That their return may charm us yet ? 

Can aught remain to thee and me, 
Beyond remembrance and regret ? 



For now thy sweetest smiles appear 
Like shades of joys for ever flown, 

As music in an exile's ear 

Recalls the strains his home has known. 

VI 

No more can bloom the faded flower : -^ 
No more the extinguished fire can bum : 

Nor hope nor fancy's mightiest power 
Can burst young love's sepulchral urn. 

TRANSLATION 

To the Editor of The Morning Chronicle 

April 8, 1814. 
Mr Editor, — It may perhaps gratify some of your 
readers who are more conversant with the English than 
with the Greek drama, to bring them acquainted with 
a passage of Euripides, which bears a striking resem- 
blance to a part of Hamlet's soliloquy. The original lines 
being anapoestic, I have given them in translation the 
form of that colloquial lyric, which seems to me to bear 
the most strict analogy our language will admit of to 
the Greek tragedy and apoestic : 

The days of man in misery flow, 
No rest from toil and tears we know ; 
The happier slumbers of the tomb 
Are wrapt in clouds and veil'd in gloom, 



132 LINES TO A FAVOURITE LAUREL 

And hence our abject spirits shrink 
From pressing that oblivious brink ; 
Still fondly lingering to survey 
The radiance of terrestrial day. 
Through fear that fate's unpitying breath 
May burst the deep repose of death, 
And ignorance of those paths of dread, 
Which no returning steps may tread, 
We trace the mystic legends old, 
Which many a dreaming bard has told, 
And hear, half doubting, half depeived. 
The songs our simple sires believed. 

These lines form part of a speech of Phaedra's nurse, 
in the tragedy of ' Hippolytus '. The sentiments may 
seem too philosophical for the personage, and Aris- 
tophanes has not failed to ridicule Euripides for putting 
moral disquisitions and logical subtleties into the 
mouths of women. But it should be remembered 
that in the heroic ages, the nurses of princesses were 
frequently princesses themselves, whom the chance 
of war had thrown into captivity. P. 



LINES TO A FAVOURITE LAUREL 

IN THE GARDEN AT ANKERWYKE COTTAGE 

[Written in 1814] 

How changed this lonely scene I the rank weed chokes 
The garden flowers : the thistle's towering growth 
Waves o'er the untrodden paths : the rose that breathed 
Diffusive fragrance from its christening bed, 
Scarcely a single bud denotes the spot 
Where glowed its countless bloom : the woodbine 
droops 



\ 



LINES TO A FAVOURITE LAUREL 133 

And trails along the ground, and wreathes no more 
Around the light verandah's pillared shade 
The tendrils of its sweetness : the green shrubs. 
That made even winter gay, have felt themselves 
The power of change, and mournful is the sound 
Of evening's twilight gale, that shrilly sweeps 
Their brown and sapless leaves. 

But thou remain' st 
Unaltered save in beauty : thou alone. 
Amid neglect and desolation, spread'st 
The rich luxuriance of thy foliage still. 
More rich and more luxuriant now, than when, 
'Mid all the gay parterre, I called thee first 
My favourite laurel : and 'tis something yet. 
Even ip this world where Ahrimanes reigns 
To think that thou, my favourite, hast been left 
Unharmed amid the inclemency of time, 
While all around thee withered. 

Lovely tree ! 
There is a solemn aspect in thy shade, 
A mystic whisper in the evening gale. 
That murmurs through thy boughs ; it breathes of 

peace. 
Of rest, to one, who, having trodden long 
The thorny paths of this malignant world. 
Full fain would make the moss that tufts thy root 
The pillow of his slumber. 

Many a bard, 
Beneath some favourite tree, oak, beech, or pine. 
Has by the pensive music of the breeze. 
Been soothed to transient rest : but thou canst shed 
A mightier spell : the murmur of thy leaves 
Is full of meaning : and their infltience. 
Accessible to resolution, yields 
No evanescent balm, but pours at once 



^u 



SIR 



tus 



Through all the stifferer's frame, the sweetest sleep 

The weary pilgrim of the earth can know : 

The longt oblivions, everlasting sleep 

Of that last night on which no morn shall rise. 



SIR PROTEUS 



A SATIRIC AI. BALLAD 



Bv P. M. O' DONOVAN. Esq, 
2THSATE MOI nPQTHA nOATTPOnON 

HIC EST QUBM RBQmRlS I 

[Published by Hoolchams m TS14] 

THIS BALLAD IS INSCRIBED TO THE 

RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD BYRON 

With that deep conviction of the high value of hia " 
praise, and of the fatal import of hjs censure, which 
must necessarily be impressed by the profound judg- 
ment with which his opinions are conceived, the calm 
deliberation with which they are promulgated, the 
Protean consistency with which they are maintained, 
and tlie total absence of all undue bias on their forma- 
tion, from private partiality or personal resentment; 
with that admiration of his poetical talents which 
must be universally and irie\'itably felt for versification 
undecorated with the meretricious fascinations of 
harmony, for sentiments unsophisticated by the 
deltisive ardour of philanthrophy, for narrative en- 
veloped in all the Cimmerian sublimity of the impene- 
trable obscure. 



tii. 



JOHNNY ON THE 
JOHNNY m THE 
JOHNNY UNDER 
SEA 



IV, CHEVY CHASE 
V. THE BATHOS 
VI, THE world's end 



SIR PROTEUS 135 



I 

ILLE EGO^ 

Oh I list to me : for I'm about 

To catch the fire of Chaucer, 
And spin in doleful measure out 

The tale of Johnny Raw, sir 2, 

Who, bent upon a desperate plan 

To make the people stare. 
Set ofi full speed for Hindostan 

Upon old Poulter's mare^ 

Tramp ! tramp ! across the land he went ; \3 
Splash ! splash ! across the sea ; ' jhi 

And then he gave his bragging * vent : 
* Pray who can ride like me ? 

^ A variant opening of Virgil's Mneid. 

2 Our hero appears to have been ' all naked feeling 
•and raw life', like Arvalan in The Curse of Kehama. 

^ This is the Pegasa of the Cumberland school of 
poetry. Old Poulter's mare is the heroine * of one of 
our old ballads so full of beauty', A modem bard, 
' whose works will be read when Homer and Virgil are 
forgotten', was at infinite trouble to procure an im- 
pertect cop)^ of this precious piece of antiquity, and 
nas rescued it from oblivion, si ats placet, in the pages 
of Thalaba. 

* After all, perhaps, there is not much bragging in 
the speech of our hero. He has classical authority for 
self-panegyric, and, what is still better, the authority of 
Mr Southey : 

Come, listen to a tale of times of old : 
Come, for ye know me ! I am he who sung 
The Maid of Arc ; and I am he who framed 
Of Thalaba the wild and wondrous song. 
Come, listen to my lay, and ye shall hear 
How Madoc, etc. 



130 



» 



' For I'm the man who sallied forth. 

To rout the classic forces, 
And swore this mare was far more worth 

Than both fierce Hector's horses. 

Asd agaia : 

Most righteously thy soul 
Loathes the black catalogue of human crimes 
And human misery : let that spirit till 
Thy song, and it shall teach thee, boy, to raise 
Strains such as Cato might have deigned to hear. 

What degree of pleasure Cato would have derived 
from the Carmen Trhtmphak for the year 1814, is a 
point that remains to be decided. 

Rananan minstrels of all ages and nations have 
entertained a high opinion of their own melody. Th^e 
Muses of Stys. the UteplSc^ Ka. ra.x'^di'io.ir have transferred 
thdr seat in modem days to the banks of the Northern 
Lakes, where they inflate their tuneful votaries with 
inspiration and egotism. O dolc& comenio! when, to 
the philosophic wanderer on the twilight shore, ascend] 
from the depths of Winander the choraJ modulation \ 

Aifjivcua KpijvBv riKvti 

^arytti^^^, 'ETTHFTN *EMA\" 'AOUAN, 
Eo^f, Kodf, 

APIITO^AXOTS BATPAXOL 

Brek*ek-ek-ex I ko-axi koaxl 

Our lay's harmonious bnrthen be ; 

In vain yon critic owl attacks 

Our blithe and full -voiced minstrelsy. 

Still shall our lips the strain prolong 

With strength of lung that never slacks ; 

Still wake the wild and mondvous song : 
Ko*ax 3 ko-ax 1 ko-ax 1 ko-ax 3 

Chorus in the Ffo^s of Aristophanes. 



I 



SIR PROTEUS 137 

' Old Homer from his throne I struck, 

To Virgil gave a punch. 
And in the place of both I stuck 

The doughty Mother Bunch. 

* To France I galloped on my roan, 

Whose metal nought can quail ; 
There squatted on the tomb of Joan, 
And piped a dismal tale. 

' A wild and wondrous stave I sung. 

To make my hearers weep : 
But when I looked, and held my tongue, 

I found them fast asleep ! ^ 

* Oh ! then, a furious oath I swore. 

Some dire revenge to seek ; 
And conjured up, to make them roar. 
Stout Taffy and his leek. 

* To heaven and hell I rode away, 

In spite of wind and weather : 
Trumped up a diabolic lay ; 
And cursed them altogether. 

* Now, Proteus, rise ! thou changeful seer ! 

To spirit up my mare 2 : 
In every shape but those appear. 
Which taste and nature wear.' 



1 fi <l>L\op;TUy or eiXynrpov, EHIKOTPON N020T, 
'02 'HAT ixoL TrpdarjXBes iv AEONTI yc ! 

Euripides [Orestes, 211]. 

2 This seems to be an imitation of two lines in the 
Dionysiaca of Nonnus, selected by Mr Southey as the 
motto to The Curse of Kehama : 

SrTjcrar^ /aoi IIpwT^a TroX&rporrov, 6^pa <f>avel'Q 
iloLKi\ov clboi ^xw» ^"^^ ttoikLXov VfAvov Apdccu). 



I3S 



SIR PROTEUS 



DIVERSE LmGUE, ORRIBILl FAVELLE 

Even while he sung Sir Proteus rose, 
That wight of ancient fun, 

With salmon-scales instead of clothes, 
And fifty shapes in one. 

He first appeared a folio thick, 

A glossary so stont, 
Of modem language politic ^ 

Where conscience was left out. 



■ Let me the many-changing Proteus see, 

^M To aid my many-changing melody. 

^ It is not at all surprising, that a man, under 
process of moral and political metamorphosis, should 
desLre the patronage of this mnttlform god, who may 
be regarded as the tutelary saint of the numerous and 
thriving sect of Anythingarians. Perhaps the passage 

I would have been more appUcable to himself, though 
less so to his poem, if he had read, suo periculo : 
UoiKlXov dSui l:;ewv, *0T AMEIBQ llOlKIAOX^ETMA I 
Before my eyes let changeful Proteus fioat, 
When now I change my many-coloured coat, 
^ This language was not much known to our an- 
cestors ■ hut it is now pretty well understood by the 

I majority of the H— of C- ^, by the daily, weekly, 

H monthly, and quarterly venders of panegyric and 
B defamation, and by the quondam republicans of the 
I Northern Lakes. The echoes of Grasmere and 
Derwentwater have responded to its melodious 
vocables. The borderers of Tweed and Teviot and 
the ' Br aw, braw lads of Edinbroo * are well versed in 
its tangible eloq^uence. Specimens of its 



5 

I 



SIR PROTEUS 139 

He next appeared in civic guise, 
Which C- s could not flout ^, 

With forced-meat balls instead of eyes, 
And, for a nose, a snout. 

And then he seemed a patriot braw, 

Who, o*er a pot of froth. 
Was very busy, stewing straw. 

To make the people broth. 

composition may be seen in the Courier newspaper, 
in The Quarterly Review, in The Edinburgh Annual 
Register, and in the receipts of the stamp-commissioners 
for the country of Westmoreland. 

^ C s : This is a learned man, ' who does not want 

instruction ' : an independent man, ' who always votes 

according to his conscience', which has a singular 

habit of finding the minister invariably right: a free 

man, who always ' takes the liberty ' to do that which 

is most profitable to himself ; a man, in short, of the 

first magnitude, that ' don't care nothing for nobody ' 

whom he cannot turn a penny by : Rarum ac 

memorabile magni Gutturis exemplum conducendusque 

mapster^ : who will be inexhaustible food for laughter 

while he lives ; and, though not witty himself, be the 

cause of wit in others : and who, when he shall have 

been found, cum capite in Lasano, dead of a surfeit 

after a civic feast, shall be entombed in some mighty 

culinary utensil, vast as the patina of Vitellius, or the 

•fish-kettle of Domitian, which shall be erected in the 

centre of the salle des gourmands, with his Homeric 

inscription, to transmit his virtues to posterity : 

METEnPEHE- TASTEPI- MAPrHI' 

AZHXES- ^AFEMEN- KAI* HIEMEN- OTAE* 01* HN* 12- 

OTAE- BIH • EIAOS- AE* MAAA* MEFAS- HN* OFAASeAI. 

Great was his skill, insatiably to dine 

On pounds of flesh and copious floods of wine : 

No mental strength his heavy form inspired. 

But hooting crouds the portly mass admired. 

[Juvenal, Satires, 11, 1x3]. 



SIR PROTEUS 

In robes collegiate, loosely spread. 
His fonu he seemed to wrap : 
Much Johnny mused to gee no head 
Between the gown and cap ', 

Like grave logician, next he drew 
A tube from garment mystic ; 

Attd bubbles blew, which Johnny knew 
Were anti-kvloistic ^. 



I 
I 



^ This must have been something which had finished 
its education, as the sayittg is, at one of our learned 
universities. 

^ There is a modem bubble- blower of this description, 
whose philosophical career it is agreeable to trace. 
First, we discover him up to his neck in fluids and 
cr)'^stallization5, labouring to build a geological system, 
in all respects conformable to the very scientific narra- 
tive of that most enlightened astronomer and profound 
cosmoeanist, Moses, Emerging from his " Primitive 
Ocean he soars into the opaque atmosphere of 
scholastic dialectics, whence he comes forth the doughty 
champion of that egregious engine of the difficiUs nugis 
and labor inept iarum. syllogism, Armed with, this 
formidable weapon, he rushes into the metaphysical 
arena^ in the consistent character of a dogmatizing 
anti-hyloist,^ insanir^ parans certa ratione modoque : 
maintainirig the existence of three distinct substances, 
that of God. that of angeh, and that of the souls of 
fnen, and annihilating in toto the sun, moon, and stats, 
and all ' the visible diurnal sphere ' ; denying the 
evidence of his senses, and asserting the reality of 
chimeras. Man^ according to him. ia a being spiritual, 
intelligent and immortal, while all other animals are 
insentient machines j a proposition which must be 
amply established in the mind of every one, who ^vill 
take the trouble of comparing a man- milliner with a 
lion, an alderman with an elephant, or a Bond Street 



SIR PROTEUS 141 

Like doughty critic next he sped, 

Of fragrant Edinbroo' : 
A yellow cap was on his head ; 

His jacket was sky-blue : 

lounger with a Newfoundland dog. — See the Geological, 
Logical, and Metaphysical Essays of Richard Kirwan, 
Esq,. LL.D., F.R.S., P.R.I.A. etc., etc., etc. 

Metaphysical science, in the hands of a Locke, a 
Berkeley, a Hume, or a Drummond, demands and 
receives my utmost respect and admiration; but I 
must confess there are moments, when, after having 
fatigued my understanding with the lucubrations of 
such a systematical d/raisonneur as this, I am tempted 
to exclaim with Anacreon : 

T^ fie Toifs vS/jLovs SiSdcKCis, 
Kal fnfjrdpuv dvdyKas ; 
Ti 54 fiOL \6y(ay rocrovrtav, 
TCov firjdh ib<pe\o}L'VT(av ; 

Why tease me with pedantic themes. 

Predicaments and enthymemes, 

My mental storehouse vainly stowing 

With heaps of knowledge not worth knowing ? 

The third part of the Metaphysical Essays will afford 
a delectable treat to the observer of phenomena, who 
may be desirous of contemplating a meteorosophistical 
spider completely entangled in his own cobweb ; and I 
can scarcely help thinking it was to some such para- 
doxographical philosophaster that Virgil alluded, when 
he said : 

Invisa Minervae 
Laxos in foribus suspendit aranea casses 

[Virgil, Georgics, iv, 246] 

The subtle spider, sage Minerva's hate, 
Hangs his loose webs in Wisdom's temple-gate. 

It is much to be lamented that, before Sir Proteus 
quitted his metaphysical shape, it did not occur to our 
hero to propound to him the celebrated philosophical 



I 

B question: Utrum, Prot^e omnifonEe se f aidant ci^ale, 

^ et musicalement exercant sa voix ^s jours caaiculaires, 

pourroit, d*iine lO^l^^ ma tu tine soigneusement em bailee 

au mois de Mai, faire une tierce concoction, devant 1© 

cours entier d'une escharpe zodiacale ? — Perhaps Mr 

IKirwan himself will undertake the solution: I know^ 
no man so well qualified, H 

^ ' Small skill in Latin, and still less in Greek, ^ 

Is more tlian adequate to all we seek I ' — Cow per. 
^ The severity of this blue-jacketed gentleman has been 
productive, ou many occasionSj of very salutary effects. 



SIR PROTEUS 

He wore a cauliflower wig. 

With bubble filled, and squeak ; 

Where hung behind, like tail of pig. 
Small lollypop of Greek ^ 

With rusty knife, he seemed prepared 

Poor poets' blood to fetch : 
la speechless honor Johnny stare^l 

Upon the ruthless wiretch ^. 

Like washing- tub he next appeared 
O'er W 's sea ^ that scuds 

Where poor John Bull stood all besmeaxe 
Up to the necks in suds** 



He is much more reprehensible for ha^-'ing condescended 
aytl , \ . ^^.- - . -- 

Opie, Mr Wilson, etc., etc., etc-, while superior claimants 



re repi 
tof/« 



to play the part of Justice Midas to Mr Wordsworth, Mrs 



have been treated v^dth hEirshness or contempt* If 
praise be withheld from Moore, comparative justice 
requires that it should not be given to Bloonifield. 
The philosophical enemy of idolatry may tear the laurel 
wreath from the brow of Apollo; but he must not^ 
transfer it to the statue of Pam 

^ MafB A ustraie Incognitum. For a satis factor 
account of this undiscovered sea, consult the Lvrt^a 
Ballads of William Wordsworth. Esq. 

^ John Bull is here alluded to in his domestic capacity^ 



SIR PROTEUS 143 

Then three wise men he seemed to be, 

Still sailing in the tub ; 
Whose white wigs looked upon the sea, 

Like bowl of syllabub \ 



The first he chattered, chattered still. 
With meaning none at all, 



^ 



He is a sturdy wight, but the arch-fiend Corruption has 
proved too strong for him. Let not the temporary 
elation of triumph over his most inveterate foreign foe 
blind him to the insidious inroads of that more formid- 
able enemy, which has already plunged him so deep in 
the alkaline ebullitions mentioned in the text. Among 
the causes which have contributed to his submersion, 
may be enumerated the selfish and mercenary apostasy 
of his quondam literary champions. Where is now 
' the eye that sees, the heart That feels, the voice that 
in these evil times. Amid these evil tongues, exalts 
itself, And cries aloud against iniquity ? * Let the 
Edifihurgh Annual Register answer the question. Where 
are ' The skirts of the departing year ? ' Waving, like 
those of a Courier's jacket, in the withering gales 
of ministerial influence. The antique enemies of ' the 
nionster Pitt * are now the panegyrists of the immacu- 
late Castlereagh. The spell which Armida breathed 
over her captives was not more magically mighty in 
the operation of change, than are the golden precepts 
of the Language Politic, when presented in a com- 
pendious and tangible shape to the *Sons of little 
men*. 

Terra malos homines nunc educat atque pusillos ; 
Ergo Deus, quicumque adspexit, ridet et odit. 

[Juvenal, Satires, xv, 70-1] 

1 These three wiseacres go to sea in their tub, as 
their prototypes of Gotham did in their bowl, not 
to fish for the moon, but to write nonsense about 
her. 



144 



SIR PROTEUS 



Of Jack and Jill, and Harry Gill. 
And Alice Fell so small K 

The second of three graves did sing, 
And in such doggrel strains, 

You might hava deemed the Elfin King 
Had charmed awaN" his brains ^. 



k 



Loud sang the third, of Palmy Isle, 

'Mid oceans vast and wild. 
Where he had won a mermaid's smile, 

And i^ot a fairy child ^, 

* Who knows not Alice Fell, the Uttle orphan Alice 
Fell, with her cloak of duffel grey ? — and Harry Gill, 
whose teeth they chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter 
still ? and jack and Jill, that climbed the hili, to fetch 
a pail of water ; when Jack fell down, and cracked 
his crown, and Jill came tumbling after ? 

- Surely this cannot allude tollr E^THSE Coleridge, 
the profound transcendental metaphysician of The 
Friend, the consistent panegyrical politician of the 
Conner, the self- elected laureate of the asinine king, 
the compounder of the divinest narcotic under the 
shape of a tragedy that ever drugged the beaux of 
Drury Lane, the author of that irresistibly comic 
ballad. The AncUnt Mariner, and of a very exquisite 
piece of tragical mirth, also in the form of a ballad, 
entitled The Three Gra^v^s, which read—* If you can ! * 

3 The adventures of this worthy are narrated in a 
rhapsodical (congeries of limping verse, entitled The Isle 
of Palms, very loftily extolled by the Edinburgh Re- 
viewers, and very peremptorily condemned by the 
tribunal of common sense. 

The whimiiug cant and driveUing aSectation of this 
author, with his 'dear God', his " blessed creatures ', 
and his * happy living things", which would be insuffer- 
able in a spimter, lialf-dying with megrim, become 
trebly disgusting in the mouth of a man who 1 



SIR PROTEUS S45 

Like rueful wanderer next he showed, 
Much posed with pious quahn ; 

And first he roared a frantic ode, 
And then he sung a psahn ^. 

Like farmer's man, he seemed to rear 
His form in smock-frock dight ; 

And screeched in poor Apollo's ear, 
Who ran with all his might. 

And, even while Apollo ran, 

Arose the Bellman there. 
And clapped the crack- voiced farmer's man 

Into his vacant chair 2. 

such fine sympathies with the animal creation, and 
is not only an indefatigable angler, but a cock-fighter 
of the first notoriety. It is a curious fact that, as he 
was one day going to a match, accompanied by a man 
who carried two ba^s of fighting-cocks, he unex- 
pectedly met with his friend Wordsworth (who was 
coming to visit him), and immediately caused the 
man to secrete himself and the cocks behind the 
hedge; an anecdote which redounds greatly to the 
credit of Mr Wordsworth's better feelings, and makes 
me strongly inclined to forgive him his Idiot Boy, and 
the Moods of his own Mind, and even Harry Gill. 

^ Wanderer, whither dost thou roam ? 

Weary wanderer, old and gray I 
Wherefore hast thou left thy home, 
In the twilight of thy day ? 
Montgomery, Wanderer of Switzerland. 

The twiUght of this wanderer's day is a dim morning 
twilight, on which no sun will rise. The day-beams 
of genius are quenched in the mists of fanaticism. 

2 In medio duo signa, Conon. . . et quis fuit alter? 
[Virgil, Eclogues, iii, 40]. 

Conon was a Farmer's Boy, a minstrel of cows and 



146 



) 
I 



Next, like Tom Thumb, be skipped along 

In merry Irisli gig : 
And now he whined an amorous song. 

And now he pnlled a wig^. 

Whose frizzles, firing at bis rage, 

Like Indian crackers £ew, 
Each wrapped in party-coloured page 

Of some profound Review \ 

cow-sheds* and cow-dung and cow-poek ; yet, neverthe- 
less, a considerable favourite with the delicate and 
fashionable fair-ones of liis day : et quis fuit alter ? — 
sciL the betlman : THE bellman^ k^t i^QX'^^'- He %vas a 
character very ridiculously remarkable in the annals 
of rural perfumery, who most ludicrously mistook 
himself for a poet and philosopher, passed much of 
his time in star-gating, wrote soui^ dismal jargon, which 
he christened Sonnets on the Petrarchan Modsl, kept a 
journal of the rain and wind, and rang many a peaJ 
of nonsense in praise of his friend Conon, the Farmer's 
Boy, %vbo was, indeed tali di^nus awiWJ.—Juveaai, 
Settifes v, 173, 

Disced o Aicaaus puucto illius : ille meo qnis ? ■ 
Quis, nisi Callimachus ? 1 

[Horace, Epistks, 11; E, 99-100] 

* Note by Professor Nodus- la- Scirpo, of the University 
of Cambridge. It is well kno^vn that a certain little 
poet challenged a certain great critic to the deadly 
arbitrament of powder and wadding* Of this circum- 
stance the multiform Proteus here seems to make 
himself symbolical. The wig seems to typify the body- 
corporate of criticism, which, being roughly handled 
in one of its side-curls, opens fire from all its frix;^les 
on the daring assailant, in a volley of Indian cf ackers. 
the dtffereut colours of which are composed of the 
pariy'cohurs supposed to be worn by the respective 
corps of critics militant* 

'^Of reviews in the present day we have saH^M 



SIR PROTEUS 147 

In jaunting-car 1, like tourist brave, 
Full speed he seemed to rush ; 

superque. We have The Edinburgh Review, already 
eulogized; and The Monthly Review, which I believe 
is tolerably inpartial, though not very remarkable 
either for learning or philosphy ; The Quarterly Review, 
a distinguished vehicle of compositions in the Language 
Politic : and The British Critic, which proceeds on the 
enlightened principle that nothing can possibly be 

food coming from a heretic, or a republican; and 
'he Antijacobin Review, . . . ; dnid The British Review, 
of which I can say nothing, never having read a single 
page of it ; and The Eclectic Review, an exquisite focus 
of evangelical illumination ; and the New Review which 
promises to be an useful Notitia Literaria; and The 
Critical Review, which I am very reluctant to mention 
at all, as I can only dismiss it in the words of Captain 
Bobadil : ' It is to gentlemen I speak : I talk to no 
scavenger'. 

^ A wooden car, perpetuo revolubile gyro, may rumble 
through Ireland, Scotland, France, and the Nether- 
lands, and annoy the ears of the English metropolis 
with the echo of its wheels ; but it must not pretend 
to be the vehicle of poetic inspiration, unless the inutile 
lignum be mechanically impelled to the proclamation 
of its own emptiness. To illustrate this proposition by 
a case in point : A minute inspection of the varieties 
of human absurdity brings us acquainted with the 
existence of a certain knight, who has travelled rapidly, 
profited sparingly, and published enormously. Sub- 
limed into extraordinary daring by the garlands of 
dwarf-laurel, torn from the bogs of the Shannon and the 
shores of the Caledonian lakes, he has actually made a 
profane excursion on the boundaries of Parnassus, and 
presented the public with a curious collection of weeds, 
under the facetious title of Poems, by Sir John Carr ! 
Amongst these is one on a paper-mill. The knight has 
been so good a friend to the paper-mill, that, had his 
benefactions stopped with his custom, he would have 



143 



SIM pmTEUS 



And cliaunted many a clumsy stave. 
Might make the Bellman blush, 

merited the eternal gratitude of all that baud of 
mechanics who begin, what other mechanics like himself 
conclude, the process of making a book. But his 
bounty does not stop so short. Not satisfied with 
having raised the price of rags, and the wages of the 
paper- millers, he has actually favoured the world with 
a poem on the subject, wTittenK as he says, en badinagg^U 
We ought to be much obliged to him for the informa-"^ 
tion, as it shows, by contradistinction, that some of his 
works have been written in sober sadness ; though I 
believe the greater part of those indefatigable devour ers 
of new publications who, by the aid of snuff and coffee, 
have contrived to keep themselves awake over his 
lucubrations, have imagined all his works to have been 
designed for badinage, from the burlesque solemnity 
and grave no-meaning of his statistical, political, and 
topographical discussions, to the very tragicaJ merri- 
ment ot his retailed puns and right pleasant original 
conceits. But here is a poem written professedly en 
badinag£. Therefore badinons un pea with the worthy| 
cifValure erf ante. 



'LINES 






Written en hadintige, after visiting a paper-mill m 
Tun bridge Wells^ in consequence of thelovely Miss W.. 
who excels in drawing, requesting the author to 
describe the process of making paper, in verse/ j 

I should imagine, from the young lady's requesting 
Sir John to employ his gray quill on a paper-mill, that' 
the lovely Miss W. excels in quizzing a^ much as she 
does in drawing. 

* Reader I I do not wish to brag, 
But, to display Eliaa's skill. 
I'd proudly be the vilest rag 
That ever went to paper-mill- 
Or that ever came from it. Sir John might have add^d 



J 



SIR PROTEUS 14^ 

Like grizzly monk, on spectral harp 
Deep dole he did betoken ; 

* Content in pieces to be cut ' — 
Sir John has been cut up so often that he must be well 
used to the operation : it is satisfactory to find him so 
well pleased with it. Nature, indeed, seems to have 
formed him for the escpress purpose of being cut in 
pieces. He is a true literary polypus, and multiplies 
under the knife of dissection. 
' Content in pieces to be cut, 

Though sultry were th« summer skies. 
Pleased between flannel I'd be put. 
And after bathed in jellied size. 
' Though to be squeezed and hanged I hate ' — 
This line lets us into an extraordinary piece of taste 
on the part of the knight. He does not like to be 
hanged. Non porrigit ora capistro. [Juvenal, Satires, 
vi, 43]. 

' For thee, sweet girl, upon my word * — 
Vivide et ivafyyus, 

' When the stout press had forced me flat ' — 
' The stout press ' : Stout, indeed, when even Sir 
John's quartos have not broken it down. — ' Had forced 
me flat ' ; — Sir John, we see, is of opinion that great 
force would be requisite to make him flat. For my 
part, I think he is quite flat enough already, and that 
he has rather communicated his own flatness to the 
press, than derived that quality from it. 
' I'd be suspended on a cord,' 
This is gallantry indeed : for the sake of the lovely 
Miss W., Sir John would suffer the suspension of his 
outward man, notwithstanding his singular antipathy 
to the process. 

' And then when dried ' — 
Cut first, sir, and dried after, like one of his own cut 
and dried anecdotes, introduced so very apropos, as, 
' a curious circumstance that happened to me '. 



ISO 



SIR PROTEUS 



I 
I 



And strummed one stram, 'twixt flat and sharp, 
Till all the strings were broken. 

— ' and fit for ase ' — 
By dint of cutting up and hanging Sir John is made 
usefnL Presently he will be ornamental 

* Eliza I 1 would pray to thee ' — 
We see Sir John does not think of pra^dng till after 
he has been hanged, contrary to the usual process on 
similar occasions. | 

' If with thy pen thou would'st amuse. 

That thou would' st deign to write on me.' 
Nay, nay, Sir John, not on you, ' Verse must be duH 
on subjects so d — d dry/ u 

'Gad's bud r— 1 

A classical exclamation, equivalent to the medms- 
fidiiis of Petronius, the JEdepol of Terence, and the 
v^l rhv o^p^vtv of Aristophanes, 

* Gad's bud 1 how pleasant it would prove 
Her pretty chit-chat to convey ' : 
The world is well aware of Sir John*s talent for^ 
conveying the pretty chit-chat oi his acquaintance 
into his dapper quartos ; but how pleasant the opera- 
tion has proved to any one but himself, 1 am not| 
prepared to decide. 
' P'rhaps— * 
An Attic contraction. 

' Perhaps be the record of her love 
Told in some coy enchanting way.' 
If this should be the case I can furnish the young lady^ 
with a suitable exordium, from an old Italian poet : 
Scrivend^ io gif'f mio forsennato amofe 
Su duro foglio d' asintna pelle. 
* Or if her pencil she would try 
On me, oh may she still imprint 
Those forms that fix the adndring eye, 
Each, graceful line, each glowing tint.' 



SIR PROTEUS 151 

Like modish bard, intent to please 

The sentimental fair 
He strung conceits and similes, 

Where feeling had no share ^, 

I know not what success the lovely Miss W. might 
have in making Sir John ornamental. GiUray, we 
all know, tried his pencil on him very successfully, 
and fixed a glowing tint (of anger, not of shame) on 
the cheek of the exasperated Sir John. 
' Then shall I reason have to brag, 

For thus, to high importance grown, 
The world will see a simple rag 
Become a treasure rarely known.' 
So ends this miserable shred of what Sir John calls 
badinage. ' Away ! thou rag ! thou quantity ! thou 
remnant I ' And so much for the Poems of Sir John 
Carr. 

dXis S4 ot' dWA ^KTiXos 
'E/J^^rw iK ydp ol ^p^vag etXero ixTtrUra Zeus. 

[Homer, Iliad, 376-7.] 

Let him in peace the depths of Lethe gain. 

Since all-wise Jove hath robbed his sconce of brain. 

'^Non multum abludit imago [Hor., Sat., 11, iii, 320] 
from Mr W. R. Spenser, a writer of fantastical namby- 
pambies and ' epigrammatico-sentimental madrigals, 
on the clasp of a waist, or the tie of a garter, on the 

ankle of Lady H k, or the bosom of Lady J y, 

etc., etc., etc. Mr S. trespasses so often on forbidden 
ground that the reader begins to anticipate strange 
things, and is almost ready to exclaim, Quos agor in 
specus ? [Hor., Odes, iii, xxv, 2]. 

The fashionable world has its own luminaries of 
taste and genius. Solem suum sua sidera norunt. 
[Virgil, Mn., vi, 641]. But they have more of the meteor 
than the star, and even of the meteor more of its tran- 
sience than its lustre. The little lustre they possess 
is indeed meteoric, for it shines within a narrow circle, 
and only a feeble report of its existence passes the 



b 



limits of its sphare. Ad nos vix tenuis fafms perlabitur 
attra. [Virgil, JEneid, vii, 647]- The solitary'' philo- 
sopher reads in some critical epheaieris that such a 
meteor has been observed : he notices the subject for a 
momenta and returns to the contemplation of those stars, 
which have shone and will continue to shine for ages. 

There are no results of human art in which the 
fluxum aiqu€ caducuni is so strikingly e.xemplified as m 
those prcductions which constitute what may be de- 
nominated fashionable literature. This is one of the 
afiEairs of men in which there is no tide. There is no 
refluence in fashionable taste. It is an overflowing 
stream, which rolls on its inexhaustible store of new 
poems, new romances, new biography^ new criticism, 
new moralit>^^to that oblivious gulf from which very 
few are redeemed by the swans of renown. The few 
so redeemed cease to be fashionable, and to the really 
Mterary part of mankind they scarcely begin to be knowm 
when, to the soi-disant literati of the fashionable u^rld 
they are already numbered with the things that were ; 
with Dryden, and Drayton, and Spenser, and other 
obsolete worthies ; of every one of whom the fashion* 
able reader may exclaim : Notus mihi nomine tantwn f ^ 
[Hot.. Sai^, I, IX, 3] and who have been rudely thrust™ 
aside to make way for these new^-comer&, as the choicest ™ 
liroductions of Greek and Roman taste were trampled 
into the dust by the Goths and V^andals, or as t^e 
statues of Apollo, Venus, and the Graces w^ere throwB 
down and demolished by the more barbarous fanatics 
of the Dark A^es, in order that St Benedict and St 
Dominic, and St Anthropophagos, might be placed 
tipon th«ir pedestals. 

The great desideratum in fashionable literature is 
novelty. The last publications which have issued from 
the press in the department of the belles lettres must 
co-operate with the last princely fete, the last elegant 
a^ir of chm. con., the last semivir imported frona 



SIR PROTEUS 153 

With heather bell upon his head, 
And fiddle in his hand ; 

Italy, in filling up that portion of fashionable conversa- 
tion which is not engrossed by pure no-meaning, by 
party, or by scandal. These publications are caught 
up wet from the press, and thrown carelessly on the 
table, the sofa, or the ottoman, to furnish a ready 
answer to the certain questions of the lounging visitor : 
Is this Mr S.'s new poem ? Have you seen Mr L's 
romance ? Have you met with Miss M.'s puritanical 
novel? Have you fallen asleep, as I did, over the last 
battle ? till some newer effusion of fancy dispossess them 
of their post of honour, and send them to a private 
station on the shelves of the library, to sleep wth those 
that have been mighty in their day, with the Tales of 
Wonder and The Botanic Garden, with the flowery 
Wreath of Delia Crusca and the barren Landscape of 
Knight, with the Travels of Sir John Carr, the Bio- 
graphy of Mr Shepherd, and the Criticism of Dr Drake. 
This undistinguishing passion for literary novelty 
seems to involve nothing less than a total extinction 
of everything like discrimination in taste, and nature 
in imagination : and it would be rendering no slight 
service to the cause of sound criticism and pmlosophical 
literature, to hold up Banquo's mirror to the readers 
of the fzishionable world, and show them, at one view, 
the phantoms of those productions which they had 
successively admired and forgotten, from the days of 
love-sick marygolds and sentimental daffydowndillies, 
to these of pathetic ruffians, poetical bandits, and 
* maids that love the moon '. If, on the execution of 
this office, it should sometimes be necessary to per- 
form the part of a resurrection-man in criticism, and 
compel the canonized form of many a would-be poet 
and pilferer of old romances to burst the cerements of 
his literary sepulchre, the operation would not be 
wholly without its use. The audible memento which 
these spectres would thunder in the ears of the inde- 
fatigable scribblers of the day would operate in 



154 



SIR PROTEUS 



Amd such a thrill and piercing scrape 

Of hideous discord gave. 
That none but Johnny's ear could scape 

Unfractured by the stave. 

Old Poulter's mare, in. sudden fright, 
Forgot all John had taught her : 

And up she reared, a furious height, 
And soused Hm in the water. 



I 



ierrorem on the side of common sense, and by stifling 
in its birth many a crude embryo of nonsense, save 
many a groan to the press, many a headache to the 
critic, and much perversion of intellect to the rising 
generation. 

Praise, when well deserved, should be treely given : 
but in cases so desperate as the present, the se-verity 
of justice should not be tempered by the least degree of 
unmerited mercy* — Common sense and taste can 
scarcely stem the torrent of doggerel and buffoonery 
which is daily poured forth by the press, 

* Even as Fleet-ditch, with disemboguing streams, 
Rolls the large tribute of dead dogs to Thames/ 

The gardens of Parnassus are overrun with weeds, 
which have been suffered to fatten in obscurity by the 
mistaken lenity of contempt. To bruise their heads 
is useless : they must be torn up by the roots before 
any wholesome plant can have room to flourish in the 
soli. — If we desire that Philosophy may re-enter the 
temple of Apollo, we must not hesitate to throw dOTs-n 
the Corycian Cave the rubbish that defiles its courts 
and chokes its vestibule. I would apply to subjects of 
taste the severe morality of Sophocles : 

Xp^r 3' ei^i)? trj^at ri^vSe rolt wairty 6iKffVf 

KTEINEIN - TO TAP nANOTPrOX GTE Ai\ HN DOAT 
[Sophocles, Ehdm, 1505.] 



i 



SIR PROTEUS 155 



OR CHI SEI TU ? 

Ten thousand thousand fathoms down 

Beneath the sea he popped : 
At last a coral cracked his crown, 

And Johnny Raw was stopped i, 

Sir Proteus came and picked him up, 

With grim and ghastly smile ; 
And asked him to walk in and sup, 

And fiddled aU the while 2. 

So up he got, and felt his head. 
And feared his brain was diddled ; 

While still the ocean o'er him spead, 
And still Sir Proteus fiddled. 

And much surprised he was to be 

Beneath the ocean's root ^; 
Which then he found was one great tree, 

Where grew odd fish for fruit. 

' * Ten thousand thousand fathoms down he dropped ; 
Till in an ice-rift, 'mid the eternal snow, 
Foul Arvalan is stopped.* 

Southey, Curse of Kehama. 

2 Sir Proteus, having fixed himself in the shape most 
peculiarly remote 6:0m taste and nature, that of a 
minstrel of the Scottish border, continues to act up to 
the full spirit of the character he has assumed by fidd- 
ling with indefatigable pertinacity to the fall of the 
curtain. 

3 For a particular description of the roots of the 
ocean, see Mr Southey^s Thalaha^ 



1 56 SIR PROTEUS 

And there were fish both young and old, 
And fish both great and smsdl ; 

And some of them had heads of gold, 
And some no heads at all. 

And now they came where Neptune sate, 

With beard like any Jew, 
With all his Tritons round in state. 

And all his Nereids too : 

And when poor Johnny's bleeding sconce 

The moody king did view^. 
He stoutly bellowed, all at once : 

* Pray who the deuce are you ? 

* That thus dare stalk, and walk, and talk, 
Beneath my tree, the sea, sir, 

And break your head, on coral bed. 
Without the leave of me, sir ? ' 



IV 

'OMAAOS A' AAIASTOS OPfiPEI 

Poor Johnny looked exceeding blue 2, 

As blue as Neptune's self ; 
And cursed the jade, his skull that threw 

Upon the coral shelf ; 



^ * Up starts the moody Elfin King,' etc., etc., etc. 

Lady of the Lake. 

2 * Though in blue ocean seen, 

Blue, darkly, deeply, beautifully blue. 

In all its rich variety of tints. 

Suffused with glowing gold.' — Southey, Modoc. 



SIR PROTEUS 157 

And thrice he cursed the jarring strain 

That scraping Proteus sung, 
Which forced his mare to rear amain, 

And got her rider flung. 

His clashing thoughts, th9.t flocked so quick. 

He strove in vain to clear ; 
For 'Still the ruthless fiddlestick 

Was shrieking at his ear, 

A piercing modulated shriek i. 

So comically sad. 
That oft he strove in vain to speak. 

He felt so wondrous mad. 

But seeing well, by Neptune's phiz, 

He deemed the case no joke. 
In spite of all the diz and whiz. 

Like parish-clerk he spoke ^ 

A wondrous speech, and all in rhyme, 

As long as Chevy Chase, 
Which made Sir Proteus raise his chime, 

While Glaucus fled the place. 

He sung of men who nature's law 

So little did redoubt. 
They flourished when the life was raw, 

And when the brain was out^ ; 

^ * A long, shrill, piercing, modulated cry.' 

Southey, Madoc. 
2 This would be no ill compliment to the author last 
cited, a professed admirer and imitator of Sternhold 
and Hopkins. 

^ There is a gentleman in this condition in Mr 
Southey' s Curse of Kehama who is, nevertheless, per- 
fectly alive and vigorous, makes two or three attempts 
to ravish a young lady, and is invariably repelled by a 



iS8 SIR PROTEUS 

Whose axms were iron spinning-wheels, 
That twirled when winds did puflf, 

And forced Old Scratch to ply Ms heels, 
By dint of usage rough. 

Grim Neptune bade him stop the peals 
Of such infernal stuff. 

But when once in, no art could win * 

To silence Johnny Raw : 
For Nereid's grin, nor Triton's fin, 

He did not care a straw ; 
So still did spin his rhyming din, 

Without one hum or haw. 
Though still the crazy violin 

Kept screaming * Hoot, awa* 1 * 

Till all the Tritons gave a yell. 

And fled, in rout inglorious, 
With all the Nereids, from the spell 

Of Johnny's stave laborious. 
And Neptune scouted in his shell. 

And left stout Raw victorious. 

very severe fustigation. The times have been that when 
the brains was out the man would die ; but,^with so many 
living contradictions of this proposition, we can scarcely 
rank the dead-alive Arvalan among the most monstrous 
fictions of Hindoo mythology ; whatever we may think 
of the spinning-wheel arms of Kehama, who contrives 
to split himself into eight pieces, for the convenience of 
beating eight devils at once : for which profane amuse- 
ment he is turned to a red-hot coal. Voilct la belle 
imagination I 



SIR PROTEUS 159 



ASPRO CONCENTO, ORRIBILE ARMONIA 

But Proteus feaxed not Johnny's tongue. 
And vowed to be the master ; 

And still the louder Johnny sung. 
Bold Proteus scraped the faster ; 

And raised a rhyme of feudal time, 

A song of moonlight foray. 
Of bandits bold, in days of old, 

The Scott, the Kerr, the Murray. 

Who, by their good King James desired 

To keep up rule and order. 
Like trusty guardians, robbed, and fired. 

And ravaged all the border. 

Then sung he of an English peer^ 
A champion bold and brawny, 

Who loved good cheer, and killed his dear. 
And thrashed presumptuous Sawney. 

Then Roderick, starch in battle's brunt. 
The changing theme supplied ; 

And Maid, that paddled in a punt 
Across Loch Katrine's tide : 

And horse, and hound, and bugle's sound. 

Inspired the lively lay. 
With ho ! ieroe 1 and taUyho ! 

And yoicks ! and harkaway I 

1 ' The good Lord Marmion, by my life ! ' 



i6o SIR PROTEUS 

Then much he raved of lunar lights 
Like human conscience cliangiagi. 

And damsel bright, at dead of night, 
With bold Hibernian ranging ; 

^ Sir Proteus appears to borrow this part of his many- 
changing melody from the exordium of Mr Scott's^ 
Rok&by, which ia in manner and form following : * 

The moon is in her summer glow ; 

But hoarse and high the breezes blow, 

Andp racking o'er her face, the cloud 

Varies the tincture of her shroud. 

On Barnard's towers, and Tees' s stream. 

She changes Kke a guilty dream. 

When Conscience with remorse and fear 

Goads sleeping Fancy*s wild career. 

Her light seemed now the blush of shame. 

Seemed now fierce anger's darker dame. 

Shifting that shade to come and go. 

Like apprehension's hurried glow ; 

Then sorrow's livery dims the air, 

And dies in darkness, like despair. 

Such varied hnes the warder sees 

Reflected from the woodland Tees. 
It would not be ra^y to find a minstrel strain more 
opposite, in every respect, to taste and nature, than 
this. What is the summer glow of the moon ? Glow 
is heat, or the appsarance of heat. But there is no 
heat in the moon's rays, nor do I believe that the face ot 
the planet ever presented such an appearance. The 
cloud, which racks over the face of the moon, and 
varies the tincture of her shroud, is a verj'' incomprehen- 
sible cloud indeed, Ry rack I presume Mr Scott to 
understand the course of the clouds when in motion. 
ThLsj Mr Tooke has shown, is not the true meaning of 
the word* Rack is merely thai which is reeked : a 
vapour, a steam, an exhalation* It is the past parti- 
ciple of the AugiO'Saxon verb pocan, exhaiare : but 
to talk of a cloud reeking or steaming over the face of 
the moon would be downright nonsense. But whether 



SIR PROTEUS i6i 

And buccaneer so stern and staunch, 

Who, though historians vary. 
Did wondrous feats on tough buck's haunch. 

And butt of old Canary. 

The fiddle, with a gong-like power, 

Still louder, louder swelling,' 
Resounded till it shook the bower, 

Grim Neptune's coral dwelling : 

And still Sir Proteus held his course. 

To prove his muse no craven, 
Until he grew completely hoarse, 

And croaked like any raven. 

rack signify motion, or vapour, what is the shroud of 
the moon, of which the cloud varies the tincture ? It 
cannot be the cloud itself, for in that case the cloud 
would be said to vary its own tincture. It plainly 
implies something external to the moon and different 
from the cloud, and what is that something ? Most 
assuredly nothing, that ever came within the scope of 
meteorological observation. The moon, thus clouded 
and shrouded, reflects on her disk various mental 
phenomena, which are seen by the warder. Now, it 
is most probable that the warders of past day^, like 
the sentinels of the present, were in the habit of looking 
at nature with the eyes of vulgar mortals, and not of. 
remarking mental phenomena in the disk of the moon. 
Had the poor little pitiful whining Wilfrid discovered 
these chimeras, it would at least have been more in 
character. The dark-red appearance which would 
characterize the flame of anger and the glow of appre- 
hension, the moon never assumes but when very near 
the horizon, and in that position her tincture does not 
vary. * Shifting a shade to come and go ' will scarcely 
pass for good English on this side of the Tweed. The 
livery of sorrow, if it mean anything, must mean a 
mourning coat, and what idea is conveyed to the miad 
by the figure of a black livery dying in darkness ? 



i6a SIR PROTEUS 

They might have thought, who heard the strum 

Of such unusual strain, 
That Discord's very self was come, 

With all her minstrel train,* 

Headlong by vengeful Phoebus thrown, 
Through ocean's breast to sweep. 

To where Sir Bathos sits alone, 

Majestic on his wire- wove throne. 
Below the lowest deep ^, 



COLA DOVE E IL FINIMONDO 

Though Johnny prized the Jew's-harp twang 

Beyond old Homer's harp^, 
He little loved the barbarous clang 

Of fiddle cracked and sharp : 

^ T^Xe fidX, ijxL BAGISTON virb x&ovog eari ^^pcBpov, 

T6(r<T0v ^v€p$* AiSeuj, 6(rov oifpavos icd ' virb yairjs. 
2 Our hero is not singular. The harp of Israel is 
exalted above the l5n:e of Greece by the poetical ortho- 
doxy of the bards of the lakes : 

McBonium qui jam soliti contemnere carmen, 
Judaioos discunt numeros servantque, coluntque, 
Tradidit arcano quoscumque volumine Moses I 

Juvenal, Satires, xiv, loo. 
which accounts for the air of conscious superiority and 
dignified contempt they assume towards those perverted 
disciples of Homer and Sophocles, who are insensible 
to the primitive mellifluence of patriarchal modulation. 
It is not less creditable to the soundness of their theology 
than to the purity of their taste, that they herein differ 
tota coelo from the profane Frenchman, who concludes 
his poem with a treaty between the principal personages 



SIR PROTEUS 163 

And when the names Sir Proteus said 

Of Murray, Kerr, and Scott ; 
The sound went crashing through his head. 

Like Van Tromp's famous shot^ ; 

Which, like some adamantine rock. 

By Hector thrown in sport, 
Plumped headlong into Sheemess dock. 

And battered down a fort. 

Like one astound, John stared around. 

And watched his time to fly ; 
And quickly spied, amid the tide, 

A dolphin sailing by — 

And jumped upon him in a crack, 

And touched him in the fin. 
And rose triumphant, on his back, 

Through ocean's roaring din : 

While Proteus, on his fiddle bent 

Still scraped his feudal jig ; 
Nor marked, as on his ballad went, 

His bird had hopped the twig. 

So Johnny rose 'mid ocean's roar, 

And landed was full soon, 
Upon a wild and lonely shore. 

Beneath the waning moon. 

of the ancient and modern religions of Europe, by 
which it is stipulated that the latter shall continue 
throned in glory on Mount Sinai, while the former shall 
retain the exclusive and undisturbed possession of 
Mount Parnassus. 

^ This shot, I am informed, is still to be seen at 
Sheerness. 



i64 SIR PROTEUS 

He sate him down, beside a cave 

As black as hell itself, 
And heard the breakers roar and rave, 

A melancholy elf : 

But when he wanted to proceed. 

And advertise his mare. 
In vain he struggled to be freed. 

Such magic fbced him there. 

Then came a voice of thrilling force : 
' In vain my power you brave. 

For here must end your earthly course, 
And here Oblivion's cave. 

* Far, far within its deep recess, 

Descends the winding road. 
By which forgotten minstrels press 
To Pluto's drear abode. 

* Here Cr — k — r fights his battle o'er, 

And doubly kills the slain. 

Where Y no more can nod or snore 

In concert to the strain. 

* Here, to psalm tunes thy C — ^1 — r — dge sets 

His serio-comic lay : 
Here his grey Pegasus curvets. 
Where none can hear him bray. 

* Here dreaming W — rds — th wanders lost. 

Since Jove hath cleft his decki : 

NHA eOHN dpXiJTL KcpavvGj 



ZET^E A(ras iKiaaae, jjuiaifi ivl otpoiri w6vT<fi, 

[Homer, Odyssey, v, 131-2]. 



SIR PROTEUS 16$ 

Lo I on these rocks his tub is tost ^, 
A shattered, shapeless wreck. 

' Here shall Corruption's laureate wreath. 

By ancient Dulness twined 
With flowers that courtly influence breathe, 

Thy votive temples bind. 

' Amid the thick Lethean fen 

The dull dwarf -laurel springs 2, 
To bind the brows of venal men. 

The tuneful slaves of kings. 

' Come, then, and join the apostate train 

Of thy poetic stamp. 
That vent for gain the loyal strain, 

'Mid Stygian vapours damp. 
While far below, where Lethe creeps, 
The ghost of Freedom sits, and weeps 

O'er Truth's extinguished lamp.' 



^ See page 142 sqq. 

' In such a vessel ne'er before 
Did human creature leave the shore. 
But say what W2is it ? — Thought of fear ! 
Well may ye tremble when ye hear ! 
A household tub, like one of those 
Which women use to wash their clothes ! * 

Wordsworth, Poems, vol. ii, p. 72. 
- The dwarf-laurel is a little stunted plant, growing 
in ditches and bogs, and very dissimilar to that Par- 
nassian shrub * which Dryden and diviner Spenser wore ' 
as in the Carmen Triumphale for the year 18 14, melli- 
fluously singeth the Protean bard, Robert Southey, 
Esquire, Poet-Laureate II! 

Xaip4 fioL & lIPfiTET- (tJ 5' odKiri riprf/eai otos 
T^x^V MI2e04>0PEI TAP nOIKIAOMOP<l>OS 
AnOAAQN ! 



i66 HEADLONG HALL 

L'ENVOY 

Good reader I who have lost your time 
In listening to a noisy rhyme I 
If catgut's din, and tramping pad, 
Have not yet made completely mad 
The little brains you ever had, — 
Hear me, in friendly lay expressing 
A better than the ' Bellman's ' blessing 
That Nature may to you dispense 
Just so much share of common sense. 
As may distinguish smoke from fire, 
A shrieking fiddle from a lyre, 
And Phoebus, with his steed of air, 
From poor old Poulter and his Mare. 

THE END OF PROTEUS 



FROM HEADLONG HALL, 1815 

^ ' SONG 

[By Mr Chromatic] 

In his last binn Sir Peter lies. 

Who knew not what it was to frown : 
Death took him mellow, by surprise, 

And in his cellar stopped him down. 
Through all our land we could not boast 

A knight more gay, more prompt than he. 
To rise and fill a bumper toast. 

And pass it round with three times three. 

None better knew the feast to sway. 
Or keep Mirth's boat in better trim ; 

For Nature had but little clay 

Like that of which she moulded him. 



LOVE AND OPPORTUNITY '^67 

The meajiest guest that graced his board 

Was there the freest of the free, 
His bumper toast when Peter poured, 

And pased it round with three times three. 

He kept at true good humour's mark 

The social flow of pleasure's tide : 
He never made a brow look dark, 

Nor caused a tear, but when he died. 
No sorrow round his tomb should dwell : 

More pleased his gay old ghost would be, 
For funeral song and passing bell, 

To hear no sound but three times three. 



GLEE J 

A HEELTAP I a heeltap I I never could bear it 1 

So fill me a bumper, a bumper of claret ! 

Let the bottle pass freely, don't shirk it nor spare it. 

For a heeltap ! a heeltap ! I never could bear it I 

No skylight ! no twilight I while Bacchus rules o'er us 
No thinldng I no shrinking ! all drinking in chorus : 
Let us moisten our clay, since 'tis thirsty and porous : 
No thinking ! no shrinking I all drinking in chorus 1 



LOVE AND OPPORTUNITY 

Oh I who art thou, so swiftly flying ? 

My name is Love, the child replied : 
Swifter I pass than south-winds sighing. 

Or streams, through summer vales that glide. 
And who art thou, his flight pursuing ? 

'Tis cold Neglect whom now you see : 
The little god you there are viewing. 

Will die, if once he's touched by me. 



i68 HEADLONG HALL 

^ Oh ! who art thou so fast proceeding. 

Ne'er glancing back thine eyes of flame ? 
Marked but by few, through earth I'm speeding; 

And Opportunity's my name. 
What form is that, which scowls beside thee ? 

Repentance is the form you see ; 
Learn then, the fate may yet betide thee : 

She seizes them who seize not me. 



TERZETTO 2 

Grey Twilight from her shadowy hill. 
Discolours Nature's vernal bloom. 

And sheds on grove, and field, and rill, 
One placid tint of deepening gloom. 

The sailor sighs 'mid shoreless seas. 

Touched by the thought of friends afar, 

As fanned by ocean's flowing breeze, 
He gazes on the western star. 

The wanderer hears, in pensive dream, . 

The accents of the last farewell. 
As, pausing by the mountain stream, 

He listens to the evening bell. 

BALLAD 

* O Mary, my sister, thy sorrow give o'er, 
I soon shall return, girl, and leave thee no more : 
But with children so fair, and a husband so kind, 
I shall feel less regret when I leave thee behind. 

^ This stanza is imitated from Machiavelli's Capitolo 
deir Occasione, 

2 Imitated from a passage in the Purgatorio of Dante. 



BALLAD 169 

' I have made thee a bench for the door of thy cot. 
And more would I give thee, but more I have not : 
Sit and think of me there, in the warm summer day. 
And give me three kisses, my labour to pay.' 

She gave him three kisses, and forth did he fare, 
And long did he wander, and no one knew where ; 
And long from her cottage, through sunshine and^rain, 
She watched his return, but he came not again. 

Her children grew up, and her husband grew grey ; 
She sate on the bench through the long summer day : 
One evening, when twilight was deep on the shore. 
There came an old soldier, and stood by the door. 

In English he spoke, and none knew what he said, 
But her oatcake and milk on the table she spread ; 
Then he sate to his supper, and blithely he sung, 
And she knew the dear sounds of her own native tongue : 

* O rich are the feasts in the Englishman's hall, 
And the wine sparkles bright in the goblets of Gaul : 
But their mingled attractions I well could withstand. 
For the milk and the oatcake of Meirion's dear land.* 



* And art thou a Welshman, old soldier ? * she cried. 

* Many years have I wandered ' the stranger replied : 
' 'Twixt Danube and Thames many rivers there be. 
But the bright waves of Cynfael are fairest to me. 

' I felled the grey oak, ere I hastened to roam. 
And I fashioned a bench for the door of my home ; 
And well my dear sister my labour repaid. 
Who gave me three kisses when first it was made. 



170 HEADLONG HALL 

' In the old English soldier thy brother appears : 
Here is gold in abundance, the saving of years : 
Give me oatcake and milk in return for my store, 
And a seat by thy side on the bench at the door.' 



"^ CHORUS ^ 

Hail to the Headlong ! the Headlong Ap-Headlong ! 
All hail to the Headlong, the Headlong Ap-Headlong I 

The Headlong Ap-Headlong 

Ap-Breakneck Ap-Headlong 
Ap-Cataract Ap-Pistyll Ap-Rhaiader Ap-Headlong ! 

The bright bowl we steep in the name of the Headlong : 
Let the youths pledge it deep to the Headlong Ap-Head- 
long, 
And the rosy-lipped lasses 
• Touch the brim as it passes, 
And kiss the red tide for l5ie Headlong Ap-Headlong 1 

The loud harp resounds in the hall of the Headlong : 
The light step rebounds in the hall of the Headlong 

Where shall music invite us. 

Or beauty delight us. 
If not in the hall of the Headlong Ap-Headlong ? 

Huzza ! to the health of the Headlong Ap-Headlong ! 
Fill the bowl, i&ll in floods, to the health of the Headlong! 

Till the stream ruby-glowing, 

On all sides o'erflowing. 
Shall fall in cascades to the health of the Headlong I 

The Headlong Ap-Headlong 

Ap-Breakneck Ap-Headlong 
Ap-Cataract Ap-Pistyll Ap-Rhaiader Ap-Headlong ! 



THE DEATH OF (EDIPUS 171 



THE DEATH OF (EDIPUS 

SPEECH OF THE MESSENGER TO THE CHORUS IN THE 
CEDIPUS AT COLONUS OF SOPHOCLES [11. 1586-I662]. 

[Written in 1815] 

Ye men of Athens, wondrous is the tale 

I bear : the fate of CEdipus : no more 

In the lone darkness of his days he roams, 

Snatched in strange manner from the paths of men. 

You witnessed his departure : no kind hand 

Guiding his blindness, but with steadfast tread, 

Alone and unsupported, through the woods 

And winding rocks he led our wondering course. 

Till by that broken way, which brazen steps 

Uphold, beside the hollow ground he stood. 

Where Theseus and Pirithous held erewhile 

The compact of inviolable love : 

There, in the midst, from the Thorician rock 

And the Acherdian cave alike remote, 

He sate himself upon the marble tomb, 

And loosed his melancholy garb, and called 

His daughters, from the living spring to bear 

His last ablution. They, to the near hill 

Of Ceres hastening, brought the fountain-flood, 

And wrapped him in the garments that beseem 

Funereal rites. Then subterranean Jove 

Thundered : the maidens trembled as they heard, 

And beat their breasts, and uttered loud laments. 

Touched at the bitter sound, he wrapped his arms 

Around them : ' Oh, my children ! ' he exclaimed, 

* The hour and place of my appointed rest 

Are found : your father from this breathing world 

Departs : a weary lot was yours, my children. 

Wide o'er the inhospitable earth to lead 

A blind, forlorn, old, persecuted man. 

These toils are yours no more : yet well I deem 



IJ2 



THE DEATH OF (EDIPUS 



Affection overweighted tbem. and the love. 

The souMelt love, which he who caused them bore you, 

Where shall you find again ? ' Then on their necks 

He wept, and they on his, in speechless woe. 

And all was silence round. A thrilling voice 

Called ' (Edipus ! ' the blood of all who heard 

Congealed with fear, and every hair grew stiff. 

* Oh, CEdipus [ ' it cried, ' oh, CEdipus 1 

Why tarry we ? for thee alone we wait t ' 

He recognized the summons of the god, 

And calHng Theseus to Mm, said : 'Oh, friend, 

Now take ray children by the hand, and pledge 

Thy iaith inviolate, to afford them ever 

Protection and support/ The generous king 

Fulfilled his wish, and bade high Jove record 

The irrevocable vow. Then CEdipus 

Folded liis daughters in his last embrace, 

.A.nd said : ' Farewell, my children 1 from this spot 

Depart with fortitude : the isdll of fate 

From all but Theseus veils the coming scene.' 

These words we heard : with the receding maids 

We turned aw^ay awhile : reverting then 

Our looks, the spot where CEdipus had been 

Was vacant, and King Theseus stood alone, 

His hand before his eyes, his head bowed down, 

As one oppressed with supernatural light. 

Or sight of some intolerable thing. 

Then falling prostrate, on the goddess Earth 

He called, and Jove, and the Olympian gods, 

How perished CEdipus^ to none beside 

In known : for not the thunderbolts of Jove 

Consumed him, nor the whirlwinds of the deep 

Hashed o'er his head and swept him from the world. 

But with some silent messenger of fate 

He passed away in peace, or that dark chasm 

By which he stood, disclosed beneath his feet 

A tranquil passage to the Stygian f!ood. 



POLYXENA TO ULYSSES 173 

POLYXENA TO ULYSSES 

FROM THE HECUBA OF EURIPIDES — [U. 342-78]. 

[Written in 1815] 

You fold your hand, Ulysses, in your robe, 

And turn your head aside as if to shun 

My abject suppliance. Fear not, Ithacan ! 

With willing steps I follow thee, where thou 

And strong Necessity, thy queen and mine. 

Conduct me to my death. Base were my soul 

To beg a milder fate. Why should I live ? 

My father was a king : my youthful hopes 

Were bright : contending monarchs sought my hand : 

I moved illustrious 'mid the Idaean nymphs, 

More like a goddess than an earthly maid. 

Save in the sure necessity of death. 

But now I am a slave : that single word 

Makes death my sanctuary : never be it said, 

A tyrant's gold could purchase Hector's sister. 

To be the vilest handmaid of his house. 

To drag long days of ignominious* toil. 

And waste her nights in solitary tears. 

Or should I live to call some slave my lord, 

Whom fortune reared to be the bride of kings ? 

No ! let me rather close my eyes at once 

On the pure light of heaven, to me no more 

The light of liberty. Hope has no voice 

For Priam's fallen race. I ^H-eld myself 

A willing victim to the Stygian gods. 

Nor thou, my mother, or with deed or word 

Impede my course, but smile upon thy child. 

Who finds in death a refuge from disgrace. 

Hard is the task to bear the unwonted yoke, 

And taste the cup of unaccustomed tears. 

More blest are they, whom sudden fate absolves 

From the long labour of inglorious life. 



174 EPILOGUE TO THE GUARDIANS 

PROLOGUE 

To Mr Tobin's Comedy of The Guardians, per- 
formed AT THE Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 
November, i8i6 

[Published in 1816] 

Spoken by Mr . 

Beyond the hopes and fears of earlier days. 

The frowns of censure and the smiles of praise. 

Is he, the bard, on whose untimely tomb, 

Your favour bade the Thespian laurel bloom ; 

Though late the meed that crowned his minstrel strain. 

It has not died, and was not given in vain. 

If now our hopes one more memorial rear. 

To blend with those that live unwithering here ; 

If on that tomb where genius sleeps in night, 

One flower expands to bloom in lingering light, 

Flower of a stem which no returning spring 

Shall clothe anew with buds and blossoming ; 

Oh I yet again the votive wreath allow 

To ^ace his name which cannot bind his brow ; 

And, while our tale the scenic maze pursues. 

Still prove kind Guardians to his orphan muse. 

EPILOGUE 

TO THE Comedy of The Guardians 

[Published in 1816] 

Spoken by Mr Harley in the character of Hint 

At home, abroad, in gossip, or in print. 
Who has not felt the magic power of Hint ? 
Say, lovely maid, what earthly power can move 
That gentle bosom like a hint of love'? 



EPILOGUE TO THE GUARDIANS 175 

Say, thou spruce beau, oppressed with loads of raiment. 
What half so shocking as a hint for payment ? 
A hint of need, drawn forth with sad confessions. 
Stops the full flow of friendship's loud professions : 
A hmt of Hyde Park Ring from testy humours, 
Stops Hint itself, when most agog for rumours. 

Where'er I go, beaux, belles of all degrees, 
Come buzzing round me like a swarm of bees : 
My crafty hook of sly insinuation 
I bait with hints, and fish for information. 
' What news, dear Hint ? It does us good to see 
Your pleasant face : we're dying with ennui.* 
' Me I bless you I I know nothing.' * You're so sly : 
You've something in your head * : * Indeed, not I. 
'Tis true, at Lady Rook's, just now I heard 
A whisper pass. ... I don't believe a word 
A certain lady is not over blameless, 
Touching a certain lord that shall be nameless.* 

* Who ? who ? pray tell.' * Excuse me.' * Nay, you 

shall.' 

(In different voices) 

* You mean my Lady Plume and Lord Fal-lal *, 
' Lord Smirk and Mrs Sparkle ', * Lady Simple, 

And young Lord Froth ', * Lord Whip and Mrs Dimple '. 
(In an Irish accent) * D'ye mean my wife, sir ? Give 

me leave to mention 
Th"fere's no ill meaning in Lord Siys attention : 
Sir, there's my card : command me : I'll attend, 
And talk the matter over with a friend.* 

* Dear Major ! — no such thing : you're right in scorn- 

ing 
Such idle tales : I wish you a good-morning.' 
Away I speed : from lounge to lounge I run. 
With five tales loaded where I fished for one ; 
And, entre nous, take care the town shall know. 
The Major's wife is not quite cojnme il taut. 



176 MELINCOURT 

But Hyde Park Ring my cunning shuns in vain, 
If by your frowns I die in Drury Lane. 
If die I must, think not 1*11 tamely fall : 
Pit, boxes, gallery, thus I challenge all. 
Ye critics near me and ye gods afar ! 
Fair maid, spruce beau, plump cit, and jovial tar ! 
Come one and all, roused by my valorous greeting, 
To-morrow night to give bold Hint the meeting : 
Bring all your friends — a host — I'll fit them nicely, 
Place — Drury Lane — time, half-past six precisely. 

. FROM MELINCOURT, 1817 

TRANSLATION [ORPHICA, HYMN XI] 

King of the world I enthusiast free. 
Who dwell* st in caves of liberty 
And on thy wild pipes notes of glee 
Respondent Nature's harmony 
Leading beneath the spreading tree 
The Bacchanalian revelry ! 

THE TOMB OF LOVE 

By the mossy weed-flower'd column, 

Where the setting moonbeams glance 
Streams a radiance cold and solemn 

On the haunts of old romance : 
Know'st thou what those shafts betoken, 

Scatter' d on that tablet lone, 
Where the ivory bow lies broken 

By the monumental stone ! 

When true knighthood's shield, neglected. 

Moulder' d in the empty hall ; 
When the charms that shield protected 

Slept in death's eternal thrall ; 



THE GHOSTS 1^7 

When chivalric glory perish' d 

Like the pageant of a dream, 
Love in vain its memory cherish' d, 

Fired in vain the minstrel's theme. 

Falsehood to an elfish minion 

Did the form of Love impart ; 
Cunning plumed its vampire pinion ; 

Avarice tipp'd its golden dart. 
Love, the hideous phantom flying, 

Hither came, no more to rove : 
There his broken bow is lying 

On that stone — ^the tomb of Love I 



THE GHOSTS 

In life three ghostly friars were we, 
And now three friarly ghosts we be. 
Aroun^ our shadowy table placed, 
The spectral bowl before us floats : 

Lth wine that none but ghosts can taste 

5 wash our unsubstantial throats. 

ree merry ghosts — ^three merry ghosts — ^three merry 

ghosts are we : 
t the ocean be Port, and we'll think it good sport 
be laid in that Red Sea. 

ith songs that jovial spectres chaunt, 

ir old refectory still we haunt. 

e traveller hears our midnight mirth : 

> list ! ' he cries, ' the haunted choir ! 
.e merriest ghost that walks the earth 
sure the ghost of a ghostly friar.' 

tree merry ghosts — ^three merry ghosts — three merry 

ghosts are we : 
t the ocean be Port, and we'll think it good sport 

► be laid in that Red Sea. 



ZtNCOURT 



THE FLOWER OF LOVE 

'Tis said the rose is Lovers own flower. 
Its blusb. so bright, its thorns so many ; 
And winter on its bloom has power. 
But has not on its sweetness any* 
For thougli young Love's ethereal rose 
Will droop on Age's wintry bosom. 
Yet still its faded leaves dis^i^lose 
The fragrance of their earliest blossom. 

But ah ! the fragrance lingering there 
Is Eke the sweets that monrnful duty 
Bestows with sadly-soothing care. 
To deck the grave of bloom and beauty. 
For when its leaves are shrunk and dry, 
Its blush esttinct, to kindle never. 
That fragrance is but Memory's sigh, 
That breathes of pleas m-es p§st for ever, 

Why did not Love the amaranth choose, 
That bears no thorns, and cannot perish ? 
Alas I no sweets its flowers diffuse, 
And only sweets Love's life can cherish. 
But be the rose and amaranth t^^ined, 
And Love, their mingled powers assuming. 
Shall round his brows a chaplet bind,. ■• 
For ever sweet, for ever blooming, ^^i 



BALLAD TERZETTO .^ 

THE LADY. THE KNIGHT, AND THE 

The Lady : O cavalier ! what dost thou heirb. 
Thy tuneful vi^& keeping j ^ 

While the northern star looks cold front far. 
And half the world is sleeping ? \ 



TERZETTO 179 

The Knight : O lady I here, for seven long year, 
Have I been nightly sighing, 
Without the hope of a single tear 
To pity me were I dying. 

The Lady : Should I take thee to have and to hold, 
Who hast nor lands nor money ? 
Alais 1 'tis only in flowers of gold 
That married bees find honey. 

The Knight : O lady fair ! to my constant prayer 
Fate proves at last propitious : 
And bags of gold in my hand I bear. 
And parchment scrolls dehcious. 

The Lady : My maid the door shall open throw 
For we too long have tarried : 
The friar keeps watch in the cellar below. 
And we will at once be married. 

The Friar : My children ! great is fortune's power ; 
And plain this truth appears, 
That gold thrives more in a single hour 
Than love in seven long years. 



TERZETTO 

1. Hark ! o'er the silent waters stealing, 

The dash of oars sounds soft and clear : 
Through night's deep veil, all forms concealing. 
Nearer it comes, and yet more near. 

2. See ! where the long reflection glistens. 

In yon lone tower her watch-light bums : 

3. To hear our distant oars she listens. 

And, listening, strikes the harp by turns. 



MELIMCOURT 

1. The stars are bright, the sMes unclouded ; 
No moonbeams shiae ; no breezes vi^e. 
Is it my love^ in darkness shrouded, 
Whose d^Lshlng oar disturbs the lake ? 

2* O haste, sweet maid, the chorda unrolling ; 

The holy hermit chides our stay ! 
3. Hark I from hia. lonely islet tolling, 

His midnight bell shall guide our way. 



THE MORNING OF LOVE 

O THE springtim eof life is the season of blooming, 
And the morning of love is the season of joy ; 

Ere noontide and summer, with radiance consuming^, 
Look down on their beauty, to parch and destroy. 



O faint are the blossoms liie-s pathway adorning* 
When the first magic glory of hope is withdraTSTi : 

For the flowers of the spring, and the light of the mom* 
ing. 
Have no summer budding, and no second dawn. 



Through meadows all sunshine, and verdure, am 
flowers, 

The stream of the valley in purity £ies ; 
But mix'd with the tides, where some proud city lowers, 

where is the sweetness that dwelt on its rise ? 



The rose withers fast on the breast it first graces 
Its beauty is fled ere the day be half done : — 

And life is that stream which its progress defaces, 
And love is that flower which can bloom but for ooe. 



I 
I 



THE SUNDIAL i8i 



INVOCATION 

TIINE &pa^, /caX^w ae fioXeip Kcxafyn&ra MT2TAI2- 
Kai (re, fidKap, XirofiaL, TavvaiTrrepe, odXe "ONEIPE* 
Kal NE4>EAAS Kokitt), dpoao€ijj.opas, '^epovXdyKTOvs' 
NTKTA T€ Trpeff^lffTTiP, TroXv^parop '0Pri04»ANTAIS, 
NTKTEPIOTS re GEOTS, inrb KCJ^dcaip oUi" ^oi'Tas, 
ApTptp 4p Tjcpo^PTL, irapb. STTFOS Upbp Udojp- 
nP12TEI ci^P 7roXu/3oi5Xv, 6p 'OABOAOTHN KoK^ovaiv, 

O sovereign Sleep l in whose papaverous glen 
Dwell the dark Muses of Cimmerian men I 
O Power of Dreams I whose dusky pinions shed 
Primeval chaos on the slumberer's head ! 
Ye misty Clouds ! amid whose folds sublime 
Blind Faith invokes the Ghost of Feudal Time ! 
And thou, thick night ! beneath whose mantle rove 
The Phantom Powers of Subterranean Jove ! 
Arise, propitious to the mystic strain. 
From Lethe's flood, and Zeal's Tartarian fane ; 
Where Freedom's Shade, 'mid Stygian vapours damp 
Sits, cold and pale, by Truth's extinguished lamp ; 
While Cowls and Crowns portentous orgies hold, 
And tuneful Proteus seals his eyes with gold ! 

THE SUN-DIAL 

The ivy o'er the mouldering wall 
Spreads like a tree, the growth of years : 
The wild wind through the doorless hall 
A melancholy music rears, 
A solitary voice, that sighs, 
O'er man's forgotten pageantries. 

Above the central gate, the clock, 
Through clustering ivy dimly seen. 
Seems, like the ghost of Time, to mock 
The wrecks of power that once has been. 



I&2 



MSLINCOURT 



The hands are rusted on its face ; 

Even where they ceased, in years gone by. 

To keep the flying moments' pace : 

Fixing, in Fancy's thoughtftil eye, 

A point of ages passed away, 

A speck of time, that owns no tie 

With aught tliat lives and breathes to-day. 

But 'mid the rank and towering grass* 
Where breezes wave, in mourninl sport. 
The weeds that choke the ruined court, 
The careless hours, that circliag pass, 
Still trace upon the dialled brass 
The shade of their unvarying way : 
And evermore, with every ray 
That breaks the clouds and gilds the air^ 
Time's stealthy steps are imaged there : 
Even as the long-revolviDg years 
In self-reflecting circles ficm.^ 
From tlie flrst bud the hedgerow bears. 
To wintry nature's robe of snow. 
The changeful forms of mortal things 
Decay and pass ; and art and power 
Oppose in vain the doom that flings 
Oblivion on their closing hour ; 
l^^Me still, to every woodland vale. 
New blooms, new fruits, the reasons bring. 
For other eyes and lips to hail. 
With looks and sounds of w^elcoming : 
A3 where some stream light eddying rov^ 
By sunny meads and shadowy groves. 
Wave following wave departs for ever, 
But still flows on the eternal river. 



QUINTETTO 183 



QUINTETTO 

Mr Feathernest^Mr Vamp, Mr Killthedead, Mr Paper- 
stamp, and Mr Anyside Antijack. 

To the tune of Turning, turning, turning, as the whepl 
goes round. 

Recitative — Mr Paperstamp : Jack Horner's Christmas 

PIE my learned nurse 
Interpreted to mean the public purse. 
From thence a plum he drew. O happy 

Horner ! 
Who would not be ensconced in thy snug corner ? 

The Five : While round the public board all eagerly 
we linger, 
For what we can get we will try, try, try : 
And we'll all have a finger, a finger, a finger, 
We'll all have a fingerrin-'the Christmas pie. 

Mr Feath6rnest : By my own poetic laws, I'm a dealer 

in applause 
For those who don't deserve it, but will buy, 

buy, buy : 
So round the corner I linger, and thus I get 

a finger, 
A finger, finger, finger in the Christmas pie. 

The Five : And we'll all have a finger, a finger, a finger. 
We'll all have a finger in the Christmas pie. 

Mr Vamp : My share of pie to win, I will dash 
through thick and thin. 



184 MELINCOURT 

And philosophy and liberty shall fly, fly, fly : 
And truth and taste shall know, that their 

everlasting foe 
Has a flnger, finger, finger in the Christmas 



The Five : And we'll all have a finger, a finger* 
a finger. 
We'll all have a finger in the Christmas pie. 

Mr KilUhedead : I'll make my verses rattle with the 

din of war and battle, 
For war doth increase sa-la-ry, ry, ry : 
And I'll shake the public ears with the triumph 

of Algiers, 
And thus I'll get a finger in the Christmas 

PIE. 



The Five : And we'll all have a finger, a finger, 
a finger. 
We'll all have a finger in the Christmas pie. 



Mr Paperstamp : And while you thrive by ranting, I'll 

try my luck at canting 
And scribble verse and prose all so dry, dry, 

dry : 
And Mystic's patent smoke public intellect 

shall choke. 
And we'll all have a finger in the Christmas 

PIE. 

The Five : We'll all have a finger, a finger, a finger. 
We'll all have a finger in the Christmas pie. 



THE MAGIC BARK 185 

My Any side Antijack : My tailor is so clever, that my 

coat will turn for ever, 
And take any colour you can dye, dye, dye : 
For my earthly wishe^ are among the loaves 

and fishes. 
And to have j^my little finger in the Christmas 

PIE. 

The Five : And we'll all have a finger, a finger, a 
finger, 
We'll all have a finger in the Christmas pie. 



THE MAGIC BARK 

O Freedom ! power of life and light ! 

Sole nurse of truth and glory ! 

Bright dweller on the rocky cliff ! 

Lone wanderer on the sea ! 

Where'er the sunbeam slumbers bright 

On snow-clad mountains hoary ; 

Wherever flies the veering skiff, 

O'er waves that breathe of thee ! 

Be thou the guide of all my thought — 

The source of all my being — 

The genius of my waking mind — 

The spirit of my dreams ! 

To me thy magic spell be taught, 

The captive spirit freeing. 

To wander with the ocean- wind 

Where'er thy beacon beams. 

O sweet it were, in magic bark, 

On one loved breast reclining. 

To sail around the varied world, 

To every blooming shore ; 

And oft the gathering storm to mark 



1 86 MELINCOURT 

Its lurid folds combining ; 
And safely ride, with, sails unfuried, 
Amid the tempest's roar ; 
^ And see the mighty breakers rave 
On cliff and sand and shingle, 
And hear, with long re-echoing shock, 
Thecaverned steeps reply ; 
And while the storm-cloud and the wave 
In darkness seemed to mingle, 
To skim beside the surf-swept rock, 
And glide uninjured by. 

And when the summer seas were calm, 

And summer skies were smiling, 

And evening came, with clouds of gold. 

To gild the western wave ; 

And gentle airs and dews of balm, 

The pensive mind beguiling, 

Should call the Ocean Swain to fold 

His sea-flocks in the cave. 

Unearthly music's tenderest spell, 

With gentlest breezes blending, 

And waters softly rippling near 

The prow's light course along. 

Should flow from Triton's winding shell, 

Through ocean's depths ascending 

From where it charmed the Nereid's ear. 

Her coral bowers among. 

How sweet, where eastern Nature smiles. 

With swift and mazy motion 

Before the odour-breathing breeze 

Of dewy morn to glide ; 

Or 'mid the thousand emerald isles 

That gem the southern ocean, 

Where fruits and flowers, from loveliest trees, 

O'erhang the slumbering tide : 



THE MAGIC BARK 187 

Or up some western stream to sail. 

To where its mjrriad fountains 

Roll down their everlasting rills 

From many a cloud-capped height, 

Till mingling in some nameless vale, 

'Mid forest-cinctured mountains. 

The river-cataract shakes the hills 

With vast and volumed might. 

The poison-trees their leaves should shed, 

The yellow snake should perish, 

The beasts of blood should crouch and cower. 

Where'er that vessel past : 

All plagues of fens and vapours bred. 

That tropic fervours cherish, 

Should fly before its healing power, 

Like mists before the blast. 

Where'er its keel the strand imprest 

The young fruit's ripening cluster, 

The bird's free song, its touch should greet 

The opening flower's perfume ; 

The streams along the green earth's breast 

Should roll in purer lustre, 

And love should heighten every sweet, 

And brighten every bloom. 

And, Freedom ! thy meridian blaze 
Should chase the clouds that lower. 
Wherever mental twilight dim 
Obscures Truth's vestal flame. 
Wherever Fraud and Slavery raise 
The throne of bloodstained Power, 
Wherever Fear and Ignorance hymn 
Some fabled demon's name ! 
The bard, where torrents thunder down 
Beside thy burning altar. 
Should kindle, as in days of old. 
The mind's ethereal fixe ; 



I88 SIR HORNBOOK 

Ere yet beneath a tyrant's frown 
The Muse's voice could falter, 
Or Flattery strung with chords of gold 
The minstrel's venal lyre. 



SIR HORNBOOK 

R, CHILDE LAUNCELOT'S EXPEDITION A GRAMMA- 

TICO-ALLEGORICAL BALLAD 

[Published in 1818] 
[Reprinted in Summerly's Home Treasury, 1846] 



O'er bush and brier Childe Launcelot sprung ^ 

With ardent hopes elate, 
And loudly blew the horn that hung 

Before Sir Hornbook's gate. 

The inner portals opened wide. 

And forward strode the chief, 
Arrayed in paper helmet's pride, 

And arms of golden leaf. 

* What means ', he cried, * this daring noise. 

That wakes the summer day ? 
I hate all idle truant boys : 
Away, Sir Childe, away ! ' 

* No idle truant boy am I *, 

Childe Launcelot answered straight ; 
' Resolved to climb this hill so high, 
I seek thy castle gate.. 

^ Childe, in our old ballads, often signifies a knight. 



SIR HORNBOOK 1S9 

* Behold the talisman I bear, 

And aid my bold design ' : 
Sir Hornbook gazed, and written there, 

Knew Emulation's sign. 

' If Emulation sent thee here ', 

Sir Hornbook quick replied, 
' My merrymen all shall soon appear, 
To aid thy cause with shield and spear, 
And I will head thy bold career. 

And prove thy faithful guide.' 

Loud rung the chains ; the drawbridge fell ; 

The gates asunder flew ; 
The knight thrice beat the portal bell. 

And thrice, he called ' Halloo '. 

And out, and out, in hasty rout. 

By ones, twos, threes, and fours ; 
His merrymen rushed the walls without. 

And stood before the doors. 



Full six-and-twenty men were they 1, 

In line of battle spread : 
The first that came was mighty A, 

The last was little Z. 

Six vocal men Sir Hornbook had 2, 
Four double men to boot ^, 

1 There are twenty-six letters, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i. j, 
k, 1, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z. 

2 Of these are vowels, a, e, i, o, u, y. 

3 Four are double letters, j, w, x, z. 



I90 SIR HORNBOOK 

And four were liquids soft and sad ^, 
And all the rest were mute 2. 

He called his Corporal Syllable ^, 

To range the scattered throng ; 
And Captain Word* disposed them well 

In bands compact and strong. 

* Now, mark. Sir Childe ', Sir Hornbook said, 

* These well compacted powers 
Shall lead thy vent'rous steps to tread 
Through all the Muses' bowers. 

* If rightly thou thyself address, 

To use their profEer'd aid : 
Still unallured by idleness, 
By labour undismayed ; 

' For many troubles intervene, 

And perils widely spread, 
' Around the groves of evergreen. 

That crown this mountain's head : 
But rich reward he finds, I ween. 

Who through them all has sped '. 

Childe Launcelot felt his bosom glow 

At thought of noble deed ; 
Resolved through every path to go, 

Where that bold knight should lead. 

Sir Hornbook wound his bugle horn. 

Full long, and loud, and shrill ; 
His merry men all, for conquest bom. 
With armour gUttering to the mom. 

Went marching up the hill. 

^ Four are liquids, l,m, n, r, 

2 And twelve are mutes, b, c, d, f, g, h, k, p, q, s, t, v. 

3 A syllable is a distinct sound of one or more letters 
pronounced in a breath. 

^ Words are articulate sounds used by common 
consent, as signs of our ideas. 



SIR HORNBOOK 191 



* What men are you beside the way ? ' 

The bold Sir Hornbook cried : 

* My name is The, my brother's A ', 

Sir Article replied ^. 

* My brother's home is anywhere 2, 

At large and undefined ; 
But I a preference ever bear^ 
For one fixed spot, and settle there : 

Which speaks my constant mind '. 

* What ho ! Childe Launcelot ! seize them there, 

And look you have them sure 1 ' 
Sir Hornbook cried * My men shall bear 
Your captives off secure '. 

The twain were seized : Sir Hornbook blew 

His bugle loud and shrill : 
His menymen all, so stout and true. 

Went marching up the hill. 



» 



IV 



And now a wider space they gained, 

A steeper, harder ground, 
Where by one ample wall contained, 

All earthly things they found * : 

1 There are two articles, the, definite ; a or an, in- 
definite. 

2 The indefinite article is used generally and indeter- 
minately to point out one single thing of a kind : as 
* There is a dog ; Give me an orange '. 

^ The definite article defines and specifies particular 
objects : as, * Those are the men ; give me the book '. 

* A noun is the name of whatsoever thing or being 
we see or discourse of. 



192 SIR HORNBOOK 

All beings, rich, poor, weak, or wise. 
Were there, full strange to see. 

And cUtribuies and qualities 
Of high and low degree. 

Before the circle stood a knight. 

Sir Substantive his namei, 
With Adjective, his lady bright, 

Who seemed a portly dame : 

Yet only seemed ; for wheosoe'er 

She strove to stand alone -, 
She proved no more than smoke and air, 

Who looked like flesh and bone. 

And therefore to her husband's arm 

She clung for evermore. 
And lent him many a grace and charra 

He had not known before ; 

Yet these the knight felt well advised. 
He might have done without ; 

For lightly foreign help he prized. 
He was so staunch and stout. 

Five sons had they, their dear delight, 
Ol different forms and faces ; 

And Iwo of them were numbers bright ^ 
And ihrre thev christened cases *. 



^ Kouns are of two kinds, substantives and ad- 
j actives. A noun substantive declares its own meaning* 
and requires not another word to be joined with it to 
show its signifiication ; as. fna7i, book, apple. 

^ A noun adjective cannot stand alone, but ahvays 
requires to be joined with a substantive, of which it 
shows the nature or quality, as * A good girl, a naughty 
boy*. 

^ Nouns have two numbers, singular and plural : 

* and three cases : nominative, possessive, and ob- 



jective. 



SIR HORHBOOK 193 ' 

Now loudly rung Sir Hornbook's horn ; 

Childe Launcelot poised his spear ; 
And on they rushed, to conquest borne, 

In swift and full career. 

Sir Substantive kicked down the wall : 

It fell with furious rattle : 
And earthly things and beings all, 

Rushed forth to join the battle. 

But earthly things and beings all, 
Though mixed in boundless plenty. 

Must one by one dissolving fall 
To Hornbook's six-and-twenty. 

Childe Launcelot won the arduous fray. 
And, when they ceased from strife, 

Led stout Sir Substantive away. 
His children, and his wife. 

Sir Hornbook wound his horn again. 

Full long, and loud, and shrill : 
His merrymen all, a warlike train. 

Went marching up the hill. 



Now when Sir Pronoun looked abroad ^, 

And spied the coming train. 
He left his fort beside the road, 

And ran with might and main. 

Two cloth-yard shafts from I and U, 
Went forth with whizzing sound : 

* A pronoun is used instead of a noun, and may be 
considered its locum tenens, or deputy : as * The king 
is gone to Windsor, he will return to-morrow *. 



194; Sia>HpftNB0OM^ 

Like lightning sped the arrows true, 
Sir Pronoun pressed the ground : 

But daxts of science ever flew 
To conquer, not to wound. 

His fear was great : his hurt was small : 
Childe Launcelot took his hand : 

* Sir Knight ', said he, ' though doomed to fall 
Before my conquering band, 

' Yet knightly treatment shall you find, 

On f aitii of. cavalier : 
Then join Sir Substantive behind, 

And follow our career '. 



Sir Substantive, that man of might, 

Felt knightly anger rise ; 
For he had marked Sir Pronoun's flight 

With no approving eyes. 

' Great Substantive, my sovereign liege ! ' 
Thus sad Sir Pronoun cried, 

* When you had fallen in furious siege, 

Could I the shock abide ? 

* That all resistance would be vain, 

Too well, alsis I I knew : 
For what could I, when you were ta'en, 
Your poor lietUenant, do ? * 

Then louder rung Sir Hornbook's horn, 

In signals loud and shrill : 
His merrymen all, for conquest born. 

Went marching up the hill. 



SIR HORNBOOK 195 



Now steeper grew the rising ground, 

And rougher grew the road, 
As up the steep ascent they wound 

To bold Sir Verb's abode \ 

Sir Verb was old, and many a year. 

All scenes and climates seeing, 
Had run a wild and strange career 

Through every mode of being. 

And every aspect, shape, and change 

Of action, and of passion : 
And known to him was all the range 

Of feeling, taste, and fashion. 

He was an Augur, quite at home 

In all things present done 2, 
Deeds past, and every act to come 

In ages yet to run. 

Entrenched in intricacies strong. 

Ditch, fort, and palisado, 
He marked with scorn the coming throng, 

And breathed a bold bravado : 

* Ho ! who are you that dare invade 

My turrets, moats, and fences ? 
Soon will your vaunting courage fade. 
When on the walls, in lines arrayed. 
You see me marshal undismayed 

My host of moods and tenses ' ^. ^ 

^ A verb is a word which signifies to he, to do, or to 

Jer : as * I am, I love, I am loved '. 

' The two lines in italics are taken from Chapman's 
Homer. 

3 Verbs have five moods : the indicative, imperative,, 
potential, subjunctive, and infinitive. 



suffe-i 
2 7 



196 SIR HORNBOOK 

' In vain *, Childe Launcelot cried in scorn, 

* On them is your reliance ' ; 
Sir Hornbook wound his bugle horn, 

And twang' d a loud defiance. 

They swam the moat, they scaled the wall. 

Sir Verb, with rage and shame. 
Beheld his valiant- general fall, 

Infinitive by name^. 

Indicative declared the foes^ 

Should perish by his hand ; 
And stout Imperative arose 

The squadron to command^. 

Potential* and Subjunctive* then 
Came forth with doubt and chance. 

All fell alike, with all their men, 
Before Sir Hornbook's lance. 

Action and Passion nought could do 

To save Sir Verb from fate ; 
Whose doom poor Participle knew^, 

He must participate. 

^ The infinitive mood expresses a thing in a general 
and unlimited manner : as ' To \o^e, to walk, to be 
ruled '. 

2 The indicative mood simply indicates or declares 
a thing, as, * He loves : he is loved ' : or asks a ques- 
tion : as * Does he love ? Is he loved ? * 

^ The imperative mood commands or entreats : as 
' Depart: come hither : forgive me '. 

* The potential mood implies possibility or obliga- 
tion : as * It may rain ; ' they should learn '. 

" The subjunctive mood implies contingency : ais 
' If he were good, he would be happy '. 

8 The participle is a certain form of the verb, and is 
so called from participating the nature of a verb and 
an adjective : as ' he is an admired character ; she 
is a loving child *. 



SIR HORNBOOK 197 

Then Adverb, who had skulked behind \ 

To shun the mighty jar, 
Came forward, and himself resigned 

A prisoner of war. 

Three children of Imperative, 

Full strong, though somewhat small. 

Next forward came, themselves to give 
To conquering Launcelot's thrall. 

Conjunction press' d to join the crowd 2 ; 

But Preposition swore ^ 
Though Interjection sobb'd aloud *, 

That he would go before. 

Again his horn Sir Hornbook blew. 

Full long, and loud, and shrill ; 
His merrymen all, so stout and true, 

Went marching up the hill. 

^ The adverb is joined to verbs, to adjectives, and to 
other adverbs, to qualify their signification : as * that 
is a remarkably swift horse : it is extremely well done '. 

2 A conjunction is a part of speech chiefly used to 
connect words : as * King and constitution ' ; or sen- 
tences : as ' I went to the theatre, and saw the new 
pantomime '. 

^ A preposition is most commonly set before another 
word to show its relation to some word or sentence 
preceding : as ' The fisherman went down the river 
with his boat '. 

Conjunctions and prepositions are for the most part 
imperative moods of obsolete verbs : thus, and signifies 
add : * John and Peter ; John add Peter : the fisherman 
with his boat ; the fisherman, join his boat '. 

* Interjections are words thrown in between the 
parts of a sentence, to express passions or emotions : 
as * Oh ' ! ' Alas ! * 



198 SIR HORNBOOK 



VII 

Sir Syntax dwelt in thick fir-grove \ 
All strown with scraps of flowers ^, 

Which he had pluck' d to please his love, 
Among the Muses' bowers. 

His love was gentle Prosody ^ 

More fair than morning beam ; 
Who lived beneath a flowering tree, 

Beside a falling stream. 

And these two claim' d, with high pretence. 

The whole Parnassian ground. 
Albeit some little difference 

Between their taste was found : 
Sir Syntax he was all for sense. 

And Prosody for sound. 

Yet in them both the Muses fair 

Exceedingly delighted ; 
And thought no earthly thing so rare. 
That might with that fond twain compare, 

When they were both united. 

' Ho ! yield, Sir Syntax ! * Hornbook cried, 

' This youth must pass thy grove. 
Led on by me, his faithful guide. 

In yonder bowers to rove '. 

^ S3nitax is that part of grammar, which treats of 
the agreement and construction of words in a sentence. 

2 1 allude to the poetical fragments with which 
syntax is illustrated. 

8 Prosody is that part of grammar which treats of 
the true pronunciation of words, and the rules of ver- 
sification. 



SIR HORNBOOK 199 

Thereat full much Sir Syntax said. 

But found resistance vain : 
And through his grove Childe Launcelot sped. 

With all Sir Hornbook's train. 

They reach' d the tree where Prosody 

Was singing in the shade : 
Great joy Childe Launcelot had to see, 

And hear that lovely maid. 

Now onwards as they press' d along, 

Did nought their course oppose ; 
Till full before the martial throng 

The Muses' gates arose. 

There Etymology they found ^, 

Who scorned surrounding fruits ; 
And ever dug in deepest ground. 

For old and mouldy roots. 

Sir Hornbook took Childe Launcelot's hand. 

And tears at parting fell : 
' Sir Childe ', he said, ' with all my band 

I bid you here farewell. 

' Then wander through these sacred bowers, 

Unfearing and alone : 
All shrubs are here, and fruits, and flowers. 

To happiest climates known '. 

Once more his horn Sir Hornbook blew, 

A parting signal shrill : 
His merrymen all, so stout and true. 

Went marching down the hill. 

* Etymology is that part of grammar, which in- 
vestigates the roots, or derivation, of words. 



imODODAPHNE 

Childe Launcelot pressed the sacred ground, 
With hope's exulting glow j 
Some future song perchance may sound 
The wondrous things which there he found* 
If you the same would kaow. 



RHODODAPHJ^ 

QK, THE TITESSALIA^ SPEIX 
A POEM 

[PubUshed by Hookhams, iSi8] 

PREFACE 

The ancient celebrity of Thessalian magic is familiar, 
even from Horace, to e-v^ery classical r^der. The 
Metamorphoses of Apuleius turn entirely upon it, and 
the following passage in that work might serve as the 
text of a long commentaTv on the subject. ' Con- 
sidering that I was now in the middle of Tliessaly, 
celebrated by the accordant voice of the world as the 
birthplace of the magic art, I examined all things -with 
intense curiosity. Nor did I believe anything which 
I saw in that city (Hypata) to be what it appeared ; 
but I imagined that every object around me had been 
changed by incantation from its natural shape : that 
the stones of the streets, and the waters of the foun- 
tains, were indurated and liquefied human bodies ; and 
that the trees which surrounded the city> and the birds 
which were singing in their houghs, were equally 
human beings, in the disguise oi leaves and feathers. 
I expected the statues and images to walk, the walls 
to speak ; I anticipated prophetic voices from the 
cattle, and oracles from the morning sky \ 



RHODODAPHNE 201 

According to Pliny ^, Menander, who was skilled in 
the subtleties of learning, composed a Thessalian drama, 
in which he comprised the incantations and magic 
ceremonies of women drawing down the moon. Plmy 
considers the belief in magic as the combined effect of 
the operations of three powerful causes, medicine, 
superstition, and the mathematical arts. He does not 
mention music, to which the ancients (as is shown by 
the fables of Orpheus, Amphion, the Sirens, etc.) 
ascribed the most miraculous powers ; but strictly 
speaking, it was included in the mathematical arts, as 
being a science of numerical proportion. 

The belief in the supernatural powers of music and 
pharmacy ascends to the earliest ages of poetry. Its 
most beautiful forms are the Circe of Homer, and 
Medea in the days of her youth, as she appears in the 
third book of ApoUonius. 

Lucian's treatise on the Syrian Goddess contains 
much wild and wonderful imagery ; and his Philop- 
seudes, though it does not mention Thessalian magic 
in particular, is a compendium of almost all the ideas 
entertained by the ancients of supernatural power, 
distinct from, and subordinajte to, that of the gods ; 
though the gods were supposed to be drawn from their 
cars by magic, and compelled, however reluctantly, 
to yield it a temporary obedience. These subjects 
appear to have been favourite topics with the ancients 
in their social hours, as we may judge from the Philop- 
seudes, and from the tales relat^ by Niceros and 
Trimalchio at the feast given by the latter in the 
Satyricon of Petronius. Trimalchio concludes his 
marvellous narrative by saying (in the words which 
form the motto of this poem) : ' You must of necessity 
believe that there are women of supernatural science, 
framers of nocturnal incantations, who can turn the 
world upside down '. 

It will appear from these references, and more might 
have been made if it had not appeared superfluous, 
that the power ascribed by the ancients to Thessalian 

* [Natural History, xxx., a]. 



RHODODAFHNE 



magic b by no means exaggerated in the fo 
poem, though its forms are in some 
divei^ed. 

The opening scene of the poem Ls in the Temple of 
Love at Th^pia, a town of Boeotia, near the foot erf 
Monnt Helicon. That Love was the principal dexty 
of Thespia we learn from Pauaaniaa ; and Plutarcli. 
in the beginning of his Erotic dialogue, Lnlorma tis. 
tiiat a festival in honour of this deity was celebrated 
by the Thespians with great splendour every fifth 
year They also celebrated a quinquennial festival 
in honour of the Mnses, who had a sacred grove afld 
temple in Helicon. Both these festivals are noticed 
by Pausanias, who mentions likewise the three etatnei 
of Love (though without any distinguishing attributei]* 
and these of Venus and Phryne by Praxiteles. The 
Winged Love of Praxiteles, in Pentdicaa marble, 
which he gave to his mistress Phryne, who bestowed 
it on her native Thespia, was held in immense admira- 
tion by the ancients, Cicero* speaks of it as the great 
and only attraction of Theapia. 

The time is an intermediate period between the age 
of the Greek tragedians, w*ho are alluded to in tie 
second^ canto, and that of Pausanias, in whose time 
the Thespian altar had been violated by Nero, and_ 
Praxiteles 's statue of Love removed to Rome, for whic' " 
outrageous impiety, says Pausanias. he was pursue 
by the just and manifest vengeance of tlie gods, wh 
it would seem . had already terrmed Claudius into rest 
ingit, when Caligula had previously taken it away. 

The second song in the fifth canto is founded on the 
Homeric hymn, Sacchm, or the Pirtdcs. Some other 
imitaticms of classical passages, but for the most part 
interwoven with unborrow^ ideaSj will occur to the 
classical reader. 

The few not^ subjoined are such as seemed ab- 
solutely necessary to explain or justify the teart. Those 
of the latter description might, perhaps, haire beoi 
ttumerons. if much deference had seem 



RHODODAPHNE 203 

that species of judgment, which, having neither light 
nor tact of its own, can only see and feel through the 
medium of authority. 

Zo0ds 6 xoAXd e^dws <ftvq.' 

fiadSvres Si Xd^poi 

TrayyKitxraiq., KdpaKcs <&s, AKpavrd yap^erov 

Albs irpbs opvixo- Oeiov. 

Pindar, Olymp., ii. 155. 

Rogo vos, oportet, credatis, sunt mulieres plus sciae, 
sunt noctumae, et quod sursum est deorsum faciunt — 
Petronius [Satyricon, 63]. 

The bards and sages of departed Greece 
Yet Uve, for mind survives material doom ; 
Still, as of yore, beneath the mjrrtle bloom 
They striJce their golden lyres, in sylvan peace. 
Wisdom and Liberty may never cease. 
Once having been, to be : but from the tomb 
Their mighty radiance streams along the gloom 
Of ages evermore without decrease. 
Among those gifted bards and sages old, 
Shunning the living world, I dwell, and hear. 
Reverent, the creeds they held, the tales they told : 
And from the songs that charmed their latest ear, 
A yet ungathered wreath, with fingers bold, 
I weave, of bleeding love and magic mysteries drear. 



CANTO I 

The rose and myrtle blend in beauty 

Round Thespian Love's hypaethric fane ; 

And there alone, with festal duty 

Of joyous song and choral train. 

From many a mountain, stream, and vale. 

And many a city fair and free, 

The sons of Greece commingling hail 

Love's primogenial deity. 



204 



HHODODAPHNE 



Centra! amid the myrtle grove 
That venerable temple stands : 
Three statues, raised by ^ted hands. 
Distinct with scnlptuxed emblems £air< 
His threefold influence imaged bear. 
Creative, Heavenly, E^axthly Love^ 
The first, of stone and iculpture rude. 
From immemorial time has stood ; 
Not even in vague tradition known 
The hand that raised that ancient stone. 
Of hrass the next, with holiest thought, 
The skill of Sicyon's artist -wTought^, 



I 



I 



^ Fmnogenial, or Creative Love, in the Orphic my- 
thology, is the first-born of Night and Chaos, the most 
ancient of the gods, and the parent of all things* 
According to Aristophanes, Night produced an egg in 
the bosom of Erebus, and the golden- winged Love 
burst in due season from the shell. The Ejgyptians, 
as Plutarch informs us in his Erotic dialogue, recog- 
nized three distinct powers of Love : the Uranian, or 
Heavenly ; the Pandemiau, Vulgar or Earthly ■ and 
the Sun. That the identity of the Suu and Primogauial 
Love was recognized also by the Greeks, appears from 
the community of their epithets in m\d±Lological poetry, 
as in this Orphic line : U purr oyovo'i ^ixi^utt^ ^tptfiTj^foj r^f 
vlAs. Lactanius observes that Love was called Mptj^r&y^vi 
which signifies both first-produced and first-prod uciuL 
because nothing was born before him, but all things 
have proceeded from him* PrmiogenJal Love is re- 
presented in antiques mounted on the back of a lion, 
and, being of Egyptian origin, is traced by the modern 
astronomical interpreters of mythology to the Leo of 
the Zodiac. Uranian Love, ' in the m>^hological 
philosophy of Plato, is the deity or genius of pure 
mental passion for the good and the beautiful ; and 
Pandemian Love, of ordinary sexual attachment 
^ Lysippus, 






RHODODAPHNE 205 

The third, a marble form divine, 
That seems to move, and breathe, and smile, 
Fair Phryne to this holy shrine 
Conveyed, when her propitious wile 
Had forced her lover to impart 
The choicest treasure of his art^ 
Her, too, in sculptured beauty's pride. 
His skill has placed by Venus' side ; 
For well the enraptured gaze descries 
Which best might claim the Hesperian prize. 
I Fairest youths and maids assembling 
Dance the myrtle bowers among : 
Harps to softest numbers trembling 
Pour the impassioned strain along. 
Where the poet's gifted song 
Holds the intensely listening throng. 
Matrons grave and sages gray 
Lead the youthful train to pay 
Homage on the opening day 
Of Love's returning festival : 

^ Phryne was the mistress of Praxiteles. She re- 
quested him to give her his most beautiful work, which 
he promised to do, but refused to tell which of his 
works was in his own estimation the best. One day, 
when he was with Phryne, her servant running in 
announced to him that his house was on fire. Praxiteles 
started up in great agitation, declaring that all the 
fruit of his labour would be lost, if his Love should 
be injured by the flames. His mistress dispelled his 
alarm, by telling him that the report of the fire was 
merely a stratagem, by which she had obtained the 
information she desired. Phryne thus became pos- 
sessed of the masterpiece of Praxiteles, and bestowed 
it on her native Thespia. Strabo names, instead of 
Phryne, Glycera, who was also a Thespian ; but in 
addition to the testimony or Pausanias and Athenaeus, 
Casaubon cites a Greek epigram on Phryne, which 
mentions her dedication of the Thespian Love. 



206 



RHODODAFHNE 



Every fruit and every £ower 
Sacred to his gentler power, 
Twined in garlands bright and sweet. 
They plajce before Ms sculptured feet, 
And on his name they call : 
From thousand lips, -with glad acclaim. 
Is breathed at once that sacred name ; 
And music, kindling at the sound. 
Wafts holier, tenderet strains around : 
The rose a richer sweet exhales j 
The myrtle waves in softer gales ; 
Through every breast one influence flies ; 
All hate, all evU passion dies \ 
The heart of man, in that bl^t spell, 
Becomes at once a sacred cell. 
Where Love, and only Love, can dwell ^ 
From La don's shores Anthemion came. 
Arcadian Ladon, loveliest tide 
Of all the streams of Grecian name 
Through rocks and sylvan hitis that ghde. 
The flower of all Arcadia's youth 
Was he : such form and face, in truth. 
As thoughts of gentlest maidens seek 
In their day-dreams : soft, glossy hair 
Shadowed his forehead, 3now3''-fair, 
With many a hyacin thine cluster : 
Lips, that in silence seemed to speak. 
Were his, and eyes of mild hlue lustre : 
And even the paleness of his cheek. 
The passing trace of tender care, 



^ Sacrifices were offered at this festival for t thi 
appeasing of all public and private dissensions. 
Autobulus, in the beginning oi Plutarch's Erotic 
dialogue, says, that his father and mother, when first 
married, went to the Thespian festival, to sacrifice to 
Love, on account of a quarrel between their parents. 



RHODODAPHNE 207 

Still showed how beautiful it were 
If its own natural bloom were there. 

His native vale, whose mountains high 
The barriers of this world had been, 
His cottage home, and each dear scene 
His haunt from earliest infancy, 
He left, to Love's fair fane to bring 
His simple wild-flower offering. 
She with whose life his life was twined. 
His own Calliroe, long had pined 
With some strange ill, and none could find 
What secret cause did thus consume 
That peerless maiden's roseate bloom : 
The Asclepian sage's skill was vain ; 
And vainly have their vows been paid 
To Pan, beneath the odorous shade 
Of his tall pine ; and other aid 
Must needs be sought to save the maid : 
And hence Anthemion came, to try 
In Thespia's old solemnity. 
If such a lover's prayers may gain 
From Love in his primeval fane. 

He mingled in the votive train. 
That moved around the altar's base. , 

Every statue's beauteous face 
•Was turned towards that central altar. 
Why did Anthemion' s footsteps falter ? 
\yhy paused he, like a tale-struck child. 
Whom darkness fills with fancies wild ? 
A vision strange his sense had bound : 
It seemed the brazen statue frowned — 
The marble statue smiled. 
A moment, and the semblance fled : 
And when again he lifts his head. 
Each sculptured face alone presents 
Its fixed and placid lineaments. 

He bore a simple wild-flower wreath : 



30« 



RHODODAPHNE 



Narcissus , aod the sweet-briar rose ; 
VeTvam< and flexEe thyme, that breathe 
Rich fragrance ; modest heath, that glows 
With purple beUs : the amaranth bright. 
That no decay nor fading knows, 
Like true love's holiest, rarest light \ 
And every purest flower, that blcws 
In that sweet time, ivhich Love most blesses, 
When spring on summer's conSnes presses. 

Beside the altar's foot he stands. 
And murmurs \ow his suppliant vow, 
And now uplifts with duteous hands 
The votive wild-fiower ^vreath, and now — 
At once, as when in vernal night 
Comes pale frost or eastern blight, 
Sweeping with destructive iving 
Banks untimely blossoming, ^ 
Droops the wreath, the ^dld-flowers die ; 
One by one on earth they lie, 
Blighted strangely, suddenly. 

His brain swims round ; portentous fear 
Across his wildered fancy flies : 
Shall death thus seize his maiden dear ? 
Does Love reject his sacrifice ? 
He caught the arm of a damsd near. 
And soft sw^eet accents smote his ear : 
- — ^'tWhat ails thee, stranger ? Leaves are se 
And flowers are dead, and fields are drear. 
And streams are wila, and skies are bleak. 
And white with snow each mountain's peak* 
When winter rules the year ; 
And chUdren grieve, as if for aye 
Leaves, flowers, and birds were past away : 
But buds and blooms again are seen^ 
And fields are gay, and hills are green. 
And streams are bright, and sweet birds sing \ 
And where is the infant's sorrowing ? ' — 



RHODODAPMME i6§ 

Dimly he heard the words she said. 
Nor well their latent meaning drew ; 
But languidly he raised his head. 
And on the damsel fixed his view. 
Was it a form of mortal mould 
That did his dazzled sense impress ? 
Even painful from its loveliness ! 
Her bright hair in the moonbeams glowing, 
A rose-bud wreath above confined. 
From whence, as from a fountain, flowing. 
Long ringlets round her temples twined, 
And fell in many a graceful fold, 
Streaming in curls of feathery lightness 
Around her neck's marmoreal whiteness. 
Love, in the smile that round her lips. 
Twin roses of persuasion, played, 
— Nectaries of balmier sweets than sips 
The Hymettian bee — his ambush laid ; 
And his own shafts o f liquid fire. 
Came on the soul with sweet sulpfise. 
Through the soft dews of young desire 
That trembled in her large dark eyes ; 
But in those eyes there seemed to move 
A flame, almost too bright for love. 
That shone, with intermitting flashes. 
Beneath their long deep-shadowy lashes. 
— * What ails thee, youth ? ' — her lips repeat. 
In tones more musically sweet 
Than breath of shepherd's twilight reed. 
From far to woodland echo borne. 
That floats like dew o'er stream and mead, 
And whispers peace to souls that mourn. 
^' What ails thee, youth ? ' — ' A fearful sign 
For one whose dear sake led me hither : 
Love repels me from his shrine, 
And seems to say : That maid divine 
Like those ill-omened flowers shall wither'. — 



EHODODAPHNE 



— * Flowers may die oa many a stem j 
Fruits may fall from maay a tree ; 
Not tlie more for loss of them 
Shall this fair world a deseart be : 
Thou in every grove ivill see 
Fruits and flowers enough for thee. 
Stranger 1 I with thee wUl share 
The votive fruits and flowers I beax, 
Rich in fragrance, fresh in bloom ; 
These may End a happier doom \ 
If they change not, fade not now^ 
Deem that Love accepts thy vow \ — 

The youth, mistrusdess, from the maid 
Received, and on the altar laid 
The votive wreath ; it did not fade ; 
And she on his her oSering threw. 
Did fancy cloud Anthemion's view ? 
Or did those sister garlands fair 
Indeed entwine and blend again, 
Wreathed into one, even as they were, 
Ere she, their brilliant sweets to share, 
Unw^ove their flowery chain ? 
She fixed on him her radiant eyes. 
And ' Love's propitious power ' — ^she said- 
' Accepts thy second sacrifice. 
The sun descends tow'rds ocean's bed. 
Day by day the sun doth set, 
And day by day the sun doth rise, 
And grass, with evening dewnlrops wet. 
The morning radiance dries : 
And what if beauty slept, where peers 
That mossy grass, and lover's tears 
Were mingled with that evening dew ? 
The morning sun would dry them too. 
Many a loving heart is near, 
That shall its plighted love forsake : 
Many lips are breathing here 



RHODODAPHNE 211 

Vows a few short days will break : 

Many, lone amidst mankind, 

Claim from love's unpitying power 

The kindred heart they ne'er shall find : 

Many, at this festal hour. 

Joyless in the joyous scene. 

Pass, with idle glance unmoved. 

Even those whom they could best have 

loved, 
Had means of mutual knowledge been : 
Some meet for once and part for aye. 
Like thee and me, and scarce a day 
Shall each by each remembered be : 
But take the flower I give to thee. 
And till it fades remember me'. 

Anthemion answered not : his brain 
Was troubled with conflicting thought : 
A dim and dizzy sense of pain 
That maid's surpassing beauty brought ; 
And strangely on his Sincy wrought 
Her mystic moralizings, fraught 
With half-prophetic sense, and breathed 
In tones so sweetly wild. 
Unconsciously the flower he took. 
And with absorbed admiring look 
Gazed, as with fascinated eye 
The lone bard gazes on the sky. 
Who, in the bright clouds rolled and wreathed 
Around the sun's descending car. 
Sees shadowy rocks sublimely piled. 
And phantom standards wide unfurled. 
And towers of an aerial world 
Embattled for unearthly war. 
So stood Anthemion, till among 
The mazes of the festal throng 
The damsel from his sight had past ; 
Yet well he marked that once she cast 



ai2 RHODODAPHNE 

A backward look, perchance to see 
If he watched her still so fixedly. 



Does Love so weave his subtle spdl, 
So closely bind im golden chain. 
That only one fair form may dwell 
In dear remembrance, and in vain 
May otter beauty seek to gaijx 
A place that idol form beside 
In feelings all pre- occupied ? 
Or does one radiant image, shrined 
Within the inmost sours recefss, 
Exalt, expand, and make the mind 
A temple, to receive and bless 
All forms of kindred loveliness ? 

Howbdt, as from those myrtle bowQ-g, 
And that bright altar crowned vnth flowers, 
Anthemion turned, as thought's wild stream 
Its interrupted course resumed, 
StiM, like the phantom of a dream^ 
Before his dazzled memory bloomed 
The fmage of that inaiden strange : 
Yet not a passing thought of change 
He knew, nor once his fancy strayed 
From his long-loved Arcadian maid. 
Vaguely his mind the scene retraced, 
Image on image wildly driven » 
As in his bosom's fold he placed 
The flower that radiant nymph. had given. 
With idle steps, at randoiu bent. 
Through Thespia's crowded ways he went ; 
And on his troubled ear the strains 
Of choral music idly smote ; 
And with vacant eve he saw the trains 



RHODODAPHNE 2x3 

Of youthful dancers round him float, 
As the musing bard from his sylvan seat 
Looks on the dance of the noontide heat, 
Or the play of the watery flowers, that quiver 
In the eddies of a lowland river. 

Around, beside him, to and fro, 
The assembled thousands hurrying go. 
These the palaestric sports invite, 
Where courage, strength, and skill contend ; 
The gentler Muses those delight. 
Where throngs of silent listeners bend 
While rival bards, with lips of fire, 
Attune to love the impassioned lyre ; 
Or where the mimic scene displays 
Some solemn tale of elder days, 
Despairing Phaedra's vengeful doom, 
Alcestis' love too dearly tried. 
Or Haemon dying on the tomb 
That closes o'er his living bride 1. 

But choral dance, and bardic strain, 
Palaestric sport, and scenic tale. 
Around Anthemion spread in vain 
Their mixed attractions : sad and pale 
He moved along, in musing sadness. 
Amid all sights and sounds of gladness. 

A sudden voice his musings broke.- 
He looked ; an aged man was near, 
Of rugged brow, and eye severe. 
— * What evil ' — thus the stranger spoke — 
' Has this our city done to thee. 
Ill-omened boy, that thou shouldst be 
A blot on our solemnity ? 
Or what Alastpr bade thee wear 
That laurel-rose, to Love profane, ^ 

^ The allusions are to the Hippolytus and Alcestis of 
uripides, and to the Antigone of Sophocles. 



314 



I 



Whose leaves in semblance falsely fair 
01 Love*s maternal flower, contain 
For purest fragrance deadliest baiie ? ^ 

* T4 3^ ^6Sa ifcetva oC'k iff ^a dXij^ti^A' r^ 5* tjp 
dypia^ Sii^u'irjj tpv6p.eif<t po6oSd<pt>7iv a6r^v ^aXoO^tF dpBpiiyir^i 

^txyAyra dwoByi^Kfiv aCfrUa, Lucianus m AsinO. ^ 
* These roses were not true roses : ttiey were flowers 
of the wild lanrel. which men call rhbdodaplme, or 
rose^laureL It is a bad dinner for either borse or aMs, 
the eating of it being attended by immediate death/ 
Apuleius has amplified this passage : ' I observed from 
a&r the deep shades of a leafy grove, through whose 
diversified and abundant verdure shone the soowy 
colour of refulgent roses. As my perceptions and 
feelings were not asinine like my shape ^. I judged it 
to be a sacred grove of Venus and the Graces, where 
the celestial splendour of their genial flower glittered 
through the dark- green shades. I invoked the pro- 
pitious power of joyful Event, and sprang forward 
with such velocity, as if I were not indeed an ass, but 
the horse of an Oiyunpic charioteer. But this splendid 
efiort of energy comd not enable me to outnan the 
cruelty of my fortune. For on approaching the sfjot 
I saw, not those tender and delicate roses, the offspring 
of auspicious bushes, whose fragrant leaves make 
nectar of the morning dew ; nor yet the deep wood T 
had seemed to see from afar ; but only a thick line of 
trees skirting the edge of a river. These trees^ clothed 
with an abandant and laurel-lLke foliage, from whdcii 
they stretch forth the cups of their pale and inodorous 
flowers, are called* among the unlearned rustics, by the 
far from rustic appellation of laurel-roses : the eating of 
which is mortal to all quadrupeds. Thus entaagjed 
by evil fate, and despairing of safety, I was on the point 
of swallowing the poison of those fictitious roses, etc, 

■ This li »poken In the character of Lucius, wlio haft been cbAOftd 
into ao a«s Uy a Thefsa^lUn ointineni, mid can be re^torvd to bin 
ikmpe only by the emtinf of roiet. 



RHODODAPHNE 215 

Art thou a scomer ? dost thou throw 

Defiance at his power ? Beware ! 

Full soon thy impious youth may know 

What pangs his shafts of anger bear ; 

For not the sun's descending dart, 

Nor yet the lightning-brand of Jove, 

Fall like the shaft that strikes the heart 

Thrown by the mightier hand of Love*. — 

— * Oh stranger ! not with impious thought 

My steps this holy rite have sought. 

With pious heart and ofEerings due 

I mingled in the votive train ; 

Nor did I deem this flower profane ; 

Nor she, I ween, its evil knew. 

That radiant girl, who bade me cherish 

Her memory tQl its bloom should perish *. — 

— ' Who, and what, and whence was she ? ' — 

— ' A stranger till this hour to me '. — 

— ' Oh youth, beware ! th ?t ^anr*^^-**^*^ 

Around Larissa's evil waGs 

In tufts of Yank luxuriance grows, 

'Mid dreary valleys, by the falls 

Of haunted streams ; and magic knows 

No herb or plan t of deadlier mignt. 

When mipious lootsteps wake by night 

The echoes of those dismal dells, 

What time the murky midnight dew 

Trembles on many a leaf and blossom. 

That draws from earth's polluted bosom 

Mysterious virtue, to imbue 

The chalice of unnatural spells. 

Oft, those dreary rocks among. 

The murmurs of unholy song, 

Breathed by lips as fair as hers 

Pliny says, that this plant, though poison toquadrupeds, 
is an antidote to men against the venom of serpents. 



ai6 



By whose false hands that flmver was given. 
The solid earth* ?i firm breast have riven, 
And burst the silent sepulchres ► 
And called strange shapes <d ghastly iear. 
To hold, beneath the sickening moon. 
Portentous parle, at night's deep noon. 
With beauty skilled in mysteries drear* 
Oh, youth t JLarissa*s maids are fair_i 
But thed^mons of Ihe-eartb. an d a ir 
Their sge^ ^ey^ their councils share^ 
And wide o'er earth and ocean bear 
Their mandates to the storms that tear 
The rock-enrooted oak, and sweep 
With whirlwind wings the labouring deep. 
Their words of power can make^thjE .alxfi 
Roll refluent on their mountain-springs, 
Can torture sleep with direful dre^jns. 
And on the shapes of earthly things, 
Man, beast, bird, fish, mth influence strange* 
Breathe foul and fearful interchange. 
And hn. in marble bonds the form 
Ere while Mdth natural being warm, 
And give to senseless stones and stocks 
Jlotion, and breath, and shape that mocks^ 
As far as nicest eye can scaUt 
The action and the life of man. 
Beware 1 yet once again beware ! 
Ere round thy inexperienced mind, 
With voice and semtilance falsely fair, 
A chain Theasalian magic bind, 
Which never more, oh youth 1 beheve. 
Shall either earth or heaven unweave,* — 
While yet he spoke, the morning scene* 
In more portentous hues array ed^ 
Dwelt on Autheraion^s mind : a shade 
Of deeper mystery veiled the mien 
And words of that refulgent maid. 



RHODODAPHNE 217 

The frown, that, ere he breathed his vow. 
Dwelt on the brazen statue's brow ; 
His votive flowers, so strangely blighted ; 
The wreath her beauteous hands untwined 
To share with him, that, self -combined, 
Its sister tendrils reunited. 
Strange sympathy ! as in his mind 
These forms of troubled memory blended 
With dreams of evil undefined. 
Of magic and Thessalian guile, 
Now by the warning voice portended 
Of that mysterious man, awhile, 
Even when the stranger's speech had ended, 
He stood as if he listened still. 
At length he said : * Oh, reverend stranger ! 
Thy solemn words are words of fear. 
Not for myself I shrink from danger ; 
But there is one to me more dear 
Than all within this earthly sphere, 
And many are the omens ill 
That threaten her : to Jove's high will 
We bow ; but if in human skill * 

Be ought of aid or expiation 
That may this peril turn away. 
For old Experience holds his station 
On that grave brow, oh stranger ! say.' 
— * Oh youth ! experience sad indeed 
Is mine ; and should I tell my tale, 
Therein thou might' st too clearly read 
How little may all aid avail 
To him, whose hapless steps around 
Thessalian spells their chains have bound : 
And yet such counsel as I may 
I give to thee. Ere close of day 
Seek thou the planes, whose broad shades fall 
On the stream that laves yon mountain's 
base : 



RHODODAFHNE 

There on tliy Natal Genius call ^ 

For aid, aad with averted face 

Give to the stream thiit flower, nor look 

Upon the running wave again ; 

For, if thou should 'st< the sacred plane 

Has heard thy suppliaat vows in vain ; 

Nor then thy Natal Genius can. 

Nor Phcebus, nor Arcadian Pan, 

Dissolve thy tenfold chain.* — 

The stranger said^ and turned away. 
Aiithemion sought the plane-grove's sharle. 
'Twas near the closing hour of day* 
The slanting sunbeam's golden ray, 
That through the massy foliage made 
Scarce here and there a passage, played 
Upon the silver-eddying stream. 
Even on the rocky channel throwing 
Through the clear flood its golden gleam. 
The bright waves danced beneath the beam 
To the music of their own sweet flowing. 
The flowering sallows on the bank. 
Beneath the overshadowing plane*trees wreathing 
In sweet association, drank 
The grateful moisture, round them breathing 
Soft fragrance through the lonely wood. 
There, where the mingling foliage wove 
Its closest bower, two altars stood, 



^ The plane was sacred to the Gerdus* as the oak to 
Jupiter, the ohve to iEuerva, the palm to the Muses, 
the myrtle and rose to Venus, the laurel to Apollo, the 
ash to Mars, the beech to Hercules, the pine to Pan, 
the fir and ivy to Bacchus, the cjrpress to Sylvanxis^ 
the cedar to the Eumenid^, the yew and poppy to 
Ceres, etc. ' I swear to you ' , says Socrates in the 
Phcedfus of Plato, * by any* one of tiie gods, if you will 



by this plane ' 



RHODODAPHNE 



219 



This to the Genius of the Grove, n 

That to the Naiad of the Flood. |( 

So light a breath was on the trees, 
That rather like a spirit's sigh 
Than motion of an earthly breeze. 
Among the summits broad and high 
Of these tall planes its whispers stirred ; 
And save that gentlest symphony 
Of air and stream, no sound was heard. 
But of the solitary bird, 
That aye, at summer's evening hour. 
When music save her own is none. 
Attunes, from her invisible bower. 
Her hymn to the descending sun. 

Anthemion paused upon the shore : 
All thought of magic's impious lore, 
All dread of evil powers, combined 
Against his peace, attempted ill 
With that sweet scene ; and on his mind 
Fair, graceful, gentle, radiant still. 
The form of that strange damsel came ; 
And something like a sense of shame 
He felt, as if his coward thought 
Foul wrong to guileless beauty wrought. 
At length — * Oh radiant girl ! ', he said, 
* If in the cause that bids me tread 
These banks, be mixed injurious dread 
Of thy fair thoughts, the fears of love 
Must with thy injured kindness plead 
My pardon for the wrongful deed. 
Ye Nymphs and Sylvan Gods, that rove 
The precincts of this sacred wood ! 
Thou, Achelous' gentle daughter. 
Bright Naiad of this beauteous water ! 
And thou, my Natal Genius good ! 
Lo ! with pure hands the crystal flood 
Collecting, on these altars blest, 



II 



220 RHODODAPHNE 

Libation holiest, brightest, best, 

I pour. If round my footsteps dwell 

Unholy sign or evil spell, 
. Receive me in your guardian sway ; 
I And thou, oh gentle Naiad ! bear 

With this false flower those spells away. 

If such be lingering there.' — 

Then from the stream he turned his view, 

And o'er his back the flower he threw. 

Hark ! from the wave a sudden cry, 

Of one in last extremity, 

A voice as of a drowning maid ! 

The echoes of the sylvan shade 

Gave response long and drear. 

He starts : he doeS not turn. Again ! 

It is Calliroe's cry ! In vain 

Could that dear maiden's cry of pain 

Strike on Anthemion's ear ? 

At once, forgetting all beside, 

He turned to plunge into the tide, 

But all again was still : 

The sun upon the surface bright 

Poured his last line of crimson light, 

Half-sunk behind the hill : 

But through the solemn plane-trees past 

The pinions of a mightier blast, 

And in its many-sounding sweep, 

Among the foliagfe broad and deep, 

Aerial voices seemed to sigh, 

As if the spirits of the grove 

Mourned, in prophetic sympathy 

With some disastrous love. 



CANTO III 

By living streams, in sylvan shades, 
Where winds and waves symphonious make 



RHODODAPHNE 221 

Sweet melody, the youths and maids 
No more with coral music wake 
Lone Echo from her tangled brake. 
On Pan, or Sylvan Genius, calling. 
Naiad or Nymph, in suppliant song : 
No more by living fountain, falling 
The poplar's circling bower among, • 
Where pious hands have carved of yore 
Rude bason for its lucid store 
And reared the grassy altar nigh. 
The traveller, when the sun rides high, 
For cool refreshment lingering there. 
Pours to the Sister Nymphs his prayer. 
Yet still the green vales smile : the springs 
Gush forth in light : the forest weaves 
Its own wild bowers ; the breeze's wings 
Make music in their rustling leaves ; 
But 'tis no spirit's breath that sighs 
Among their tangled canopies : 
In ocean's caves no Nereid dwells : 
No Oread* walks the mountain-dells : 
The streams no sedge-crowned Genii roll 
From bounteous urn : great Pan is dead : 
The life, the intellectual soul 
Of vale, and grove, and stream, has fled 
For ever with the creed sublime 
That nursed the Muse of earlier time. 

The broad moon rose o'er Thespia's walls. 
And on the light wind's swells and falls 
Came to Anthemion's ear the sounds 
Of dance, and song, and festal pleasure, 
As slowly towards the city's bounds 
He turned, his backward steps to measure. 
But with such sounds his heart confessed 
No sympathy : his mind was pressed 
With thoughts too heavy to endure 



RHODODAPHNE 



I 



The contrast of a scene so gay : 

And from the walls he turned a^^ay, 

To where, in distaiit moonlight pure. 

Mount Helicon's conspicuous height 

Rose in the dark-blue vault of night. 

Along the solitary road 

Alone he went ; for who but he 

On that fair night would absent be 

From Thespia's joyous revdry ? 

The sounds that on the soft air flowed 

By slow degrees in distance died : 

And now he chmbed the rock's steep side, 

Wheire frowned o'er sterile regions wide 

Neptunian Ascra's ruined tower ^ : 

Memorial of gigantic power : 

But thoughts more dear and more refined 

Awakening, in the pensive mind, 

Of him., the Muses' gentlest sou. 

The shepherd-bard of Helicon, 

Whose song, to peace and wisdom dear, 

The Aonian Dryads loved to hear* 

By Agauippe's fountain- wave 
Anthemion passed : the moonbeams fell 
Pale on the darkness of the cave. 
Within whose mossy rock-hewn cell 
The sculptured form of Linus stood. 
Primeval bard. The Nymphs for him 
Through every spring, and mountain fiood, 

^ Ascra derived its name from a nyniph, of whom 
Neptune was enamoured. She bore him a son named 
OEoclus, who built Ascra in conjunction with the 
giants Ophus and Ephialtes, who were also sons of 
Neptune, by IpMmedia, the wife of Aloeus. P^usanias 
mentions, that nothing but a solitary tower o! Ascra 
was remaining in his time. Strabo describes it as 
having a lofty and rugged site. It was the birth-placf 
of Hesiod, who gives a dismal picture of it. 



RHODODAPHNE 223 

Green vale, and twilight wcxxiland dim, 
Long wept : all living nature wept 
For Linus ; when, in minstrel strife, 
Apollo's wrath from love and life 
The child of music swept. 

The Muses' grove is nigh. He treads 
Its sacred precincts. O'er him spreads 
The palm's aerial canopy. 
That, nurtured by perennial springs, 
Around its summit broad and high 
Its light and branchy foliage flings. 
Arching in graceful symmetry. 
Among the tall stems iagg*d and bare 
Luxuriant laurel interweaves 
An undershade of myriad leaves. 
Here black in rayless masses, there 
In partial moonlight glittering fair ; 
And whereso'er the barren rock 
Peers through the grassy soil, its roots 
The sweet andrachne strikes, to mock ^ 
Sterility, and profusely shoots 
Its light boughs, rich with ripening fruits. 
The moonbeams, through the chequering shade, 
Upon the silent temple played, 
The Muses' fane. The nightingale. 
Those consecrated bowers among. 
Poured on the air a warbled tale. 
So sweet, that scarcely from her nest. 
Where Orpheus' hallowed relics rest, 
She breathes a sweeter song^. 

^'The andrachne', says Pausanias, * grows abun- 
antly in Helicon, and bears fruit of incomparable 
weetness *. — Pliny says, ' It is the same plant which is 
ailed in Latin illecebra : it grows on rocks, and is 
athered for food.' [Pliny, Natural History, xxv, 103]. 

2 It was said by the Thracians, that those nightingales 



224 RHODODAPHNE "^ ] 

A scene, whose power the maniac sense 
OFpassion's wildest mooa mi^ht own ! 
Anthemion fe lt its influence : ~ 
*Hrs''fancy dran k the soothiqg tone 
Ot all that tranquil loveliness : 
And health and bloom returned to bless 
His dear Calliroe, and the groves 
And rocks where pastoral Ladon roves 
Bore record of their blissful loves. 

List ! there is music on the wind ! 
Street music ! seldom mortal ear 
On sounds so tender, so refined, 
Has dwelt. Perchance some Muse is near, 
Euterpe, or Polymnia bright. 
Or Erato, whose gentle lyre 
Responds to love and young desire ! 
It is the central hour of night : 
The time is holy, lone, severe, 
And mortals may not linger here ! 

Still on the air those wild notes fling 
Their airy spells of voice and string. 
In sweet accordance, sweeter made * 
By response soft from caverned shade. 
He turns to where a lovely glade 
Sleeps in the open moonlight's smile, 
A natural fane, whose ample bound 
The palm's columnar stems surround, 
A wild and stately peristyle ; 
Save where their interrupted ring 
Bends on the consecrated cave, 
From whose dark arch, with tuneful wave, 
Libethrus issues, sacred spring. 
Beside its gentle murmuring, 

which had their nests about the tomb of Orpheus, sang 
more sweetly and powerfully than any others, — 
Pausanias, 1, ix. 



RHODODAPNHE 225 

A maiden, on a mossy stone. 

Full in the moonlight, sits alone : 

Her eyes, with humid radiance bright. 

As if a tear had dimmed their light. 

Are fixed upon the moon ; her hair 

Flows long and loose in the light soft air ; 

A golden l)n:e her white hands bear ; 

Its chords, beneath her fingers fleet, 

To such wild symphonies awake. 

Her sweet lips breathe a song so sweet. 

That the echoes of the cave repeat 

Its closes with as soft a sigh, 

As if they almost feared to break 

The magic of its harmony. 

Oh ! there was passion in the sound, 
Intensest passion, strange and deep ; 
Wild breathings of a soul, around 
Whose every pulse one hope had bound. 
One burning hope, which might not sleep. 
But hark ! that wild and solemn swell 1 
And was there in those tones a spell. 
Which none may disobey ? For lo ! 
Anthemion from the sylvan shade 
Moves with reluctant steps and slow. 
And in the lonely moonlight glade 
He stands before the radiant maid. 

She ceased her song, and with a smile 
She welcomed him, but nothing said : 
And silently he stood the while. 
And tow'rds the ground he drooped his head. 
As if he shrunk beneath the light 
Of those dark eyes so dazzling bright. 
At length she spoke : ' The flower was fair 
I bade thee till its fading wear : 
And didst thou scorn the boon, 
Or died the flower so soon ? ' — 
— ' It did not fade. 



326 



RHODODAPHNE 



Oh radiant maid I 
Btit Thespia's rites its use forbade, 
To Love's vindictive power profane : 
If soothly spoke the revereiid aeer. 
Whose voice rebuked ^ with words severe, 
Its beant^J-'s secret bane*. — 

— 'The world, oh youth ! deems many wise, 
Who dream at noon with waking eyes. 
While spectral fancy round them flings 
Phantoms of unexisting things : 
Whose truth ig lies, whose paths are error. 
Whose gods are fiends, whose heaven is terror ; 
And such a slave has been with thee, 
And thou, in thy simplicity. 
Hast deemed his idle sayings truth* 
The flower I gave thee, thankless youth ! 
The harmless flower thy hand rejected. 
Was fair : my native river sees 
Its verdure and its bloom reflected 
Wave in the eddies and the breeze. 
My mother felt its beauty's claim, 
And gave, in sportive fondness wild. 
Its name to me, her only child '. — 

—' Then Rhododaphne is thy name ? *- — 
Anthemion said : the maiden bent 
Her head in token of assent, 
— * Say once again, if sooth I deem, 
Pen^us is thy native stream ? ' — 

^— ■ Down Pindus* steep Peceus falls. 
And swift and clear through hill and dale 
It flows, and by Larissa's walls. 
And through wild Tempe, loveliest vale ; 
And on its banks the cypress gloom 
Waves round ray father's lonely tomb. 
My mother's only child am I : 
'Mid Tempe's sylvan rocks we dwell ; 
And from my earliest infancy, 



RHODODAPHNE 227 

The darling of our cottage-deU 

For its bright leaves and clusters fair. 

My namesake flower has bound my hair. 

With costly gift and flattering song, 

Youths, rich and valiant, sought my love. 

They moved me not. I shunned the throng 

Of suitors, for the mountain-grove 

Where Sylvan Gods and Oreads rove. 

The Muses, whom I worship here, 

Had breathed their influence on my being. 

Keeping my youthful spirit clear 

From all corrupting thoughts, and freeing 

My footsteps from the crowd, to tread 

Beside the torrent's echoing bed, 

*Mid wind-tost pines, on steeps aerial, 

Where elemental Genii throw 

Effluence of natures more ethereal 

Than vulgar minds can feel or know. 

Oft on those steeps, at earliest dawn, 

The world in mist beneath me lay. 

Whose vapoury curtains, half withdrawn. 

Revealed the flow of Therma's bay. 

Red with the nascent light of day ; 

Till full from Athos' distant height 

The sun poured down his golden beams 

Scattering the mists like morning dreams, 

And rocks and lakes and isles and streams 

Burst, like creation, into light. 

In noontide bowers the bubbling springs. 

In evening vales the winds that sigh 

To eddying rivers murmuring by. 

Have heard to these symphonious strings 

The rocks and caverned glens reply. 

Spirits that love the moonhght hour 

Have met me on the shadowy hill : 

Dream' st thou of Magic ? of the power 

That makes the blood of life run chill. 



^s 



J^nODODAPnNE 



And stakes the world with d^mon skill ? 
Beauty is Magic ; grace and song : 
Fair lorm, light motion, airj^ sound : 
Frail webs I and yet a chain more strong 
They weave the strongest hearts around. 
Than e*er Akides' arm unbound : 
Amd such a chain I weave round thee, 
Though but vnth mortal ivitcherj^ \ — 

His eyes and ears had drank the charm. 
The damsel rose, and on his arm 
She laid her hand- Through all his frame 
The soft touch thrilled like Uquid flame : 
But on his mind Calliroe came 
All pale and sad> her sweet eyes dim 
With tears which for herself and him 
FeE : by that modest image mild 
Recalled, inspired, Antheraion strove 
Against the charm that now beguiled 
His sense, and cried, in accents wild, 
— ' Oh maid \ I have another love ! *^ 

But still she held his arm, and spoke 
Again in accents thrilling sweet : 
— ' In Tempers vale a lonely oak 
Has felt the storms of ages beat : 
Blasted by the lightning -stroke. 
A hoUow, leafless, branchlei^s trunk 
It stands : but in its giant cell 
A mighty sylvan power doth dwell. 
An old and holy oracle. 
Kneeling by that ancient tree, 
I sought the voice of destiny. 
And in my ear these accents sunk : 
" Waste not m loneliness thy bloom i 
With flowers the Th^pian aitar dress : 
The youth whom Love's mysterious doom 
Assigns to thee, thy sight shall bless 
With no ambiguous loveliness : 



RHODODAPHNE 229 

And thou, amid the joyous scene, 
Shalt know him, by his mournful* mien, 
And by the paleness of his cheek, 
And by the sadness of his eye. 
And by his withered flowers, and by 
The language thy own heart shall speak". 
And I did know thee, youth I and thou 
Art mine, and I thy bride must be. 
Another love ! the gods allow 
No other love to thee or me ! ' 

She gathered up her glittering hair, 
And round his neck its tresses threw. 
And twined her arms of beauty rare 
Around him, and the light curls drew 
In closer bands : ethereal dew 
Of love and young desire was swimming 
In her bright eyes, albeit not dimming 
Their starry radiance, rather brightning 
Their beams with passion's liquid lightning. 
She clasped him to her throbbing breast. 
And on his lips her lips she prest. 
And cried the while 
With joyous smile : 

— * These lips are mine ; the spell have won them. 
Which round and round thy soul I twine ; 
And be the kiss I print upon them 
Poison to all lips but mine I ' — 

Dizzy awhile Anthemion stood. 
With thirst-parched lips and fevered blood. 
In those enchanting ringlets twined : 
The fane, the cave, the moonlight wood, 
The world, and all the world enshrined. 
Seemed melting from his troubled mind : 
But those last words the thought recalled 
Of his Calliroe, and appalled 
His mind with many a nameless fear 
For her, so good, so mild, so dear. 



230 RHODODAPHI^E 

With sudden start of gentle force 
From Rhododaphne's arms he sprang, 
And swifter than the torrent*3 course 
From rock to rock in tumult flung, 
Ad own the steeps of Hehcon, 
By spring, and cave, and tower, ae fled, 
But turned from Thespia's walls, and on 
Along the rocky way, that led 
Towards the Coriuthian Isthmus, spad. 
Impatient to behold again 
His cottage-home by Ladon*s side. 
And her, for whose dear sake his brain 
Was giddy with, foreboding pain, 
Fairest of Ladon's virgin train. 
His own long-destined bride. 



CANTO rv 

Magic and mystery^ spells Circaean, 

The Siren voice, that calmed the sea, 

And steeped the soul in dews Lethsean ; 

The enchanted cliahce, sparkling free 

With wine, amid whose ruby glow 

Love couched, with madness linked and woe ; 

Mantle and tone, whose woof beneath 

Lurked wily grace, in subtle wreath 

With blandishment and young desire 

And soft persuasion intertwined. 

Whose touch, mth sympathetic fire. 

Could melt at once the sternest mind ; 

Have passed away : for %'estal Truth 

Young Fancy's foe, and Reason chill. 

Have chased the dreams that charmed the yo 

Of nature and the world, which still, 

Amid that vestal light severe. 

Our colder spirits leap to hear 

Like echoes from a fairv hill* 



RHODODAPHNE 2$t 

Yet deem not so. The Power of Spells 
Still lingers on the earth, but dwells 
In deeper folds of close disguise, 
That baffle Reason's searching eyes : 
Nor shall that mystic Power resign 
To Truth's cold sway his webs of guile, 
Till woman's eyes have ceased to shine. 
And woman's Ups have ceased to smile. 
And woman's voice has ceased to be 
The earthly soul of melody. ' 

A night and day had passed away : 
A second night. A second day 
Had risen. The noon on vale and hill 
Was glowing, and the pensive herds 
In rocky pool and sylvan rill 
The shadowy coolness sought. The birds 
Among their leafy bowers were still, 
Save where the red-breast on the pine, 
In thickest ivy's sheltering nest. 
Attuned a lonely song divine. 
To soothe old Pan's meridian rest^. 
The stream's eternal eddies played 
In light and music ; on its edge 
The soft light air scarce moved the sedge : 
The bees a pleasant murmuring made 
On thymy bank and flowery hedge : 
From field to field the grasshopper 
Kept up his joyous descant shrill ; 
When once again the wanderer. 
With arduous travel faint and pale. 
Beheld his own Arcadian vale. 

From Oryx, down the sylvan way, 
With hurried pace the youth proceeds. 

^ It was the custom of Pan to repose from the chase 
t noon. — Theocritus, Id., I. 



n^ 



RHODODAPHNE 



Sweet Ladoa*s waves beside him stray- 
la dear companionship : the reeds 
Seem, whispering on the margin clear. 
The doom of Syrinx to rehearse, 
Ladomaa Syrinx, aame most dear 
To music and Maenalian verae. 

It is the Aphrodisian grove. 
Anthemion's home is near. He sees 
The light smoke rising from the trees 
That shade the dwelling of his love> 
Sad bodings. shadowy fears of ill. 
Pressed heavier on him, in wild strife 
With many-wandering hope, that still 
Heaves on the darkest clouds of life 
Some vestige of her radiant way : 
But soon those torturing struggle end ; 
For where the poplar silver-gray 
And dark associate cedar blend 
Their hospitable shade, before 
One hnman dwelling's weE-known door. 
Old Pheidon sits, and by his side 
His only child, his age's bride. 
Herself, Anthemion's destined bride. 

She hears his coming tread. She flies 
To meat him. Health is on her cheeks. 
And pleasure sparkles in her eyes, 
And their soft Ught a welcome speaks 
^lore eloquent than words. Oh, joy 1 
The maid he leit so fast consuming. 
Whom death, impatient to destroy, 
Had marked his prey, now rosy- blooming, 
And beaming like the morning star 
With lovehness and love, has flown 
To welcome him : his cares fly far, 
Like clouds when storms ate overblown ; 
For where such perfect transports reign 
JEven memory has no place for pain. 



RHODODAPHNE 233 

The poet's task were passing sweet, 
If, when he tells how lovers meet. 
One half the flow of joy, that flings 
Its magic on that blissful hour. 
Could touch, with sympathetic power, 
His lyre's accordant strings. 
It may not be. The lyre is mute. 
When venturous minstrelsy would suit 
Its numbers to so dear a theme : 
But many a gentle maid, I deem. 
Whose heart has known and felt the like. 
Can hear, in fancy's kinder dream, 
The chords I dare not strike. 

They spread a banquet in the shade 
Of those old trees. The friendly board 
Calliroe's beauteous hands arrayed. 
With self-requiting toil, and poured 
In fair-carved bowl the sparkling wine. 
In order due Anthemion made 
Libation, to Olympian Jove, 
Arcadian Pan, and Thespian Love, 
And Bacchus, giver of the vine. 
The generous draught dispelled the sense 
Of weariness. His limbs were light : 
His heart was free : Love banished thence 
All forms but one most dear, most bright : 
And ever with insatiate sight 
He gazed upon the maid, and listened. 
Absorbed in ever new delight 
To that dear voice, whose balmy sighing 
To his full joy blest response gave. 
Like music doubly-sweet replying 
From twilight echo's sylvan cave ; 
And her mild eyes with soft rays glistened. 
Imparting and reflecting pleasure ; 
For this is Love's terrestrial treasure. 
That in participation lives. 



"34 



And evermore, the more it gives. 
Itself abounds in fuller measure. 

Old Pheidon felt his he^rt expand 
With joy that from their joy had birth, 
And said : ' Antheirdon ! Love's own hand 
1b here, and mighty on the earth 
Is he, the primogenial power. 
Whose sacred grove and antique fane I 

Thy prompted footsteps, not in vaia. 
Have sought ; for, on the day and hour 
Of his incipient rite, most strange 
And sudden was Calliroe's change. 
The sickness under which she bowed, 
Swiftly, as though it ne'er had been, 
Passed, like the shadow of a clond 
From April's hills of green. 
And bliss once more is yours ; and mine 
In seeing yours, and more than this ; 
For ever, in our children's bliss, 
The sun of our past youth doth shine 
Upon our age anew. Divine 
No less than our own Pan must be 
To us Love's bounteous deity ; 
And round our old and hallowed pmt 
The myrtle and the rose mnst twine. 
Memorial of the Thespian shrine** — 

'Twas strange indeed, Anthemion thought, 
That, in the honr when omens dread 
Most tortured him, such change was wrought ; 
But love and hope their lustre shed 
Oa all his visions now, and led 
His memory from the mystic train 
Of feats which that strange damsel wove 
Around him in the Thespian fane 
And in the Heliconian grove- 

Eve came, and twilight's balmy hour ; 
Alone, beneath the cedar bower. 



RHODODAPHNE 23s 

The lovers sate, in converse dear 
Retracing many a backward year, 
Their infant sports in field and grove, 
Their mutual tasks, their dawning love. 
Their mingled tears of past distress, 
Now all absorbed in happiness ; 
And oft would Fancy intervene 
To throw, on many a pictured scene 
Of life's untrodden path, such gleams 
Of golden light, such blissful dreams. 
As in young Love's enraptured eye 
Hope almost made reality. 

So in that dear accustomed shade. 
With Ladon flowing at their feet, 
. Together sate the youth and maid, 
In that uncertain shadowy light 
When day and darkness mingling meet. 
Her bright eyes ne'er had seemed so bright, 
Her sweet voice ne'er had seemed so sweet. 
As then they seemed. Upon his neck 
Her head was resting, and her eyes 
Were raised to his, for no disguise 
Her feelings knew ; untaught to check. 
As in these days more worldly wise. 
The heart's best purest sympathies. 

Fond youth ! her lips are near to thine : 
The ringlets of her temples twine 
Against thy cheek : oh ! more or less 
Than mortal wert thou not to press 
Those ruby lips ! Or does it dwell 
Upon thy mind, that fervid spell 
Which Rhododaphne breathed upon 
Thy lips erewhile in Helicon ? 
Ah I pause, rash boy ! bethink thee yet : 
And canst thou then the charm forget ? 
Or dost thou scorn its import vain 
As vision of a fevered brain ? 



3136 



Oil I he has kissed Calli roe's Ups ! 
And with the touch the maid grew pale. 
And sudden shade of strange eclipse 
Drew o'er her eyes its dusky veil. 
As droops the meadow-pink its head, 
By the rude scythe in summer* a prime 
Cleft from its parent stem, and spread 
On earth to wither ere its time. 
Even so the flower of Ladon faded, 
Swifter than, when the sun had shaded 
In the young storm his setting ray^ 
The western radiance dies away* 

He pressed her heart : no pulse was there. 
Before her lips his hands he placed : 
No breath was in them. Wild despair 
Came on him, as, with sudden waste, 
When snows dissolve in vernal rain. 
The mountain-torrent on the plain 
Descends ; and with that fearful swell 
Of passionate grief, the midnight spell 
Of the Thessalian maid recurred, 
Distinct in every fatal word : 
— * These Ups are mine ; the spells have 

them. 
Which round and round thy soul I twine : 
And be the kiss I print upon them 
Poison to all Ups but mine I ' — 
-^' Oh, thou art dead, my love 1 ', he cried — 
* Art dead, and I have murdered thee J ' — - 
He started up in agony* 
The beauteous maiden from his side 
Sunk down on earth. Like one who slept _ 
She lay, still, cold, and pale of hue ; 
And her long hair all loosely swept 
The thin grass, wet with evening dew. 

He could not weep ; but anguish burned 
Within him like consuming flame. 



RHODODAPHNE 337 

He shrieked : the distant rocks returned 
The voice of woe. Old Pheidon came 
In terror forth : he saw ; and wild 
With misery fell upon his child. 
And cried aloud, and rent his hair. 
Stung by the voice of his despair, 
And by the intolerable thought 
That he, how innocent soe'er. 
Had all this grief and ruin wrought, 
And urged perchance by secret might 
Of magic spells, that drew their chain 
More closely round his phrenzied brain. 
Beneath the swiftly-closing night 
Anthemion sprang away, and fled 
O'er plain and steep, with frantic tread, 
As Passion's aimless impulse led. 



Though Pity's self has made thy breast 

Its earthly shrine, oh gentle maid I 

Shed not thy tears, where Love's last rest 

Is sweet beneath the cypress shade ; 

Whence never voice of tyrant power. 

Nor trumpet-blast from rending skies, 

Nor winds that howl, nor storms that lower. 

Shall bid the sleeping sujBferer rise. 

But mourn for them, who live to keep 

Sad strife with fortune's tempests rude ; 

For them, who live to toil and weep 

In loveless, joyless solitude ; 

Whose days consume in hope, that flies 

Like clouds of gold that fading float. 

Still watched with fondlier lingering eyes 

As still more dim and more remote. 

Oh ! wisely, truly, sadly sung 




2j8 RHODODAFHNE 

The bard by old Cephisus* side^ 
While not %vith sadder, sweseter tongue. 
His own loved Dightmgaie replied : 
* Man's happiest lot is not to be ; 
And when we tread life's thorny steep. 
Most blest are they* who. earliest free, 
Descend to death's etemal sleep*. — 

I^OBg^ wide, and far, the yotith has strayed, 
Forlorn, and pale, and wild with woe. 
And found no rest. His loved, lost maid, 
A beauteous, sadly-sniiling shade, 
Is ever in his thoughts, and slow 
RoU on the hopeless, aimleiss hours. 
Sunshine, and grass, and woods* and Sowers, 
Rivers, and vales, and glittering homes 
Of bnsy men, where'er he roams, 

Torment his sense with contrast keen. 

Of that which is, and might have been. 
The mist that on the mountains high 
Its transient wreath light-hovering flings. 
The clouds and changes of the sky, 
The forms of unsubstantial things. 
The voice of the tempestuous gale, 
The rain-swoln torrent's turbid moan. 
And every sound that seems to wail 
For beauty past and hope overthrown. 
Attemper with his w^ild despair ; 
But scarce his restless eye can bear 
The hills, and rocks, and summer streams, 
The things that still are what they were 
When life and love were more than dreams. 



1 Sophocles. [Ed. Col. 1225]. M% ^Srat rhv ^iravra rtJff| 
\6yv¥. It 3\ iird ^ayyi, B^v^i Kd&iP 6&(v wip ^m-fi, Uo\^ 
ffei>r«p&i', ^I^f -rdxi^rra. This was a very favourite senti-! 
ment among the Greeks. The same thought occurs J 
in Ecchsiastes, iv. 2» 3. 



RHODODAPHNE 239 

It chanced, along the rugged shore. 
Where giant Pelion's piny steep 
O'erlooks the wide -^gean deep. 
He shunned the steps of humankind. 
Soothed by the multitudinous roar 
Of ocean, and the ceaseless shock 
Of spray, high-scattering from the rock 
In the wail of the many-wandering wind, 
A crew, on lawless venture bound. 
Such men as roam the seas around. 
Hearts to fear and pity strangers. 
Seeking gold through crimes and dangers. 
Sailing near, the wanderer spied. 
Sudden, through the foaming tide. 
They drove to land, and on the shore 
Springing, they seized the youth, and bore 
To their black ship, and spread again 
Their sails, and ploughed the billowy main. 

Dark Ossa on their watery way 
Looks from his robe of mist ; and, gray 
With many a deep and shadowy fold. 
The sacred mount, Olympus old. 
Appears : but where with Therma's sea 
Peneus mingles tranquilly. 
They anchor with the closing light 
Of day, and through the moonless night 
Propitious to their lawless toil, 
In silent bands they prowl for spoil. 

Ere morning dawns, they crowd on board. 
And to their vessel's secret hoard 
With many a costly robe they pass. 
And vase of silver, gold, and brass. 
A young maid too their hands have torn 
From her maternal home, to mourn 
Afar, to some rude master sold, 
The crimes and woes that spring from gold. 
— ' There sit ! '—cried one in rugged tone, — 



240 RHODODAPHNE 

' Beside that boy. A well-matched pair 

Ye seenL, and will, I doubt not, bear, 

la our good port, a value rare. 

There sit, but oot to wail and moan : 

The lyre, which in those fingers fair 

We leave, whose sound through night's 

shade 
To unwished ears thy haunt bewrayed, 
Strike : for the lyre, by beauty played, 
To glad the hearts of men was made', — 

The dauisel by Anthemion's side 
Sate down upon the deck. The tide 
Blushed with the deepening light of morn. 
A pityiug look the youth forlorn 
Turned on the maiden. Cau it be ? 
Or does his sense pLay false ? Too well 
He knows that radiant form. 'Tis she. 
The magic maid of Thessaly, 
'Tis Rhododaphne 1 By the spell. 
That ever round Mm dwelt, opprest, 
He bowed his head upon his breast. 
And o'er his eyes his hand he drew, 
That fatal beauty's sight to shun. 
Now from the orient heaven the sun 
Had clothed the eastward waves with fire : 
Right from the west the fair breeze blew* : 
The full sails swelled, and sparkling through 
The sounding sea, the vessel fiew : 
With wine and copious cheer, the crew 
Caroused : the damsel o'er the lyre 
Her rapid fingers lightly flung. 
And thus, with feigned obedience, sung. 

— 'The Nereid's home is calm and bright. 
The ocean-depths below, 
Where liquid streams of emerald light 
Through caves of coral flow. 
She has a lyre of silver strings 




thick 



RHODODAPHNE ^i 

Framed on a pearly shell, 

And sweetly to that Ijnre she sings 

The shipwrecked seaman's knell. 

' The ocean-snake in sleep she binds ; 
The dolphins round her play : 
His purple conch the Triton winds 
Responsive to the lay : 
Proteus and Phoneys, sea-gods old, 
Watch by her choral cell, 
To hear, on watery echoes rolled, 
The shipwrecked seaman's knell'. 

— ' Cease ! ' cried the chief, in accents rude — 
* From songs like these mishap may rise. 
Thus far have we our course pursued 
With smiling seas and cloudless skies. 
From wreck and tempest, omens ill. 
Forbear ; and sing, for well I deem 
Those pretty lips possess the skill. 
Some ancient tale of happier theme ; 
Some legend of imperial Jove 
In uncouth shapes disguised by love ; 
Or Hercules, and his hard toils ; 
Or Mercury, friend of craft and spoils ; 
Or Jove-born Bacchus, whom we prize 
O'er all the Olympian deities *. — 

He said, and drained the bowl. The crew 
With long coarse laugh applauded. Fast 
With sparkling keel the vessel flew, 
For there was magic in the breeze 
That urged her through the sounding seas. 
By Chanastraeum's point they past. 
And Ampelos. Gray Athos, vast 
With woods far-stretching to the sea, 
Was full before them, while the maid 
Again her Ijnre's wild strings essayed, > 

In notes of bolder melody : 

* Bacchus by the lonely ocean 



34^ 



RHODODAPHNE 



Stood in youthful semblance fair : 
Summer winds, mth gentle motion. 
Waved his black and curling iiair. 
Streaming from his manly shoulders 
Robes of gold and purple dye 
Told of spoil to fierce beholders 
In their blseCk ship sailing by. 
On the vessel's deck they placed him 
Strongly bound in triple bands ; 
Bnt the iron rings that braced him 
Melted* wax-like from his hands. 
Then the pilot spake in terror : 

* " "Tis a god in mortal form I 
Seek the land ; repair your error 
Ere his wrath invoke the storm". 

' ** Silence 1 " cried the frowning master^ 
''' Mind the helm, the breeze is fair : 
Coward ! cease to bode disaster : 
Leave to men the captive's care"/ 
While he speaks, and fiercely tightens 
In the full free breeze the sail. 
From the deck wiae bubbling hghtens. 
Winy fra^^ance fills the gale. 
Gurgling in ambrosial lustre 
Flows tile purple- eddying wine ; 
0*er the yard-arms trail and cluster 
Tendrils of the mantling vine : 
Grape?, beneath the broad leaves springing. 
Blushing as in vintage- hours. 
Droop, while round the tall mast clinging 
Ivy twines its buds and flowers, 
Fast with graceful berries blackening i— 
Garlands hang on every oar : 
Then in fear the cordage slackening. 
One and all» they cry, '* To shore I " 
Bacchus changed his shape, and glaring 
With a lion's eye- balls wide, 



RHODODAPHNE 243 

Roared : the pirate-crew, despairing, 
Plunged amid the foaming tide. 
Through the azure depths they flitted 
Dolphins by transforming fate : 
But the god the pilot pitied, 
Saved, and made him rich and great '. 

The crew laid by their cups and frowned. 
A stern rebuke their leader gave. 
With arrowy speed the ship went rotind 
Nymphaeum. To the ocean-wave 
The mountain-forest sloped, and cast 
O'er the white surf its massy shade. 
They heard, so near the shore they past, 
The hollow sound the sea-breeze made. 
As those primeval trees it swayed. 

* Curse on thy songs ! ' the leader cried, 
* False tales of evil augury I ' 

* Well hast thou said ', the maid replied, 
' They augur ill to thine and thee *. 

She rose, and loosed her radiant hair. 
And raised her golden lyre in air. 
The lyre, beneath the breeze's wings. 
As if a spirit swept the strings. 
Breathed airy music, sweet and strange. 
In many a wild phantastic change. 
Most like the daughter of the Sun ^ 
She stood : her eyes all radiant shone 

1 The children of the Sun were known by the 
splendour of their eyes and hair. Ilocra yh.p t}€\Iov yevei) 
dpiSrjXos IdiaOai, Hcv iirel ^Xe^dpcjv dTrorriXdOL fiapfiapvyjcnv 
Olov 4k -xjivditav dvTOJinov Uaav atyXriP. — Apollonius, IV, 727. 
And in the Orphic Argonautics Circe is thus described : — 
iK 5* &pa irdvTes Bdfx^eov €l(rop6<ovT€r dirb Kpards ydp ^deipai 
IlvpiTaii dKTlve<T<nv dXiyKLOi rjibprjvro' Sri'XjSe 5^ KoXd 
irpdsiaira, (pXoybs 5* dT^afiwcv dvTfnfi. 



244 



BHODODAPHNE 



With beams unutterably bright ; 
And her long tresses loose and light, 
As on the playful breeze they rolled, 
Flamed with rays of burning gold, 
His wonderiBg eyes Anthemion raised 
Upon the maid : the seamen ga^ed 
In fear and strange suspense, amazed* 

From the forest-depths profound 
Breathes a low and suUen sound : 
'Tis the woodland spirit's sigh. 
Ever heard when storms are nigh. 
On the shore the surf that breaks 
With the rising breezes makes 
More tumultuous harmony. 
Louder yet the breezes sing : 
Round and rounds in dizzy ring, 
Sea-birds scream on restless wing : 
Pine and cedar creak and swing 
To the sea-blast's murmuring. 
Far and wide on sand and shingle 
Eddying breakers boil and mingle ; 
Beetling clifis and cavemed rock 
Roll around the echoing shock. 
Where the spray, like snow-dust whirled, 
High in vapoury wreaths is hurled 
Clouds on clouds, in volumes driven » 
Curtain round the vault of heaven. 

* To shore I to shore ! * the seamen cry. 
The damsel waved her Ijnre on high^ 
And, to the powers that rule the sea. 
It whispered notes of witcherj'. 
Swifter than the lightning- fiame 
The sudden breath of the whirlmnd came. 
Round at once^ in its mighty sweep 
The vessel whirled on the whirling deep. 
Right from, shore the driving gale 
Bends the mast and swells the sail : 



RHODODAPHNE 24s 

Loud the foaming ocean raves : 
Through the mighty waste of waves 
Speeds the vessel swift and free. 
Like a meteor of the sea. 

Day is ended. Darkness shrouds 
The shoreless seas and lowering clouds. 
Northward now the tempest blows : 
Fast and far the vessel goes : 
Crouched on deck the seamen lie ; 
One and all, with charmed eye. 
On the magic maid they gaze : 
Nor the youth with less amaze 
Looks upon her radiant form 
Shining by the golden beams 
Of her refulgent hair that streams 
Like waving star-light on the storm ; 
And hears the vocal blast that rings 
Among her lyre's enchanted strings. 

Onward, onward flies the bark, 
Through the billows wild and dark. 
From her brow the spray she hurls ; 
O'er her stem the big wave curls ; 
Fast before the impetuous wind 
She flies : the wave bursts far behind. 

Onward, onward flies the bark. 
Through the raging billows — Hark ! 
'Tis the stormy surge's roar 
On the iEgean's northern shore. 
Toward the rocks, through surf and surge, 
The destined ship the wild winds urge. 
High on one gigantic wave 
She swings in air. From rock and cave 
A long loud wail of fate and fear 
Rings in the hopeless seaman's ear. 
Forward, with the breaker's dash. 
She plunges on the rock. The crash 
Of the dividing bark, the roar 



246 RHODODAPHNE 

Of waters bursting on the deck, 

Are in Anthemion's ear : no more 

He hears or se^s : but round his neck 

Are closely twined the silken rings 

Of Rhododaphne's glittering hair, 

And round him her bright arms she flings, 

And cinctured thus in loveliest bands 

The charmM waves in safety bear 

The youth and the enchantress fair, 

And leave them on the golden sands. 

CANTO VI 

Hast thou, in some safe retreat, 

Waked and watched, to hear the roar 

Of breakers on the wind-swept shore ? 

Go forth at morn. The waves, that beat 

Still rough and white when blasts are o'er, 

May wash, all ghastly, to thy feet 

Some victim of the midnight storm. 

From that drenched garb and pallid form 

Shrink not : but fix thy gaze and see 

Thy own congenial destiny. 

For him, perhaps, an anxious wife 

On some far coast o'erlooks the wave : 

A chUd, unknowing of the strife 

Of elements, to whom he gave 

His last fond kiss, is at her breast : 

The skies are clear, the seas at rest 

•Before her, and the hour is nigh 

Of his return : but black the sky 

To him, and fierce the hostile main, 

Have been. He will not come again. 

But yesterday, and life, and health, 

And hope, and love, and power, and wealth. 

Were his : to-day, in one brief hour. 

Of all his wealth, of all his power, 



RHODODAPHNE 247 

He saved not, on his shattered deck, 
A plank, to waft him from the wreck. 
Now turn away, and dry thy tears. 
And build long schemes for distant years 1 
Wreck is not only on the sea. 
The warrior dies in victory : 
The ruin of his natal roof 
O'erwhelms the sleeping man : the hoof 
Of his prized steed has struck with fate 
The horseman in his own home gate : 
The feast and mantUng bowl destroy 
The sensual in the hour of joy. 
The bride from her paternal porch 
Comes forth among her maids : the torch. 
That led at morn the nuptial choir, 
Kindles at night her funeral pyre. 
Now turn away, indulge thy dreams. 
And build for distant years thy schemes 1 

On Thracia's coast the morn was gray. 
Anthemion, with the opening day. 
From deep entrancement on the sands 
Stood up. The magic maid was there 
Beside him on the shore. Her hands 
Still held the golden lyre : her hair 
In all its long luxuriance hung 
Unringleted, and glittering bright ' 
With briny drops of diamond light : 
Her thin wet garments lightly clung 
Around her form's rare symmetry. 
Like Venus risen from the sea 
She seemed : so beautiful : and who 
With mortal sight such form could view. 
And deem that evil lurked beneath ? 
Who could approach those starry eyes, 
Those dewy coral lips, that breathe 
Ambrosial fragrance, and that smile 



*4* 



RHODODAPHNE 



In which all Love*s Elysiiiin lies. 
Who this could see. and dream of guile. 
And brood on wrong and WTath the while 
If there be one, who ne*er has ielt 
Resolve, and doubt, aud anga: melt. 
Like vernal night-frosts, in one beam 
Of Beauty's sun, 'twere vain to deem, 
Between the muse aod bim could be 
A Hok of human sympathy. 

Fain would the youth his lips unclose 
In keen reproach for all his woes 
Aud his CaUiroe's doom. In vain : 
For closer now the magic chain 
Of the iDextricable spell 
Involved him, and his accents feU 
Perplexed, confused, inaudible. 
And so awhUe he stood. At length. 
In painful tones, that gathered strength 
With feeling' 3 faater flow, he said : 
— ' What would^st thou with me^ fatal maid, 
That ever thus, by land and sea, 
Thy dangerous beauty follows me ? *^ 

She speaks in gentle accents low. 
While dim through tears her bright eyes move J 
— ' Thou askest what thou well dost know 
I love thee, and I seek thy love ', — 

— ' Jly love 1 It sleeps in dust for ever 
Within my lost Calliroe's tomb : 
The smiles of living beauty never 
May my soul's darkness re-illumi«e. 
We grew together, like twin flowers. 
Whose opemug buds the same dews cherish ; 
Aud one is reft, ere noou-tide hours, 
Violently : one remains, to perish 
By slow decay ; as I remain 
Even now, to move and breathe in vain* 
The late, false love^ that worldiwgs learn. 



RHODODAPHNE 249 

When hearts are hard, and thoughts are stem. 

And feelmgs dull, and Custom's rule 

Omnipotent, that love may cool, 

And waste, and change : but this — which flings 

Round the young soul its tendril rings. 

Strengthening their growth and grasp with years, 

Till habits, pleasures, hopes, smiles, tears. 

All modes of thinking, feeling, seeing. 

Of two congenial spirits, blend 

In one inseparable being — 

Deem'st thou this love can change or end ? 

There is no eddy on the stream, 

No bough that light winds bend and toss, 

No chequering of the sunny beam 

Upon the woodland moss. 

No star in evening's sky, no flower 

Whose beauty odorous breezes stir. 

No sweet bird singing in the bower, 

Nay, not the rustling of a leaf. 

That does not nurse and feed my grief 

By wakening thoughts of her. 

All lovely things a place possessed 

Of love in my Calliroe's breast : 

And from her purer, gentler spirit, 

Did mine the love and joy inherit, 

Which that blest maid around her threw. 

With all I saw, and felt, and knew. 

The image of Calliroe grew, " 

Till all the beauty of the earth 

Seemed as to her it owed its birth. 

And did but many forms express 

Of her reflected loveliness. ^ -^ 

The sunshine and the air seemed less 

The sources of my life : and how 

Was she torn from me ? Earth is now 

A waste, where many echoes tell 

Only of her I loved — how well 



350 



RHODODAFHNE 



II 



Words have no power to speak : and thou — 

Gather the rose-leaves from the plain 

Where faded and defiled they lie, 

And close them in their bud ag^ain, 

And bid them to the momiag sky 

Spread lovely as at first they were : 

Or from the oak the iv>'' tear, 

And wreathe it round another tree 

In vital growth : then turn to me, 

And bid my spirit cling on thee, 

As on my lost Calliroe I ' 

— ' The Genii of the earth, and sea, 
And air, and fire, my mandates hear. 
Even the dread Power, thy t^don's fear, 
Arcadian DaemaiJfDrgon, knows ^ 

^ ' The dreaded name of Diemogorgon ' is famiHar to 
every reader, in Milton's enumeratioii of the Powers of 
Chaos. ^ Mythological writers in general afford hut 
little information concerning this terrible Divinity, 
He is incidentally mentioned in several places by 
Natalis Comes, who says, in treating of Pan, that 
Pronapidea, in his Protocosmus, makes Pan and the 
three sister Fates the offspring of Dsemogorgon. 
Boccaccio, in a Latin treatise on the Genealogy of the 
Gods, gives some account of him on the authority of 
Theodotion and Pronapides. He was the Genius of 
the Earth, and the Sovereign Power of the Terrffstrial 
Daemons. He dwelt originally with Eternity and 
Chaos, till, becoming weary of inaction, he organized 
the chaotic elements, and surrounded the earth with 
the heavens. In addition to Pan and the Fates, his 
children were Uranus. Tit^a, Pytho, Eris. and Erebus. 
This awful Power was so sacred among the Arcadians* 
that it was held impious to pronounce his name. The 
impious, however, who made less scruple about 
pronouncing it, are said to have found it of great 
vijtue in magical incantations. He ha^ been supposed 



RHODODAPHNE 251 

My voice : the ivy or the rose. 
Though torn and trampled on the plain, 
May rise, unite, and bloom again, 
If on his aid I call : thy heart 
Alone resists and mocks my art*. — 

— * Why lov'st thou me, Thessalian maid ? 
Why hast thou, cruel beauty, torn 
Asunder two young hearts, that played 
In kindred unison so blest. 
As they had filled one single breast 
From life's first opening morn ? 
Why lov'st thou me ? The kings of earth 
Might kneel to charms and power like thine : 
But I, a youth of shepherd birth — 
As well the stately mountain-pine 
Might coil around the eglantine, 
As thou thy radiant being twine 
Round one so low, so lost as mine'. — 

— * Sceptres and crowns, vain signs that move 
The souls of slaves, to me are toys. 
I need but love : I seek but love : 
And long, amid the heartless noise 
Of cities, and the woodland peace 
Of vales, through all the scenes of Greece 
I sought the fondest and the fairest 
Of Grecian youths, my love to be : 
And such a heart and form thou bearest. 
And my soul sprang at once to thee, 
Like an arrow to its destiny. 
Yet shall my lips no spell repeat, 

be a philosophical emblem of the principle of 
egetable life. The silence of mythologists concerning 
im can only be attributed to their veneration for his 
dreaded name ', a proof of genuine piety which must 
•e pleasing to our contemporary Pagans, for some 
uch there are. 



2S^ 



RHODODAPHNE 



To bid thy heart responsive hBa± 

To mine : thy love's spontaneous smile* 

Jfor forced by power, war won by guile, 

I claim : but yet a. little while, 

And we no more may meet. 

For I mitst find a dreary home, 

And thou, where'er thou wilt, ahalt roam : ' 

But should one tender thought awake 

Of Rhododapline, seek the cell, 

Where she dissolved in tears doth dwell 

Of blighted hope* aud she will take 

The wanderer to her breast, and make 

Such flowers of bliss around him blow. 

As kings would yield their thrones to know'.- 

— ^' It must not be. The air is laden 
"With sweetness from thy presence bom : 
Ivlusic and light are round thee, maiden, 
As round the Virgin Power of Mom : 
I feel, I shrink beneath thy beauty : 
But love, truth, woe, remembrance, duty, 
All point against thee, though arrayed 
In charms whose powers no heart could shtm 
That ne*er had loved another maid 
Or any but that loveUest one. 
Who now, within my bosom* s void, 
A sad pale shade, by thee destroyed, 
Forbids all other love to bind 
My soul : thine least of womankind '.■ — 

Faltering and faint his accents broke, 
As those concluding words he spoke* 
No more she said, but sadly smiled, 
And took his hand ; and like a child 
He followed her* All waste and wild. 
A pathless moor before them lies. 
Beyond, long chains of mouutaius rise : 
Their summits with, eternal snow 
Are crowned : vast forests wave below » 



RHODODAPHNE 253 

And stretch, with ample slope and sweep. 

Down to the moorlands and the deep. 

Human dwelUng see they none, 

Save one cottage, only one, 

Mossy, mildewed, frail, and poor, 

Even as human home can be. 

Where the forest skirts the moor, 

By the inhospitable sea. 

There, in tones of melody, 

Sweet and clear as Dian's voice 

When the rocks and woods rejoice 

In her steps the chase impelling, 

Rhododaphne, pausing, calls. 

Echo answers from the walls : 

Mournful response, vaguely telling 

Of a long-deserted dwelling. 

Twice her lips the caU repeat, 

Tuneful summons, thrilling sweet. 

Still the same sad accents follow, 

Cheerless echo, faint and hollow. 

Nearer now, with curious gaze, 

The youth that lonely cot surveys. 

Long grass chokes the path before it. 

Twining ivy mantles o'er it. 

On the low roof blend together 

Beds of moss and stains of weather. 

Flowering weeds that train and cluster. 

Scaly lichen, stone-crop's lustre, 

All confused in radiance mellow. 

Red, gray, green, and golden yellow. 

Idle splendour 1 gleaming only 

Over ruins rude and lonely. 

When the cold hearth-stone is shattered. 

When the ember dust is scattered, 

When the grass that chokes the portal 

Bends not to the tread of mortal. 

The maiden dropped Anthemion's hand. 



^54 



RHODODAPBNE 



And forward, with a suddea bound, 
She sprung. He saw the door expand, 
And close, and all was silence ronnd, 
-4nd loneliness, and forth again 
She came not. But within this hour, 
A htirthen to him, and a chain, 
Had been her beauty and her power \ 
But now, thus suddenly forsaken, 
Ib those drear solitudes, though yet 
His early love ramaiued unshaken, 
He felt within his breast aw^aken 
A sense of something like regret* 

But he pursued her not : his love. 
His murdered love, such steps forbade. 
He turned his doubtful feet, to rove 
Amid that forest's maze of shade* 
Beneath the matted boughs, that raade 
A noonday twilight, he espied 
No trace of man j and far and wide 
Through fern and tangled briar he strayed. 
Till toil and thirst, and hunger weighed 
His nature down, and cold and drear 
Night came, and no rehef was near. 
But now at once his steps emerge 
Upon the forest's moorland verge. 
Beside the white and sounding surge. 
For in one long self-circUng track. 
His mazy path had led him back, 
To where that cottage, old and lone, 
Had stood : but now to him unknown 
Was all the scene. 'Mid gardens, fair 
With trees aad flowers of fragrance rare, 
A rich and ample pde was there, 
Glittering with myriad lights, that shone 
Far streaming through the dusky air. 

With hunger, toil, and weariness, 
Outworn, he cannot choose but paM 



RHODODAPHNE 255 

Tow'rds that fair pile. With gentle stress 
He strikes the gate of polished brass. 
Loud and long the portal rings. 
As back with swift recoil it swings, 
Disclosing wide a vaulted hall. 
With many columns bright and tall 
Encircled. Throned in order round, 
Statues of daemons and of kings 
Between the marble columns frowned 
With seeming life : each throne beside. 
Two humbler statues stood, and raised 
Each one a silver lamp, that wide 
With many mingling radiance blazed. 

High-reared on one surpassing throne, 
A brazen image sate alone, 
A dwarfish shape of wrinkled brow. 
With sceptred hand and crowned head. 
No sooner did Anthemion's tread 
The echoes of the hall awake. 
Then up that image rose, and spake, 
As from a trumpet : ' What wouldst than ? ' 

Anthemion, in amaze and dread. 
Replied : * With toil and hunger wom^ 
I seek but food and rest till mom '. 

The image spake again, and said : 
' Enter : fear not : thou art free 
To my best hospitality '. 

Spontaneously, an inner door 
Unclosed. Anthemion from the hall 
Passed to a room of state, that wore 
Aspect of destined festival. 
Of fragrant cedar was the floor, 
And round the Hght-pilastered wall 
Curtains of crimson and of gold 
Hung down in many a gorgeous fold. 
Bright lamps, through that apartment gay 
Adorned like Cytherea's bowers 



RHODODAPHNE 



With vases filled with odorous flowers, 

Di:ffii5ed an artificial day. 

A banquet's sumptuous order there, 

In long array of viands there^ 

Fruits, and ambrosial wine, was spread. 

A golden boy* in semblance fair 

Of actual life, came forth, and led 

Anthemion to a couch, beside 

That festal t^ble, canopied 

With cloth by subtlest Tynan dyed. 

And ministered the feast : the while. 

Invisible harps syinph onions wreathed 

Wild webs of soul-dissolving sound. 

And voiceSj alternating round. 

Songs, as of choral maideos, breathed. 

Now to the brim the boy filled up 
With sparkling wine a crystal cup. 
Anthemion took the cup, and quaffed. 
With reckless thirst, the enchanted draught. 
That instant came a voice divine, 
A maid en voice : * Now art thou mine ! ' 

The golden boy is gone. The song 
And the symphomous harps no more 
Their S3rren'm!nstrelsy prolong. 
One crimson curtain waves before 
His sight, and opens. From its screen, 
The nymph of more than earthly mien. 
The magic maid of Thessaly, 
Came forth, her tresses loosely streaming. 
Her eyes isdth dewy radiance beaming. 
Her form aU grace and symmetry, 
In Siikeu vesture Ught and free 
A^ if the woof were air, she ca.me, 
And took bis hand and called his name. 

— ' Now art thon mine I ' again she cried ; 
' My love's indissoluble chain 
Has found thee in that goblet's tide, 



RHODODAPHNE 257 

And thou shalt wear my flower again I ' 
She said, and in Anthemion's breast 
She placed the laurel-rose : her arms 
She twined around him, and imprest 
Her lips on his, and fixed on him 
Fond looks of passionate love : her charms 
With tenfold radiance on his sense 
Shone through the studied negligence 
Of her light vesture. His eyes swim 
With dizziness. The lamps grow dim, 
ILnd tremble, and expire. No more. 
Darkness is there, and Mystery : 
And silence keeps the golden key 
Of Beauty's bridal door. 

CANTO VII 

First, fairest, best, of powers supernal. 
Love waved in heaven his wings of gold. 
And from the depths of Night eternal. 
Black Erebus, and Chaos old. 
Bade light, and life, and beauty rise 
Harmonious from the dark disguise 
. Of elemental discord wild, 
Which he had charmed and reconciled. 
Love first in social bonds combined 
The scattered tribes of humankind. 
And bade the wild race cease to roam. 
And learn the endearing name of home. 
From Love the sister arts began. 
That charm, adorn, and soften man. 
To Love, the feast, the dance belong. 
The temple-rite, the choral song ; 
All feelings that refine and bless. 
All kindness, sweetness, gentleness. 
Him men adore, and gods admire. 
Of delicacy, grace, desire, 



258 RHODODAPHNE 

Persuasion, bliss, the bounteous sire 

In hopes, and toils, and pains, and fears. 

Sole dryer of our human tears ; 

Chief ornament of heaven, and king 

Of earth, to whom the world doth sing 

One chorus of accordant pleasure, 

Of which he taught and leads the measure. 

He kindles in the inmost mind 

One lonely flame — for once — ^for one — 

A vestal fire, which, there enshrined. 

Lives on, till life itself be done. 

All other fires are of the earth, 

And transient : but of heavenly birth 

Is Love's first flame, which howsoever 

Fraud, power, woe, chance, or fate, may sever 

From its congenial source, must bum 

Unquenched, but in the funeral urn. 

And thus Anthemion knew and felt. 
As in that palace on the wild. 
By daemon art adorned, he dwelt 
With that bright nymph, who ever smiled 
Refulgent as the summer morn 
On eastern ocean newly bom. 
Though oft, in Rhododaphne's sight, 
A phrenzied feeling of delight. 
With painful admiration mixed 
Of her surpassing beauty, came 
Upon him, yet of earthly flame 
That passion was. Even as betwixt 
The night-clouds transient lightnings play. 
Those feelings came and passed away. 
And left him lorn. Calliroe ever 
Pursued him like a bleeding shade, 
Nor all the maxic nymph's endeavour 
Could *• -♦ tnemory sever 

'' dd. 



RHODODAPHNE 259 

Yet all that love and art could do 
The enchantress did. The pirate-crew 
Her power had snatched ixom death, and pent 
AwhUe in ocean's bordering caves, 
To be her ministers and slaves : 
And there, by murmured spells, she sent 
On all their shapes fantastic change. 
In many an uncouth form and strange. 
Grim dwarf, or bony iEthiop tall, 
They plied, throughout the enchanted hall, 
Their servile ministries, or sate 
Gigantic mastiffs in the gate, 
Or stalked around the garden-dells 
In lion-guise, gaunt sentinels. 

And many blooming youths and maids, 
A joyous Bacchanalian train, 
(That 'mid the rocks and piny shades 
Of mountains, through whose wild domain 
CEagrian Hebrus, swift and cold, 
Impels his waves o'er sands of gold, 
Their orgies led) by secret force 
Of her far-scattered spells compelled, 
With song, and dance, and shout, their course 
Towards that enchanted dwelling held. 

Oft, 'mid those palace-gardens fair 
The beauteous nymph (her radiant hair 
With mingled oak and vine-leaves crowned) • 
Would grasp the thyrsus ivy-bound. 
And fold, her festal vest around. 
The Bacchic nebris, leading thus 
The swift and dizzy thiasus : 
And as she moves, in all her charms. 
With springing feet and flowing arms, 
'Tis strange in one fair shape to see 
How many forms of grace can be. 
The youths and maids, her beauteous train. 
Follow fast in sportive ring. 



350 



nHODODAPHNE 



Some the torch and mystic cane, 

Some tiie vine-botigli brandkhiag ; 

Some in giddy circlets fieetmg, • 

The Corybantic timbrel beating : 

Maids, with silver flasks advancing, 

Pout the wine's red-sparkling title, 

Which youtlis, with heads recumbent dancing, 

Catch in goblets as they glide : 

All upon the odorous air 

Lightiy toss their leafy hair, 

Ever singing, as they move, 

— * lo Bacchus [ son of Jove t ' — 

Aud oft, the Bacchic fervour ending, 
Among these garden-bowers they stray, 
Dispersed, where fragrant branches blending 
Exclude the sun's meridian ray. 
Or on some thy my bank repose, 
By which a tingling rivulet flows. 
Where birds, on each o'ershad owing spray, 
Make music through the live-long day. 
The while, in one sequestered cave, 
Where roses round the entrance wave. 
And jasmine sweet and clustering vine 
With flowers and grapes the arch o'ertwine, 
Anthemion and the nymph recline. 
While in the sunny space, before 
The cave, a fountain's lucid store 
Its crystal column shoots on high, 
And bursts, like showery diamonds flashing. 
So falls, and with melodious dashing 
Shakes the smaU pooL A youth stands by, 
A tuneful rhapsodist, and sings, 
Accordant to his changeful strings, 
High strains of ancient poesy. 
And oft her golden lyre she takes, 
And such transcendent strains awakes^ 
Such floods of melody as steep 



RHODODAPHNE 261 

Anthemion's sense in bondage deep 

Of passionate admiration : still 

Combining with intenser skill 

The charm that holds him now, whose bands 

May ne'er be loosed by mortal hands. 

And oft they rouse with clamorous chase 
The forest, urging wide and far 
Through glades and dells the sylvan war. 
Satyrs and fauns would start around, 
And through their ferny dingles bound, 
To see that nymph, all life and grace 
And radiance, like the huntress-queen, 
With sandaled feet and vest of green, 
In her soft fingers grasp the spear, 
Hang on the track of flying deer, 
Shout to the dogs as fast they sweep 
Tumultuous down the woodland steep, 
And hurl along the tainted air. 
The javelin from her streaming hair. 

The bath, the dance, the feast's array. 
And sweetest rest, conclude the day. 
And 'twere most witching to disclose. 
Were there such power in mortal numbers, 
How she would charm him to repose, 
And gaze upon his troubled slumbers. 
With looks of fonder love, than ever U 

Pale Cynthia on Endymion cast, (( 

While her forsaken chariot passed 
O'er Caria's many- winding river. 
The love she bore him was a flame 
So strong, so total, so intense. 
That no desire beside might claim 
Dominion in her thought or sense. 
The world had nothing to bestow 
On her : for wealth and powers were hers : 
The daemons of the earth (that know 
The beds of gems and fountain-springs 



262 RHODODAPHNE 

Of undiscovered gold, and where. 

In subterranean sepulchres, 

The memory of whose place doth bear 

No vestige, long-forgotten kings 

Sit guant on monumental thrones^ 

With massy pearls and costly stones 

Hanging on their half-mouldered bones) 

Were slaves to her. The fears and cares 

Of feebler mortals — Want, and Woe 

His daughter, and their mutual child 

Remorseless Crime — keen Wrath, that tears 

The breast of Hate unreconciled — 

Ambition's spectral goad — Revenge, 

That finds consummation food 

To nurse anew her hydra brood, — 

Shame, Misery's sister — dread of change. 

The bane of wealth and worldly might, — 

She knew not : Love alone, like ocean. 

Filled up with one unshared emotion 

Her soul's capacity : but right 

And wrong she recked not of, nor owned 

A law beyond her soul's desire ; 

And from the hour that first enthroned 

Anthemion in her heart, the fire. 

That burned within her, like the force 

Of floods swept with it in its course 

All feelings that might bauriers prove 

To her illimitable love. 

Thus wreathed with ever-varying flowers, 
Went by the purple-pinioned hours ; 
Till once, returning from the wood 
And woodland chase, at evening-fall, 
Anthemion and the enchantress stood 
Within the many-columned hall. 
Alone. They looked around them. Where 
Are all those youths and maidens fair. 
Who followed them but now ? On high 



RHODODAPHNE 263 

She waves her lyre. Its murmurs die 

Tremulous. They come not whom she calls. 

Why starts she ? Wherefore does she throw 

Around the youth her arms of snow. 

With passion so intense, and weep ? 

What mean those murmurs, sad and low. 

That like sepulchral echoes creep 

Along the marble walls ? 

Her breath is short and quick I and, dim 

With tears, her eyes are fixed on him : 

Her lips are quivering and apart : 

He feels the fluttering of her heart : 

Her face is pale. He cannot shun 

Her fear's contagion. Tenderly 

He kissed her lips in sympathy,^ 

"And said : ' What ails thee, lovely one ? ' — 

Low, trembling, faint, her accents fall : 
— ' Look round : what seest thou in the hall ? ' — 
Anthemion looked, and made return : 
— ' The statues, and the lamps that burn : 
No more'. — ' Yet look again, where late 
The solitary image sate. 
The monarch-dwarf. Dost thou not see 
An image there which should not be ? ' — 

Even as she bade he looked again : 
From his high throne the dwarf was gone. 
Lo I there, as in the Thespian fane, 
Uranian Love ! His bow was bent : 
The arrow to its head was drawn : 
His frowning brow was fixed intent 
On Rhododaphne. Scarce did rest 
Upon that form Anthemion' s view. 
When, sounding shrill, the arrow flew. 
And lodged in Rhododaphne's breast. 
It was not Love's own shaft, the giver 
Of life and joy and tender flame ; 
But. borrowed from Apollo's quiver. 



z64 EHODODAPHNE 

The death-directed arrow came, 

LoBg, slow, distinct in each stem word, 
A sweet deep- thrill Lug voice was heard : 
— ' With impious spells hast thou profaned 
My altars ; aad aU-ruUng Jove. 
Though late, yet certain, has unchained 
The %'^engeance of Uranian Love ^ ! * — 

The marble palace burst asunder, 
Riven by subterranean thunder, 
Sudden clouds around them rolled. 
Lucid vapour, iold on fold. 
Then Rhododaphne closer prest 
AnthemLon to her bleeding breast, 
As, in his arms upheld, her head 
All languid on his neck reclined i 
And in the curls that overspread 
His cheek, her temple ringlets twined : 
Her dim eyes drew, with fading sight. 
From his their last reflected light. 
And on his lips, as nature failed, 
Her lips their last sweet sighs exhaled* 

— ' Farewell I '—she said ; ' another bride 
The partner of thy days must be : 
But do not hate my memory : 
And build a tomb by Ladon's tide. 
To her, who, false in all beside. 
Was but too true in lotting thee I *^ 

The quivering earth beneath them stirred. 
In dizzy trance upoB her bosc^n 
He fell, as falls a wounded bird 
Upon a broken rose's blossom. 



' The late but certain vengeaBce of the gods, 
in many forms as a sentence among l^e cla^ic 
writers ; and is the subject of an interesting dialogue 
among the moral works o£ Plutarch^ which conclude 



RHODODAPHNE 265 

What sounds are in Anthemion's ear ? 
It is the lark that carols clear, 
And gentle waters murmuring near. 
He lifts his head : the new-bom day 
Is round him, and- the sun-beams play 
On silver eddies. Can it be ? 
The stream he loved in infancy ? 
The hills ? the Aphrodisian grove ? 
The fields that knew Calliroe's love ? 
And those two sister-trees, are they 
The cedar and the poplar gray. 
That shade old Pheidon's door ? Alas ! 
Sad vision now ! Does Phantasy 
Play with his troubled sense, made dull 
By many griefs ? He does not dream : 
It is his own Arcadian stream, 
The fields, the hills : and on the grass, 
The dewy grass of Ladon's vale. 
Lies Rhododaphne, cold and pale, 
But even in death most beautiful ; 
And there, in mournful silence by her. 
Lies on the ground her golden lyre. 

He knelt beside her on the ground : 
On her pale face and radiant hair 
He fixed his eyes, in sorrow drowned. 
That one so gifted and so fair. 
All light and music, thus should be"! 
Quenched like a night-star suddenly, 
Might move a stranger's tears ; but he ' 
Had known her love ; such love as yet 
Never could heart that knew forget ! 
. He thought not of his wrongs. Alone 
Her love and loveliness possest 
His memory, and her fond cafes, shown • 

ith the fable of Thespesius, a very remarkable 
rototype of the Inferno of Dante. 



266 RHODODAPHNE 

In seeking, nature's empire through. 

Devices ever rare and new. 

To make him calm and blest. 

Two maids had loved him ; one, the light 

Of his young soul, the morning star 

Of life and love ; the other, bright 

As are the noon-tide skies, when far 

The vertic sun's fierce radiance burns : 

The world had been too brief to prove 

The measure of each single love : 

Yet, from this hour, forlorn, bereft, 

Compassionless, where'er he turns. 

Of all that love on earth is left 

No trace but their cinereal urns. 

But Pheidon's door unfolds ; and who 
Comes forth in beauty ? Oh ! 'tis she. 
Herself, his own Calliroe ! 
And in that burst of blest surprise. 
Like Lethe's self upon his brain 
Oblivion of all grief and pain 
Descends, and tow'rds her path he flies. 
The maiden knew 
Her love, and flew 

To meet him, and her dear arms threw 
Around his neck, and wept for bliss. 
And on his lips impressed a kiss 
He had not dared to give. The spell 
Was broken now, that gave before 
Not death, but magic slumber. More 
The closing measure needs not tell. 
Love, wonder, transport wild and high, 
Question that waited not reply. 
And answer unrequired, and smiles 
Through such sweet tears as bliss beguiles. 
Fixed, mutual looks of long delight. 
Soft chiding for o'erhasty flight. 
And promise never more to roam. 



THE GREY FRIAR 267 

Were theirs. Old Pheidon from his home 
Came forth, to share their joy, and bless 
Their love, and all was happiness. 

But when the maid Anthemion led 
To where her beauteous rival slept 

'The long last sleep, on earth dispread. 
And told her tale, Calliroe wept 

/Sweet tears for Rhododaphne's doom ; 
For in her heart a voice waLS heard : 
— ' 'Twas for Anthemion' s love she erred ! * — 
They built by Ladon's banks a tomb ; 
And, when the funeral pyre had burned. 
With seemly rites they there inurned 
The ashes of the enchantiress fair ; 
And sad, sweet verse they traced, to show 
That youth, love, beauty, slept below ; 
And bade the votive marble bear 
The name of Rhododaphne. There 
The laurel-rose luxuriant sprung, 
And in its boughs her lyre they hung. 
And often, when, at evening hours. 
They decked the tomb with mournful flowers. 
The lyre upon the twilight breeze 
Would pour mysterious symphonies. 



FROM NIGHTMARE ABBEY, 1818 

THE GREY FRIAR ^ 

Why are thy looks so blank, grey friar ? 

Why are thy looks so blue ? 
Thou seem'st more pale and lank, grey friar. 

Than thou wast used to do : — 

Say, what has made thee rue ? 

Thy form was plump, and a light did shine 
In thy round and ruby face. 



268 NIGHTMARE ABBEY 

Which showed an outward visible sign 
Of an inward spiritual grace : — 
Say, what has changed thy case ? 

Yet will I tell thee true, grey friar, 

I very well can see. 
That, if thy looks are blue, grey friar, 

'Tis all for love of me, — 
. 'Tis all for love of me. 

But breathe not thy vows to me, grey friar. 
Oh, breathe them not, I pray ; 

For ill beseem in a reverend friar. 
The love of a mortal may ; 
And I needs must say thee nay. 

But could' st thou think my heart to move 
With that pale and silent scowl ? 

Know, he who would win a maiden's love. 
Whether clad in cap or cowl, 
Must be more of a lark than an owl. 

^ SONG BY MR CYPRESS 

There is a fever of the spirit, 

The brand of Cain's unresting doom, 
Which in the lone dark souls that bear it 

Glows like the lamp in TuUia's tomb. 
Unlike the lamp, its subtle fire 

Burns, blasts, consumes its cell, the heart. 
Till, one by one, hope, joy, desire, 

Like dreams of shadowy smoke depart. 

When hope, love, life itself, are only 

Dust — spectral memories — dead and cold— 

The unfed fire burns bright and lonely. 
Like that undying lamp of old ; 



SEAMEN THREE 269 

And by that drear illumination, 

Till time its clay-built home has rent, 

Thought broods on feeling's desolation — 
The soul is its own monument. 



SEAMEN THREE 

Seamen three ! What men be ye ? 

Gotham's three wise men we be. 

Whither in your bowl so free ? 

To rake the moon from out the sea. 

The bowl goes trim. The moon doth shine. 

And our ballast is old wine ; 

And your ballast is old wine. 

Who art thou, so fast adrift ? 
I am he they call Old Care, 
Here on board we will thee lift. 
No : I may not enter there. 
Wherefore so ? 'Tis Jove's decree. 
In a bowl Care may not be ; 
In a bowl Care may not be. 

Fear ye not the waves that roll ? 

No : in charmed bowl we swim. 

What the charm that floats the bowl ? 

Water may not pass the brim. 

The bowl goes trim. The moon doth shine. 

And our ballast is old wine ; 

And your ballast is old wine. 



270 THE ROUND TABLE 

THE ROUND TABLE 

OR, king's Arthur's feast 

INTRODUCTION 

King Arthur is said to have disappeared after the 
battle of Camlan, and to have never been seen again; 
which gave rise to a tradition, that he had been 
carried away by Merlin, a famous prophet and magician 
of his time, and would return to his kingdom at some 
future period. — The Welsh continued to expect him for 
many hundred years ; and it is by no means certain 
that they have entirely given him up. He is here 
represented as inhabiting a solitary island, under the 
influence of the prophet Merlin ; by whose magic power 
he is shown all the kings and queens who have sat on 
his throne since his death, and giving to them a grand 
feast, at his old established round table, attended by 
their principal secretaries, dukes, lords, admirals, 
generals, poets, and a long train of courtiers. The 
kings are of course mentioned in the order of succes- 
sion. The allegory is illustrated as concisely as 
Eossible in the notes. So many histories of England 
eing published for the use of young persons, we have 
only attached the names of the kings, and to such 
instances as might not be considered sufficiently 
explanatory. 

King Arthur sat down by the lonely sea-coast. 
As thin as a lath, and as pale as a ghost : 
He looked on the east, and the west, and the south, 
With a tear in his eye, and a pipe in his mouth ; 
And he said to old Merlin, who near him did stand. 
Drawing circles, triangles, and squares on the sand, 
' Sure nothing more dismal and tedious can be. 
Than to sit always smoking and watching the sea : 
Say when shall the fates re-establish my reign. 
And spread my round-table in Britain again ? ' 



THE ROUND TABLE 271 

Old Merlin replied : * By my art it appears, 
Not in less than three hundred and seventy years ; 
But in the meantime I am very well able 
To spread in this island your ancient round table ; 
And to grace it with guests of unparalleled splendour, 
I'll summon old Pluto forthwith to surrender 
All the kings who have sat on your throne, from the day 
When from Camlan's destruction I snatched you away '. 

King Arthur's long face, by these accents restored. 
Grew as round as his table, as bright as his sword ; 
While the wand of old Merlin waved over the ocean, 
Soon covered its billows with brilliant commotion ; 
For ships of all ages and sizes appearing, 
Towards the same shore were all rapidly steering. 
Came cleaving the billows with sail and with oar, 
Yacht, pinnace, sloop, frigate, and seventy-four. 

King Arthur scarce spied them afar from the land. 
Ere their keels were fixed deep in the yellow sea-sand ; 
And from under their canopies, golden and gay, 
Came kings, queens, and courtiers, in gallant array, 
Much musing and marvelling who it might be. 
That was smoking his pipe by the side of the sea ; 
But Merlin stepped forth with a greeting right warm. 
And then introduced them in order and form. 
The Saxons ^ came first, the preeminence claiming, 
With scarce one among them but Alfred worth 

naming. 
Full slyly they looked upon Canute 2 the bold. 
And remembered the drubbing he gave them of old : 

1 The Saxons invaded England, and dispossessed the " 
Britons. The most famous of the Saxon kings was 
Alfred. 

2 The Danes, under Canute, conquered the Saxons. 
The sons of Canute died without children, and the 
government returned to the Saxon kings. 



I 

I 

I 



THE BOUND TABLE 

Sad Harold ' came last ; and the crown which he wore 
Had been broken < and trampled in dust and in gore. 

Now the sun in the west had gone dowm to rep<^e» 
When before tbem at once a pavilion arose : 
Where Arthur's round table was royally spread. 
And illummed with lamps, purple, yellow ^ and red* 
The smell of roast beef put them all in a foment, 
So they scrambled for seats, and were ranged in a 
moment. 

The Conqueror^ stood up. as they thought to say 
grace ; 
But he scowled round the board with a resolute face : 
And the company stared, when he swore by the fates. 
That a list he would have of their names and estates ^ ; 
And Jest too much liquor their brains should inspire 
To set the pavilion and table on fire, 
He hoped they'd acknowledge he counselled right well. 
To put out the lights when he tinkled his bell*. 

His speech was tut short by a general dismay ; 
For William the Second* had fainted away, 
Atjthe smeU of some New Forest Venison ^ before him J 
But a tweak of the nose, Arthur said, would restore t 

But another disturbance compelled him to mark 
The pitiful state of poor Henry Beanclerk ^ ; 

1 The last of the Saxon kings was Harold II who i 
killed in the battle of Hastings, when William. IDuk 
of Normandy, gained a decisive victory. 

- William I the Conqneror. ^' Doomsday Book. 

^ The curfew. » William U Raf us. 

^ Accidentally killed by an arrow while hunting 
the New Forest. 

' Henry 1 Beauclerk. 



THE ROUND TABLE 27$ 

Who had fallen on the lampreys with ardour so stout^, 
That he dropped from his chair in the midst of the rout. 
Old Arthur, surprised at a king so voracious, 
Thought a saltwater ducking might prove ef&cacious. 

Now Stephen*, for whom some bold barons had 
carved^. 
Said, while some could get surfeited, he was half- 
starved : 
For his arms were so pinioned, unfortunate elf I* 
He could hit on no method of helping himself. 

But a tumult more furious called Arthur to check it, 
'Twixt Henry the Second^ and Thomas-a-Becket^. 
* Turn out ', exclaimed Arthur, ' that prelate so free. 
And from the first rock see him thrown in the sea * I 
So they hustled out Becket without judge or jury, 
Who quickly returned in a terrible fury. 
The lords were enraged, and the ladies ajBErighted ; 
But his head was soon cracked in the fray he excited ; 
When in rushed some monks in a great perturbation, 
And gave good King Henry a sound flagellation ; 
Which so coolly he took, that the president swore, 
He ne'er saw such a bigoted milksop before. 

But Arthur's good humour was quickly restored, 
When to lion-heart Richard ^ a bumper he poured ; 

^ Died eating lampreys. ^ Stephen, of Bloix. 

3 Held in subjection by the barons. 

* And so restricted in his authority, that he had little 
more than the name of a king. 

^ Henry II. Fitz-Empress. 

6 Quarrelled with his minister, Thomas-a-Becket, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, who was compelled to fly 
the country ; but afterwards returning, was murdered 
by some followers of the king ; for which Henry was 
forced to do penance, and was whipped by the monks 
at Becket' s tomb. 

' Richard Coeur de Lion. 




S74 THE MOUND TABLE 

Whose pilgrim's array told the taJe of his toils. 

Half' veiling his arms and his Saracen spoils^ ; 

As he sUced up the venison of merry Sherwood, 

He told a long story of bold Robin Hood^, 

Which gave good King Arthur such hearty delight, 

That he vow'd he'd mate Robin a round-table knight; 

While Merlin to fetch Robin Hood was preparing, 
John Lackland^ was blustering, and vapouring, and 

swearing, 
And seemed quite determined the roast to be ruling^ ; 
But some stout fellows near him prepared him a cooling : 
Who seked him, and held him, nor gave him release, 
Till he signed them a bond for preser\^ing the peace ^. 

While Henry the Third^, dull, coBttemued. and for- 
sakea. 
Sat stupidly sUent, regaUng on Bacon'', 
The First of the Edwards® charmed Arthur with talci 
Of lighting in Palestine. Scotland . and Wales'* ; 
But Merlin asserted his angry regards, 
Recollecting how Edward had treated the Bards^'l 
The Second*^, whc^e days in affliction had run*^. 
Sat pensive and sad *twixt his father and son. 

^ Returned in a pOgrim's disguise through Enro] 
from his wars in the Holy Land* 

^ In his time lived Robm Hood, the celebrated robber 
of Sherwood Forest, 

* Kin^ Jolin. suruamed Lackland. 

* Ambitious of absolute powder. 
"* Forced by his barons to sign Magna Charta, 
^ Henry III ot Winchester. 
^ A weak and foolish king, in whose reign lived 

Friar Bacon. 

* Edward I, Longshanks. " Gained many \dctorie3. 
^^ Massacred the Welsh Bards. 

^1 Edward II of Caeruarvon. 

^ Murdered by his wife*s knowledge in Berkeley 
Castle, ^^ 



I 



THE ROUND TABLE 275 

But on the Third Edward^ resplendently glance 
The blazons of knighthood, and trophies of France^ ; 
Beside him his son in black armour appears, 
That yet bears the marks of the field of Poictiers 3. 

From the festival's pomp, and the table's array. 
Pale Richard of Bourdeaux * turned sadly away ; 
The thought of that time his remembrance appals, 
When Famine scowled on him in Pomfret's dark walls ^. 

Beside him sat Bolingbroke 6, gloomy and stern, 
Nor dared his dark eyes on his victim to turn^. 
The wrinkles of care o'er his features were spread. 
And thorns lined the crown that encircled his head'. 
But Harry of Monmouth ^ some guests had brought in. 
Who drank so mi^ch liquor, and made such a din^^ 
(While Arthur full loudly his mirth did disclose 
At FalstafPs fat belly and Bardolph's red nose) 
That he turned them all out with monarchical pride. 
And laid the plumed cap of his revels aside. 
And put on the helmet, and breastplate, and shield, 
That did such great service on Agincourt's field ^1. 

1 Edward III. 

2 Conquered France in 'conjunction with his son, the 
Black Prince. 

^ The Battle of Poictiers. 

^ Richard II of Bourdeaux. 

® Killed in Pomfret Castle. ® Henry IV, Bolingbroke. 

" Obtained the crown by rebelling against Richard II. 

® Was miserable all his reign. 

^ Henry V of Monmouth. 

^^ Led a very dissolute life while Prince of Wales, 
and kept a set of drunken companions, to whom 
Shakespeare has given the names of Falstaff, Bardolph, 
etc. 

^1 Discarded them when he came to be king. And 
gained great victories in France, particularly the 
battle of Agincourt. 



176 



THE ROUND TABLE 



And now rang tb.e tent with unusual alarms, 
For the white and red rosea were caHtng to arms ' ; 
Confusion and tumult established their reign, 
And Arthur stood up» and called silence in vain. 

Poor Harry the Sixth-, htistled. beaten, and prest. 
Had his uos^ay of lUies ^ soon torn from his breast ; 
And^ though Margaret, to shield him, had clasped him 

around *, 
From her arms he was shaken, and hurled to 

ground ^ ; 
While Edward of York** flourished over his head 
The rose's pale blossoms, and trampled the red ; 
Though Warwick strove vainly the ill to repair. 
And set fallen Henry again on his chair. 

The children ^ of Edward stood up in the fray. 
But, touched by cruel Richard ^ they vanished away* 
Who, knowing none loved him, resolved all should fear 

him. 
And therefore knocked every one down who was near 

him, 

^ The civil wars of York and Lancaster, of wMcli 
respective parties the white and red roses were tlie 
emblems* 

- Henry VI of Windsor. 

^ Lost the kingdom, of France. 

-* Supported by his queen Margaret. 

^ Overcome by the York party, and made a prisoner 
in the Tower. 

'~^ Edward IV. raised to the throne by the aid of tbe 
Earl of Warwick ; who afterguards quarrelled witii 
Edward, and endeavoured to restore Henry, but with- 
out success. 

' Edward Y and his brother, the Duke of York, died 
while children, supposed to have been murdered in the 
Tower by order of their uncle Richard. 

* Richard III, a cruel and sanguinary tyrant. 



THE ROUND TABLE 277 

Till him in his turn Harry Richmond^ assailed, 
And at once, on his downfall, good order prevailed ; 
And Richmond uplifted, to prove the strife ended, 
A wreath where the white and red roses were blended 2. 

With his Jane, and his Annes, and his Catherines 
beside, 
Sat Henry the Eighth 3, in true Ottoman pride. 
And quaffed off with Wolsey the goblet's red tide ; 
But over the head of each lady so fair 
An axe was impending, that hung by a hair. 

Bold Arthur, whose fancy this king had not won, 
Look'd with hope and delight on young Edward* his 

son; 
But had scarcely commended his learning and grace. 
Ere he found his attention called off^ to the place 
Where the infamous Mary^ polluted the feast. 
Who sat drinking blood from the skull of a pries^t^. 

1 Conquered in the battle of Bosworth by Henry of 
Richmond, afterwards Henry VII. 

2 Being himself of the house of Lancaster, married 
Elizabeth, sister of Edward V, who was of the house of 
York : thus uniting the two houses, and ending the civil 
wars. 

^ Henry VIII. Had six wives — one ^ane, two Annes, 
and three Catherines, in the following order : i . Catherine 
of Arragon, whom he divorced. 2. Ann Boleyn, whom 
he beheaded. 3. Jane Seymour, who died in giving 
birth to Edward VI. 4. Ann of Cleves, whom he sent 
back to her parents. 5. Catherine Howard, whom he 
beheaded. 6. Catherine Parr, who outlived him. 

** Edward VI, a very promising young prince. 

^ Died in his sixteenth year. 

^ Mary. Cruel Queen Mary. Daughter of Henry VIII. 

^ Burned three hundred persons for not being of her 
opinion in religion. 



r 




I 



278 THE ROUND TABLE 

But he struggled his horror and rage to repress, 
And sought coasolation from worthy Queen Bess 1, 
Who had brought Drake and Raleigh her state to 

sustain \ 
With American spoils and the trophies of Spain ; 
While Shakespeare and Spenser^, with song and with' 

feble. 
Enchanted King Arthur and all round his table. ^M 

Now tlie First of the James's* complained of the 
heat, 
And seemed ill at ease on his rickety seat ; 
It proved, when examined (which made them all stare), _ 
A gunpowder barrel instead of a chair K 

The First of the Charles's^ was clearing the dishe 
Taking more than his share of the loaves and the fishes ^ 
Not minding at all what the company said. 
When up started Cromwell, and sliced off his head** 



* Elizabeth. A wise and fortunate queen* 

- Her admirals, among whom were Sir Francis Drake 
and Sir Walter Raleigh , sail^w^ round the world, settl 
colonies in North America, defeated the Spanisi 
Armada ^ etc. 

^ In her reign lived many eminent authors, parti- 
cularly Shakespaare and Spenser. 

^ James the First- 

"^ The Gunpowder Plot, 5th Noveraheri 160$* 

« Charles I. 

' Overstrained his prerogative ; encroached on tl 
liberties of the people, and on the privileges of pari 
ment. The consequence was a civil war and the l* 
of his head. 

^ The commonwealth succeeded, at the head 
which was Ohver Cromwell. He was succeeded by . 
soa Ki chard, who was displaced by the restoration of 
Charles II. 






THE ROUND TABLE 279 

Charles the Second^, enraged at the villanous deed. 
Tried to turn out Old Cromwell, but could not succeed. 
But he mastered young Dick, and then cooled his own 

wrath 
In syllabub, trifle, and filagree broth^. 

James the Second ^ with looks full of anger and 
gloom. 
Pronounced nothing good but the cookery of Rome * ; 
So begged of King Arthur, his dear royal crony. 
To make all the company eat macaroni ^ ; 
But Arthur bade Mary an orange present ^ 
At which James grew queasy, and fled from the tent. 
So she placed on his seat honest William ^, her spouse. 
And with laurel and olive encircled his brows ^ ; 

Wreath of glory and peace, by young Freedom en- 
twined, 
And gave him a key to the lock ^ of the mind. 
Now as Arthur continued the party to scan, 
He did not well know what to make of Queen Anne ^^ ; 
But Marlborough ^^ he saw, did her credit uplift, 

^ Charles II. ^ A frivolous and dissolute king. 

^ James II. * A bigoted Roman Catholic. 

^ Used violent measures to establish that religion in 
England. 

^ Was obliged to fly the country ; and the crown 
devolved to his daughter Mary, and her husband, 
William, Prince of Orange. 

^WUHam III. 

" His reign was distinguished by foreign victories 
and domestic prosperity. 

^ By being the origin of the present form of the 
English constitution, in the glorious revolution of 1688 ; 
and by the life and writings of the philosopher Locke. 

10 Anne. 

^^ Her general, the Duke of Marlborough, ^aine4 
several great victories in France. 



280 FROM MAID MARIAN 

And he heartily laughed at the jokes of Dean Swift^. 
Then shook hands with two Georges 2, who near him 

were seated, 
Who closed in his left, and the circle completed ; 
He liked them both well, but he frankly averred, 
He expected to prove better pleased with the Third. 



FROM MAID MARIAN, 1822 

THE BRAMBLE 

The bramble, the bramble, the bonny forest bramble. 

Doth* make a jest 

Of silken vest. 
That will through greenwood scramble : 
The bramble, the bramble, the bonny forest bramble. 

The courtly pad doth amble. 
When his gay lord would ramble : 

But both may catch 

An awkward scratch 
If they ride among the bramble : 
The bramble, the bramble, the bonny forest bramble. 

MICHAEL'S FROCK 

But wherefore doth the sheep wear wool ? 

That he in season sheared may be, 
And the shepherd be warm though his flock be cool : 

So I'll have a new cloak about me. 

^ Many eminent literary characters flourished in her 
time, particularly Swift and Pope. 

2 The House of Hanover : George I, George II» 
George III. 



KINGSLEA MERE 281 

THE ABBOT'S NOSE 

The rose on the nose doth all virtues disclose : 

For the outward grace shows 

That the inward overflows, 

When it glows in the rose of a red, red nose. 

KINGSLEA MERE 

The damsel stood to watch the fight 

By the banks of Kingslea Mere, 
And they brought to her feet her own true knight 

Sore-wounded on a bier. 

She knelt by him his wounds to bind. 
She washed them with many a tear ; 

And shouts rose fast upon the wind. 
Which told that the foe was near. 

' Oh ! let not ', he said, * while yet I live, 

The cruel foe me take : 
But with thy sweet lips a last kiss give, 

And cast me in the lake *. 

Around his neck she wound her arms, 

And she kissed his lips so pale : 
And evermore the war's alarms 

Came louder up the vale. 

She drew him to the lake's steep side, 
Where the red heath fringed the shore ; 

She plunged with him beneath the tide. 
And they were seen no more. 

Their true blood mingled in Kingslea Mere, 

That to mingle on earth was fain : 
And the trout that swims in that crystal clear 

Is tinged with the crimson stain. 



282 FROM MAID MARIAN 



A GREENWOOD TREE 

For the slender beech and the sapling oak, 

That grow by the shadowy rill, 
You may cut down both at a single stroke, 

You may cut down which you will. 

But this you must know, that as long as they 
grow 

Whatever change may be. 
You never can teach either oak or beech 

To be aught but a greenwood tree. 

A MATILDA AND THE FRIAR 

Matilda : The love that follows fain 
Will never its faith betray : 

But the faith that is held in a chain 
Will never be found again. 

If a single link give way. 

The Friar : For hark ! hark ! hark ! 
The dog doth bark, 

That watches the wild deer's lair. 
The hunter awakes at the peep of the dawn. 
But the lair it is empty, the deer it is gone. 

And the hunter knows not where. 

Both together: Then follow, oh follow! the hounds 

do cry : 
The red sun flames in the eastern sky : 
"^The stag bounds over the hollow. 
He that lingers in spirit, or loiters in hall. 
Shall see us no more till the evening fall. 
And no voice but the echo shall answer his call : 

Then follow, oh follow, follow : 

Follow, oh follow, follow ! 



THE PROUD SHERIFFE 283 

he Friar : Though I be now a grey, grey friax, 
Yet I was once a hale young knight : 
The cry of my dopjs was the only choir 
In which my spirit did take delight. 

Little I recked of matin bell. 

But drowned its toll with my clanging horn 
And the only beads I loved to tell 

Were the beads of dew on the spangled thorn. 

tatilda : Little I reck of matin bell, 

But drown its toll with my clanging horn : 
And the only beads I love to tell 

Are the beads of dew on the spangled thorn. 

^he Friar : An archer keen I was withal. 

As ever did lean on greenwood tree ; 

And could make the fleetest roebuck fall, 

A good three hundred yards from me. 

Though changeful time, with hand severe, 
Has made me now these joys forego. 

Yet my heart bounds whene'er I hear 
Yoicks ! hark away ! and tally ho I 



THE PROUD SHERIFFE 

A STAFF, a staff, of a young oak graff, 

That is both stoure and stiff. 
Is all a good friar can needs desire 

To shrive a proud sheriffe. 
And thou, fine fell6we, who has tasted so 

Of the forester's greenwood game, 
Will be in no haste thy time to waste 

In seeking more taste of the same : 
Or this can I read thee, and riddle thee well. 
Thou hadst better by far be the devil in hell. 

Than the sheriff of Nottinghame. 



284 FROM MAID MARIAN 

TO BATTLE 

Drink and sing, and eat and laugh. 

And 90 go forth to battle : 
For the top ol a skull and the end of a stafi 

Do make a ghostly rattle. 

THE HERMIT'S CELL 

For I must seek some hermit cell.- 
Where I alone my beads may tell. 
And on the wight who that way fares 
Levy a toll for my ghostly pray'rs. 
Levy a toll, levy a toll, 
Levy a toll for my ghostly pray'ra. 



BOLD ROBIN HOOD 

Om, bold Robin Hood is a forester good, 

A3 ever drew how in the merry greenwood : 

At his btigle's shrill singing the echoes are ringmg. 

The wild deer are springing for many a rood : 

Its summons we follow, through brake, over hollow, 

The thrice-blown shrill summons of bold Robin Hood 



And what eye hath e'er seen stich a sweet Maidefl 

QEeen, 
As Marian, the pride of the forester's green ? 
A Bweet garden flower, she blooms in the bower. 
Wliere alone to tliis hour the wild rose has been 
We hail her in duty the queen of all beauty : 
We will live» we wtQ die, by our sweet Maiden Quees. 

And here* a a grey friar, good as heart can desire. 
To absolve all our siixs as the case may require : 



i 



ROBIN HOOD AND TWO GREY FRIARS 285 

Who with courage so stout, lays his -oak-plant about. 
And puts to the rout all the foes of his choir : 
For we are his choristers, we merry foresters, 
Chorusing thus with our militant friar. 

And Scarlet doth bring his good yew-bough and string, 
Prime minister is he of Robin our king : 
No mark is too narrow for Little John's arrow. 
That hits a cock-sparrow a mile on the wing : 
Robin and Mari6n, Scarlet, and Little John, 
Long with, their glory old Sherwood shall ring. 

Each a good liver, for well-feathered quiver 

Doth furnish brawn, venison, and fowl of the river : 

But the best game we dish up, it is a fat bishop : 

When his angels we fish up, he proves a free giver : 

For a prelate so lowly has angels more holy. 

And should this world's false angels to sinners deliver. 

Robin and Mari6n, Scarlet and Little John, 
Drink to them one by one, drink as ye sing : 
Robin and Mari6n, Scarlet and Little John, 
Echo to echo through Sherwood shall fling : 
Robin and Mari6n, Scarlet and Little John, 
Long with their glory old Sherwood shall ring. 



ROBIN HOOD AND THE TWO GREY FRIARS 

Bold Robin has robed him in ghostly attire, 
And forth he is gone like a holy friar, 

Singing, hey down, ho down, down, derry down : 
And of two grey friars he soon was aware, 
RegaUng themselves with dainty fare. 

All on the fallen leaves so brown. 

* Good morrow, good brothers ', said bold Robin Hood, 

* And what make you in the good greenwood, 

Singing hey down, ho down, down, derry down 1 



286 



FROM MAID MARIA?? 



Now give me, 1 pray you, wine and food : 
For none can I find in the good greenwood, 
All on the fallen leaves ao brown,' 

' Good brother \ they said, ' we would give you full fain, 
Bat we have no more than enough for twain. 

Singing, hey dowti, ho down, dm\Ti. derry down/ 
* Then give me some money *, said bold Robin Hood, 
' For none can I find in the good greenwood, 

All on the fallen leaves so brown.' 



* No money have we. good brother', said they : 
' Then ' , said he. ' we three for money will pray : 

Singing, hey down, ho down, down, derry dofwn : 
And whatever shall come at the end of o\ir prayer. 
We three holy friars will piously share. 

All on the leaves so brown '- 



' We will not pray with thee, good Brother, God wot : 
For truly, good brother, thou pleasest us not, 

Singing, hey down, ho down, down, derry do^vn : ' 
Then up they both started from Robin to run. 
But down on their knees Robin pnlled them each one, 

All on the fallen leaves so brown. 



The grey friars prayed with a doleful face. 

But bold Robin prayed with a right merry grace. 

Singing, hey down, ho down, do^^^l> derry down 
And when they had prayed, their portmanteau he took, 
And from it a hundred good angels he shook. 

All on the fallen leaves so brown, I 



I 



' The saints ', said bold Robin. ' have hearkened our 

prayer, 
And here's a good angel apiece for your share : 
If more you would have, you must v\4n ere you wear; 
Singingj hey down, ho down, down, derry down : ' " 



OVER, OVER 287 

hen he blew his good horn with a musical cheer, 
nd fifty green bowmen came trooping full near, 
nd away the grey frairs they bounded like deer, 
All on the fallen leaves so brown. 



THE JOLLY ROVER 

Over, over, over, jolly, jolly rover, 
Would you then come over ? Over, over, over ? 
Jolly, jolly rover, here's one lives in clover : 
Who finds the clover ? The jolly, jolly rover 
He finds the clover, let him then come over. 
The jolly, jolly rover, over, over, over. 

OVER, OVER 

A DAMSEL came in midnight rain. 

And called across the ferry : 
The weary wight she called in vain. 

Whose senses sleep did bury. 
At evening, from her father's door 

She turned to meet her lover : 
At midnight, on the lonely shore. 

She shouted, * Over, over ! ' 

She had, not met him by the tree 

Of their accustomed meeting, 
And sad and sick at heart was she, 

Her heart all wildly beating. 
In chill suspense the hours went by. 

The wild storm burst above her : 
She turned her to the river nigh. 

And shouted, ' Over, over I ' 

A dim. discoloured, doubtful light 
The moon's dark veil permitted, 

And thick before her troubled sight 
Fantastic shadows flitted. 



28g 



FROM MAID MARIAN 



Her lover's form appeared to glide, 

And beckon o'er the water : 
Alas ! Ms blood that mom had dyed 

Her brother's sword with slaughter. 

Upon a little rock she stood. 

To make her invocation : 
She marked not that the rain-swoll'n flood 

Was islanding her station. 
The tempest mocked her feeble cry' : 

No saint his aid would give her ; 
The fiood aw^ed high and yet more high, 

And swept her down tlie river. 

Yet oft beneath the pale moonUght, 

When hollow winds are blowing, 
The shadow of that maiden bright 

Glides by the dark stream*s £owing. 
And when the storms oi midnight rave, 

While cloods the broad moon cover, 
The wEd gusts waft across the wave 

The cry of ' Over, over ! ' 



THE FRIAR OF KUBYGILL 

It wa5 a Mar of orders free, 

A friar of Rubygill : 

At the greenwood-tree a vow made he. 

But he kept it vei^ ill : 

A vow made he of chastity, 

But he kept it very iU, 

He kept it, perchance, in the conscious shade 

Of the bounds of the forest wherein it was made ; 

But he roamed where he listed, as free as the wind. 

And he left his good vow in the forest behind i 

For its woods out of sight w^ere his vow out of 

With the friar of Rubygill. 



FAREWELL TO THE FOREST 289 

1 lonely hut himself he shut, 

he friar of Rubygill ; 

iHiere the ghostly elf absolved himself, 

o follow his own good- will : 

nd he had no lack of canary sack, 

o keep his conscience still. 

.nd a damsel well knew, when at lonely midnight 

t gleamed on the waters, his signal-lamp-light : 

Over ! over ! ' she warbled with nightingale throat, 

.nd the friar sprung forth at the magical note, 

.nd she crossed the dark stream in his trim ferry-boait, 

Vith the friar of Rubygill. 



WHEN THE WIND BLOWS 

When the wind blows, when the wind blows 
From where under buck the dry log glows. 

What guide can you follow. 

O'er brake and o'er hollow. 
So true as a ghostly, ghostly nose ? 



FAREWELL TO THE FOREST 

Ye woods, that oft at sultry noon 

Have o'er me spread your massy shade : 
Ye gushing streams, whose murmured tune 

Has in my ear sweet music made. 
While, where the dancing pebbles show 

Deep in the restless fountain-pool 
The gelid water's upward flow. 

My second flask was laid to cool : 

Ye pleasant sights of leaf and flower : 
Ye pleasant sounds of bird and bee : 

Ye sports of deer in sylvan bower : 
Ye feasts beneath the greenwood tree : 



290 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

Ye baskings in the vernal sun : 
Ye slumbers in the summer dell : 

Ye trophies that this arm has won : 

And must ye hear your friar's farewell ? 



PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

[Written in 1825. A few of the Lyrics were published 
in the Guide newspaper in 1837, and the whole pub- 
lished privately in that year]. 

Falstaff : Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand 
pound. 

Shallow : Yea, marry, Sir John, which I beseech 
you to let me have home with me. — Shakespeare 
[Henry IV, Part II, act v, sc. v, 11. 77-80]. 

Perez : Who's that is cheated ? Speak again, thou 
vision. 

Cacafogo : I'll let thee plainly know I'm cheated dam- 
naWy. — Beaumont and Fletcher [Rule a Wife and Have 
a Wife, act v, sc. ii, 11. 22, 31]. 

PREFACE 

These Lyrics were written in the winter of 1825-26, 
during the prevalence of an influenza to which the 
beautiful fabric of paper-credit is periodically subject ; 
which is called commercial panic by citizens, financial 
crisis by politicians, and day of reckoning by the 
jMDfane ; and which affected all promisers to pay in 
town and country with one of its most violent epidemic 
visitations in December, 1825. The Lyrics shadow 
out, in their order, the symptoms of the epidemic in 
its several stages ; the infallible nostrums, remedial 
and preventative, proposed by every variety of that 
arch class of quacks, who call themselves political econo* 
mists ; the orders, counter-orders, and disorders, at the 



F4S iN TOWN 291 

head of affairs, with r«^ect to joint-stock banks, and 
the extinction tOl out-pound notes, inclusive of Scot- 
land, and excliiiive ci Scotland ; till the final patching 
up of the unciiwd malady by a series of false palliatives, 
which only nooanihiid for another eruption me seeds of 
the original disease. The tabes tacitis concepta medullis 
has again biased lor^ in new varieties of its primitive 
types — brok«i pfomises and bursting bubbles. Per- 
sons and things are changed, but the substance is the 
same ; and these little ballads are as applicable now as 
they were twelve years ago. They will be applicable 
to every time and place, in which public creduHty shall 
have given temporary support to the safe and econ- 
omical currency, which consists of a series of paper 
promises, made with the deliberate purpose, that the 
promise shall always be a payment, and the payment 
shall always be a promise. 
20 July, 1837. 



PAN IN TOWNi 

{Metrum Ithyphallicum cum anacrusi) 

Falstaff : If any man will caper with me for a thousand 
marks, let him lend me the money, and have at him. 

Pan and Chorus of Citizens 

Pan : The Country banks are breaking : 
The London banks are shaking : 
Suspicion is awaking : 
E'en quakers now are quaking : 
Experience seems to settle. 
That paper is not metal, 

1 Pan, it may be necessary to tell the citizens, is the 
a-uthor of ' Panic Terrors '. The Cockney poet, who 
entitled a poem The Universal Pan, which began with 
* Not in the town am I ' ; a most original demonstra- 
tion of his universality ; has had a good opportunity, 



292 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

And promises of payment 

Are neither food nor raiment ; 

Then, since that, one and all, you 

Are fellows of no value 

For genius, learning, spirit, 

Or any kind of merit 

That mortals call substantial. 

Excepting the financial, 

(Which means the art of robbing 

By huckstering and jobbing. 

And sharing gulls and gudgeons 

Among muckworms and curmudgeons) 

Being each a flimsy funny 

On the stream of paper money. 

All riding by sheet anchors, 

Of balances at bankers ; 

Look out ! for squalls are coming. 

That if you stand hum-drumming. 

Will burst with vengeance speedy, 

And leave you like the needy 

Who have felt your clutches greedy. 

All beggarly and seedy 

And not worth a maravedi. 

Chortts : Our balances, our balances. 
Our balances, our balances : 
Our balances we crave for : 
Our balances we rave for : 
Our balances we rush for : 
Our balances we crush for : 
Our balances we call for : 
Our balances we bawl for : 

since he wrote that poem, of seeing that Pan can be in 
town sometimes. Perhaps, according to his My ' 



logy, the Pan in town was the Sylvan Pan ; a fashion- 
able arrival for the season. 



PAN IN TOWN 293 

Our balances we run for : 
Our balances we dun for : 
Our balances we pour for : 
Our balances we roar for : 
Our balances we shout for : 
Our balances we rout for : 
Our balances, our balances. 
We bellow all about for. 

Obadiah Nine-Eyes ^ : The mighty men of Gad, yea, 
Are all upon the pad, yea, 
Bellowing with lungs all brazen, 
Even like the bulls of Basan ; 
With carnal noise and shout, yea, 
They compass me about, yea ; 
I am full of tribulation 
For the sinful generation ; 
I shrink from the abiding 
Of the wrath of their back-sliding ; 
Lest my feet should be up-tripp-ed. 
And my outward man be stripp-ed 
And my pockets be out-cleaned-ed 
Of the fruits which I have glean-ed. 

Chorus : Our balances, our balances. 
Our balances, our balances. 
Pay — pay — pay — pay — 
Without delay — 
Our balances, our balances. 

MacFungus : A weel sirs, what's the matter ? 
An' hegh sirs, what's the clatter ? 
Ye dinna ken. 
Ye seely men. 

1 The Nine-eyes, or Lamprey, is distinguished for its 
ower of suction. 



294 



PAPER MONEY Lymes 



Y'ur fortunes iie*er were batter. 
There*s too much population, 
Ab' too mucii cultivation, 
An' too much circulation. 
That's a* that ails the nation. 
Ye're only out o* lialth, sirs, 
Wi* a plathora o' walth* airs, 
Instead of glourin* hither, 

Ye'd batter, I conjacture, 
Just hoot awa* thegither. 

To hear our braw chiel lacture : 
His ecoonoomic science 

Wad silence a' your clanking. 
An' teach you some reliance, 

On the principles o' banking. 

Chorus : Our balances, our balances, 
Our balances, onr balances* 

Sif Roger Rednose {banker) : Be quiet, lads, and 
steady. 
Suspend this idle racket, 
Your balances are ready* 

Each T^Tapped in separate packet* 
All ticketed and docketed. 
And ready to be pocketed. 

First Citizen : As of cash you've such a heap, sir. 
My balance you may keep, sir ; 
Have troubled you I shouldn't. 

Except in the belief 
That you couldn't pay or wouldn't, [ExU 

Sir Roger Rednose : Now there's a pretty thiei 
(a scroll appears over a door] 
' Tick, Nick, Tick, Trick, and Company, 

Are deeply grieved to say. 
They are under the necessity' 
Of suspending for the dayJ 



t 



PAN IN TOWN 295 

Second Citizen : This evil I portended. 

Third Citizen : Now all my hopes are ended. 

Fourth Citizen : I'm quite aground. 

Fifth Citizen : I'm all astound. 

Sixth Citizen : Would they were all suspended. 

Chorus : Our balances, our balances, 
Our balances, our balances, 
Pay, pay, pay, pay. 
Without delay. 
Lest ere to-morrow morning 

To pot you go ; 
Tick, Nick, and Co. 
Have given us all a warning. 

Sir Flimsy Kite : Sirs, we must stop ; 
We shut up shop. 
Though assets here are plenty. 
When up we're wound. 
For every pound 
We'll pay you shillings twenty. 

Seventh Citizen : What assets, sir, I pray you ? 

Sir Flimsy Kite : Sir, quite enough to pay you. 

Eighth Citizen : May it please you to say what, sir? 

Sir Flimsy Kite : Good bills a monstrous lot, sir ; 
And Spanish Bonds a store, sir ; 
And Mining Shares still more, sir ; 
Columbian Scrip, and Chihan ; 
And Poyais half a million : 
And what will make you sleek, sir. 
Fine picking from the Greek, sir. 



296 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

Ninth Citizen : I think it will appear, sir. 
The greatest Greek is here, sir. 

Sentimental Cockney : Oh how can Plutus deal so 
By his devout adorer ? 

Nervous Cockney : This hubbub makes me feel so. 

Fancy Cockney : Now this I call a floorer. 

Newspaper Man : The respectable old firm., 
(We have much concern in sa3dng). 
Kite, Grubbins, and Muckworm, 

Have been forced to leave off pa5mig. 

Bystander : The loser and the winner, 
The dupe and the impostor, 
May now go both to dinner 

With Humphrey, Duke of Glo'ster. 

Lawyer : That we the fruits may pocket, 
Let's go and strike a docket. 

Chorus {da capo) : Our balances, our balances. 
Our balances, our balances. 

Sir Roger Rednose : Some are gone to-day 
More will go to-morrow : 
But I will stay and pay. 
And neither beg nor borrow. 
Tick and Kite, 
That looked so bright. 
Like champagne froth have flown, sirs ; 
But I can tell 
They both worked well 
While well was let alone, sirs. 



{ 



THE THREE LITTLE MEN 297 

THE THREE LITTLE MEN 
* Base is the slave that pays * — Pistol^. 

There were three Little Men, 

And they made a Little Pen, 
And they said * Little Pen, you must flow, flow, flow. 

And write our names away 

Under promises to pay. 
Which how we are to keep we do not know *. 

Then said the Little Pen : 

* My pretty Little Men, 
If you wish your pretty promises to pass, pass, pass. 

You must make a Uttle flash. 

And parade a Uttle cash, 
And you're sure of every neighbour thafs an ass, ass, 
ass '. 

Then said the Little Three : 

' If wiseacres there be, 
They are not the sort of folks for me, me, me. 

Let us have but all the fools 

And the wise ones and their rules. 
May just go to the devil and be d — , d — , d — .' 

Then the Little Men so gay. 

Wrote their promises to pay, 
And lived for many moons royally, ly, ly, 

Till there came a stormy day. 

And they vanished all away. 
Leaving many shoals of gudgeons high and dry, dry, dry. 

They who sought the Little Men, 
Only found the Little Pen, 

^ [Shakespeare, Henry V, act 11, Sc i, 1. 100]. 



298 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

Which they instantly proceeded to condemn, demn, 
demn ; 

' But ', said the Little Pen, 

' Use me like the Little Men, 
And I'll make you as good money as I made for them *. 

The seekers with long faces, 

Returned upon their traces, 
They carried in the van the Little Pen, Pen, Pen ; 

And they hung it on the wall 

Of their reverend Town-hall, 
As an eloquent memorial of the Little Men. 



PROCEMIUM OF AN EPIC 

WHICH WILL SHORTLY APPEAR IN QUARTO, UNDER THE 
TITLE OF 

' FLY-BY-NIGHT ' 

By R. S., Esq.i, Poet Laureate. 

His promises were, as he once was, mighty ; 
And his performance, as he is now, nothing. 
[Shakespeare, Henry VIII, act iv, sc. ii, IL 41-3 
(Queen Katharine)]. 

How troublesome is day ! 

It calls us from our sleep away ; 
It bids us from our pleasant dreams awake. 
And sends us forth to keep or break 

Our promises to pay. 

How troublesome is day ! 

Now listen to my lay ; 

Much have I said. 

Which few have heard or read. 
And much have I to say, 

1 Robert Southey. 



PRCEMIUM OF AN EPIC 299 

Which hear ye while ye may. 
Come listen to my lay, 

Come, for ye know me, as a man 

Who always praises, as he can, 
All promises to pay. 
So they and I on terms agree. 
And they but keep their faith with me, 
Whatever their deeds to others be. 
They may to the minutest particle 

Command my fingers for an ode or article. 

Come listen while I strike the Epic string. 
And, as a changeful song I sing. 

Before my eyes 

Bid changeful Proteus rise, 
Turning his coat and skin in countless forms and dyes. 

Come listen to my lay. 

While I the wild and wondrous tale array, 

How Fly-by-Night went down. 

And set a bank up in a country town ; 

How like a king his head he reared ; 

And how the Coast of Cash he cleared ; 

And how one night he disappeared. 

When many a scoffer jibed and jeered ; 

And many an old man rent his beard ; 

And many a young man cursed and railed ; 

And many a woman wept and wailed ; 

And many a mighty heart was quailed ; 

And many a wretch was caged and gaoled : 

Because great Fly-by-Night had failed. 

And many a miserable sinner 

Went without his Sunday dinner. 

Because he had not metal bright, 

And waved in vain before the butcher's sight, 

The promises of Fly-by-Night. 

And little Jackey Horner 

Sate sulking in the corner. 



PAPEJi MONEY LYRICS 

And in default of Chriatmaa pie 
Whereou his Uttle thumb to try, 
He put his finger in his eye, 
And blubbered long and lustily. 

Come listen to my lay, 

And ye shall say. 

That never tale of errant knight, 

Or captive damsel bright. 

Demon, or elf, or goblin sprite. 

Fierce crusade, or feudal fight. 

Or cloistral plxantom all in white, 

Or castle on accessless height, 

Upreared by necromantic might. 

Was half so full of rare delight, 

As this wbereof I now prolong. 

The memory" in immortal song — 

The wild and wondrous tale of Fly-by-Night, 



A MOOD OF MY OWN MIND 






OCCUHillNG DURING A GALE OF WIND AT MIDN 
WHILE 1 WAS WKITING A PAPER ON THE CtfRRENi 
BY THE LIGHT OF TWO MOULD CANDLES 

By W, W., Esq.i, Distributor of Stamps. 
Quid distent sera lupinis ? — Horace [EpistUs, ip vii, 23J, 

Much grieved am I in spirit by the news oi this day's 
post, I 

Which tells me of the devil to pay with the piaper mone)'^ 
host : ^ 

'Tia feared that out of all their mas? of prom ises to F^^H 

The devil alone will get his due : he'll take them at h^| 
day» 

^ William Wordsworth. 



A MOOD OF MY MIND 301 

I have a pleasant little nook secured from colds and 
damps. 

From whence to paper money men I serve out many- 
stamps ; 

From thence a fair per-centage gilds my dwelling in the 
glen; 

And therefore do I sympathize with the paper money 
men. 

I muse, I muse, for much this news my spirit doth 

perplex, 
But whilst I muse I can't refuse a pint of double X, 
Which Mrs W. brings to me, which she herself did brew, 
Oh ! doubly sweet is double X from Mistress double U. 

The storm is on the mountain side, the wind is all 

around ; 
It sweeps across the lake and vale, it makes a mighty 

sound ; 
A rushing sound, that makes me think of what I've 

heard at sea, 
* The devil in a gale of wind is as busy as a bee '. 

I fear the devil is busy now with the paper money men : 
I listen to the tempest's roar through mountain pass 

and glen ; 
I hear amid the eddying blast a sound among the hills, 
Which to my fancy seems the sound of bursting paper 

mills. 

A money-grinding paper- mill blows up with such a 

sound, 
As shakes the green geese from their nests for many 

miles around ; 
Oh woe to him who seeks the mill pronouncing sternly 

* Pay ! ' 
A spell like ' open sesame * which evil sprites obey. 



302 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

The word of power up-blows the mill, the miller dis- 
appears : 

The shattered fragments fall in showers about the in- 
truder's ears ; 

And leave no trace to mark the place of what appeared 
so great, 

But shreds of rags, and ends of quills, and bits of copper- 
plate. 

I love the paper money, and the paper money men ; 
My hundred, if they go to pot, I fear would sink to 

ten ; 
The country squires would cry * Retrench I ' and then 

I might no doubt. 
Be sent about my business ; yea, even right about. 

I hold the paper money men say truly, when they say 
They ought to pay their promises, with promises to 

pay; 
And he is an unrighteous judge, who says they shall or 

may. 
Be made to keep their promises in any other way. 

The paper money goes about, by one, and two, and five, 
A circulation like the blood, that keeps the land alive : 
It pays the rent of country squires, and makes them 

think they thrive. 
When else they might be lighting fires to smoke the 

loyal hive. 

The paper money goes about : it works extremely well : 
I find it buys me everything that people have to sell : 
Bread, beef, and breeches, coals and wine, and all good 

things in store, 
The paper money buys for me : and what could gold 

do more ? 



A MOOD OF MY MIND 303 

The promise works extremely well, so that it be but 

broken : 
'Tis not a promise to be kept, but a solemn type and 

token, 
A type of value gone abroad on travel long ago ; 
And how it*s to come back again, God knows, I do not 

know. 

If ignorant impatience makes the people run for gold, 
Whatever* s left that paper bought must be put up and 

sold ; 
If so, perhaps they'll put up me as a purchase of the 

Crown ; 
I fear I shan't fetch sixpence, but I'm sure to be knock' d 

down. 

The promise is not to be kept, that point is very clear ; 

'Twas proved so by a Scotch adept who dined with me 
last year, 

I wish, instead of viands rare, which were but thrown 
away, 

I had dined him on a bill of fare, to be eaten at Dooms- 
day. 

God save the paper money and the paper money men ! 
God save them all from those who call to have their 

gold again ; 
God send they may be always safe against a reckoning 

day ; 
And then God send me plenty of their promises to pay ! 



304 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

LOVE AND' THE FLIMSIES 

By T. M.i, Esq. 

5* l^pon, x^'^'wi'a biiaas 

^Tirip airxjkvos IXAIITPOt — ^Anacreon. 

Little Cupid one day on a sunbeam was floating. 
Above a green vale where a paper mill played ; 

And he hovered in ether, delightedly noting 

The whirl and the splash that the water-wheel made. 

The air was filled with the scent of the roses. 
Round the miller's veranda that clustered and twined ; 
And he thought if the sky were all made up of noses, 
This spot of the earth would be most to his mind. 

And forth came the miller, a Quaker in verity, 

Rigid of limb and complacent of face, 
And behind him a Scotchman was singing ' Prosperity ', 

And picking his pocket with infinite grace. 

And * Walth and prosparity ', ' Walth and prosparity ', 
His bonny Scotch burthen arose on the air. 

To a song all in praise of that primitive charity. 
Which begins with sweet home and which terminates 
there. 

But sudden a tumult arose from a distance. 

And in rushed a rabble with steel and with stone 

And ere the scared miller could call for assistance. 
The mill to a million of atoms was blown. 

Scarce mounted the fragments in ether to hurtle, 
When the Quaker was vanished, no eye had seen 

where ; 

1 Thomas Moore. 



THE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM 305 

And the Scotchman thrown flat on his back, Hke a 
turtle, 
Was sprawling and bawling, with heels in the air. 

Little Cupid continued to hover and flutter, 
Pursuing the fragments that floated on high. 

As light as the fly that is christened from butter. 
Till he gathered his hands full and flew to the sky. 

' Oh, mother ', he cried, as he showed them to Venus, 
' What are these little taUsmans cyphered — One — 
One ? 

If you think them worth having, we'll share them be- 
tween us, 

Though their smell is like, none of the newest, poor 
John *. 

* My darling ', says Venus, * away from you throw them. 

They're a sort of fool's gold among mortals 'tis true ; 

But we want them not here, though I think you might 

know them. 
Since on earth they so often have bought and sold you. 



THE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM 

By S. T. C, Esq. ^ Professor of Mysticism 

Sictaj (Jvap— Pindar \Pyth,, viii, 95]. 

In a bowl to sea went wise men three, 

On a brilliant night of June : 
They carried a net, and their hearts were set 

On Ashing up the moon. 

The sea was calm, the air was balm. 
Not a breath stirred low or high. 

And the moon, I trow, lay as bright below. 
And as round as in the sky. 

1 Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 



3o6 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

The wise men with the current went, 

Nor paddle nor oar had they, 
And still as the grave they went on the wave, 

That they might not disturb their prey. 

Far, far at sea, were the wise men three. 
When their fishing-net they threw ; 

And at the throw, the moon below 
In a thousand fragments flew. 

The sea was bright with a dancing light 

Of a' million gleams. 
Which the broken moon shot forth as soon 

As the net disturbed her beams. 

They drew in their net : it was empty and wet, 

And they had lost their pain, 
Soon ceased the play of each dancing ray, 

And the image was round again. 

Three times they threw, three times they drew. 

And all the while were mute ; 
And evermore their wonder grew. 

Till they could not but dispute. 

Their silence they broke, and each one spoke 

Full long, and loud, and clear ; 
A man at sea their voices three 

Full three leagues off might hear. 

The three wise men got home again 
To their children and their wives : 

But, touching their trip, and their net's vain dip. 
They disputed all their lives. 

The wise men three could never agree. 
Why they missed the promised boon ; 



THE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM 307 

They agreed alone that their net they had thrown, 
And they had not caught the moon, 

I have thought myself pale o'er this ancient tale, 

And its sense I could not ken ; 
But now I see that the wise men three 

Were paper money men. 

' Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub * 

Is a mystic burthen old, 
Which I've pondered about till my fire went out, 

And I could not sleep for cold. 

I now divine each mystic sign, 

Which robbed me oft of sleep, 
Three men in a bowl, who went to troll, 

For the moon in the midnight deep. 

Three men were they who science drank 

From Scottish fountains free ; 
The cash they sank in the Gotham bank. 

Was the moon beneath the sea. 

The breaking of the imaged moon, 

At the fishing- net's first splash. 
Was the breaking of the bank as soon 

As the wise men claimed their cash. 

The dispute which lasted all their lives. 

Was the economic strife, 
Which the son's son's son of every one 

Will maintain through all his life. 

The son's son's sons will baflled be. 

As were their sires of old ; 
But they only agree, like the wise men three, 

That they could not get their gold. 



3o8 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

And they'll build systems dark and deep, 
And systems broad and high ; 

But two of three will never agree 
About the reason why. 

And he who at this day will seek 

The Economic Club, 
Will find at least three sages there, 
As ready as any that ever were, 

To go to sea in a tub. 



CHORUS OF BUBBLE BUYERS 

When these practisers come to the last decoction, 
blow, blow, puff, puff, and all flies in fumo, IPoQX 
wretches ! I rather pity their folly and indiscretion, 
than their loss of time and money : for these may be 
restored by industry : but to be a fool bom is a disease 
incurable. — Ben Jonson, Volpone, 

Oh I where are the hopes we have met in the morning, 

As we hustled and bustled around Capel Court ? 
When we laughed at the croakers that bade us take ' 
warning. 
Who once were our scorn, and now make us their 
sport. 

Oh 1 where are the regions where well-paid inspectors 
Found metals omnigenous streaked and embossed ? 

So kindly bought for us by honest directors, 

Who charged us but three times as much as they cost 

Oh ! where are the riches that bubbled like fountains, 
In places we neither could utter nor spell, 

A thousand miles inland, 'mid untrodden mountains, 
Where silver and gold grew like heath and blue-bell ? 



CHORUS OF BUBBLE BUYERS^ ^ S" 

Oh ! where axe the lakes overflowing with treasure>N 
The gold-dust that rolled in each torrent and stream ?** 

The mines that held water by cubic-mile measure, 
So easily pumped up by portable steam ? 

That water our prospects a damp could not throw on ; 

We had only a million-horse power to prepare, 
Make a thousand-mile road for the engine to go on. 

And send coals from Newcastle to boil it when there. 

Oh ! where are the bridges to span the Atlantic ? 

Oh ! where is the gas to illumine the poles ? 
They came to our visions ; that makes us half-frantic : 

They came to our pockets ; that touches our souls. 

Oh ! there is the seat of most exquisite feeUng : 
The first pair of nerves to the pocket doth dive : 

A wound in our hearts would be no time in healing. 
But a wound in our pockets how can we survive ? 

Now curst be the projects, and curst the projectors, 
And curst be the bubbles before us that rolled, 

Which, bursting, have left us like desolate spectres. 
Bewailing our bodies of paper and gold. 

For what is a man but his coat and his breeches. 
His plate and his linen, his land and his house ? 

Oh ! we had been men had we won our mock riches. 
But now we are ghosts, each as poor as a mouse. 

But shades as we are, we, with shadowy bubbles, 
When the midnight bell tolls, will through Capel 
Court glide, 

And the dream of the Jew shall be turmoils and troubles, 
When he sees each pale ghost on its bubble .astride. 

And the lecturing Scots that upheld the delusion, 
By prating of .paper, and wealth, and free trade. 

Shall see us by night, to their awe and confusion, 
Grim phantoms of wrath that shall never be laid. 




PAPER MONEY LYRICS 
A BORDER BALLAD 

BY AN ENCHANTER UNKNOWN^ 

The Scot, to rival realms a mighty bar, 
Here fixed his mountain home : a wide domain. 
And rich the soil, had purple heath been grain ; 
But what the niggard ground of wealth denied, 
From fields more blest his fearless arm supplied. 

Leydei 

The Scotts, Kerrs, and Murrays, and Deloraines al 
The Hughies o* Hawdon, and Wills-o' -the- Wall, 
The WiUimondswicks, and the hard-riding Dicks, 
Are staunch to the last to their old Border tricks ; 
Wine flows not from heath, and bread grinds not t 

stone. 
They must reeve for their living, or life they'll h 

none. 

When the Southron's strong arm with the steel and 

law. 
Had tamed the moss-troopers, so bonny and braw 
Though spiders wove webs in the rusty sword-hilt, 
In the niche of the hall which their forefathers bu 
Yet with sly paper-credit and promise to pay. 
They still drove the trade which the wise call conv« 

They whitewashed the front of their old Border fo: 
They widened its loop-holes, and opened its court 

1 Sir Walter Scott. 

2 Steal ! odious is the word — convey the wise it • 
— Pistol. [The correct reading is * Convey ' the wii 
call. * Steal I ' — foh ! a fico for the phrase.— Shs 
speare, Merry Wives of Windsor, act i, sc. iii, L 32 



I 



ST PETER OF SCOTLAND 311 

They put in sash-windows where none were before, 
And they wrote the word ' Bank * o'er the new-painted 

door ; 
The cross-bow and matchlock aside they did lay, 
And they shot the proud Southron with promise to pay. 

They shot him from far, and they shot him from near, 
And they laid him as flat as their fathers laid deer : 
Their fathers were heroes, though some called them 

thieves 
When they ransacked their dwellings, and drove off their 

beeves ; 
But craft undermined what force battered in vain. 
And the pride of the Southron was stretched on the plain. 

Now joy to the Hughies and Willies so bold ! 
The Southron, like Dickon, is bought and is sold ; 
To his goods and his chattels, his house and his land, 
Their promise to pay is as Harlequin's wand : 
A touch and a word, and pass, presto, begone. 
The Southron has lost, and the Willies have won. 

The Hughies and Willies may lead a glad life : 
They reap without sowing, they win without strife : 
The Bruce and the Wallace were sturdy and fierce. 
But where Scotch steel was broken Scotch paper can 

pierce ; 
And the true meed of conquest our minstrels shall fix 
On the promise to pay of our Willimondswicks. 

ST PETER OF SCOTLAND 

Si bene calculum ponas, ubique nauf radium est. 
Petronius [Satyrtcon, cxv], 
St Peter of Scotland set sail with a crew 
Of philosophers, picked from the Bluecap Review : 
His boat was of paper, old rags were her freight, 
And her bottom was sheathed with a spruce copper- 
plate. 



312: PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

Her mast was a quill, and to catch the fair gale 
The broad grey goose feather was spread for a sail ; 
So he ploughed his blithe way through the surge and the | 

spray, 
And the name of his boat was the Promise-to-Pay. 

And swiftly and gaily she went on her track. 
As if she could never be taken a-back, 
As if in her progress there never could be 
A chc^ of the wind or a swell of the sea. 

She was but a fair-weather vessel, in sooth. 

For winds that were gentle, and waves that were 

smooth ; 
She was built not for storm, she was armed not for 

strife, 
But in her St Peter risked fortune and life. 

His fortune, *tis true, was but bundles of rag, 
That no pedlar, not Scotch, would have put in his bag ; 
The worth of his life none could know but the few 
Who insured it on sailing from Sweet Edinbroo. 

St Peter seemed daft, and he laughed and he quaffed ; 
But an ill-boding wave struck his vessel right aft : 
It stove in his quarters and swamped his frail boat, 
Which sunk with an eddy and left him afloat. 

He clung to his goose-quill and floated all night. 

And he landed at daybreak in pitiful plight ; 

And he preached a discourse when he reached the good 

town, 
To prove that his vessel should not have gone down. 

The nautical science he took for his guide 
Allowed no such force as the wind or the tide : 
None but blockheads could think such a science over- 
thrown. 
By the breath of a gale which ought not to have blown. 



LAMENT OF SCOTCH ECONOMISTS 313 
LAMENT OF SCOTCH ECONOMISTS 

ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE ONE-POUND NOTES 

Do not halloo before you axe out of the wood. 

Castlereagh, of blessed memory. 

Oh hone-a-rie 1 Oh hone a-rie ! 

The pride of paper's reign is o'er, 
And fsdl'n the flower of credit's tree : 

We ne'er shall see a flimsy more. 

Oh I sprung from great I- will-not-pay, 
The chief that never feared a dun. 

How hopeful was thy ne'er-come-day. 
How comely thy symbolic One 1 

The country loons with wonder saw 
The magic type perform its rounds, 

Transforming many a man of straw 
To men of many thousands pounds. 

For northern lads blithe days were those ; 

They wanted neither beef nor ale, 
Surprised their toes with shoes and hose. 

And made Scotch broo' of English kail. 

Oh ! Johnny Groat, we little thought, 
Tow'rds thee our noses e'er would point ; 

But flimsies burned, and cash returned. 
Will put said noses out of joint. 

Improvements vast will then be past : 
The march of mind will backward lead ; 

For how can mind be left behind. 
When we march back across the Tweed ? 



314 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

Scotch logic floats on one-pound notes : 
When rags are cash our shirts are ore : 

What else would go to scare the crow, 
Becomes a myriad pounds and more. 

A scarecrow's suit would furnish forth 

A good Scotch bank's whole stock in trade : 

The wig, for coinage nothing worth. 
Might * surplus capital ' be made. 

Oh ! happy land, by Scotchmen taught ! 

Thy fate was then indeed divine, 
When every scarecrow's pole was thought 

A true Real del Monte mine. 

Oh mystic One, that turned out None, 
When senseless panic pressed thee hard ! 

Who thee could hold and call out ' Gold ! ' 
Would he had feathered been and tarred. 

Thy little fly-wheel kept in play 
The mighty money-grinding mill ; 

When thou art rashly torn away. 

The whole machine will stand stock still. 

The host of promisers to pay 

That fill their jugs on credit's hill, 

Will each roll down and crack his crown, 
As certainly as Jack and Jill. 

And we, God knows, may doff our hose 
And sell our shoes for what they're worth. 

And trudge again with naked toes 
Back to our land of Nod, the north. 

For, should we strain our lecturing throats. 
We might to walls and doors discuss : 



CALEDONIAN WAR WHOOP 315 

When John Bull sees through one-pound notes, 
'Tis very clear he'll see through us. 

That rare hotch-potch, the College Scotch, 

Reared by our art m London town, 
Will be at best a standing jest, 

At least until it tumbles down. 

Of those day-dreams, our free trade schemes, 

That laid in sippets goslings green. 
The world will think less brain than drink 

In skulls that hatched them must have been. 

Then farewell, shirts, and breeks, and coats, 
Cloth, linen, cambric, silk, and lawn ! 

Farewell ! with you, dear one-pound notes, 
Mac Banquo's occupation's gone. 

The man who thrives with tens and fives 
Must have some coin, and none have we ! 

Roast beef, adieu 1 come, barley broo ! 
Oh hone-a-rie I Oh hone-a-rie ! 



CALEDONIAN WAR WHOOP 

By the Coat of our House, which is an ass rampant, 
I am ready to fight under this banner. — Shadwell's 
Humorists. 



CHORUS OF WRITERS TO THE SIGNET 

Eh, laird ! Eh, laird ! an' ha' ye haird, 
That we're to hae nae ae poond nots ? 

Ye weel may say the Hooses tway 
Wad play the de'il wi' a* the Scots. 



3X6 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

Ha' they nae fears when Scotland's tears 
Flow fast as ony bumie, oh ! 

But they shall find we've a' one mind. 
The mind of one attorney, oh ! 



De'il take us a' if we can ca' 

To mind the day wherein we got 
The idle croons o' seely loons 

In ony medium but a not. 
De'il take us as we hop' to be 

Wi' spoils o' clients bonny, ho ! 
If e'er we look to touch a fee 

When there's nae paper money, oh ! 

Ill 

Solo : SIR MALACHI MALAGROWTHER 

Quoth Hudibras — Friend Ralph, thou hast 

(Hunt's blacking shines on Hyde Park^wa 
Outrun the Constable at last, 

For gold will still be lord of all. 
The ups and downs of paper poun's 

Have made the English weary, oh ! 
And 'tis their will old Scotland's mill 

Shall e'en gae tapsalteerie, oh ! 



Old Scotland brags, she kens of rags 

Far more than all the world beside : 
Her ancient mint with naught else in't, 

Is all her wealth, and power, and pride. 
Her ancient flag is all a rag. 

So oft in battle bloody, oh ! 
Now well I think her blood is ink. 

And rags her soul and body, oh ! 



CALEDONIAN WAR WHOOP 317 



Beneath that rig, our ancient flag, 

We'll draw for rags our old claymore : 
Our arrows still, with grey goose quill 

Well fledged and tipped, in showers we'll pour : 
Our ink we'll shed, both black and red, 

In strokes, and points, and dashes, oh ! 
Ere laws purloin our native coin. 

And turn it all to ashes, oh ! 



The poorest rats of all the earth. 

Were ragged Scots in days of yore. 
Till paper coining's happy birth, 

Made cash of all the rags they wore ; 
Though but the shade of smoke, 'tis plain. 

Said cash is Scotland's glory, oh ! 
To make it real rags again 

Would be a tragic story, oh ! 



What Scot would tack in herring smack, 

His living from the deep to snatch, 
Without a ragman at his back 

To take per-centage on his catch ? 
Who thinks that gold a place would hold 

On Scotland's soil a minute, oh ! 
Unless of rag we make a bag 

That's full with nothing in it, oh ! 

VIII 

Our Charley lad we bought and sold. 
But we've no Charley now to sell : 

Unless the de'il should rain up gold. 
Where Scots can get it, who can tell ? 



3i8 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

The English loons have silver spoons. 
And golden -patches bonnie, oh ! 

But we'll have nought that's worth a gtoat, 
Without our paper money, oh 1 

IX 
GRAND CHORUS OF SCOTCHMEN 

Then up clajrmore and down with gun, 

And up with promises to pay, 
And down with every Saxon's son. 

That threatens us with reckoning day. 
To promise aye, and never pay. 

We've sworn by Scotland's fiddle, oh ! 
Who calls a Scot ' to cash his not ' 

We'll cut him through the middle, oh ! 

CHORUS OF SCOTCH ECONOMISTS 

ON A PROSPECT OF SCOTCH BANKS IN ENGLAND 

To the air of The Campbells are coming 

Quickly : He pay ? Alack ! he is poor. 

Falstaff : Look on his face. What call you rich ? 
Let him coin his face. — [Shakespeare, Henry IV, First 
Part, act iii, sc. iii, 1. 90]. 

The braw lads are coming — Oho ! Oho 1 

The braw lads are coming — Oho 1 Oho 1 

The highways they're treadin' 

From bonnie Dun-Edin, 

With cousins by dozens — Oho ! Oho I 

No shoon have the braw lads — Oh no I Oh no I 

No hose have the braw lads — Oh no 1 Oh no ! 

No breeks for the wearing. 

No shirts for the airing, 

No coin for the bearing — Oh no I Oh no 1 .^ 



CHORUS OF SCOTCH ECONOMISTS 319 

Each leaves a braw lassie — Oho 1 Oho I 
Each face is all brassy — Oho ! Oho I 
They are bound for soft places, 
Where coining their faces 
Will mend their lean cases — Oho ! Oho 1 

The English they'll settle— Oho ! Oho ! 

They'll harry their metal— Oho I Oho ! 

They'll coin muclde paper, 

They'll make a great vapour, 

To their fiddle we'll caper — Oho 1 Oho I 

Come riddle my riddle — Oho ! Oho I 

The cat and the fiddle — Oho ! Oho ! 

Sing high diddle diddle, 

It is the Scotch fiddle, 

Then lead down the middle — Oho ! Oho ! 

The cat is the miller — Oho ! Oho ! 

Grinds paper to siller — Oho ! Oho ! 

He plays the Scotch fiddle. 

Sing high diddle diddle. 

We've riddled the riddle— Oho ! Oho ! 

The English we'll saddle— Oho ! Oho I 

We'll ride them a-straddle — Oho ! Oho ! 

They beat us in battle. 

When money would rattle. 

But now they're our cattle — Oho ! Oho ! 

In parley metallic — Oho 1 Oho ! 

They bothered our Gaelic — Oho ! Oho 1 

But with sly disputation. 

And rag circulation. 

We've mastered their nation — Oho ! Oho ! 



320 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

Come, Johnny Bull, hither — Oho I Oho ! 

We'll make you quite lither — Oho ! Oho ! 

Come dance for your betters 

A hornpipe in fetters, 

We'll teach you your letters — Oho I Oho I 

Come, sing as we've said it — Oho I Oho ! 

Sing ' Free trade and credit ' — Oho I Oho ! 

Sing ' Scotch education ', 

And ' O'er-population ', 

And ' Wealth of the nation '^Oho ! Oho ! 

Then scrape the Scotch fiddle — Oho ! Oho ! 

Here's John in the middle — Oho ! Oho ! 

There's nothing so bonny 

As Scotch paper money, 

Now dance away, Johnny — Oho ! Oho I 



YE KITE-FLYERS OF SCOTLAND 

By T. C.i 

Quel ch'io vi debbo posso di parole 

Pagare in parte, e d' opera d'inchiostro— Ariosto. 

Ye kite-flyers of Scotland, 

Who live from home at ease ; 
Who raise the wind, from year to year. 

In a long and strong trade breeze : 
Your paper-kites let loose again 

On aU the winds that blow ; 
Through the shout of the rout 

Lay the English ragmen low ; 
Though the shout for gold be fierce and bold, 

And the English ragmen low. 

^ Thomas Campbell. 



YE KITE FLYERS OF SCOTLAND 321 

The spirits of your fathers 

Shall peep from every leaf ; 
For the midnight was their noon of fame, 

And their prize was living beef. 
Where Deloraine on Musgrave fell, 

Your paper kites shall show. 
That a way to convey 

Better far than theirs you know. 
When you launch your kites upon the wind 

And raise the wind to blow. 

Caledonia needs no bullion, 

No coin in iron case ; 
Her treasure is a bunch of rags 

And the brass upon her face ; 
With pellets from her paper mills 

She makes the Southrons trow. 
That to pay her sole way 

Is by promising to owe, 
By making promises to pay 

When she only means to owe. 

The meteor rag of Scotland 

Shall float aloft like scum. 
Till credit's o'erstrained line shall crack. 

And the day of reckoning come : 
Then, then, ye Scottish kite-flyers. 

Your hone-a-rie must flow, 
While you drink your own ink 

With your old friend Nick below. 
While you burn your bills and singe your 
quills 

In his bonny fire below. 



322 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 



CHORUS OF NORTHUMBRIANS 

ON THE PROHIBITION OF SCOTCH ONE-POUND NOTES 
IN ENGLAND 

March, march, Make-rags of Borrowdale ^ 
Whether ye promise to bearer or order ; 
March, march, Take-rag and Bawbee tail 2, 
All the Scotch flimsies must over the Border : 

Vainly you snarl anent 

New Act of Parliament, 
Bidding you vanish from dairy and ' lauder ' ^ j 

Dogs, you have had your day, 

Down tail and slink away ; 
You'll pick no more bones on this side of the Border. 

Hence to the hills where your fathers stole cattle ; 

Hence to the glens where they skulked from the law ; 
Hence to the moors where they vanished from battle, 
Crying * De'il tak the hindmost', and ' Charlie's awa'.' 

Metal is clanking here ; 

Off with your banking gear ; 
Off, ere you're paid ' to Old Harry or order ' ; 

England shall many a day 

Wish you'd been far away, 
Long ere your kite-wings flew over the Border. 

1 Not the Cumberland Borrodaile, but the genuine 
ancient name of that district of Scotland, whatever it 
be called now, from which was issued the first promise 
to pay, that was made "w-ith the express purpose of 
being broken. 

2 Scotic6 for Tag-rag and Bob-tail : ' a highly 
respectable old firm '. A paper kite with a bawbee 
at its tail is perhaps a better emblem of the safe and 
economical currency of Scotland than Mr Canning's 
mountain of paper irrigated by a rivulet of gold. 

3 Scotice for larder. 



MARGERY DAW 323 

March, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale, 

Pay-day's the word, lads, and gold is the law, 
March, march, Eskdale and Liddesdale ; 

Tagdale, and Ragdale, and Bobdale, and a' ; 

Person or purse, they say ; 

Purse you have none to pay ; 
Your persons who'll deal with, except the Recorder ? 

Yet, to retrieve your freaks, 

You can just leave your breeks ; 
You'll want them no more when you're over the Border. 

High on a pole in the vernal sun's baskings, 

When April has summoned you ragships away. 
We'll hoist up a pair of your best galligaskins, 
Entwined with young thistles to usher in May 
Types of Scotch * copital ', 
They shall o'er- top-it-all, 
Stripped off from bearer and brushed into order ; 
Then if you tarry, rogues, 
Nettles you'll get for brogues. 
And to the Rogue's March be drummed o'er the 
Border. 

MARGERY DAW 

Agite : inspicite : aurum est. Profecto, spectatores, 

Comicum. 
Verum ad hanc rem agundam Philippum est. 
Plautus, Panulus [act iii, sc. ii, 11. 20-1]. 

CHORUS OF PAPER MONEY MAKERS 

See-saw, Margery Daw, 

Spent all her gold and made money of straw. 

Margery Daw was our prototype fair : 
She built the first bank ever heard of : 

Her treasury ripened and dried in the air. 
And governments hung on the word of 



324 

Margery Daw. Margery Daw, 

Who spent all her gold and made money of straw.^ 

Mother Goo^e was a blue of exceeding ^iai, 

She wielded a pen, not a thimble ; 
She made a fine ode about Margery Daw, 

Which was but a mystitsl symbol : 
' See-saw, Margery Daw< 
Sold her bed aad lay upOE straw '. 

Margery borrowed the Uttle folks' gold. 
And lent it the great folks to fight with : 

They shot it abroad over woodland and wold, 
Tin things began not to go right with 

Margery Daw, Margery Daw, 

Who spent all her gold aud made money of stra^-" 

The little folks roared for their gold back again, 

And Margery trembled with terror ; 
She called for relief to the land's mighty men, 

And they said she must pay for her error ; 

* See- saw, look to your straw : 
We've nothing to say to you, Margery Daw*.| 

Margery Daw %vas alarmed for her straw : 
Her wishes this speech didn't suit with* 

' Oho I mighty men ! ' said Margery then, 
' You'll get no more money to shoot with ; 

See-saw, pile up the straw ; 

Bring me a flambeau ' said Margery Daw. 

They looked very bold, but they very soon saw 
That their coffers began to look drossy ; 

So they made it a law that fair Margery's str aw. | 
Should be gold both in esse and posse. 

• See-saw, Margery's straw, 
Is golden by nature, and gold by the law \ 



MARGERY DAW ps 

Maxgery Daw struck the sky with her head, 
And strode o'er the earth like a goddess ; 

And the sword of the conqueror yielded like lead. 
When it smote upon Margery's bodice. 

See-saw, plenty of straw 

Will make us all glorious as Margery Daw. 

The conqueror fell, and the mighty men saw 
That they seemed to be safer and stronger ; 

And then they turned round upon Margery Daw, 
Saying * Straw shall be metal no longer. 

See-saw, Margery Daw, 

Get your gold back again, chop up your straw '. 

Margery wearied her eloquent lips : 

They had never received her so coldly : 

A-kimbo they stood, with their hands on their hips. 
And their right feet put forward most boldly : 

' See-saw, Margery Daw, 

Get your gold back again, chop up your straw *. 

Margery put forth her powerful hand, 
She seized on the straw all around her ; 

And up rose a flame at her word of command. 
Like the furnace of any brass-founder. 

' See-saw, Margery Daw 

Wants her gold back again : flames to the straw '. 

The omnipotent straw, that had been the world's law. 

Was soon only cinder and ember : 
Such a blaze was ne'er seen round Guy Faux on a green, 

On the night of the fifth of November. 
' See-saw, pile up the straw, 
There's a brave bonfire ' said Margery Daw. 

Down fell, as beneath mighty Juggernaut's car, 
The small fry of straw-money makers. 



326 PAPER MONEY LYRICS 

The tumult of ruin, from near and from far, 

Once more made the mighty men Quakers : 
' See-saw, Margery Daw, 
Off with the gold again : give us more straw '. 

The Jews made a project for Margery Daw, 
She thought it too ticklish for trying ; 

But they sent her a Scotchman exceedingly braw. 
To prove 'twas as easy as lying : 

' See-saw, Margery Daw, 

A wee bit o' gold and a mickle of straw '. 

Margery heard the MacPuzzlehead preach. 

And she was no whit a logician. 
She knew little more than the eight parts of speech, 

Though she wrote with amazing precision 

* Margery Daw *, * Margery Daw ', 

The prettiest writing the world ever saw. 

Margery scattered her treasures abroad, 
And who was so glorious as she then ? 

He who was backward in Margery's laud, 
Mac Puzzlehead proved, was a Heathen. 

See-saw, gold in the straw. 

Who was so glorious as Margery Daw ? 

Up started the small fry of straw money men, 

Who seemed to have fallen for ever ; 
They scattered their straw o'er the nation again. 

And chorused as yet they had n«ver : 
' See-saw, plenty of straw. 
Will make us all glorious as Margery Daw *. • 

Margery's glory was darkened afresh. 

The great men again stood a-kimbo ; 
She feared she was caught in Mac Puzzlehead* s mesi 

Who had argued her gold out of limbo. 

* See-saw, pile up the straw. 

Bring me a flambeau ' said Margery Daw. 



MARGERY DAW 327 

Again in her anger she darkened the air 
With the smoke of a vast conflagration. 

And again to the earth in dismay and despair, 
Fell the heroes of straw circulation. 

' See-saw, Margery Daw 

Owes you no courtesy : burn your own straw *. 

Around and about came a glad rabble rout. 
The flames from a distance discerning ; 

And shouting they saw, in the midst of the straw, 
Mac Puzzlehead's efiigy burning. 

* See-saw, pile up the straw, 

Roast the Mac Puzzlehead, Margery Daw '. 

But then to the sky rose a terrible cry, 

A long and a loud lamentation ; 
And Margery's halls rang with wailings and calls 

That filled her with deep consternation : 
' Straw, straw, give us some straw ; 
Straw, or we perish, sweet Margery Daw *. 

And what happened then ? Oh, what happened then ? 

Oh ! where is the rest of the story ? 
And what was devised by the land's mighty men, 

To renovate Margery's glory ? 
Oh, there is a flaw in the volume of straw. 
That tells the true story of Margery Daw. 

But we find if we pore ancient manuscripts o'er 

With deep antiquarian endeavour. 
That Margery's straw became metal once more ^, 

And she was as glorious as ever. 
See-saw, plenty of straw 
Will make us all glorieus as Margery Daw. 

^ ' If it be not now, yet it will come : the readiness 
IS ALL '. — Hamlet, act v, sc. ii. 



CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION 



MARGARET LOVE PEACOCK 

Long night succeeds thy little day ; 

Oh blighted blossom E can it be, 
That thia grey stone and grassy clay 

Have closed our anxious care of thee ? 

The haU-form*d speech of artless thought, 
That spoke & mind beyond thy yeaj^ ; 

The song, the dance, by nature taught ; 
The suuny smiles, the transient tears ; 

The symmetry of face and form. 

The eye with light and life replete ; 
The little heart ao fondly warm ■ 

The voice so musically sweet. 

Th^e lost to hope, in memory yet 
Around the hearts that lov'd thee cling, 

Shadowing, with long and vain regret, 
The too fair promise of thy spring, 

CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION » 

When John of Ziska went to kingdom come 
He left his skin to make his church a drum. 
To sound a rub*a-dub for Reformation. 
And beat a glorious muster for salvation : 

So Winchelsea, who soon will be no more, 
Between two stools^-Guy Faux and Scarlet W--, ] 
To bigots of all ages and conditions 
ShaU leave his noble sheepskin for petitioi^ 



* Speech by Lord Winch elsea, versified. 



THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN 3^9 



' My lords, as I'm a man veracious, 

I had a word or two to say 
Which were exceedingly sagacious ; 
But, I protest, they've flown away. 

* 'Tis sure the greatest of all hardships, 

And proves some spell is round me spread, 
That barely looking at your lordships 
Drives ail ideas from my head. 

* My " winged words ", in regions airy, 

Just now are hovering out of reach ; 
I'll catch my stray vocabulary. 

And then, my lords, I'll make a speech '. 

FROM THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN, 1829 
THE CIRCLING OF THE MEAD HORNS 

Fill the blue horn, the blue buffalo horn : 
Natural is mead in the buffalo horn : 
As the cuckoo in spring, as the lark in the morn, 
So natural is mead in the buffalo horn. 

As the cup of the flower to the bee when he sips. 
Is the full cup of mead to the true Briton's lips ; 
From the flower-cups of summer, on field and on tree, 
Our mead cups are filled by the vintager bee, 

Seithenyn^ ap Seithyn, the generous, the bold. 
Drinks the wine of the stranger from vessels of gold ^ ; 
But we from the horn, the blue silver-rinmied horn, 
Drink the ale and the mead in our fields that were born. 

1 Speech, or rather break-down, by Lord Win- 
Chelsea, versified. 

2 The accent is on the second syllable : Seithdnyn. 
' Gwin . . . o eur . . . Aneurin. 



330 THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN 

The ale-froth is white, and the mead sparkles bright; 
They both smile apart, and with smiles they unite * : 
The mead from the flower, and the ale firom the com, 
Smile, sparkle, and sing in the buffalo horn. 

The horn, the blue horn, cannot stand on its tip ; 
Its path is right on from the hand to the lip : 
Though the bowl and the wine-cup our tables adorn, 
More natural the draught from the buffalo horn. 

But Seithenyn ap Seithjm, the generous, the bold. 
Drinks the bright-flowing wine from the far-gleaming 

gold: 
The wine, in the bowl by his lip that is worn, 
Shall be glorious as mead in the buffalo horn. 

The horns circle fast, but their fountains will last, 
As the stream passes ever, and never is past : 
Exhausted so quickly, replenished so soon. 
They wax and they wane like the horns of the moon. 

Fill high the blue horn, the blue buffalo horn ; 
Fill high the long silver-rimmed buffalo horn : 
While the roof of the hall by our chorus is torn. 
Fill, flu to the brim, the deep silver-rimmed horn. 



THE SONG OF THE FOUR WINDS « 

Wind from the north : the young spring day 

Is pleasant on the sunny mead ; 

The merry harps at evening play : 

The dance gay youths and maidens lead : 

^ The mixture of ale and mead made bradawd, a 
favourite drink of the Ancient Britons. 

- This poem is a specimen of a numerous class of 
ancient Welsh poems, in which each stanza begins 



THE SONG OF THE FOUR WINDS 331 

The thrush makes chorus from the thorn : 
The .mighty drinker fills his horn. 

Wind from the east : the shore is still ; 
The mountain-clouds fly tow'rds the sea ; 
The ice is on the winter-rill ; 
The great hall fire is blazing free : 
The prince's circling feast is spread : 
Drink fills with fumes the brainless head. 

Wind from the south : in summer shade 
*Tis sweet to hear the loud harp ring ; 
Sweet is the step of comely maid, 
Who to the bard a cup doth bring : 
The black crow flies where carrion lies : 
Where pig-nuts lurk, the swine will work. 

Wind from the west : the autumnal deep 
Rolls on the shore its billowy pride : 
He, who the rampart's watch must keep. 
Will mark with awe the rising tide : 
The high spring-tide, that bursts its mound. 
May roll o'er miles of level ground. 

Wind from the west : the mighty wave 
Of ocean bounds o'er rock and sand ; 
The foaming surges roar and rave 
Against the bulwarks of the land : 
When waves are rough, and winds are high, 
Good is the land that's high and dry. 

with a repetition of the predominant idea, and ter- 
minates with a proverb, more or less applicable to the 
subject. In some poems, the sequency of the main 
images is regular and connected, and the proverbial 
terminations strictly appropriate; in others, the 
sequency of the main images is loose and incoherent, 
and the proverbial termination has little or nothing to 
do with the subject of the stanza. The basis of the'poem 
in the text is in the Englynion of Llwyarch H^n. 




Wind from the west : the storm-clouds rise ; 
Jhe breakers rave : the whirl-blasts roar, 
The mingled rage oi seas and skies 
Bursts on the low aod lonely shore : 
When safety's far, and danger nigh. 
Swift feet the readiest aid supply. 



GWTDDNAU EI CANT 

PAN DDOAI Y MOR DUOS CAXTREV V GWAELAWD 

A SONG OF GW\^THNO GARANHIR 

~OK THE IKUKDATION OF THE SEA OVnn THE PLAIN OF 
GWAELOD 

Stand forth, Seithenyn : winds are high : 
Look down beneath the lowering sky ; 
Look from the rock ; what meets thy sight ? 
Nought but the breakers rolling white. 

Stand forth, Seithenyn : w4nds are still : 
Look from the rock and heathy Ml 
For Gwythtto's realm : what meets thy view ? 
Nought but the ocean*s desert blue. 

Curst be the treacherous mound, that gave 
A passage to the mining wave : 
Curat be the cup, with mead-froth crowtied. 
That charmed from thought the trusted mouad, 

A tumult, and a cry to heaven ! 
The white surf breaks : the mound is riven : 
Through the wide rift the ocean-spring 
Bursts with tumultuous ravaging* 

The western's ocean's stormy might 
Is curling o'er the ramparts' height : 
Destruction strikes with want and scorn 
Presumption, from abundance hotn. 



ANOTHER SONG OF GWYTHNO 333 

The tumult of the western deep 
Is on the winds, afl&ighting sleep : 
It thunders at my chamber-door : 
It bids me wake, to sleep no more. 

The tumult of the midnight sea 
Swells inland, wildly, fearfully : 
The mountain-caves respond its shocks 
Among the unaccustomed rocks. 

The tumult of the vext sea-coast 
Rolls inland like an armed host : 
It leaves, for flocks and fertile land. 
But foaming waves and treacherous sand. 

The wild sea rolls where long have been 
Glad homes of men, and pastures green : 
To arrogance and wealth succeed 
Wide ruin and avenging need. 

Seithenyn, come : I call in vain : 
The high of birth and weak of brain 
Sleeps under ocean's lonely roar 
Between the rampart and the shore. 

The eternal waste of waters, spread 
Above his unrespected head. 
The blue expanse, with foam besprent. 
Is his too glorious monument. 



ANOTHER SONG OF GWYTHNO 

I LOVE the green and tranquil shore ; 
I hate the ocean's dizzy roar, 
Whose devastating spray has flown 
High o'er the monarch's barrier-stone. 



334 THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN 

Sad was the feast, which h'e who spread 
Is numbered with the inglorious dead ; 
The feast within the torchlit hall, 
While stormy breakers mined the wall. 

To him repentance came too late : 
In cups the chatterer met his fate : 
Sudden and sad the doom that burst 
On him and me, but mine the worst. 

I love the shore and hate the deep : 
The wave has robbed my nights of sleep : 
The heart of man is cheered by wine ; 
But now the wine-cup cheers not mine. 

The feast, which bounteous hands dispense 
Makes glad the soul, and charms the sense 
But in the circling feast I know 
The coming of my deadliest foe. 

Blest be the rock, whose foot supplied 
A step to them that fled the tide ; 
The rock of bards,* on whose rude steep 
I bless the shore, and hate the deep. 



DYHUDDIANt ELFFIN 
THE CONSOLATION OF ELPHIN 

Lament not, Elphin : do not measure 
By one brief hour thy loss or gain : 
Thy weir to-night has borne a treasure, 
Will more than pay thee years of pain. 
St Cynllo's aid will not be vain : 
Smooth thy bent brow, and cease to mouri 
Thy weir will never bear again 
Such wealth as it to-night has borne. 



CANU Y MEDD 335 

The stormy seas, the silent rivers, 
The torrents down the steeps that spring, 
Alike of weal or woe are givers, 
As pleases heaven's immortal king. 
Though frail I seem, rich gifts I bring. 
Which in Time's fulness shall appear. 
Greater than if the stream should fling 
Three hundred salmon in thy weir. 

Cast off this fruitless sorrow, loading 
With heaviness the unmanly mind : 
Despond not ; mourn not ; evil boding 
Creates the ill it fears to find. 
When fates are dark, and most unkind 
Are they who most should do thee right. 
Then wilt thou know thine eyes were blind 
To thy good fortune of to-night. 

Though, small and feeble, from my coracle 
To thee my helpless hands I spread. 
Yet in me breathes a holy oracle 
To bid thee lift thy drooping head. 
When hostile steps around thee tread, 
A spell of power my voice shall wield, 
That, more than arms with slaughter red, 
Shall be thy refuge and thy shield. 

CANU Y MEDD 
THE MEAD SONG OF TALIESIN 

The King of kings upholds the heaven. 
And parts from earth the billowy sea : 
By Him all earthly joys are given ; 
He loves the just, and guards the free. 
Round the wide hall, for thine and thee. 
With purest draughts the mead-horns foam, 
Maelgon of Gwyneth ! Can it be 
That here a prince bewails his home ? 



SS^ THE MISFOMTUNES OF ELPHIN 

The bee tastes not the Bparkling draught 
Which mortals from his toils obta^in ■ 
That sends, in festal circles quaffed* 
Sweet tumult through the heart and brain. 
The timid ^ while the horn they drain, 
Grow bold ; the happy more rejoice ; 
The mourner ceases to complain ; 
The gifted bard exalts his voice. 

To royal Elphin life I owe, 
Nurture and name, the harp, and mead : 
Full, pare, and sparbliag be their flow. 
The horns to Maelgon's lipa decreed : 
For him may horn to horn succeed, 
Till, glowing with their generous fire. 
He bid the captive chief be freed. 
Whom at his hands my songs require, 

Elphin has given me store of mead, 
Mead, ale, and wine, and fish, and com ; 
X happy home ; a splendid steed. 
Which stately trappings well adorn. 
To-morrow be the auspicious morn 
That home the expected chief shall lead 
So may King Maelgon drain the horn 
In thrice three million feasts ol mead- 



SONG OF THE WIKD* 

The winds that waiider far and free. 
Bring whispers from the shores they sweep ; 
Voices of feast and revelry ; 
Murmur? of forests and the deep ; 

^This poem has little or nothing of Taliesin's C9nu\ 
y Gwynt, with the exception of the title. That poem isj 
apparently a fragment : and, as it now stands, is an] 
incoherent and scarcely intelligible rhapsody. It con-1 
tains no distinct or expUcit idea, except the propofstkn ' 



SONG OF THE WIND 337 

Low sounds of torrents from the steep 
Descending on the flooded vale ; 
And tumults from the leaguered keep, 
Where foes the dizzy ramparts scale. 

The whispers of the wandering wind 
Are borne to gifted ears alone ; 
For them it ranges unconfined. 
And speaks in accents of its own. 

It tells me of Deheubarth's throne ; 
The spider weaves not in its shield ^ : 
Already from its towers is blown 
The blast that bids the spoiler yield. 

t it is an unsafe booty to carry off fat kine, which 
y be easily conceded in a case where nimbleness 
tieel, both in man and beast, must have been of 
it importance. The idea^ from which, if from 
thing in the existing portion of the poem, it takes 
name, that the whispers of the wind bring rumours 
wrar from Deheubarth, is rather implied than ex- 
ssed. 

The spider weaving in suspended armour is an 
emblem of peace and inaction. Thus Bacchylides, 
lis fragment on Peace : 

iv S^ (riSapodiroLS Trdpira^LV 
aWdv dpaxvav ^pya iriXovrai, 

[n iron-bound shields is found the labour of brown 

[ers.^Frag. 46 (B. 13)]. 

luripides, in a fragment of Erechtheus : 

Kdadu) d6pv fiOL filrov d/JLtpixXcKeiv 

dpdxvoLi-^' 
^et my spear lie for spiders to weave their web 
ut it. — Frag. 369]. 

.nd Nonnus, whom no poetical image escaped (Diony' 
a, L. xxxviii) : 



335 



THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHTN 



III with his prey the fox may wend, 

Wlieii the young Uon quits his lair : 

Sharp sword, strong shield, stout arm, should tead 

Oa spirits that unjustly dare. 

To me the wandering breezes bear 
The war- blast from Caer LI eon's brow^ i 
The avenging storm is brooding there 
To which EUganwy's towers shall bow. 



THE INDIGNATION OF TALIESIN WITH Tl 
BARDS OF MAELGON GWYNETH 

Faxse bards the sacred fire pervert, 
Whose songs are won without desert ; 
Who falsehoods weave in specious lays, 
To gild the base with virtue's praise. 

From court to court, from tower to tower, 
In warrior's tent, in lady's bower. 
For gold> for wine, for food, lor ftre. 
They tune their throats at all men's hire. 

[No slajdng wa^ there then, no fighting : but far 

from battle lay the shield of Bacchus covered with 

spiders* web for six years]. 

And Beaumont and Fletclier. in the Wif& for 

Month : 

Would'st thou live so long, till thy sword himf by. 
And lazy spiders filled the hUt with cobwebs ? 
A Persian poet says, describing ruins : 
The spider spreads the veil in the palace of the Qesars, 
And among the most felicitous uses of this emblem, 

must never be forgotten Hogarth's cobweb over tht 

lid of the charity-box. 






THE INDIGNATION OF TA LIES IN 339 

Their harps re-echo wide and far 
With sensual love, and bloody war, 
And drunkenness, and flattering lies : 
Truth's light may shine for other eyes. 

In palaces they still are found, 
At feasts, promoting senseless sound : 
He is their demigod at least, 
Whose only virtue is his feast. 

They love to talk ; they hate to think ; 
All day they sing ; all night they drink ; 
No useful toils their hands employ ; 
In boisterous throngs is all their joy. 

The bird will fly, the fish will swim. 
The bee the honeyed flowers will skim ; 
Its food by toil each creature brings, 
Except false bards and worthless Idngs. 

Learning and wisdom claim to find 
Homage and succour from mankind ; 
But learning's right, and wisdom's due, 
Are falsely claimed by slaves like you. 

True bards know truth, and truth will show ; 
Ye know it not," nor care to know : 
Your king's weak mind false judgment warps ; 
Rebuke his wrong, or break your harps. 

I know the mountain and the plain ; 
I know where right and justice reign ; 
I from the tower will Elphin free ; 
Your king shall learn his doom from me. 

A spectre of the marsh shall rise. 
With yellow teeth, and hair, and eyes. 



340 THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN 

From whom your king id vam aloof 
Sliall crouch beneath the sacred roof. 

He through the half-cloaed door shall spy 

The Yellow Spectre sweeping by ; 

To whom the punishment belongs 

Of Maelgon'3 crimes and Elpkia's wrongs* 



TALIESIN AND MELANGHEL 

Taliesin : Maid of the rock !, though loud the fiod 
My voice will pierce thy cell : 
No foe is in the mountain wood ; 
No danger in the dell : 
The torrents bound along the glade ; 
Their path is free and bright ; 
Be thou as they, O mountain maid ! 
In liberty and light. 

M^langhel : The cataracts thunder down the steep 
The woods all lonely wave : 
Within my heart the voice sinks deep 
That calls me from my cave. 
The voice is dear, the song is 8weet, 
And true the words must be : 
Well p} eased I quit the dark retreat, 
To wend away with thee, 

Taliesin : Not yet : not yet : let nightdews fall, 
Aad stars be bright above. 
Ere to her loug-deserted hall 
I guide my gentle love. 
When torchlight flashes on the roof, 
No foe will near thee stray : 
Even now his parting courser's lioof 
Kings from the rocky way. 



THE WAR'SONG OF DIN AS VAWR 341 

\nghel : Yet climb the path, and comfort speak, 
To cheer the lonely cave, 
Where woods are bare, and rocks are bleak, 
And wintry torrents rave. 
A dearer home my memory knows, 
A home I still deplore ; 

Where firelight glows, while winds and snows 
Assail the guardian door. 



THE WAR-SONG OF DINAS VAWR 

The mountain sheep are sweeter, 
But the valley sheep are fatter ; 
We therefore deemed it meeter 
To carry off the latter, 
We made an expedition ; 
We met a host, and quelled it ; 
We forced a strong position, 
And killed the men who held it. 

On Dyfed's richest valley, 

Where herds of-'kine were browsing, 

We made a mighty sally. 

To furnish our carousing. 

Fierce warriors rushed to meet us ; 

We met them, and o'erthrew them : 

They struggled hard to beat us ; 

But we conquered them, and slew them. 

As we drove our prize at leisure. 
The king marched forth to catch us ; 
His rage surpassed all measure. 
But his people could not match us. 
He fled to his hall-pillars ; 
And, ere our force we led off. 
Some sacked his house and cellars. 
While others cut his head off. 



343 THE MISFORTUNES OF ELFHTN 

We there, in strife bewildr'mg, 
Spilt blood enough to swim m : 
We orphaned many children. 
And widowed many women* 
The eagles and the ravens 
We glutted with our foemen ; 
The heroes and the cravens, 
The spearmen and the bowmen. 

We brought away from battle, 

Aud much their land bemoaned them, 

Two thousand head of cattle, 

And the head of him who owned them : 

Ednyfed, Mng oi Dyfed, 

His head was borne before ns ; 

His wine and beasts supplied our feasts. 

And his overthrow, our chorus. 



GORWYNIOK y GAUAV 

THE BRILLIANCIES OF WINTER 

Last of flowers, in tufts around 
Shines the gorse's golden blooni : 
Milk-wMte lichens clothe the ground 
*Mid the flowerless heath and broom : 
Bright are holly-berries, seen 
Red, through leaves of glossy green. 

Brightly, as on rocks they l^.p. 
Shine the sea- waves, white with spray : 
Brightly, in the dingles deep, 
Gleams the river's foaming way ; 
Brightly through the distance show 
Mountain-summits clothed in snow. 

Brightly, where the torrents bound, 
Shinefi the ^ozen colonnade, 



AV ALLEN AU MYRDDIN 343 

Which the black rocks, dripping round. 
And the flying spray have made : 
Bright the ice-drops on the ash 
Leaning o'er the cataract's dash. 

Bright the hearth, where feast and song 
Crown the warrior's hour of peace. 
While the snow-storm drives along. 
Bidding war's worse tempest cease ; 
Bright the hearth-flame, flashing clear 
On the up-hung shield and spear. 

Bright the torchlight of the hall 
When the wintry night- winds blow ; 
Brightest when its splendours fall 
On the mead-cup's sparkling flow : 
While the maiden's smile of light 
Makes the brightness trebly bright. 

Close the portals ; pile the hearth ; 
Strike the harp ; the feast pursue ; 
Brim the horns : fire, music, mirth, 
Mead and love, are winter's due. 
Spring to purple conflict calls 
Swords that shine on winter's walls. 



AVALLENAU MYRDDIN 

MERLIN'S APPLE-TREES 

Fair the gift to Merlin given, 
Apple-trees seven score and seven ; 
Equal all in age and size ; 
On a green hill-slope, that lies 
Basking in the southern sun, 
Where bright waters murmuring run. 



344 THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN 

Just beneath the pure stream flows ; 
High above the forest grows ; 
Not again on earth is found 
Such a slope of orchard ground : 
Song of birds, and hum of bees, 
Ever haunt the apple-trees. 

Lovely green their leaves in spring ; 
Lovely bright their blossoming : 
Sweet the shelter and the shade 
By their summer foliage made : 
Sweet the fruit their ripe boughs hold, 
Fruit delicious, tinged with gold. 

Gloyad, nymph with tresses bright, 
Teeth of pearl, and eyes of light. 
Guards these gifts of Ceidio's son, 
Gwendol, the lamented one. 
Him, whose keen-edged sword no more 
Flashes 'mid the battle's roar. 

War has raged on vale and hill : 

That fair grove was peaceful still. 

There have chiefs and princes sought 

Solitude and tranquil thought : 

There have kings, from courts and throng 

Turned to Merlin's wild- wood songs. 

Now from echoing woods I hear 
Hostile axes sounding near : 
On the sunny slope reclined 
Feverish grief disturbs my mind. 
Lest the wasting edge consume 
My fair spot of fruit and bloom. 

Lovely trees, that long alone ^ 

In the sylvan vale have grown. 



THE MASSACRE OF THE BRITONS 345 

Bare, your sacred plot around, 
Grows the once wood-waving ground : 
Fervent valour guards you still ; 
Yet my soul presages ill. 

Well, I know, when years have flown, 
Briars shaU grow where ye have grown : 
Them in turn shall power uproot ; 
Then again shall flowers and fruit 
Flourish in the sunny breeze. 
On my new-born apple-trees. 



THE MASSACRE OF THE BRITONS 

Sad was the day for Britain's land, 

A day of ruin to the free. 

When Gorthyn^ stretched a friendly hand 

To the dark dwellers of the sea 2. 

But not in pride the Saxon trod. 
Nor force nor fraud oppressed the brave. 
Ere the grey stone and flowery sod 
Closed o'er the blessed hero's grave 3. 

The twice-raised monarch* drank the charm, 
The love-draught of the ocean-maid ^ ; 
Vain then the Briton's heart and arm. 
Keen spear, strong shield, and burnished blade. 

GwTtheym : Vortigern. ^ Hengist and Horsa. 

Gwthevyr : Vortimer, who drove the Saxons out 
Britain. 

Vortigern, who was, on the death of his son Vor- 
ler, restored to the throne from which he had been 
)osed. 

Ronwen : Rowena. 



' Come to the feast of wine and mead ' 
Spake the dark dweUer of the sea ^ ; 
' There shall the hours in mirth proceed ; 
There neitlier sword not shield shall be*. 

Hard hj the mcred temple's site, 
Soon a^ the shades of evening fall. 
Resounds with song and glows with light 
The ocean-dweller's rude- built hall 



t 

I 



The sacred ground, where chiefs of yore 

The everlasting fire adored, 

The solemn pledge of safety bore. 

And breathed not of the treacherous sword. 

The amber wreath his temples bound : 
His vest concealed the murderous blade ; 
As man to man, the board around, 
The guileful chief his host arrayed. 

None but the noblest of the laud. 
The flower of Britain* s chiefs, were there 
Unarmed, amid the Saxon band. 
They sate, the fatal feast to shares 

Three hundred chiefs, three score and 
Went, where the festal torches burned 
Before the dweller of the sea : 
They weat ; and three alone r^rtumcKi. 

Till dawn the pale sweet mead they qua iled ! 
The ocean-chief unclosed his vest ; 
His hand was on his dagge^r's haft, 
And daggers jE^larei at everv breast. 



THE MASSACRE OF THE BRITONS 347 

But him, at Eidiol's ^ breast who aimed. 
The mighty Briton's arm laid low : 
His eyes with righteous anger flamed ; 
pe wrenched the dagger from the foe ; 

And through the throng he cleft his way, 

And raised without his battle-cry ; 

And hundreds hurried to the fray, 

From towns, and vales, and mountains high. 

But Britain's best blood dyed the floor 
Within the treacherous Saxon's hall ; 
Of all, the golden chain who wore. 
Two only answered Eidiol's call. 

Then clashed the sword ; then pierced the lance ; 
Then by the axe the shield was riven ; 
Then did the steed on Cattraeth prance. 
And deep in blood his hoofs were driven. 

Even as the flame consumes the wood, 
So Eidiol rushed along the field ; 
As sinks the snow-bank in the flood. 
So did the ocean-rovers yield. 

The spoilers from the fane he drove. 
He hurried to the rock-built tower. 
Where the base king, in nwrth and love. 
Sate with his Saxon paramour 2. 

The storm of arms was on the gate. 
The blaze of torches in the hall, 
So swift, that ere thy feared their fate. 
The flames had scaled their chamber wall. 

^ Eidiol or Emrys : Emrys Wledig : Ambrosius. 
2 Vortigern and Rowena. 



348 THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN 

They died : for them no Briton grieves ; 
No planted flower above them waves ; 
No hand removes the withered leaves 
That strew their soUtary graves. 

And time the avenging day brought round 
That saw the sea-chief vaijoly sue : 
To make his false host bite the ground 
Was all the hope our warrior knew. 

And evermore the strife he led, 
Disdaining peace, with princely might. 
Till, on a spear, the spoiler's ^ head 
Was reared on Caer-y-Cynan's height. 



THE CAULDRON OF CERIDWEN 

The sage Ceridwen was the wife 
Of Tegid Voel, of Pemble Mere : 
Two children blest their wedded life, 
Morvran and Creirwy, fair and dear : 
Morvran, a son of peerless worth. 
And Creirwy, loveliest nymph of earth : 
But one more son Ceridwen bare, 
As foul as they before were fair. 

She strove to make Avagddu wise ; 
She knew he never could be fair : 
And, studying magic mysteries. 
She gathered plants of virtue rare : 
She placed the gifted plants to steep 
Within the magic cauldron deep. 
Where they a year and day must boil. 
Till three drops crown the matron's toil. 

^ Hengist. 



I 



THE CAULDRON OF CERIDWEN 349 

Nine damsels raised the mystic flame ; 
Gwion the Little near it stood : 
The while for simples roved the dame 
Through tangled dell and pathless wood. 
And, when the year and day had past, 
The dame within the cauldron cast 
The consummating chaplet wild, 
While Gwion held the hideous child. 

But from the cauldron rose a smoke 

That filled with darkness all the air r 

When through its folds, the torchlight broke, 

Nor Gwion, nor the boy, was there. 

The fire was dead, the cauldron cold. 

And in it lay, in sleep uprolled. 

Fair as the morning-star, a child. 

That woke, and stretched its arms, and smiled. 

What chanced her labours to destroy. 

She never knew ; and sought in vain 

If 'twere her own mis-shapen boy, 

Or Uttle Gwion, bom again : 

And, vext with doubt, the babe she rolled 

In cloth of purple and of gold. 

And in a coracle consigned 

Its fortunes to the sea and wind. 

The summer night was still aAd bright, 
The summer moon was large and clear. 
The frail baxk, on the spring-tide's height, 
Was floated into Elphin's weir. 
The baby in his arms he raised : 
His lovely spouse stood by, and gazed, 
And, blessing it with gentle vow. 
Cried ' Taliesin ! ' ' Radiant brow ! ' 

And I am he : and well I know 
Cerid wen's power protects me still ; 



3SO THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN 

And hence o'er hill and vale I go, 
And sing, unharmed, whate'er I will. 
She has for me Time's veil withdrawn : 
The images of things long gone, 
The shadows of the coming days, 
Are present to my visioned gaze. 

And I have heard the words of power. 
By Ceirion's solitary lake, 
That bid, at midnight's thrilling hour, 
Eryri's hundred echoes wake. 
I to Diganwys towers have sped, 
And now Caer Lleon's halls I tread, 
Demanding justice, now, as then. 
From Maelgon, most unjust of men. 

RICH AND POOR 

OR, SAINT AND SINNER 

This is a correct copy of a Uttle poem which has been 
often printed, and not quite accurately. It first ap- 
peared, many years ago, in The Globe and Traveller, 
and was suggested by a speech in which Mr Wilberforce, 
replying to an observation of Dr Lushington, that 
* the Society for the Suppression of Vice meddled with 
the poor alone ', said that ' the offences of the poor 
came more under observation than those of the rich.' 
— T. L. P. 

The poor man's sins are glaring ; 
In the face of ghostly warning 

He is caught in the fact 

Of an overt act — 
Buying greens on Sunday morning. 

The rich man's sins are hidden 

In the pomp of wealth and station ; 

And escape the sight 

Of the children of light, 
Who are wise in their generation. 



RICH AND POOR 351 

The rich man has a kitchen, 
And cooks to dress his dinner ; 

The poor who would roast 

To the baker's must post, 
And thus becomes a sinner. 

The rich man has a cellar, 
And a ready butler by him ; 

The poor must steer 

For his pint of beer 
Where the saint can't choose but spy him. 

The rich man's painted windows 
Hide the concerts of the quality ; 

The poor can but share 

A crack* d fiddle in the air, 
Which ofifends all sound morality. 

The rich man is invisible 

In the crowd of his gay society ; 

But the poor man's delight 

Is a sore in the sight, 
And a stench in the nose of piety. 

The rich man has a carriage 
Where no rude eye can flout him ; 

The poor man's bane 

Is a third-class train, 
With the day-light all about him. 

The rich man goes out yachting. 
Where sanctity can't pursue him ; 

The poor goes afloat 

In a fourpenny boat. 
Where the bishops groan to view him. 



THE FATE OF A BROOM 



THE FATE OF A BROOM 



pr 

H These lines were published in The Examine y of Aug 
W 1 83 1. They were then called an anticipation. Tl 

DOW "be fairly entitled a prophecy fnlfilled*- 

P., 1837. 



AM- ANTICrPATlON 



may 
T. L. 



Lo ! in corruption's lumber-room. 
The remnants of a wondrous broom, 
That \^^lking, talking, oft was seen, 
Making stotit promise to sweep clean, 
But evermore, at every push, 
Proved but a stump without a brush. 
Upon its handle- top, a sconce, 
Like Brahma's looked four ways at once : 
Pouring on king, lords, church, and rabble. 
Long floods of favour-currying gabble ; 
From fourfold mouthpiece always spinning 
Projects of plausible beginning. 
Whereof said sconce did ne*er intend 
That any one should have an end ; 
Yet still, hy shifts and quaint invectious, 
Got credit for its good intentions, 
Adding no trifle to the store 
Wherewith the Devil paves his floor. 
Found out at last, worn bare and scmbbish, 
And thrown aside with other rubbish, 
We'U e'en hand o'er the eEchauted stick. 
As a choice present for Old Nick, 
To sweep, beyond the Stygian lake. 
The pavement it has helped to make. 



FROM CROTCHET CASTLE 353 



FROM CROCHET CASTLE, 1831 
CHORUS BY MR TRILLO 

After careful meditation. 

And profound deliberation, 
►n the various pretty projects which have just been 
shown, 

Not a scheme in agitation. 

For the world's amelioration, 
[as a grain of common sense in it, except my own. 

WE'LL DINE AND DRINK 

If I drink water while this doth last, 

May I never again drink wine : 

For how can a man, in his life of a span. 

Do anything better than dine ? 

We'll dine and drink, and say if we think 

That anything better can be ; 

And when we have dined, wish all mankind 

May dine as well as we. 

And though a good wish will fill no dish. 

And brim -no cup with sack. 

Yet thoughts will spring, as the glasses ring. 

To illumine our studious track. 

On the brilliant dreams of our hopeful schemes 

The light of the flask shall shine ; 

And we'll sit all day, but we'll find the way 

To drench the world with wine. 

BEYOND THE SEA 

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea, 

My heart is gone, far, fair from me ; 

And ever on its track will flee 

My thoughts, my dreams, beyond the sea. 



354 FROM CROTCHET CASTLE 

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea, 
The swallow wanders fast and free ; 
Oh, happy bird ! were I like thee 
I, too, would fly beyond the sea. 

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea. 
Are kmdly hearts and social glee : 
But here for me they may not be ; 
My heart is gone beyond the sea. 



LLYN-Y-DREIDDIAD-VRAWD 

THE POOL OF THE DIVING FRIAR 

GwENWYNWYN withdrew from the feasts of his hall ; 
He slept very little, he prayed not at all ; 
He pondered, and wandered, and studied alone ; 
And sought, night and day, the philosopher's stone. 

He found it at length, and he made its first proof 
By turning to gold all the lead of his roof : 
Then he bought some magnanimous heroes, all fire, 
Who lived but to smite and be smitten for hire. 

With these, on the plains like a torrent he broke ; 
He filled the whole country with flame and with smoke ; 
He killed all the swine, and he broached all the wine ; 
He drove off the sheep, and the beeves, and the kine ; 

He took castles and towns ; he cut short limbst and 

lives ; 
He made orphans and widows of children and wives: 
This course many years he triumphantly ran. 
And did mischief enough to be called a great man. 



LLYN-Y'DREIDDIAD-VRA WD 355 

When, at last, he had gained all for which he had 

striven, 
He bethought him of buying a passport to heaven ; 
Good and great as he was, yet he did not well know 
How soon, or which way, his great spirit might go. 

He sought the grey friars, who, beside a wild stream, 
Refected their frames on a primitive scheme ; 
The gravest and wisest Gwenwynwyn found out. 
All lonely and ghostly and angling for trout. 

Below the white daish of a mighty cascade. 
Where a pool of the stream a deep resting-place made. 
And rock-rooted oaks stretched their branches on high, 
The friar stood musing, and throwing his fly. 

To him said Gwenwynwyn * Hold, father, here's store. 
For the good of the church, and the good of the poor ; 
Then he gave him the stone ; but, ere more he could 

speak. 
Wrath came on the frair, so holy and meek : 

He had stretched forth his hand to receive the red gold. 
And he thought himself mocked by Gwenwynwyn the 

Bold ; 
And in scorn of the gift, and in rage at the giver, 
He jerked it immediately into the river. 

Gwenwynwyn, aghast, not a syllable spake ; 
The philosopher's stone made a duck and a drake : 
Two systems of circles a moment were seen, 
And the stream smoothed them off, as they never had 
been. 

Gwenwynwyn regained, and uplifted, his voice : 

* Oh frair, grey friar, full rash was thy choice ; 

The stone, the good stone, which away thou hast 

thrown. 
Was the stone of all stones, the philosopher's stone 1 * 



356 FROM CROTCHET CASTLE 

The friar looked pale, when his error he knew ; 
The friar looked red, and the friar looked blue ; 
And heels over head, from the point of a rock, 
He plunged, without stopping to pull off his frock. 

He dived very deep, but he dived all in' vain. 
The prize he had slighted he found not again : 
Many times did the friar his diving renew. 
And deeper and deeper the river still grew. 

Gwenwynwyn gazed long, of his senses in doubt, 
To see the grey friar a diver so stout : 
Then sadly and slowly his castle he sought, 
And left the friar diving, like dabchick distraught. 

Gwenwynwyn fell sick with alaxm and despite. 
Died, and went to the devil, the very same night : 
The magnanimous heroes he held in his pay 
Sacked his castle, and marched with the plunder away. 

No knell on the silence of midnight was rolled. 
For the flight of the soul of Gwenwynwyn the Bold : 
The brethren, unfee'd, let the mighty ghost pass. 
Without praying a prayer, or intoning a mass. 

The friar haunted ever beside the dark stream : 

The philosopher's stone was his thought and his dream ; 

And day after day, ever head under heels, 

He dived all the time he could spare from his meals. 

He dived, and he dived, to the end of his days. 
As the peasants oft witnessed with fear and amaze : 
The mad friar's diving-place long was their theme, 
And no plummet can fathom that pool of the stream. 

And still, when light clouds on the midnight winds ride, 
If by moonlight you stray on the lone river-side. 
The ghost of the friar may be seen diving there. 
With head in the water and heels in the air. 



FLORENCE AND BLANCHFLOR 357 



FLORENCE AND BLANCHFLOR 1 

Florence and Blanchflor, loveliest maids, 

Within a summer grove. 
Amid the flower-enamelled shades 

Together talked of love. 

A clerk sweet Blanchflor' s heart had gained ; 

Fair Florence loved a knight : 
And each with ardent voice maintained. 

She loved the worthiest wight. 

Sweet Blanchflor praised her scholar dear, 

As courteous, kind, and true ; 
Fair Florence said her chevalier 

Could every foe subdue. 

And Florence scorned the bookworm vain, 
Who sword nor spear could raise ; 

And Blanchflor scorned the unlettered brain 
Could sing to no lady's praise. 

From dearest love, the maidens bright 

To deadly hatred fell ; 
Each turned to shun the other's sight. 

And neither said farewell. 

The king of birds, who held his court 

Within that flowery grove. 
Sang loudly : ' 'Twill be rare disport 

To judge this suit of love.' 

Before him came the maidens bright. 
With all his birds around, 

Imitated from the Fabliau De Florance et de Blanche 
yr, alias Jugement d' Amour, 



358 FROM CROTCHET CASTLE 

To judge the cause, if clerk or knight 
In love be worthiest found. 

The falcon and the sparrow-hawk 
Stood forward for the fight : 

Ready to do and not to talk, 
They voted for the knight. 

And Blanchflor's heart began to fail. 
Till rose the strong-voiced lark, 

And, after him, the nightingale. 
And pleaded for the clerk. 

The nightingale prevailed at length. 
Her pleading had such charms ; 

So eloquence can conquer strength. 
And arts can conquer arms. 

The lovely Florence tore her hair, 

And died upon the place ; 
And all the birds assembled there 

Bewailed the mournful case. 

They piled up leaves, and flowerets rare. 

Above the maiden bright, 
And sang : ' Farewell to Florence fair. 

Who too well loved her knight '. 



THE PRIEST AND THE MULBERRY TREE^ 

Did you hear of the curate who mounted his mare, 

And merrily trotted along to the fair ? 

Of creature more tractable none ever heard. 

In the height of her speed she would stop at a word ; 

1 Imitated from the Fabliau Du Provoire qtti mengea 
des Mdres, 



IN THE DAYS OF OLD 359 

And again with a word, when the curate said Hey, 
She put forth her mettle, and galloped away. 

As near to the gates of the city he rode. 

While the sun of September all brilliantly glowed. 

The good priest discovered, with eyes of desire, 

A mulberry tree in a hedge of wild briar ; 

On boughs long and lofty, in many a green shoot. 

Hung large, black, and glossy, the beautiful fruit. 

The curate was hungry and thirsty to boot ; 

He shrunk from the thorns, though he longed for the 

fruit ; 
With a word he arrested his courser's keen speed. 
And he stood up erect on the back of his steed ; 
On the saddle he stood, while the creature stood still, 
And he gathered the fruit, till he took his good fill. 

' Sure never ', he thought, ' was a creature so raire. 

So docile, so true, as my excellent mare. 

Lo, here, how I stand ' (and he gazed all around), 

* As safe and as steady as if on the ground. 

Yet how had it been, if some traveller this way. 

Had, dreaming no mischief, but chanced to cry Hey ? * 

He stood with his head in the mulberry tree. 

And he spoke out aloud in his fond reverie : 

At the sound of the word, the good mare made a push, 

And down went the priest in the wild-briair bush. 

He remembered too late, on his thorny green bed, 

Much that well may be thought, cannot wisely be said. 



s/ 



IN THE DAYS OF OLD 

In the days of old. 
Lovers felt true passion. 
Deeming years of sorrow 
By a smile repaid. 



36o BYP AND NOP 

Now the charms of gold, 
Spells of pride and fashion, 
Bid them say good-morrow 
To the best-loved maid. 



Through the forests wild, 
O'er the mountains lonely. 
They were never weary 
Honour to pursue : 
If the damsel smiled 
Once in seven years only. 
All their wanderings dreary 
Ample guerdon knew. 

Now one day's caprice 
Weighs down years of smiling. 
Youthful hearts are rovers. 
Love is bought and sold : 
Fortune's gifts may cease. 
Love is less beguiling ; 
Wiser were the lovers. 
In the days of old. 



BYP AND NOP 

Promotion BY Purchase and by NO Purchase ; 
or a Dialogue between Captain A. and Colonel Q. 

Quoth Bjrp to Nop : ' I made my hop 

By paying for promotion ' : — 
Quoth Nop to Byp : ' I made my skip 

By aid of petticoation.* 



THE LEGEND OF MANOR HALL 361 

Quoth Nop to Byp : * You'll never trip 
Ascending steps of Gold by ' : — 

Quoth Byp to Nop : * You'll never drop 
With such a tail to hold by.' 

[N.B. Byp, for by purchase, and Nop, for no pur- 
chase, are lie common ofi&cial abbreviations in all re- 
turns of promotions, and ring the changes through long 
columns of Parliamentary papers.] 



THE LEGEND OF MANOR HALL 
[Published in 1861 {Bentleys Ballads)] 

Old Farmer Wall, of Manor Hall, 

To market drove his wain : 
Along the road it went well stowed 

With sacks of golden grain. 

His station he took, but in vain did he look 

For a customer all the mom, 
Though the farmers all, save Farmer Wall, 

They sold off all their com. 

Then home he went, sore discontent. 

And many an oath he swore, 
And he kicked up rows with his children and spouse. 

When they met him at the door. 

Next market-day, he drove away 

To the town his loaded wain : ^ 

The farmers all, save Farmer Wall, 
They sold off all their grain. 

No bidder he found, as he stood astound 
At the close of the market-day. 



362 THE LEGEND OF MANOR HALL 

When the market was done, and the chapmenTwere gone, 
Each man his several way. 

He stalked by his load, along the road ; 

His face with wrath was red : 
His arms he tossed, like a goodman crossed 

In seeking his daily bread. 

His face was red, and fierce was his tread. 

And with lusty voice cried he : 
* My com I'll seU to the devil of hell. 

If he'll my chapman be*. 

These words he spoke, just under an oak. 

Seven hundred winters old ; 
And he straight was aware of a man sitting there. 

On the roots and grassy mould. 

The roots rose high, o'er the greensward dry. 

And the grass around was green. 
Save just the space of the stranger's place. 

Where it seemed as fire had been. 

All scorched was the spot, as gypsy pot 

Had swung and bubbled there : 
The grass was marred, the roots were charred, 

And the ivy stems were bare. 

The stranger up sprung : to the farmer he flang 

A loud and friendly hail. 
And he said : ' I see well, thou hast com to sell. 

And I'll buy it on the nail.' 

The twain in a trice agreed on the price ; 

The stranger his earnest paid, 
And with horses and wain, to come for the grain, 

His own appointment made. 



THE LEGEND OF MANOR HALL 363 

The farmer cracked his whip, and tracked 

His way right merrily on : 
He struck up a song, as he trudged along, 

For joy that his job was done. 

His children fair he danced in the air ; 

His heart with joy was big ; 
He kissed his wife ; he seized a knife ; 

He slew a sucking-pig. 

The faggots burned, the porkling turned 

And crackled before the fire ; 
And an odour arose, that was sweet in the nose 

Of a passing ghostly friar. 

He tirled at the pin, he entered in. 

He sate down at the board ; 
The pig he blessed, when he saw it well dressed. 

And the humming ale outpoured. 

The friar laughed, the friar quaffed, 

He chirped like a bird in May ; 
The farmer told, how his corn he had sold. 

As he journeyed home that day. 

The friar he quaffed, but no longer he laughed. 

He changed from red to pale : 
' Oh, hapless elf ! 'tis the fiend himself. 

To whom thou hast made thy sale.' 

The friar he quaffed, he took a deep draught ; 

He crossed himself amain ; 
' Oh, slave of pelf, 'tis the devil himself. 

To whom thou hast sold thy grain ! 

' And, sure as the day, he'll fetch thee away. 
With the com which thou hast sold. 



364 THE LEGEND OF MANOR HALL 

If thoa let hiin pay o'er one tester more 
Than thy settied price in gold '. 

The fetfmer gave vent to a loud lament. 

The wife to a long ootcry ; 
Their relish fcx* pig and fle was flown ; 
The friar alone pieced every bone. 

And drained &e flagon dry. 

The friar was gone : the morning dawn 
Appeared, aild the stranger's wain 

Came to the hoar, with six-horse power. 
To fetch the purchased grain* 

The horses were black : on their dewy track. 
Light steam from the ground up-curled ; 

Long wreaths of smoke from their nostrils broke. 
And thek- tails like torches whirled ! 

More dark and grim, in face and limb. 

Seemed the stranger than before. 
As his empty wain, with steeds thrice twain. 

Drew up to the farmer's door. 

On the stranger's face was a sly grimace. 

As he seized the sacks of grain, 
And one by one, till left were none. 

He tossed them on the wain. 

And slyly he leered, as his hand upreared 

A purse of costly mould, 
Where bright and fresh, through a silver mesh. 

Shone forth the glistering gold. 

The farmer held out his right hand stout. 

And drew it back with dread ; 
For iu fancy he heard each warning word 

The supping friar had said. 



THE LEGEND OF MANOR HALL 365 

;is eye was set on the silver net ; 
His thoughts were in fearful strife ; 
lien, sudden as fate, the glittering bait 
Was snatched by his loving wife. 

nd, swift as thought, the stranger caught 
The farmer his waist around, 
nd at once the twain, and the loaded wain, 
Sank through the rifted ground. 

bie gable-end wall of Manor Hall 
Fell in ruins on the place ; 
tiat stone-heap old the tale has told 
To each succeeding race. 

le wife gave a cry that rent the sky. 

At her goodman's downward flight ; 

at she held the purse fast, and a glance she cast 

To see that all was right. 

was the fiend's full pay for her goodman gray. 
And the gold was good and true ; 
Tiich made her declare that * his dealings were fair. 
To give the devil his due.' 

le wore the black pall for Farmer Wall, 
From her fond embraces riven : 
at she won the vows of a younger spouse. 
With the gold which the fiend had given. 

ow, farmers beware, what oaths you swear. 
When you cannot sell your com ; 
3st to bid and buy, a stranger be nigh. 
With hidden tail and horn. 

nd with good heed, the moral a-read. 
Which is of this tale the pith. 



366 NEWARK ABBEY 

If your com you sell to the fiend of hell. 
You may sell yourself therewith. 

And if by mishap, you fall in the trap, — 
Would you bring the fiend to shame. 

Lest the tempting prize should dazzle her ey« 
Lock up your frugal dame. 



NEWARK ABBEY 

On the Wey, near Chertsey, Surrey 

[Written in 1842 : with a reminiscence of Augi 
1807 ; Published in Frazer in i860] 

I GAZE where August's sunbeam falls 
Along these grey and lonely walls. 
Till in its light absorbed appears 
The lapse of five-and-thirty years. 

If change there be, I trace it not 
In* all this consecrated spot : 
No new imprint of Ruin's march 
On roofless wall and frameless arch : 
The woods, the hills, the fields, the stream. 
Are basking in the selfsame beam : 
The fall, that turns the unseen mill 
As then it murmured, murmurs stilL 
It seems as if in one were cast 
The present and the imaged past ; 
Spanning, as with a bridge sublime. 
That fearful lapse of human time ; 
That gulf, unfathomably spread 
Between the living and the dead. 

For all too well my spirit feels 
The only change this scene reveals. 



FLORENCE AND BLANCHFLOR 3$? 



FLORENCE AND BLANCHFLOR 1 

Florence and Blanchflor, loveliest maids, 

Within a summer grove. 
Amid the flower-enamelled shades 

Together talked of love. 

A clerk sweet Blanchflor' s heart had gained ; 

Fair Florence loved a knight : 
And each with ardent voice maintained, 

She loved the worthiest wight. 

Sweet Blanchflor praised her scholar dear, 

As courteous, kind, and true ; 
Fair Florence said her chevalier 

Could every foe subdue. 

And Florence scorned the bookworm vain. 
Who sword nor spear could raise ; 

And Blanchflor scorned the unlettered brain 
Could sing to no lady's praise. 

From dearest love, the maidens bright 

To deadly hatred fell ; 
Each turned to shun the other's sight. 

And neither said farewell. 

The king of birds, who held his court 

Within that flowery grove. 
Sang loudly : * 'Twill be rare disport 

To judge this suit of love.' 

Before him came the maidens bright. 
With all his birds around, 

1 Imitated from the FabUau De Florance et de Blanche 
'lor, alias Jugement d' Amour. 



368 A WHITEBAIT DINNER A T LOVEGROVE 
A WHITEBAIT DINNER AT LOVEGROVE'S 

AT BLACKWALL, JULY, 1 85 1 

KOMOS *ixeTO#Aros 

'B.ficda. fUp trp&jrap rifiap, is ijiKiOv KaradCpra, 
Qpri irep Oepip-Q, 6t€ fiaiyero Xeipios doTTjp, 
Tlpbs "MiXavos Tei'xous, Tafiiaas a^cuai jraf) ^^otj, 
AfafKuriy * AXtrtxpfXoio, rpaire^as ed aropiaavros, 
Aaivi'/i^voi Xycrroi/j dXdj txBvs Koi iroTafioTo, 
HipKas re, rpLyXas re, Kal ^TxAuas (rdXapds re, 
Kal \€Vk6p diXeapf ipareivTJs dcurbs dyaXJuia' 
Tots r' iiri, efdara woXXA KpicjVy irldp r* A(£0oio, 
'OpTvyas efs re riXos, KpvardXXovs r* dyXaoxdpirovs* 
ULyovrii r' dtvov, XafiircUyvioi tv tpipov dypol, 
*H "Pt^pov aK&jreXoi, ij vf}<r(av dla. Madeipa, 
*H)it05 5' -fjiXios Karidv, Kal iwl Kvi<f>as rfXQe, 
Ai^ t6t€ y* dvardvres, 6aot, dvardficvai dwdfuada., 
^TreLaavTis re "M-apdirxoivov Bpofilip re Kal *Epvf, 
OtKade UfuvoL, fidya clsaye^ifiaafiev Aarv, 
AL<f>pois dTfio<l>6poi(n, aidr/pcl-Q re ;feXet;^<^. 

Sedebamus quidem per totum diem, usque ad solei 

occidentem, 
Tempestate utique aestiva, quum furebat Canicu 

Stella, 
Apud Nigrum Murum, Thamesae ad ipsas ripas, 
^dibus Nemoramantis, mensas qui bene instravera 
Epulantes optimos maris pisces et fluminis, 
Percusque, mullosque, atque anguillas, salarasque, 
Et albam escam, jucundae dapis summum decus : 
His et insuper, fercula multa camium et pinguedine 

cervi, 
Cotumices et in fine, glaciesque eximiis-frugibi] 

inclytas : 
Bibentesque vinum, Champaegnii quod tulenint agri, 
Vel Rheni scopuli, vel insularum divina, Madeira. 



IN THE DAYS OF OLD 359 

And again with a word, when the curate said Hey, 
She put forth her mettle, and galloped away. 

As near to the gates of the city he rode. 

While the sun of September all brilliantly glowed. 

The good priest discovered, with eyes of desire, 

A mulberry tree in a hedge of wild briar ; 

On boughs long and lofty, in many a green shoot. 

Hung large, black, and glossy, the beautiful fruit. 

The curate was hungry and thirsty to boot ; 

He shrunk from the thorns, though he longed for the 

fruit ; 
With a word he arrested his courser's keen speed. 
And he stood up erect on the back of his steed ; 
On the saddle he stood, while the creature stood still, 
And he gathered the fruit, till he took his good fill. 

* Sure never ', he thought, ' was a creature so rare. 

So docile, so true, as my excellent mare. 

Lo, here, how I stand ' (and he gazed all around), 

' As safe and as steady as if on the ground. 

Yet how had it been, if some traveller this way. 

Had, dreaming no mischief, but chanced to cry Hey ? * 

He stood with his head in the mulberry tree. 

And he spoke out aloud in his fond reverie : 

At the sound of the word, the good mare made a push, 

And down went the priest in the wild-briar bush. 

He remembered too late, on his thorny green bed. 

Much that well may be thought, cannot wisely be said. 



n/' 



IN THE DAYS OF OLD 

In the days of old. 
Lovers felt true passion. 
Deeming years of sorrow 
By a smile repaid. 



370 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

So twine round the heart, in the light of life's mominj 
Love's coils of green promise and bright purp 
bloom : 

The noontide goes by, and the colours adorning. 
Its unfulfilled dreamings, are wrapt up in gloom. 

But press the fresh flower, while its charms are y« 
glowing, 

Its colour and form through long years will remain 
And treasured in memory, thus love is still showing 

The outlines of hope, which else blossomed in vain. 



FROM GRYLL GRANGE, i860 
THE DEATH OF PHILEMON 1 



Closed was Philemon's hundredth year : 
The theatre was thronged to hear 

His last completed play : 
In the mid scene, a sudden rain 
Dispersed the crowd — to meet again 

On the succeeding day. 

He sought his home, and slept, and dreamed. 
Nine maidens through the door, it seemed. 

Passed to the public street. 
He asked them * Why they left his home '. 
They said * A guest will hither come 

We must not stay to meet '. 

He called his boy with morning light. 
Told him the vision of the night, 

And bade his play be brought. 

Suidas, sub voce ^iX'/ifiofv, — Apuleius, Florid., 16, 



THE DEATH OF PHILEMON 371 

His finished page again he scanned, 
Resting his head upon his hand. 
Absorbed in studious thought. 

He knew not what the dream foreshowed : 
That nought divine may hold abode 

Where death's dark shade is felt : 
And therefore were the Muses nine 
Leaving the old poetic shrine, 

Where they so long had dwelt. 

II 

The theatre was thronged once more, 
More thickly than the day before. 

To hear the half-heard song. 
The day wore on. Impatience came. 
They called upon Philemon's name. 

With murmurs loud and long. 

Some sought at length his studious cell, 
And to the stage returned, to tell 

What thousands strove to ask. 
* The poet we have been to seek 
Sate with his hand upon* his cheek 

As pondering o'er his task. 

' We spoke. He made us no reply. 
We reverentially drew nigh, 

And twice our errand told. 
He answered not. We drew more near. 
The awful mystery then was clear : 

We found him stifiE and cold. 

' Struck by so fair a death, we stood 
Awhile in sad admiring mood : 
Then hastened back, to say 



372 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

That he, the praised and loved of all. 
Is deaf for ever to your call : 
That on this self-same day, 

' When here presented should have been 
The close of this fictitious scene. 

His life's true scene was o'er : 
We seemed, in solemn silence awed, 
To hear the " Farewell and applaud ", 

Which he may speak no more. 

* Of tears the rain gave prophecy : 
The nuptial dance of comedy 

Yields to the funeral train. 
Assemble where his pyre must burn : 
Honour his ashes in their urn : 
And on another day return 

To hear his songs again '. 

THE DAPPLED PALFREY i 

' My traitorous uncle has wooed for himself : 
Her father has sold her for land and for pelf : 
My steed, for whose equal the world they might search, 
In mockery they borrow to bear her to church. 

* Oh I is there no path through the forest so green. 
Where thou and I only, my palfrey, have been ? 

We traversed it oft, when I rode to her bower 
To tell my love tale through the rift of the tower. 

* Thou know'st not my words, but thy instinct is good : 
By the road to the church lies the]path through the wood: 
Thy instinct is good, and her love is as true : 

Thou wilt see thy way homeward : dear palfrey, adieu '. 

1 Founded on Le Vair Palefroi : among the Fabliaux 
published by Barbazon. 



LOVE AND AGE 373 

They feasted full late and full early they rose, 
And churchward they rode more than half in a doze : 
The steed m an instant broke off from the throng, 
And pierced the green path, which he bounded along. 

In vain was pursuit, though some followed pell-mell : 
Through bramble and thicket they floundered and fell. 
On the backs of their coursers some dozed as before, 
And missed not the bride till they reached the church 
door. 

The knight from his keep on tl^e forest-bound gazed : 
The drawbridge was down, the portcullis was raised : 
And true to his hope came the palfrey amain, 
With his only loved lady, who checked not the rein. 

The drawbridge went up : the portcullis went down : 
The chaplain was ready with bell, book, and gown : 
The wreck of the bride-train arrived at the gate. 
The bride showed the ring, and they muttered * Too 
late ! ' 

' Not too late for a feast, though too late for a fray ; 
What's done can't be undone : make peace while you 

may * : 
So spake the young knight, and the old ones complied ; 
And quaffed a deep health to the bridegroom and bride. 



-7 LOVE AND AGE 

I PLAYED with you 'mid cowslips blowing, 
When I was six and you were four ; 
When garlands weaving, flower-balls throwing. 
Were pleasures soon to please no more. 



374 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

Through groves and meads, o'er grass and heather, 
With little playmates, to and fro. 
We wandered hand in hand together ; 
But that was sixty years ago. 

You grew a lovely roseate maiden. 

And still our early love was strong : 

Still with no care our days were laden, 

They glided joyously along ; 

And I did love you very dearly, 

How dearly words want power to show ; 

I thought your heart was touched as nearly ; 

But that was fifty years ago. 

Then other lovers came around you, 

Your beauty grew from year to year. 

And many a splendid circle found you 

The centre of its glittering sphere. 

I saw you then, first vows forsaking, 

On rank and wealth your hand bestow ; 

Oh, then I thought my heart was breaking — 

But that was forty years ago. 

And J lived on, to wed another ; 
No cause she gave me to repine ; 
And when I heard you were a mother, 
I did not wish the children mine. 
My own young flock, in fair progression 
Made up a pleasant Christmas row : 
My joy in them was past expression — 
But that was thirty years ago. 

You grew a matron, plump and comely. 
You dwelt in fashion's brightest blaze ; 
My earthly lot was far more homely ; 
But I too had my festal days. 



A NEW ORDER OF CHIVALRY 375 

No merrier eyes have ever glistened 

Around the hearthstone's wintry glow. 

Than when my youngest child was christened— 

But that was twenty years ago. 

Time passed. My eldest girl was married, 
And I am now a grandsire grey ; 
One pet of four years old I've carried 
Among the wild-flowered meads to play. 
In our old fields of childish pleasure. 
Where now, as then, the cowsHps blow, 
She fills her basket's ample measure — 
And that is not ten years ago. 

But though first love's impassioned blindness 

Has passed away in colder Ught, 

I still have thought of you with kindness. 

And shall do, till our last good-night. 

The ever-rolling silent hours 

Will bring a time we shall not know. 

When our young days of gathering flowers 

Will be an hundred years ago. 



A NEW ORDER OF CHIVALRY 



Sir Moses, Sir Aaron, Sir Jamramajee, 

Two stock- jobbing Jews, and a shroffing Parsee, 

Have girt on the armour of old Chivalrie, 

And, instead of the Red Cross, have hoisted Balls Three. 

Now fancy our Sovereign, so gracious and bland. 
With the sword of Saint George in her royal right hand. 
Instructing this trio of marvellous Knights 
Injthe mystical meanings of Chivalry's rites. 



376 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

* You have come from the bath, all in milk-white array, 
To show you have washed worldly feelings away, 
And, pure as your vestments from secular stain. 
Renounce sordid passions and seekings for gain. 

* This scarf of deep red o'er your vestments I throw, 
In token, that down them your life-blood shall flow, 
Ere Chivalry's honour, or Christendom's faith. 
Shall meet through your failure, or peril or scaith. 

* These slippers of silk, of the colour of earth, 

Are in sign of remembrance of whence you had birth : 
That from earth you have sprung, and to earth you 

return, 
But stand for the faith, life immortal to earn. 

* This blow of the sword on your shoulder-blade true 
Is the mandate of homage, where homage is due. 
And the sign that your swords from the scabbard shall 

fly 
When " St George and the Right " is the rallying cry. 

* This belt of white silk, which no speck has defaced. 
Is the sign of a bosom with purity graced. 

And binds you to prove, whatsoever betides. 
Of damsels distressed the friends, champions, and 
guides. 

* These spurs of pure gold are the symbols which say, 
As your steeds obey them, you the Church shall obey. 
And speed at her bidding, through country and town, 
To strike, with your falchions, her enemies down.' 



Now fancy these Knights, when the speech they have 

heard. 
As they stand, scarfed, shoed, shoulder-dubbed, belted 

and spurred, 



A NEW ORDER OF CHIVALRY ^ 377 

With the cross-handled sword duly sheathed on the 

thigh. 
Thus simply and candidly making reply : 

' By your Majesty's grace we have risen up Knights, 
But we feel little relish for frays and for fights : 
There are heroes enough, full of spirit and fire, 
Always ready to shoot and be shot at for hire. 

* True with bulls and with bears we have battled our 

cause ; 
And the bulls have no horns, and the bears have no 

paws ; 
And the mightiest blow which we ever have struck 
Has achieved but the glory of laming a duck ^. 

* With two nations in arms, friends impartial to both, 
To raise each a loan we shall be nothing loth ; 

We will lend them the pay, to fit men for the fray ; 
But shall keep ourselves carefully out of the way. 

^ In Stock Exchange slang. Bulls are speculators 
for a rise. Bears for a fall. A lame duck is a man who 
cannot pay his differences, and is said to waddle off. 
The patriotism of the money-market is well touched 
by Ponsard, in his comedy La Bourse, act iv., scene 3 : 



Quand nous sommes vainqueurs, dire qu'on a baiss6 I 
Si nous 6tions battus, on aurait done hauss6 ? 

DELATOUR 

On a craint qu'un succes, si brillant pour la France, 
De la paix qu'on revait n'^loignat I'esp^rance. 



Cette Bourse, morbleu ! n'a done rien dans le coeur I 
Ventre affam6 n'a point d'oreilles . . . pour I'honneur I 
Aussi je ne veux plus jouer — qu'apres ma noce — 
£t j 'attends Waterloo pour me mettre ^ la hausse. 



378 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

' We have small taste for championing maids in distress: 
For State we care little : for Church we care less : 
To Premium and Bonus our homage we plight : 
" Percentage ! " we cry : and " A fig for the right I " 

* *Twixt Saint George and the Dragon we settle it thus : 
Which has scrip above par is the Hero for us : 
For a turn in the market, the Dragon's red gorge 
Shall have our free welcome to swallow Saint George*. 

Now, God save our Queen, and if aught should occur 

To peril the crown or the safety of her, 

God send that the leader, who faces the foe. 

May have more of King Richard than Moses and Co. 



FROM ORLANDO INNAMORATA 

With earnest wish to pass the enchanted gate, 
Orlando to the fount again advanced. 
And found Morgana, all with joy elate. 
Dancing around, and singing as she danced. 
As lightly moved and twirled the lovely Fate ^ 
As to the breeze the lightest foliage glanced, 

^ I have translated Fata, Fate. It is usually trans 
lated Fairy. But the idea differs essentially from oui 
of a fairy. Amongst other things there is no Fato, r 
Oberon to the Titania. It does not, indeed, correspor 
with our usual idea of Fate, but it is more easily d 
tinguished as a class ; for our old acquaintanc 
the Fates, are an inseparable three. The Italian F 
is independent of her sisters. They are enchantress 
but they differ from other enchantresses in being 
mortal. They are beautiful, too, and their beaut 
immortal : always in Bojardo. He would not J 
turned Alcina into an old woman, as Ariosto 
which I must always consider a dreadful blemis 
the many charms of the Orlando Furioso, 



ORLANDO INNAMORATO 379 

"With looks alternate to the earth and sky, 
She thus gave out her words of witchery : 

* Let him who seeks unbounded wealth to hold, 
Or joy, or honour, or terrestrial state, 
Seize with his hands this lock of purest gold. 
That crowns my brow, and blest shall be his fate. 
!But when time serves, behoves him to be bold, 
^or even a moment's pause interpolate : 
The chance, once lost, he never finds again : 
1 turn, and leave him to lament in vain'. 

Thus sang the lovely Fate in bowery shade 
Circling in joy around the crystal fount ; 
IBut when within the solitary glade 
Olittered the armour of the approaching Count, 
She sprang upon her feet, as one dismayed, 
And took her way towards a lofty mount 
That rose the valley's narrow length to bound : 
Thither Morgana sped along the ground. 

3ojardo, Orlando Innamorato, 1. ii. c. 9. Ed. di Vinegia, 

So spake Repentance. With the speed of fire 
Orlando followed where the enchantress fled, 
Rending and scattering tree and bush and brier. 
And leaving wide the vestige of his tread. 

^ In the last stanza of this translation, the seventh 
line is the essence of the stanza immediately follow- 
ing ; the eighth is from a passage several stanzas 
forward, after Orlando has obtained the key, which 
was the object of his search. 

Che mal se trova alcun sotto la Luna, 
Ch' adopri ben la chiave di Fortuna. 
The first two books of Bojardo's poem were pub- 
lished in i486. The first complete edition was pub- 
lished in 1495. The Venetian edition of 1544, from. 



370 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

So twine round the heart, in the light of life's morning, 
Love's coils of green promise and bright purple 
bloom : 

The noontide goes by, and the colours adorning. 
Its unfulfilled dreamings, are wrapt up in gloom. 

But press the fresh flower, while its charms are yet 
glowing, 

Its colour and form through long years will remain 
And treasured in memory, thus love is still showing 

The outlines of hope, which else blossomed in vain. 



FROM GRYLL GRANGE, i860 
THE DEATH OF PHILEMON 1 



Closed was Philemon's hundredth year : 
The theatre was thronged to hear 

His last completed play : 
In the mid scene, a sudden rain 
Dispersed the crowd — to meet again 

On the succeeding day. 

He sought his home, and slept, and dreamed. 
Nine maidens through the door, it seemed. 

Passed to the public street. 
He asked them ' Why they left his home '. 
They said ' A guest will hither come 

We must not stay to meet '. 



He called his boy with morning light. 
Told him the vision of the night, 

And bade his play be brought. 



I 



l^uidas, sub voce ^CMifibtv, — Apuleius, Florid., 16. 



THE DEATH OF PHILEMON 371 

His finished page again he scanned, 
Resting his head upon his hand. 
Absorbed in studious thought. 

He knew not what the dream foreshowed : 
That nought divine may hold abode 

Where death's dark shade is felt : 
And therefore were the Muses nine 
Leaving the old poetic shrine, 

Where they so long had dwelt. 



The theatre was thronged once more. 
More thickly than the day before. 

To hear the half-heard song. 
The day wore on. Impatience came. 
They called upon Philemon's name, 

With murmurs loud and long. 

Some sought at length his studious cell, 
And to the stage returned, to tell 

What thousands strove to ask. 
' The poet we have been to seek 
Sate with his hand upon' his cheek 

As pondering o'er his task. 

' We spoke. He made us no reply. 
We reverentially drew nigh, 

And twice our errand told. 
He answered not. We drew more near. 
The awful mystery then was clear : 

We found him stiff and cold. 

* Struck by so fair a death, we stood 
Awhile in sad admiring mood : 
Then hastened back, to say 



372 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

That he, the praised and loved of all. 
Is deaf for ever to your call : 
That on this self-same day, 

' When here presented should have been 
The close of this fictitious scene, 

His life's true scene was o'er : 
We seemed, in solemn silence awed, 
To hear the " Farewell and applaud ", 

Which he may speak no more. 

* Of tears the rain gave prophecy : 
The nuptial dance of comedy 

Yields to the funeral train. 
Assemble where his pyre must burn : 
Honour his ashes in their urn : 
And on another day return 

To hear his songs again '. 

THE DAPPLED PALFREY i 

' My traitorous uncle has wooed for himself : 
Her father has sold her for land and for pelf : 
My steed, for whose equal the world they might search, 
In mockery they borrow to bear her to church. 

' Oh 1 is there no path through the forest so green, 
Where thou and I only, my palfrey, have been ? 
We traversed it oft, when I rode to her bower 
To tell my love tale through the rift of the tower. 

' Thou know'st not my words, but thy instinct is good : 
By the road to the church lies the j)ath through the wood: 
Thy instinct is good, and her love is as true : 
Thou wilt see thy way homeward : dear palfrey, adieu '. 

1 Founded on Le Vair Palefroi : among the Fabliaux 
published by Barbazon. 



THE SPIRIT RAPPERS 383 

For the daughter of the Sun 

On thy form we gaze appalled. 
Circe : Gryllus, too, your summons called. 
The Three : Him of yore thy powerful spell 

Doomed in swinish shape to dwell : 

Yet such life he reckoned then 

Happier than the life of men. 

Now, when carefully he ponders 

All our scientific wonders. 

Steam-driven myriads, all in motion. 

On the land and on the ocean, 

Going, for the sake of going, 

Wheresoever waves are flowing. 

Wheresoever winds are blowing ; 

Converse through the sea transmitted. 

Swift as ever thought had flitted ; 

All the glories of our time, 

Past the praise of loftiest rhyme ; 

Will he, seeing these, indeed, 

Still retain his ancient creed. 

Ranking, in his mental plan. 

Life of beast o'er life of man ? 
Circe : Speak, Gryllus. 
Gryllus : It is early yet to judge : 

But all the novelties I yet have seen 

Seem changes for the worse. 
The Three : If we could show him 

Our triumphs in succession, one by one, 

'T would surely change his judgment : and herein 

How might'st thou aid us, Circe I 
Circe : I will do so : 

And calling down, like Socrates, of yore. 

The clouds to aid us, they shall shadow forth 

In bright succession, all that they behold. 

From air, on earth and sea. I wave my wand : 

And lo 1 they come, even as they came in Athens, 

Shining like virgins of ethereal life. 



374 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

Through groves and meads, o'er grass and heather. 
With little playmates, to and fro. 
We wandered hand in hand together ; 
But that was sixty years ago. 

You grew a lovely roseate maiden, 

And still our early love was strong : 

Still with no care our days were laden. 

They glided joyously along ; 

And I did love you very dearly. 

How dearly words want power to show ; 

I thought your heart was touched as nearly ; 

But that was fifty years ago. 

Then other lovers came around you, 

Your beauty grew from year to year. 

And many a splendid circle found you 

The centre of its glittering sphere. 

I saw you then, first vows forsaking, 

On rank and wealth your hand bestow ; 

Oh, then I thought my heart was breaking — 

But that was forty years ago. 

And I lived on, to wed another ; 
No cause she gave me to repine ; 
And when I heard you were a mother, 
I did not wish the children mine. 
My own young flock, in fair progression 
Made up a pleasant Christmas row : 
My joy in them was past expression — 
But that was thirty years ago. 

You grew a matron, plump and comely, 
You dwelt in fashion's brightest blaze ; 
My earthly lot was far more homely ; 
But I too had my festal days. 



THE SPIRIT RAPPERS 3«S 

As before the wolf the flocks, 

As before the hounds the fox ; 

As before the cat the mouse, 

As the rat from falling house ; 

As the fiend before the spell 

Of holy water, book, and bell ; 

As the ghost from dawnmg day — 

So has fled, in gaunt dismay, 

This septemvirate of quacks 

From the shadowy attacks \ 

Of Coeur-de-Lion's battle-axe. 



Could he in corporeal might, 

Plain to feeling as to sight. 

Rise again to solar light. 

How his arm would put to flight 

All the forms of Stygian night 

That round us rise in grim array. 

Darkening the meridian day ; 

Bigotry, whose chief employ 

Is embittering earthly joy ; 

Chaos, throned in pedant state. 

Teaching echo how to prate ; 

And * Ignorance, with looks profound *, 

Not ' with eye that loves the ground '• 

But stalking wide, with lofty crest, 

In science's pretentious vest. 



And now, great masters pf the realms of shade. 
To end the task which called us down from air. 

We shall present, in pictured show arrayed. 
Of this your modem world the triumphs rare. 

That Gryllus's benighted spirit 

May wake to your transcendant merit, 

2B 



376 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

* You have come from the bath, all in milk-white array, 
To show you have washed worldly feelings away, 
And, pure as your vestments from secular stain. 
Renounce sordid passions and seekings for gain. 

* This scarf of deep red o'er your vestments I throw. 
In token, that down them your life-blood shall flow. 
Ere Chivalry's honour, or Christendom's faith. 
Shall meet through your failure, or peril or scaith. 

* These slippers of silk, of the colour of earth. 

Are in sign of remembrance of whence you had birth : 
That from earth you have sprung, and to earth you 

return. 
But stand for the faith, life immortal to earn. 

* This blow of the sword on your shoulder-blade true 
Is the mandate of homage, where homage is due. 
And the sign that your swords from the scabbard shall 

fly 
When " St George and the Right " is the rallying cry. 

* This belt of white silk, which no speck has defaced. 
Is the sign of a bosom with purity graced. 

And binds you to prove, whatsoever betides. 
Of damsels distressed the friends, champions, and 
guides. 

* These spurs of pure gold are the symbols which say. 
As your steeds obey them, you the Church shall obey, 
And speed at her bidding, through country and town. 
To strike, with your falchions, her enemies down.' 



Now fancy these Knights, when the speech they have 

heard. 
As they stand, scarfed, shoed, shoulder-dubbed, belted 

and spurred. 



A NEW ORDER OF CHIVALRY ^ 377 

With the cross-handled sword duly sheathed on the 

thigh, 
Thus simply and candidly making reply : 

By your Majesty's grace we have risen up Knights, 
But we feel little relish for frays and for fights : 
There are heroes enough, full of spirit and fire, 
Always ready to shoot and be shot at for hire. 

True with bulls and with bears we have battled our 

cause ; 
A.nd the bulls have no horns, and the bears have no 

paws ; 
A.nd the mightiest blow which we ever have struck 
Has achieved but the glory of laming a duck ^. 

With two nations in arms, friends impartial to both. 
To raise each a loan we shall be nothing loth ; 
We will lend them the pay, to fit men for the fray ; 
But shall keep ourselves carefully out of the way. 

^ In Stock Exchange slang, Bulls are speculators 
tor a rise. Bears for a fall. A lame duck is a man who 
cannot pay his differences, and is said to waddle off. 
The patriotism of the money-market is well touched 
by Ponsard, in his comedy La Bourse, act iv., scene 3 : 



Quand nous sommes vainqueurs, dire qu'on a baiss6 I 
Si nous 6tions battus, on aurait done hauss6 ? 

DELATOUR 

On a craint qu'un succes, si brillant pour la France, 
De la paix qu'on revait n'eloignat I'esp^rance. 

ALFRED 

Cette Bourse, morbleu I n'a done rien dans le coeur I 
Ventre affam6 n'a point d'oreilles . . . pour I'honneur I 
Aussi je ne veux plus jouer — qu'apres ma noce — 
£t j'attends Waterloo pour me mettre k la hausse. 



378 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

* We have small taste for championing maids in distress: 
For State we care little : for Church we care less : 
To Premium and Bonus our homage we plight : 
" Percentage ! " we cry : and " A fig for the right 1 '* 

' 'Twixt Saint George and the Dragon we settle it thus : 
Which has scrip above par is the Hero for us : 
For a turn in the market, the Dragon's red gorge 
Shall have our free welcome to swallow Saint George*. 

Now, God save our Queen, and if aught should occur 

To peril the crown or the safety of her, 

God send that the leader, who faces the foe. 

May have more of King Richard than Moses and Co. 



FROM ORLANDO INNAMORATA 

With earnest wish to pass the enchanted gate, 
Orlando to the fount again advanced. 
And found Morgana, all with joy elate, 
Dancing around, and singing as she danced. 
As lightly moved and twirled the lovely Fate ^ 
As to the breeze the lightest foliage glanced, 

^ I have translated Fata, Fate. It is usually trans- 
lated Fairy. But the idea differs essentially from oun 
of a fairy. Amongst other things there is no Fato, no 
Oberon to the Titania. It does not, indeed, correspond 
with our usual idea of Fate, but it is more easily dis- 
tinguished as a class ; for our old acquaintances, 
the Fates, are an inseparable three. The Italian Fato 
is independent of her sisters. They are enchantresses ; 
but they differ from other enchantresses in being im- 
mortal. They are beautiful, too, and their beauty is 
immortal : always in Bo jar do. He would not have 
turned Alcina into an old woman, as Ariosto did; 
which I must always consider a dreadful blemish on 
the many charms of the Orlando Furioso, 



ORLANDO INNAMORATO 379 

1th looks alternate to the earth and sky, 
le thus gave out her words of witchery : 

LrCt him who seeks unbounded wealth to hold, 
r joy, or honour, or terrestrial state, 
jize with his hands this lock of purest gold, 
tiat crowns my brow, and blest shall be his fate, 
ut when time serves, behoves him to be bold, 
or even a moment's pause interpolate : 
tie chance, once lost, he never finds again : 
turn, and leave him to lament in vain*. 

tius sang the lovely Fate in bowery shade 

xcling in joy around the crystal fount ; 

ut when within the solitary glade 

littered the armour of the approaching Count, 

le sprang upon her feet, as one dismayed, 

nd took her way towards a lofty mount 

hat rose the vaUey*s narrow length to bound : 

hither Morgana sped along the ground. 

ojardo, Orlando Innamorato, 1. ii. c. 9. Ed. di Vinegia, 

1544^. 
So spake Repentance. With the speed of fire 
rlando followed where the enchantress fled, 
lending and scattering tree and bush and brier, 
nd leaving wide the vestige of his tread. 

^ In the last stanza of this translation, the seventh 
ne is the essence of the stanza immediately follow- 
ig ; the eighth is from a passage several stanzas 
jrward, after Orlando has obtained the key, which 
ras the object of his search. 

Che mal se trova alcun sotto la Luna, 
Ch' adopri ben la chiave di Fortuna. 
The first two books of Bojardo's poem were pub- 
shed in i486. The first complete edition was pub- 
shed in 1495. The Venetian edition of 1544, from 



iSo 



FROM GR^ 



Nearer he drew, with feet that could not tire. 
And strong in hope to seize her as she sped* 
How vain the hope I Her form he seemed to clasp, 
But soon as seized, she vaBished from his grasp. 

How many times he laid his eager hand 
On her bright form, or on her vesture fair ; 
But her white robes* and their verraiUon band, 
Deceived his touch, and passed away like air. 



which I have cited this passage, and the preceding 
one in chapter xx. is the fifteenth and last complett 
Italian edition. The original work was superseded 
by the Rifmciam&nti of Berni and Domenichi. ^t 
Paniz^i has rendered a great ser\dce to literature in 
reprinting the original. He collated all accessible 
editions. Verum opere in tongo fas est ohtepete som- 
ntimK He took for his standard, as I think imfa^ 
hinately, the Milanese edition 1539. With all tbe 
care he bestowed on his task, he overlooked one fearful 
perversion in the concluding stanza, which 
editions but the Milanese reads thus : 

Mentre ch* io canto, ahime Dio Tedentore, 
Veggio r Italia tutta a fiamma e a foco. 
Per questi GaUi. che con gran furore 
Vengon per disertar non so che loco. 
Per6 vi lascio in questo vano a more 
Di Fiordespina ardente a poco a poco : 
Un' altra hata, se mi fia concesso. 
Racconterovi il ttitto per expresso. 

Even while I sing, ah me* redeeming Heaven I 
I see all Italy in fire and flame, 
Raised by these Gauls, who, by great fury dri%*eD. 
Come with destruction for thetr end and aim. 
The maiden's heart, by vainest passion riven. 
Not now the rudely-broken song may claim ; 
Some future day, if Fate auspicious prove, 
Shall end the tale of Fiord as pma's love. 

t [Horace, A rx Pii£ti£A, L ifloi 



I 



THE SPIRIT RAPPERS ' 381 

>ut once, as with a half-turned glance she scanned 
[er foe — Heaven's will and happy chance were there — 
'o breath for pausing might the time allow — 
[e. seized the golden forelock of her brow. 

Then passed the gloom and tempest from the sky ; 
he air at once grew calm and all serene ; 
nd where rude thorns had clothed the mountain high, 
/"as spread a plain, all flowers and vernal green, 
.epentance ceased her scourge. Still standing nigh, 
^ith placid looks, in her but rarely seen, • 
le said : ' Beware how yet the prize you lose ; 
he key of fortune few can wisely use.' 

THE SPIRIT RAPPERS 

Circe : Wake, Gryllus, and arise in human form. 
Gryllus : I have slept soundly, and had pleasant dreams. 
Circe : I, too, have soundly slept. Divine how long. 
Gryllus : Why, judging by the sun, some fourteen hours. 
Circe : Three thousand years. 

Gryllus : That is a nap indeed, 

ut this is not your garden, nor your palace. 
Qiere are we now ? 

Circe : Three thousand years ago, 

his land was forest, and a bright pure river 
an through it to and from the ocean stream. 
ow, through a wilderness of human forms, 
nd human dwellings, a polluted flood 
oUs up and down, charged with all earthly poisons, 
oisoning the air in turn. 
Gryllus : I see vast masses 

f strange unnatural things. 
Circe : Houses, and ships, 

nd boats, and chimneys vomiting black smoke, 
orses, and carriages of every form, 
nd restless bipeds, rushing here and there 
or profit or for pleasure, as they phrase it. 



382 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

Gryllus : Oh, Jupiter and Bacchus ! what a crowd, 
Flitting, like shadows without mind or purpose. 
Such as Ulysses saw in Erebus. 
But wherefore are we here ? 

Circe : There have arisen 

Some mighty masters of the invisible world. 
And these have summoned us. 

Gryllus : With what design ? 

Circe : That they themselves must tell. Behold 
they come. 
Carrying a mystic table, around which 
They work their magic spells. Stand by, and mark. 

Three spirit rappers appeared, carrying a table, which 
they placed on one side of the stage : 

1. Carefully the table place, 

Let our gifted brother trace 

A ring around the enchanted space. 

2. Let him tow'rd the table point 

With his first forefinger joint. 
And ^th mesmerised beginning 
Set the sentient oak-slab spinning. 

3. Now it spins around, around, 

Sending forth a murmuring sound, 

By the initiate understood 

As of spirits in the wood. 
All: Once more Circe we invoke. 
Girce : Here : not bound in ribs of oak. 

Nor, from wooden disk revolving, 

In strange sounds strange riddles solving, 

But in native form appearing, 

Plain to sight, as clear to hearing. 
The Three : Thee with wonder we behold. 

By thy hair of burning gold, 

By thy face with radiance bright. 

By thine eyes of beaming light, 

We confess thee, mighty one. 



THE SPIRIT RAPPERS 383 

For the daughter of the Sun 

On thy form we gaze appalled. 
ce : Gryllus, too, your summons called. 
? Three : Him of yore thy powerful spell 

Doomed in swinish shape to dwell : 

Yet such life he reckoned then 

Happier than the life of men. 

Now, when carefully he ponders 

All our scientific wonders. 

Steam-driven myriads, all in motion. 

On the land and on the ocean. 

Going, for the sake of going, 

Wheresoever waves are flowing, 

Wheresoever winds are blowing ; 

Converse through the sea transmitted, 

Swift as ever thought had flitted ; 

All the glories of our time, 

Past the praise of loftiest rhyme ; 

Will he, seeing these, indeed, 

Still retain his ancient creed. 

Ranking, in his mental plan. 

Life of beast o'er life of man ? 
ce : Speak, Gryllus. 
/llus : It is early yet to judge : 

But all the novelties I yet have seen 

Seem changes for the worse. 
? Three : If we could show him 

Our triumphs in succession, one by one, 

'T would surely change his judgment : and herein 

How might* st thou aid us, Circe ! 
ce : I will do so : 

And calling down, like Socrates, of yore. 

The clouds to aid us, they shall shadow forth 

In bright succession, all that they behold. 

From air, on earth and sea. I wave my wand : 

And lo ! they come, even as they came in Athens, 

Shining like virgins of ethereal life. 



384 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

CHORUS OF CLOUDS 1 
I 
Clouds ever-flowing, conspicuously soaring. 

From loud-rolling Ocean, whose stream 2 gave us 
birth. 
To heights, whence we look over torrents down-pouring 
To tiie deep quiet vales of the fruit-giving earth,— 
As the broad eye of -^ther, unwearied in brightness, 

Dissolve our mist-veil in glittering rays. 
Our forms we reveal from its vapoury lightness. 
In semblance immortal, with far-seeing gaze. 

II 

Shower-beaxing Virgins, we seek not the regions 

Whence Pallas, the Muses, and Bacchus have fled, 
But the city, where Commerce embodies her legions, 

And Mammon exalts his omnipotent head. 
All joys of thought, feeling, and taste are before us. 

Wherever the beams of his favour are warm : 
Though transient full oft as the veil of our chorus. 

Now golden with glory, now passing in storm. 

CHORUS 
I 
As before the pike will fly 
Dace and roach and such small fry ; 
As the leaf before the gale. 
As the chaff beneath the flail, 

^ The first stanza is pretty closely adapted from the 
strophe of Aristophanes : dhaoi Ne^i^Xat ^. The second 
is only a distant miitation of the antistrophe : trapShoi 
6fi^po<p6poi ^. 

^ 'In Homer, and all the older poets, the ocean is a 
river surrounding the earth, and the seas are inlets' 
from it. 

[» JVudes, 1. a7S.] [* Nuies, 1. 299.] 



THE SPIRIT RAPPERS 38S 

As before the wolf the flocks, 
As before the hounds the fox ; 
As before the cat the mouse, 
As the rat from falling house ; 
As the fiend before the spell 
Of holy water, book, and bell ; 
As the ghost from dawnmg day — 
So has fled, in gaunt dismay, 
This septemvirate of quacks 
From the shadowy attacks 
Of Coeur-de-Lion's battle-axe. 



Could he in corporeal might, 

Plain to feeling as to sight. 

Rise again to solar light. 

How his arm would put to flight 

All the forms of Stygian night 

That round us rise in grim array, 

Darkening the meridian day ; 

Bigotry, whose chief employ 

Is embittering earthly joy ; 

Chaos, throned in pedant state, 

Teaching echo how to prate ; 

And ' Ignorance, with looks profound *, 

Not ' with eye that loves the ground '• 

But stalking wide, with lofty crest, 

In science's pretentious vest. 



d now, great masters of the realms of shade. 

To end the task which called us down from air, 

J shall present, in pictured show arrayed, 

Df this your modem world the triumphs rare, 

at Gryllus's benighted spirit 

y wake to your ^janscendant merit, 



386 FROM GRYLL CRANGB 

And, with profoundest admiration thrilled. 
He may with wilHng mind assume his place j 

In your steam-nursed, steam-borne, steam-killed, { 

And gas-enlightened race. 

I 
Circe : Speak, Gryllus, what you see. i 

Gryllus : I see the ocean j 

And o'er its face ships passing wide and far ; 
Some with expanded ssols before the breeze. 
And some witii neither sails nor oars, impelled 
By some invisible power against the wind. 
Scattering the spray before them. But of many 
One is on fire, and one has struck on rocks 
And melted in the waves Uke fallen snow. 
Two crash together in the middle sea. 
And go to pieces on the instant, leaving 
No soul to tell the tale, and one is hurled 
In fragments to the sky, strewing the deep 
With death and wreck. I had rather Uve with Circe 
Even as I was, than flit about the world 
In those enchanted ships, which some Alastor 
Must have devised as traps for mortal ruin. 
Circe : Look yet again. 

Gryllus : Now the whole scene is changed. 

I see long chains of strange machines on wheels. 
With one in front of each, puffing white smoke 
From a black hollow column. Fast and far ' 

They speed, like yellow leaves before the gale. 
When Autumn winds are strongest. Tl^ough their 

windows 
I judge them thronged with people ; but distinctly ., 
. Their speed forbids my seeing. 

Spirit-rapper : This is one 

Of the great glories of our modern time, 
' Men are become as birds ', and skim like swallows 
The surface of the world. 
Gryllus : For what good end ? 



THE SPIRIT RAPPERS 3^7 

Spirit-rapper : The end is in itself — ^the end of 
skimming 
The surface of the world. 

Gryllus : If that be aU, 

I had rather sit in peace in my old home : 
But while I look, two of them meet and clash. 
And pile their way with ruin. One is rolled 
Down a steep bank ; one through a broken bridge 
Is dashed into a flood. Dead, dying, wounded. 
Are there as in a battlefield. Are these 
Your modern triumphs ? Jove preserve me from them. 
Spirit-rapper : These ills are rare. Millions are 
borne in safety 
Where one incurs mischance. Look yet again. 

Gryllus : I see a mass of light brighter than that 
Which burned in Circe's palace, and beneath it 
A motley crew, dancing to joyous music. 
But from that light explosion comes, and flame ; 
And forth the dancers rush in haste and fear 
From their wide-blazing hall. 

Spirit-rapper : Oh, Circe 1 Circe 1 

Thou shoVst him all the evil of our arts 
In more than just proportion to the good. 
Good without evil is not given to man. 
Jove, from his urns dispensing good and ill, 
Gives all unmixed to some, and good and ill 
Mingled to many — good unmixed to none ^. 

^ This is the true sense of the Homeric passage : 

hoiol ydp re vlSoi KaraKclarai ip Aids oCfdei 

5(ip<av ola dlSwri, Kaxuv irepos 54 r* idup* 

^ fjL^p Kafifd^as 5(^X1 ^^^^ rtpTriKipavvoi, 

dXXore fUv re kolk^ & ye K^perai, AXKore 5' i<r0\<}* 

(fi d4 K€ Twv XvypQv dtpy, Xwprfrbv (BrfKC, 

K<U i KaKi/f poi^fipuffTiS 4irl "xdiva diap fKavvei, 

^oirf 5* oih-e 0€Oi<ri Terifiipoi oUre pporoiffiv, 

— Homer, Iliad, xxiv [527] 



388 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

Our arts are good. The inevitable ill 

That mixes with them, as with all things human. 

Is as a drop of water in a goblet 

Full of old wine. 

Gryllits : More than one drop, I fear. 

And those of bitter water. 

Circe : There is yet 

An ample field of scientific triumph : 
What shall we show him next ? 

Spirit-rapper : Pause we awhile. 

He is not in the mood to feel conviction 
Of our superior greatness. He is all 
For rural comfort and domestic ease, 
But our impulsive days are all for moving : 
Sometimes with some ulterior end, but still 
For moving, moving, always. There is nothing 
Common between us in our points of judgment. 
He takes his stand upon tranquillity. 
We ours upon excitement. There we place 
The being, end, and aim of mortal life. 
The many are with us : some few, perhaps. 
With him. We put the question to the vote 

There are only two distributions : good and ill mixed, 
and unmixed ill. None, as Heyne has observed, receive 
unmixed good. Ex dolio bonorum nemo tneracius 
accipit : hoc memorare omisit. This sense is implied, 
not expressed. Pope missed it in his otherwise beauti- 
ful translation. 

Two urns by Jove's high throne have ever stood. 
The source of evil one, and one of good ; 
From thence the cup of mortal man he fills. 
Blessings to these, to those distributes ills. 
To most he mingles both : the wretch decreed 
To taste the bad, unmixed, is curst indeed ; 
Pursued by wrongs, by meagre famine driven. 
He wanders, outcast both of earth and heaven. — Pope, 



THE SPIRIT RAPPERS 389 

By universal suffrage. Aid us, Circe ! 
On talismanic wings your spells can waft 
The question and reply. Are we not wiser, 
Happier, and better, than the men of old. 
Of Homer's days, of Athens, and of Rome ? 

Voices Without : Ay. No. Ay, ay. No. Ay, ay, 
ay, ay, ay. 
We are the wisest race the earth has known. 
The most advanced in all the arts of life, 
In science and in morals. 

Spirit-rapper : The ays have it. 

What is that wondrous sound, that seems Uke thunder 
Mixed with gigantic laughter ? 

Circe: It is Jupiter — 

Who laughs at your presumption ; half in anger. 
And half in mockery. Now, my worthy masters, 
You must in turn experience in yourselves 
The mighty magic thus far tried on others. 

The table turned slowly, and by degrees went on 
spinning with accelerated speed. The legs assumed 
motion, and it danced off the stage. The arms of the 
chairs put forth hands, and pinched the spirit-rappers, 
who sprang up and ran off, pursued by their chairs. 

Circe : Now, Gryllus, we may seek our ancient home 
In my enchanted isle. 

Gryllus : Not yet, not yet. 

Good signs are toward of a joyous supper. 
Therein the modern world may have its glory, 
And I, like an impartial judge, am ready 
To do it ample justice. But, perhaps. 
As all we hitherto have seen are shadows. 
So too may be the supper. 

Circe : Fear not, Gryllus, 

That you will find a sound reaUty, 
To which the land and air, seas, lakes, and rivers, 



390 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

Have sent their several tributes. Now, kind friends, 
Who with your smiles have graciously rewarded 
Our humble, but most earnest aims to please. 
And with your presence at our festal board 
Will charm the Winter midnight. Music gives 
The signal : Welcome and old wine await you. 

Chorus : Shadows to-night have ofiEered portraits 

true 
Of many follies which the world enthrall. 
* Shadows we are, and shadows we pursue * : 
But, in the banquet's well-illumined hall. 
Realities, delectable to all. 
Invite you now our festal joy to share. 
Could we our Attic prototype recall. 
One compound word should give our bill of fare : 
But where our language fails, our hearts true welcome 

bear. 



THE LEGEND OF SAINT LAURA 

Saint Laura, in her sleep of death. 

Preserves beneath the tomb 
— 'Tis willed where what is willed must be — * 
In incorruptibility 

Her beauty and her bloom. 

So pure her maiden life had been. 

So free from earthly stain, 
'Twas fixed in fate by Heaven's own Queen, 
That till the earth's last closing scene 

She should unchanged remain. 

Within a deep sarcophagus 
Of alabaster sheen, 

* Vuolsi cos\ colii dove si puote 

Ci6 che si vuole, e piu non domandare. — Dante. 



THE LEGEND OF SAINT LAURA 391 

With sculptured lid of roses white. 
She slumbered in unbroken night. 
By mortal eyes unseen. 

Above her marble couch was reared 

A monumental shrine. 
Where cloistered sisters, gathering round. 
Made night and mom the aisle resound 

With choristry divine. 

The abbess died : and in her pride 

Her parting mandate said, 
They should her final rest provide 
The alabaster couch beside. 

Where slept the sainted dead. 

The abbess came of princely race : 

The nuns might not gainsay : 
And sadly passed the timid band, 
To execute the high command 

They dared not disobey. ' 

The monument was opened then : 

It gave to general sight 
The alabaster couch alone : 
But air its lucid substance shone 

With preternatural light. 

They laid the corpse within the shrine : 

They closed its doors again : 
But nameless terror seemed to fall. 
Throughout the livelong night, on all 

Who formed the funeral train. 

Lo 1 on the morrow mom, still closed 

The monument was found : 
But in its robes funereal drest. 
The corpse they had consigned to rest 

Lay on the stony ground. 



392 FROM GRYLL GRANGE 

Fear and amazement seized on all : 

They called on Mary's aid : 
And in the tomb, unclosed again, 
With choral hymn and funeral train. 
The corpse again was laid. 

But with the incorruptible 

Corruption might not rest : 
The lonely chapel's stone-paved floor 
Received the ejected corpse once more. 
In robes funereal drest. 

So was it found when morning beamed : 

In solemn suppliant strain 
The nuns implored all saints in heaven. 
That rest might to the corpse be given. 
Which they entombed again. 

On the third night a watch was kept 

By many a friar and nun : 
Trembling, all knelt in fervent prayer. 
Till on the dreary midnight air 

Rolled the deep bell-toll * One ! ' 

The saint within the opening tomb 

Like marble statue stood : 
All fell to earth in deep dismay : 
And through their ranks she passed away, 
In calm unchanging mood. 

No answering sound her footsteps raised 

Along the stony floor : 
Silent as death, severe as fate, 
She glided through the chapel gate. 

And none beheld her more. 

The alabaster couch was gone : 
The tPml? wa§ void and bare ; 



TO LORD BROUGHTON 393 

For the last time, with hasty rite. 
Even 'mid the terror of the night, 
They laid the abbess there. 

'Tis said the abbess rests not well 

In that sepulchral pile : 
But yearly, when the night comes round 
As dies of ' One ' the bell's deep sound 

She flits along the aisle. 

But whither passed the virgin saint. 

To slumber far away, 
Destined by Mary to endure, 
Unaltered in her semblance pure. 

Until the judgment day ? 

None knew, and none may ever know : 
Angels the secret keep : 
Impenetrable ramparts bound. 

Eternal silence dwells around 
The chamber of her sleep. 

TO LORD BROUGHTON 
IN ANSWER TO BIRTHDAY GREETINGS 

' Old friend, whose rhymes so kindly mix. 
Thoughts grave and gay with seventy-six, 
I hope it may to you be given 
To do the same at seventy-seven ; 
Whence your still living friends may date 
A new good wish for seventy-eight ; 
And thence again extend the Hue, 
Until it passes seventy-nine ; 
And yet again, and yet again, 
While health and cheerfulness remain. 
Long be they yours, for, blessed with these. 
Life's latest years have power to please, 
And round them spread the genial blow 
Which $UQ$et Qa$t9 on Alpine ^npw, 



394 MIDNIGHT 



CASTLES IN THE AIR 

[Date unknown] 

My thoughts by night are often filled 

With visions false as fair : 
For in the past alone I build 

My castles in the air. 

I dwell not now on what may be : 
Night shadows o'er the scene : 

But still my fancy wanders free 

Through that which might have been. 



MIDNIGHT 

[No date ] 

Oh, clear are thy waters, thou beautiful stream ! 

And sweet is the sound of thy flowing ; 
And bright are thy banks in the silver moonbeam. 

While the zephyrs of midnight are blowing. 
The hawthorn is blooming thy channel along. 

And breezes are waving the willow, 
And no sound of life but the nightingale's song 

Floats o'er thy murmuring billow. 

Oh, sweet scene of solitude I dearer to me 

Than the city's fantastical splendour ! 
From the haunts of the crowd I have hastened to thee. 

Nor sigh for joys I surrender. 
From the noise of the throng, from the mirth of the 
dance, 

What solace can misery borrow ? 
Can riot the care-wounded bosom entrance. 

Or still the pulsation of sorrow ? 



TIME 395 

TIME 

[Date unknown] 

Passan vostri trionfi e vostre pompc ; 

Passan le signorie. passano i regni. 

Cose '1 tempo trionia i nomi e'l mondo — Petrarca. 

Whence is the stream of Time ? What source 

supplies 
Its everlasting flow ? What gifted hand 
Shall raise the veil by dark Oblivion spread. 
And trace it to its spring ? What searching eye 
Shall pierce the 'mists that veil its onward course. 
And read the future destiny of man ? 
The past is dimly seen : the coming hour 
Is dark, inscrutable to human sight : 
The present is our own ; but while we speak. 
We cease from its possession, and resign 
The stage we tread on, to another race, 
As vain, and gay, and mortal as ourselves. 
And why should man be vain ? He breathes to-day. 
To-morrow he is not : the laboured stone 
Preserves awhile the name of him that was : 
Time strikes the marble column to the ground, 
And sinks in dust the sculptured monument. 
Yet man is vain, and with exulting thought, 
Rears the proud dome and spacious colonnade. 
Plants the wide forest, bids the garden bloom 
Where frowned the desert, excavates the earth, 
And, gathering up the treasures of her springs, 
Rolls the full stream through flow'r-enamelled banks. 
Where once the heather struck its roots in sand. 
With joy he hails, with transitory joy. 
His new creations : his insatiate pride 
Exults in splendour which he calls his own. 
\s if possessions could be called our own, 
^hich, in a point of ever-varying time, 



396 TIM^ 

By force, by fraud, by purchase, or by death. 
Will change their lords, and pass to other hands. 
Then since to none perpetual use is given. 
And heir to heir, as wave to wave, succeeds, 
How vain the pride of wealth I how vain the boast 
Of fields, plantations, parks, and palaces. 
If death invades alike, with ruthless arm. 
The peasant's cottage, and the regal tower, 
Unawed by pomp, inflexible by gold ! 

Death comes to all. His cold and sapless hand 
Waves o'er the world, and beckons us away. 
Who shall resist the summons ? Child of earth ! 
While yet the blood' runs dancing through thy veins, 
Impelled by joy and youth's meridian heat, 
'Twere wise at times, to change the crowded haunts 
Of human splendour, for the woodland realms 
Of soUtude, and mark, with heedful ear. 
The hollow voice of the autumnal wind. 
That warns thee of thy own mortality. 

Death comes to all. Not earth's collected wealth. 
Golcondian diamonds and Peruvian gold. 
Can gain from him the respite of an hour. 
He wrests his treasure from the miser's grasp. 
Dims the pale rose on beauty's fading cheel^. 
Tears the proud diadem from kingly brows. 
And breaks the warrior's adamantine shield. 

Man yields to death ; and man's sublimest works 
Must yield at length to Time. The proud one thinks 
Of life's uncertain tenure, and laments 
His transitory greatness. While he boasts 
His noble blood, from ancient kings derived. 
And views with careless and disdainful eye 
The humble and the poor, he shrinks in vain 
From anxious thoughts, that teach his sickening heart 
That he is like the beings he contemns, 



CHORAL ODE * 397 

The creature of an hour ; that when a few, 
Few years have past, that little spot of earth. 
That dark and narrow bed, which all must press. 
Will level all distinction. Then he bids 
The marble structure rise, to guard awhile, 
A little while, his fading memory. 
Thou lord of thousands I Time is lord of thee : 
Thy wealth, thy glory, and thy name are his. 
And may protract the blow, but cannot bar 
His certain course, nor shield his destined prey. 

The wind and rain assail thy sumptuous domes : 
They sink, and are forgotten. All that is 
Must one day cease to be. The chiefs and kings, 
That awe the nations with their pomp and power, 
Shall slumber with the chiefs and kings of old : 
And Time shall leave no monumental stone. 
To tell the spot of their eternal rest. 



CHORAL ODE 

[Date unknown] 

"OffTts Tov TrXiopoi fUpovi. 
Sophocles, CEdipus at Colonus [121 1]». 

Alas I that thirst of wealth and power 
Should pass the bounds by wisdom laid. 
And shun contentment's mountain-bower. 
To chase a false and fleeting sha^e 1 
The torrid orb of summer shrouds 
Its head in darker, stormier clouds 
Than quenched its vernal glow ; 
And streams, that meet the expanding sea, 
Resign the peace and purity 
That marked their infant flow. 



398 ' CHORAL ODE • 

Go seek what joys, serene and deep. 

The paths of wealth and power supply I 

The eyes no balmy slumbers steep ; 

The lips own no satiety. 

Till, where unpitying Pluto dwells, 

And where the turbid Styx impels 

Its circling waves along. 

The pale ghost treads the flowerless shore. 

And hears the unblest sisters pour 

Their loveless, lyreless song. 

Man's happiest lot is not to be : 

And, when we tread life's thorny steep. 

Most blest are they, who, earliest free. 

Descend to death's eternal sleep. 

From wisdom far, and peace, and truth. 

Imprudence leads the steps of youth. 

Where ceaseless evils spring : 

Toil, frantic passion, deadly strife, 

Revenge, and murder's secret knife, 

And envy's scorpion sting. 

Age comes, unloved, unsocial age. 

Exposed to fate's severest shock. 

As to the ocean-tempest's rage 

The bleak and billow-beaten rock. 

There ills on ills commingling press. 

Morose, unjoying helplessness. 

And pain, and slow disease : 

As, when the storm of winter raves. 

The wild winds rush from all their caves, 

To swell the northern seas. 



A GOODLYE BALLADE OF LITTLE JOHN 399 

OH, NOSE OF WAX I TRUE SYMBOL OF THE 
MIND 

[Date unknown] 

Oh, nose of wax I true symbol of. the mind 

Which fate and fortune mould in all mankind 

(Even as the hand moulds thee) to foul or fair — 

Thee good John Bull for his device shall bear, 

While Sawney Scot the ductile mass shall mould. 

Bestowing paper and receiving gold. 

Thy image shrined in studious state severe, 

Shall grace the pile which Brougham and Campbell rear: 

Thy name to those scholastic bowers shall pass 

And rival Oxford's ancient nose of brass. 



A GOODLYE BALLADE OF LITTLE JOHN 

SHEWINGE HOW HE RAYSED A DWELL, AND COULDK 
NOTTE LAYE HYMME 

[Date unknown] 
FYTTE THE 15*IRST 

Little John he sat in a lonely hall. 

Mid spoils of the Church of old : 
And he saw a shadowing on the wall, 

That made his blood run cold. 

He saw the dawn of a coming day. 
Dim-glimmering through the gloom : 

He saw the coronet pass away 

From the ancient halls where it then held sway. 
And the mitre it's place resume. 

He saw, the while, through the holy pile 

The incense vapour spread ; 
He saw the poor, at the Abbey door. 

Receiving their daily bread. 



400 A GOODLYE BALLADE OF LITTLE JOHN 

He saw on the walls the shadows cast 

Of sacred sisters three : 
He blessed them not, as they flitted past : 
But above them all he hated the last. 

For that was Charitie. 

Now down from the shelf a book he bore. 

And characters he drew, 
And a spell he muttered o'er and o'er. 
Till before him cleft was the marble floor. 

And a murky flend came through. 

* Now take thee a torch in thy red right hand ' 

Little John to the fiend he saith : 
' And let it serve as a signal brand. 
To rouse the rabble, throughout the land. 

Against the Catholic Faith '. 

Straight through the porch, with brandished torch, 

The fiend went joyously out : 
And a posse of parsons, established by law. 
Sprang up when the lurid flame they saw. 

To head the rabble rout. 

And braw Scots Presbyters nimbly sped 
In the train of the muckle black de'il ; 

And, as the wild infection spread. 

The Protestant hydra's every head. 
Sent forth a yell of zeal. 

And pell-mell went all forms of dissent. 

Each beating its scriptural drum ; 
Wesleyans and Whitfieldites followed as friends, 
And whatever in onion larian ends, 

Et omne quod exit in hum. 

And in bonfires burned ten thousand Guys, 
With caricatures of the pious and wise, 
'Mid shouts of goblin glee. 



A GOODLYE BALLADE OF LITTLE JOHN 491 

And such a clamour rent the skies, 
That all buried lunatics seemed to rise, 
And hold a Jubilee. 



FYTTE THE SECOND 

The devil gave the rabble scope 
And they left him not in the lurch : 

But they went beyond the summoner's hope ; 

For they quickly got tired of bawling * No Pope I ' 
And bellowed ' No State Church I ' 

* Ho ! * quoth Little John, * this must not be : 

The devil leads all amiss : 
He works for himself, and not for me : 
And straightway back I'll bid him flee 

To the bottomless abyss '. 

Again he took down his book from the wall. 

And pondered words of might : 
He muttered a speech, and he scribbled a scrawl : 
But the only answer to his call 
Was a glimpse, at the uttermost end of the hall. 

Of the devil taking a sight. 

And louder and louder grew the clang 

As the rabble raged without : 
The door was beaten with many a bang ; 
And the vaulted roof re-echoing rang 

To the tumult and the shout. 

The fiendish shade on the wall portrayed. 

Threw somersaults fast and free, 
And flourished his tail like a brandished flail. 
As busy as if it were blowing a gale. 

And his task were on the sea. 



403 FAREWELL TO MEIRION 

And up he toss't his huge pitchfork. 

As visioned shrines uprose ; 
And right and left he went to work. 
Till full over Durham, and Oxford, and York, 

He stood with a menacing pose. 

The rabble roar was hushed awhile. 
As the hurricane rests in its sweep ; 

And all throughout the ample pile 
Reigned silence dread and deep. 

Then a thrilling voice cried : * Little John, 

A little spell will do, 
When there is mischief to be done. 
To raise me up and set me on ; 
For I, of my own free will, am won 

To carry such spiritings through. 

* But when I am riding the tempest's wing. 

And towers and spires have blazed, 
'Tis no small conjurer's art to sing. 
Or say, a spell to check the swing 
Of the demons he has raised '. 

FAREWELL TO MEIRION 

[No date] 

Meirion, farewell I thy sylvan shades. 
Thy mossy rocks and bright cascades. 
Thy tangled glens and dingles wild. 
Might well detain the Muses' child. 
But can the son of science find, 
In thy fair realm, one kindred mind. 
One soul sublime, by feeling taught, 
To wake the genuine pulse of thought. 
One heart by nature formed to prove 
True friendship and unvarying love ? 



OH BLEST ARE THEY AND THEY ALONE 403 

No — Bacchus reels through all thy fields, 
Her brand fanatic frenzy wields, 
And ignorance with falsehood dwells, 
And folly shakes her jingling bells. 
Meirion, farewell — and ne'er again 
My steps shall press thy mountain reign. 
Nor long on thee my memory rest, 
Fair as thou art — unloved, unblessed. 
And ne'er may parting stranger's hand 
Wave a fond blessing on thy land. 
Long as disgusted virtue flies 
From folly, drunkenness, and lies : 
Long as insulted science shuns 
The steps of thy degraded sons ; 
Long as the northern tempest roars 
Round their inhospitable doors. 



OH BLEST ARE THEY, AND THEY ALONE 

[No date] 

Oh blest are they, and they alone. 
To fame, to wealth, to power unknown ; 
Whose lives in one perpetual tenor glide. 
Nor feel one influence of malignant fate : 
For when the gods on mortals frown 
They pour no single vengeance down. 
But scatter ruin vast and wide 

On all the race they hate. 
Then ill on ill succeeding still. 
With unrelaxing fury pours. 
As wave on wave the breakers rave 
Tumultuous on the wreck-strown shorcss. 

When northern tempests sweep 

The wild and wintry deep, 
Uprending from its depths the sable sand. 



404 ON CALLERS 

Which blackening eddies whirl 

And crested surges hurl 
A^;ainst the rocky bulwarks of the land. 
While to the tumult, deepening round. 

The repercussive caves resound. 

In solitary pride, 

By Dirce's murmuring side. 
The giant oak has stretched its ample shade. 

And waved its tresses of imperial might ; 
Now low in dust its blackened boughs are laid 

Its dark root withers in the depth of night. 
Nor hoarded gold, nor pomp of martial power 

Can check necessity's supreme control, 
That cleaves unerringly the rock-built tower. 
And whelms the flying bark where shoreless 
oceans roll. 



ON CALLERS 

Instead of sitting wrapped up in flannel 

With rheumatism in every joint, 
I wish I was in the EngUsh Channel, 

Cruising round the Lizard Point, 
Steering south with the wind before me, 

I should not care whether smooth or rough, 
For then no visitors would call to bore me, 

Of whose * good-mornings ' I have had enough. 



PRtNTED BY M'LAREN AND CO., LTD., EDINBURGH 



3 2044 021 111 083 ■ this book is 

i^ui K.t.ixjm-HXLU lu irfE LIBRARY ON 
0R BEFORE THE LAST DATE STAMPED 

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