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While some on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labors ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty ;
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate? Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies. Thought would destroy their Paradise No more; where ignorance is bliss,
"Tis folly to be wise.
A PINDARIC ODE.
Gay Hope is theirs, by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing, when possest; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sun-shine of the breast; Their buxom health, of rosy hue; Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer of vigor born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day.
And black Misfortune's baleful train. Ah, show them where in ambush stand To seize their prey, the murderous band !
Ah, tell them, they are men!
“Ruin seize thee, ruthless king! Confusion on thy banners wait! Though fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing, They mock the air with idle state. Helm, nor hauberk's* twisted mail, Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail To save thy secret soul from nightly fears, From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!" Such were the sounds, that o'er the crested pride Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay, As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side He wound with toilsome march his long array. Stout Glo'stert stood aghast in speechless trance : To arms! cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quiser
These sha.! the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind; Or pining Love, shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart. Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy. The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow; And keen Remorse, with blood defil'd, And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert cave,
"Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
Modred, whose magic song
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A grisly troop are seen, The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
And slow-consuming Age.
Condemn'd alike to groan ;
The un feeling for his own.
* The hauberk was a texture of steel ringlets, or rings interwoven, forming a coat of mail, that sat close to the body, and adapted itself to every motion.
| Gilbert de Clare, surnamed the Red, Earl of Glouces. ter and Hertford, son-in-law to King Edward.
| Edmond de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore. $ The shores of Caernarvonshire, opposite to the Isle of Anglesea.
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
Revere his consort's* faith, his father'st fame, On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
And spare the meek usurper'st holy head. I see them sit, they linger yet,
Above, below, the roses of snow, Avengers of their native land :
Twin'd with her blushing foe we spread : With me in dreadful harmony they join,
The bristled boar|| in infant gore And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line. Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o'er th'accursed loom, II.
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom. "• Weave the warp, and weave the woof, The winding-sheet of Edward's race :
III. Give ample room, and verge enough
“ • Edward, lo! to sudden fate The characters of Hell to trace. Mark the year, and mark the night,
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.) When Severn shall re-echo with affright
Half of thy heart we consecrate.I
The work is done.)' The shrieks of death, through Berkeley's roofs that The web is wove. ring,*
Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn Shrieks of an agonizing king;
Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn: She-wolf of France,t with unrelenting fangs,
In yon bright track, that fires the western skies,
They melt, they vanish from my eyes. That tears the bowels of thy mangled mate,
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs The scourge of Heaven. What terrors round him Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll ?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight! wait! Amazement in his van, with Flight combin'd;
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul! And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.
No more our long-lost Arthur** we bewail.
All-hail, ye genuine kings;tt Britannia's issue, hail ! Mighty Victor, mighty Lord, Low on his funeral couch he lies !$
“Girt with many a baron bold, No pitying heart, no eye, afford
Sublime their starry fronts they rear; A tear to grace his obsequies.
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old,
In bearded majesty, appear.
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,
What strains of vocal transport round her play ; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm ; Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, 11 hear; Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind's sway,
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay. That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening- Bright Rapture calls, and soaring, as she sings, prey.
Waves in the eye of Heaven her many-color'd
wings. “• Fill high the sparkling bowl, The rich repast prepare : Rest of a crown, he yet may share the feast :
* Margaret of Anjou, a woman of heroic spirit, who Close by the regal chair
struggled hard to save her husband and her crown. · Fell Thirst and Famine scowl A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
† Henry the Fifth. Heard ye the din of battle bray,
| Henry the Sixth, very near being canonized. The Lance to lance, and horse to horse ?
line of Lancaster had no right of inheritance to the Long years of havoc urge their destin'd course, And through the kindred squadrons mow their way. $ The white and red roses, devices of York and Lan. Ye towers of Julius,** London's lasting shame, With many a foul and midnight murther fed,
|| The silver-boar was the badge of Richard the Third ; whence he was usually known in his own time by the
name of The Boar. * Edward the Second, cruelly butchered in Berkeley castle.
| Eleanor of Castile died a few years after the conquest | Isabel of France, Edward the Second's adulterous of Wales. The heroic proof she gave of her affection for
her lord is well known. The monuments of his regret queen.
and sorrow for the loss of her, are still to be seen at 1 Triumphs of Edward the Third in France.
Northampton, Geddington, Waltham, and other places. § Death of that king, abandoned by his children, and even robbed in his last moments by his courtiers and his
** It was the common belief of the Welsh nation, that mistress.
King Arthur was still alive in Fairy-land, and should re. | Edward the Black Prince, dead some time before his
turn again to reign over Britain. father.
# Both Merlin and Taliessin had prophesied, that the 1 Ruinous civil wars of York and Lancaster.
Welsh should regain their sovereignty over this island; ** Henry the Sixth, George Duke of Clarence, Edward which seemed to be accomplished in the house of Tudor. the Finh, Richard Duke of York, &c. believed to be mur. 11 Taliessin, chief of the bards, flourished in the sixth dered secretly in the Tower of London. The oldest part century. His works are still preserved, and his memory of that structure is vulgarly attributed to Julius Cæsar. held in high veneration among his countrymen.
Shafts for shuttles, dipt in gore,
Shoot the trembling cords along; Sword, that once a monarch bore,
Keep the tissue close and strong.
Mista, black terrific maid,
Sangrida, and Hilda, see, Join the wayward work to aid :
'Tis the woof of victory.
“The verse adorn again
Ere the ruddy Sun be set,
Pikes must shiver, javelins sing, Blade with clattering buckler meet,
Hauberk crash, and helmet ring.
(Weave the crimson web of war,
Let us go, and let us fly,
Where they triumph, where they die.
As the paths of Fate we tread,
Wading through th' ensanguin'd field; Gondula, and Geira, spread
O'er the youthful king your shield. We the reins to Slaughter give,
Ours to kill, and ours to spare : Spite of danger he shall live :
(Weave the crimson web of war.)
THE FATAL SISTERS.S
[From the Norse-Tongue.]
IN THE ORCADES OF THORMODUS TORFÆUS; HALFNIR,
1697, FOLIO; AND ALSO IN BARTHOLINUS.
They, whom once the desert-beach
Pent within its bleak domain, Soon their ample sway shall stretch
O'er the plenty of the plain.
Vitt er oprit fyrir valfalli, &c. Now the storm begins to lower,
(Haste, the loom of Hell prepare,) Iron-sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles in the darken'd air.
Low the dauntless Earl is laid,
Gor'd with many a gaping wound Fate demands a nobler head;
Soon a king shall bite the ground
Glittering lances are the loom,
Where the dusky warp we strain, Weaving many a soldier's doom,
Orkney's woe, and Randver's bane.
Long his loss shall Eirin weep,
Ne'er again his likeness see ; Long her strains in sorrow steep,
Strains of immortality!
See the grisly texture grow,
('Tis of human entrails made,) And the weights that play below,
Each a gasping warrior's head.
Horror covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the Sun. Sisters, weave the web of death ;
Sisters, cease, the work is done
Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph sing ! Joy to the victorious bands ;
Triumph to the younger king.
$ The Valkyriur were female divinities, servants of Odin (or Woden) in the Gothic mythology. Their name signifies choosers of the slain. They were mounted on swift horses, with drawn swords in their hands; and in the throng of battle selected such as were destined to slaughter, and conducted them to Valkalla, the hall of Odin, or paradise of the brave; where they attended the banquet, and served the departed heroes with horns of mead and ale.
Mortal, thou that hear'st the tale,
Learn the tenor of our song. Scotland, through each winding vale
Far and wide the notes prolong.
Sisters, hence, with spurs of speed ;
Each her thundering falchion wield Each bestride her sable steed :
Hurry, hurry to the field.
What danger Odin's child await,
Who the author of his fate?
Pr. In Hoder's hand the hero's doom :
His brother sends him to the tomb.
Now my weary lips I close :
Leave me, leave me, to repose. (From the same.)
0. Prophetess, my spell obey :
Once again arise, and say,
Who th' avenger of his guilt,
By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt ?
Pr. In the caverns of the west,
By Odin's fierce embrace comprest,
A wondrous boy shall Rinda bear,
Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,
Nor wash his visage in the stream,
Nor see the Sun's departing beam:
Till he on Hoder's corse shall smile,
Flaming on the funeral pile.
Now my weary lips I close :
Leave me, leave me, to repose.
0. Yet awhile my call obey,
Prophetess, awake, and say,
What virgins these, in speechless woe,
That bend to earth their solemn brow,
That their flaxen tresses tear,
And snowy veils, that float in air.
Tell me whence their sorrows rose :
Then I leave thee to repose.
Pr. Ha! no traveller art thou,
King of Men, I know thee now,
Mightiest of a mighty line.-
0. No boding maid of skill divine
Art thou, nor prophetess of good ;
But mother of the giant-brood !
Pr. Hie thee hence, and boast at home,
That never shall inquirer come
To break my iron-sleep again;
Till Lokt has burst his ten-fold chain.
Has reassum'd her ancient right;
Till wrapp'd in flames, in ruin hurla,
Sinks the fabric of the world.
THE TRIUMPHS OF OWENI
FROM MR. EVANS'S SPECIMENS OF THE WELSH
POETRY; LONDON, 1764, QUARTO.
Owen's praise demands my song,
Owen swift, and Owen strong;
Fairest flower of Roderic's stem,
Gwyneth’sy shield, and Britain's gem.
| Lok is the evil being, who continues in chains till Pain can reach the song of Heaven!
the twilight of the gods approaches, when he shall break Unwilling I my lips unclose :
his bonds; the human race, the stars, and Sun, shall dis. Leave me, leave me, to repose.
appear; the earth sink in the seas, and fire consume the 0. Once again my call obey,
skies: even Odin himself and his kindred deities shall Prophetess, arise, and say
perish. For a further explanation of this mythology, see Mallet's Introduction to the History of Denmark, 1755,
quarto. Niflheimr, the Hell of the Gothic nations, consisted
| Owen succeeded his father Griffin in the principality of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died or of North Wales, A. D. 112. This battle was fought near sickness, old age, or by any other means than in battle: forty years afterwards. over it presided Hela, the goddess of death.
& North Wales.
He nor heaps his brooded stores,
Dauntless on his native sands The dragon-sont of Mona stands ;
In glittering arms and glory drest,
1 The red dragon is the device of Cadwallader, which all his descendants bore on their banners,