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A recreant Harp, that sings of fear And heaviness in Clifford's ear! I said, when evil Men are strong, No life is good, no pleasure long, A weak and cowardly untruth! Our Clifford was a happy Youth, And thankful through a weary time, That brought him up to manhood's prime. — Again he wanders forth at will, And tends a Flock from hill to hill: His garb is humble; ne'er was seen Such garb with such a noble mien; Among the Shepherd-grooms no Mate Hath he, a Child of strength and state! Yet lacks not friends for solemn glee, And a cheerful company, That learned of him submissive ways; And comforted his private days. To his side the Fallow-deer Came, and rested without fear; The Eagle, Lord of land and sea, Stooped down to pay him fealty; And both the undying Fish that swim Through Bowscale-Tarn did wait on him,
The pair were Servants of his eye
In their immortality;
They moved about in open sight,
To and fro, for his delight.
He knew the Rocks which Angels haunt
On the Mountains visitant;
He hath kenned them taking wing s
And the Caves where Faeries sing
He hath entered; and been told
By Voices how Men lived of old.
Among the Heavens his eye can see
Face of thing that is to be;
And, if Men report him right,
He can whisper words of might.
— Now another day is come,
Fitter hope, and nobler doom:
He hath thrown aside his Crook,
And hath buried deep his Book;
Armour rusting in his Halls
On the blood of Clifford calls ;—
"Quell the Scot," exclaims the Lance—
Bear me to the heart of France,
Is the longing of the Shield —
Tell thy name, thou trembling Field?
Field of death, where'er thou be,
Groan thou with our victory!
Happy day, and mighty hour,
When our Shepherd, in his power,
Mailed and horsed, with lance and sword,
To his Ancestors restored,
Like a re-appearing Star,
Like a glory from afar,
First shall head the Flock of War!"
Alas! the fervent Harper did not know
Love had he found in huts where poor Men lie,
In him the savage Virtue of the Race,
Glad were the Vales, and every cottage hearth; The Shepherd Lord was honoured more and more:And, ages after he was laid in earth,"The Good Lord Clifford" was the name he bore.
Yes! full surely 'twas the Echo,
Unsolicited reply To a babbling wanderer sent;Like her ordinary cry, Like — but oh how different!
Hears not also mortal Life?
Have not We too ? — Yes we have