Page images
PDF
EPUB

And self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds and despot-sway.
What can he tell who treads thy shore?
No legend of thine olden time,
No theme on which the muse might soar,
High as thine own in days of yore,
When man was worthy of thy clime.
The hearts within thy valleys bred,
The fiery souls that might have led
Thy sons to deeds sublime,
Now crawl from cradle to the grave,
Slaves—nay the bondsmen of a slave,
And callous, save to crime;
Stain'd with each evil that pollutes
Mankind, where least above the brutes ;
Without even savage virtue blest,
Without one free or valiant breast,
Still to the neighbouring ports they waft
Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft,
In this the subtle Greek is found,
For this, and this alone, renown'd.
In vain might Liberty invoke
The spirit to its bondage broke,
Or raise the neck that courts the yoke.

BYRON.

MADNESS
Swell the clarion, sweep the string,
Blow into rage the Muse's fires !

All thy answers, Echo, bring,
Let wood and dale, let rock and valley ring:

'Tis Madness' self inspires.
Hail, awful Madness, hail!
Thy realm extends, thy powers prevail,
Far as the voyager spreads his venturous sail.

Nor best nor wisest are exempt from thee;
Folly-folly's only free.

Hark to the astonish'd ear
The gale conveys a strange tumultuous sound.
They now approach, they now appear,
Frenzy leads her chorus near,
And demons dance around.-
Pride-Ambition idly vain,
Revenge and Malice swell her train,
Devotion warp'd-Affection cross'd-

Hope in disappointment lost-
And injured Merit with a downcast eye
(Hurt by neglect) slow stalking heedless by.

Loud the shouts of Madness rise,
Various voices, various cries,
Mirth unmeaning-causeless moans,

Bursts of laughter-heart-felt groans-
All seem to pierce the skies.-

Rough as the wintry wave that roars
On Thule's desert shores,
Wild raving to th’ unfeeling air,
The fetter'd Maniac foams along

(Rage the burden of his jarring song),. In rage he grinds his teeth, and rends his streaming

hair.
No pleasing memory left-forgotten quite
All former scenes of dear delight;

Connubial love-parental joy-
No sympathies like these his soul employ,-
But all is dark within, all furious black despair.

Not so the lovelorn Maid,
By too much tenderness betray'd ;

Her gentle breast no angry passion fires,
But slighted vows possess, and fainting soft desires.

She yet retains her wonted flame,
All--but in reason, still the same:

Streaming eyes,
Incessant sighs,

Dirn haggard looks, and cloaded o'er with eare,
Point out to Pity's tears the poor distracted fair.
Dead to the world-her fondest wishes crossid,

She mourns herself thus early lost.-
Now, sadly gay, of sorrows past she sings,
Now, pensive, ruminaies unutterable things:

She starts-she flies—who dares so rude
On her sequester'd steps intrude
'T is he-the Momus of the flighty train-

Merry mischief fills his brain.
Blanket-robed, and antic-crown'd,
The mimic monarch skips around;
Big with conceit of dignity he smiles,
And plots his frolics quaint and unsuspected wiles.
Laughter was there but mark that groan,
Drawn from the inmost soul !
Give the knife, demons, or the poison'd bowl,
To finish miseries equal to your own.'-

Who's this wretch, with horror wild ?
--"Tis Devotion's ruin'd child :
Sunk in the emphasis of grief,
Nor can he feel, nor dares he ask relief.-
Thou, fair Religion, wast design'd,
Duteous daughter of the skies,
To warm and cheer the human mind,
To make men happy, good, and wise :
To point where sits, in love array'd,
Attentive to each suppliant call,
The God of universal aid,

The God, the Father of us all!
First shown by thee, thus glow'd the gracious scene,

Till Superstition, fiend of woe,

Bade doubts to rise, and tears to flow, And spread deep shades our view and Heaven Drawn by her pencil the Creator stands (His beams of mercy thrown aside), With thunder arming his uplifted hands, And hurling vengeance wide : Hope, at the frown aghast, yet lingering, flies, And, dash'd on Terror's rocks, Fate's best dependence

between

lies. But ahtoo thick they crowd,—too close they throng,

Objects of pity and affright! Spare farther the descriptive songNature shudders at the sight :

Protract not, curious ears, the mournful tale, But o'er the helpless group, low drop Compassion's veil.

PENROSE.

TRANQUILLITY.
TRANQUILLITY! thou better name
Than all the family of Fame!
Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age
To low intrigue or factious rage:
For oh! dear child of thoughtful Truth,

To thee I gave my early youth,
And left the bark, and bless'd the steadfast shore,
Ere yet the tempest rose, and scared me with its roar

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine,
On him but seldom, power divine,
Thy spirit rests, Satiety
And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee,
Mock the tired worldling. Idle Hope

And dire Remembrance interlope
To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind :
The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind.

But me thy gentle hand will lead
At morning through th' accustom'd mead;

And in the sultry summer's heat
Will build me up a mossy séat!
And when the gust of Autumn crowds

And breaks the busy moonlight clouds,
Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune,
Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding moon.

The feeling heart, the searching soul,
To thee I dedicate the whole!
And while within myself I trace
The greatness of some future race,
Aloof with hermit eye I scan

The present works of present man-
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile,
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile!

COLERIDGE

BETH GELERT.

The story of this ballad is traditionary in a village at the foot of Snowdon, where Llewelyn the Great had a house. The greyhound, named Gelert, was given to him by his father-inlaw, King John, in the year 1205, and the place to this day is called Beth Gelert, or the Grave of Gelert.

THE spearman heard the bugle sound,

And cheerly smiled the morn,
And many a brach and many a hound

Obey'd Llewelyn's horn.
And still he blew a louder blast,

And gave a lustier cheer,
•Come, Gelert, come, wert never last,

Llewelyn's horn to hear.
Oh! where does faithful Gelert roam,

The flower of all his race?
So true, so brave; a lamb at home,

A lion in the chase!'

« PreviousContinue »