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Big with hosts of mighty name,
Dauntless on his native sands
THE DEATH OF HOEL. from the Welsh of Ancurim, styled The Monarch of the Barfc
Hcjtourished about the time of Taliessin, A.D. 570. This Ode i extracted from the Gododin.
|See Mr. Evan's upeclmeta, pp. 71,73.l
Had I but the torrent's might,
With headlong rage, and wild affright,
Upon Deira's squadrons hurled,
To rush and sweep them from the world 1
Too, too secure in youthful pride,
By them my friend, my Hocl, died,
Great Cian's son; of Madoc old,
He asked no heal» of hoarded gold i
Alone in nature's wealth arrayed,
He asked and had the lovely maid.
To Cattraeth's vale, in glittering row, Twice two hundied warriors go;
, The red Dragon is the dcrlce of Cadwallader, which all Ma dMCrntlama bore on their banners.
Every warrior's manly neck
Performed In the Senate-house, Cambridge, July 1,1769, 9t the installation of hls Grace Aurunus-Henry-Flttroy, Duk» of Gralkm, Chancellor of th* Unlreniqr.
Comus and his midnight erew,
And dreaming sloth of pallid hue, Mad sedition's ery profane, Servitude that hugs her chain, Nor in these conseerated bowers, Let painted flattery bide her serpent-train in
Nor envy base, nor ereeping gain,
From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay;
There sit the sainted sage, the bard divtne,
The few whom genius gave to shine
Through every unborn age and undiscovered clime
Rapt in celestial transport they,
Yet hither oft a glance from high
They send of tender sympathy
To bless the place where on their opening soul
First the genuine ardour stole.
'Twas Milton struck the deep-toned shell
And, as the choral warblings round him swell,
Meek Newton's self bends from his state suhlime.
And nods his hoary head, and Ustens to the rhyma
"Ye brown o'er-arching groves 1
That contemplation loves,
Oft at the blush of dawn
I trod your level lawn,
In cloisters dun, far from the haunt s of folly, With freedom by my side and soft-eyed melancholy."
But hark! the portals sound, in pacing forth,
With solemn steps and slow,
And mitred fathers, in long order go:
"What is grandeur, what b power? Heavier toil, superior pain,
* I: l..-' r. i III who added the Fleur tfe lys of France to the arms of England. He founded Trinity-College.
t Mary lie Valentin; Countess of Pembroke, daughter of Guy de Chatillon, Comte de Sl Paul in France, of whom trmlition «ys that her husband, Audemanle de Valentin, earl of Pembroke, was stain at a tournament on the day of tits nuptials. She* was the foundress of Pembroke-College, or Hall, under the name of Aula Marirc de Valemia.
I Elizabeth de Burg, countess of Clare, was wife of John de Burg, son and heir of the earl of Ulster, and daughter of Gllbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, by Joan of Aeres, daughter of Edward I. hence tho poet gives her the epithet of princely. She founded Clare-hill.
J Margaret of Anjou, wife ofHenry VI. foundnTM of Queen's College. The poet has celebrated her conjugal fidelity in a former ode.
I Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward IV. fhence called the paler Rjee, as beirg of the house of York.) She added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjnu.
t IU-nry VI. asd VIII. the former the founder of King's, the tier the greatest banefactor to Trinity-College.
What the bright reward we gain?
Foremost, and leaning from her golden cloud.
The venerable Margarets see!
"To this thy kindred train and me:
"Lo! Granta waits to lead her blooming band;
Not obvious, not obtrusive, she
No vulgar praise, no venal incense flings,
Nor dares with courtly tongue refined
Profane thy inborn royalty-of mind:
She reveres herself and thee.
With modest pride to grace thy youthful brow
The laureat wreatht that Cecil wore she brings,
And to thy just, thy gentle hand
Submits the fasces of her sway;
While spirits blest above, and men below,
Join with glad voice tho loud symphonioua lay.
"Through the wild waves, as they roar,
* Countessof Richmond and Derhy, tin> mother of Henrj ML foundress of St. John's and Christ's Colleges.
t The Countess was n Beaufort, and married to a Tudor, hence the application of this line to the duke of Graftcn wh*i claims descent from both these familiss.
J Lord treasurer Dnrlelgh was chancellor of the Urtivrnav in the reign of queen Elizabeth.
A LONG STORY.
Mr. Gray's Elegy, previous to lu publication, was handed sbout in MS. and had, amongst other admirers, the lady Cobham, who resided in the mansion-house at Stoke-Poguis. The performance inducing her to wish for the author's acquaintance, lady Schaub and Miss Speed, then at her hotne, undertook to introduce her to if. These two ladies waited upon the author at his aunt's solitary habitation, where he at that time' resided, and not finding him at home, they left a card behind them. Mr. Gray, surprised at such a compliment, returned the visit; and as the beginning of this Intercourse bore some appearance of romance, he gave the humorous and lively aecount ol it which the Long Story contains.
In Britain's isle, no matter where,
The Huntingdons and Hnttons there
To raue the ceilings fretted height,
Rich windows that exclude the light,
Full oft within the spacious walls,
My grave lord-keepert led the brawls:
His bushy l>eard and shoe-strings green,
Moved the stout heart of England's queen,
Though pope and Spaniard could not trouble it.
What, in the very first beginning,
Shame of the versifying tribe!
Can you do nothing but describe?
A house there is (and that's enough)
A brace of warriors,! not in buff,
• The mansion-house at Stoke-Pogels, then In powesslon of Ttenunms Cobham. The style of bullding which we now call queen Elizabeth's, is here admirably deseribed, roth with regard to Its beauties and defects; and the third and fourth Hamas delineate the fantastic manners of her time with •qua! truth and humour. Ths house formerly belonged to the earls of Huntingdon and the family of Hatton.
t Sir Christopher Hatton, promoted by Queen Elizabeth for lis graceful person and fine dancing. Brawls were a sort of « Ikrure-dance then In rogue, and probably deemed as elegant » our modem cotillions, or slill more modern quadrilles.
IThe reader is already apprised who these ladies were; the
The first came cnp-",-p£cfrom France,
Her conquering destiny fulfilling, Whom meaner beauties eye askance,
And vainly ape her art of killing.
The other Amazon kind Heaven
Had armed with, spirit, wit, and satire;
But Cobham had the polish given,
To celebrate her eyes, her air—
Melissa is her nom de guerrei
With bonnet blue and capuchine.
And aprons long, they hid their armour, And veiled their weapons bright and keen
In pity to the country farmer.
Fame in the shape of Mr. P—1,s
Had told that thereabouts there lurked
Who prowled the country far and near,
Dried up the cows and lamed the deer,
My lady heard their joint petition,
Swore by her coronet and ermine, She'd issue out her high commission
To rid the manor of such vermin.
The heroines undertook the task, I
Through lanes unknown, o'er stiles thsy ventured, Rapped at the door, nor stayed to ask,
But bounce into the parlour entered.
The trembling family they daunt,
They flirt, they sing, they laugh, they tattle. Rummage his mother, pinch his aunt,
And up stairs in a whirlwind rattle.
Each hole and cupboard they explore,
two deseriptions are prettily contrasted; and nothing can bt more happily turned than the compliment to lady Cobham la the eighth stanza.
'1 have been told that this gentleman, a neighbour and «qaintance of Mr. Gray's in the country, was much dlsplej#d at the liberty here taken with his name, Jm sorelr vrhhar any great reason.
Run hurry scurry round the floor,
Into the drawers and china pry,
Papers and books, a huge imbroglio t
Under a tea-cup he might lie,
Or ereased like dog's ears in a folio.
On tnc first marehing of the troops,
Conveyed him underneath their hoops
So rumour says, (who will believe ?)
Where safe, and laughing in his sleeve
Short was his joy; he little knew
Out of the window wisk they flew,
The words too eager to unriddle,
Transparent birdlime formed the middle,
Bo cunning was the apparatus,
The powerful pothooks did so move him, That will he nill to the great house
He went as if the devij drove him.
Vet on his way (no sign of grace,
For folks in fear are apt to pray) To Pho3bus he preferred his case,
And begged his aid that dreadful day.
The godhead would have backed his quarrel: But with a blush, on recollection,
Owned that his quiver and his laurel
'Gainst four such eyes were no protection.
The court was sat, the culprit there:
Forth from their gloomy mansions ereeping,
The lady Janes and Jones repair,
Such as in silence of the night
Come (sweep) along some winding entry, ^Styacks has often seen the eight)
Or at the chapeMoor stand sentry;
In peaked hoods and mantle tarnished,
High dames of honour once that garnished
The peeress comes: the audience stare,
She courtesies, as she takes her chair,
• The house keeper.
The bard with many an artful fib
Had in imagination fenced him, Disproved the arguments of Squib,s
And all that Groomt could urge against rum.
But soon his rhetoric forsook him
A sudden fit of ague shook him;
Yet something he was heard to mutter,
(Without design to hurt the butter,
He once or twice had penned a sonnet,
Numbers would give their oaths upon it,
The ghostly prudes, with haggedS face,
My lady rose, and with a grace
She smiled, and bid him come to dinner.ll
'Jesu-Maria! Madam Bridget,
Cried the square hoods, in woful fidget;
"Decorum's turned to mere civility I
Commend me to her affability!
And so God save our noble king,
And guard us from long-winded lubbers,
That to eternity would sing,
The curfew toIlsI? the knell of parting day,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
• The Bteward. t Groom of the chamber.
1A famous highwayman, hanged the week before.
f Hagged, t. e. the face of a witeh or hag. The epithet haggard has been sometLnes mistaken as conveying the same Idea, but it means a very different thing, viz. wild and (irouche, and Is taken from an unreclaimed hawk called a haggard.
I Here the story finishes; the exclamation of the ghosts, which follows, is chnracteristlr of the Spanish manners ol :he age when they are suppoeed to have ti•etl, ami 'he 500 stanzas said to be lost, may be imagined to contain the remnlRdtt of their long-winded expostulation
f squiladi lonumo
Che paia'l giomo pianger, che si mnore,
Hunts Pur gat. 11
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
Save that from yonder ivy-mantlnd tower
Of such as, wandering near her seeret bower,
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
,The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
For them no more the blazing hearth shall bum,
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team atielJ!
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Not grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
Await alike the inevitable hour:
Nor you, ye proud! impute to these the fault,
Where thro' the long drawn aisle and fretted vault,
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery sooth the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Gut knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Chill penury repressed thetr noble rage,
Full i- i- v a gem of purest ray serene
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Some village-Hampdrn, that with dauntless bread The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton, here may reat, Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood
The applause of listening senates to command,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
Their lot forbade; nor circumseribed alone
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
Far from the madding erowd's ignoble strife,*
Along the cool sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.
Yet e'en these bones, from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless scul|<jrr
decked Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Theirname.theieyears,spelt by the unlettered mono,
And many a holy text around she strews,
For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
For thee, who, mindful of the unhonoured dead
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
• This i«n of the elegy diftera from the first copy. Tta following stanza was excluttat with the other alterations: Hark! how the saered calm, that breathes around,
Bids erery fierce tumultuous pawion came,
A grateful earnest of eternal peace.