Page images
PDF
EPUB

5. 'Twas then 'great Marlb'rough's mighty soul was

prov'd,
That in the shock of charging hosts unmov’d,
Amidst confusion, horror, and despair,
Examin'd all the dreadful scenes of war;
In peaceful thought the field of death survey'd,
To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid;
Inspir’d repuls’d battalions to engage,
And taugbt the doubtful battle where to rage.
(.) So when an angel, by divine command,
With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
(Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past,)
Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
And pleas'd th’ Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides on the whirlwind, and directs the storm.

6. Rous'd from his trance, he mounts with eyes

aghast,
When o’er the ship, in undulation vast,
A giant surge down rushes from on high,
And fore and aft dissever'd ruins lie;
(.) As when, Britannia's empire to maintain,
Great Hawke descends in thunder on the main,
Around the brazen voice of battle roars,
And fatal lightnings blast the hostile shores;
Beneath the storm their shatter'd navies

groan,
The trembling deep recoils from zone to zone;
Thus the torn vessel felt the enormous stroke,
The beams beneath the thund'ring deluge broke.

7. To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern reply'd. Reign thou in Hell, thy kingdom; let me serve In Heav'n God ever blest and his divine

Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd ; 5 Yet chains in Hell, not realms expect : meanwhile

From me, (return'd as erst thou saidst from flight)
This greeting on thy impious crest receive.

O So say'ing, a noble stroke he lifted high, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell 10 On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight,

Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield,
Such ruin intercept; ten paces huge
He back recoild; the tenth on bended knee

His massy spear upstay'd; as if on earth
15 Winds under ground, or waters forcing way,

Sidelong had push'd a mountain from his seat,
Half sunk with all his pines.

-Now storming fury rose,
And clamour such as heard in Heav'n till now
20 Was never; arms on armour clashing, bray'd

Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss

Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew,
25 And flying, vaulted either host with fire.

So under fiery cope together rush'd
Both battles main, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage; all Heaven

Resounded, and had Earth been then, all Earth 30 Had to her centre shook.

-Long time in even scale-
The battle hung; till Satan, who that day
Prodigious pow'r had shown, and met in arms

No equal, ranging through the dire attack 35 Of fighting Seraphim confus'd, at length

Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and fell’d
Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway,
Brandish'd aloft, the horrid edge came down

Wide wasting ; such destruction to withstand 70 He hasted, and oppos’d the rocky orb

Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield,
A vast circumference. At his approach
The great Archangel from his warlike toil
Surceas'd, and glad, as hoping here to end

40 Intestine war in Heav'n, th' arch-foe subdu'd.

Now wav'd their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields
Blaz’d opposite, while expectation stood

In horror; from each hand with speed retired,
50 Where erst was thickest fight, the angelic throng,

And left large fields, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion ; such as, to set forth
Great things by small, if nature's concord broke,

Among the constellations war were sprung, 55 Two planets rushing from aspect malign

Of fiercest opposition in mid-sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.

Milton. The following examples are selected as a specimen of those passages, which are most favourable to the cultivation of a top to the voice. In pronouncing these, the reader should aim to get up his voice to the highest note on which he can articulate with freedom and distinctness. See remarks page 120. If the student wishes for more examples of this kind, he is referred to EXERCISES [5].

8. Has a wise and good God furnished us with desires which have no correspondent objects, and raised expectations in our breasts, with no other view but to disappoínt them ?--Are we to be for ever in search of happiness, without arriving at it, either in this world or the next?--Are we formed with a passionate longing for immortality, and yet - destined to perish after this short period of existence ?--Are we prompted to the noblest actions, and supported through life, under the severest hardships and most delicate temptations, by the hopes of a reward which is visionary and chimérical, by the expectation of praises, of which it is utterly impossible for us ever to have the least knowledge or enjoyment ?

9. O“Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,
That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance
Thy miscreated front athwart my way
To yonder gates ? through them I mean to pass,

5 That be assured, without leave ask'd of thee :

Retire, or taste thy folly; and learn by proof,
Hell-born, not to contend with spi'rits of Heav'n.”

To whom the goblin full of wrath reply'd ; (“Art thou that traitor Angel, art thou he, 10 Who first broke peace in Heav'n and faith, till then

Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms
Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's sons,
Conjur'd against the High'est, for which both thou

And they, outcast from God, are here condemn'd 15 To waste eternal days in woe and pain ?

And reckon'st thou thyself with spi'rits of Heav'n,
Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn,
Where I reign king, and, to enrage thee more,

Thy king and lord ? Back to thy punishment, 20 False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings,

Lest with a whip of scorpions ! pursue
Thy ling’ring, or with one stroke of this dart,
Strange horrors seize thee, and pangs unfelt before."

[blocks in formation]

The Exercises of the foregoing head were designed to accustom the voice to exertion on the extreme notes of its compass, high and low. The following Exercises under this head are intended to accustom the voice to those sudden transitions which sentiment often requires, not only as to pitch, but also as to quantity.

[blocks in formation]

1 HEARD ye those loud contending waves,

That shook Cecropia's pillar'd state ?
Saw ye the mighty from their graves
Look

up,

and tremble at her fate?
Who shall calm the angry storm?
Who the mighty task perform,

And bid the raging tumult cease ?
See the son of Hermes rise

i

With syren tongue, and speaking eyes,

Hush the noise, and sooth to peace ! 2 Lo! from the regions of the North,

The reddening storm of battle pours ; Rolls along the trembling earth,

Fastens on the Olynthian towers. 3) “Where rests the sword ?—where sleep the

brave?
Awake! Cecropia's ally save

From the fury of the blast;
Burst the storm on Phocis' walls;
Rise ! or Greece for ever falls,

'Up! or Freedom breathes her last !" 4 (.) The jarring States, obsequious now,

View the Patriot's hand on high ; Thunder gathering on his brow,

Lightning flashing from his eye ! 5 Borne by the tide of words along, One voice, one mind, inspire the throng :

(°C) “ To arms ! to arms! to arms !" they cry, “Grasp the shield, and draw the sword, Lead us to Philippi's lord,

Let us conquer him—or die !" 6 (6) Ah Eloquence! thou wast undone ;

Wast from thy native country driven, When Tyranny eclips'd the sun,

And blotted out the stars of heaven,

7 When Liberty from Greece withdrew, And o'er the Adriatic flew,

To where the Tiber pours his urn, She struck the rude Tarpeian rock; Sparks were kindled by the shock Again thy fires began to burn !

« PreviousContinue »