Page images

Apollo from his fhrine 176

Can no more divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. No nightly trance, or breathed spell Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic cell.

XX. The lonely mountains o'er, 181

And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament; From haunted spring, and dale Edg'd with poplar pale, 185

The parting Genius is with sighing sent; With flow's- in woven tresses torn (mourn.

The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets

XXL * In consecrated earth,

And on the holy hearth, igo

The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight In urns, and altars round, (plaint;

A drear and dying found

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; And the chill marble seems to sweat, 195

While each peculiar Pow'r forgoes his wonted feat.

Peor and Baalim
Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice batter'd God of Palestine;

And And mooned Ashtaroth, 200

Heav'n's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers holy mine; The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn, (mourn In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz

XXIII. And sullen Moloch fled, 205

Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue;
In vain with cymbals ring
They call the grifly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue; 210
The brutish Gods of Nile as fast,
Isis and Orus, and the dog Anubis haste.

Nor is Osiris seen -
In Memphian grove or green,

Trampling theunshowr'd grass withlowings loud: Nor can he be at rest 516

Within his sacred chest,

Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud; In vain with timbrel'd anthems dark The fable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipt ark.

. XXV. He feels fromjuda's land 521

The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;

Nor Nor all the Gods beside, 225

Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine: Our babe to show his Godhead true, Can in his swadling bands controll the damned crew.

So when the fun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red, 230

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to th' infernal jail,

Each fetter'd ghost flips to his several grave, And the yellow-skirted Fayes 235

Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-lov'd

XXVII. (maze.

But fee the Virgin blest
Hath laid her Babe to rest,

Time is our tedious song should here have ending: Heav'n's youngest teemed star 240

Hath fix'd her polisti'd car,

Her fleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending: And all about the courtly stable Bright-harnest Angels sit in order serviceable.



The P A S S I 0 JV.


EREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth,
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring,
And joyous news of heav'nly Infant's birth,
My Muse with Angels did divide to sing;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing, 5

In wintry solstice like the shorten'd light
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-livingnight.

II. For now to sorrow must I tune my song, And set my harp to notes of saddest woe, Which on our dearest Lord did seise ere long, 10 Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so, Which he for us did freely undergo:

Most perfect Hero, try'd in heaviest plight Of labors huge and hard, too hard for human wight!

He sovran priest stooping his regal head, 15

That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshly tabernacle entered,
His starry front low-rooft beneath the skies;
O what a mask was there, what a disguise!

Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, 20 Then lies him meekly down fastby his brethren's side.



These latest scenes confine my roving verse,
To this horizon is my Phœbus bound;
His Godlike acts, and his temptations fierce,
And former sufferings other where are found; 25
Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth found;

Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
Of lute, or viol still, mOre apt for mournful things.

Befriend me Night, best patroness of grief,
Over the pole thy thickest mantle throw, 30

And work my flatter'd fancy to belief,
That Heav'n and Earth are color'd with my woe;
My sorrows are too dark for day to know:

The leaves should all be black whereon I write,
And letters where my tears have wafh'da wannish

VI. (white.
See, fee the chariot, and those rushing wheels, 36
That whirl'd the Prophet up at Chebar flood,
My spirit some transporting Cherub feels,

To bear me where the tow'rs of Salem stood,
Once glorious tow'rs, now funk in guiltless blood;
There doth my foul in holy vision sit 41

In pensive trance, and anguish, and exstatic sit.

VII. *

Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock
That was the casket of Heav'n's richest store,
And here though grief my feeble hands up lock, 45



« PreviousContinue »