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Thou chronicle of crimes ! I read no more
For I am one who willingly would love
His fellow kind. () gentle Poesy,
Receive me from the court's polluted scenes,
From dungeon horrors, from the fields of war,
Receive me to your haunts,—that I may nurse
My nature's better feelings, for my soul
Sickens at man's misdeeds !
I spake-when lo!
She stood before me in her majesty,
Clio, the strong-eyed Muse. Upon her brow
Sate a calm anger. Go-young man, she cried,
Sigh among myrtle bowers, and let thy soul
Effuse itself in strains so sorrowful sweet,
That love-sick Maids may weep upon thy page
In most delicious sorrow. Oh shame ! shame!
Was it for this I waken'd thy young mind ?
Was it for this I made thy swelling heart
Throb at the deeds of Greece, and thy boy's eye
So kindle when that glorious Spartan died?
Boy! boy ! deceive me not! what if the tale
Of murder'd millions strike a chilling pang,
What if Tiberius in his island stews,
And Philip at his beads, alike inspire
Strong anger and contempt; hast thou not risen
With nobler feelings ? with a deeper love
For Freedom ? Yes—most righteously thy soul
Loathes the black history of human crimes
And human misery ! let that spirit fill
Thy song, and it shall teach thee boy ! to raise
Strains such as Cato might have deign'd to hear,
As Sidney in his hall of bliss may love.
A TALE, in the Manner of OSSIAN.
“ Rise ye warriors ! lo the dewdrops
“ Glitter on the Thistle's beard, “ See the gold-tress'd Son of Morning
“ Rising o'er the heights of Sweard.
ye warriors ! danger threatens ; “ Short the respite sleep affords" Quit, oh quit your mossy couches,
“ Hasten to the strife of swords.
Rushing like a mountain torrent,
“ Lo! the Mercians press around ; “ Grasp your javelins, strike your bucklers,
“ Soon the foe shall bite the ground.
“ Ere the Star of Evening glimmer,
Proudly great shall Reafan* soar; “ Ceas'd the conflict, Hela's Altar
- Shall be red with Saxon gore.”
Hush'd was the song of Bards. From tent to tent,
Like the hoarse voice of far-off thunder, spread
An hollow murmur. Instant at the call
Up rose the Danish Host, and round their Chief,
Gorthmund, the Son of black-hair'd Ceolwolf,
Impatient throng'd. Ten thousand brazen helms
Gave their majestic plumage to the gale,
The lances glitter'd like the starry train,
That silent thro' the dark expanse of night
In pathless orbits wheel. Amidst the Van,
Gorthmund the mighty Ruler, foremost march'd;
Reafan, or the Magic Banner, contained the figure of a Raven. Several miraculous Powers of Divination were attributed to this Bird; if it clapped its wings before à battle, the Danes imagined success would attend their arms; but if it hung down its head, it was a sure presage of their defeat.
The Symbol of Woden, the Saxon God, was a Dragon.
Tall as an oak in Arden's forest, slow
As are the minutes of impatience, firm
As Inistores proud rocks. In plates of steel
His limbs were cased ; a towering helm conceal'd
His jetty ringlets ; on his visage sate
A frown of horror; his emblazon'd shield
Bore Hela’s sacred symbol ; from his loins,
By golden chains attach'd, a falchion hung,
Clotted with hostile gore. The next in rank
Was eagle-eyed Ceaulin, he, whose Sire,
High-sould Lachollan, put to coward flight
Maric's vast Host, what time the Sun, enthron'd
In noontide splendor, on a sudden veild
His glory in a robe of blood, and shades
Of night hung brooding o'er the deathful plain.
Others there were inferior though in rank,
In valour equal, Centwin of the hill,
Swift as a falling meteor ; Tenyan ;
Ceormund sternly-terrible, who led
A chosen band of archers to the fight;
Delward, the Son of Hubba; and Cathegor
Of the dark Lake; Heroes, whose glorious deeds
Would ask an hundred tongues to celebrate.