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Away the ruthless Dane has torn
Each trace that Time's slow touch had worn;
And long, o'er the neglected stone,
Oblivion's veil its shade has thrown.
The faded tomb, with honour due,
"Tis thine, O Henry, to renew !
Thither, when Conquest has restored
Yon recreant isle, and sheathed the sword;
When Peace with palm has crown'd thy brows;
Haste thee, to pay thy pilgrim-vows :
There, observant of my lore,
The pavement's hallow'd depth explore ;
And thrice a fathom underneath
Dive into the vaults of death.
There shall thine eye, with wild amaze,
On his gigantic stature gaze;
There shalt thou find the monarch laid,
All in warrior-weeds array'd;
Wearing in death his helmet-crown,
Aud weapons huge of old renown.
Martial prince, 'tis thine to save
From dark oblivion Arthur's grave !
So may thy ships securely stem
The western frith; thy diadem
Shine victorious in the van,
Nor heed the slings of Ulster's clan;
Thy Norman pikemen win their way
Up the dun rocks of Harald's bay;
And from the steeps of rough Kildare
Thy prancing hoofs the falcon scare;
So may thy bow's unerring yew
Its shafts in Roderic's heart imbrue.'
Amid the pealing symphony
The spiced goblets mantled high;
With passions new the song impressid
The listening king's impatient breast :
Flash the keen lightnings from his eyes ;
He scorus awhile his bold emprise;
Ev'n now he seems, with eager pace,
The consecrated floor to trace,
And ope, from its tremendous gloom,
The treasure of the wondrous tomb;
Ev'n now he burns in thought to rear,
From its dark bed, the ponderous spear,
Rough with the gore of Pictish kings;
Ev'n now fond hope his fancy wings
To poise the monarch's massy blade,
Of magic-temper'd metal made;
And drag to day the dinted shield
That felt the storm of Camlan's field.
O’er the sepulchre profound,
Ev'n now, with arching sculpturé crown'd,
He plans the chantry's choral shrine,
The daily dirge, and rites divine.
ODE TO FANCY. O PARENT of each lovely Muse ! Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse ; O'er all my artless songs preside ; My footsteps to thy temple guide ; To offer at thy turf-built shrine, In golden cups no costly wine; No murder'd fatling of the flock, But flowers and honey from the rock. O nymph! with loosely-flowing hair, With buskin’d leg, and bosom bare; Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound, Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd; Waving in thy snowy hand An all-commanding magic wand; Of power to bid fresh gardens blow 'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow; Whose rapid wings thy flight convey Through air, and over earth and sea; While the vast, various landscape lies Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes. O lover of the desert, hail ! Say, in what deep and pathless vale, Or on what hoary mountain's side, 'Mid falls of water, you reside; 'Mid broken rocks, a rugged scene, With green and grassy dales between; 'Mid forests dark, of aged oak,* Ne’er echoing with the woodman's stroke;
Where never human art appear'd,
Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cot was reard;
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne;
Tell me the path, sweet wanderer! tell,
To thy unknown sequester'd cell ;
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
And on whose top a bawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest.
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Rapt in some wild, poetic dream ;
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove ;
Till suddenly awaked, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear;'
And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd
By the sweetly-soothing sound !
Me, Goddess, by the right-hand lead,
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy, and white-robed Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court,
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
Where Laughter rose-lipp'd Hebe leads ;
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
Listening to the shepherd's song:
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ.
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy,
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms, and sigh
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels, and the house of woe;
To gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promised bridegroom's urn to seek ;
Or to some abbey's mouldering towers,
Where, to avoid cold wintry showers,
The naked beggar shivering lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tottering wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall.
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire :
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
My big tumultuous bosom beat;
The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear :
• Give me another horse,' I cry,
Lo, the base Gallic squadrons fly.
Whence is this rage ?—what spirit, say,
To battle hurries me away?
'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war ;
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where Tumult and Destruction reign ;
Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terror ks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,