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VIII. — TEMPTATIONS FROM ROMAN REFINEMENTS. WATCH, and be firm! for soul-subduing vice, Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await. Fair houses, baths, and banquets delicate, And temples flashing, bright as polar ice, Their radiance through the woods, may yet suffice To sap your hardy virtue, and abate Your love of Him upon whose forehead sate The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the price Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown, Language, and letters; — these, though fondly viewed As humanizing graces, are but parts And instruments of deadliest servitude!
IX. — DISSENSIONS.
STRUGGLE OF THE BRITONS AGAINST THE BARBARIANS.. RISE! — they have risen: of brave Aneurin ask How they have scourged old foes, perfidious friends: The spirit of Caractacus defends The Patriots, animates their glorious task ; Amazement runs before the towering casque Of Arthur, bearing through the stormy field The Virgin sculptured on his Christian shield: — Stretched in the sunny light of victory bask . The Host that followed Urien as he strode O’er heaps of slain;- from Cambrian wood and moss Druids descend, auxiliars of the Cross; Bards, nursed on blue Plinlimmon's still abode, Rush on the fight, to harps preferring swords, And everlasting deeds to burning words !
XI. — SAXON CONQUEST. Nor wants the cause the panic-striking aid. . Of hallelujahs * tost from hill to hill — For instant victory. But Heaven's high will Permits a second and a darker shade Of Pagan night. Afflicted and dismayed, The Relics of the sword flee to the mountains : O wretched Land! whose tears have flowed like fountains; Whose arts and honours in the dust are laid, By men yet scarcely conscious of a care For other monuments than those of Earth; + Who, as the fields and woods have given them birth, Will build their savage fortunes only there; Content, if foss, and barrow, and the girth Of long-drawn rampart, witness what they were. * See note, p. 195.
+ See note, p. 195.
XII. — MONASTERY OF OLD BANGOR. * The oppression of the tumult — wrath and scorn '. The tribulation and the gleaming blades Such is the impetuous spirit that pervades The song of Taliesint; - Ours shall mourn The unarmed Host who by their prayers would turn The sword from Bangor's walls, and guard the store Of Aboriginal and Roman lore, And Christian monuments, that now must burn To senseless ashes. Mark! how all things swerve From their known course, or vanish like a dream; Another language spreads from coast to coast; Only perchance some melancholy Stream . And some indignant Hills old names preserve, When laws, and creeds, and people all are lost! ..
XIII; -CASUAL INCITEMENT. A BRIGHT-HAIRED company of youthful Slaves, Beautiful Strangers, stand within the Pale Of a sad market, ranged for public sale, Where Tiber's stream the immortal City laves: ANGLI by name; and not an Angel waves His wing who seemeth lovelier in Heaven's eye Than they appear to holy Gregory; Who, having learnt that name, salvation craves For Them, and for their Land. The earnest Sire, His questions urging, feels in slender ties Of chiming sound commanding sympathies; DE-IRIANS — he would save them from God's IRE; Subjects of Saxon ÆLLA — they shall sing Glad HALLElujahs to the eternal King! * See note, p. 195. + Taliesin was present at the battle which preceded this desolation.
XIV. - GLAD TIDINGS. For ever hallowed be this morning fair, Blest be the unconscious shore on which ye tread, And blest the silver Cross, which ye, instead Of martial banner, in procession bear; The Cross preceding Him who floats in air, The pictured Saviour! — By Augustin led, They come — and onward travel without dread, Chanting in barbarous ears a tuneful prayer, Sung for themselves, and those whom they would free! Rich. conquest waits them :— the tempestuous sea Of Ignorance, that ran so rough and high, And heeded not the voice of clashing swords, These good men humble by a few bare words, And calm with fear of God's divinity.
XV.- PAULINUS. *
* See note, p. 196.
XVI. — PERSUASION. “ Man's life is like a Sparrow *, mighty King ! “ That, stealing in while by the fire you sit “Housed with rejoicing Friends, is seen to flit “ Safe from the storm, in comfort tarrying. “Here did it enter — there, on hasty wing “ Flies out, and passes on from cold to cold; “ But whence it came we know not, nor behold " Whither it goes. Even such that transient Thing, “ The human Soul ; not utterly unknown “ While in the Body lodged, her warm abode ; “ But from what world She came, what woe or weal “ On her departure waits, no tongue hath shown; “ This mystery if the Stranger can reveal, « His be a welcome cordially bestowed !”
XVII. — CONVERSION. PROMPT transformation works the novel Lore; The Council closed, the Priest in full career Rides forth, an armèd man, and hurls a spear To desecrate the Fane which heretofore He served in folly. — Woden falls — and Thor Is overturned; the mace, in battle heaved (So might they dream) till victory was achieved, Drops, and the God himself is seen no more. Temple and Altar sink, to hide their shame Amid oblivious weeds. “O come to me, “Ye heavy laden!” such the inviting voice Heard near fresh streamst, and thousands, who rejoice In the new Rite — the pledge of sanctity, Shall, by regenerate life, the promise claim. * See note, p. 196.
+ See note, p. 197.