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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.

That heresies should strike (if truth be scanned
Presumptuously) their roots both wide and deep,
Is natural as dreams to feverish sleep.
Lo! Discord at the Altar dares to stand
Uplifting tow'rd high Heaven her fiery brand,
A cherished Priestess of the new-baptized!
But chastisement shall follow peace despised.
The Pictish cloud darkens the enervate land
By Rome abandoned; vain are suppliant cries,
And prayers that would undo her forced farewell,
For she returns not. — Awed by her own knell,
She casts the Britons upon strange Allies,
Soon to become more dreaded enemies
Than heartless misery called them to repel.

X. ....

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. AfHicted 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; t
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. 'f See note, p. 195.

XII. MONASTERY OP OJU> 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 Taliesinf ; — 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 Bricht-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 ^ella — 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.

Fob 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. *

But, to remote Northumbria's royal Hall,
Where thoughtful Edwin, tutored in the school
Of Sorrow, still maintains a heathen rule,
Who comes with functions apostolical?
Mark him, of shoulders curved, and stature tall,
Black hair, and vivid eye, and meagre cheek,
His prominent feature like an eagle's beak;
A Man whose aspect doth at once appal
And strike with reverence. The Monarch leans
Tow'rd the pure truths this Delegate propounds,
Repeatedly his own deep mind he sounds
With careful hesitation, — then convenes
A synod of his Counsellors: — give ear,
And what a pensive Sage doth utter, hear!

• 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 armed 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 streams t,—and thousands, who rejoice

In the new Rite — the pledge of sanctity,

Shall, by regenerate life, the promise claim.

• Sec note, p. 196. + See note, p. 197.

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