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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
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
XII. MONASTERY OP OJU> BANGOR. *
The oppression of the tumult — wrath and scorn —
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,
• See note, p. 196.
"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!"
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.