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As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance :
To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couch'd his qui-

vering lance.

I. 2.

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On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,

Robed in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet stood;
(Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Stream'd, like a meteor, to the troubled air)
And with a master's hand, and prophet's fire,
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.

Ver. 11. -of Snowdon's shaggy side] Snowdon was a name given by the Saxons to that mountainous tract: it included all the highlands of Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire, as far east as the river Conway.

Ver. 13. Stout Glo'ster] Gilbert de Clare, sarnamed the Red, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford ; married at Westminster, May 2, 1290, to Joan de Acres or Acon (so called from having been born at Acon in the Holy Land) second daughter of King Edward. He died 1295,

Ver. 14. “ To arms!cried Mortimer] Edmond de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore.

They both were Lord Marchers, whose lands lay on the borders of Wales, and probably accompanied the king in this expedition.

Ver. 19. Loose his beard, and hoary hair] The image was taken from a well known picture by Raphael, representing the Supreme Being in the vision of Ezekiel,

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Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert-cave,

Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath! O'er thee, oh King! their hundred arms they wave,

bathe

Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more,

since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

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I. 3.

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“ Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,

That hush'd the stormy main :
Brave Urien sleeps upon

his
craggy

bed :
Mountains, ye mourn in vain

Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.

On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof the' affrighted ravens sail ;

The famish'd eagle screams, and passes by. Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,

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Ver. 35. On dreary Arvon's shore they lie] The shores of Caernarvonshire opposite to the isle of Anglesey.

Ver. 38. The famish'd eagle screams, and passes by] Camden and others observe, that eagles used annually to build their aerie among the rocks of Snowdon, which from thence (as some think) were named by the Welsh Craigian-eryri, or the crags of the eagles. At this day the highest point of Snowdon is called the Eagle's Nest. That bird is certainly no stranger to this island, as the Scots, and the people of Cumberland, Westmoreland, &c. can testify: it even has built its nest in the peak of Derbyshire. (See Willoughby's Ornithology, published by Ray.)

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Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,

Ye died amidst your dying country's cries-
No more I weep. They do not sleep.

On yonder cliffs a grisly band,
I see them sit, they linger yet,

Avengers of their native land:
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

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II. 1.
Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward's race.

Give ample room, and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall reecho with affright
The shrieks of death, through Berkley's roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king!

She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear’st the bowels of thy mangled mate,

From thee be born, who o’er thy country hangs
The scourge of Heaven. What terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with flight combined,
And sorrow's faded form, and solitude behind.

Ver. 48. And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line]
See the Norwegian Ode (the Fatal Sisters) that follows.

Ver. 55. The shrieks of death, through Berkley's roof that ring] Edward the Second, cruelly butchered in Berkley Castle.

Ver. 57. She-wolf of France] Isabel of France, Edward the Second's adulterous queen.

Ver. 60. The scourge of Heaven] Triumphs of Edward the Third in France.

II. 2. “ Mighty victor, mighty Lord ! Low on his funeral couch he lies !

No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.

Is the sable warrior fied ?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noontide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,

While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes ;

Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm;
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

II. 3.
“ Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare,

Ver. 64. Low on his funeral couch he lies) Death of that king, abandoned by his children, and even robbed in his last moments by his courtiers and his mistress. · Ver. 67. Is the sable warrior fled] Edward the Black Prince, dead some time before his father.

Ver. 71. Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows] Magnificence of Richard the Second's reign. See Froissart, and other contemporary writers.

Ver. 77. Fill high the sparkling bowl] Richard the Second, as we are told by Archbishop Scroop and the confederate Lords in their manifesto, by Thomas of Walsingham, and all the older writers, was starved to death. The story of his assassination, by Sir Piers of Exon, is of much later date.

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Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast: Close by the regal chair

Fell Thirst and Famine scowl

A baleful smile upon their baffled guest. Heard ye the din of battle bray,

Lance to lance, and horse to horse ?

Long years of havock urge their destined course, And through the kindred squadrons mow their way.

Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, With many a foul and midnight murder fed,

Revere bis consort's faith, his father's fame, And spare the meek usurper's holy head. Above, below, the rose of snow,

Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:

Ver. 83. Heard ye the din of battle bray] Ruinous wars of York and Lancaster. Ver. 87. Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,

With many a foul and midnight murder fed] Henry the Sixth, George Duke of Clarence, Edward the Fifth, Richard Duke of York, &c. believed to be murdered secretly in the Tower of London. The oldest part of that structure is vulgarly attributed to Julius Cæsar.

Ver. 89. Revere his consort's faith] Margaret of Anjou, a woman of heroic spirit, who struggled bard to save her husband and her crown.

Ibid. his father's fane) Henry the Fifth.

Ver. 90. And spare the meek usurper's holy head] Henry the Sixth, very near being canonized. The line of Lancaster had no right of inheritance to the crown.

Ver. 91. Above, below, the rose of snow] The white and red roses, devices of York and Lancaster.

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