Page images

"T were doubt if that dark form could truly feel, To slumber in her vales that basking lie Or were indeed a shape and soul of steel.

In the luxurious azure of her sky;

On Saint or Virgin, such as Raphael dream'd,
With that from North and South an ireful train In almost blameless fond idolatry,
Forth came that mighty Culprit to arraign,

Speechless to gaze, and bow the adoring knee; The First was as a savage Horseman bold,

In the soul's secret chambers to prolong Uncouth his rude attire, his bearing wild ;

The rapturous ravishment of harp and song.
But gallant was his brow that lightly smiled, Music was in her steps, and all her eye

As seeming war some merry sport to hold : Was dark and eloquent with ecstasy.
The air whereon his fleet steed seem'd to prance
Flamed with the steely bickering of his lance.

Rapine her charge—of Florence' princely halls, And on the waves of his broad banner's fold

And that fall'n Empress by old Tiber's side An old barbaric Capital he bore,

Reft of the sole sad relics of her pride; Like some tall grove of pinnacle and spire,

For the iron conqueror ravish'd from her walls Or snowy white, or gleaming rich with gold :

Those shapes that in their breathing colours warm But the red havoc of upspringing fire

In tall arcade or saintly chapel lived, A fatal flood of glory seem'd to pour;

And all wherein the soul of Greece survived And still from gilded roof or dome upbroke

The more than human of each marble form. In dusky pillars huge the cloudy smoke.

Of the proud bridegroom of the Adrian Sea, Nor word that Horseman spake, but as he came

Once like his bride magnificent and free, Waved his grim standard like a pall of flame.

Sunk to a bond-slave's desperate apathy. And next came one all trim in fearful grace

And him the Holiest deem'd, the chosen of God, And tall majestic symmetry of war,

Beneath an earthly lord bow'd down to kiss the rod. Musquet and bayonet flashing bright and far;

And next came one, the bravery of whose front Deliberate valour in his slow firm pace,

Crested hereditary pride; his arms And scorn of death-him at the portal arch

Were dark and dinted by rude battle's brunt: Saluted blithe old Frederick's bugle march.

of Sovereign young he spake, by wizard charms Heavy his charge of lordly King bow'd down Of hollow smiling treachery from the throne In his own royal city to the frown

Of two fair worlds to selon durance lured, of the base minion to a despot's hate_*

A King in narrow prison walls immured; Then blanch'd the Soldier's bronzed and furrow'd And some rude islander's soul-groveling son cheek,

Set up to be a princely nation's Lord :While of coarse taunting outrage he 'gan speak, But then the Spaniard with fierce brow and bright To her the beautiful, the delicate,

Brandish'd the cloudy flaming of his sword; The queenly, but too gentle for a Queen

Full was his soul of Zaragoza's fight,
But in sweet pride upon that insult keen

And the high Pyrenean snows o'erleap'd,
She smiled — then drooping mute, though broken And other Pavias with Frank carnage heap'd.

To the cold comfort of the grave departed.

The brother of his wrongs and of his wrath

Was with him in the triumph of his path. The next like some old Baron's lordly son

He of his exile Prince 'gan loudly boast; Bore what a rich imperial crown had been,

To be a sceptred slave, a pageant King, Bat from its stars the pride of light was gone;

He scorn'd, and on his fleet bark's gallant wing The joy of vengeance on that warrior's mien For kingly freedom the wild ocean crost. Was chasing the red hues of ancient shame :

Whom saw I then in port and pride a Queen, Not of Marengo's fair-fought field he told,

Come walking o'er her own obsequious sea ? Nor the wide waves of blood huge Danube rollid;

I knew thee well, the valiant, rich, and freeBut him that in strong Ulm play'd that soul game, As when old Rome, her Roman virtue tame, Bartering his country and his soul for gold :

Gazed, when in arms that bold Dictator came ; And that fair royal Maid, by battle won

With the iron ransom of her Capitol Like thing that hath nor will nor sense, and borne

Startled to flight the fierce insulting GaulA bright and beauteous trophy to adorn

Camillus of mankind! thy regal mien The britile grandeur of an upstart's throne.

Gladden'd all earth; the nations from their rest Next came a stately Lady, once was she

Joyful upleap'd : with modest front elate, Queen of the Nations : of her despot sway

Like one that hath proud conscience in her breast, Earth boasted, every flood and every sea

Thou brakest the blank silence—“Woe and hate Water'd her tributary realms, and day

To this bad man for those my good and great, Rose only on her empire: now it seem'd

That sleep amid the Spaniard's mountains rude That she had cast her cumbrous crown away

In the sad beauty of the hero's fate.

To this bad man immortal gratitude, Alluding to a governor being set over the King of Prussia

For he hath taught, who slaves the free of earth in Berlin.

Feitereth the whirlwind: hath given glorious birth

[ocr errors]

To deeds that dwarf my old majestic fame, Thrice did the indignant Nations league their mght, Make BLAKE and MARLBOROUGH languid sound Thrice the red darkness of the battle night and tame

Folded the recreant terror of their flight. To Nelson and that Chief to whom defeat Realms sack'd and ravaged empires sooth'd my toils, Is like an undiscover'd star-hath shown

And Satrap Chiefs were Monarchs from my spoils
More than the Macedonian victories vain

In solitude of freedom that rich Queen
To rivet on the earth the Oppressor's chain : Sate in her sanctity of waves serene.
As little will yon Sun's empyrean throne
Endure a mortal seat, as this wide globe

From cliff and beach. dominion in their motion,
Be one man's appanage; or my fair isle,

I saw her stately navies' broad array, That precious gem in ocean's azure robe,

Like jealous lords at watch, that none but they Cast Freedom's banner down, by force or guile Adulterate with their fair majestic ocean.

Master'd, and forteit earth's renown and love, And cries I heard like frenzy and dismay

And her bright visions of high meed above." Of Nelson, NELson deepening on their way. Then all at once did from all earth arise

But what to me though red the western deep Fierce imprecations on that man of sin ;

With other fires than of the setting sun! And all the loaded winds came heavy in

And what to me though round Trafalgar's steep With exultations and with agonies.

My haughty pennon's galleys, one by one, From the lone coldness of the widow's bed,

Come rolling their huge wrecks on the waves' sweep! The severish pillow of the orphan's head,

Go rule thy brawling and tumultuous sea, From dying men earth's woful valleys heaping,

Briton, but leave the servile earth to me. From smouldering cities in their ashes sleeping,

And what to me though in my dungeons deep Like the hoarse tumbling of a torrent flood

By this new Charlemagne dark deeds were done Mingled the dismal concord—“ blood for blood."

Will the stones start and babble to the sun

How that bold Briton Wright, and Pichegru sleep!
But then arose a faded shape and pale,
Once had she been a peerless princely dame;

At noon of night I heard the drum of death,
Downcast her grace of grief; she seem'd to veil

Like evil spirits on the blasted heath The mournful beauty of her face for shame.

By the drear torchlight iron men were met. And is this she whose sprightly laughing mirth

The mockery of justice soon was past; Was like the blithe spring on the festal earth;

Again the drum its dismal warning beat : Aye dancing at the moonlight close of day,

Then flashing musquets deathful lustre cast 'Mid purple vineyards, graceful, light, and gay;

A moment on the victim; he sedate Or in high pomp and gallant pride of port

In calm disdain of even a felon's fate, Holding rich revel in her gorgeous court ?

His royal breast bared to the soldier's mark, Abrupt her speech and wild—“When I 'gan wake

Seeming to pity with his steady sight From that my sleep of madness, all around

Those poor mechanic murderers-then 't was dark, Of human blood a broad and livid lake

All but yon crown'd Assassin's visage bright,

Who waved his torch in horrible delight
Was in my splendid cities; mound on mound

O blood of Condé! could thy spirit rest
Rose peopled with my noble princely dead :
And o'er them the fell anarch, Murther, stood

In thy tame country's cold ungrateful breast ?
Grimly reposing in his weary mood
I turn'd, all trembling turn'd, my guilty head:

Yet in my drunkenness of pride I mock'd
There humankind had leagued their arms of dread

Mean crimes that would a petty tyrant shame, 'Gainst the Blasphemer of fair Freedom's name,

For still in glory's cradle was I rock'd, Heaven gave no hope, for heaven I dared disclaim.

Mine eagle eyrie crown'd the steep of fame.

Nought heeded I, that the proud Son of Spain,
“ High in the flaming car of Victory riding, Like a fierce courser that has burst his chain,
From Alp to Alp his chamois warriors guiding Shook the base slavery from his floating mane,
The peril of wild Lodi's arch bestriding,

And that new British Arthur's virgin shield
I saw yon Chieftain in his morn of fame; Won its rich blazon on Vimeira's field.
Cities and armies at his beck sank down,
And in the gaudy colours of renown

For lo, my cities throw their portals wide ;
The fabling Orient vested his young nam .

Gorgeous my festal streets, as when of old The bright and baleful Meteor I adored,

The monarchs met upon the plain of goldLow bowd I down, and said — Be thou my Lord!" Lo, on my throne a bright and royal bride.

Vain all my pomp, imperial beauty vain Like old and ruinous towers, the ancient thrones The reveller in battles to restrain.

Crumbled, and dynasties of elder time; The banners of my conquest-plumed sons

And at his word, as at the fabled wand Flouted the winds of many a distant clime: or old magician, from the teeming land, On necks of vanquish'd kings I fix'd my seat,

Myriad on myriad, harness'd warriors rise; And the broad Rhine rollid vassal at my feet. The earth was darken’d with excess of light,

Line after line, insufferably bright;

Fear not that in his abject heart he show The black artillery, in their cloudy might,

That martyr fortitude, that smiles in woe.
Impious defiance lanch'd against the skies. By him shall that great secret be betray'd,
With tamer sounds did that wild Heathen* vaunt of what poor stuff are earth's dread tyrants made.
Amid his thund'rous heavens high Jove to daunt. Oh, let him live to be despised, to see
Day after day I saw their pomp depart;

France happy, and the glorious nations free;
Then said the haughty frenzy of my heart, Death were delight to that deep misery!"-
When o'er this world thy victor wheels are driven,
Wilt thou go vanquish the bright stars of Heaven?

Then did that kingly conclave, with one voice,

Pass the dread sentence on the gloomy man; And lo, the rival nations hurrying

In his soul's icy deadness he alone
To crowd beneath my passing eagle's wing ; By others' woes seem'd harden'd to his own.
Lo, 'mong my captains many a sceptred king. From land to land the penal tidings ran;

Earth lifted up her rich face to rejoice,
Now, now the northern skies are all on fire

The bright blue heavens bade wintry warring cease, As with some mighty Empire's funeral pyre!

And spring came dancing o'er a world at peace. Why bring they not proud Catherine's trophies home? I hear the sound of wheels—They come, they come.' A solitary sound—no pomp of war One dastard pale accomplice of his flight,

ALEXANDER TUMULUM ACHILLIS INVIHe comes, whom earth, and all earth's sons obey,

The peerless and the paragon of might;
The pinnace of the Persian runaway


SHELDONIANO RECITATUM DIE JUN. Xxxmo. A.D. 1813 Was glory to his lone and hurrying car. J ask'd for those in fight, in triumph tried,

Jam puer Emathius Thebarum nigra favilla The partners of his peril and his pride.

Mônia, Cadmeamque arcem, jam Palladis urbem He, in a tyrant's mockery of my woe,

Immemorem famæ, pronamque in jussa tyranni Bade me go seek them in the Scythian snow.

Fregerat; at victas gentes partosque triumphos

Spernit atrox animi, et pacem fastidit inertem.
Then felt I what a pitiful tame slave

Europes angusta pati confinia nescit
Was I, who vaunted me mankind's sole queeri, Mentito soboles Jove non indigna, novumque

The satellite of one man's wayward spleen- Poscit in arma orbem; jam transilit Hellespontum, The remnant of my fair, my young, my brave, Purpureique Asiæ proceres atque agmina regum, Were rent once more to forge the adamant chain Sceptrigeri quotquot stipant Babylonia Medi

Burst by the nations, who with one accord Atria, Grajugenûm horrescunt nota arma virorum, Shook the bright vengeance of the freeman's Myrmidonumque graves, fatalia tela, sarissas, sword

Confertos clypeos, inconcussamque phalangen. Another year-and the broad Rhine again Shrouded the sceptred fugitive's pale train,

At simul ac Phrygiæ campos, Priameia regna, Then turn'd a rebel, roll'd her free waves to the main. Conspicit, et Graiæ latè loca conscia famæ

Gramineosqueducum tumulos, subit undique Achivum And now the banners of the embattled world

Gloria et adversis bellantia numina in armis,
Their folds of vengeance on my vales unfurld. Et Lacedæmoniâ sævæ pro conjuge clades.
Oh, bloody was the evening of thine ire,

Omne igitur lustrare juvat, quod mente dolores
Thou gorgeous comet of disastrous fire!

Iliacos renovet, Danaumque resuscitet iras. I wont to see, as from some quiet star,

Spumeus hic Xanthus nemoroså pronus ab Ida, Deluging slaughter this sair earth o'erwhelm,

Non galeas, non scuta virûm, sed proruta saxa On the rich bosom of my sunny realm

Arboreosque rapit violento flumine truncos. Gave quarry to the ravening dogs of war.

Hic, ubi luxuriat flaventi campus aristâ,

Laomedonteum fuit Ilion, undique nullæ But mercy shone upon the merciless !

Reliquiæ apparent muri, fractæve columnæ, Strong but to save and valiant but to bless,

Oblita non musco viridanti saxa, Pelasgi No ruthless Cæsars clad in blood and flame,

Usque adeo miseras 'Trojæ invidere ruinas. Royal in virtue the Avengers came.

Rhæteasque procul rupes, tumulumque capacem, Those whom I spoil'd, no spoilers came to me, Ajacis, vastà elatum super æquora mole I said, Be slave, 0 earth! but they—'O France, be Cernere erat-sed nulla quies-sed fervidus Heros free.'

Stare loco nescit, flagratque cupidine pugnæ. For yon dark chief of woe, and guilt, and strife,

Devenit at tandem, Sigeo ubi littore collis O sceptred judges! punish him with life.

Eminet apricus, quem suavè olentia circum Fear not he seek with the old Roman pride,

Serpylla, et viridi cingunt dumeta corona. That weakness to the noble soul allied,

Hunc et Abydenus sea mollem na vita Leshon, To die as Cato, and as Brutus died.

Pampineamve Chion, Samiæve altaria Divæ

Invisit, radiante orientis lumine solis
Prospicit ardentem, remoque acclinis, Homeri

Suave aliquod carmen secum meditatur, et hæret Quadrijugos, Lydoque equitavit fulgidus auro,
Ingentem tumulum, et Manes veneratus Achillis. Et non fæmineis animosa Semiramis armis.

Deinde coloratos, qualis Jovis ales, ad Indos,
Qualis Mæonii divino in carmine vatis

Et matutinæ rosea incunabula lucis Stat torvus vultu, et cælestibus horret in armis, Deferor, auriferos Macedo bibit impiger amnes Fulmineosque agitat currus sublimis, et unum Atque ubi Pellæis tellus jam deficit armis, Hectora, per trepidas unum petit Hectora turmas: Nec superest nostro gens non indigna triumpho, Haud aliter cæcâ Æacides tellure videtur,

Unus Alexander victo dominabitur orbi. Ceu lituo fremituque armorum excitus amato, Tollere se, juvenique ingens gratarier umbra. " Jamque procul Martis strepitus, jam pervenit aures Hunc videt, et viso gaudet, quin totus inani Ferrea vox belli, jam dira ad prælia Medus Figitur in specie, quamque ipse effinxerat umbram

Aureus accingit galeam gladiumque coruscat Esse putat veram, mutoque immobilis ore

Impatiens sati, et Graiæ vim provocat ultro Stat Macedo; ast Asiæ fines atque ultimus orbis Cuspidis, ardentique superbit barbarus ostro Sentit Alexandri requiem, tardataque fata.

Non æquas, Darie, malo petis omine pugnas!

Ibat ovans ferrum Argolicis flammasque carinis Tum lecti comites instaurant sacra, et odori

Insanâ virtute ferens Priameius Hector. Rite coronatis fumant altaribus ignes.

Illum ergo Illiacæ rediturum vespere sero Fervet opus, latices pars vivo e fonte, Lyæo

Speravere nurus, Pelide cæde madentem Immistos roseo, sinceraque flumina lactis

Atque Agamemnonios agitantem ad Pergama curre Auratis libant pateris, pars florea, circum

Speravere diu-crines procul ille venustos Serta, et odoriferos dispergunt veris honores. Formosumque caput fædabal pulvere in atro Quin et gramineam niveus mactatur ad aram Sordidus, Argivisque dabat ludibria nautis. Taurus, et humectat sacratam sanguine arenam.

· Tartareas fauces reserabit et horrida claustra At procul Idæo spectat de vertice pompam

Rex Erebi, utque meam videat coram incidus hastana, Turba Phrygum, mistaque irâ et formidine mussat, Myrmidonumque feros referentia bella parentes, Hos novus angit honos et adhuc invisus Achilles. Ad superas ingentem auras emittit Achiller. Atque aliqua in trepida mater stat mæsta caterva Ille mihi pugnas inter fremitumque, furoremque Andromachen animo reputans, Ithacique cruentâ Addit se comitem, et curru famulatur oranti. Astyanacta manu dejectum manibus altis,

Vidi egomet, nisi vana oculos illusit imago, Dilectumque premit pavefacta ad pectora natum. Spicula crispantem, atque minaci cassida fronte, Stat virgo, mestosque fovet sub corde timores, Nutantem, quæ luce vagos tremefecit abená Ne nova materno direpta Polyxena collo

Priamidas, nigrumque auratis Memnona bigis. Placet Achilleos infando sanguine Manes.

Vidi egomet, neque vana fides, atroque sub Orco

Immortalem animam tangit laus sera nepotum, At Rex Emathius nodosæ innititur hastæ

Famaque Tartareis sonat haud ingrata sub umbris. Majestate minax, tacitâ, ceu numine plenus

Felix Æacida! tacitas inglorius isses Fatidico vates, e pectore protinus amens

Ad sedes Erebi, cæcâque oblivia nocte Excutit ille Deum, pulcher furor occupat ora, Invida pressissent nomen, quod barbarus Istri Terror inest oculis, procerior emicat ingens

Potor, et Herculeis gens si qua admota columnis Forma viri, fluitant agitatæ in casside cristæ. Novit, et Æthiopes non æquo Sole calentes.

At tibi Mæonides, seu quis Deus, aurea Olympi “Me quoque, me," clamat, " belli post mille labores, Regna procul linquens, cæci senis induit ore, Post fractas urbes, post regna hâc proruta dextrå Et plus quàm mortale melos, bellumque, tumultumUltima cantabit tellus. gens nulla silebit

que Nomen Alexandri, sobolemque fatebitur Hammon. Infremuit, divina tuæ præconia laudis, Te, magne Æacida, decimus te viderit annus Æternumque dedit viridem frondescere famam. Iliacas arces et debita Pergama fatis Oppugnantem armis, me Sol mirabitur ire

· Et nobis quandoque dabunt hæc ultima dona Victorem, cursuque suos præverlere currus.

Dii, quibus Emathium decus et mea gloria cure. Jam Susa, et præclara auro niveoque elephanto

Exoriare aliquis, nostrum qui nomen, Homerus, Ecbatana, et frustra patriorum ope freta Deorum Pellæosque seras ad sæcula sera triumphos, Persepolis (tristes inhiant ceu nubibus atris

Exoriare, novus plectro non deerit Achilles." —
Agricolæ dubii quos fulmine proterat agrus
Jupiter) expectant ruiturum in menia Martem; Hæc fatus, clypeo fremuit, dirosque dedere
Servitium quibus una salus, quibus ultima et una est Æra sonos, quassisque armis exercitus omnis
Gloria Alexandri dextrâ meruisse ruinam.

Intonuere, simul nemorosa remugiit Ida.
Adsum ego, jam Babylon æratus pandere portas Quos sonitus, Granice, tuum ad fatale fluentum.
Festinat, patiturque superbo flumine pontem Persarumque acies et pictis Medus in armis
Euphrates, Graiùmque minax strepit ungula equorum, Agnovere procul, solio Darius eburno
Et Larissens super ardua mænia currus ;

Exsiluit, fatique pavens præsagia iniqui Quo ferus Hystaspes, quo tramite Cyrus adegit Non audituro sudit vota irrita cælo.

By valour mingled with the Gods above,
And made a glory of himself to his great father Jove.



A LADY, like to Juno in her state,

Upon the air her golden tresses streaming,

And with celestial eyes of azure beaming,
Enter'd whilere my gate,
Like a Barbaric Queen
On the Euphrates shore,

In purple and fine linen was she pallid,
Nor flower nor laurel green,
Her tresses for their garland wore

The splendour of the Indian emerald.
But through the rigid pride and pomp unbending

Of beauty and of haughtiness,
Sparkled a flattery sweet and condescending :

And from her inmost bosom sent,
Came accents of most wonderous gentleness,

Officious and intent
To thrall my soul in soft imprisonment.

And “ Place,” she said, “ thy hand within my hair,

And all around thou'lt see Delightful chances fair

On golden feet come dancing unto thee. Me Jove's daughter shalt thou own,

That with my sister Fate

Sits by his side on state
On the eternal throne.
Great Neptune to my will the ocean gives :

In vain, in well-appointed strength secure,
The Indian and the Briton strives

The assaulting billows to endure;
Unless their flying sails I guide
Where over the smooth title
On my sweet spirit's wings I ride.
I banish to their bound
The storms of dismal sound,
And o'er them take my stand with foot serene ;

The Æolian caverns under
The wings of the rude winds I chain,

And with my hand I burst asunder
The fiery chariot wheels of the hurricane :

And in its fount the horrid restless fire

I quench ere it aspire
To Heaven, to colour the red Comet's train.

“My royal spirits oft

Their solemn mystic round

On Rome's great birth-day wound : And I the haughty Eagles sprung aloft Unto the Star of Mars upborne,

Till, poising on their plumy sails,

They 'gan their native vales
And Sabine palms to scom:
And I on the seven hills to sway

That Senate House of Kings convened,
On me their guide and stay

Ever the Roman counsels lean'd
In danger's lofty way.
I guerdon'd the wise delay
Or Fabius with the laurel crown,
And hot Marcellus' fiercer battle tone;
And I on the Tarpeian did deliver

Afric a captive, and through me Nile flow'd
Under the laws of the great Latin river;
And of his bow and quiver
The Parthian roar'd a trophy high and broad:
The Dacian's fierce inroad
Against the gates of iron broke,
Taurus and Caucasus endured my yoke :
Then my vassal and my slave

Did every native land of every wind become,

And when I had o'ercome
All earth beneath my feet, I gave

The vanquish'd world in one great gift 10 Rome. “I know that in thine high imagination,

Other daughters of Great Jove Have taken their Imperial station,

And queen-like thy submissive passions move;
From them thou hopest a high and godlike fate,

From them thy haughty verse presages
An everlasting sway o'er distant ages,

And with their glorious rages
Thy mind intoxicate,
Deems 't is in triumphal motion,

On courser fleet, or winged bark,
Over earth and over ocean;

While in shepherd hamlet dark
Thou livest, with want within, and raiment coarse

And none upon thy state hath thrown

Gentle regard; I, I alone
To new and lofty venture call thee out ;
Then follow, thus besought,
Waste not thy soul in thought;
Brooks nor sloth nor lingering
The great moment on the wing."

“ A blissful lady and immortal, born
From the eternal mind of Deity
(I answer'd bold and free),
My soul hath in her queenly care;
She mine imagination doth upbear,

And steeps it in the light of her rich morn, That overshades and sicklies all thy shining; And though my lowly hair


• This is the hand that forged on Ganges' shore

The Indians' empire; by Orontes set The royal tiar the Assyrian wore; Hung jewels on the brow of Babylon,

By Tigris wreath'd the Persian's coronet,
And at the Macedonian's foot bow'd every throne.
It was my lavish gift,

The triumph and the song
Amund the youth of Pella loud uplift,

When he through Asia swept along,

A torrent swift and strong;
With me, with me the Conqueror ran
To where the Sun bis golden course began;
And the high Monarch left on earth
A faith unquestion d of his heavenly birth;


« PreviousContinue »