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With more than mortal powers endowed, How high they soared above the crowd! Theirs was no common party race, Jostling by dark intrigue for place; Like fabled Gods, their mighty war Shook realms and nations in its jar; Beneath each banner proud to stand Looked up the noblest of the land, Till through the British world were known The names of Pitt and Fox alone. Spells of such force no wizard grave E'er framed in dark Thessalian cave, Though his could drain the ocean dry, And force the planets from the sky. These spells are spent, and, spent with these, The wine of life is on the lees. Genius, and taste, and talent gone, . For ever tombed beneath the stone, Where, taming thought to human pride!— The mighty chiefs sleep side by side. Drop upon Fox's grave the tear, "Twill trickle to his rival's bier; O'er Pitt's the mournful requiem sound, And Fox's shall the notes rebound. The solemn echo seems to cry, “Here let their discord with them die; Speak not for those a separate doom, Whom fate made brothers in the tomb, But search the land of living men, Where wilt thou find their like agen 2"
Rest, ardent Spirits! till the cries Of dying Nature bid you rise; Not even your Britain's groans can pierce The leaden silence of your hearse: Then, O how impotent and vain This grateful tributary strain; Though not unmarked from northern clime, Ye heard the Border Minstrel's rhyme: His Gothic harp has o'er you rung; The bard you deigned to praise, your deathless
names has sung.
Stay yet, illusion, stay awhile,
And, lingering last, deception dear, The choir's high sounds die on my ear. Now slow return the lonely down, The silent pastures bleak and brown, The farm begirt with copse-wood wild, The gambols of each frolic child, Mixing their shrill cries with the tone Of Tweed's dark waters rushing on. Prompt on unequal tasks to run, Thus Nature disciplines her son: Meeter, she says, for me to stray, And waste the solitary day In plucking from yon fen the reed, And watching it float down the Tweed; Or idly list the shrilling lay With which the milk-maid cheers her way, Marking its cadence rise and fail, As from the field, beneath her pail, She trips it down the uneven dale: Meeter for me, by yonder cairn, The ancient shepherd's tale to learn, Though ofthe stop in rustic fear, Lest his old legends tire the ear Of one, who, in his simple mind, May boast of book-learned taste refined. • But thou, my friend, canst fitly tell, (For few have read romance so well,) How still the legendary lay 0'er poet's bosom holds its sway;
How on the ancient minstrel strain
The world defrauded of the high design, Profaned the God-given strength, and marred the lofty line. Warmed by such names, well may we then, Though dwindled sons of little men, Essay to break a feeble lance In the fair fields of old romance; Or seek the moated castle's cell, Where long through talisman and spell, While tyrants ruled, and damsels wept, Thy Genius, Chivalry, hath slept: There sound the harpings of the North, Till he awake and sally forth, On venturous quest to prick again, In all his arms, with all his train, Shield, lance, and brand, and plume, and scarf, Fay, giant, dragon, squire, and dwarf, And wizard with his wand of might, And errant maid on palfrey white. Around the Genius weave their spells, Pure Love, who scarce his passion tells; Mystery, half veiled and half revealed; And Honour, with his spotless shield; Attention, with fixed eye; and Fear, That loves the tale she shrinks to hear; And gentle Courtesy; and Faith, Unchanged by sufferings, time, or death; And Valour, lion-mettled lord, Leaning upon his own good sword.