Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Alfred Behold a pupil of the monkish gown,

The pious ALFRED, King to Justice dear!
Lord of the harp and liberating spear;
Mirror of Princes! Indigent Renown
Might range the starry ether for a crown
Equal to his deserts, who, like the

year,
Pours forth his bounty, like the day doth cheer,
And awes like night with mercy-tempered frown.
Ease from this noble miser of his time
No moment steals ; pain narrows not his cares.
Though small his kingdom as a spark or gem,
Of Alfred boasts remote Jerusalem,
And Christian India, through her wide-spread

clime,
In sacred converse gifts with Alfred shares.

His When thy great soul was freed from mortal chains, Descendants Darling of England ! many a bitter shower

Fell on thy tomb; but emulative power
Flowed in thy line through undegenerate veins.
The Race of Alfred covet glorious pains
When dangers threaten, dangers ever new !
Black tempests bursting, blacker still in view!
But manly sovereignty its hold retains ;
The root sincere, the branches bold to strive
With the fierce tempest, while, within the round
Of their protection, gentle virtues thrive ;
As oft, 'mid some green plot of open ground,
Wide as the oak extends its dewy gloom,
The fostered hyacinths spread their purple bloom.

[ocr errors]

URGED by Ambition, who with subtlest skill Influence
Changes her means, the Enthusiast as a dupe Abused
Shall soar, and as a hypocrite can stoop,
And turn the instruments of good to ill,
Moulding the credulous people to his will.
Such DUNSTAN :—from its Benedictine coop
Issues the master Mind, at whose fell swoop
The chaste affections tremble to fulfil
Their purposes. Behold, pre-signified,
The Might of spiritual Sway! his thoughts, his

dreams,
Do in the supernatural world abide :
So vaunt a throng of Followers, filled with pride
In what they see of virtues pushed to extremes,
And sorceries of talent misapplied.

Woe to the Crown that doth the Cowl obey ! Danish
Dissension, checking arms that would restrain Conquests
The incessant Rovers of the northern main,
Helps to restore and spread a Pagan sway:
But Gospel-truth is potent to allay
Fierceness and rage ; and soon the cruel Dane
Feels through the influence of her gentle reign,
His native superstitions melt away.
Thus, often, when thick gloom the east o'ershrouds,
The full-orbed Moon, slow-climbing, doth appear
Silently to consume the heavy clouds ;
How no one can resolve ; but every eye
Around her sees, while air is hushed, a clear
And widening circuit of ethereal sky.

Canute A PLEASANT music floats along the Mere

From Monks in Ely chanting service high,
While-as Canute the King is rowing by :
“My Oarsmen," quoth the mighty King, “ draw

near,
That we the sweet song of the monks may

hear!”
He listens (all past conquests and all schemes
Of future vanishing like empty dreams)
Heart-touched, and haply not without a tear.
The Royal Minstrel, ere the choir is still,
While his free Barge skims the smooth flood along,
Gives to that rapture an accordant Rhyme.
O suffering Earth! be thankful; sternest clime
And rudest age are subject to the thrill
Of heaven-descended Piety and Song.

The Norman The woman-hearted Confessor prepares
Conquest The evanescence of the Saxon line.

Hark! 'tis the tolling Curfew !-the stars shine ;
But of the lights that cherish household cares
And festive gladness, burns not one that dares
To twinkle after that dull stroke of thine,
Emblem and instrument, from Thames to Tyne,
Of force that daunts, and cunning that ensnares !
Yet as the terrors of the lordly bell,
That quench, from hut to palace, lamps and fires,
Touch not the tapers of the sacred quires ;
Even so a thraldom, studious to expel
Old laws, and ancient customs to derange,
To Creed or Ritual brings no fatal change.

COLDLY we spake. The Saxons overpowered Sufferings By wrong triumphant through its own excess,

of the

Saxons
From fields laid waste, from house and home de-

voured
By flames, look up to heaven and crave redress
From God's eternal justice. Pitiless
Though men be, there are angels who can feel
For wounds that death alone has power to heal,
For penitent guilt, and innocent distress.
And has a Champion risen in arms to try
His Country's virtue, fought, and breathes no more;
Him in their hearts the people canonize ;
And far above the mine's most precious ore
The least small pittance of bare mould they prize
Scooped from the sacred earth where his dear
relics lie.

w “ And shall,” the Pontiff asks, "profaneness flow The Council From Nazareth- -source of Christian piety,

of Clermont From Bethlehem, from the Mounts of Agony And glorified Ascension ? Warriors, go, With

prayers and blessings we your path will sow; Like Moses hold our hands erect, till

ye Have chased far off by righteous victory These sons of Amalek, or laid them low!”. “GOD WILLBTH IT,” the whole assembly cry ; Shout which the enraptured multitude astounds ! The Council-roof and Clermont's towers reply; “God willeth it," from hill to hill rebounds, And, in awe-stricken Countries far and nigh, Through“ Nature's hollow arch” that voice re

sounds.

Crusades The turbaned Race are poured in thickening

swarms

Along the west ; though driven from Aquitaine,
The Crescent glitters on the towers of Spain ;
And soft Italia feels renewed alarms;
The scimitar, that yields not to the charms
Of ease, the narrow Bosphorus will disdain ;
Nor long (that crossed) would Grecian hills detain
Their tents, and check the current of their arms.
Then blame not those who, by the mightiest lever
Known to the moral world, Imagination,
Upheave, so seems it, from her natural station
All Christendom :—they sweep along (was never
So huge a host!)—to tear from the Unbeliever
The precious Tomb, their haven of salvation.

Richard 1. REDOUBTED King, of courage leonine,

I mark thee, Richard ! urgent to equip
Thy warlike person with the staff and scrip;
I watch thee sailing o'er the midland brine;
In conquered Cyprus see thy Bride decline
Her blushing cheek, love-vows upon her lip,
And see love-emblems streaming from thy ship,
As thence she holds her way to Palestine.
My Song, a fearless homager, would attend
Thy thundering battle-axe as it cleaves the press
Of war, but duty summons her away
To tell-how, finding in the rash distress
Of those Enthusiasts a subservient friend,
To giddier heights hath clomb the Papal sway.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »