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Or for Tradition’s dubious light,
That hovers 'twixt the day and night :
Dazzling alternately and dim,
Her wavering lamp I'd rather trim,
Knights, squires, and lovely dames to see,
Creation of my fantasy,
Than gaze abroad on reeky fen,
And make of mists invading men.-
Who loves not more the night of June
Than dull December's gloomy noon ?
The moonlight than the fog of frost ?
And can we say, which cheats the most ?
But who shall teach my harp to gain A sound of the romantic strain, Whose Anglo-Norman tones whilere Could win the Royal Henry's ear, Famed Beauclerc call'd, for that he loved
The minstrel, and his lay approved ? Who shall these lingering notes redeem, Decaying on Oblivion's stream;
Such notes as from the Breton tongue
Marie translated, Blondel sung ?
0! born, Time's ravage to repair,
And make the dying Muse thy care ;
Who, when his scythe her hoary foe
Was poising for the final blow,
The weapon from his hand could wring,
And break his glass, and shear his wing.
And bid, reviving in his strain,
The gentle poet live again :
Thou, who canst give to lightest lay
An unpedantic moral gay,
Nor less the dullest theme bid fit
On wings of unexpected wit ;
In letters, as in life approved,
Example honour'd, and beloved, -
Dear ELLIS ! to the bard impart
A lesson of thy magic art,
To win at once the head and heart,-
At once to charm, instruct, and mend,
My guide, my pattern, and my friend !
Such minstrel lesson to bestow
Be long thy pleasing task-but, O!
No more by thy example teach
What few can practise, all can preach;
With even patience to endure
Lingering disease, and painful cure,
And boast affliction's pangs subdued
By mild and manly fortitude.
Enough, the lesson has been given ;.
Forbid the repetition, Heaven!
Come listen, then ! for thou hast known And loved the Minstrel’s varying tone, Who, like his Border sires of old, Waked a wild measure rude and bold, Till Windsor's oaks, and Ascot plain, With wonder heard the northern strain. Come, listen !-bold in thy applause, The Bard shall scorn pedantic laws; And, as the ancient art could stain Achievements on the storied pane,
Irregularly traced and plannid,
But yet so glowing and so grand;
So shall he strive in changeful hue,
Field, feast, and combat, to renew,
And loves, and arms, and harpers' glee,
And all the pomp of chivalry.