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The master saw the madness rise;
He sung Darius, great and good,
Fall'n! fall'n! fall'n fall'n! Fall'n from his high estate, And weltering in his blood! Deserted at his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed,
With downcast look the joyless victor sat,
The various turns of fate below;
The many rend the skies with loud applause: So love was crown'd; but music won the cause.
Now, strike the golden lyre again!
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain!
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder!
As awak'd from the dead;
Revenge! revenge! Timotheus cries
See the snakes that they rear,
How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!
Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand!
These are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,
Behold! how they toss their torches on high,
And glitt'ring temples of their hostile gods!
And the king seiz'd a flambeau, with zeal to destroy;
Thais led the way,
To light him to his prey;
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy!
Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,
Timotheus, to his breathing flute
And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage-or kindle soft desire.
At last, divine Cecilia came,
The sweet enthusiast from her sacred store,
XVI. EXTRACTS FROM GRAY'S BARD.
"RUIN seize thee, ruthless! King!
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
With haggard eyes the poet stood;
(Loose his beard and hoary hair
It was a common tradition in Wales, that Edward I. ordered all the Bards to be put to death. On that tradition this Ode is founded.
And with a master's hand and prophet's fire
"No more I weep. They do not sleep;
On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
I see them sit! they linger yet,
And weave with bloody hand the tissue of thy line.
The winding sheet of Edward's race;
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death through Berkley's roof that ring; Shrieks' of an agonizing king!—
"Mighty victor, mighty lord,
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
Fair laughs the morn,3 and soft the zephyr blows,
Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm;
1 In allusion to the murder of Edward II. 2 Death of Edward III. 8 In allusion to the auspicious commencement of Richard II.'s reign.
"Fond impious man! think'st thou yon sanguine cloud, Raised by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
The different doom our fates assign,
He spoke; and, headlong from the mountain's height,
XVII. ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.
THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day;
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea; The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness-and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such, as wandering near her secret bow'r, Molest her ancient, solitary reign.
Beneath these rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from her straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.