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Beneath each banner proud to stand,
the noblest of the land,
Till through the British world were known
The names of Pitt and Fox alone.
And vainly pierce the solemn gloom,
That shrouds, O Pitt, thy hallowed tomb:
For ne'er held marble in its trust
Of two such wondrous men the dust.
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;
Now—taming thought to human pride!
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 again ?”
0! it is pleasant with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please,
Or let the easily persuaded eyes
Own each quaint likeness, issuing from the mould
Of a friend's fancy; or, with head bent low,
And cheek aslant, see rivers flow of gold
'Twixt crimson banks; and then, a traveller, go
From mount to mount through Cloudland, gorgeous land !
Or listening to the tide, with closed sight,
Be that blind bard, who, on the Chian strand,
By those deep sounds possessed with inward light,
Beheld2 the Iliad and the Odyssee
Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea.
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.3
Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of heaven's joy,
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixed powere employ
Dead things with imbreathed sense able to pierce;
And to our high-raised phantasy? present
That undisturbed song of pure concent,
Aye sung before the sapphire-coloured throne
To him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright seraphim, in burning row,
Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the cherubic host, in thousand quires,
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
That we on earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise ;16
Chian strand-It was an ancient tradition that Homer was born at Chios.
Beheld—i. e. with his mental eye; conceived the plan of. 3 At a solemn music-i.e. lines written at, or on, a sacred concert or oratorio.
4 Pledges-i. e. earnests or foretastes of the joys of heaven.
5 Wed your, fc.—Milton speaks in “ L'Allegro,” of airs “ Married to immor. tal verse."
6 Mixed power, fc.-i.e. employ your united power, which is able to penetrate and breathe life even into dead things, and to our, &c.
Phantasy-the old spelling for, fancy.
Concent-from the Latin con, together, and centus, (for cantus,) singing ; harmony.
Noise-music. So the word used to be sometimes employed in prose. See Psalm xlvii, 5: “God is gone up with a merry noise, and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet :" Cranmer's version.
As once we did, till disproportioned sin
Jarred against nature's chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
Oh! may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial concert us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light!
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.3
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,4
When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones,
Forget not : in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piedmontese that rolled
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans5
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow
O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway
The triple tyrant ;6 that from these may grow
A hundred fold, who, having learned thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.?
Diapason—from the Greek dia, through,and TUOWV, of all--“ the interval of the octave, so called because it includes all admitted musical sounds" here, metaphorically, full harmony.
3 This sublime prayer, as it may truly be called, was written on occasion of the barbarous massacre in 1655, inflicted by the Duke of Savoy on his Protestant subjects, the Vaudois.
So pure of old-- T'he Vaudois appear to have kept themselves separate from the church of Rome from time immemorial.
5 Their moans, fc.—The simplicity of the expression, the fulness of meaning, and the fine movement of the verse, make this sentence truly sublime.
6 The triple tyrant-the Pope.
? Babylonian woe-the woe denounced on the spiritual Babylon, which is by many considered to be the Roman Catholic church.
THE GOLDEN AGE.
The first fresh dawn' then waked the gladdened race
Of uncorrupted men, nor blushed to see
The sluggard sleep beneath her sacred beam;
For their light slumbers gently fumed away,
And up they rose, as vigorous as the sun,
Or to the culture of the willing glebe,
Or to the cheerful tendence of the flock.
Meantime the song went round; and dance and sport,
Wisdom, and friendly talk successive stole
Their hours away: while in the rosy vale
Love breathed his infant sighs, from anguish free,
Replete with bliss, and only wept for joy.
Nor yet injurious act, nor surly deed
Was known among these happy sons of heaven ;
For reason and benevolence were law.
Harmonious nature too looked smiling on:
Clear shone the skies, cooled with eternal gales,
And balmy spirit all. The youthful sun
Shot his best rays; and still the gracious clouds
Dropped fatness down, as o'er the swelling mead
The herds and flocks commixing played secure.
This when, emergent from the gloomy wood,
The glaring lion saw, his horrid heart
Was meekened, and he joined his sullen joy.
For music held the whole in perfect peace:
Soft sighed the flute; the tender voice was heard,
Warbling the varied heart;2 the woodlands round
Applied their choir; and winds and waters flowed
In consonance. Such were those prime of days.
Night is the time for rest,
How sweet! when labours close,
To gather round an aching breast
The curtain of repose;
Stretch the tired limbs and lay the head
Upon our own delightful bed! The first dawn-a Latinism-like "primâ luce”-signifying, the first part of the dawn; day-break.
Warbling the aried, &c.-i.e. warbling forth the various emotions of the heart.
Night is the time for dreams;
The gay romance of life,
When truth that is, and truth that seems,
Blend in fantastic strife;
Ah! visions less beguiling far
Than waking dreams by daylight are.
Night is the time for toil;
To plough the classic field,
Intent to find the buried spoil,
Its wealthy furrows yield;
Till all is ours that sages taught,
That poets sang, or heroes wrought.
Night is the time to weep,
To wet with unseen tears
memory where sleep
The joys of other years;
Hopes that were angels in their birth,
But perished young, like things of earth.
Night is the time for care;
Brooding on hours misspent,
To see the spectre of despair
Come to our lonely tent;
Like Brutus,' 'midst his slumbering host,
Startled by Cæsar's stalworthể ghost.
Night is the time to pray;
Our Saviour oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away;
So will his followers do;
Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.
Like Brutus-in allusion to the phantom of Cæsar, which is said to have appeared to Brutus before the battle of Philippi.
Stalworth—from the Anglo-Saxon stæl-weorthe, worth stealing or taking, and therefore, (says Richardson,) by inference-brave, strong, daring. The word seems used here with questionable propriety.