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III, 2

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Nor second he that rode sublime

95 Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,

The secrets of th' Abyss to spy.
He passed the flaming bounds of Place and Time:

The living throne, the sapphire blaze,

Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,

Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car

Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
Two coursers of ethereal race,

105 With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace!

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III. 3
Hark! his hands the lyre explore:
Bright-eyed Fancy hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictured urn"
Thoughts that breathe and words that burn.

But, ah, 't is heard no more!
O lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? Though he inherit
Nor the pride nor ample pinion

That the Theban Eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion

Through the azure deep of air,
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run

Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray,
With orient hues unborrowed of the sun:

Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the good how far—but far above the great.
1754.

1757.

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120

THE BARD

I. I

"Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
Confusion on thy banners wait;

Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.

Helm,'nor hauberk's twisted mail,

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Nor even thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,

From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears !"
Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride

Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array.

Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance; “To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couched his quiv'ring lance.

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On a rock whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,

Robed in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet stood

(Loose his beard and hoary hair
Streamed, like a meteor, to the troubled air),
And with a master's hand and prophet's fire

Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre:
"Hark how each giant oak and desert cave

Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
O'er thee, oh king! their hundred arms they wave,

Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe,
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp or soft Llewellyn's lay.

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I. 3
“Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,

That hushed the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed;

Mountains, ye mourn in vain

Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topped head:

On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Smeared with gore and ghastly pale;
Far, far aloof th' affrighted ravens sail;

The famished eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,

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Ye died amidst your dying country's cries

No more I weep: they do not sleep!
On yonder cliffs, a griesly band,

I see them sit; they linger yet,
Avengers of their native land:
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

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II. I

"Weave the warp and weave the woof, The winding-sheet of Edward's race;

50 Give ample room and verge enough The characters of hell to trace:

Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death through Berkley's roofs that ring, 55

Shrieks of an agonizing king !
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,

That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
From thee be born who o'er thy country hangs,
The scourge of Heav'n: what terrors round him

wait! Amazement in his van, with Flight combined, And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.

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II. 2

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"Mighty victor, mighty lord!
Low on his funeral couch he lies :

No. pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.

Is the Sable Warriour fled?
Thy son is gone; he rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noontide beam were born?

Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the morn and soft the zephyr blows,

While, proudly riding o'er the azure realm,
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes,

Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm, Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind's sway, That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

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“Fill high the sparkling bowl,

The rich repast prepare;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair

80 Fell Thirst and Famine scowl A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.

Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havoc urge their destined course,

And through the kindred squadrons mow their way. Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,

With many a foul and midnight murther fed,
Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame,
And spare the meek usurper's holy head!

Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:

The bristled Boar in infant gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o'er th' accursed loom,

95 Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom!

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III. I

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"Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof: the thread is spun)

Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)

Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unblest, unpitied, here to mourn!
In yon bright track, that fires the western skies,

They melt, they vanish from my eyes.
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height,

Descending slow, their glitt'ring skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!

Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul !
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail:
All hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia's issue, hail!

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III. 2

“Girt with many a baron bold, Sublime their starry fronts they rear;

And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old

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In bearded majesty, appear.

In the midst a form divine !
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton line;
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,

Attempered sweet to virgin-grace.
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,

What strains of vocal transport round her play!
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear:

They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.
Bright Rapture calls, and, soaring as she sings,
Waves in the eye of Heav'n her many-coloured wings.

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III. 3

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"The verse adorn again

Fierce War and faithful Love
And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest.

In buskined measures move

Pale Grief and Pleasing Pain,
With Horrour, tyrant of the throbbing breast.

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A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,

That, lost in long futurity, expire.
Fond impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud, 135

Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day?
To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.

Enough for me; with joy I see
The different doom our Fates assign:

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Be thine Despair and sceptred Care;
To triumph and to die are mine."
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.

1754-57.

1757.

ODE ON THE PLEASURE ARISING FROM VICISSITUDE

Now the golden Morn aloft

Waves her dew-bespangled wing;
With vermeil cheek and whisper soft

She wooes the tardy Spring;

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