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O, your sweet eyes, your low replies !
A great enchantress you may be;
But there was that across his throat
Which you had hardly cared to see.
Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
When thus he met his mother's view, She had the passions of her kind,
She spake some certain truths of you; Indeed, I heard one bitter word
That scarce is fit for you to hear. Her manners had not that repose
Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere.
Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
There stands a spectre in your hall : The guilt of blood is at your door;
You changed a wholesome heart to gall. You held your course without remorse,
To make him trust his modest worth, And, last, you fixed a vacant stare,
And slew him with your noble birth.
Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,
From yon blue heavens above us bent, The gardener Adam and his wife
Smile at the claims of long descent. Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
'T is only noble to be good; Kind hearts are more than coronets, And simple faith than Norman blood.
I know you, Clara Vere de Vere,
You pine among your halls and towers;
The languid light of your proud eyes
Is wearied of the rolling hours.
In glowing health, with boundless wealth,
But sickening of a vague disease,
You know so ill to deal with time,
You needs must play such pranks as these.
Clara, Clara Vere de Vere,
If time be heavy on your hands,
Are there no beggars at your gate,
Nor any poor about your lands?
O, teach the orphan-boy to read,
Or teach the orphan-girl to sew,
Pray Heaven for a human heart,
And let the foolish yeoman go.
TRIAL BEFORE REWARD. — Francis Quarles.
WHAT joyful harvester did e'er obtain
The sweet fruition of his hopeful gain,
Till he in hardy labors first had passed
The summer's heat and stormy winter's blast ?
A sable night returns a shining morrow,
And days of joy ensue sad nights of sorrow;
The way to bliss lies not on beds of down,
And he that had no cross deserves no crown.
There 's but one heaven, one place of perfect ease;
In man it lies to take it where he please,
Above, or here below: and few men do
Enjoy the one, and taste the other too:
Sweating and constant labor win the goal
Of rest; afflictions clarify the soul,
And, like hard masters, give more hard directions,
Tutoring the nonage of uncurbed affections.
Wisdom, the antidote of sad despair,
Makes sharp afflictions seem not as they are,
Through patient sufferance; and doth apprehend,
Not as they seeming are, but as they end.
To bear affliction with a bended brow,
Or stubborn heart, is but to disallow
The speedy means to health; salve heals no sore,
If misapplied, but makes the grief the more.
Who sends affliction sends an end, and he
Best knows what's best for him, what 's best for me:
'T is not for me to carve me where I like;
Him pleases when he list to stroke or strike.
I'll neither wish nor yet avoid temptation,
But still expect it, and make preparation :
If he thinks best my faith shall not be tried,
Lord, keep me spotless from presumptuous pride!
If otherwise, with his trial give me care
By thankful patience to prevent despair;
Fit me to bear whate'er thou shalt assign;
I kiss the rod, because the rod is thine!
Howe'er, let me not boast, nor yet repine;
With trial, or without, Lord, make me thine!
THE BARD.— Gray.
The following ode is founded on a tradition current in Wales, that Edward the First, when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the bards that fell into his hands to be put to death.
"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,
Nor e'en 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 Gloster stood aghast in speechless trance:
"To arms!" cried Mortimer, and couched his quiv.
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, O king, their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To highborn Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.
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 the 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,
Ye died amidst your dying country's cries!-
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
On yonder cliffs, a grisly 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!"
"Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward's race;
Give ample room, and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace!
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall reëcho with affright
The shrieks of death through Berkeley's roofs that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king!
She-wolf of France,2 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 Heaven! What terrors round him
Amazement in his van, with flight combined;
And sorrow's faded form, and solitude behind ! 3
Mighty victor, mighty lord, Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye afford
A tear to grace his obsequies! 4
1 Edward the Second, cruelly butchered in Berkeley castle. 2 Isabel of France, queen of Edward the Second.
3 Triumphs of Edward the Third in France.
Death of that king, abandoned by his children, and even robbed in his last moments by his courtiers.