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UPON THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH'S HOUSE AT WOODSTOCK.
See, sir, here's the grand approach;
This way is for his Grace's coach:
There lies the bridge, and here's the clock,
Observe the lion and the cock,
The spacious court, the colonnade,
And mark how wide the hall is made!
The chimneys are so well design'd,
They never smoke in any wind.
This gallery's contrived for walking,
The windows to retire and talk in;
The council chamber for debate,
And all the rest are rooms of state.
Thanks, sir, cried I, 'tis very fine,
But where d'ye sleep, or where d'ye dine ?
I find, by all you have been telling,
That 'tis a house, but not a dwelling.
FROM "THE RAPE OF THE LOCK."
The board with cups and spoons is crowned,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round;
On shining altars of Japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze;
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide;
While China's earth receives the smoking tide:
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Straight hover round the fair her airy band;
Some, as she sipped, the fuming liquor fanned,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes displayed,
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee (which makes the politician wise,
And see thro' all things with his half-shut eyes)
vapours to the baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain.
Ah, cease, rash youth! desist ere 'tis too late;
Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's fate!
Changed to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injured hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit instruments of ill!
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edged weapon from her shining case;
So ladies, in romance, assist their knight,
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight.
He takes the gift with reverence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers' ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head.
Swift to the lock a thousand sprites repair,
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they twitched the diamond in her ear;
Thrice she looked back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close recesses of the virgin's thought,
As on the nosegay in her breast reclined,
He watched the ideas rising in her mind.
Sudden he viewed, in spite of all her art,
An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
Amazed, confused, he found his power expired!
Resigned to fate, and with a sigh retired.
The peer now spreads the glittering forfex wide, T'inclose the lock; now joins it to divide. E’en then, before the fatal engine closed, A wretched sylph too fondly interposed: Fate urged the shears, and cut the sylph in twain (But airy substance soon unites again:) The meeting points the sacred hair dissever From the fair head, for ever and for ever!
Then flashed the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th'affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast,
When husbands, or when lap-dogs, breathe their last;
Or when rich China vessels, fallen from high,
In glittering dust and painted fragments lie!
[This 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;
Tho' fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing,
To 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 scatter'd 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 couch'd his quiv'ring lance.
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er cold Conway's foaming flood,
Robed in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet stood;
(Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Stream'd, 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.
"Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hush'd 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-topt head.
On dreay's Arvon's shore they lie,
Sear'd with gore and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof th' affrighted ravens sail;
The famish'd 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 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.
“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 re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death, thro' Berkley's roof that ring,
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 Alight combin'd,
And sorrow's faded form, and solitude behind.
“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 warrior 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, hush'd in grim repose, expects his ev'ning prey.
“Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare,
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair
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 havock urge their destined course, And thro' the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, HOEKZEMA, Poetry. 4th Ed.