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What would you have of us?
The land is sick, the people diseased,
And blight and famine on all the lea : The holy Gods, they must be appeased, So I pray you tell the truth to me.
They have taken our son,
v. The King bent low, with hand on brow,
He stay'd his arms upon his knee : O wife, what use to answer now? For now the Priest has judged for
And cattle died, and deer in wood,
And whiten’d all the rolling flood ; . And dead men lay all over the way,
Or down in a furrow scathed with flame : And ever and aye the Priesthood moan'd, Till at last it seem'd that an answer
The King was shaken with holy fear; "The Gods,' he said, 'would have
chosen well; Yet both are near, and both are dear, And which the dearest I cannot tell !!
But the Priest was happy,
The Priest went out by heath and hill ;
The King was hunting in the wild ; They found the mother sitting still ;
She cast her arms about the child. The child was only eight summers old,
His beauty still with his years increased, His face was ruddy, his hair was gold, He seem'd a victim due to the priest.
The Priest beheld him,
The rites prepared, the victim bared,
The knife uprising toward the blow, To the altar-stone she sprang alone,
‘Me, not my darling, no !' He caught her away with a sudden
And the Priest was happy,
Glory of warrior, glory of orator, glory of song,
Paid with a voice Aying by to be lost on an endless seaGlory of Virtue, to fight, to struggle, to right the wrong
Nay, but she aim'd not at glory, no lover of glory she: Give her the glory of going on, and still to be.
The wages of sin is death : if the wages of Virtue be dust,
Would she have heart to endure for the life of the worm and the fly? She desires no isles of the blest, no quiet seats of the just,
To rest in a golden grove, or to bask in a summer sky: Give her the wages of going on, and not to die.
THE HIGHER PANTHEISM.
The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains-
Is not the Vision He? tho' He be not that which He seems ?
Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb,
Dark is the world to thee : thyself art the reason why;
Glory about thee, without thee; and thou fulfillest thy doom
Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet-
God is law, say the wise ; O Soul, and let us rejoice,
Law is God, say some : no God at all, says the fool ;
And the ear of man cannot hear, and the eye of man cannot see
Not raised for ever and ever,
But when their cycle is o'er, The valley, the voice, the peak, the star Pass, and are found no more.
vii. The Peak is high and flush'd
At his highest with sunrise fire ; The Peak is high, and the stars are high,
And the thought of a man is higher.
As one who feels the immeasurable world, Attain the wise indifference of the wise ; And after Autumn past—if left to pass His autumn into seeming-leafless days— Draw toward the long frost and longest
night, Wearing his wisdom lightly, like the fruit Which in our winter woodland looks a
flower. * The fruit of the Spindle-tree (Euonymus Europaus)
*They that scorn the tribes and call us Britain's barbarous populaces, Did they hear me, would they listen, did they pity me supplicating? Shall I heed them in their anguish? shall I brook to be supplicated ? Hear Icenian, Catieuchlanian, hear Coritanian, Trinobant ! Must their ever-ravening eagle's beak and talon annihilate us ? Tear the noble heart of Britain, leave it gorily quivering? Bark an answer, Britain's raven ! bark and blacken innumerable, Blacken round the Roman carrion, make the carcase a skeleton, Kite and kestrel, wolf and wolf kin, from the wilderness, wallow in it, Till the face of Bel be brighten’d, Taranis be propitiated. Lo their colony half-defended ! lo their colony, Cámulodúne ! There the horde of Roman robbers mock at a barbarous adversary. There the hive of Roman liars worship a gluttonous emperor-idiot. Such is Rome, and this her deity : hear it, Spirit of Cássivëlaún !
Hear it, Gods! the Gods have heard it, O Icenian, O Coritarian! Doubt not ye the Gods have answer’d, Catieuchlanian, Trinobant. These have told us all their anger in miraculous utterances, Thunder, a flying fire in heaven, a murmur heard aërially, Phantom sound of blows descending, moan of an enemy massacred, Phantom wail of women and children, multitudinous agonies. Bloodily flow'd the Tamesa rolling phantom bodies of horses and men ; Then a phantom colony smoulder'd on the refluent estuary ; Lastly yonder yester-even, suddenly giddily totteringThere was one who watch'd and told me-down their statue of Victory fell. Lo their precious Roman bantling, lo the colony Cámulodúne, Shall we teach it a Roman lesson? shall we care to be pitiful ? Shall we deal with it as an infant? shall we dandle it amorously?
• Hear Icenian, Catieuchlanian, hear Coritanian, Trinobant ! While I roved about the forest, long and bitterly meditating,
There I heard them in the darkness, at the mystical ceremony,
• Hear Icenian, Catieuchlanian, hear Coritanian, Trinobant ! Me the wife of rich Prasutagus, me the lover of liberty, Me they seized and me they tortured, me they lash'd and humiliated, Me the sport of ribald Veterans, mine of ruffian violators! See they sit, they hide their faces, miserable in ignominy ! Wherefore in me burns an anger, not by blood to be satiated. Lo the palaces and the temple, lo the colony Cámulodune ! There they ruled, and thence they wasted all the flourishing territory, Thither at their will they haled the yellow-ringleted BritonessBloodily, bloodily fall the battle-axe, unexhausted, inexorable. Shout Icenian, Catieuchlanian, shout Coritanian, Trinobant, Till the victim hear within and yearn to hurry precipitously Like the leaf in a roaring whirlwind, like the smoke in a hurricane whirld. Lo the colony, there they rioted in the city of Cúnobeline ! There they drank in cups of emerald, there at tables of ebony lay, Rolling on their purple couches in their tender effeminacy. There they dwelt and there they rioted; there—there—they dwell no more. Burst the gates, and burn the palaces, break the works of the statuary, Take the hoary Roman head and shatter it, hold it abominable, Cut the Roman boy to pieces in his lust and voluptuousness, Lash the maiden into swooning, me they lash'd and humiliated, Chop the breasts from off the mother, dash the brains of the little one out, Up my Britons, on my chariot, on my chargers, trample them under us.'
So the Queen Boädicéa, standing loftily charioted, Brandishing in her hand a dart and rolling glances lioness-like, Yell’d and shriek'd between her daughters in her fierce volubility. Till her people all around the royal chariot agitated, Madly dash'd the darts together, writhing barbarous lineaments, Made the noise of frosty woodlands, when they shiver in January, Roard as when the rolling breakers boom and blanch on the precipices, Yell'd as when the winds of winter tear an oak on a promontory.