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570. Saxon, from yonder mountain high,
I marked thee send delighted eye,
Far to the south and east, where lay,
Extended in succession gay,
Deep waving fields and pastures green,
With gentle slopes and groves between :-
These fertile plains, that soften’d vale,
Were once the birthright of the Gael;
The stranger came with iron hand,
And from our fathers reft the land.
Where dwell we now? See rudely swell
Crag over crag, and fell o'er fell.
Ask we this savage hill we tread,
For fattend steer or household bread;
Ask we for flocks these shingles dry,
And well the mountain might reply, —
“ To you, as to your sires of yore,
Belong the target and claymore !
I give you shelter in my breast;
Your own good blades must win the rest.”
Pent in this fortress of the north,
Think'st thou we will not sally forth
To spoil the spoiler as we may,
And from the robber rend the prey ?
Aye, by my soul, while on yon plain
The Saxon rears one shock of grain,
While, of ten thousand herds, there strays
But one along yon river's maze,
The Gael, of plain and river heir,
Shall, with strong hand, redeem his share. 571.
His starry wings, and through the pure white air
Of heav'n pursu'd his flight. Him all the host
Follow'd with acclamation, and sweet sound
Of praises to their God; till at the gates
Arriv'd, the crystal gates, self-op’ning, gave
Easy descent adown the range adjoin'd
Of ample golden stairs, into the vast
Subjected universe. He on the verge
Of outmost heav'n, poising for downward flight
His pinions, stood, then spread, and thro' the void
Descending, while all gaz'd around, with speed
By man immeasurable, tow'rd this earth
Scarce visible in distance, though to eye
Of angel prime, so many and far between
Worlds interjected lay – he steers his flight.
As when from some far-potent land a ship
Swift tilting scuds the mid-most brine, despatch'd
On weightiest errand to some foreign shore,
Island, or colony, or hostile port,
To subjugated realms some mandate high
Bearing, or what in senate full free states
To adverse states determine, peace or war:
Thus, but on higher quest, and with no track
Prest on th' etherial softness, flew the pow'r
Commission'd, and at length with slacken'd wing
On earth alighting, his appointed goal,
Paus’d, as from rapid flight, awhile, then spread,
Refresh'd, his plumes, and to the well-known realm
Of Judah steer'd his course.
572. V. Good morrow, Phæbus ; what's the news abroad ?
For thou seest all things in the world are done;
Men act by day-light, or the light of sun.
P. Sometimes I cast my eye upon the sea,
To see the tumbling seal or porpoise play.
lines and their saila
There see I merchants trading, and their sails
Big-bellied with the wind ; sea-fights sometimes
Raise with their smoke thick clouds to dark my
Sometimes I fix my face upon the earth,
With my warm fervour to give metals, trees,
Herbs, plants and flowers, life. Here in gardens
Bright ladies with their lovers, arm in arm :
Yonder the labouring plowman drives his team.
Further I may behold main battles pitcht;
And whom I favour most, by the wind's help
I can assist with my transparent rays.
Here spy I cattle feeding ; forests there
Stored with wild beasts ; here shepherds with their
Piping beneath the trees, while their flocks graze.
In cities I see trading, walking, bargaining,
Buying and selling, goodness, badness, all things,
And shine alike on all. V. Thrice happy Phoebus,
That, whilst poor Vulcan is confin'd to Lemnos,
Hast every day these pleasures! What news else?
P. No emperor walks forth, but I see his state;
Nor sports, but I his pastime can behold.
I see all coronations, funerals,
Marts, fairs, assemblies, pageants, sights and shows.
No hunting, but I better see the chase
Than they that rouse the game.
573. These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And never, since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
- To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb’d our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs, which, falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made so proud,
That they have overborne their continents.
The ox bath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard :
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with a murrain flock;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable.
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:-
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatick diseases do abound:
And, thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter : hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown,
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set.
574. The day his father fell, Electra hid
Her brother, and consigned him to the care
Of Strophius, his father's relative.
He willingly receiv'd and rear'd the child
With his own son, named Pylades, who soon
With fairest bonds of love entwin'd the stranger.
And as they grew, within their inmost souls
There sprang the fiery longing to revenge
The monarch’s death. Unlook'd for and disguis’d
They reach Mycene, feigning to have brought
The mournful tidings of Orestes' death,
Together with his ashes. Them the queen
Gladly receiv'd. Within the house they enter;
Orestes to Electra shows himself:
She fans the fires of vengeance into flame,
Which in the sacred presence of a mother
Had burn'd more dimly. Silently she leads
Her brother to the spot where fell their sire,
Where ancient blood-marks, on the oft-wash'd floor,
With pallid streaks anticipate revenge.
With burning eloquence she pictur'd forth
Each circumstance of that atrocious deed,
Her own oppress’d and miserable life,
The prosperous traitor's insolent demeanour,
The perils threat'ning Agamemnon's race
From her who had become their stepmother;
Then in his hand the ancient dagger thrust,
Which often in the house of Tantalus
With savage fury raged. So by her son
Was Clytemnestra slain. 575. G. Will the king come that I may breathe my
In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth.
Y. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
G. O, but they say, the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention, like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in
For they breathe truth, that breathe their words in
pain. He, that no more must say, is listen’d more Than they whom youth and ease have taught to
More are men's ends mark’d, than their lives
The setting sun, and musick at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance, more than things long past :
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
Y. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering sounds,
As, praises of his state : then, there are found
Lascivious metres; to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen :