Imatges de pÓgina
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When act of war the strength of man provoked,

The motion of the muscles, as they work'd
In rise and fall. On each left thigh a sword
Swung in the 'broider'd baldric; each right
hand

Grasp'd a long-shadowing spear. Like them, their chiefs

Array'd; save on their shields of solid ore, And on their helm, the graver's toil had wrought

Its subtlety in rich device of war;

And o'er their mail, a robe, Punicean dye, Gracefully play'd; where the wing'd shuttle, shot

By cunning of Sidonian virgins, wove
Broidure of many-colour'd figures rare.
Bright glow'd the sun, and bright the bur-
nish'd mail

Of thousands, ranged, whose pace to song kept time;

And bright the glare of spears, and gleam of crests,

And flaunt of banners flashing to and fro
The noonday beam. Beneath their coming,

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That rang against our gates. The warders' watch

Ceased not. Tower answer'd tower: a warning voice

Was heard without; the cry of woe within: The shriek of virgins, and the wail of her, The mother, in her anguish, who fore-wept, Wept at the breast her babe as now no more. Shout ye! and ye! make answer, Saul hath slain

His thousands; David his ten thousands slain.

Sing a new song. Spake not the insulting foe?

I will pursue, o'ertake, divide the spoil. My hand shall dash their infants on the stones;

The ploughshare of my vengeance shall draw out

The furrow, where the tower and fortress rose. Before my chariot Israel's chiefs shall clank Their chains. Each side their virgin daugh

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Snappeth the spear in sunder. In thy strength

A youth, thy chosen, laid their champion low. Saul, Saul pursues, o'ertakes, divides the spoil;

Wreathes round our necks these chains of gold, and robes

Our limbs with floating crimson. Then rejoice,

Daughters of Israel! from your cymbals shake

Sweet clangour, hymning God! the Lord of Hosts!

Ye! shout! and ye! make answer, Saul hath slain

His thousands; David his ten thousands slain.

Such the hymned harmony, from voices breathed

Of virgin minstrels, of each tribe the prime For beauty, and fine form, and artful touch Of instrument, and skill in dance and song; Choir answering choir, that on to Gibeah led The victors back in triumph. On each neck Play'd chains of gold; and, shadowing their charms

With colour like the blushes of the morn, Robes, gift of Saul, round their light limbs, in toss

Of cymbals, and the many-mazed dance, Floated like roseate clouds. Thus, these

came on

In dance and song; then, multitudes that swell'd

The pomp of triumph, and in circles ranged

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O Time! who know'st a lenient hand to lay Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence

(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense) The faint pang stealest, unperceived, away; On thee I rest my only hope at last,

And think when thou hast dried the bitter tear

That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,

I may look back on every sorrow past, And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile

As some lone bird, at day's departing hour, Sings in the sunbeam of the transient shower,

Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while : Yet, ah! how much must that poor heart endure

Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a

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Of parting day yet linger'd on the stream,
And the sun sunk behind the shady reach)-
Hasten'd with tottering footsteps to the
beach.

The one had lost a limb in Nile's dread fight;
Total eclipse had veil'd the other's sight
For ever! As I drew more anxious near,
I stood intent, if they should speak, to hear;
But neither said a word! He who was blind
Stood as to feel the comfortable wind
That gently lifted his gray hair his face
Seem'd then of a faint smile to wear the
trace.

The other fix'd his gaze upon the light
Parting; and when the sun had vanish'd

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As they departed through the unheeding crowd,

A caged bird sung from the casement loud;
And then I heard alone that blind man say,
"The music of the bird is sweet to-day!
I said, "O Heavenly Father! none may know
The cause these have for silence or for wo!'
Here they appear heart-stricken or resign'd
Amidst the unheeding tumult of mankind.

There is a world, a pure unclouded clime, Where there is neither grief, nor death, nor time!

Nor loss of friends! Perhaps when yonder bell

Beat slow, and bade the dying day farewell, Ere yet the glimmering landscape sunk to night, They thought upon that world of distant

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Pangs of hopeless, sever'd love?
Thee, the stream that gushes clear-
Thee, the birds that carol near
Shall soothe, as silent thou dost lie
And dream of their wild lullaby;
Come to bless these scenes of peace,
Where cares, and toil, and sadness cease.
W. I. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850.

1243.-ON THE FUNERAL OF CHARLES I.,

AT NIGHT IN ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL,

WINDSOR.

The castle clock had toll'd midnight,
With mattock and with spade-
And silent, by the torches' light-
His corpse in earth we laid.

The coffin bore his name; that those
Of other years might know,
When earth its secret should disclose,
Whose bones were laid below.
"Peace to the dead!" no children sung,
Slow pacing up the nave;

No prayers were read, no knell was rung,
As deep we dug his grave.

We only heard the winter's wind,
In many a sullen gust,

As o'er the open grave inclined,
We murmured, "Dust to dust!"

A moonbeam from the arch's height
Stream'd, as we placed the stone
The long aisles started into light,
And all the windows shone.

We thought we saw the banners then
That shook along the walls,
Whilst the sad shades of mailed men
Were gazing on the stalls.

"T is gone!-Again on tombs defaced
Sits darkness more profound;
And only by the torch we traced
The shadows on the ground.

And now the chilling, freezing air
Without blew long and loud;
Upon our knees we breathed one prayer,
Where he slept in his shroud.

We laid the broken marble floor,-
No name, no trace appears!
And when we closed the sounding door,
We thought of him with tears.

W. L. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850.

1244.-AT OXFORD, 1786.

Bereave me not of Faney's shadowy dreams, Which won my heart, or when the gay

career

Of life begun, or when at times a tear

Sat sad on memory's cheek-though loftier themes

Await th' awaken'd mind, to the high prize Of wisdom, hardly earn'd with toil and pain,

Aspiring patient; yet on life's wide plain Left fatherless, where many a wanderer sighs Hourly, and oft our road is lone and long,

'T were not a crime, should we a while delay

Amid the sunny field; and happier they Who, as they journey, woo the charm of song, To cheer their way-till they forget to weep, And the tired sense is hush'd, and sinks to sleep.

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And Pity, at the dark and stormy hour Of midnight, when the moon is hid on high,

Keeps her lone watch upon the topmost tow'r,

And turns her ear to each expiring cry; Blest if her aid some fainting wretch might

save,

And snatch him cold and speechless from the

wave.

W. L. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850.

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1248.-TO THE RIVER TWEED.

O Tweed! a stranger, that with wandering feet

O'er hill and dale has journey'd many a mile

(If so his weary thoughts he might beguile), Delighted turns thy beauteous scenes to greet.

The waving branches that romantic bend

O'er thy tall banks, a soothing charm bestow;

The murmurs of thy wand'ring wave below

Seem to his ear the pity of a friend. Delightful stream! though now along thy shore,

When spring returns in all her wonted pride,

The shepherd's distant pipe is heard no more, Yet here with pensive peace could I abide, Far from the stormy world's tumultuous roar,

To muse upon thy banks at eventide.

W. L. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850

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1249.-SONNET.

Evening, as slow thy placid shades descend, Veiling with gentlest hush the landscape still,

The lonely battlement, and farthest hill, And wood, I think of those that have no friend,

Who now, perhaps, by melancholy led,

From the broad blaze of day, where pleasure flaunts,

Retiring, wander 'mid thy lonely haunts Unseen; and watch the tints that o'er thy bed

Hang lovely, to their pensive fancy's eye

Presenting fairy vales, where the tired mind

Might rest, beyond the murmurs of mankind,

Nor hear the hourly moans of misery!

Ah! beauteous views, that Hope's fair gleams the while

Should smile like you, and perish as they smile!

W. L. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850.

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I may look back on every sorrow past, And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile

As some lone bird, at day's departing hour, Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient show'r

Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while ::

Yet ah! how much must that poor heart endure,

Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a

cure!

W. L. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850.

1252.-ON A DISTANT VIEW OF
ENGLAND.

Ah! from mine eyes the tears unbidden start,

As thee, my country, and the long-lost sight

Of thy own cliffs, that lift their summits white

Above the wave, once more my beating heart With eager hope and filial transport hails!

Scenes of my youth, reviving gales ye bring,

As when erewhile the tuneful morn of spring

Joyous awoke amidst your blooming vales, And fill'd with fragrance every painted plain : Fled are those hours, and all the joys they gave!

Yet still I gaze, and count each rising wave That bears me nearer to your haunts again; If haply, 'mid those woods and vales so fair, Stranger to Peace, I yet may meet her there. W. L. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850.

1253.-TO THE RIVER CHERWELL, OXFORD.

Cherwell! how pleased along thy willow'd hedge

Erewhile I stray'd, or when the morn began

To tinge the distant turret's gleamy fan,
Or evening glimmer'd o'er the sighing sedge!
And now reposing on thy banks once more,
I bid the pipe farewell, and that sad lay
Whose music on my melancholy way

I woo'd amid thy waving willows hoar
Seeking awhile to rest-till the bright sun
Of joy return, as when Heaven's beauteous
bow

Beams on the night-storm's passing wings below:

Whate'er betide, yet something have I won
Of solace, that may bear me on serene,
Till Eve's last hush shall close the silent

scene.

W. L. Bowles.-Born 1762, Died 1850.

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