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And from their prisonhouse below arise,
With all these hideous howlings to the skies,
I could be much compos’d, nor should appear,
For such a cause, to feel the slightest fear.
Yourselves have seen, what time the thunders rolld
All night, me resting quiet in the fold.
Or heard we that tremendous bray alone,
I could expound the melancholy tone;
Should deem it by our old companion made,
The ass; for he, we know, has lately stray'd,
And being lost perhaps, and wand’ring wide,
Might be suppos’d to clamour for a guide.
But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear,
That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear?
Damons produce them doubtless, brazen-claw'd
And fang'd with brass the dæmons are abroad;
I hold it therefore wisest and most fit,
That, life to save, we leap into the pit.
Him answer'd then his loving mate and true,
But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.
How? leap into the pit our life to save?
To save our life leap all into the grave?
For can we find it less ? Contemplate first
The depth how awful! falling there, we burst:
Or should the brambles, interpos'd, our fall
In part abate, that happiness were small;
For with a race like theirs no chance I see
Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we.
Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple’s bray,
Or be it not, or be it whose it may,
And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues
Of dæmons utter'd, from whatever lungs,
Sounds are but sounds, and, till the cause appear,
We have at least commodious standing here.
Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast
From Earth or Hell, we can but plunge at last.
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,
For Reynard, close attended at his heels
By panting dog, tir'd man, and spatter'd horse,
Through mere good fortune, took a diff'rent course.
The flock grew calm again, and I, the road
Follwing, that led me to my own abode,
Much wonder'd, that the silly sheep had found
Such cause of terrour in an empty sound
So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.
Beware of desp’rate steps. The darkest day,
Live till to morrow, will have pass'd away.
When the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Ev'ry burning word he spoke
Full of rage, and full of grief.
III. Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, "Tis because resentment ties
All the terrours of our tongues
IV. Rome shall perish-write that word
In the blood that she has spilt;
Perish, hopeless and abhorr'd,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Rome, for empire far renown'd,
Tramples on a thousand states; Soon her pride shall kiss the groundHark! the Gaul is at her gates!
VI. Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize, Harmony the path to fame.
Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land
Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
VIII. Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.
Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow: Rush'd to battle, fought, and died; Dying hurld them at the foe.
XI. Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heav'n awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you.