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Tir'd with contempt, she quits the slippery reign,
And Pride and Prudence take her seat in vain
In crowd at once, where none the pass defend,
The harmless Freedom, and the private Friend.
The guardians yield, by force superior ply'd;
By Interest, Prudence; and by Flattery, Pride.
Now Beauty falls betray'd, despis’d, distress'd,
And hissing Infamy proclaims the rests.
Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find ?
Must dull Suspense corrupt the stagnant mind ?
Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
Roll clarkling down the torrent of his fate?
Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,
No cries attempt the mercies of the skies?
Inquirer, cease! petitions yet remain,
Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem religion vain.
Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
But leave to Heav'n the measure and the choice.
Safe in His pow'r, whose eyes discern afar
The secret ambush of a specious pray’r.
Implore his aid, in his decisions rest,
Secure whate'er he gives, he gives the best.
Yet when the sense of sacred presence fires,
And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
Pour forth thy fervors for a healthful mind,
Obedient passions, and a will resign’d;
For love, which scarce collective man can fill;
For patience, sovereign o'er transmuted ill ;
For faith, that panting for a happier seat,
Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat :
These goods for man the laws of Heav'n ordain,
These goods he grants, who grants the pow'r to gain ;
With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind,
And makes the happiness she does not find.
THE GRAVE OF KING ARTHUR.
King Henry the Second, having undertaken an expedition into Ireland, to suppress a rebellion raised by Roderick, king of Connaught, commonly called O'Connor Dunn, or the brown monarch of Ireland, was entertained, in his passiige through Wales, with the songs of the Welsh Bards. The subject of their poetry was King Arthur, whose history had been so disguised by fabulous intentions, that the place of his burial was in general scarcely known or remembered. Dut in oue of these Welsh poems sung before Henry, it was recited, that King Arthur, after the battle of Camlan in Cornwall, was interred at Glastonbury Abbey, before the high altar, yet without any external mark or memorial, Alterwards Henry visited the abbey, and com. manded the spot, described by the Bard, o be opened: when digging near tventy feet deep, they found the Lody, deposited under a large stone, inscribed with Arthur's name.
STATELY the feast, and high the cheer:
Girt with many an armed peer,
And canopied with golden pall,
Amid Cilgarran's castle hall,
Sublime in formidable state,
And warlike splendour, Henry sate :
Prepar'd to stain the briny flood
Of Shannon's lakes with rebel blood.
Illumining the vaulted roof,
A thousand torches flam'd aloof:
From massy cups, with golden glearn
Sparkled the red metheglin's stream :
To grace the gorgeous festival,
Along the lofty-window'd hall,
The storied tapestry was hung:
With minstrelsy the rafters rung
Of harps, that with reflected light
From the proud gallery glitter'd bright:
While gifted bards, a rival throng,
(From distant Mona, nurse of song,
From Teivi, fring'd with umbrage brown,
From Elvy's vale, and Cader's crown,
From many a shaggy precipice
That shades Ierne's hoarse abyss,
And many a sunless solitude
Of Radnor's inmost mountains rude,)
To crown the banquet's solemn close,
Themes of British glory chose ;
And to the strings of various chime
Attemper'd thus the fabling rime.
“O'er Cornwall's cliffs the tempest roar'd,
High the screaming sea-mew soar'd;
On Tintaggel's topmost tower
Darksome fell the fleety shower ;
Round the rough castle shrilly sung
The whirling blast, and wildly flung
On each tall rampart's thundering side
The surges of the tumbling tide :
When Arthur rang'd his red-cross ranks
On conscious Camlan's crimson'd banks :
By Mordred's faithless guile decreed
Beneath a Saxon spear to bleed !
Yet in vain a paynim foe
Arm’d with fate the mighty blow;
For when he fell, an elfin queen,
All in secret, and unseen,
O'er the fainting hero threw
Her mantle of ambrosial blue;
And bade her spirits bear him far,
In Merlin's agate-axled car,
To her green isle's enamelld steep,
Far in the navel of the deep.
O’er his wounds she sprinkled dew
From flowers that in Arabia grew :
On a rich inchanted bed
She pillow'd his majestic head ;
O’er his brow, with whispers bland,
Thrice she wav'd an opiate wand;
And to soft music's airy sound,
Her magic curtains clos’d around.
There, renew'd the vital spring,
Again he reigns a mighty king;
And many a fair and fragrant clime,
Blocming in immortal prime,
By gales of Eden ever fann'd,
Owns the monarch's high command :
Thence to Britain shall return,
(If right prophetic rolls I learn)
Borne on Victory's spreading plume,
His ancient sceptre to resume ;
Once more, in old heroic pride,
His barbed courser to bestride ;
His knightly table to restore,
And brave the tournaments of yore.”
They ceas’d: when on the tuneful stage
Advanc'd a bard, of aspect sage ;
His silver tresses, thin besprent,
To age a graceful reverence lent;
His beard, ali white as spangles frore
That clothe Plinlimmon's forests hoar,
Down to his harp descending flow'd ;
With Time's faint rose his features glow d;
His eyes diffus'd a soften'd fire,
And thus he wak'd the warbling wire.
“ Listen, Henry, to my read! Not from fairy realms I lead Bright-rob’d Tradition, to relate In forged colours Arthur's fate ; Though much of old romantic lore On the high theme I keep in store : But boastful fiction should be dumb, Where Truth the strain might best become. If thine ear may still be won With songs of Uther's glorious son, Henry, I a tale unfold, Never yet in rime enrolld, Nor sung nor harp'd in hall or bower ; Which in my youth's full early flower, A minstrel, sprung of Cornish line, Who spoke of kings from old Locrine, Taught me to chaunt, one vernal dawn, Deep in a cliff-encircled lawn, What time the glistening vapours fled From cloud envelop'd Clyder's head ; And on its sides the torrents gray Shone to the morning's orient ray.
" When Arthur bow'd his haughty crest, No princess, veil'd in azure vest, Snatch'd him, by Merlin's potent spell, In groves of golden bliss to dwell ;
Where, crown'd with wreaths of misletoe,
Slaughter'd kings in glory go:
But when he fell, with winged speed,
His champions, on a milk-white steed,
From the battle's hurricane,
Bore him to Joseph's towered fane,
In the fair vale of Avalon :
There, with chaunted orison,
And the long blaze of tapers clear,
The stoled fathers met the bier ;
Through the dim iles, in order dread
Of martial woe, the chief they led,
And deep intomb’d in holy ground,
Before the altar's solemn bound.
Around no dusky banners wave,
No mouldering trophies mark the grave:
Away the ruthless Dane has torn
Each trace that Time's slow touch had worn;
And long, o'er the neglected stone,
Oblivion's veil its shade has thrown :
The faded tomb, with honour due,
'Tis thine, O Henry, to renew !
Thither, when Conquest has restor'd
Yon recreant isle, and sheath'd the sword,
When Peace with palm has crown'd thy hrows,
Haste thee, to pay thy pilgrim vows.
There, observant of my lore,
The pavement's hallow'd depth explore ;
And thrice a fathom underneath
Dive into the vaults of death.
There shall thine eye, with wild amaze,
On his gigantic stature gaze ;
There shalt thou find the monarch laid,
All in warrior-weeds array'd ;
Wearing in death his helmet-crown,
And weapons huge of old renown.
Martial prince, 'tis thine to save
From dark oblivion Arthur's grave !
So may thy ships securely stem
The western frith : thy diadem
Shine victorious in the van,
Nor heed the slings of Ulster's clan :
Thy Norman pike-men win their way
Up the dun rocks of Harald's bay :
And from the steeps of rough Kildare
Thy prancing hoofs the falcon scare: