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Still in that hour the warrior wish'd to strew
Self-gather'd laurels on a self-sought grave;
But Charles' protecting genius hither flew,
The monarch's friend,
the monarch's hope, to save.
Trembling, she snatch'd him from the unequal strife, *
In other fields the torrent to repel;
For nobler combats, here, reserved his life,
To lead the band where godlike Falkland fell. +
From thee, poor pile ! to lawless plunder given,
While dying groans their painful requiem sound,
Far different incense now ascends to heaven,
Such victims wallow on the gory ground.
There many a pale and ruthless robber's corse,
Noisome and ghast, defiles thy sacred sod;
O'er mingling man, and horse commix'd with horse,
Corruption's heap, the savage spoilers trod.
Graves, long with rank and sighing weeds o'erspread,
Ransack'd, resign perforce their mortal mould ;
From ruffian fangs escape not e'en the dead,
Raked from repose in search for buried gold.
Hush'd is the harp, unstrung the warlike lyre,
The minstrel's palsied hand reclines in death;
No more he strikes the quivering chords with fire,
Or sings the glories of the martial wreath.
At length the sated murderers, gorged with prey,
Retire; the clamour of the fight is o'er;
Silence again resumes her awful sway,
And sable Horror guards the massy door.
Here desolation holds her dreary court :
What satellites declare her dismal reign !
Shrieking their dirge, ill-omen'd birds resort,
To ilit their vigils in the hoary fane.
Soon a new morn's restoring beams dispel
The clouds of anarchy from Britain's skies ;
The fierce usurper seeks his native hell,
And Nature triumphs as the tyrant dies.
With storms she welcomes his expiring groans ;
Whirlwinds, responsive, greet his labouring breath ;
Earth shudders as her caves receive his bones,
Loathing the offering of so dark a death. • Lord Byron, and his brother Sir William, held high commands in the royal army. The former was general in chief in Ireland, lieutenant of the Tower, and governor to James, Duke of York, afterwards the unhappy James II. ; the latter had a principal share in many actions.
Lucius Cary, Lord Viscount Falkland, the most accomplished man of his age, was killed at the battle of Newbury, charging in the ranks of Lord Byron's regiment of cavalry.
This is an historical fact. A violent tempest occurred immediately subsequent to the death or interment of Cromwell, which occasioned many disputes between his partisans and the cavaliers : both interpreted the circumstance into divine interposition ; but whether as approbation or condemnation, we leave for the casuists of that age to decide. I have made such use of the occurrence as suited the subiect of my poem.
The legal ruler now resumes the helm, *
He guides through gentle seas the prow of state ; Hope cheers, with wonted smiles, the peaceful realm,
And heals the bleeding wounds of wearied hate. The gloomy tenants, Newstead ! of thy cells,
Howling, resign their violated nest; Again the master on his tenure dwells,
Enjoy'd, from absence, with enraptured zest, Vassals, within thy hospitable pale,
Loudly carousing, bless their lord's return; Culture again adorns the gladdening vale,
And matrons, once lamenting, cease to mourn. A thousand songs on tuneful echo float,
Unwonted foliage mantles o'er the trees : And hark! the horns proclaim a mellow note,
The hunter's cry hangs lengthening on the breeze. Beneath their coursers' hoofs the valleys shake :
What fears, what anxious hopes, attend the chase ! The dying stag seeks refuge in the Lake;
Exulting shouts announce the finish'd race. Ah, happy days ! too happy to endure !
Such simple sports our plain forefathers knew : No splendid vices glitter'd to allure;
Their joys were many, as their cares were few. From these descending, sons to sires succeed ;
Time steals along, and Death uprears his dart; Another chief impels the foaming steed,
Another crowd pursue the panting hart. Newstead! what saddening change of scene is thine !
Thy yawning arch betokens slow decay! The last and youngest of a noble line
Now holds thy mouldering turrets in his sway. Deserted now, he scans thy gray worn towers !
Thy vaults, where dead of feudal ages sleep; Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers :
These, these he views, and views them but to weep. Yet are his tears no emblem of regret :
Cherish'd affection only bids them flow. Pride, hope, and love forbid him to forget,
But warm his bosom with impassion'd glow.
Yet he prefers thee to the gilded domes
Or gewgaw grottos of the vainly great;
Yet lingers, 'mid thy damp and mossy tombs,
Nor breathes a murmur 'gainst the will of fate.
Haply thy sun, emerging, yet may shine,
Thee to irradiate with meridian ray;
Hours splendid as the past may still be thine,
And bless thy future as thy former day,
. Charles II.
“ I cannot but remember such things were,
And were most dear to me."
WHEN slow disease, with all her host of pains,
Chills the warm tide which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring ;
Not to the aching frame alone confined,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind :
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall’d, and clings to life.
Yet less the pang, when, through the tedious hour,
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish'd days to rapture given,
When love was bliss, and beauty form'd our heaven;
Or, de:ar to youth, portrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when through clouds that pour the summer storm,
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain,
And dimly twinkles o'er the watery plain ;
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The sun of memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays :
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway,
The past confounding with the present day.
Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
Which still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought;
My soul to fancy's fond suggestion yields,
And roams romantic o'er her airy fields :
Scenes of my youth, developed, crowd to view,
To which I long have bade a last adieu !
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes ;
Friends lost to me for aye, except in dreams;
Some who in marble prematurely sleep,
Whose forms I now remember but to weep;
Some who yet urge the saine scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source ;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation fill the senior place.
These with a thousand visions now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight.
Ida ! blest spot, where Science hoids her reign,
How joyous once I join'd thy youthful train I
Bright in idea gleams thy lofty spire,
Again I mingle with thy playful quire ;
Our tricks of mischief, every childish game,
Unchanged by time or distance, seem the same;
Through winding paths along the glade, I trace
The social smile of every welcome face;
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy and woe,
Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe,
Our feuds dissolved, but not my friendship past :-
I bless the former and forgive the last.
Hours of my youth ! when, nurtured in my breast,
To love a stranger, friendship made me blest ;-
dear peculiar bond of youth,
When every artless bosom throbs with truth;
Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign,
And check each impulse with prudential rein;
When all we feel, our honest souls disclose
In love to friends, in open hate to foes;
No varnish'd tales the lips of youth repeat,
No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit.
Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen'd years,
Matured by age, the garb of prudence wears.
When now the boy is ripen'd into man,
His careful sire chalks forth some wary plan ;
Instructs his son from candour's path to shrink,
Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think;
Still to assent, and never to deny-
A patron's praise can well reward the lie :
And who, when Fortune's warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word ?
Although against that word his heart rebel,
And truth indignant all his bosom swell.
Away with themes like this! not mine the task From flattering fiends to tear the hateful mask; Let keener bards delight in satire's sting ; My fancy soars not on Detraction's wing : Once, and but once, she aim'd a deadly blow, To hurl defiance on a secret foe; But when that foe, from feeling or from shame, The cause unknown, yet still to me the same, Warn’d by some friendly hint, perchance, retired, With this submission all her rage expired. From dreaded pangs that feeble foe to save, She hush'd her young resentment, and forgave; Or, if my muse a pedant's portrait drew, Pomposus' virtues are but known to few; I never fear'd the young usurper's nod, And he who wields must sometimes feel the rod. If since on Granta's failings, known to all Who share the converse of a college hall, She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain, 'Tis past, and thus she will not sin again. Soon must her early song for ever cease, And all may rail when I shall rest in peace.
Here first remember'd be the joyous band, Who hail'd me chief, obedient to command ;
Who join'd with me in every boyish sport-
Their first adviser, and their last resort;
Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant's frown,
Or all the sable glories of his gown;
Who, thus transplanted from his father's school-
Unfit to govern, ignorant of rule-
Succeeded him, whom all unite to praise,
The dear preceptor of my early days;
Probus, the pride of science, and the boast, *
To Ida now, alas ! for ever lost.
With him, for years, we search'd the classic page,
And fear'd the master, though we loved the sage:
Retired at last, his small yet peaceful seat,
From learning's labour is the blest retreat.
Pomposus fills his magisterial chair ;
Pomposus governs,—but, my muse, forbear:
Contempt, in silence, be the pedant's lot;
His name and precepts be alike forgot!
No more his mention shall my verse degrade,
To him my tribute is already paid.
High, through those elms, with hoary branches crown'd,
Fair Ida's bower adorns the landscape round ;
There Science, from her favour'd seat, surveys
The vale where rural Nature claims her praise ;
To her awhile resigns her youthful train,
Who move in joy, and dance along the plain ;
In scatter'd groups, each favour'd haunt pursue ;
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new ;
Flush'd with his rays, beneath the noontide sun,
In rival bands, between the wickets run,
Drive o'er the sward the ball with active force,
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course.
But these with slower steps direct their way,
Where Brent's cool waves in limpid currents stray ;
While yonder few search out some green retreat,
And arbours shade them from the summer heat:
Others again, a pert and lively crew,
Some rough and thoughtless stranger placed in view,
With frolic quaint their antic jests expose,
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes ;
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray
Tradition treasures for a future day:
""'Twas here the gather'd swains for vengeance fought,
And here we earn'd the conquest dearly bought;
Here have we fled before superior might,
And here renew'd the wild tumultuous fight."
• Dr. Drury. This most able and excellent man retired from his situation in March, 1805, after having resided thirty-five years at Harrow; the last twenty as head-master; an office he held with equal honour to himself and advantage to the very extensive school over which he presided. Panegyric would here be superfluous : it would be useless to enumerate qualifications which were never doubted. A considerable contest took place between three rival candidates for his vacant chair: of this I can only say,
Si mea cum vestris valuissent vota, Pelasgi!
Non toret ambiguus tanti certaminis hveres.