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Strange faces, like to men in masquerade,
And here perhaps a monster, there a saint:
The spring gush'd through grim mouths of granite made, And sparkled into basins, where it spent
Its little torrent in a thousand bubbles,
Like man's vain glory, and his vainer troubles.
The mansion's self was vast and venerable,
With more of the monastic than has been
Elsewhere preserved: the cloisters still were stable,
Still unimpair'd, to decorate the scene;
The rest had been reform'd, replaced, or sunk,
Huge halls, long galleries, spacious chambers, join'd
Yet left a grand impression on the mind,
At least of those whose eyes are in their hearts; We gaze upon a giant for his stature,
Nor judge at first if all be true to nature.
Steel barons, molten the next generation
With fair long locks, had also kept their station:
Whose drapery hints we may admire them freely.
Were there, with brows that did not much invite The accused to think their lordships would determine His cause by leaning much from might to right : Bishops, who had not left a single sermon;
Attorneys-general, awful to the sight,
As hinting more (unless our judgments warp us)
And iron time, ere lead had ta'en the lead;
But ever and anon, to soothe your vision,
Or wilder group of savage
* Salvator Rosa.
Here danced Albano's boys, and here the sea shone
His brush with all the blood of all the sainted.
Here sweetly spread a landscape of Lorraine;
Bronzed o'er some lean and stoic anchorite :-
Your eyes to revel in a livelier sight:
His bell-mouth'd goblet makes me feel quite Danish
A sleep without dreams, after a rough day
How clay shrinks back from more quiescent clay!
At once without instalments (an old way
'Tis round him, near him, here, there, everywhere,
The worst to know it-when the mountains rear
You look down o'er the precipice, and drear
'Tis true, you don't, but, pale and struck with terror,
To the unknown; a secret prepossession,
To plunge with all your fears-but where? You know
And that's the reason why you do-or do not.
I hate a motive, like a lingering bottle
Which with the landlord makes too long a stand,
If I err not. "your Dane" is one of Iago's catalogue of nations “ in their drinking."
I hate it, as I hate a drove of cattle,
Who whirl the dust as simooms whirl the sand;
A laureate's ode, or servile peer's "content."
"Tis sad to hack into the roots of things,
They are so much intertwisted with the earth;
"Tis strange, but true; for truth is always strange;
The new world would be nothing to the old,
Would be discover'd in the human soul!
Of those who hold the kingdoms in control!
The evaporation of a joyous day
Is like the last glass of champagne, without
Has sparkled and let half its spirit out;
Or like an opiate, which brings troubled rest,
A thing, of which similitudes can shew
The famous Chancellor Oxenstiern said to his son, on the latter expressing his surprise upon the great effects arising from petty causes in the presumed mystery of politics: "You see by this, my son, with how little wisdom the kingdoms of the world are governed."
No real likeness, -like the old Tyrian vest
But next to dressing for a rout or ball,
Thoughts quite as yellow, but less clear than amber.
The nights and days most people can remember,
THE BLACK FRIAR.
Beware! beware! of the Black Friar,
For he mutters his prayer in the midnight air,
When the Lord of the Hill, Amundeville,
And expell'd the friars, one friar still
Though he came in his might, with King Henry's right,
With sword in hand, and torch to light
Their walls if they said nay;
A monk remain'd unchased, unchain'd,
And he did not seem form'd of clay,
For he's seen in the porch, and he's seen in the church,
And whether for good, or whether for ill,
It is not mine to say;
But still with the house of Amundeville
He abideth night and day.
By the marriage-bed of their lords, 'tis said,
He flits on the bridal eve;
And 'tis held as faith, to their bed of death
He comes-but not to grieve.
When an heir is born, he's heard to mourn,
And when aught is to befall
That ancient line, in the pale moonshine
He walks from hall to hall.
*The composition of the old Tyrian purple-whether from a shell-fish, or from cochineal, or from kermes, is still an article of dispute; and even its colour-some say purple, others scarlet: I say nothing.
His form you may trace, but not his face,
"Tis shadow'd by his cowl:
But his eyes may be seen from the folds between, And they seem of a parted soul.
But beware! beware! of the Black Friar,
He still retains his sway,
For he is yet the Church's heir
But the monk is lord by night;
Nor wine nor wassail could raise a vassal,
Say nought to him as he walks the hall,
He sweeps along in his dusky pall,
Then grammercy! for the Black Friar;
And whatsoe'er may be his prayer,
BALLANTYNE AND COMPANY, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.