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“ Let us well then these fortunate moments employ!"
Cried the Monarch with passionate tone : “Come away then dear charmer-my angel-my joy,
Nay struggle not now'tis in vain to be coy“ And remember that we are alone."
“ Blessed Mary protect me!" the Archbishop cried;
“ What madness is come to the King !" In vain to escape from the Monarch he tried, When luckily he on his finger espied
The glitter of Agatha's ring.
Overjoy'd, the old Prelate remembered the spell,
And far in the lake flung the ring;
The waters closed round it, and, wond'rous to tell,
Releas'd from the cursed enchantment of hell,
His reason returned to the King.
But he built him a palace there close by the bay,
And there did he 'stablish his reign; And the traveller who will, may behold at this day A monument now in the ruins at Aix
Of the spell that possess'd Charlemagne.
Intended to have been addressed to HIS GRACE THE DUKE
OF PORTLAND, Chancellor of the University, &c. On. his Installation, 1793.
In evil hour, and with unhallow'd voice
Profaning the pure gift of Poesy,
Did he begin to sing, he first who sung
Of arms, and combats, and the proud array
Of warriors on the embattled plain, and rais'd
The aspiring spirit to hopes of fair renown
By deeds of violence. For since that time
The imperious Victor, oft, unsatisfied
With bloody spoil and tyrannous conquest, dares
To challenge fame and honour; and too oft
The Poet bending low to lawless power
Hath paid unseemly reverence, yea, and brought
Streams, clearest of the Aonian fount, to wash
Blood-stain'd Ambition. If the stroke of War
Fell certain on the guilty head, none else ;
If they that make the cause might taste the effect,
And drink themselves the bitter cup they mix,
Then might the Bard (tho' child of Peace) delight
To twine fresh wreaths around the Conqueror's brow,
Or haply strike his high-toned harp to swell
The trumpet's martial sound, and bid them on,
Whom Justice arms for vengeance : but alas !
That undistinguishing and deathful storm
Beats heaviest on the exposed innocent
And they that stir its fury, while it raves,
Stand at safe distance ; send their mandate forth
Unto the mortal ministers that wait
To do their bidding ;-Ah, who then regards
The widow's tears, the friendless orphan's cry, ,
And famine, and the ghastly train of woes
That follow at the dogged heels of War ?
They in the pomp and pride of victory
Rejoicing, o'er the desolated earth,
As at an altar wet with human blood,
And flaming with the fire of cities burnt,
Sing their mad hymns of triumph, hymns to God
O'er the destruction of his gracious works,
Hymns to the Father o'er his slaughter'd sons.
Detested be their sword, abhorr'd their name,
And scorn'd the tongues that praise them! Happier, Thou,
Of peace and science Friend, hast held thy course
Blameless and pure, and such is thy renown.
And let that secret voice within thy breast
Approve thee, then shall those high sounds of praise
Which thou hast heard, be as sweet harmony,
Beyond this concave to the starry sphere
Ascending, where the Spirits of the blest
Hear it well pleas'd. For Fame can enter Heaven
If Truth and Virtue lead her; else forbid,
She rises not above this earthy spot ;
And then her voice, transient and valueless,
Speaks only to the herd. With other praise,
And worthier duty may she tend on Thee ;
Follow Thee still with honour, such as. Time
Shall never violate, and with just applause,
Such as the Wise and Good might love to share.
Written soon after the Installation at Oxford, 1793,
Toll on, toll on, old Bell ! I'll neither pray
Nor sleep away the hour. The fire burns bright,
And, bless the maker of this great-armd chair,
This is the throne of comfort! I will sit
And study most devoutly: not my Euclid,
For God forbid that I should discompose
That spider's excellent geometry !
I'll study thee Puss : not to make a picture-
I hate your canvass cats and dogs and fools,
Themes that pollute the pencil ! let me see
The Patriot's actions start again to life
And I will bless the artist who awakes