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Happier in this than mightiest bards have been, Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot, Shall I unmoved behold the hallow'd scene, Which others rave of, though they know it not? Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot, And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave, Some gentle spirit still pervades the spot, Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave, And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.
Of thee hereafter.-Ev'n amidst my strain
But ne'er didst thou, fair Mount! when Greece was
Ah! that to these were given such peaceful shades As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her glades.
Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days; (14)
A Cherub-hydra round us dost thou gape,
When Paphos fell by time-accursed Time!
To nought else constant, hither deign'd to flee;
From morn till night, from night till startled Morn Peeps blushing on the revel's laughing crew, The song is heard, the rosy garland worn; Devices quaint, and frolics ever new, Tread on each other's kibes. A long adieu He bids to sober joy that here sojourns: Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu Of true devotion monkish incense burns, And love and prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.
The Sabbath comes, a day of blessed rest; What hallows it upon this Christian shore? Lo! it is sacred to a solemn feast; Hark! heard you not the forest monarch's roar? Crashing the lance, he snuffs the spouting gore Of man and steed, o'erthrown beneath his horn; The throng'd arena shakes with shouts for more; Yells the mad crowd o'er entrails freshly torn, Nor shrinks the female eye, nor ev'n affects to mourn.
The seventh day this; the jubilee of man. London! right well thou know'st the day of prayer: Then thy spruce citizen, wash'd artisan, And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air: Thy coach of Hackney, whiskey, one-horse chair, And humblest gig through sundry suburbs whirl, To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow make repair; Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl, Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian churl.
Some o'er thy Thamis row the ribbon'd fair,
Some Richmond-hill ascend, some scud to Ware,
Ask ye, Boeotian shades! the reason why? (15) 'Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn, Grasp'd in the holy hand of Mystery,
In whose dread name both men and maids are sworn, And consecrate the oath with draught, and dance till morn.
All have their fooleries--not alike are thine,
Much is the VIRGIN teased to shrive them free
From crimes as numerous as her beadsmen be; Then to the crowded circus forth they fare: Young, old, high, low, at once the same diversion share.
The lists are oped, the spacious area clear'd,
Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound,
Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound;
None through their cold disdain are doom'd to die, As moon-struck bards complain, by Love's sad archery.
Hush'd is the din of tongues-on gallant steeds,
And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain their toils repay.
In costly sheen and gaudy cloak array'd, But all afoot, the light-limb'd Matadore Stands in the centre, eager to invade The lord of lowing herds; but not before The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er, Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed: His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more Can man achieve without the friendly steedAlas! too oft condemn'd for him to bear and bleed.
Thrice sounds the clarion; lo! the signal falls, The den expands, and Expectation mute Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls. Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute, And, wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot, The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe: Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit His first attack, wide waving to and fro His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.
Sudden he stops; his is fix'd: away, eye Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear: Now is thy time, to perish, or display The skill that yet may check his mad career. With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer; On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes; Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear: He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes; Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak