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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 enamel'd steep,
Far in the navel of the deep.
O'er his wounds she sprinkled dew
From flowers that in Arabia grew;
On a rich enchanted bed

She pillow'd his majestic head;
O'er his brow, with whispers bland,
Thrice she waved an opiate wand;
And, to soft music's airy sound,
Her magic curtains closed around.
There, renew'd the vital spring,
Again he reigns a mighty king;
And many a fair and fragrant clime,
Blooming 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 ceased; when on the tuneful stage Advanced a bard of aspect sage;

His silver tresses, thin besprent,
To age a graceful reverence lent;
His beard, all 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 diffused a soften'd fire,

And thus he waked the warbling wire—
'Listen, Henry, to my rede!

Not from fairy realms I lead
Bright-robed 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 rhyme enroll'd,

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 chant, one vernal dawn,
Deep in a cliff-encircled lawn,
What time the glistening vapours fled
From cloud-enveloped 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,

* Or Glyder, a mountain in Caernarvonshire. W.

Snatch'd him, by Merlin's potent spell,
In groves of golden bliss to dwell;
Where, crown'd with wreaths of mistletoe,
Slaughter'd kings in glory go:

But when he fell, with winged speed
His champions, on a milkwhite steed,
From the battle's hurricane

Bore him to Joseph's towered fane,
In the fair vale of Avalon*:
There, with chanted orison

And the long blaze of tapers clear,
The stoled fathers met the bier :
Through the dim aisles, in order dread
Of martial woe, the chief they led,
And deep entomb'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 restored

Yon recreant isle, and sheath'd the sword,

When Peace with palm has crown'd thy brows,

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.

* Glastonbury Abbey, said to be founded by Joseph of Arimathea, in a spot anciently called the island, or valley, of Avalonia, W.

There shall thine eyé, with mild 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 pikemen win their way
Up the dun rocks of Harald's bay*:
And from the steeps of rough Kildare
Thy prancing hoofs the falcon scare:
So may thy bow's unerring yew

Its shafts in Roderic's heart imbrue +.'
Amid the pealing symphony
The spiced goblets mantled high`;
With passions new the song impress'd
The listening king's impatient breast:
Flash the keen lightnings from his eyes;
He scorns a while his bold emprise;
E'en now he seems, with eager pace,
The consecrated floor to trace,
And ope, from its tremendous gloom,
The treasure of the wondrous tomb:

The bay of Dublin. Harald, or Harsager, the Fair-haired King of Norway, is said, in the life of Gryffudh ap Conan, Prince of North Wales, to have conquered Ireland, and to have founded Dublin. W.

Henry is supposed to have succeeded in this enterprise, chiefly by the use of the long bow, with which the Irish were entirely unacquainted. W.

E'en now he burns in thought to rear,
From its dark bed, the ponderous spear,
Rough with the gore of Pictish kings:
E'en now fond hope his fancy wings,
To poise the monarch's massy blade
Of magic-temper'd metal made;
And drag to day the dinted shield
That felt the storm of Camlan's field.
O'er the sepulchre profound

E'en now, with arching sculpture crown'd,
He plans the chantry's choral shrine,

The daily dirge, and rites divine.



FROM Cholula's hostile plain †,
Left her treacherous legions slain,
Left her temples all in flame,

Cortes' conquering army came.

* De Solis, in his History of the Conquest of Mexico, informs us that, on the approach of Cortes to the neighbourhood of that city, the Emperor Motezuma sent a number of magicians to attempt the destruction of the Spanish army. As the sorcerers were practising their incantations, a demon appeared to them in the form of their idol Tlcatlepuca, and foretold the fall of the Mexican empire. On this legend is founded the following poem. The conquest of Mexico was undertaken from motives of avarice, and accompanied with circumstances of cruelty; but it produced the subversion of a tyrannical government, and the abolition of a detestable religion of horrid rites and human sacrifices.

+ Cholula was a large city, not far distant from Mexico. The inhabitants were in league with the Mexicans; and after professing friendship for the Spaniards, endeavoured to surprise and destroy them.

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