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النشر الإلكتروني

ODDS AND ENDS.

SNOWDON.

HOME of the eagle'-cradle of the storms,
Thy wonders when th' amazed eye surveys,
The soul enkindles, all the fancy warms,
And every look doth new emotions raise.
Thy giant bulk, thy towering height sublime,
Inspire the mind with reverence and awe;
And waft the winged thoughts beyond the time
When first the rising sun thy summits saw.
Oh say, did Nature, with one mighty throe
Up-heave thy shoulders from the lab'ring earth?
Didst thou to fire and water's union owe

The prodigy of thy stupendous birth?
If thus it was, oh! how can thought of man;
Can fancy's flight, or poet's dream convey,
Or sage's deepest meditation scan

The sights, the sounds, of that portentous day?

1 The native name of Snowdon is 66 Creigau-yr-Eyri," meaning 'Eagle's Cliffs."

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Could'st thou, O son of clay, however bold, Earth's deep, mysterious chasms opening see, Nor dread Jehovah's sentence, as of old

It fell on Korah's tribe,' awaited thee? Could mortal ear, howe'er attun'd to war, To ocean's thunders, or the shriek of death, Endure the crash of elemental jar,

That tore a mountain from the depths beneath? But no-nor eye, nor ear of human mould

Hath known the day when thou wert not as now; Tho' Science' hand the records may unfold

Of ages, when the ooze submerged thy brow; When, level thou and all thy lofty race,3

The reptile giant and his slimy brood Far o'er thy summit left their coily trace,

And fought or frolicked in the shallow flood. Deep wonders these-but such are not our theme; We hail thee lord of valley, hill, and plain; Whose summits catch the earliest morning beam, Whose lengthened shadows touch the distant main. Yet 'tis not this-thy magnitude alone

Makes not thy high pretensions what they are; We know that Chimborazo's icy cone,

And thousand others, over-top thee far.

2 "And the earth opened and swallowed them all up alive."Numb. xvi., 32.

3 Such are some of the deductions of modern geology.

But what are such as these to us?-our charts
Define them, and our countrymen who roam
Admire-but thine the homage of our hearts,
Thou mountain monarch of our island home!
From thee the deep ton'd voice of History swells
Tradition's fainter echo o'er thee breathes;
And round thy dreamy heights and fairy dells,
The goddess Poetry her chaplet wreathes.
When Latia's legions in an elder age,

Subdued the nations 'neath their iron stroke, Thy dark recesses sheltered from their rage1 The gallant few who scorned a foreign yoke. And when, in later times, the Saxon hordes,

Led by the brigand brothers to the spoils Of Anglia, more by treachery than their swords Subdued a trusting people in their toils, Her nobler sons disdained the coward thrall

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That bowed the baser to a heathen's nod; And, true to country's and religion's call, Worshipped among their hills the Christian's God! Resigning all that to the dastard mind

Is dear the riches of their pleasant land,

4 The Britons who inhabited Wales were not subdued by the Romans till long after the rest; not completely till Vespasian's reign.

5 Such of the natives as could not submit to the Saxon conquerors retired to Wales and were never subdued, but maintained a Christian Church, which was flourishing at the time Augustine came over and converted the Saxons

Contented they stern Poverty to find,

So she with freedom went but hand in hand. Such were our fathers-and shall we disown

The claims on us their rugged virtues give; When e'en the tyrant on his purple throne

Felt all their force, and gave the word-"To live”? Yea, rather trace we here the opening ray That, brightening into glorious Liberty, Inspired Britannia's sons alone to stay The march of universal tyrany.

But, ah! that factious discord should dissolve The golden bonds that kindred spirits tie, And in one fatal overthrow involve

Men worthy of a nobler destiny!

When the enraptured eye from Wyddfa's' crest
Roams o'er the wondrous scene beneath it spread,
Can it, without a tear of sorrow, rest
Upon Cynghorion's venerable head?
Lo! where his undulating masses meet,
A level plain, by nature wall'd, appears;
That silent spot has echo'd to the feet

Of steel-clad warriors and of white-robed seers.

6 This refers to the well known conduct of Caractacus when carried a prisoner to the court of the Emperor at Rome, who was mollified by the magnanimity of the British captive Prince.

7 Meaning "Conspicuous," the Welch name for the highest peak of Snowdon.

Meaning "Mount of Council" here is shown the plateau where the Cambrian chiefs assembled in council and sent the demand of a native prince to govern them in, to Edward I.

The brave, the wise, are met,-their conntry's call To answer, and her in-born rights to guard; But what are duty, valour, wisdom-all,

Against the wiles of England's crafty lord? A native prince they ask, whose spotless life At once their pattern and their curb shall be— Claiming their homage-lulling all their strife: He grants, and smiles in cruel mockery; The letter of his hollow word he keeps, And in Caernarvon's guarded chambers shows, Where on its royal mother's bosom sleeps,

The puling object of their solemn vows! And more—but why should my untutor'd rhyme The dirge of virtue and of freedom sing; Hath not a "Bard," whose fame to latest time Shall live, denounc'd for aye the "ruthless king!" But this is o'er-long years have shed their balms Upon the past, and faithful Cambria hails, In happier days, and free from all alarms, Another royal infant Prince of Wales!

CANTO II.

This is History's solemn measure,
From the letter'd page she speaks;
Like an organ's lengthen'd pressure,
On the listening ear it breaks.

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