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Mona, once hid from those who search the main,
Where thousand elfin shapes abide,
And Wight who checks the westering tide,
For thee consenting Heaven has each bestowed,
A fair attendant on her sovereign pride:
To thee this blest divorce she owed, For thou hast made her vales thy loved, thy last abode'
Then, too, 't is said, an hoary pile,
'Midst the green navel of our isle,
Thy shrine in some religious wood,
0 soul-enforcing Goddess, stood!
There oft the painted native's feet
Were wont thy form celestial meet:
Though now with hopeless toil we trace
Time's backward rolls, to find its place;
Whether the fiery-tressed Dane,
Or Roman's self, o'erturned the fane,
Or in what Heaven-left age it fell,
'T were hard for modern song to tell.
Yet still, if Truth those beams infuse,
Which guide at once and charm the Muse,
Beyond yon braided clouds that lie,
Paving the light embroidered sky,
Amidst the bright pavilioned plains,
The beauteous model still remains.
There, happier than in islands blest,
Or bowers by Spring or Hebe drest,
The chiefs who fill our Albion's story,
In warlike weeds, retired in glory,
Hear their consorted Druids sing
Their triumphs to the immortal string.
How may the poet now unfold
What never tongue or numbers told?
How learn delighted, and amazed,
What hands unknown that fabric raised?
Even now before his favored eyes,
In Gothic pride, it seems to rise!
Yet Graecia's graceful orders join,
Majestic, through the mixed design:
The secret builder knew to choose
Each sphere-found gem of richest hues;
Whate'er heaven's purer mould contains,
When nearer suns emblaze its veins;
There on the walls the patriot's sight
May ever hang with fresh delight,
And, graved with some prophetic rage,
Read Albion's fame through every age.
Ye forms divine, ye laureate band,
That near her inmost altar stand!
Now soothe her to her blissful train
Blithe Concord's social form to gain;
Concord, whose myrtle wand can steep
Even Anger's bloodshot eyes in sleep;
Before whose breathing bosom's balm
Rage drops his steel, and storms grow calm:
Here let our sires and matrons hoar
Welcome to Britain's ravaged shore;
Our youths, enamored of the fair,
Play with the tangles of her hair,
Till, in one loud applauding sound,
The nations shout to her around,
0, how supremely art thou blest,
Thou, Lady — thou shalt rule the west!
ODE TO A LADY,
ON THE DEATH OF COLONEL ROSS, IN THE ACTION OF FONTENOY.
Written in May, 1745.
While, lost to all his former mirth,
Britannia's genius bends to earth,
And mourns the fatal day:
While stained with blood he strives to tear
Unseemly from his sea-green hair
The wreaths of cheerful May:
The thoughts which musing Pity pays,
And fond Remembrance loves to raise,
Your faithful hours attend;
Still Fancy, to herself unkind,
Awakes to grief the softened mind,
And points the bleeding friend.
By rapid Scheld's descending wave
His country's vows shall bless the grave,
Where'er the youth is laid:
That sacred spot the village hind
With every sweetest turf shall bind,
And Peace protect the shade.
Blest youth, regardful of thy doom,
Aerial hands shall build thy tomb,
With shadowy trophies crowned;
Whilst Honor bathed in tears shall rove
To sigh thy name through every grove,
And call his heroes round.
The warlike dead of every age,
Who fill the fair recording page,
Shall leave their sainted rest;
And, half reclining on his spear,
Each wondering chief by turns appear,
To hail the blooming guest:
Old Edward's sons, unknown to yield, Shall crowd from Cressy's laurelled field,
And gaze with fixed delight; Again for Britain's wrongs they feel, Again they snatch the gleamy steel,
And wish the avenging fight.
But, lo! where, sunk in deep despair,
Her garments torn, her bosom bare,
Impatient Freedom lies!
Her matted tresses madly spread,
To every sod, which wraps the dead,
She turns her joyless eyes.
Ne'er shall she leave that lowly ground Till notes of triumph bursting round
Proclaim her reign restored: Till William seek the sad retreat, And, bleeding at her sacred feet,
Present the sated sword.
If, weak to soothe so soft a heart,
These pictured glories naught impart,
To dry thy constant tear:
If yet in Sorrow's distant eye
Exposed and pale thou seest him lie,
Wild War insulting near:
Where'er from time thou court'st relief,
The Muse shall still, with social grief,
Her gentlest promise keep;
Even humbled Harting's cottaged vale
Shall learn the sad repeated tale,
And bid her shepherds weep.
If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own brawling springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;
0, Nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed:
Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing;
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some softened strain,