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A BETH GELERT.
The spearman heard the bugle sound,
And still he blew a louder blast,
"Come, Gelert! why art thou the last
"Oh, where does faithful Gelert roam?
'Twas only at Llewellyn's board The faithful Gelert fed;
He watch'd, he served, he cheer'd his lord, And sentinel'd his bed.
In sooth, he was a peerless hound,
But now no Gelert could be found,
And now, as over rocks and dells
That day Llewellyn little loved
The chase of hart or hare,
Unpleased, Llewellyn homeward hied,
But, when he gain'd his castle door,
The hound was smear'd with gouts of
Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise,
Onward in haste Llewellyn pass'd
O'erturned his infant's bed he found,
He call'd his child-no voice replied;
"Hell-hound! by thee my child's devour'd!" The frantic father cried,
And to the hilt his vengeful sword
He plunged in Gelert's side!
His suppliant, as to earth he fell,
Aroused by Gelert's dying yell,
Conceal'd beneath a mangled heap,
All glowing from his rosy sleep,
Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread—
Lay a great wolf, all torn and dead-
Ah! what was then Llewellyn's pain!
Vain, vain, was all Llewellyn's wo:
And now a gallant tomb they raise,
Here never could the spearman pass,
Here oft the tear-besprinkled grass
And here he hung his horn and spear;
In fancy's piercing sounds would hear
There is no season of the year so exquisite as the first full burst of Summer, when east winds lose their venom, and the firmament its April fickleness; when the trees have unreefed their foliage, and under them the turf is tender; when, before going to sleep, the blackbird wakes the nightingale, and night itself is only a softer day; when the dog-star has not withered a single flower, nor the mower's scythe touched one; but all is youth and freshness, novelty and hope-as if our very earth had become a bud, of which only another Eden could be the blossom-as if, with all her green canvass
spread, our island were an argosie, floating over seas of balm to some bright Sabbatic haven on the shores of Immortality.
With the Hebrew commonwealth, it was the month of June. Over all the Holy Land there rested a blissful serenity-the calm which follows when successful war is crowned with conquest-a calm which was only stirred by the proud joy of possession, and then hallowed and intensified again by the sense of Jehovah's favour. And amidst this calm the monarch was enshrined, at once its source and its symbol. In the morning he held his levee in his splendid Basilica, a pillared and spacious hall. As he sate aloft on his lion-guarded throne, he received petitions and heard appeals, and astonished his subjects by astute decisions and weighty apothegms, till every case was disposed of, and the toils of king-craft ended. Meanwhile, his chariot was waiting in the square; and with their shoeless hoofs, the light coursers pawed the pavement, impatient for their master; whilst drawn up on either side purple squadrons held the ground, and their champing chargers tossed from their flowing manes a dust of gold. And now a stir in the crowd, the straining of necks and the jingle of horsegear announce the acme of expectation; and, preceded by the tall panoply of the commander-in-chief, and followed by the élite of Jerusalem, there emerges from the palace, and there ascends the chariot, a noble form arrayed in white and in silver, and crowned with a golden coronet, and the welkin rings, "God save the King;" for this is Solomon in all his glory. And, as through the Bethlehem gate, and adown the level causeway, the bickering chariot speeds, the vines on either side of the valley "give a good smell," and it is a noble sight to look back to yon marble fane and princely mansions which rear their snowy cliffs over the capital's new ramparts. It is a noble sight, this rural comfort and that civic opulence, for they evince the abundance of peace and the abundance of righteousness. And when, through orchards and cornfields, the progress ends, the shouting concourse of the capital is exchanged for the delights of an elysian hermitage. After visiting his far-come favourites-the " apes and the peacocks," the bright birds and curious quadrupeds which share his retirement; after wandering along the terraces where, under the ripening pomegranates, roses of Sharon blossom, and watching the ponds where fishes bask amid the water-lilies, we can imagine him retiring from the sunshine
into that grotto which fed these reservoirs from its fountain sealed; or in the spacious parlour, whose fluttering lattice cooled, and whose cedar wainscot embalmed, the flowing summer, sitting down to indite a poem in which celestial love should overmaster and replace the earthly passion which supplied its imagery. Dipping his pen by turns in Heaven's rainbow, and in the prismatic depths of his own felicity, with joy's own ink, this Prince of Peace inscribed that Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
It was June in Hebrew history, the top-tide of a nation's happiness. Sitting, like an empress, between the Eastern and Western oceans, the navies of three continents poured their treasures at her feet; and, awed by her commanding name, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah brought spontaneous tributes of spice, and silver, and precious stones. To build her palaces, the shaggy brows of Lebanon had been scalped of their cedars, Ophir had bled its richest gold. At the magical voice of the sovereign, fountains, native to distant hills, rippled down the slopes of Zion; and miraculous cities, like Palmyra, started up from the sandy waste. And whilst peace, and commerce, and the law's protection, made gold like brass, and silver shekels like stones of the street, Palestine was a halcyon-nest suspended betwixt the calm wave and the warm sky; Jerusalem was a royal infant, whose silken cradle soft winds rock, high up on a castle tower; all was serene magnificence and opulent security.
Just as the aloe shoots, and in one stately blossom pours forth the life which has been calmly collecting for a century, so it would appear as if nations were destined to pour forth their accumulated qualities in some characteristic man, and then they droop away. Macedonia blossomed, and Alexander was the flower of Greece; fiery and effeminate, voluptuous in his valour, and full of chivalrous relentings amidst his wild revenge. Rome shot up in a spike of glory, and revealed Augustus-so stern and so sumptuous, so vast in his conceptions, so unquailing in his projects, so fearless of the world, and so fond of the seven-hilled city-the imperial nest-builder. Medieval, martial Europe blossomed, and the crusader was the flower of chivalry, Richard of the lionheart, Richard of the hammer-hand. And modern France developed in one Frenchman the concentration of a people vain and volatile, brilliant in sentiment, and brave in battle;