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Or heard we that tremendous bray alone,
Him answer'd then his loving mate and true, But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.
How? leap into the pit our life to save ? To save our life leap all into the grave ? For can we find it less ? Contemplate first The depth how awful! falling there, we burst : Or should the brambles, interpos'd, our fall In part abate, that happiness were small; For with a race like theirs no chance I see Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we. Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray, Or be it not, or be it whose it may, And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues Of dæmons utter'd, from whatever lungs,
Sounds are but sounds, and, till the cause appear, We have at least commodious standing here. Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast From Earth or Hell, we can but plunge at last.
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals, For Reynard, close attended at his heels By panting dog, tir'd man, and spatter'd horse, Through mere good fortune, took a diff'rent course. The flock grew calm again, and I, the road Follwing, that led me to my own abode, Much wonder'd, that the silly sheep had found Such cause of terrour in an empty sound So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound,
I. When the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods, Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Full of rage, and full of grief.
III. Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrours of our tongues.
In the blood that she has spilt;
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Tramples on a thousand states; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates!
VI. Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.
From the forests of our land,
Shall a wider world command.
VIII. Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
Felt them in her bosom glow;
Dying hurl'd them at the foe.
XI. Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heav'n awards the vengeance due ; Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you.