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Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast: Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest. Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havock urge their destin'd course, And through the kindred squadrons mow their way. Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, With many a foul and midnight murder fed, Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame, And spare the meek usurper's holy head. Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twin'd with her blushing foe, we spread:
Ver. 83. Heard ye the din of battle bray] Ruinous wars of York and Lancaster.
Ver. 87. Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, With many a foul and midnight murder fed] Henry the Sixth, George Duke of Clarence, Edward the Fifth, Richard Duke of York, &c. believed to be murdered secretly in the Tower of London. The oldest part of that structure is vulgarly attributed to Julius Cæsar.
Ver. 89. Revere his consort's faith] Margaret of Anjou, a woman of heroic spirit, who struggled hard to save her husband and her crown.
his father's fame] Henry the Fifth.
Ver. 90. And spare the meek usurper's holy head] Henry the Sixth, very near being canonized. The line of Lancaster had no right of inheritance to the crown.
Ver. 91. Above, below, the rose of snow] The white and red roses, devices of York and Lancaster.
The bristled boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o'er th' accursed loom, Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.
"Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun) Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)
Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn :
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul! No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail. All hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia's issue, hail!
Ver. 93. The bristled boar in infant-gore] The silver boar was the badge of Richard the Third; whence he was usually known in his own time by the name of the Boar.
Ver. 99. Half of thy heart we consecrate] Eleanor of Castile died a few years after the conquest of Wales. The heroicproof she gave of her affection for her lord is well-known. The monuments of his regret and sorrow for the loss of her, are still to be seen at Northampton, Gaddington, Waltham, and other places.
Ver. 109. No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail] It was the common belief of the Welsh nation, that King Arthur was
"Girt with many a baron bold Sublime their starry fronts thy rear ;
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old In bearded majesty, appear.
In the midst a form divine!
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line;
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,
still alive in Fairyland, and would return again to reign over Britain.
Ver. 110. All hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia's issue, hail] Both Merlin and Taliessin had prophesied, that the Welsh should regain their sovereignty over this island; which seemed to be accomplished in the house of Tudor.
Ver. 117. Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face] Speed, relating an audience given by Queen Elizabeth to Paul Dzialinski, ambassador of Poland, says, "And thus she, lion-like rising, daunted the malapert orator no less with her stately port and majestical deporture, than with the tartnesse of her princelie checkes."
Ver. 121. Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear] Taliessin, chief of the bards, flourished in the sixth century. His works are still preserved, and his memory held in high veneration among his countrymen.
"The verse adorn again
"Fierce war, and faithful love,
And truth severe, by fairy fiction drest.
In buskin'd measures move
Pale grief, and pleasing pain,
With horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire.
Fond impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud, Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The diff'rent doom our fates assign.
Be thine despair, and sceptred care,
To triumph, and to die, are mine."
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height Deep in the roaring tide he plung❜d to endless night.
Ver. 128. In buskin'd measures move.] SHAKSPEARE.
Ver. 133. And distant warblings lessen on my ear] The succession of poets after Milton's time.
Performed in the Senate-House at Cambridge, July 1, 1769, at the Installation of the Duke of Grafton, as Chancellor of the University.
"HENCE, avaunt, ('tis holy ground)
Servitude that bugs her chain,
Nor in these consecrated bowers
Let painted Flatt'ry hide her serpent-train in flowers.
Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain,
Dare the Muse's walk to stain,
While bright-eyed Science watches round:
Hence, away, 'tis holy ground!"
From yonder realms of empyrean day