« PreviousContinue »
OTHER WRITINGS :- Table Talk; The Task; Translation of Homer.
BOADICEA.- Queen of the Iceni (Norfolk and Suffolk), rebelled against the Romans, but was conquered by Suetonius Paulinus.
In despair she committed suicide, A.D. 61.
WHEN the British warrior Queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Counsel of her country's gods :
Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief,
Full of rage and full of grief :
• Princess ! if our agèd eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
“ Rome shall perish-write that word
In the blood that she has spilt ; Perish, hopeless and abhorr'd,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Rome, for empire far renown'd,
Tramples on a thousand states; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !
“ Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.
“Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land, Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
“Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.”
Such the bard's prophetic words
Pregnant with celestial fire, Bending, as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow;
Dying, hurl’d them at the foe.
6 Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heav'n awards the vengeance due :
Shame and ruin wait for you.”
the Winter Walk at Noon
HERE is in souls a sympathy with sounds, And as the mind is pitched the ear is pleased With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave; Some chord in unison with what we hear Is touched within us, and the heart replies. How soft the music of those village bells, Falling at intervals upon the ear In cadence sweet, now dying all away, Now pealing loud again, and louder still, Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on ! With easy force it opens
all the cells Where
memory slept. Wherever I have heard A kindred melody, the scene recurs, And with it all its pleasures and its pains.
Such comprehensive views the spirit takes,
The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,
The night was winter in his roughest mood; The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon Upon the southern side of the slant hills, And where the woods fence off the northern
blast, The season smiles, resigning all its rage, And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue Without a cloud, and white without a speck The dazzling splendour of the scene below.
Again the harmony comes o'er the vale ; And through the trees I view the embattled
tower, Whence all the music. I again perceive The soothing influence of the wafted strains,