When I'm in the field, when I'm working, I keep very careful notes. I wear big shirts with big breast pockets, and I carry in them two little spiral notebooks.
Baby, Its Cold Outside
As recorded live with velma middleton 1949 (louis in parenthesis)
I really cant stay
(mama, its cold outside)
Ive got to go way
(I said, its cold outside)
I wish I knew how
(tickled to death that you dropped in)
To break this spell
(you better break that spell..a-vo-tu)
My mother will start to worry
(mama, whats your hurry)
Father will be pacin the floor
(hes gotta go...hes gotta go)
Really Id better hurry
(please dont hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more
**(take some swiss kriss while I pour)
The neighbors might think
(mama, its bad out there)
Hey pops, whats in this drink
(aint no fun to be had out there, you know)
This evenin has been
( it is outta here.....)
So nice and fine
(take another drink-a-wine...and
Maybe youll change your mind)
I ought to say no, no, no, sir
(you dont have to call me sir)
At least Im gonna say that I tried
(give it up...give it up...give it up)
I really cant stay
(and, dont hold out)
*both* ahh, but its cold outside
(look-a there honey...look at that window there...you cant go
Out there in all that bad weather take a look...............you lookin
At the wrong window anyway...........thats a bay window there........
See the one thats in the middle there.......yeah the one thats boarded
Up...thats an out house there..........aint no usein you goin out there
In all that bad weather...gettin them two little skis all frosted up)
Yeah well pops, I didnt tell mama and papa where I was goin
(you did what)
In fact, I sneaked outta the house
(oh, velma, dont never do that to your mama and papa......stay here
Three more days then you go back home to your people there)
Theres bound to be talk tommorow
(what about my sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied
(yeah, you tellin me)
I really cant stay
*both* ahh but its cold outside
Hey pops, Id really like to stick around
(yeah I wish you would)
But I live so far...i live way over on the other side of town....over in
The aristocratic part...way over........................
(where would that be honey)
Over on jackson street
(she been in town two hours and she done found out where
Jackson street is.....................yes indeed folks this is the place.....
You know where you can get two drinks for forty cents here......then you
Come outta the gate and fall flat-a-your face.....thats what you do)
(yeah your shoes are loosey...and lets get juicy)
*both* yeah, but it? s cold
- quotes about ski
- quotes about Switzerland
- quotes about frost
- quotes about dollars
- quotes about weather
- quotes about time
- quotes about abundance
- quotes about life
- quotes about worry
Along The Field as We Came By
ALONG the field as we came by
A year ago, my love and I,
The aspen over stile and stone
Was talking to itself alone.
‘Oh who are these that kiss and pass?
A country lover and his lass;
Two lovers looking to be wed;
And time shall put them both to bed,
But she shall lie with earth above,
And he beside another love.’
And sure enough beneath the tree
There walks another love with me,
And overhead the aspen heaves
Its rainy-sounding silver leaves;
And I spell nothing in their stir,
But now perhaps they speak to her,
And plain for her to understand
They talk about a time at hand
When I shall sleep with clover clad,
And she beside another lad.
- quotes about rain
- quotes about walking
- quotes about countries
- quotes about kiss
- quotes about beauty
- quotes about Earth
- quotes about love
- quotes about lies
Sonnet 98: Ah Bed, The field Where Joy's Peace
Ah bed, the field where joy's peace some do see,
The field where all my thought to war be train'd,
How is thy grace by my strange fortune stain'd!
How thy lee shores by my sighs stormed be!
With sweet soft shades thou oft invitest me
To steal some rest, but wretch I am constrain'd
(Spurr'd with Love's spur, though gall'd and shortly rein'd
With Care's hand) to turn and toss in thee.
While the black horrors of the silent night
Paint woe's black face so lively to my sight,
That tedious leisure marks each wrinkled line:
But when Aurora leads out Phoebus' dance
Mine eyes then only wink, for spite perchance,
That worms should have their Sun, and I want mine.
The Field at Night
To the field at night,
yellow crisp moon dips its paintbrush,
into the tar sea of grass.
Sombre spectre in woe,
banging the gates at the bottom pasture,
drying her eyes on white.
Glow of floating dust,
tempting strangers from the path,
to be lost to the dark.
--Rags of the angel cast the only light,
-there are ghosts out tonight.
In the fogged sky,
the eye of yellow endlessly watching,
old man of heaven.
No human features,
just a violent breath now and then,
when trees turn electric.
The anger it sounds,
sweeping the ground back and forth,
the vein of the road.
--His lust causes the ground shake,
-vagrant souls come to wake.
Flowers like cotton,
little people amongst the grass,
play out their routine.
Singing in the valley,
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Ballad of the Elfin Knight.
The smell of hearts burning,
the eyeless woman calls my name,
the churchyards moan.
--mother loads the water of white,
-there are ghosts out tonight.
Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night
Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave which your dear eyes return'd with a look I shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
Till late in the night reliev'd to the place at last again I made my way,
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate night-wind,
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade -- not a tear, not a word,
Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier,
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole,
Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your death,
I faithfully loved you and cared for you living, I think we shall surely meet again,)
Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn appear'd,
My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form,
Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and carefully under feet,
And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited,
Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and battle-field dim,
Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day brighten'd,
I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his blanket,
And buried him where he fell.
Virgil Strange I Kept On The Field
VIGIL strange I kept on the field one night:
When you, my son and my comrade, dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave, which your dear eyes return'd, with a look I
shall never forget;
One touch of your hand to mine, O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle;
Till late in the night reliev'd, to the place at last again I made my
Found you in death so cold, dear comrade--found your body, son of
responding kisses, (never again on earth responding;)
Bared your face in the starlight--curious the scene--cool blew the
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battlefield
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet, there in the fragrant silent
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh--Long, long I gazed;
Then on the earth partially reclining, sat by your side, leaning my
chin in my hands;
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you, dearest
comrade--Not a tear, not a word;
Vigil of silence, love and death--vigil for you my son and my
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole;
Vigil final for you, brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your
I faithfully loved you and cared for you living--I think we shall
surely meet again;)
Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn
My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form,
Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head, and
carefully under feet; 20
And there and then, and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his
grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited;
Ending my vigil strange with that--vigil of night and battlefield
Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth
Vigil for comrade swiftly slain--vigil I never forget, how as day
I rose from the chill ground, and folded my soldier well in his
And buried him where he fell.
Along the field as we came by
where i lived as a child
a little jungle thrived
opposite our row of
built just to live
with bare necessities
the beds, tables and chairs
mom's wedding presents
the only decor in the rooms
the few toys we begged
from dad and mom
strewn across the floor
the verandah sometimes
ended up on the shelf
oddly they sat to brighten up
and over the jungle
a hive of activities
kept our days occupied
we had run to capture poor dragonflies
in such rich hue of red
we caught them to devour
each other up
planting their tails onto
each other's mouth
up on the tree one day
a heron appeared
so white and graceful it looked
to this day, it remained in my mind
lucky little heron that took up a space
in my memory giving my middle age heart
a young jolt each time i recollect the scene
the smell of rubber, latex, torn leaves
lingers too in the memory
those times that we braved ourselves
to walk through the patch of jungle
breaking little trunks and tearing leaves
oh lord, we were naughty
naughty little tarzans
till one day somebody decided
to build houses over the patch
two storey houses with stars
for their long balconies
mom and dad decided to move
into one of the upper units
and there we embarked on
another dream....of stars
we went to school
we went to so many places
but the little patch of jungle
still thrives in our mind
the smell of rubber and torn leaves
so fresh on the nostrill
Along the field as we came by
ALONG the field as we came by
A year ago, my love and I,
The aspen over stile and stone
Was talking to itself alone.
‘Oh who are these that kiss and pass?
A country lover and his lass;
Two lovers looking to be wed;
And time shall put them both to bed,
But she shall lie with earth above,
And he beside another love.’
And sure enough beneath the tree
There walks another love with me,
And overhead the aspen heaves
Its rainy-sounding silver leaves;
And I spell nothing in their stir,
But now perhaps they speak to her,
And plain for her to understand
They talk about a time at hand
When I shall sleep with clover clad,
And she beside another lad.
Alfred Edward Housman
How Babs Malone cut Down the Field
Now the squatters and the “cockies,”
Shearers, trainers and their jockeys
Had gathered them together for a meeting on
They had mustered all their forces,
Owners brought their fastest horses,
Monaro-bred - I couldn't give them greater praise
"Twas a lovely day in Summer -
What the blacksmith called “a hummer,”
The swelling ears of wheat and oats had lost
their tender green,
And breezes made them shiver,
Trending westward to the river -
The river of the golden sands, the moaning
If you cared to take the trouble
You could watch the misty double,
The shadow of the flying clouds that skimmed the
Throwing light and shade incessant
On the Bull Peak's ragged crescent,
Upon whose gloomy forehead lay a patch of
Idly watching for the starting
Of the race that he had part in,
Old Gaylad stood and champed his bit, his
weight about nine stone;
His owner stood beside him,
Who was also going to ride him,
A shearer from Gegederick, whose name was
But Gaylad felt disgusted,
For his joints were fairly rusted,
He longed to feel the pressure of the jockey on his
And he felt that for a pin he'd
Join his mates, who loudly whinnied
For him to go and meet them at the post upon
From among the waiting cattle
Came the sound of childish prattle,
And the wife brought up their babe to kiss his
father for good luck;
Said Malone: "When I am seated
On old Gaylad, and am treated
With fairish play, I'll bet we never finish in the
But the babe was not contented,
Though his pinafore was scented
With oranges, and sticky from his lollies, for he
This gallant little laddie,
As he toddled to his daddy,
And raised his arms imploringly - "Please, dad,
div Babs a wide."
The father, how he chuckled
For the pride of it, and buckled
The surcingle, and placed the babe astride the
He did it, though he oughtn't,
And by pure good luck he shortened
The stirrups, and adjusted them to suit the
Who was seemingly delighted,
Not a little bit affrighted,
He sat and twined a chubby hand among the
His whip was in the other;
But all suddenly the mother
Shrieked, "Take him off!" and then “the field” came
thund'ring down the plain.
'Twas the Handicap was coming,
And the music of their drumming
Beat dull upon the turf that in its summer coat was
The racehorse reared and started,
Then the flimsy bridle parted,
And Gaylad, bearing featherweight, was striding
with the rest.
That scene cannot be painted
How the poor young mother fainted,
How the father drove his spurs into the nearest
What to do? he had no notion,
For you'd easier turn the ocean
Than stop the Handicap that then was half-way
round the course.
On the “bookies” at their yelling,
On the cheap-jacks at their selling,
On the crowd there fell a silence as the squadron
passed the stand;
Gayest colours flashing brightly,
And the baby clinging tightly,
A wisp of Gaylad's mane still twisted in his
Not a thought had he of falling,
Though his little legs were galling,
And the wind blew out his curls behind him in a
Though the motion made him dizzy,
Yet his baby brain was busy,
For hadn't he at length attained the substance
of his dream!
He was now a jockey really,
And he saw his duty clearly
To do his best to win and justify his father's
So he clicked his tongue to Gaylad,
Whispering softly, "Get away lad;"
The old horse cocked an ear, and put six inches
on his stride.
Then, the jockeys who were tailing
Saw the big bay horse come sailing
Through the midst of them with nothing but a baby
on his back,
And this startling apparition
Coolly took up its position
With a view of making running on the inside
of the track.
Oh, Gaylad was a beauty,
For he knew and did his duty;
Though his reins were flying loosely, strange to
say he never fell,
But held himself together,
For his weight was but a feather;
Bob Murphy, when he saw him, murmured
something like "Oh, hell!"
But Gaylad passed the filly;
Passed Jack Costigan on “Chilli,”
Cut down the coward “Watakip” and challenged
Here it was he showed his cunning,
Let the mare make all the running,
They turned into the straight stride for
stride and nose for nose.
But Babs was just beginning
To have fears about his winning,
In fact, to tell the truth, my hero felt inclined
For the “Rose” was still in blossom,
And two lengths behind her “Possum,”
And gallant little “Sterling,” slow but sure,
were drawing nigh.
Yes! Babsie's heart was failing,
For he felt old Gaylad ailing,
Another fifty yards to go, he felt his chance
Could he do it? much he doubted,
Then the crowd, oh, how they shouted,
For Babs had never dropped his whip, and now he
laid it on!
Down the straight the leaders thundered
While people cheered and wondered,
For ne'er before had any seen the equal of that
And never will they, maybe,
See a flaxen-haired baby
Flog racehorse to the winning post with all his
But Gaylad's strength is waning,
Gone in fact, beyond regaining,
Poor Babs is flogging helplessly, as pale as any
But he looks so brave and pretty
That the “Rose's” jockey takes pity,
And, pulling back a trifle, lets the baby pass the post.
What cheering and tin-kettling
Had they after at the “settling,”
And how they fought to see who'd hold the baby on
As President Montgom’ry,
With a brimming glass of “Pomm’ry,”
Proposed the health of Babs Malone, who'd
won the Handicap.
The Field of Waterloo
Fair Brussels, thou art far behind,
Though, lingering on the morning wind,
We yet may hear the hour
Pealed over orchard and canal,
With voice prolonged and measured fall,
From proud St. Michael's tower;
Thy wood, dark Soignies, holds us now,
Where the tall beeches' glossy bough
For many a league around,
With birch and darksome oak between,
Spreads deep and far a pathless screen,
Of tangled forest ground.
Stems planted close by stems defy
The adventurous foot-the curious eye
For access seeks in vain;
And the brown tapestry of leaves,
Strewed on the blighted ground, receives
Nor sun, nor air, nor rain.
No opening glade dawns on our way,
No streamlet, glancing to the ray,
Our woodland path has crossed;
And the straight causeway which we tread
Prolongs a line of dull arcade,
Unvarying through the unvaried shade
Until in distance lost.
A brighter, livelier scene succeeds;
In groups the scattering wood recedes,
Hedge-rows, and huts, and sunny meads,
And corn-fields glance between;
The peasant, at his labour blithe,
Plies the hooked staff and shortened scythe:-
But when these ears were green,
Placed close within destruction's scope,
Full little was that rustic's hope
Their ripening to have seen!
And, lo, a hamlet and its fane:-
Let not the gazer with disdain
Their architecture view;
For yonder rude ungraceful shrine,
And disproportioned spire, are thine,
Fear not the heat, though full and high
The sun has scorched the autumn sky,
And scarce a forest straggler now
To shade us spreads a greenwood bough;
These fields have seen a hotter day
Than e'er was fired by sunny ray,
Yet one mile on-yon shattered hedge
Crests the soft hill whose long smooth ridge
Looks on the field below,
And sinks so gently on the dale
That not the folds of Beauty's veil
In easier curves can flow.
Brief space from thence, the ground again
Ascending slowly from the plain
Forms an opposing screen,
Which, with its crest of upland ground,
Shuts the horizon all around.
The softened vale between
Slopes smooth and fair for courser's tread;
Not the most timid maid need dread
To give her snow-white palfrey head
On that wide stubble-ground;
Nor wood, nor tree, nor bush are there,
Her course to intercept or scare,
Nor fosse nor fence are found,
Save where, from out her shattered bowers,
Rise Hougomont's dismantled towers.
Now, see'st thou aught in this lone scene
Can tell of that which late hath been? -
A stranger might reply,
'The bare extent of stubble-plain
Seems lately lightened of its grain;
And yonder sable tracks remain
Marks of the peasant's ponderous wain,
When harvest-home was nigh.
On these broad spots of trampled ground,
Perchance the rustics danced such round
As Teniers loved to draw;
And where the earth seems scorched by flame,
To dress the homely feast they came,
And toiled the kerchiefed village dame
Around her fire of straw.'
So deem'st thou-so each mortal deems,
Of that which is from that which seems:-
But other harvest here
Than that which peasant's scythe demands,
Was gathered in by sterner hands,
With bayonet, blade, and spear.
No vulgar crop was theirs to reap,
No stinted harvest thin and cheap!
Heroes before each fatal sweep
Fell thick as ripened grain;
And ere the darkening of the day,
Piled high as autumn shocks, there lay
The ghastly harvest of the fray,
The corpses of the slain.
Ay, look again-that line, so black
And trampled, marks the bivouac,
Yon deep-graved ruts the artillery's track,
So often lost and won;
And close beside, the hardened mud
Still shows where, fetlock-deep in blood,
The fierce dragoon, through battle's flood,
Dashed the hot war-horse on.
These spots of excavation tell
The ravage of the bursting shell -
And feel'st thou not the tainted steam,
That reeks against the sultry beam,
From yonder trenched mound?
The pestilential fumes declare
That Carnage has replenished there
Her garner-house profound.
Far other harvest-home and feast,
Than claims the boor from scythe released,
On these scorched fields were known!
Death hovered o'er the maddening rout,
And, in the thrilling battle-shout,
Sent for the bloody banquet out
A summons of his own.
Through rolling smoke the Demon's eye
Could well each destined guest espy,
Well could his ear in ecstasy
Distinguish every tone
That filled the chorus of the fray -
From cannon-roar and trumpet-bray,
From charging squadrons' wild hurra,
From the wild clang that marked their way, -
Down to the dying groan,
And the last sob of life's decay,
When breath was all but flown.
Feast on, stern foe of mortal life,
Feast on!-but think not that a strife,
With such promiscuous carnage rife,
Protracted space may last;
The deadly tug of war at length
Must limits find in human strength,
And cease when these are past.
Vain hope!-that morn's o'erclouded sun
Heard the wild shout of fight begun
Ere he attained his height,
And through the war-smoke, volumed high,
Still peals that unremitted cry,
Though now he stoops to night.
For ten long hours of doubt and dread,
Fresh succours from the extended head
Of either hill the contest fed;
Still down the slope they drew,
The charge of columns paused not,
Nor ceased the storm of shell and shot;
For all that war could do
Of skill and force was proved that day,
And turned not yet the doubtful fray
On bloody Waterloo.
Pale Brussels! then what thoughts were thine,
When ceaseless from the distant line
Continued thunders came!
Each burgher held his breath, to hear
These forerunners of havoc near,
Of rapine and of flame.
What ghastly sights were thine to meet,
When rolling through thy stately street,
The wounded showed their mangled plight
In token of the unfinished fight,
And from each anguish-laden wain
The blood-drops laid thy dust like rain!
How often in the distant drum
Heard'st thou the fell Invader come,
While Ruin, shouting to his band,
Shook high her torch and gory brand! -
Cheer thee, fair City! From yon stand,
Impatient, still his outstretched hand
Points to his prey in vain,
While maddening in his eager mood,
And all unwont to be withstood,
He fires the fight again.
'On! On!' was still his stern exclaim;
'Confront the battery's jaws of flame!
Rush on the levelled gun!
My steel-clad cuirassiers, advance!
Each Hulan forward with his lance,
My Guard-my Chosen-charge for France,
France and Napoleon!'
Loud answered their acclaiming shout,
Greeting the mandate which sent out
Their bravest and their best to dare
The fate their leader shunned to share.
But HE, his country's sword and shield,
Still in the battle-front revealed,
Where danger fiercest swept the field,
Came like a beam of light,
In action prompt, in sentence brief -
'Soldiers, stand firm!' exclaimed the Chief,
'England shall tell the fight!'
On came the whirlwind-like the last
But fiercest sweep of tempest-blast -
On came the whirlwind-steel-gleams broke
Like lightning through the rolling smoke;
The war was waked anew,
Three hundred cannon-mouths roared loud,
And from their throats, with flash and cloud,
Their showers of iron threw.
Beneath their fire, in full career,
Rushed on the ponderous cuirassier,
The lancer couched his ruthless spear,
And hurrying as to havoc near,
The cohorts' eagles flew.
In one dark torrent, broad and strong,
The advancing onset rolled along,
Forth harbingered by fierce acclaim,
That, from the shroud of smoke and flame,
Pealed wildly the imperial name.
But on the British heart were lost
The terrors of the charging host;
For not an eye the storm that viewed
Changed its proud glance of fortitude,
Nor was one forward footstep stayed,
As dropped the dying and the dead.
Fast as their ranks the thunders tear,
Fast they renewed each serried square;
And on the wounded and the slain
Closed their diminished files again,
Till from their line scarce spears'-lengths three,
Emerging from the smoke they see
Helmet, and plume, and panoply, -
Then waked their fire at once!
Each musketeer's revolving knell,
As fast, as regularly fell,
As when they practise to display
Their discipline on festal day.
Then down went helm and lance,
Down were the eagle banners sent,
Down reeling steeds and riders went,
Corslets were pierced, and pennons rent;
And, to augment the fray,
Wheeled full against their staggering flanks,
The English horsemen's foaming ranks
Forced their resistless way.
Then to the musket-knell succeeds
The clash of swords-the neigh of steeds -
As plies the smith his clanging trade,
Against the cuirass rang the blade;
And while amid their close array
The well-served cannon rent their way,
And while amid their scattered band
Raged the fierce rider's bloody brand,
Recoiled in common rout and fear,
Lancer and guard and cuirassier,
Horsemen and foot,-a mingled host
Their leaders fall'n, their standards lost.
Then, WELLINGTON! thy piercing eye
This crisis caught of destiny -
The British host had stood
That morn 'gainst charge of sword and lance
As their own ocean-rocks hold stance,
But when thy voice had said, 'Advance!'
They were their ocean's flood. -
O Thou, whose inauspicious aim
Hath wrought thy host this hour of shame,
Think'st thou thy broken bands will bide
The terrors of yon rushing tide?
Or will thy chosen brook to feel
The British shock of levelled steel,
Or dost thou turn thine eye
Where coming squadrons gleam afar,
And fresher thunders wake the war,
And other standards fly? -
Think not that in yon columns, file
Thy conquering troops from distant Dyle -
Is Blucher yet unknown?
Or dwells not in thy memory still
(Heard frequent in thine hour of ill),
What notes of hate and vengeance thrill
In Prussia's trumpet-tone? -
What yet remains?-shall it be thine
To head the relics of thy line
In one dread effort more? -
The Roman lore thy leisure loved,
And than canst tell what fortune proved
That Chieftain, who, of yore,
Ambition's dizzy paths essayed
And with the gladiators' aid
For empire enterprised -
He stood the cast his rashness played,
Left not the victims he had made,
Dug his red grave with his own blade,
And on the field he lost was laid,
Abhorred-but not despised.
But if revolves thy fainter thought
On safety-howsoever bought, -
Then turn thy fearful rein and ride,
Though twice ten thousand men have died
On this eventful day
To gild the military fame
Which thou, for life, in traffic tame
Wilt barter thus away.
Shall future ages tell this tale
Of inconsistence faint and frail?
And art thou He of Lodi's bridge,
Marengo's field, and Wagram's ridge!
Or is thy soul like mountain-tide,
That, swelled by winter storm and shower,
Rolls down in turbulence of power,
A torrent fierce and wide;
Reft of these aids, a rill obscure,
Shrinking unnoticed, mean and poor,
Whose channel shows displayed
The wrecks of its impetuous course,
But not one symptom of the force
By which these wrecks were made!
Spur on thy way!-since now thine ear
Has brooked thy veterans' wish to hear,
Who, as thy flight they eyed
Exclaimed,-while tears of anguish came,
Wrung forth by pride, and rage, and shame,
'O that he had but died!'
But yet, to sum this hour of ill,
Look, ere thou leav'st the fatal hill,
Back on yon broken ranks -
Upon whose wild confusion gleams
The moon, as on the troubled streams
When rivers break their banks,
And, to the ruined peasant's eye,
Objects half seen roll swiftly by,
Down the dread current hurled -
So mingle banner, wain, and gun,
Where the tumultuous flight rolls on
Of warriors, who, when morn begun,
Defied a banded world.
List-frequent to the hurrying rout,
The stern pursuers' vengeful shout
Tells, that upon their broken rear
Rages the Prussian's bloody spear.
So fell a shriek was none,
When Beresina's icy flood
Reddened and thawed with flame and blood,
And, pressing on thy desperate way,
Raised oft and long their wild hurra,
The children of the Don.
Thine ear no yell of horror cleft
So ominous, when, all bereft
Of aid, the valiant Polack left -
Ay, left by thee-found soldiers grave
In Leipsic's corpse-encumbered wave.
Fate, in those various perils past,
Reserved thee still some future cast;
On the dread die thou now hast thrown
Hangs not a single field alone,
Nor one campaign-thy martial fame,
Thy empire, dynasty, and name
Have felt the final stroke;
And now, o'er thy devoted head
The last stern vial's wrath is shed,
The last dread seal is broke.
Since live thou wilt-refuse not now
Before these demagogues to bow,
Late objects of thy scorn and hate,
Who shall thy once imperial fate
Make wordy theme of vain debate. -
Or shall we say, thou stoop'st less low
In seeking refuge from the foe,
Against whose heart, in prosperous life,
Thine hand hath ever held the knife?
Such homage hath been paid
By Roman and by Grecian voice,
And there were honour in the choice,
If it were freely made.
Then safely come-in one so low, -
So lost,-we cannot own a foe;
Though dear experience bid us end,
In thee we ne'er can hail a friend. -
Come, howsoe'er-but do not hide
Close in thy heart that germ of pride,
Erewhile, by gifted bard espied,
That 'yet imperial hope;'
Think not that for a fresh rebound,
To raise ambition from the ground,
We yield thee means or scope.
In safety come-but ne'er again
Hold type of independent reign;
No islet calls thee lord,
We leave thee no confederate band,
No symbol of thy lost command,
To be a dagger in the hand
From which we wrenched the sword.
Yet, even in yon sequestered spot,
May worthier conquest be thy lot
Than yet thy life has known;
Conquest, unbought by blood or harm,
That needs nor foreign aid nor arm,
A triumph all thine own.
Such waits thee when thou shalt control
Those passions wild, that stubborn soul,
That marred thy prosperous scene:-
Hear this-from no unmoved heart,
Which sighs, comparing what THOU ART
With what thou MIGHT'ST HAVE BEEN!
Thou, too, whose deeds of fame renewed
Bankrupt a nation's gratitude,
To thine own noble heart must owe
More than the meed she can bestow.
For not a people's just acclaim,
Not the full hail of Europe's fame,
Thy Prince's smiles, the State's decree,
The ducal rank, the gartered knee,
Not these such pure delight afford
As that, when hanging up thy sword,
Well may'st thou think, 'This honest steel
Was ever drawn for public weal;
And, such was rightful Heaven's decree,
Ne'er sheathed unless with victory!'
Look forth, once more, with softened heart,
Ere from the field of fame we part;
Triumph and Sorrow border near,
And joy oft melts into a tear.
Alas! what links of love that morn
Has War's rude hand asunder torn!
For ne'er was field so sternly fought,
And ne'er was conquest dearer bought,
Here piled in common slaughter sleep
Those whom affection long shall weep
Here rests the sire, that ne'er shall strain
His orphans to his heart again;
The son, whom, on his native shore,
The parent's voice shall bless no more;
The bridegroom, who has hardly pressed
His blushing consort to his breast;
The husband, whom through many a year
Long love and mutual faith endear.
Thou canst not name one tender tie,
But here dissolved its relics lie!
Oh! when thou see'st some mourner's veil
Shroud her thin form and visage pale,
Or mark'st the Matron's bursting tears
Stream when the stricken drum she hears;
Or see'st how manlier grief, suppressed,
Is labouring in a father's breast, -
With no inquiry vain pursue
The cause, but think on Waterloo!
Period of honour as of woes,
What bright careers 'twas thine to close! -
Marked on thy roll of blood what names
To Britain's memory, and to Fame's,
Laid there their last immortal claims!
Thou saw'st in seas of gore expire
Redoubted PICTON'S soul of fire -
Saw'st in the mingled carnage lie
All that of PONSONBY could die -
DE LANCEY change Love's bridal-wreath
For laurels from the hand of Death -
Saw'st gallant MILLER'S failing eye
Still bent where Albion's banners fly,
And CAMERON, in the shock of steel,
Die like the offspring of Lochiel;
And generous GORDON, 'mid the strife,
Fall while he watched his leader's life. -
Ah! though her guardian angel's shield
Fenced Britain's hero through the field.
Fate not the less her power made known,
Through his friends' hearts to pierce his own!
Forgive, brave Dead, the imperfect lay!
Who may your names, your numbers, say?
What high-strung harp, what lofty line,
To each the dear-earned praise assign,
From high-born chiefs of martial fame
To the poor soldier's lowlier name?
Lightly ye rose that dawning day,
From your cold couch of swamp and clay,
To fill, before the sun was low,
The bed that morning cannot know. -
Oft may the tear the green sod steep,
And sacred be the heroes' sleep,
Till time shall cease to run;
And ne'er beside their noble grave,
May Briton pass and fail to crave
A blessing on the fallen brave
Who fought with Wellington!
Farewell, sad Field! whose blighted face
Wears desolation's withering trace;
Long shall my memory retain
Thy shattered huts and trampled grain,
With every mark of martial wrong,
That scathe thy towers, fair Hougomont!
Yet though thy garden's green arcade
The marksman's fatal post was made,
Though on thy shattered beeches fell
The blended rage of shot and shell,
Though from thy blackened portals torn,
Their fall thy blighted fruit-trees mourn,
Has not such havoc bought a name
Immortal in the rolls of fame?
Yes-Agincourt may be forgot,
And Cressy be an unknown spot,
And Blenheim's name be new;
But still in story and in song,
For many an age remembered long,
Shall live the towers of Hougomont
And Field of Waterloo!
Stern tide of human Time! that know'st not rest,
But, sweeping from the cradle to the tomb,
Bear'st ever downward on thy dusky breast
Successive generations to their doom;
While thy capacious stream has equal room
For the gay bark where Pleasure's steamers sport,
And for the prison-ship of guilt and gloom,
The fisher-skiff, and barge that bears a court,
Still wafting onward all to one dark silent port;-
Stern tide of Time! through what mysterious change
Of hope and fear have our frail barks been driven!
For ne'er, before, vicissitude so strange
Was to one race of Adam's offspring given.
And sure such varied change of sea and heaven,
Such unexpected bursts of joy and woe,
Such fearful strife as that where we have striven,
Succeeding ages ne'er again shall know,
Until the awful term when Thou shalt cease to flow.
Well hast thou stood, my Country!-the brave fight
Hast well maintained through good report and ill;
In thy just cause and in thy native might,
And in Heaven's grace and justice constant still;
Whether the banded prowess, strength, and skill
Of half the world against thee stood arrayed,
Or when, with better views and freer will,
Beside thee Europe's noblest drew the blade,
Each emulous in arms the Ocean Queen to aid.
Well art thou now repaid-though slowly rose,
And struggled long with mists thy blaze of fame,
While like the dawn that in the orient glows
On the broad wave its earlier lustre came;
Then eastern Egypt saw the growing flame,
And Maida's myrtles gleamed beneath its ray,
Where first the soldier, stung with generous shame,
Rivalled the heroes of the watery way,
And washed in foemen's gore unjust reproach away.
Now, Island Empress, wave thy crest on high,
And bid the banner of thy Patron flow,
Gallant Saint George, the flower of Chivalry,
For thou halt faced, like him, a dragon foe,
And rescued innocence from overthrow,
And trampled down, like him, tyrannic might,
And to the gazing world may'st proudly show
The chosen emblem of thy sainted Knight,
Who quelled devouring pride and vindicated right.
Yet 'mid the confidence of just renown,
Renown dear-bought, but dearest thus acquired,
Write, Britain, write the moral lesson down:
'Tis not alone the heart with valour fired,
The discipline so dreaded and admired,
In many a field of bloody conquest known,
-Such may by fame be lured, by gold be hired:
'Tis constancy in the good cause alone
Best justifies the meed thy valiant sons have won.
Lost It...I Don't Know When Or
I have suddenly realized I have lost it.
I have lost the joy that was in my life.
When did that happen?
I don't know the exact day...however
as near as I can figure out, it happened
slowly. Ever so slowly...almost unperceptivly.
Of course the joy in ones life manifests itself
through that in life that one loves. And so...
mine...my joy, slowly left...as those I love were
no longer in my life. Some of it left, when I
moved...and left behind the drooping willows that
fronted the house I no longer have. The house
where so many beautiful memories were born.
Lots of it left...when the friends of a lifetime
were house in places I no longer went to. It left when
I stopped the ritual of fine dining in places where I
was known by name. It left with scores of doormen,
and servers that I had grow found of.
Most of it...most of my joy, left with family...when came
the day when holidays and other celebrations no longer
was a part of my life.
I miss the joy in my life. I miss all the loved ones
that I shall never see again. Some dead...some
scattered like leaves in the wind, to the far
corners of the earth.
As I grow older, faded memories of joy become less
vivid. Until...a day like today...when something
.or someone reminds me...
Of Lost Joy...And Fading Memories.
Remember Me When Im Gone
Why I don't know why even how?
How Lovers turn strangers
How all the passion and love
Turn in to ashes just in a while
How your real love flew
How it could be true
The love between me and you
The thing that I've never got
How the love like flower dies
How Would you tell me how
How you could forget the love
For It's sake days and nights breathless stood there
Never got tired of knocking the doors of my heart
love I loved you and lived for your love even after you've gone
Love I loved and I lived your pain
For your sake I used to love your pain
Because my love was real and
Truer than true
No one ever will be loved like The way I loved you
Someday you will comeback
But it'll be too late
never again you'll find me there
A lifetime I'm standing right here
Got tired this heart of mine
Long years alone waited for your return
If I had one more life I would sacrifice for your love
But when the time of leaving comes
There's nothing to do my love
When you come back when I'm gone
you will return home broken
That moment you'll feel how much you've hurt the one who loved you more than her life
I'll go far away taking with me your love and all the memories
Those memories never gone away
Like my shadow always chased my way
Remember me when I'm gone
Because even in my grave I'll always love those smiling green eyes.
The Rinkhals in Muckleneuk Ridge
We were living in the mansion
in Muckleneuk Ridge
when Heinrich wheeled the
rubbish bin out to the street
to leave it for the collectors,
and the red haired neighbour woman
started to shout at him.
I was just getting out of my Volkswagen Polo
and within a minute I was there
like a avenging angel,
telling her to leave the boy alone
and that the pavement
doesn’t belong to her
and that we have got the right
to put out the rubbish bin
for the rubbish collectors.
She got red with anger in her face,
hissed like a snake trying to spit
and cursed me in English
and I told her to get lost.
That woman was aquatically
quite funny and always dressed
in a track suit,
(as if she had no other
type of clothes)
living in a dilapidated house
like a hermit
with rusting sink plate roof
and weeds standing knee high
in her garden
in that rich man’s neighbourhood.
It was when the dogs
tried to catch a half grown coucal
which the wind had blown
out of its nest
and I jumped down the steps
of some terraces
to rescue the poor thing
and I and that wild bird
got to love each other
and it would start to scream
with excitement as soon
as it heard my car
that Heinrich trapped a venomous
ring-neck spitting cobra
in our garden
and I wanted to kill it
and you said
that even snakes
have a right to live.
I told you that the snake
was apt to kill somebody
as I was leaving for work
and you took the kids
to let it free in the field,
(or so I was told) ,
but a few days later
that utterly rude woman
was really surprised
and screamed for her life
when a snake hissed at her
spitting in her eyes.
[Rinkhals = ring-neck spitting cobra.]
The Faithful Shepherdess (Monologue)
Through yon same bending plain,
That flings his arms down to the main,
And through these thick woods have I run,
Whose bottom never kissed the sun
Since the lusty spring began;
All to please my master Pan,
Have I trotted without rest
To get him fruit, for at a feast
He entertains this coming night
His paramour, the Syrinx bright.-
But behold, a fairer sight!
By that heavenly form of thine,
Brightest fair, thou art divine,
Sprung from great immortal race
Of the gods; for in they face
Shines more awful majesty
Than dull weak mortality
Dare with misty eyes behold,
And live. Therefore on this mold
Lowly to I bend my knee
In worship of thy deity.
Deign it, goddess, from my hand
To receive whate'er this land
From her fertile womb doth send
Of her choice fruits, and but lend belief to that the satyr tells:
Fairer by the famous wells
To this present day ne'er grew,
Never better nor more true.
Here be grapes, whose lusty blood
Is the learned poets' good,
Sweeter yet did never crown
The head of Bacchus; nuts more brown
Than the squirrel's teeth that crack them.
Deign, O fairest fair, to take them!
For these black-eyed Dryope
Hath oftentimes commanded me
With my claspéd knee to climb-
See how well the lusty time
Hath decked their rising cheeks in red,
Such as on your lips is spread!
Here be berries for a queen-
Some be red, some be green;
These are of that luscious meat
The great god Pan himself doth eat;
All these, and what the woods can yield,
The hanging mountain, or the field,
I freely offer, and ere long
Will bring you more, more sweet and strong,
Till when, humbly leave I take,
Lest the great Pan do awake,
That sleeping lies in a deep glade
Under a broad beech's shade.
I must go, I must run
Swifter than the fiery sun.
Ethel And The Streaker (Fun Poem 82)
Based on characters created by Ray Stevens in his song The Streak.
Now Ethel was doing her shopping
with here friend Maizey-Be,
the local gossip of the community.
As they pushed their trolleys to the car
when someone shouted,
“Don’t look ladies! ”
It was too late;
Ethel looked and was moved on the spot.
Her mouth dropped open with absolute shock.
There darting across the car park
in all his naked glory with a saggy physic
was a streaker.
Maizey-Be saw him too
and fainted to the ground.
As fast as he came
the streaker was now gone.
Ethel was in the library
with her friend Maizey-Be,
the local gossip of the community.
They just picked a book from the shelf
when someone shouted,
“Don’t look Ladies.”
It was too late, Ethel already had an eye full
and was moved on the spot and dropped her book
the streaker came running
through the isle between the bookcases
in all his saggy glory.
Maizey-Be saw him too
and fainted on the floor
as the streaker rushed by
and disappeared out the door.
Ethel was at a baseball game
with her friend Maizey-Be,
the local gossip of the community.
As they watched, the batter hit a ball into out field
“Ladies don’t look! ”
Too late, Ethel looked with her binoculars
and was moved on the spot.
The streaker was her beloved
husband Fred Trotalot.
He was showing everyone
more than she had seen in years
as he streaked around the diamond
to the home base.
Now Ethel and Maizey-Be
were not going to be out done.
They peeled off their cloths
and after Fred did run.
To their sagging body parts,
it was a breath of fresh air.
Fred looked back
and muttered to himself at the site.
“Oh my goodness, what have I done! ”
The ladies all wrinkly and crinkly
showed off their finery
to all those in the press box
who at the shock closed their eyes.
Fred kept on running, wanting to get there.
He couldn’t stop, as he had nothing to wear.
The police came running on to the field,
blankets in their hands to cover up the states
that was running round the field.
As each one they caught,
they marched them of the field,
until it was only Ethel
that was still running around.
Maizey-Be had fainted by this time
and rolled on her stomach to hide her modesty.
The crowd gave an ecstatic applause
as Ethel ran with her arms in the air.
It was as if she had scored a home run.
The police finally caught her
and all three were charged
with giving everyone the best laugh of the afternoon.
The baseball game continued
after this short interlude.
4 July 2008
The Battle of Sempach
'Twas when among our linden-trees
The bees had housed in swarms,
(And grey-hair'd peasants say that these
Betoken foreign arms),
Then look'd we down to Willisow,
The land was all in flame;
We knew the Archduke Leopold
With all his army came.
The Austrian nobles made their vow,
So hot their heart and bold,
'On Switzer carles we'll trample now,
And slay both young and old.'
With clarion loud, and banner proud,
From Zurich on the lake,
In martial pomp and fair array,
Their onward march they make.
'Now list, ye lowland nobles all -
Ye seek the mountain strand,
Nor wot ye what shall be your lot
In such a dangerous land.
'I rede ye, shrive ye of your sins,
Before ye farther go;
A skirmish in Helvetian hills
May send your souls to woe.'-
'But where now shall we find a priest
Our shrift that he may hear?'-
'The Switzer priest has ta'en the field,
He deals a penance drear.
'Right heavily upon your head
He'll lay his hand of steel;
And with his trusty partisan
Your absolution deal.'-
'Twas on a Monday morning then,
The corn was steep'd in dew,
And merry maids had sickles ta'en,
When the host to Sempach drew.
The stalwart men of fair Lucerne
Together have they join'd;
The pith and core of manhood stern,
Was none cast looks behind.
It was the Lord of Hare-castle,
And to the duke he said,
'Yon little band of brethren true
Will meet us undismay'd.'-
'O Hare-castle, thou heart of hare!'
Fierce Oxenstern replied.-
'Shalt see then how the game will fare,'
The taunted knight replied.
There was lacing then of helmets bright,
And closing ranks amain;
The peaks they hew'd from their boot-points
Might wellnigh load a wain.
And thus they to each other said,
'Yon handful down to hew
Will be no boastful tale to tell,
The peasants are so few.'-
The gallant Swiss Confederates there
They pray'd to God aloud,
And he dismay'd his rainbow fair
Against a swarthy cloud.
Then heart and pulse throbb'd more and more
With courage firm and high,
And down the good Confederates bore
On the Austrian chivalry.
The Austrian Lion 'gan to growl
And toss his mane and tail;
And ball, and shaft, and crossbow bolt,
Went whistling forth like hail.
Lance, pike, and halbert, mingled there,
The game was nothing sweet;
The boughs of many a stately tree
Lay shiver'd at their feet.
The Austrian met-at-arms stood fast,
So close their spears they laid;
It chafed the gallant Winkelreid,
Who to his comrades said -
'I have a virtuous wife at home,
A wife and infant son;
I leave them to my country's care,-
This field shall soon be won.
'These nobles lay their spears right thick,
And keep full firm array,
Yet shall my charge their order break,
And make my brethren way.'
He rush'd against the Austrian hand,
In desperate career,
And with his body, breast, and hand,
Bore down each hostile spear.
Four lances splinter'd on his crest,
Six shiver'd in his side;
Still on the serried files he press'd -
He broke their ranks, and died.
This patriot's self-devoted deed
First tamed the Lion's mood,
And the four forest cantons freed
From thraldom by his blood.
Right where his charge had made a lane,
His valiant comrades burst,
With sword, and axe, and partisan,
And hack, and stab, and thrust.
The daunted Lion 'gan to whine,
And granted ground amain,
The Mountain Bull he bent his brows,
And gored his sides again.
Then lost was banner, spear, and shield,
At Sempach in the flight,
The cloister vaults at Konig's-field
Hold many an Austrian knight.
It was the Archduke Leopold,
So lordly would he ride.
But he came against the Switzer-churls,
And they slew him in his pride.
The heifer said unto the bull,
'And shall I not complain?
There came a foreign nobleman
To milk me on the plain.
'One thrust of thine outrageous horn
Has gall'd the knight so sore,
That to the churchyard he is borne
To range our glens no more.'
An Austrian noble left the stour,
And fast the flight 'gan take;
And he arrived in luckless hour
At Sempach on the lake.
He and his squire a fisher call'd,
(His name was Hans Von Rot),
'For love, or meed, or charity,
Receive us in thy boat!'
Their anxious call the fisher heard,
And, glad the meed to win,
His shallop to the shore he steer'd,
And took the flyers in.
And while against the tide and wind
Hans stoutly row'd his way,
The noble to his follower sign'd
He should the boatman slay.
The fisher's back was to them turn'd,
The squire his dagger drew,
Hans saw his shadow in the lake,
The boat he overthrew.
He 'whelmed the boat, and as they strove,
He stunn'd them with his oar,
'Now, drink ye deep, my gentle sirs,
You'll ne'er stab boatman more.
'Two gilded fishes in the lake
This morning have I caught,
Their silver scales may much avail,
Their carrion flesh is naught.'
It was a messenger of woe
Has sought the Austrian land:
'Ah! gracious lady, evil news!
My lord lies on the strand.
'At Sempach, on the battle-field,
His bloody corpse lies there.'-
'Ah, gracious God!' the lady cried,
'What tidings of despair!'
Now would you know the minstrel wight
Who sings of strife so stern,
Albert the Souter is he hight,
A burgher of Lucerne.
A merry man was he, I wot,
The night he made the lay,
Returning from the bloody spot,
Where God had judged the day.
The Ladle. A Tale
The Sceptics think 'twas long ago
Since gods came down
To see who were their friends or foes,
And how our actions fell or rose;
That since they gave things their beginning,
And set this whirligig a-spinning,
Supine they in their heaven remain,
Exempt from passion and from pain,
And frankly leave us human elves
To cut and shuffle for ourselves;
To stand or walk, to rise or tumble,
As matter and as motion jumble.
The poets now, and painters, hold
This thesis both absurd and bold,
And your good-natured gods, they say,
Descend some twice or thrice a-day,
Else all these things we toil so hard in
Would not avail one single farthing;
For when the hero we rehearse
To grace his actions and our verse,
'Tis not by dint of human thought
That to his Latium he is brought;
Iris descends by Fate's commands
To guide his steps through foreign lands,
And Amphitrite clears his way
From rocks and quicksands in the sea.
And if you see him in a sketch
(Though drawn by Paulo or Carache)
He shows not half his force and strength
Strutting in armour and at length;
That he may make his proper figure
The piece must yet be four yards bigger;
The nymphs conduct him to the field,
One holds his sword, and one his shield,
Mars, standing by, asserts his quarrel,
And Fame flies after with a laurel.
These points, I say, of speculation,
(As 'twere to save or sink the nation)
Men idly learned will dispute,
Assert, object, confirm, refute;
Each mighty angry, mighty right,
With equal arms sustains the fight,
Till now no umpire can agree 'em,
So both draw off and sing
Is it in equilibrio
If deities descend or no?
Then let th' affirmative prevail,
As requisite to form my Tale;
For by all parties 'tis confess'd
That those opinions are the best
Which in their nature most conduce
To present ends and private use.
Two gods came, therefore, from above,
One Mercury, the other Jove;
The humour was, it seems, to know
If all the favours they bestow
Could from our own perverseness ease us,
And if our wish enjoy'd would please us,
Discoursing largely on this theme,
O'er hills and dales their godships came,
Till well nigh tired, at almost night,
They thought it proper to alight.
Not here, that it as true as odd is,
That in disguise a god or goddess
Exerts no supernatural powers,
But acts on maxims much like ours.
They spied at last a country farm,
Where all was snug, and clean, and warm;
For woods before and hills behind
Secured it both from rain and wind:
Large oxen in the field were lowing,
Good grain was sow'd, good fruit was growing:
Of last year's corn in barns great store;
Fat turkeys gobbling at the door;
And Wealth in short, with Peace consented
That people here should live contented;
But did they in effect do so?
Have patience friend, and thou shalt know.
The honest farmer and his wife,
To years declined from prime of life,
Had struggled with the marriage noose,
As almost every couple does:
Sometimes my plague! sometimes my darling!
Kissing to-day, to-morrow snarling!
Jointly submitting to endure
That evil which admits no cure.
Our gods the outward gates unbarr'd;
Our farmer met 'em in the yard;
Thought they were folks that lost their way,
And ask'd them civilly to stay;
Told 'em for supper or for bed
They might go on and be worse sped. -
So said, so done; the gods consent:
All three into the parlour went:
They compliment, they sit, they chat;
Fight o'er the wars, reform the state:
A thousand knotty points they clear,
Till supper and my wife appear.
Jove made his leg, and kiss'd the dame;
Obsequious Hermes did the same.
Jove kiss'd the farmer's wife, you say!
He did - but in an honest way:
Oh! not with half that warmth and life
With which he kiss'd Amphitryon's wife. -
Well, then, things handsomely were served;
My mistress for the strangers carved.
How strong the beer, how good the meat,
How loud they laughed, how much they eat,
In epic sumptuous would appear,
Yet shall be pass'd in silence here;
For I should grieve to have it said
That, by a fine description led,
I made my episode too long,
Or tired my friend to grace my song.
The grace-cup served, the cloth away,
Jove thought it time to show his play.
Landlord and landlady, he cried,
Folly and jesting laid aside,
That ye thus hospitably live,
And strangers with good cheer receive,
Is mighty grateful to your betters
And make e'en gods themselves your debtors.
To give this thesis plainer proof,
You have to-night beneath your roof
A pair of gods: (nay, never wonder,)
This youth can fly and I can thunder.
I'm Jupiter, and he Mercurius,
My page, my son indeed, but spurious.
Form, then, three wishes, you and Madam,
And, sure as you already had 'em,
The things desired in half an hour
Shall all be here and in your power.
Thank ye, great Gods, the woman says;
Oh! may your altars ever blaze!
A ladle for our silver dish
Is what I want, is what I wish. -
A ladle! cries the man, a ladle!
'Odzooks, Corsica, you have pray'd ill!
What should be great you turn to farce,
I wish the ladle in your a--.
With equal grief and shame my Muse
The sequel of the tale pursues.
The ladle fell into the room,
And struck in old Corsica's bum.
Our couple weep two wishes past,
And kindly join to form the last;
To ease the woman's awkward pain,
And get the ladle out again.
This commoner has worth and parts,
Is praised for arms, or loved for arts;
His head aches for a coronet,
And who is bless'd that is not great?
Some sense and more estate kind Heaven
To this well-lotted peer has given:
What then? he must have rule and sway,
And all is wrong till he's in play.
The miser must make up his plum,
And dares not touch the hoarded sum;
The sickly dotard wants a wife
To draw off his last dregs of life.
Against our peace we arm our will;
Amidst our plenty something still
For horses, houses, pictures, planting,
To thee, to me, to him, is wanting;
That cruel something unpossess'd,
Corrodes, and leavens all the rest:
That something if we could obtain
Would soon create a future pain;
And to the coffin from the cradle
'Tis all a wish and all a Ladle.
Pygmaeo-gerano-machia: The Battle Of The Pygmies and Cranes
From the Latin of Addison.
The pygmy-people, and the feather'd train,
Mingling in mortal combat on the plain,
I sing. Ye Muses, favour my designs,
Lead on my squadrons, and arrange the lines;
The flashing swords and fluttering wings display,
And long bills nibbling in the bloody fray;
Cranes darting with disdain on tiny foes,
Conflicting birds and men, and war's unnumber'd woes.
The wars and woes of heroes six feet long
Have oft resounded in Pierian song.
Who has not heard of Colcho's golden fleece,
And Argo mann'd with all the flower of Greece?
Of Thebes' fell brethren , Theseus stern of face,
And Peleus' son unrivall'd in the race,
Eneas founder of the Roman line,
And William glorious on the banks of Boyne?
Who has not learn'd to weep at Pompey's woes,
And over Blackmore's Epic page to doze?
'Tis I, who dare attempt unusual strains,
Of hosts unsung, and unfrequented plains;
The small shrill trump, and chiefs of little size,
And armies rushing down the darken'd skies.
Where India reddens to the early dawn,
Winds a deep vale from vulgar eyes withdrawn:
Bosom'd in groves the lowly region lies,
And rocky mountains round the border rise.
Here, till the doom of Fate its fall decreed,
The empire flourish'd of the pygmy-breed;
Here Industry perform'd, and Genius plann'd,
And busy multitudes o'erspread the land.
But now to these lone bounds if pilgrim stray,
Tempting through craggy cliffs the desperate way,
He finds the puny mansion fallen to earth,
Its godlings mouldering on th' abandon'd hearth;
And starts, where small white bones are spread around,
'Or little footsteps lightly print the ground;'
While the proud crane her nest securely builds,
Chattering amid the desolated fields.
But different fates befel her hostile rage,
While reign'd, invincible through many an age,
The dreaded Pygmy; roused by war's alarms
Forth rush'd the madding Mannikin to arms.
Fierce to the field of death the hero flies:
The faint crane fluttering flaps the ground, and dies;
And by the victor borne (o'erwhelming load!)
With bloody bill loose-dangling marks the road.
And oft the wily dwarf in ambush lay,
And often made the callow young his prey;
With slaughter'd victims heap'd his board, and smiled
T'avenge the parent's trespass on the child.
Oft where his feather'd foe had rear'd her nest,
And laid her eggs and household gods to rest,
Burning for blood, in terrible array,
The eighteen-inch militia burst their way;
All went to wreck; the infant foeman fell,
When scarce his chirping bill had broke the shell.
Loud uproar hence, and rage of arms arose,
And the fell rancour, of encountering foes;
Hence dwarfs and cranes one general havock whelms,
And Death's grim visage scares the pygmy-realms.
Not half so furious blazed the warlike fire
Of Mice, high theme of the Meonian lyre;
When bold to battle march'd th' accoutre'd frogs,
And the deep tumult thunder'd through the bogs.
Pierced by the javelin bulrush on the shore,
Here, agonizing, roll'd the mouse in gore;
And there the frog (a scene full sad to see!)
Shorn of one leg, slow sprawl'd along the three:
He vaults no more with vigorous hopes on high,
But mourns in hoarsest croaks his destiny.
And now the day of wo drew on apace,
A day of wo to all the pygmy race,
When dwarfs were doom'd (but penitence was vain)
To rue each broken egg and chicken slain.
For roused to vengeance by repeated wrong,
From distant climes the long-bill'd regions throng;
From Strymon's lake, Cayster's plashy meads,
And fens of Scythia green with rustling reeds;
From where the Danube winds through many a land,
And Mareotis laves th' Egyptian strand,
To rendezvous they waft on eager wing,
And wait assembled the returning spring.
Meanwhile they trim their plumes for length of flight,
Whet their keen beaks, and twisting claws, for fight;
Each crane the pygmy power in thought o'erturns,
And every bosom for the battle burns.
When genial gales the frozen air unbind,
The screaming legions wheel, and mount the wind.
Far in the sky they form their long array,
And land and ocean stretch'd immense survey
Deep deep beneath; and, triumphing in pride,
With clouds and winds commix'd, innumerous ride;
'Tis wild obstreperous clanguor all, and heaven
Whirls in tempestuous undulation driven.
Nor less th' alarm that shook the world below,
Where march'd in pomp of war th' embattled foe;
Where mannikins with haughty step advance,
And grasp the shield, and couch the quivering lance;
To right and left the lengthening lines they form,
And rank'd in deep array await the storm.
High in the midst the chieftain-dwarf was seen,
Of giant stature, and imperial mien.
Full twenty inches tall he strode along,
And view'd with lofty eye the wondering throng;
And, while with many a scar his visage frown'd,
Bared his broad bosom, rough with many a wound
Of beaks, and claws, disclosing to their sight
The glorious meed of high heroic might.
For with insatiate vengeance, he pursued,
And never ending hate, the feathery brood;
Unhappy they, confiding in the length
Of horny beak, or talon's crooked strength,
Who durst abide his rage; the blade descends,
And from the panting trunk the pinion rends.
Laid low in dust the pinion waves no more,
The trunk disfigured stiffens in its gore.
What hosts of heroes fell beneath his force!
What heaps of chicken carnage mark'd his course!
How oft, O Strymon, thy lone banks along,
Did wailing echo waft the funeral song.
And now from far the mingling clamours rise,
Loud and more loud rebounding through the skies.
From skirt to skirt of heaven, with stormy sway,
A cloud rolls on, and darkens all the day.
Near and more near descends the dreadful shade,
And now in battalions array display'd,
On sounding wings, and screaming in their ire,
The cranes rush onward, and the fight require.
The pygmy warrior's eye with fearless glare
The host thick swarming o'er the burthen'd air:
Thick swarming now, but to their native land
Doom'd to return a scanty straggling band. -
When sudden, darting down the depth of heaven,
Fierce on th' expecting foe the cranes are driven.
The kindling phrenzy every bosom warms,
The region echoes to the crash of arms:
Loose feathers from the encountering armies fly,
And in careering whirlwinds mount the sky.
To breathe from toil upsprings the panting crane,
Then with fresh vigour downwards darts again.
Success in equal balance hovering hangs.
Here, on the sharp spear, mad with mortal pangs,
The bird transfix'd in bloody vortex whirls,
Yet fierce in death the threatening talon curls;
There, while the life-blood bubbles from his wound,
With little feet the pygmy beats the ground;
Deep from his breast the short short sob he draws,
And dying curses the keen pointed claws.
Trembles the thundering field thick cover'd o'er
With falchions, mangled wings, and streaming gore,
And Pygmy arms, and beaks of ample size,
And here a claw, and there a finger lies.
Encompass'd round with heaps of slaughter'd foes,
All grim in blood the pygmy champion glows,
And on th' assailing host impetuous springs,
Careless of nibbling bills, and flapping wings;
And midst the tumult whereso'er he turns,
The battle with redoubled fury burns;
From every side th' avenging cranes amain
Throng, to o'erwhelm this terror of the plain.
When suddenly (for such the will of Jove)
A fowl enormous, sousing from above,
The gallant chieftain clutch'd, and, soaring high,
(Sad chance of battle!) bore him p the sky.
The cranes pursue, and clustering in a ring,
Chatter triumphant round the captive king.
But ah! what pangs each pygmy bosom wrung,
When, now to cranes a prey on talons hung,
High in the clouds they saw their helpless lord,
His wriggling form still lessening as he soar'd.
Lo yet again with unabated rage
In mortal strife the mingling hosts engage.
The crane, with darted bill assaults the foe,
Hovering; then wheels aloft to scape the blow:
The dwarf in anguish aims the vengeful wound;
But whirls in empty air the falchion round.
Such was the scene, when midst the loud alarms
Sublime th' eternal Thunderer rose in arms.
When Briareus, by mad ambition driven,
Heaved Pelion huge, and hurl'd it high at heaven.
Jove roll'd redoubling thunders from on high,
Mountains and bolts encounter'd in the sky;
Till one stupendous ruin whelm'd the crew,
Their vast limbs weltering wide in brimstone blue.
But now at length the pygmy legions yield,
And wing'd with terror fly the fatal field.
They raise a weak and melancholy wail,
All in distraction scattering o'er the vale.
Prone on their routed rear the cranes descend;
Their bills bite furious, and their talons rend:
With unrelenting ire they urge the chase,
Sworn to exterminate the hated race.
'Twas thus the Pygmy Name, once great in war,
For spoils of conquer'd cranes renown'd afar,
Perish'd. For, by the dread decree of Heaven,
Short is the date earthly grandeur is given,
And vain are all attempts to roam beyond
Where Fate has fix'd the everlasting bound.
Fallen are the trophies of Assyrian power,
And Persia's proud dominion is no more;
Yea, though to both superior far in fame,
Thine empire, Latium, is an empty name.
And now with lofty chiefs of ancient time,
The pygmy heroes roam th' Elysian clime.
Or, if belief to matron-tales be due,
Full oft, in the belated shepherd's view,
Their frisking forms, in gentle green array'd,
Gambol secure amid the moonlight glade.
Secure, for no alarming cranes molest,
And all their woes in log oblivion rest;
Down the deep dale, and narrow winding way,
They foot it featly, ranged in ringlets gay:
'Tis joy and frolic all, where'er they rove,
And Fairy-people is the name they love.
Muiopotmos, Or The Fate Of The Butterflie
I SING of deadly dolorous debate,
Stir'd vp through wrathfull Nemesis despight,
Betwixt two mightie ones of great estate,
Drawne into armes, and proofe of mortall fight,
Through prowd ambition, and hartswelling hate,
Whilest neither could the others greater might
And sdeignfull scorne endure; that from small iarre
Their wraths at length broke into open warre.
The rote whereof and tragicall effect,
Vouchsafe, O thou the mournfulst Muse of nyne,
That wontst the tragick stage for to direct,
In funerall complaints and waylfull tyne,
Reueale to me, and all the meanes detect,
Through which sad Clarion did at last declyne
To lowest wretchednes; And is there then
Such rancor in the harts of mightie men?
Of all the race of siluer-winged Flies
Which doo possesse the Empire of the aire,
Betwixt the centred earth, and azure skies,
Was none more fauourable, nor more faire,
Whilst heauen did fauour his felicities,
Then Clarion, the eldest sonne and haire
Of Muscaroll, and in his fathers sight
Of all aliue did seeme the fairest wight.
With fruitfull hope his aged breast he fed
Of future good, which his young toward yeares,
Full of braue courage and bold hardyhed,
Aboue th' ensample of his equall peares,
Did largely promise, and to him forered,
(Whilst oft his heart did melt in tender teares)
That he in time would sure proue such an one,
As should be worthie of his fathers throne.
The fresh young flie, in whom the kindly fire
Of lustfull yong[th] began to kindle fast,
Did much disdaine to subject his desire
To loathsome sloth, or houres in ease to wast,
But ioy'd to range abroad in fresh attire;
Through the wide compas of the ayrie coast,
And with vnwearied wings each part t'inquire
Of the wide rule of his renowmed sire.
For he so swift and nimble was of flight,
That from this lower tract he dar'd to stie
Vp to the clowdes, and thence with pineons light,
To mount aloft vnto the Christall skie,
To vew the workmanship of heauens hight:
Whence downe descending he along would flie
Vpon the streaming riuers, sport to finde;
And oft would dare to tempt the troublous winde.
So on a Summers day, when season milde
With gentle calme the world had quieted,
And high in heauen Hyperionsfierie childe
Ascending, did his beames abroad dispred,
Whiles all the heauens on lower creatures smilde;
Yong Clarion with vaunted lustie head,
After his guize did cast abroad to fare;
And theretoo gan his furnitures prepare.
His breastplate first, that was of substance pure,
Before his noble heart he firmely bound,
That mought his life from yron death assure,
And ward his gentle corpes from cruell wound:
For it by arte was framed to endure
The bit of balefull steele and bitter stownd,
No lesse then that, which Vulcane made to sheild
Achilles life from fate of Troyan field.
And then about his shoulders broad he threw
An hairie hide of some wild beast, whom hee
In saluage forrest by aduenture slew,
And rest the spoyle his ornament to bee:
Which spredding all his backe with dreadfull vew,
Made all that him so horrible did see,
Thinke him Alcides with the Lyons skin,
When the Næmean Conquest he did win.
Vpon his head his glistering Burganet,
The which was wrought by wonderous deuice,
And curiously engrauen, he did set:
The mettall was of rare and passing price;
Not Bilbo steele, nor brasse from Corinth fet,
Nor costly Oricalche from strange Phoenice;
But such as could both Phoebus arrowes ward,
And th' hayling darts of heauen beating hard.
Therein two deadly weapons fixt he bore,
Strongly outlaunced towards either side,
Like two sharpe speares, his enemies to gore:
Like as a warlike Brigandine, applyde
To fight, layes forth her threatfull pikes afore,
The engines which in them sad death doo hyde:
So did this flie outstretch his fearefull hornes,
Yet so as him their terrour more adornes.
Lastly his shinie wings as siluer bright,
Painted with thousand colours, passing farre
All Painters skill, he did about him dight:
Not halfe so manie sundrie colours arre
In Iris bowe, ne heauen doth shine so bright,
Distinguished with manie a twinckling starre,
Nor Iunoes Bird in her ey-spotted traine
So many goodly colours doth containe.
Ne (may it be withouten perill spoken)
The Archer God, the son of Cytheree,
That ioyes on wretched louers to be wroken,
And heaped spoyles of bleeding harts to see,
Beares in his wings so manie a changefull token.
Ah my liege Lord, forgiue it vnto mee,
If ought against thine honour I haue tolde;
Yet sure those wings were fairer manifolde.
Full manie a Ladie faire, in Court full oft
Beholding them, him secretly enuide,
And wisht that two such fannes, so silken soft,
And golden faire, her Loue would her prouide;
Or that when them the gorgeous Flie had doft,0
Some one that would with grace be gratifide,
From him would steale them priuily away,
And bring to her so precious a pray.
Report is that dame Venus on a day
In spring when flowres doo clothe the fruitfull ground,
Walking abroad with all her Nymphes to play,
Bad her faire damzels flocking her arownd,
To gather flowres, her forhead to array:
Emongst the rest a gentle Nymph was found,
Hight Astery, excelling all the crewe
In curteous vsage, and vnstained hewe
Who beeing nimbler ioynted than the rest,
And more industrious, gathered more store
Of the fields honour, than the others best;
Which they in secret harts enuying sore,
Tolde Venus, when her as the worthiest
She praisd, that Cupide (as they heard before)
Did lend her secret aide, in gathering
Into her lap the children of the spring.
Wherof the Goddesse gathering iealous feare,
Not yet vnmindfull how not long agoe
Her sonne to Psyche secrete loue did beare,
And long it close conceal'd, till mickle woe
Thereof arose, and manie a rufull teare;
Reason with sudden rage did ouergoe,
And giuing hastie credit to th'accuser,
Was led away of them that did abuse her.
Eftsoones that Damzell by her heauenly might,
She turn'd into a winged Butterflie,
In the wide aire to make her wandring flight;
And all those flowres, with which so plenteouslie
Her lap she filled had, that bred her spright,
She placed in her wings, for memorie
Of her pretended crime, though crime none were:
Since which that flie them in her wings doth beare.
Thus the fresh Clarion being readie dight,
Vnto his iourney did himselfe addresse,
And with good speed began to take his flight:
Ouer the fields in his franke lustinesse,
And all the countrey wide he did possesse,
Feeding vpon their pleasures bounteouslie,
That none gainsaid, nor none him did enuie.
The woods, the riuers, and the meadowes green,
With his aire-cutting wings he measur'd wide,
Ne did he leaue the mountaines bare vnseene,
Nor the ranke grassie fennes delights vntride.
But none of these, how euer sweete they beene,
Mote please his fancie, nor him cause t'abide:
His choicefull sense with euerie change doth flit.
No common things may please a wauering wit.
To the gay gardins his vnstaid desire
Him wholly caried, to refresh his sprights:
There lauish Nature in her best attire,
Powres forth sweete odors, and alluring sights;
And Arte with her contending, doth aspire
T'excell the naturall, with made delights:
And all that faire or pleasant may be found,
In riotous excesse doth there abound.
There he arriuing, round about doth flie,
From bed to bed, from one to other border,
And takes suruey with curious busie eye,
Of euerie flowre and herbe there set in order;
Now this, now that he tasteth tenderly,
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder,
Ne with his feete their silken leaues deface;
But pastures on the pleasures of each place.
And euermore with most varietie,
And change of sweetnesse (for all change is sweete)
He casts his glutton sense to satisfie,
Now sucking of the sap of herbe most meete,
Or of the deaw, which yet on them does lie,
Now in the same bathing his tender feete:
And then he pearcheth on some braunch thereby,
To weather him, and his moyst wings to dry.
And then againe he turneth to his play,
To spoyle the pleasure of that Paradise:
The wholsome Saluge, and Lauender still gray,
Ranke smelling Rue, and Cummin good for eyes,
The Roses raigning in the pride of May,
Sharpe Isope, good for greene wounds remedies,
Faire Marigoldes, and Bees alluring Thime,
Sweet Marioram, and Daysies decking prime.
Coole Violets, and Orpine growing still,
Embathed Balme, and chearfull Galingale,
Fresh Costmarie, and breathfull Camomill,
Red Poppie, and drink-quickning Setuale,
Veyne-healing Veruen, and hed-purging Dill,
Sound Sauorie, and Bazil hartie-hale,
Fat Colworts and comforting Perseline,0
Colde Lettuce, and refreshing Rosmarine.
And whatso else of virtue good or ill
Grewe in the Gardin, fetcht from farre away,
Of euerie one he takes, and tastes at will,
And on their pleasures greedily doth pray.
Then when he hath both plaid, and fed his fill,
In the warme Sunne he doth himselfe embay,
And there him rests in riotous siffisaunce
Of all his gladfulnes, and kingly ioyaunce.
What more felicitie can fall to creature
Than to enioy delight with libertie,
And to be Lord of all the workes of Nature,
To raine in th' aire from th' earth to highest skie,
To feed on flowres, and weeds of glorious feature,
To take what euer thing doth please the eie?
Who rests not pleased with such happines,
Well worthie he to taste of wretchednes.
But what on earth can long abide in state?
Or who can him assure of happie day;
Sith morning faire may bring fowle euening late,
And least mishap the most blisse alter may?
For thousand perills lie in close awaite
About vs daylie, to worke our decay;
That none, except a God, or God him guide,
May them auoyde, or remedie prouide.
And whatso heauens in their secrete doome
Ordained haue, how can fraile fleshly wight
Forecast, but it must needs to issue come?
The sea, the aire, the fire, the day, the night,
And th' armies of their creatures all and some
Do serue to them, and with importune might
Warre against vs the vassals of their will.
Who then can saue, what they dispose to spill?
Not thou, O Clarion, though fairest thou
Of all thy kinde, vnhappie happie Flie,
Whose cruell fate is wouen euen now
Of Ioues owne hand, to worke thy miserie:
Ne may thee helpe the manie hartie vow,
Which thy olde Sire with sacred pietie
Hath powred forth for thee, and th' altars sprent:
Nought may thee saue from heauens auengement.
It fortuned (as heauens had behight)
That in this gardin, where yong Clarion
Was wont to solace him, a wicked wight,
The foe of faire things, th' author of confusion,
The shame of Nature, the bondslaue of spight,
Had lately built his hatefull mansion;
And, lurking closely, in awayte now lay
How he might anie in his trap betray.
But when he spide the ioyous Butterflie
In this faire plot displacing too and fro,
Fearles of foes and hidden ieopardie,
Lord how he gan for to bestirre him tho,
And to his wicked worke each part applie:
His heate did earne against his hated foe,
And bowels so with ranckling poyson swelde,
That scarce the skin the strong contagion helde.
The cause why he this Flie so maliced,
Was (as in stories it is written found)
For that his mother which him bore and bred,
The most fine-fingred workwoman on ground,
Arachne, by his meanes was vanquished
Of Pallas, and in her owne skill confound,
When she with her for excellence contended,
That wrought her shame, and sorrow neuer ended.
For the Tritonian goddesse, hauing hard
Her blazed fame, which all the world had fil'd,
Came downe to proue the truth, and due reward
For her prais-worthie workmanship to yeild
But the presumptuous Damzel rashly dar'd
The Goddesse selfe to chalenge to the field,
And to compare with her in curious skill
Of workes with loome, with needle, and with quill.
Minerua did the chalenge not refuse,
But deign'd with her the paragon to make:
So to their worke they sit, and each doth chuse
What storie she will for her tapet take.
Arachne figur'd how Ioue did abuse
Europa like a Bull, and on his backe
Her through the sea did beare; so liuely seene,
That it true Sea, and true Bull ye would weene.
Shee seem'd still backe vnto the land to looke,
And her play-fellowes aide to call, and feare
The dashing of the waues, that vp she tooke
Her daintie feete, and garments gathered neare:
But (Lord) how she in euerie member shooke,
When as the land she saw no more appeare,
But a wilde wildernes of waters deepe:
Then gan she greatly to lament and weepe.
Before the Bull she pictur'd winged Loue,
With his yong brother Sport, light fluttering
Vpon the waues, as each had beene a Doue;
The one his bowe and shafts, the other Spring.
A burning Teade about his head did moue,
As in their Syres new loue both triumphing:
And manie Nymphes about them flocking round,
And manie Tritons, which did their hornes sound.
And round about, her worke she did empale
With a faire border wrought of sundrie flowres,
Enwouen with an Yuie winding trayle:0
A goodly worke, full fit for Kingly bowres,
Such as Dame Pallas, such as Enuie pale,
That al good things with venemous tooth deuowres,
Could not accuse. Then gan the Goddesse bright
Her selfe likewise vnto her worke to dight.
She made the storie of the old debate
Which she with Neptune did for Athens trie:
Twelue Gods doo sit around in royall state,
And Ioue in midst with awfull Maiestie,
To iudge the strife betweene them stirred late:
Each of the Gods by his like visnomie
Eathe to be knowen; but Ioue aboue them all,
By his great lookes and power Imperiall.
Before them stands the God of Seas in place,
Clayming that sea-coast Citie as his right,
And strikes the rockes with his three-forked mace;
Whenceforth issues a warlike steed in sight,
The signe by which he chalengeth the place,
That all the Gods, which saw his wondrous might
Did surely deeme the victorie his due:
But seldome seene, foriudgement proueth true.
Then to her selfe she giues her Aegide shield,
And steelhed speare, and morion on her hedd,
Such as she oft is seene in warlicke field:
Then sets she forth, how with her weapon dredd
She smote the ground, the which streight foorth did yield
A fruitfull Olyue tree, with berries spredd,
That all the Gods admir'd; then all the storie
She compast with a wreathe of Olyues hoarie.
Emongst these leaues she made a Butterflie,
With excellent deuice and wondrous flight,
Fluttring among the Oliues wantonly,
That seem'd to liue, so like it was in sight:
The veluet nap which on his wings doth lie,
The siken downe with which his backe is dight,
His broad outstretched hornes, his [h]ayrie thies,
His glorious colours, and his glittering eies.
Which when Arachne saw, as ouerlaid
And mastered with workmanship so rare,
She stood astonied long, ne ought gainesaid,
And with fast fixed eyes on her did stare,
And by her silence, signe of one dismaid,
The victorie did yeeld her as her share:
Yet she did inly fret, and felly burne,
And all her blood to poysonous rancor turne:
That shortly from the shape of womanhed,
Such as she was, when Pallas she attempted
, She grew to hideous shape of dryrihed,
Pined with griefe of folly late repented:
Eftsoones her white streight legs were altered
To crooked crawling shankes, of marrowe empted,
And her faire face to fowle and loathsome hewe
And her fine corpses to a bag of venim grewe.
This cursed creature, mindfull of that olde
Enfested grudge, the which his mother felt,
So soone as Clarion he did beholde,
His heart with vengefull malice inly swelt;
And weauing straight a net with manie a folde
About the caue, in which he lurking dwelt,
With fine small cords about it stretched wide,
So finely sponne, that scarce they could be spide.
Not anie damzell, which her vaunteth most
In skilfull knitting of soft silken twyne;
Nor anie skil'd in workmanship embost;
Nor anie skil'd in loupes of fingring fine,
Might in their diuers cunning euer dare,
With this so curious networke to compare.
Ne doo I thinke, that that same subtil gin,
The which the Lemnian God framde craftilie,
Mars sleeping with his wife to compasse in,
That all the Gods with common mockerie
Might laugh at them, and scorne their shamefull sin,
Was like to this. This same he did applie
For to entrap the careles Clarion,
That ran'gd each where without suspition.
Suspition of friend, nor feare of foe,
That hazarded his health, had he at all,
But walkt at will, and wandred too and fro,
In the pride of his freedome principall:
Litle wist he his fatall future woe,
But was secure, the liker he to fall.
He likest is to fall into mischaunce,
That is regardles of his gouernaunce.
Yet still Aragnoll (so his foe was hight)
Lay lurking couertly him to surprise,
And all his gins that him entangle might,
Drest in good order as he could deuise.
At length the foolish Flie without foresight,
As he that did all danger quite despise,
Toward those parts came flying careleslie
, Where hidden was his hatefull enemie.
Who, seeing him, with secrete ioy therefore
Did tickle inwardly in euerie vaine,
And his false hart fraught with all treasons store,
Was fil'd with hope, his purpose to obtaine:
Himselfe he close vpgathered more and more
Into his den, that his deceiptfull traine
By his there being might not be bewraid,
Ne anie noyse, ne anie motion made.
Like as a wily Foxe, that hauing spide,
Where on a sunnie banke the Lambes doo play,
Full closely creeping by the hinder side,
Lyes in ambushment of his hoped pray,
Ne stirreth limbe, till seeing readie tide,
He rusheth forth, and snatcheth quite away
One of the little yonglings vnawares:
So to his worke Aragnoll him prepares.
Who now shall giue vnto my heauie eyes
A well of teares, that all may ouerflow?
Or where shall I finde lamentable cryes,
And mournfull tunes enough my griefe to show?
Helpe O thou Tragick Muse, me to deuise
Notes sad enough t'expresse this bitter throw:
For loe, the drerie stownd is now arriued,
That of all happines hath vs depriued.
The luckles Clarion, whether cruell Fate,
Or wicked Fortune faultles him misled,
Or some vngracious blast out of the gate
Of Aeoles raine perforce him droue on hed,
Was (O sad hap and howre vnfortunate)
With violent swift flight forth caried
Into the cursed cobweb, which his foe
Had framed for his finall ouerthroe.
There the fond Flie entangled, strugled long,
Himselfe to free thereout; but all in vaine.
For striuing more, the more in laces strong
Himselfe he tide, and wrapt his winges twine
In lymie snares the subtill loupes among;
That in the ende he breathlesse did remaine,
And all his yougthly forces idly spent,
Him to the mercie of th' auenger lent.
Which when the greisly tyrant did espie,
Like a grimme Lyon rushing with fierce might
Out of his den, he seized greedilie
On the resistles pray, and with fell spight,
Vnder the left wing stroke his weapon slie
Into his heart, that his deepe groning spright
In bloodie streames foorth fled into the aire,
His bodie left the spectacle of care.
The Prelude, Book 2: School-time (Continued)
. Thus far, O Friend! have we, though leaving much
Unvisited, endeavour'd to retrace
My life through its first years, and measured back
The way I travell'd when I first began
To love the woods and fields; the passion yet
Was in its birth, sustain'd, as might befal,
By nourishment that came unsought, for still,
From week to week, from month to month, we liv'd
A round of tumult: duly were our games
Prolong'd in summer till the day-light fail'd;
No chair remain'd before the doors, the bench
And threshold steps were empty; fast asleep
The Labourer, and the old Man who had sate,
A later lingerer, yet the revelry
Continued, and the loud uproar: at last,
When all the ground was dark, and the huge clouds
Were edged with twinkling stars, to bed we went,
With weary joints, and with a beating mind.
Ah! is there one who ever has been young,
Nor needs a monitory voice to tame
The pride of virtue, and of intellect?
And is there one, the wisest and the best
Of all mankind, who does not sometimes wish
For things which cannot be, who would not give,
If so he might, to duty and to truth
The eagerness of infantine desire?
A tranquillizing spirit presses now
On my corporeal frame: so wide appears
The vacancy between me and those days,
Which yet have such self-presence in my mind
That, sometimes, when I think of them, I seem
Two consciousnesses, conscious of myself
And of some other Being. A grey Stone
Of native rock, left midway in the Square
Of our small market Village, was the home
And centre of these joys, and when, return'd
After long absence, thither I repair'd,
I found that it was split, and gone to build
A smart Assembly-room that perk'd and flar'd
With wash and rough-cast elbowing the ground
Which had been ours. But let the fiddle scream,
And be ye happy! yet, my Friends! I know
That more than one of you will think with me
Of those soft starry nights, and that old Dame
From whom the stone was nam'd who there had sate
And watch'd her Table with its huckster's wares
Assiduous, thro' the length of sixty years.
We ran a boisterous race; the year span round
With giddy motion. But the time approach'd
That brought with it a regular desire
For calmer pleasures, when the beauteous forms
Of Nature were collaterally attach'd
To every scheme of holiday delight,
And every boyish sport, less grateful else,
And languidly pursued. When summer came
It was the pastime of our afternoons
To beat along the plain of Windermere
With rival oars, and the selected bourne
Was now an Island musical with birds
That sang for ever; now a Sister Isle
Beneath the oaks' umbrageous covert, sown
With lillies of the valley, like a field;
And now a third small Island where remain'd
An old stone Table, and a moulder'd Cave,
A Hermit's history. In such a race,
So ended, disappointment could be none,
Uneasiness, or pain, or jealousy:
We rested in the shade, all pleas'd alike,
Conquer'd and Conqueror. Thus the pride of strength,
And the vain-glory of superior skill
Were interfus'd with objects which subdu'd
And temper'd them, and gradually produc'd
A quiet independence of the heart.
And to my Friend, who knows me, I may add,
Unapprehensive of reproof, that hence
Ensu'd a diffidence and modesty,
And I was taught to feel, perhaps too much,
The self-sufficing power of solitude.
No delicate viands sapp'd our bodily strength;
More than we wish'd we knew the blessing then
Of vigorous hunger, for our daily meals
Were frugal, Sabine fare! and then, exclude
A little weekly stipend, and we lived
Through three divisions of the quarter'd year
In pennyless poverty. But now, to School
Return'd, from the half-yearly holidays,
We came with purses more profusely fill'd,
Allowance which abundantly suffic'd
To gratify the palate with repasts
More costly than the Dame of whom I spake,
That ancient Woman, and her board supplied.
Hence inroads into distant Vales, and long
Excursions far away among the hills,
Hence rustic dinners on the cool green ground,
Or in the woods, or near a river side,
Or by some shady fountain, while soft airs
Among the leaves were stirring, and the sun
Unfelt, shone sweetly round us in our joy.
Nor is my aim neglected, if I tell
How twice in the long length of those half-years
We from our funds, perhaps, with bolder hand
Drew largely, anxious for one day, at least,
To feel the motion of the galloping Steed;
And with the good old Inn-keeper, in truth,
On such occasion sometimes we employ'd
Sly subterfuge; for the intended bound
Of the day's journey was too distant far
For any cautious man, a Structure famed
Beyond its neighbourhood, the antique Walls
Of that large Abbey which within the vale
Of Nightshade, to St. Mary's honour built,
Stands yet, a mouldering Pile, with fractured Arch,
Belfry, and Images, and living Trees,
A holy Scene! along the smooth green turf
Our Horses grazed: to more than inland peace
Left by the sea wind passing overhead
(Though wind of roughest temper) trees and towers
May in that Valley oftentimes be seen,
Both silent and both motionless alike;
Such is the shelter that is there, and such
The safeguard for repose and quietness.
Our steeds remounted, and the summons given,
With whip and spur we by the Chauntry flew
In uncouth race, and left the cross-legg'd Knight,
And the stone-Abbot, and that single Wren
Which one day sang so sweetly in the Nave
Of the old Church, that, though from recent showers
The earth was comfortless, and, touch'd by faint
Internal breezes, sobbings of the place,
And respirations, from the roofless walls
The shuddering ivy dripp'd large drops, yet still,
So sweetly 'mid the gloom the invisible Bird
Sang to itself, that there I could have made
My dwelling-place, and liv'd for ever there
To hear such music. Through the Walls we flew
And down the valley, and a circuit made
In wantonness of heart, through rough and smooth
We scamper'd homeward. Oh! ye Rocks and Streams,
And that still Spirit of the evening air!
Even in this joyous time I sometimes felt
Your presence, when with slacken'd step we breath'd
Along the sides of the steep hills, or when,
Lighted by gleams of moonlight from the sea,
We beat with thundering hoofs the level sand.
Upon the Eastern Shore of Windermere,
Above the crescent of a pleasant Bay,
There stood an Inn, no homely-featured Shed,
Brother of the surrounding Cottages,
But 'twas a splendid place, the door beset
With Chaises, Grooms, and Liveries, and within
Decanters, Glasses, and the blood-red Wine.
In ancient times, or ere the Hall was built
On the large Island, had this Dwelling been
More worthy of a Poet's love, a Hut,
Proud of its one bright fire, and sycamore shade.
But though the rhymes were gone which once inscribed
The threshold, and large golden characters
On the blue-frosted Signboard had usurp'd
The place of the old Lion, in contempt
And mockery of the rustic painter's hand,
Yet to this hour the spot to me is dear
With all its foolish pomp. The garden lay
Upon a slope surmounted by the plain
Of a small Bowling-green; beneath us stood
A grove; with gleams of water through the trees
And over the tree-tops; nor did we want
Refreshment, strawberries and mellow cream.
And there, through half an afternoon, we play'd
On the smooth platform, and the shouts we sent
Made all the mountains ring. But ere the fall
Of night, when in our pinnace we return'd
Over the dusky Lake, and to the beach
Of some small Island steer'd our course with one,
The Minstrel of our troop, and left him there,
And row'd off gently, while he blew his flute
Alone upon the rock; Oh! then the calm
And dead still water lay upon my mind
Even with a weight of pleasure, and the sky
Never before so beautiful, sank down
Into my heart, and held me like a dream.
Thus daily were my sympathies enlarged,
And thus the common range of visible things
Grew dear to me: already I began
To love the sun, a Boy I lov'd the sun,
Not as I since have lov'd him, as a pledge
And surety of our earthly life, a light
Which while we view we feel we are alive;
But, for this cause, that I had seen him lay
His beauty on the morning hills, had seen
The western mountain touch his setting orb,
In many a thoughtless hour, when, from excess
Of happiness, my blood appear'd to flow
With its own pleasure, and I breath'd with joy.
And from like feelings, humble though intense,
To patriotic and domestic love
Analogous, the moon to me was dear;
For I would dream away my purposes,
Standing to look upon her while she hung
Midway between the hills, as if she knew
No other region; but belong'd to thee,
Yea, appertain'd by a peculiar right
To thee and thy grey huts, my darling Vale!
Those incidental charms which first attach'd
My heart to rural objects, day by day
Grew weaker, and I hasten on to tell
How Nature, intervenient till this time,
And secondary, now at length was sought
For her own sake. But who shall parcel out
His intellect, by geometric rules,
Split, like a province, into round and square?
Who knows the individual hour in which
His habits were first sown, even as a seed,
Who that shall point, as with a wand, and say,
'This portion of the river of my mind
Came from yon fountain?' Thou, my Friend! art one
More deeply read in thy own thoughts; to thee
Science appears but, what in truth she is,
Not as our glory and our absolute boast,
But as a succedaneum, and a prop
To our infirmity. Thou art no slave
Of that false secondary power, by which,
In weakness, we create distinctions, then
Deem that our puny boundaries are things
Which we perceive, and not which we have made.
To thee, unblinded by these outward shows,
The unity of all has been reveal'd
And thou wilt doubt with me, less aptly skill'd
Than many are to class the cabinet
Of their sensations, and, in voluble phrase,
Run through the history and birth of each,
As of a single independent thing.
Hard task to analyse a soul, in which,
Not only general habits and desires,
But each most obvious and particular thought,
Not in a mystical and idle sense,
But in the words of reason deeply weigh'd,
Hath no beginning. Bless'd the infant Babe,
(For with my best conjectures I would trace
The progress of our Being) blest the Babe,
Nurs'd in his Mother's arms, the Babe who sleeps
Upon his Mother's breast, who, when his soul
Claims manifest kindred with an earthly soul,
Doth gather passion from his Mother's eye!
Such feelings pass into his torpid life
Like an awakening breeze, and hence his mind
Even [in the first trial of its powers]
Is prompt and watchful, eager to combine
In one appearance, all the elements
And parts of the same object, else detach'd
And loth to coalesce. Thus, day by day,
Subjected to the discipline of love,
His organs and recipient faculties
Are quicken'd, are more vigorous, his mind spreads,
Tenacious of the forms which it receives.
In one beloved presence, nay and more,
In that most apprehensive habitude
And those sensations which have been deriv'd
From this beloved Presence, there exists
A virtue which irradiates and exalts
All objects through all intercourse of sense.
No outcast he, bewilder'd and depress'd;
Along his infant veins are interfus'd
The gravitation and the filial bond
Of nature, that connect him with the world.
Emphatically such a Being lives,
An inmate of this active universe;
From nature largely he receives; nor so
Is satisfied, but largely gives again,
For feeling has to him imparted strength,
And powerful in all sentiments of grief,
Of exultation, fear, and joy, his mind,
Even as an agent of the one great mind,
Creates, creator and receiver both,
Working but in alliance with the works
Which it beholds.--Such, verily, is the first
Poetic spirit of our human life;
By uniform control of after years
In most abated or suppress'd, in some,
Through every change of growth or of decay,
Pre-eminent till death. From early days,
Beginning not long after that first time
In which, a Babe, by intercourse of touch,
I held mute dialogues with my Mother's heart
I have endeavour'd to display the means
Whereby this infant sensibility,
Great birthright of our Being, was in me
Augmented and sustain'd. Yet is a path
More difficult before me, and I fear
That in its broken windings we shall need
The chamois' sinews, and the eagle's wing:
For now a trouble came into my mind
From unknown causes. I was left alone,
Seeking the visible world, nor knowing why.
The props of my affections were remov'd,
And yet the building stood, as if sustain'd
By its own spirit! All that I beheld
Was dear to me, and from this cause it came,
That now to Nature's finer influxes
My mind lay open, to that more exact
And intimate communion which our hearts
Maintain with the minuter properties
Of objects which already are belov'd,
And of those only. Many are the joys
Of youth; but oh! what happiness to live
When every hour brings palpable access
Of knowledge, when all knowledge is delight,
And sorrow is not there. The seasons came,
And every season to my notice brought
A store of transitory qualities
Which, but for this most watchful power of love
Had been neglected, left a register
Of permanent relations, else unknown,
Hence life, and change, and beauty, solitude
More active, even, than 'best society',
Society made sweet as solitude
By silent inobtrusive sympathies,
And gentle agitations of the mind
From manifold distinctions, difference
Perceived in things, where to the common eye,
No difference is; and hence, from the same source
Sublimer joy; for I would walk alone,
In storm and tempest, or in starlight nights
Beneath the quiet Heavens; and, at that time,
Have felt whate'er there is of power in sound
To breathe an elevated mood, by form
Or image unprofaned; and I would stand,
Beneath some rock, listening to sounds that are
The ghostly language of the ancient earth,
Or make their dim abode in distant winds.
Thence did I drink the visionary power.
I deem not profitless those fleeting moods
Of shadowy exultation: not for this,
That they are kindred to our purer mind
And intellectual life; but that the soul,
Remembering how she felt, but what she felt
Remembering not, retains an obscure sense
Of possible sublimity, to which,
With growing faculties she doth aspire,
With faculties still growing, feeling still
That whatsoever point they gain, they still
Have something to pursue. And not alone,
In grandeur and in tumult, but no less
In tranquil scenes, that universal power
And fitness in the latent qualities
And essences of things, by which the mind
Is mov'd by feelings of delight, to me
Came strengthen'd with a superadded soul,
A virtue not its own. My morning walks
Were early; oft, before the hours of School
I travell'd round our little Lake, five miles
Of pleasant wandering, happy time! more dear
For this, that one was by my side, a Friend
Then passionately lov'd; with heart how full
Will he peruse these lines, this page, perhaps
A blank to other men! for many years
Have since flow'd in between us; and our minds,
Both silent to each other, at this time
We live as if those hours had never been.
Nor seldom did I lift our cottage latch
Far earlier, and before the vernal thrush
Was audible, among the hills I sate
Alone, upon some jutting eminence
At the first hour of morning, when the Vale
Lay quiet in an utter solitude.
How shall I trace the history, where seek
The origin of what I then have felt?
Oft in these moments such a holy calm
Did overspread my soul, that I forgot
That I had bodily eyes, and what I saw
Appear'd like something in myself, a dream,
A prospect in my mind. 'Twere long to tell
What spring and autumn, what the winter snows,
And what the summer shade, what day and night,
The evening and the morning, what my dreams
And what my waking thoughts supplied, to nurse
That spirit of religious love in which
I walked with Nature. But let this, at least
Be not forgotten, that I still retain'd
My first creative sensibility,
That by the regular action of the world
My soul was unsubdu'd. A plastic power
Abode with me, a forming hand, at times
Rebellious, acting in a devious mood,
A local spirit of its own, at war
With general tendency, but for the most
Subservient strictly to the external things
With which it commun'd. An auxiliar light
Came from my mind which on the setting sun
Bestow'd new splendor, the melodious birds,
The gentle breezes, fountains that ran on,
Murmuring so sweetly in themselves, obey'd
A like dominion; and the midnight storm
Grew darker in the presence of my eye.
Hence by obeisance, my devotion hence,
And hence my transport. Nor should this, perchance,
Pass unrecorded, that I still have lov'd
The exercise and produce of a toil
Than analytic industry to me
More pleasing, and whose character I deem
Is more poetic as resembling more
Creative agency. I mean to speak
Of that interminable building rear'd
By observation of affinities
In objects where no brotherhood exists
To common minds. My seventeenth year was come
And, whether from this habit, rooted now
So deeply in my mind, or from excess
Of the great social principle of life,
Coercing all things into sympathy,
To unorganic natures I transferr'd
My own enjoyments, or, the power of truth
Coming in revelation, I convers'd
With things that really are, I, at this time
Saw blessings spread around me like a sea.
Thus did my days pass on, and now at length
From Nature and her overflowing soul
I had receiv'd so much that all my thoughts
Were steep'd in feeling; I was only then
Contented when with bliss ineffable
I felt the sentiment of Being spread
O'er all that moves, and all that seemeth still,
O'er all, that, lost beyond the reach of thought
And human knowledge, to the human eye
Invisible, yet liveth to the heart,
O'er all that leaps, and runs, and shouts, and sings,
Or beats the gladsome air, o'er all that glides
Beneath the wave, yea, in the wave itself
And mighty depth of waters. Wonder not
If such my transports were; for in all things
I saw one life, and felt that it was joy.
One song they sang, and it was audible,
Most audible then when the fleshly ear,
O'ercome by grosser prelude of that strain,
Forgot its functions, and slept undisturb'd.
If this be error, and another faith
Find easier access to the pious mind,
Yet were I grossly destitute of all
Those human sentiments which make this earth
So dear, if I should fail, with grateful voice
To speak of you, Ye Mountains and Ye Lakes,
And sounding Cataracts! Ye Mists and Winds
That dwell among the hills where I was born.
If, in my youth, I have been pure in heart,
If, mingling with the world, I am content
With my own modest pleasures, and have liv'd,
With God and Nature communing, remov'd
From little enmities and low desires,
The gift is yours; if in these times of fear,
This melancholy waste of hopes o'erthrown,
If, 'mid indifference and apathy
And wicked exultation, when good men,
On every side fall off we know not how,
To selfishness, disguis'd in gentle names
Of peace, and quiet, and domestic love,
Yet mingled, not unwillingly, with sneers
On visionary minds; if in this time
Of dereliction and dismay, I yet
Despair not of our nature; but retain
A more than Roman confidence, a faith
That fails not, in all sorrow my support,
The blessing of my life, the gift is yours,
Ye mountains! thine, O Nature! Thou hast fed
My lofty speculations; and in thee,
For this uneasy heart of ours I find
A never-failing principle of joy,
And purest passion. Thou, my Friend! wert rear'd
In the great City, 'mid far other scenes;
But we, by different roads at length have gain'd
The self-same bourne. And for this cause to Thee
I speak, unapprehensive of contempt,
The insinuated scoff of coward tongues,
And all that silent language which so oft
In conversation betwixt man and man
Blots from the human countenance all trace
Of beauty and of love. For Thou hast sought
The truth in solitude, and Thou art one,
The most intense of Nature's worshippers
In many things my Brother, chiefly here
In this my deep devotion. Fare Thee well!
Health, and the quiet of a healthful mind
Attend thee! seeking oft the haunts of men,
And yet more often living with Thyself,
And for Thyself, so haply shall thy days
Be many, and a blessing to mankind.
Canto the Second
Night wanes — the vapours round the mountains curl'd,
Melt into morn, and Light awakes the world.
Man has another day to swell the past,
And lead him near to little, but his last;
But mighty Nature bounds as from her birth,
The sun is in the heavens, and life on earth;
Flowers in the valley, splendour in the beam,
Health on the gale, and freshness in the stream.
Immortal man! behold her glories shine,
And cry, exulting inly, "They are thine!"
Gaze on, while yet thy gladden'd eye may see,
A morrow comes when they are not for thee;
And grieve what may above thy senseless bier,
Nor earth nor sky will yield a single tear;
Nor cloud shall gather more, nor leaf shall fall,
Nor gale breathe forth one sigh for thee, for all;
But creeping things shall revel in their spoil,
And fit thy clay to fertilise the soil.
'Tis morn — 'tis noon — assembled in the hall,
The gather'd chieftains come to Otho's call:
'Tis now the promised hour, that must proclaim
The life or death of Lara's future fame;
When Ezzelin his charge may here unfold,
And whatsoe'er the tale, it must be told.
His faith was pledged, and Lara's promise given,
To meet it in the eye of man and Heaven.
Why comes he not? Such truths to be divulged,
Methinks the accuser's rest is long indulged.
The hour is past, and Lara too is there,
With self-confiding, coldly patient air;
Why comes not Ezzelin? The hour is past,
And murmurs rise, and Otho's brow's o'ercast,
"I know my friend! his faith I cannot fear,
If yet he be on earth, expect him here;
The roof that held him in the valley stands
Between my own and noble Lara's lands;
My halls from such a guest had honour gain'd,
Nor had Sir Ezzelin his host disdain'd,
But that some previous proof forbade his stay,
And urged him to prepare against to-day;
The word I pledge for his I pledge again,
Or will myself redeem his knighthood's stain."
He ceased — and Lara answer'd, "I am here
To lend at thy demand a listening ear,
To tales of evil from a stranger's tongue,
Whose words already might my heart have wrung,
But that I deem'd him scarcely less than mad,
Or, at the worst, a foe ignobly bad.
I know him not — but me it seems he knew
In lands where — but I must not trifle too:
Produce this babbler — or redeem the pledge;
Here in thy hold, and with thy falchion's edge."
Proud Otho on the instant, reddening, threw
His glove on earth, and forth his sabre flew.
"The last alternative befits me best,
And thus I answer for mine absent guest."
With cheek unchanging from its sallow gloom,
However near his own or other's tomb;
With hand, whose almost careless coolness spoke
Its grasp well-used to deal the sabre-stroke;
With eye, though calm, determined not to spare,
Did Lara too his willing weapon bare.
In vain the circling chieftains round them closed,
For Otho's frenzy would not be opposed;
And from his lip those words of insult fell —
His sword is good who can maintain them well.
Short was the conflict; furious, blindly rash,
Vain Otho gave his bosom to the gash:
He bled, and fell; but not with deadly wound,
Stretch'd by a dextrous sleight along the ground.
"Demand thy life!" He answer'd not: and then
From that red floor he ne'er had risen again,
For Lara's brow upon the moment grew
Almost to blackness in its demon hue;
And fiercer shook his angry falchion now
Than when his foe's was levell'd at his brow;
Then all was stern collectedness and art,
Now rose the unleaven'd hatred of his heart;
So little sparing to the foe he fell'd,
That when the approaching crowd his arm withheld
He almost turn'd the thirsty point on those
Who thus for mercy dared to interpose;
But to a moment's thought that purpose bent;
Yet look'd he on him still with eye intent,
As if he loathed the ineffectual strife
That left a foe, howe'er o'erthrown, with life;
As if to search how far the wound he gave
Had sent its victim onward to his grave.
They raised the bleeding Otho, and the Leech
Forbade all present question, sign, and speech;
The others met within a neighbouring hall,
And he, incensed and heedless of them all,
The cause and conqueror in this sudden fray,
In haughty silence slowly strode away;
He back'd his steed, his homeward path he took,
Nor cast on Otho's tower a single look.
But where was he? that meteor of a night,
Who menaced but to disappear with light.
Where was this Ezzelin? who came and went
To leave no other trace of his intent.
He left the dome of Otho long ere morn,
In darkness, yet so well the path was worn
He could not miss it: near his dwelling lay;
But there he was not, and with coming day
Came fast inquiry, which unfolded nought
Except the absence of the chief it sought.
A chamber tenantless, a steed at rest,
His host alarm'd, his murmuring squires distress'd:
Their search extends along, around the path,
In dread to met the marks of prowlers' wrath:
But none are there, and not a brake hath borne
Nor gout of blood, nor shred of mantle torn;
Nor fall nor struggle hath defaced the grass,
Which still retains a mark where murder was;
Nor dabbling fingers left to tell the tale,
The bitter print of each convulsive nail,
When agonised hands that cease to guard,
Wound in that pang the smoothness of the sward.
Some such had been, if here a life was reft,
But these were not; and doubting hope is left;
And strange suspicion, whispering Lara's name,
Now daily mutters o'er his blacken'd fame;
Then sudden silent when his form appear'd,
Awaits the absence of the thing it fear'd;
Again its wonted wondering to renew,
And dye conjecture with a darker hue.
Days roll along, and Otho's wounds are heal'd,
But not his pride; and hate no more conceal'd:
He was a man of power, and Lara's foe,
The friend of all who sought to work him woe,
And from his country's justice now demands
Account of Ezzelin at Lara's hands.
Who else than Lara could have cause to fear
His presence? who had made him disappear,
If not the man on whom his menaced charge
Had sate too deeply were he left at large?
The general rumour ignorantly loud,
The mystery dearest to the curious crowd;
The seeming friendlessness of him who strove
To win no confidence, and wake no love;
The sweeping fierceness which his soul betray'd,
The skill with which he wielded his keen blade;
Where had his arm unwarlike caught that art?
Where had that fierceness grown upon his heart?
For it was not the blind capricious rage
A word can kindle and a word assuage;
But the deep working of a soul unmix'd
With aught of pity where its wrath had fix'd;
Such as long power and overgorged success
Concentrates into all that's merciless:
These, link'd with that desire which ever sways
Mankind, the rather to condemn than praise,
'Gainst Lara gathering raised at length a storm,
Such as himself might fear, and foes would form,
And he must answer for the absent head
Of one that haunts him still, alive or dead.
Within that land was many a malcontent,
Who cursed the tyranny to which he bent;
That soil full many a wringing despot saw,
Who work'd his wantonness in form of law;
Long war without and frequent broil within
Had made a path for blood and giant sin,
That waited but a signal to begin
New havoc, such as civil discord blends,
Which knows no neuter, owns but foes or friends;
Fix'd in his feudal fortress each was lord,
In word and deed obey'd, in soul abhorr'd.
Thus Lara had inherited his lands,
And with them pining hearts and sluggish hands;
But that long absence from his native clime
Had left him stainless of oppression's crime,
And now, diverted by his milder sway,
All dread by slow degrees had worn away;
The menials felt their usual awe alone,
But more for him than them that fear was grown;
They deem'd him now unhappy, though at first
Their evil judgment augur'd of the worst,
And each long restless night, and silent mood,
Was traced to sickness, fed by solitude:
And though his lonely habits threw of late
Gloom o'er his chamber, cheerful was his gate;
For thence the wretched ne'er unsoothed withdrew,
For them, at least, his soul compassion knew.
Cold to the great, contemptuous to the high,
The humble pass'd not his unheeding eye;
Much he would speak not, but beneath his roof
They found asylum oft, and ne'er reproof.
And they who watch'd might mark that, day by day,
Some new retainers gather'd to his sway;
But most of late, since Ezzelin was lost,
He play'd the courteous lord and bounteous host:
Perchance his strife with Otho made him dread
Some snare prepared for his obnoxious head;
Whate'er his view, his favour more obtains
With these, the people, than his fellow thanes.
If this were policy, so far 'twas sound,
The million judged but of him as they found;
From him by sterner chiefs to exile driven
They but required a shelter, and 'twas given.
By him no peasant mourn'd his rifled cot,
And scarce the serf could murmur o'er his lot;
With him old avarice found its hoard secure,
With him contempt forbore to mock the poor;
Youth present cheer and promised recompense
Detain'd, till all too late to part from thence:
To hate he offer'd, with the coming change,
The deep reversion of delay'd revenge;
To love, long baffled by the unequal match,
The well-won charms success was sure to snatch.
All now was ripe, he waits but to proclaim
That slavery nothing which was still a name.
The moment came, the hour when Otho thought
Secure at last the vengeance which he sought
His summons found the destined criminal
Begirt by thousands in his swarming hall,
Fresh from their feudal fetters newly riven,
Defying earth, and confident of heaven.
That morning he had freed the soil-bound slaves
Who dig no land for tyrants but their graves!
Such is their cry — some watchword for the fight
Must vindicate the wrong, and warp the right;
Religion — freedom — vengeance — what you will,
A word's enough to raise mankind to kill;
Some factious phrase by cunning caught and spread,
That guilt may reign, and wolves and worms be fed!
Throughout that clime the feudal chiefs had gain'd
Such sway, their infant monarch hardly reign'd;
Now was the hour for faction's rebel growth,
The serfs contemn'd the one, and hated both:
They waited but a leader, and they found
One to their cause inseparably bound;
By circumstance compell'd to plunge again,
In self-defence, amidst the strife of men.
Cut off by some mysterious fate from those
Whom birth and nature meant not for his foes,
Had Lara from that night, to him accurst,
Prepared to meet, but not alone, the worst:
Some reason urged, whate'er it was, to shun
Inquiry into deeds at distance done;
By mingling with his own the cause of all,
E'en if he fail'd, he still delay'd his fall.
The sullen calm that long his bosom kept,
The storm that once had spent itself and slept,
Roused by events that seem'd foredoom'd to urge
His gloomy fortunes to their utmost verge,
Burst forth, and made him all he once had been,
And is again; he only changed the scene.
Light care had he for life, and less for fame,
But not less fitted for the desperate game:
He deem'd himself mark'd out for others' hate,
And mock'd at ruin, so they shared his fate.
What cared he for the freedom of the crowd?
He raised the humble but to bend the proud.
He had hoped quiet in his sullen lair,
But man and destiny beset him there:
Inured to hunters, he was found at bay;
And they must kill, they cannot snare the prey.
Stern, unambitious, silent he had been
Henceforth a calm spectator of life's scene;
But dragg'd again upon the arena, stood
A leader not unequal to the feud;
In voice — mien — gesture — savage nature spoke,
And from his eye the gladiator broke.
What boots the oft-repeated tale of strife,
The feast of vultures, and the waste of life?
The varying fortune of each separate field,
The fierce that vanquish, and the faint that yield?
The smoking ruin, and the crumbled wall?
In this the struggle was the same with all;
Save that distemper'd passions lent their force
In bitterness that banish'd all remorse.
None sued, for Mercy know her cry was vain,
The captive died upon the battle-slain:
In either cause, one rage alone possess'd
The empire of the alternate victor's breast;
And they that smote for freedom or for sway,
Deem'd few were slain, while more remain'd to slay.
It was too late to check the wasting brand,
And Desolation reap'd the famish'd land;
The torch was lighted, and the flame was spread,
And Carnage smiled upon her daily bread.
Fresh with the nerve the new-born impulse strung,
The first success to Lara's numbers clung:
But that vain victory hath ruin'd all;
They form no longer to their leader's call:
In blind confusion on the foe they press,
And think to snatch is to secure success.
The lust of booty, and the thirst of hate,
Lure on the broken brigands to their fate:
In vain he doth whate'er a chief may do,
To check the headlong fury of that crew,
In vain their stubborn ardour he would tame,
The hand that kindles cannot quench the flame.
The wary foe alone hath turn'd their mood,
And shewn their rashness to that erring brood:
The feign'd retreat, the nightly ambuscade,
The daily harass, and the fight delay'd,
The long privation of the hoped supply,
The tentless rest beneath the humid sky,
The stubborn wall that mocks the leaguer's art,
And palls the patience of his baffled heart,
Of these they had not deem'd: the battle-day
They could encounter as a veteran may;
But more preferr'd the fury of the strife,
And present death, to hourly suffering life:
And famine wrings, and fever sweeps away
His numbers melting fast from their array;
Intemperate triumph fades to discontent,
And Lara's soul alone seems still unbent:
But few remain to aid his voice and hand,
And thousands dwindled to a scanty band:
Desperate, though few, the last and best remain'd
To mourn the discipline they late disdain'd.
One hope survives, the frontier is not far,
And thence they may escape from native war;
And bear within them to the neighbouring state
An exile's sorrows, or an outlaw's hate:
Hard is the task their fatherland to quit,
But harder still to perish or submit.
It is resolved — they march — consenting Night
Guides with her star their dim and torchless flight;
Already they perceive its tranquil beam
Sleep on the surface of the barrier stream;
Already they descry — Is yon the bank?
Away! 'tis lined with many a hostile rank.
Return or fly! — What glitters in the rear?
'Tis Otho's banner — the pursuer's spear!
Are those the shepherds' fires upon the height?
Alas! they blaze too widely for the flight:
Cut off from hope, and compass'd in the toil,
Less blood, perchance, hath bought a richer spoil!
A moment's pause — 'tis but to breathe their band
Or shall they onward press, or here withstand?
It matters little — if they charge the foes
Who by their border-stream their march oppose,
Some few, perchance, may break and pass the line,
However link'd to baffle such design.
"The charge be ours! to wait for their assault
Were fate well worthy of a coward's halt."
Forth flies each sabre, rein'd is every steed,
And the next word shall scarce outstrip the deed:
In the next tone of Lara's gathering breath
How many shall but hear the voice of death!
His blade is bared — in him there is an air
As deep, but far too tranquil for despair;
A something of indifference more than then
Becomes the bravest, if they feel for men.
He turn'd his eye on Kaled, ever near,
And still too faithful to betray one fear;
Perchance 'twas but the moon's dim twilight threw
Along his aspect an unwonted hue
Of mournful paleness, whose deep tint express'd
The truth, and not the terror of his breast.
This Lara mark'd, and laid his hand on his:
It trembled not in such an hour as this;
His lip was silent, scarcely beat his heart,
His eye alone proclaim'd —
"We will not part!
Thy band may perish, or thy friends may flee,
Farewell to life, but not adieu to thee!"
The word hath pass'd his lips, and onward driven,
Pours the link'd band through ranks asunder riven;
Well has each steed obey'd the armed heel,
And flash the scimitars, and rings the steel;
Outnumber'd, not outbraved, they still oppose
Despair to daring, and a front to foes;
And blood is mingled with the dashing stream,
Which runs all redly till the morning beam.
Commanding, aiding, animating all,
Where foe appear'd to press, or friend to fall,
Cheers Lara's voice, and waves or strikes his steel,
Inspiring hope himself had ceased to feel.
None fled, for well they knew that flight were vain,
But those that waver turn to smite again,
While yet they find the firmest of the foe
Recoil before their leader's look and blow;
Now girt with numbers, now almost alone,
He foils their ranks, or reunites his own;
Himself he spared not — once they seem'd to fly —
Now was the time, he waved his hand on high,
And shook — Why sudden droops that plumed crest?
The shaft is sped — the arrow's in his breast!
That fatal gesture left the unguarded side,
And Death hath stricken down yon arm of pride.
The word of triumph fainted from his tongue;
That hand, so raised, how droopingly it hung!
But yet the sword instinctively retains,
Though from its fellow shrink the falling reins;
These Kaled snatches: dizzy with the blow,
And senseless bending o'er his saddle-bow
Perceives not Lara that his anxious page
Beguiles his charger from the combat's rage:
Meantime his followers charge and charge again;
Too mix'd the slayers now to heed the slain!
Day glimmers on the dying and the dead,
The cloven cuirass, and the helmless head;
The war-horse masterless is on the earth,
And that last gasp hath burst his bloody girth:
And near, yet quivering with what life remain'd,
The heel that urged him, and the hand that rein'd:
And some too near that rolling torrent lie,
Whose waters mock the lip of those that die;
That panting thirst which scorches in the breath
Of those that die the soldier's fiery death,
In vain impels the burning mouth to crave
One drop — the last — to cool it for the grave;
With feeble and convulsive effort swept
Their limbs along the crimson'd turf have crept:
The faint remains of life such struggles waste,
But yet they reach the stream, and bend to taste:
They feel its freshness, and almost partake —
Why pause? — No further thirst have they to slake —
It is unquench'd, and yet they feel it not —
It was an agony — but now forgot!
Beneath a lime, remoter from the scene,
Where but for him that strife had never been,
A breathing but devoted warrior lay:
'Twas Lara bleeding fast from life away.
His follower once, and now his only guide,
Kneels Kaled watchful o'er his welling side,
And with his scarf would stanch the tides that rush
With each convulsion in a blacker gush;
And then, as his faint breathing waxes low,
In feebler, not less fatal tricklings flow:
He scarce can speak, but motions him 'tis vain,
And merely adds another throb to pain.
He clasps the hand that pang which would assuage,
And sadly smiles his thanks to that dark page,
Who nothing fears, nor feels, nor heeds, nor sees,
Save that damp brow which rests upon his knees;
Save that pale aspect, where the eye, though dim,
Held all the light that shone on earth for him.
The foe arrives, who long had search'd the field,
Their triumph nought till Lara too should yield;
They would remove him, but they see 'twere vain,
And he regards them with a calm disdain,
That rose to reconcile him with his fate,
And that escape to death from living hate:
And Otho comes, and leaping from his steed,
Looks on the bleeding foe that made him bleed,
And questions of his state; he answers not,
Scarce glances on him as on one forgot,
And turns to Kaled: — each remaining word,
They understood not, if distinctly heard;
His dying tones are in that other tongue,
To which some strange remembrance wildly clung.
They spake of other scenes, but what — is known
To Kaled, whom their meaning reach'd alone;
And he replied, though faintly, to their sound,
While gazed the rest in dumb amazement round:
They seem'd even then — that twain — unto the last
To half forget the present in the past;
To share between themselves some separate fate,
Whose darkness none beside should penetrate.
Their words though faint were many — from the tone
Their import those who heard could judge alone;
From this, you might have deem'd young Kaled's death
More near than Lara's by his voice and breath,
So sad, so deep, and hesitating broke
The accents his scarce-moving pale lips spoke;
But Lara's voice, though low, at first was clear
And calm, till murmuring death gasp'd hoarsely near:
But from his visage little could we guess,
So unrepentant, dark, and passionless,
Save that when struggling nearer to his last,
Upon that page his eye was kindly cast;
And once, as Kaled's answering accents ceased,
Rose Lara's hand, and pointed to the East:
Whether (as then the breaking sun from high
Roll'd back the clouds) the morrow caught his eye,
Or that 'twas chance, or some remember'd scene
That raised his arm to point where such had been,
Scarce Kaled seem'd to know, but turn'd away,
As if his heart abhorr'd that coming day,
And shrunk his glance before that morning light
To look on Lara's brow — where all grew night.
Yet sense seem'd left, though better were its loss;
For when one near display'd the absolving cross,
And proffer'd to his touch the holy bead,
Of which his parting soul might own the need,
He look'd upon it with an eye profane,
And smiled — Heaven pardon! if 'twere with disdain;
And Kaled, though he spoke not, nor withdrew
From Lara's face his fix'd despairing view,
With brow repulsive, and with gesture swift,
Flung back the hand which held the sacred gift,
As if such but disturb'd the expiring man,
Nor seem'd to know his life but /then/ began,
The life immortal infinite, secure,
To all for whom that cross hath made it sure!
But gasping heaved the breath that Lara drew,
And dull the film along his dim eye grew;
His limbs stretch'd fluttering, and his head droop'd o'er
The weak yet still untiring knee that bore:
He press'd the hand he held upon his heart —
It beats no more, but Kaled will not part
With the cold grasp, but feels, and feels in vain,
For that faint throb which answers not again.
"It beats!" — Away, thou dreamer! he is gone —
It once was Lara which thou look'st upon.
He gazed, as if not yet had pass'd away
The haughty spirit of that humble clay;
And those around have roused him from his trance,
But cannot tear from thence his fixed glance;
And when in raising him from where he bore
Within his arms the form that felt no more,
He saw the head his breast would still sustain,
Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain;
He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear
The glossy tendrils of his raven hair,
But strove to stand and gaze, but reel'd and fell,
Scarce breathing more than that he loved so well.
Than that /he/ lov'd! Oh! never yet beneath
The breast of man such trusty love may breathe!
That trying moment hath at once reveal'd
The secret long and yet but half conceal'd;
In baring to revive that lifeless breast,
Its grief seem'd ended, but the sex confess'd;
And life return'd, and Kaled felt no shame —
What now to her was Womanhood or Fame?
And Lara sleeps not where his fathers sleep,
But where he died his grave was dug as deep;
Nor is his mortal slumber less profound,
Though priest nor bless'd, nor marble deck'd the mound;
And he was mourn'd by one whose quiet grief,
Less loud, outlasts a people's for their chief.
Vain was all question ask'd her of the past,
And vain e'en menace — silent to the last;
She told nor whence nor why she left behind
Her all for one who seem'd but little kind.
Why did she love him? Curious fool! — be still —
Is human love the growth of human will?
To her he might be gentleness; the stern
Have deeper thoughts than your dull eyes discern,
And when they love, your smilers guess not how
Beats the strong heart, though less the lips avow.
They were not common links that form'd the chain
That bound to Lara Kaled's heart and brain;
But that wild tale she brook'd not to unfold,
And seal'd is now each lip that could have told.
They laid him in the earth, and on his breast,
Besides the wound that sent his soul to rest,
They found the scattered dints of many a scar
Which were not planted there in recent war:
Where'er had pass'd his summer years of life,
It seems they vanish'd in a land of strife;
But all unknown his glory or his guilt,
These only told that somewhere blood was spilt.
And Ezzelin, who might have spoke the past,
Return'd no more — that night appear'd his last.
Upon that night (a peasant's is the tale)
A Serf that cross'd the intervening vale,
When Cynthia's light almost gave way to morn,
And nearly veil'd in mist her waning horn;
A Serf, that rose betimes to thread the wood,
And hew the bough that bought his children's food,
Pass'd by the river that divides the plain
Of Otho's lands and Lara's broad domain:
He heard a tramp — a horse and horseman broke
From out the wood — before him was a cloak
Wrapt round some burthen at his saddle-bow,
Bent was his head, and hidden was his brow.
Roused by the sudden sight at such a time,
And some foreboding that it might be crime,
Himself unheeded watch'd the stranger's course,
Who reach'd the river, bounded from his horse,
And lifting thence the burthen which he bore,
Heaved up the bank, and dash'd it from the shore,
Then paused, and look'd, and turn'd, and seem'd to watch,
And still another hurried glance would snatch,
And follow with his step the stream that flow'd,
As if even yet too much its surface show'd:
At once he started, stoop'd, around him strewn
The winter floods had scatter'd heaps of stone;
Of these the heaviest thence he gather'd there,
And slung them with a more than common care.
Meantime the Serf had crept to where unseen
Himself might safely mark what this might mean.
He caught a glimpse, as of a floating breast,
And something glitter'd starlike on the vest,
But ere he well could mark the buoyant trunk,
A massy fragment smote it, and it sunk:
It rose again, but indistinct to view,
And left the waters of a purple hue,
Then deeply disappear'd: the horseman gazed
Till ebb'd the latest eddy it had raised;
Then turning, vaulted on his pawing steed,
And instant spurr'd him into panting speed.
His face was mask'd — the features of the dead,
If dead it were, escaped the observer's dread;
But if in sooth a star its bosom bore,
Such is the badge that knighthood ever wore,
And such 'tis known Sir Ezzelin had worn
Upon the night that led to such a morn.
If thus he perish'd, Heaven receive his soul!
His undiscover'd limbs to ocean roll;
And charity upon the hope would dwell
It was not Lara's hand by which he fell.
And Kaled — Lara — Ezzelin, are gone,
Alike without their monumental stone!
The first, all efforts vainly strove to wean
From lingering where her chieftain's blood had been.
Grief had so tamed a spirit once too proud,
Her tears were few, her wailing never loud;
But furious would you tear her from the spot
Where yet she scarce believed that he was not,
Her eye shot forth with all the living fire
That haunts the tigress in her whelpless ire;
But left to waste her weary moments there,
She talk'd all idly unto shapes of air,
Such as the busy brain of Sorrow paints,
And woos to listen to her fond complaints;
And she would sit beneath the very tree,
Where lay his drooping head upon her knee;
And in that posture where she saw him fall,
His words, his looks, his dying grasp recall;
And she had shorn, but saved her raven hair,
And oft would snatch it from her bosom there,
And fold and press it gently to the ground,
As if she stanch'd anew some phantom's wound.
Herself would question, and for him reply;
Then rising, start, and beckon him to fly
From some imagined spectre in pursuit;
Then seat her down upon some linden's root,
And hide her visage with her meagre hand,
Or trace strange characters along the sand. —
This could not last — she lies by him she loved;
Her tale untold — her truth too dearly proved.