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When best her love might sooth me; that black hoor,
(May memory ever rase it from her records)
When all my squadrons fled, and left their king
Old and defencelers: him, who dine whole years
Ilad taught them how to conquer : yes, my friends,
Por nine whole years against the sons of rapine
I led my veterans, oft to victory,
Never till then to shame. Bear with me, Druid;
I've done: begin the rites.
Oh would to Heav'n
A frame of mind more fitted to these rites
Posnest thee, prince! that Resignation meek,
That dove-ey'd Peace, handmaid of Sanctity,
Approach'd this altar with thee: 'stead of these,
See I not gaunt Revenge, ensanguin’d Slaughter,
And mad Ambition, clinging to thy soul,
Eager to snatch thee back to their domain,
Back to a vain and miserable world;
Whose misery, and vanity, though tried,
Thou still hold'st dearer than these solemn shades,
Where Quiet reigns with Virtue? try we yet
What holiness can do! for much it can;
Much is the potency of pious prayer:
And much the sacred influence convey'd
By sage mysterious office : when the soul,
Snatch'd by the power of music from her cell
Of fleshly thraldom, feels herself upborn
On plumes of ecstasy, and boldly springs,
'Mid swelling harmonies and pealing hymns,
L'p to the porch of Heav'n. Strike, then, ye Bards !
Strike all your strings symphonious; wake a strain
May penetrate, may purge, may purify,
His yet unhallow'd bosom; call ye hither
The airy tribe, that on yon mountain dwell,
Ev'n on majestic Snowdon: they, who never
Deign visit mortal men, save on some cause
Of highest import, but, sublimely shrin'd
On its hợar top in domes of crystalline ice,
Hold converse with those spirits, that possess
The skies' pure sapphire, nearest Heav'n itself.
Mona on Snowdon calls :
Hear, thou king of mountains, hear;
, Hark, she speaks from all her strings ;
Hark, her loudest echo rings;
King of mountains, bend thine ear:
Send thy spirits, send them soon,
Now, when midnight and the moon
Meet upon thy front of snow:
See, their gold and ebon rod,
Where the sober sisters nod, .
And greet in whispers sage and slow.
Snowdon, mark! 'tis magic's hour;
Now the mutter'd spell hath power;
Power to rend thy ribs of rock,
And burst thy base with thunder's shock;
But to thee no ruder spell
Shall Mona use, than those that dwell
In music's secret cells, and lie
Steep'd in the stream of harmony.
Snowdon has heard the strain :
Hark, amid the wond'ring grove
Other harpings answer clear,
Other voices meet our ear,
Pinions flutter, shadows move,
Busy murmurs hum around,
Rustling vestments brush the ground;
Round and round, and round they go,
Thro' the twilight, thro’ the shade,
Mount the oak's majestic head,
And gild the tufted misletoe.
Cease, ye glitt'ring race of light,
Close your wings, and check your flight:
Here, arrang'd in order due,
Spread your robes of saffron hue;
For lo, with more than mortal fire,
Mighty Mador smites the lyre:
Hark, he sweeps the master-strings;
Chor. Break off; a sullen smoke involves the altar; The central oak doth shake; I hear the sound Of steps profane: Caractacus, retire; Bear hence the victims; Mona is polluted.
Semich. Father, as we did watch the eastern side, We spied and instant seiz'd two stranger youths, Who, in the bottom of a shadowy dell, Held earnest converse: Britons do they seem, And of Brigantian race. Chor.
Haste, drag them hither.
Yellinus, the treacherous brother of Elidurus, having fled to the • Romans, Elidurus is sentenced to die-Evelina pleads for his life.
Chorus, Evelina, Elidurus, and Bard.
Chor. What may his flight portend? Say, Evelina, How came this youth to 'scape? Evel.
And that to tell Will fix much blame on my impatient folly: For, ere your hallow'd lips had given permission, I flew with eager haste to bear my father News of his son's return. Inflam’d with that, Think how a sister's zealous breast must glow! Your looks give mild assent. I glow'd indeed With the dear tale, and sped me in his ear To pour the precious tidings: but my tongue Scarce nam'd Arviragus, ere the false stranger (As I bethink me since) with stealthy pace Fled to the cavern's mouth. Chor.
The king pursu'd ? Evel. Alas! he mark'd him not, for 'twas the
moment, When he had all to ask and all to fear, Touching my brother's valour. Hitherto His safety only, which but little mov'd him, Had reach'd his ears: but when my tongue unfolded The story of his bravery and his peril, Oh how the tears cours'd plenteous down his cheeks!
How did he lift unto the Heav'ns his hands
In speechless transport! Yet he soon bethought him
Of Rome's invasion, and with fiery glance
Survey'd the cavern round; then snatch'd his spear,
And menac'd to pursue the flying traitor:
But I with prayers (oh pardon, if they err’d)
Withheld his step, for to the left the youth
Had wing'd his way, where the thick underwood
Afforded sure retreat. Besides, if found,
Was age a match for youth?
Better perchance for us, if he were captive:
But in the justice of their cause, and Heav'n, .
Do Mona's sons confide.
Druid, the rites Are finish’d, all save that which crowns the rest, And which pertains to thy blest hand alone: For that he kneels before thee. Chor.
Take him hence, We may not trust him forth to fight our cause.
Elid. Now by Andraste's throne
Nay, swear not, youth,
The tie is broke, that held thy fealty :
Thy brother's fled.
To the Romans fled; Yes, thou hast cause to tremble. Elid.
Ah, Vellinus ! Does thus our love, does thus our friendship end! Was I thy brother, youth, and hast thou left me!