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She stretch'd, in vain, to reach the prize--
What female heart can gold despise ?
What Cat's averse to fish?

Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between—
Malignant Fate sat by and smiled-
The slippery verge her feet beguiled ;
She tumbled headlong in!

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew'd to every watery God
Some speedy aid to send :-

No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd,
Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard-
A favourite has no friend!

From hence, ye Beauties! undeceived
Know one false step is ne'er retrieved,
And be with caution bold :

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When Britain first at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main,

This was the charter of her land,

And guardian angels sung the strain:

Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves !
Britons never shall be slaves.

The nations not so blest as thee

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Must in their turn to tyrants fall,

Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free
The dread and envy of them all.

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Still more majestic shalt thou rise,

More dreadful from each foreign stroke ;
As the loud blast that tears the skies
Serves but to root thy native oak.

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame;
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame,

And work their woe and thy renown.

To thee belongs the rural reign;

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Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
All thine shall be the subject main,

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And every shore it circles thine!

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The Muses, still with Freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair;
Blest Isle, with matchless beauty crown'd
And manly hearts to guard the fair :—
Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves!
Britons never shall be slaves!

J. Thomson

8.

THE BARD

Pindaric Ode

'Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait;
Tho' fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing
They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,

Nor e'en thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail

CLIX.

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To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,

From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!'

-Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,

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As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array :Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance;

'To arms !' cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering lance.

On a rock, whose haughty brow

Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,

Robed in the sable garb of woe

With haggard eyes the Poet stood;

(Loose his beard and hoary hair

Stream'd like a meteor to the troubled air)

And with a master's hand and prophet's fire

Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre:

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'Hark, how each giant-oak and desert-cave

Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!

O'er thee, oh King! their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe ;

Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,

To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

'Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,

That hush'd the stormy main :

Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:

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Mountains, ye mourn in vain

Modred, whose magic song

Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.
On dreary Arvon's shore they lie
Smear'd with gore and ghastly pale :
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail;

The famish'd eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country's cries-
No more I weep; They do not sleep;
On yonder cliffs, a griesly band,

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I see them sit; They linger yet,

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Avengers of their native land:

With me in dreadful harmony they join,

And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

Weave the warp and weave the woof,

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The winding sheet of Edward's race:
Give ample room and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.

Mark the year, and mark the night,

When Severn shall re-echo with affright

The shrieks of death thro' Berkley's roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king!

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She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs That tear st the bowels of thy mangled mate, From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs

The scourge of heaven!

What terrors round him wait!

Amazement in his van, with flight combined,

And sorrow's faded form, and solitude behind.

'Mighty victor, mighty lord,

Low on his funeral couch he lies!

No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.

Is the sable warrior fled?

Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born?
--Gone to salute the rising morn.

Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm

In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes:

Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm:

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Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,

That hush'd in grim repose expects his evening prey.

'Fill high the sparkling bowl,

The rich repast prepare;

Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:

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Close by the regal chair

Fell Thirst and Famine scowl

A baleful smile upon their baffled guest. Heard ye the din of battle bray,

Lance to lance, and horse to horse?

Long years of havock urge their destined course,
And thro' the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame,
And spare the meek usurper's holy head!
Above, below, the rose of snow,

Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled boar in infant-gore

Wallows beneath the thorny shade.

Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursed loom,

Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

Edward, lo! to sudden fate

(Weave we the woof; The thread is spun ;)

Half of thy heart we consecrate.

(The web is wove; The work is done.)

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-Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn

Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn :

In yon bright track that fires the western skies

They melt, they vanish from my eyes.

But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height

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Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?

Visions of glory, spare my aching sight,

Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!

No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail:

All hail, ye genuine kings! Britannia's issue, hail !

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And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old

In bearded majesty, appear.

In the midst a form divine!

Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line:

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