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Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant departing
Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,
"T is nature, not fear, that excites his regret; Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,
The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget.
That fame and that memory still will he cherish,
He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown; Like you will he live or like you will he perish; When decayed, may he mingle his dust with your own. Lord Byron.
O Norman Abbey whirled the noble pair, An old, old monastery once, and now Still older mansion, of a rich and rare
Mixed Gothic, such as artists all allow Few specimens yet left us can compare
Withal: it lies perhaps a little low, Because the monks preferred a hill behind, To shelter their devotion from the wind.
It stood embosomed in a happy valley,
Crowned by high woodlands, where the Druid oak Stood like Caractacus in act to rally
His host, with broad arms 'gainst the thunder-stroke;
And from beneath his boughs were seen to sally
The dappled foresters, as day awoke,
Before the mansion lay a lucid lake,
Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed By a river, which its softened way did take
In currents through the calmer water spread Around; the wild-fowl nestled in the brake
And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed; The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood With their green faces fixed upon the flood.
Its outlet dashed into a deep cascade,
Sparkling with foam, until again subsiding Its shriller echoes - like an infant made
Quiet-sank into softer ripples, gliding Into a rivulet; and, thus allayed,
Pursued its course, now gleaming, and now hiding Its windings through the woods; now clear, now blue, According as the skies their shadows threw.
A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile
(While yet the church was Rome's) stood half apart In a grand arch, which once screened many an aisle. These last had disappeared, -a loss to art: The first yet frowned superbly o'er the soil,
And kindled feelings in the roughest heart, Which mourned the power of time's or tempest's march, In gazing on that venerable arch.
Within a niche, nigh to its pinnacle,
Twelve saints had once stood sanctified in stone; But these had fallen, not when the friars fell,
But in the war which struck Charles from his throne, When each house was a fortalice,
as tell The annals of full many a line undone, The gallant cavaliers, who fought in vain For those who knew not to resign or reign.
But in a higher niche, alone, but crowned,
The Virgin Mother of the God-born child, With her son in her blessed arms, looked round,
Spared by some chance when all beside was spoiled; She made the earth below seem holy ground.
This may be superstition, weak or wild,
A mighty window, hollow in the centre,
The gale sweeps through its fretwork, and oft sings
But in the noontide of the moon, and when
The wind is wingéd from one point of heaven, There moans a strange unearthly sound, which then
Is musical, -a dying accent driven
Through the huge arch, which soars and sinks again.
Others, that some original shape or form,
Shaped by decay perchance, hath given the power (Though less than that of Memnon's statue, warm In Egypt's rays, to harp at a fixed hour) To this gray ruin, with a voice to charm.
Sad, but serene, it sweeps o'er tree or tower: The cause I know not, nor can solve; but such The fact; I 've heard it,
once perhaps too much.
Amidst the court a Gothic fountain played,
Symmetrical, but decked with carvings quaint,Strange faces, like to men in masquerade,
And here perhaps a monster, there a saint: The spring rushed through grim mouths, of granite made, And sparkled into basins, where it spent Its little torrent in a thousand bubbles, Like man's vain glory and his vainer troubles.
The mansion's self was vast and venerable,
With more of the monastic than has been Elsewhere preserved; the cloisters still were stable, The cells too and refectory, I ween: An exquisite small chapel had been able, Still unimpaired, to decorate the scene; The rest had been reformed, replaced, or sunk, And spoke more of the baron than the monk.
Huge halls, long galleries, spacious chambers, joined
At least of those whose eyes are in their hearts.
A PICTURE AT NEWSTEAD.
HAT made my heart, at Newstead, fullest swell? "T was not the thought of Byron, of his cry Stormily sweet, his Titan agony;
It was the sight of that Lord Arundel
They hang; the picture doth the story tell.