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'Twas thus, by the cave of the mountain afar,
While his harp rang symphonious,1 a hermit began;
No more with himself or with nature at war,

He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man.

"Ah! why, all abandoned to darkness and woe;
Why, lone Philomela,2 that languishing fall?
For spring shall return, and a lover bestow,
And sorrow no longer thy bosom enthral.
But, if pity inspire thee, renew the sad lay,

Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn; Oh soothe him, whose pleasures like thine, pass away: Full quickly they pass-but they never return.

“Now, gliding remote on the verge of the sky,
The moon, half-extinguished, her crescent displays;
But lately I marked, when majestic on high

She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze.
Roll on thou fair orb, and with gladness pursue
The path that conducts thee to splendour again;
But man's faded glory what change shall renew?
Ah, fool! to exult in a glory so vain!

""Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more:

I mourn; but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you; For morn is approaching, your charms to restore, Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew: Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn;

Kind nature the embryo blossom shall save:

But when shall spring visit the mouldering urn?
Oh when shall it dawn on the night of the grave?

""Twas thus, by the light of false science betrayed,
That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind-
My thoughts wont to roam, from shade onward to shade,
Destruction before me, and sorrow behind;

Oh pity, great Father of light, then I cried,

Thy creature, that fain would not wander from thee;

Lo, humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride :

From doubt and from darkness thou only canst free.

Symphonious-from the Greek бʊ, together, and own, a sound-making one sound, accordant; the harp sounded at the same time with the voice. Philomela-See note 3, p. 71.

“And darkness and doubt are now flying away;
No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn ;
So breaks on the traveller, faint and astray,

The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
See Truth, Love, and Mercy, in triumph descending,
And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom!

On the cold cheek of death smiles and roses are blending,
And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb."



THE Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,3
That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he past;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved-and for ever grew still.

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride,
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent-the banners alone-
The lances unlifted-the trumpets unblown.

The effect of these fine lines-for such they are-is marred by occasional redundancy and artificiality. The fourth line of the first stanza is an instance of both.

2 Cohorts-A cohort is strictly a troop of Roman soldiers only; it is here employed in a general sense, like the Greek word phalanx.

The comparison of the living and dead host respectively to the spring and autumn leaves, is very apt and impressive.


And the widows of Asshur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile,1 unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!




CAPTAIN, or Colonel, or Knight in arms,

Whose chance on these defenceless doors3 may seize,
If deed of honour did thee ever please,

Guard them, and him within protect from harms.
He can requite thee, for he knows the charms+
That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas,
Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:
The great Emathian conqueror5 bid spare
The house of Pindarus,6 when temple and tower
Went to the ground: and the repeated' air
Of sad Electra's poet had the power

To save the Athenian walls8 from ruin bare.


1 And the might, &c.-This couplet forms a splendid close to the poem.

2 This exquisite sonnet was written in 1642, when the King's army, by its near approach, alarmed the citizens of London.

3 Milton was then living in Aldersgate Street.

4 Charms that call, &c.-The poet's power is like that attributed to the charms and spells of the magician-he can make thee famous-spread thy name, &c. 5 Emathian conqueror-Alexander the Great, so called from Emathia, the original name of Macedonia.

6 Pindarus-When Alexander took Thebes-Pindar's native city-he ordered the poet's family to be respected, and his house to be left untouched.

7 Repeated-recited. Plutarch relates that when Lysander had taken Athens, and was meditating its total destruction, the recitation, at a banquet, of some fine verses from the "Electra" of Euripides, induced him and his officers to forego their resolution.

8 Walls-i. e. the houses and buildings of the city; for the external walls and fortifications were destroyed by Lysander's order.

Go, lovely rose!

Tell her that wastes her time, and me,
That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung

In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired,
Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! that she

The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee:

How small a part of time they share,
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

[Yet though thou fade,

From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise;
And teach the maid

That goodness time's rude hand defies,
That virtue lives, when beauty dies.]


THE stag now conscious of his fatal growth,+
At once indulgent to his fear and sloth,


These lines furnish a flattering specimen of the sentimental poetry of Waller, in much of which the result gained is singularly disproportionate to the pains taken.


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2 This last stanza was added by Kirke White, in a copy of Waller's poems. Cooper's Hill," from which the above extract, and that entitled "The Thames," (see p. 9,) are taken, was pronounced by Dryden, "a poem, which for majesty of style is, and ever will be, the standard of good writing." It happily combines the moral with the descriptive. In the above lines, the stag, beset with difficulties, may represent a great man struggling with adverse fate. Fatal growth-i. e. a growth, which by rendering him liable to be hunted, might prove fatal to him.




To some dark covert his retreat had made,
Where nor man's eye, nor heaven's1 should invade
His soft repose; when the unexpected sound
Of dogs and men his wakeful ear does wound.
Roused with the noise, he scarce believes his ear,
Willing to think the illusions of his fear

Had given this false alarm, but straight his view
Confirms that more than all his fears is true.
Betrayed in all his strengths,2 the wood beset,
All instruments, all arts of ruin met,

He calls to mind his strength, and then his speed,
His winged heels and then his armed head;
With these to avoid, with that his fate to meet;
But fear prevails, and bids him trust his feet.
So fast he flies, that his reviewing eye
Has lost the chasers, and his ear the cry;
Exulting till he finds their nobler sense
Their disproportioned speed doth recompense;
Then curses his conspiring feet, whose scent
Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent:
Then tries his friends; among the baser herd,
Where he so lately was obeyed and feared,
His safety seeks: the herd, unkindly wise,
Or chases him from thence or from him flies.
Like a declining statesman, left forlorn
To his friends' pity, and pursuers' scorn,
With shame remembers, while himself was one
Of the same herd, himself the same had done.
Thence to the coverts and the conscious groves,
The scenes of his past triumphs and his loves,
Sadly surveying where he ranged along,
Prince of the soil, and all the herd his own,
And like a bold knight-errant did proclaim
Combat to all, and bore away the dame,
And taught the woods to echo to the stream
His dreadful challenge, and his clashing beam ;-

Heaven's eye-This poetical expression for the sun, is used by Spenser :"her angel's face,

As the great eye of heaven, shyned bright,

And made a sunshine in the shady place."

Strengths-strong places, fortresses.

Conspiring-being, as it were, in league with his pursuers, by helping them to trace him.

Knight-errant a wandering knight-one who went in quest of adventures.

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