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If e'er they call, the watchful subjects spring,
And die with rapture, if they save their king;
On him the glory of the day depends,

He, once imprisoned, all the conflict ends.

The Queens exulting near their consorts stand;
Each bears a deadly falchion in her hand;

Now here, now there, they bound with furious pride,
And thin the trembling ranks from side to side.
Fierce as they seem, some bold plebeian spear
May pierce their shield, or stop their full career.
The valiant Guards, their minds on havoc1 bent,
Fill the next squares, and watch the royal tent;
Though weak their spears, though dwarfish be their height,
Compact they move, the bulwark of the fight.2

To right and left the martial wings display
Their shining arms, and stand in close array.
Behold! four Archers, eager to advance,

Send the light reed, and rush with sidelong glance;
Through angles, ever, they assault the foes,

True to the colour which at first they choose.
Then four bold Knights, for courage famed and speed,
Each knight exalted on a prancing steed:
Their arching course no vulgar limit knows,
Transverse they leap, and aim insidious blows,
Nor friends, nor foes, their rapid force restrain,

By one quick bound two changing squares they gain;
From varying hues renew the fierce attack,

And rush from black to white, from white to black.
Four solemn Elephants the sides defend;
Beneath the load of ponderous towers they bend:
In one unaltered line they tempt the fight;
Now crush the left, and now o'erwhelm the right.
Bright in the front the dauntless Soldiers raise
Their polished spears; their steely helmets blaze:
Prepared they stand the daring foe to strike,
Direct their progress, but their wounds oblique.
Now swell the embattled troops with hostile rage,
And clang their shields, impatient to engage.

Sir William Jones.

Havoc from the Anglo-Saxon hafoc, a hawk-waste, destruction.

3 In allusion to the great importance of the skilful management of the king's pawns in the tactics of Chess.

MAY MORNING,1

Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap2 throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves3 are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

Milton.

LAVINIA.

THE lovely young Lavinia once had friends;
And fortune smiled deceitful on her birth :
For, in her helpless years deprived of all,
Of every stay, save innocence and Heaven,
She, with her widowed mother, feeble, old,
And poor, lived in a cottage, far retired
Among the windings of a woody vale;
By solitude and deep-surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty, concealed.
Together thus they shunned the cruel scorn
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet
From giddy passion and low-minded pride;
Almost on Nature's common bounty fed,
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves; unstained and pure,
As is the lily or the mountain snow.

Not the least charm of this graceful salutation to May Morning, is the sudden change of the metre in the fifth line, which seems as it were, to introduce us at once into the presence of the fair vision, whose approach is indicated by the previous passage.

2 Green lap-Spenser describes "faire May" as "throwing flowers out of her lap around."

3 Woods and groves, &c.--i. e. thou deckest them with verdure.

The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected,' darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers;
Or when the mournful tale her mother told
Of what her faithless fortune promised once,
Thrilled in her thought, they like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportioned on her polished limbs,
Veiled in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is, when unadorned, adorned the most.
Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self,
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods:
As in3 the hollow breast of Apennine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rises, far from human eye,

And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild;
So flourished, blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia.

Thomson.

STONEHENGE.

THOU noblest monument of Albion's isle!
Whether by Merlin's aid from Scythia's shore,
To Amber's fatal plain Pendragon bore,
Huge frame of giant-hands, the mighty pile,

1 Dejected-cast down, referring to the eyes, not to the feelings; a very peculiar application of the term.

Polished-Dr. Johnson has proposed a critical canon, which though not universally true, may perhaps be considered as applicable here. It is that "an epithet or metaphor drawn from nature ennobles art: an epithet or metaphor drawn from art degrades nature."

3 As in, &c.-Compare this beautiful passage with Gray's lines, beginning, "Full many a gem," p. 63.

4 Merlin-a renowned enchanter, as he was called, who lived in the times of King Arthur, and who is fabulously said to have transported these stones from Scythia, first to Ireland, and thence to Salisbury Plain.

5 Amber's fatal plain-so called from Ambrose, the uncle of King Arthur; styled "fatal," from the massacre of the Britons, which is said to have taken place here.

6 Pendragon-Dragon's head-a name of office; here probably meant for Uther, the father of King (or Pendragon) Arthur.

To entomb his Britons slain by Hengist's guile;
Or Druid priests, sprinkled with human gore,
Taught mid thy massy maze their mystic lore:
Or Danish chiefs, enriched with savage spoil,

To victory's idol vast, an unhewn shrine,
Reared the rude heap; or, in thy hallowed round,
Repose the kings of Brutus'1 genuine line;
Or here those kings in solemn state were crowned:
Studious to trace thy wondrous origin,

We muse on many an ancient tale renowned.2

Thomas Warton.

THE FIRMAMENT.3

When I survey the bright
Celestial sphere,

So rich with jewels hung, that night
Doth like an Ethiop bride appear;

My soul her wings doth spread,
And heaven-ward flies,

The Almighty's mysteries to read
In the large volumes of the skies.
For the bright firmament
Shoots forth no flame

So silent, but is eloquent

In speaking the Creator's name.

No unregarded star
Contracts its light

Into so small a character

Removed far from our human sight;

But if we stedfast look,

We shall discern

In it, as in some holy book,

How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

Habington.

Brutus-the great grandson of Æneas, who is fabulously said to have landed at Totness, in Devonshire, and made himself king of the island, giving it the name of Britain, from his own. See Milton's "History of Britain."

2

"Nothing can be more admirable than the learning here displayed, or the inference from it, that it is of no use but as it leads to interesting thought and reflection:" Hazlitt.

3 These fine lines-and the first four especially deserve the epithet-were written in the early part of the 17th century.

THE SHEPHERD AND THE PHILOSOPHER.

REMOTE from cities lived a swain,
Unvexed with all the cares of gain;
His head was silvered o'er with age,
And long experience made him sage;
In summer's heat, and winter's cold,
He fed his flock, and penned the fold;
His hours in cheerful labour flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew;
His wisdom1 and his honest fame
Through all the country raised his name.
A deep philosopher (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools)
The Shepherd's homely cottage sought,
And thus explored his reach of thought:
"Whence is thy learning?1 hath thy toil
O'er books consumed the midnight oil?
Hast thou old Greece and Rome surveyed,
And the vast sense of Plato weighed?
Hath Socrates thy soul refined,

And hast thou fathomed Tully's mind?
Or, like the wise Ulysses, thrown
By various fates, on realms unknown,
Hast thou through many cities strayed,
Their customs, laws, and manners, weighed ?

The Shepherd modestly replied;

I ne'er the paths of learning tried;
Nor have I roamed in foreign parts,
To read mankind, their laws, and arts;
For man is practised in disguise,
He cheats the most discerning eyes.
Who by that search shall wiser grow,
When e'en ourselves we never know?
The little knowledge1 I have gained,

Was all from simple Nature drained;

Wisdom, learning, knowledge, science- may be thus discriminated :knowledge is acquaintance, however gained, with facts; learning, the knowledge derived from books of high literary merit; wisdom, the just application of knowledge-knowledge in action; science, knowledge of the laws of nature. 2 Tully-Cicero.

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