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There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine,
The few, whom genius gave to shine
Rapt in celestial transport they;
They send of tender sympathy
First the genuine ardour stole.
“ Ye brown o'er-arching groves,
That contemplation loves,
Oft at the blush of dawn
I trod your level lawn, Oft woo'd the gleam of Cynthia silver-bright In cloisters dim, far from the haunts of Folly, With Freedom by my side, and soft-eyed Melan
But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth
With solemn steps and slow,
Great Edward, with the lillies on his brow
From haughty Gallia torn, And sad Chatillon, on her bridal morn That wept her bleeding Love, and princely Clare, And Anjou's heroine, and the paler rose, The rival of her crown and of her woes,
And either Henry there,
Ver. 39. Great Edward, with the lillies on his brow] Edward the Third, who added the fleur de lys of France to the arms of England. He founded Trinity College.
Ver. 41. And sad Chatillon, on her bridal morn] Mary de Valentia, countess of Pembroke, daughter of Guy de Chatillon, comte de St. Paul in France; of whom tradition says, that her husband Audemar de Valentia, earl of Pembroke, was slain at a tournament on the day of his nuptials. She was the foundress of Penıbroke College or Hall, ander the name of Aula Mariæ de Valentia.
Ver. 42. That wept her bleeding Love, and princely Clare] Elizabeth de Burg, countess of Clare, was wife of John de Barg, son and heir of the earl of Ulster, and daughter of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, by Joan of Acres, daughter of Edward the First. Hence the poet gives her the epithet of princely. She founded Clare Hall.
Ver. 43. And Anjou's heroine, and the paler rose] Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, foundress of Queen's College. The poet has celebrated her conjugal fidelity in The Bard,' epode 2d, line 13th.
Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth, hence called the paler rose, as being of the house of York. She added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjou.
Ver. 45. And either Henry there] Henry the Sixth and Eighth. The former the founder of King's, the latter the greatest benefactor to Trinity College.
The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,
That broke the bonds of Rome.
Their human passions now no more,
All that on Granta's fruitful plain
Rich streams of regal bounty pour'd,
And thus they speak in soft accord
The venerable Marg'ret see!
To this, thy kindred train, and me:
Ver. 66. The venerable Marg’ret see] Countess of Richmond and Derby; the mother of Henry the Seventh, foundress of St. John's and Christ's Colleges.
Pleas'd in thy lineaments we trace
“Lo! Granta waits to lead her blooming band, Not obvious, not obtrusive, she
vulgar praise, no venal incense flings; Nor dares with courtly tongue refin'd Profane thy inborn royalty of mind :
She reveres herself and thee.
And to thy just, thy gentle band,
Submits the fasces of her sway,
Ver. 70. A Tudor's fire, a Beaufort's grace] The Countess was a Beaufort, and married to a Tudor: hence the application of this line to the Duke of Grafton, who claims descent from both these families.
Ver. 84. The laureate wreath, that Cecil wore, she brings] Lord Treasurer Burleigh was chancellor of the University in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.