Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

30

Glocester. If't must be so, I'll bring him to your presence.

(Exit GLOCESTER. Maud. A meaner summoner might do as well. My Lord of Chester, is 't true what I hear Of Stephen of Boulogne, our prisoner, That he, as a fit penance for his crimes, Eats wholesome, sweet, and palatable food Off Glocester's golden dishes—drinks pure wine, Lodges soft ?

Chester. More than that, my gracious Queen,
Has anger'd me. The noble Earl, methinks,
Full soldier as he is, and without peer
In counsel, dreams too much among his books.
It may read well, but sure 'tis out of date
To play the Alexander with Darius.
Maud. Truth! I think so. By Heavens, it shall not last!

Chester. It would amaze your Highness now to mark
How Glocester overstrains his courtesy
To that crime-loving rebel, that Boulogne-

Maud. That ingrate!
Chester.

For whose vast ingratitude
To our late sovereign lord, your noble sire,
The generous Earl condoles in his mishaps,
And with a sort of lackeying friendliness
Talks off the mighty frowning from his brow,
Woos him to hold a duet in a smile,
Or, if it please him, play an hour at chess-
Maud. A perjured slave !
Chester.

And for his perjury,
Glocester has fit rewards—nay, I believe,
He sets his bustling household's wits at work
For flatteries to ease this Stephen's hours,
And make a heaven of his purgatory;
Adorning bondage with the pleasant gloss
Of feasts and music, and all idle shows
Of indoor pageantry; while syren whispers,
Predestined for his ear, 'scape as half-check'd
From lips the courtliest and the rubiest
Of all the realm, admiring of his deeds.

Maud. A frost upon his summer!
Chester.

A queen's nod
Can make his June December. Here he comes.

[ocr errors]

50

APPENDIX

POSTHUMOUS AND FUGITIVE POEMS (II)

ON DEATH

CAN death be sleep, when life is but a dream,

And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?
The transient pleasures as a vision seem,

And yet we think the greatest pain's to die.

2

How strange it is that man on earth should roam,

And lead a life of woe, but not forsake His rugged path ; nor dare he view alone

His future doom which is but to awake.

SONNET

To BYRON

DYRON! how sweetly sad thy melody!
D Attuning still the soul to tenderness,

As if soft Pity, with unusual stress,
Had touch'd her plaintive lute, and thou, being by,
Hadst caught the tones, nor suffer'd them to die.

O'ershadowing sorrow doth not make thee less

Delightful: thou thy griefs dost dress
With a bright halo, shining beamily,
As when a cloud the golden moon doth veil,
_ Its sides are ting’d with a resplendent glow,
Through the dark robe oft amber rays prevail,

And like fair veins in sable marble flow;
Still warble, dying swan ! still tell the tale,

The enchanting tale, the tale of pleasing woe,

SONNET

To CHATTERTON
CHATTERTON! how very sad thy fate!

Dear child of sorrow—son of misery!
How soon the film of death obscur'd that eye,
Whence Genius mildly fash'd, and high debate.
How soon that voice, majestic and elate,

Melted in dying numbers! Oh ! how nigh

Was night to thy fair morning. Thou didst die
A half-blown flow'ret which cold blasts amate.
But this is past : thou art among the stars

Of highest Heaven: to the rolling spheres
Thou sweetly singest : nought thy hymning mars,

Above the ingrate world and human fears.
On earth the good man base detraction bars

From thy fair name, and waters it with tears.

ODE TO APOLLO

IN thy western halls of gold
I When thou sittest in thy state,
Bards, that erst sublimely told

Heroic deeds, and sang of fate,
With fervour seize their adamantine lyres,
Whose chords are solid rays, and twinkle radiant fires.

2

Here Homer with his nervous arms

Strikes the twanging harp of war,
And even the western splendour warms,

While the trumpets sound afar:
But, what creates the most intense surprise,
His soul looks out through renovated eyes.

Then, through thy Temple wide, melodious swells

The sweet majestic tone of Maro's lyre : The soul delighted on each accent dwells,-

Enraptur'd dwells,—not daring to respire, The while he tells of grief around a funeral pyre.

'Tis awful silence then again ;

Expectant stand the spheres ;

Breathless the laurell’d peers, Nor move, till ends the lofty strain,

Nor move till Milton's tuneful thunders cease, And leave once more the ravish'd heavens in peace.

Thou biddest Shakspeare wave his hand,

And quickly forward spring The Passions-a terrific band

And each vibrates the string That with its tyrant temper best accords, While from their Master's lips pour forth the inspiring words.

A silver trumpet Spenser blows.

And, as its martial notes to silence fee, From a virgin chorus flows

A hymn in praise of spotless Chastity. "Tis still ! Wild warblings from the Æolian lyre Enchantment softly breathe, and tremblingly expire.

Next thy Tasso's ardent numbers

Float along the pleased air,
Calling youth from idle slumbers,

Rousing them from Pleasure's lair :-
Then o'er the strings his fingers gently move,
And melt the soul to pity and to love.

But when Thou joinest with the Nine,
And all the powers of song combine,

We listen here on earth :
The dying tones that fill the air,

And charm the ear of evening fair,
From thee, great God of Bards, receive their heavenly birth.

SONNET
To a Young Lady who sent me a Laurel Crown
CRESH morning gusts have blown away all fear
T From my glad bosom,—now from gloominess

I mount for ever-not an atom less
Than the proud laurel shall contentimy bier.
No! by the eternal stars! or why sit here

In the Sun's eye, and 'gainst my temples press
Apollo's very leaves, woven to bless
By thy white fingers and thy spirit clear.
Ló! who dares say, “Do this?” Who dares call down

My will from its high purpose? Who say, “Stand,”
Or Go?” This mighty moment I would frown

On abject Cæsars—not the stoutest band Of mailed heroes should tear off my crown:

Yet would I kneel and kiss thy gentle hand !

HYMN TO APOLLO

COD of the golden bow,

W And of the golden lyre,
And of the golden hair,
And of the golden fire,

Charioteer

Of the patient year,

Where—where slept thine ire,
When like a blank idiot I put on thy wreath,

Thy laurel, thy glory,

The light of thy story,
Or was I a worm—too low crawling, for death?

O Delphic Apollo !

The Thunderer grasp'd and grasp’d,

The Thunderer frown'd and frown'd;
The eagle's feathery mane
For wrath became stiffen'd, the sound

Of breeding thunder

Went drowsily under,
Muttering to be unbound.
O why didst thou pity, and for a worm

Why touch thy soft lute

Till the thunder was mute,
Why was not I crush'd-such a pitiful germ?

O Delphic Apollo !

3

The Pleiades were up,

Watching the silent air ;
The seeds and roots in the Earth
Were swelling for summer fare ;

The Ocean, its neighbour,

Was at its old labour,
When, who—who did dare
To tie, like a madman, thy plant round his brow,

And grin and look proudly,

And blaspheme so loudly,
And live for that honour, to stoop to thee now?

O Delphic Apollo !

« НазадПродовжити »