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"RUIN seize thee, ruthless king!
Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
"To arms!" cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering lance.
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
Robed in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the Poet stood (Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Stream'd like a meteor to the troubled air);
And with a master's hand, and prophet's fire,
Hark, how each giant oak, and desert cave,
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
O'er thee, O king! their hundred arms they wave,
"Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hush'd the stormy main ;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed;
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topp'd head.
Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale;
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail; The famish'd eagle screams and passes by. Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes, Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart, Ye died amidst your dying country's cries. No more I weep; they do not sleep;
On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
I see them sit; they linger yet,
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.
"Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death, through Berkeley's roof that ring, Shrieks of an agonizing king!
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs, That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs
The Scourge of Heaven. What terrors round him wait!
Mighty victor, mighty lord,
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies!
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone: he rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows,
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes,
Youth at the prow, and Pleasure at the helm ;
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
"Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare,
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast.
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
Heard ye the din of battle bray?
Lance to lance, and horse to horse
Long years of havock urge their destined course,
Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursed loom,
"Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof, the thread is spun,) Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove, the work is done.) Stay, oh, stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unbless'd, unpitied here to mourn ;
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail,
"Girt with many a baron bold,
Sublime their starry fronts they rear; And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old In bearded majesty appear;
In the midst a form divine!
Her eyes proclaims her of the Briton line;
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,
What strains of vocal transport round her play!
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear!
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.