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Whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
ON A FAVOURITE CAT, DROWNED IN A
TUB OF GOLD FISHES
Her conscious tail her joy declared :
Eight times emerging from the flood
TO CHARLOTTE PULTENEY
Timely blossom, Infant fair,
This thy present happy lot
Ever-busy Time prepares;
RULE BRITANNIA When Britain first at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main, This was the charter of her land,
And guardian angels sung the strain : Rule Britannia ! Britannia rules the waves !
Britons never shall be slaves. The nations not so blest as thee
Must in their turn to tyrants fall, Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free
The dread and envy of them all. Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke ; As the loud blast that tears the skies
Serves but to root thy native oak. Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame ;
All their attempts to bend thee down Will but arouse thy generous flame,
And work their woe and thy renown. To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine ; All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine! The Muses, still with Freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair ; Blest Isle, with matchless beauty crown'd
And manly hearts to guard the fair :Rule Britannia ! Britannia rules the waves! Britons never shall be slaves !
Ruin seize thee, ruthless King !
Confusion on thy banners wait !
They mock the air with idle state.
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,
He wound with toilsome march his long array :Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance ; 'To arms !' cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Robed in the sable garb of woe
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath !
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe ;
Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
On dreary Arvon's shore they lie
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 criesNo more I weep; They do not sleep;
On yonder cliffs, a griesly band, I see them sit ; They linger yet,
Avengers of their native land : With me in dreadful harmony they join, And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.
* Weave the warp and weave the woof
The winding-sheet of Edward's race : Give ample room and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace. Mark the year and mark the night When Severn shall re-echo with affright The shrieks of death thro’ Berkley'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 Amazement in his van, with Flight combined, And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.
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,