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On the red fields they won; whose wild flowers Came he not thither, in his burning force,
The lord, the tamer of dark souls-Remorse? Now in luxuriant beauty o'er their grave.
Yes! as the night calls forth from sea and sky, 'Twas then the captives of Britannia's war1 From breeze and wood, a solemn harmony, Here for their lovely southern climes afar Lost when the swift triumphant wheels of day In bondage pined; the spell-deluded throng In light and sound are hurrying on their way : Dragg'd at ambition's chariot-wheels so long Thus, from the deep recesses of the heart, To die--because a despot could not clasp
The voice which sleeps, but never dies, might start, A sceptre fitted to his boundless grasp !
Call’d up by solitude, each nerve to thrill
With accents heard not, save when all is still ! Yes ! they whose march had rock'd the ancient thrones
The voice, inaudible when havoc's strain And temples of the world--the deepening tones Crush'd the red vintage of devoted Spain ; Of whose advancing trumpet from repose
Mute, when sierras to the war-whoop rung, Had startled nations, wakening to their woes— And the broad light of conflagration sprung Were prisoners here. And there were some whose From the south's marble cities; hush'd midst cries dreams
(streams, That told the heavens of mortal agonies ; Were of sweet homes, by chainless mountain- But gathering silent strength, to wake at last And of the vine-clad hills, and many a strain In concentrated thunders of the past ! And festal melody of Loire or Seine; And of those mothers who had watch'd and wept, And there, perchance, some long-bewilder'd When on the field the unshelter'd conscript slept,
mind, Bathed with the midnight dews. And some' were Torn from its lowly sphere, its path confined there
Of village duties, in the Alpine glen, Of sterner spirits, harden'd by despair;
Where nature cast its lot midst peasant men; Who, in their dark imaginings, again
Drawn to that vortex, whose fierce ruler blent Fired the rich palace and the stately fane, The earthquake power of each wild element, Drank in their victim's shriek, as music's breath, To lend the tide which bore his throne on high And lived o'er scenes, the festivals of death! One impulse more of desperate energy ;
Might-when the billow's awful rush was o'er And there was mirth, too !-strange and savage Which toss'd its wreck upon the storm-beat shore, mirth,
Won from its wanderings past, by suffering tried, More fearful far than all the woes of earth! Search'd by remorse, by anguish purifiedThe laughter of cold hearts, and scoffs that spring Have fix'd, at length, its troubled hopes and fears From minds for which there is no sacred thing; On the far world, seen brightest through our tears; And transient bursts of fierce, exulting glee- And, in that hour of triumph or despair, The lightning's flash upon its blasted tree ! Whose secrets all must learn-but none declare,
When, of the things to come, a deeper sense But still, howe'er the soul's disguise were worn, Fills the dim eye of trembling penitence, If from wild revelry, or haughty scorn,
Have turn'd to Him whose bow is in the cloud, Or buoyant hope, it won an outward show, Around life's limits gathering as a shroudSlight was the mask, and all beneath it-woe. The fearful mysteries of the heart who knows,
And, by the tempest, calls it to repose !
Who visited that deathbed ? Who can tell Were there no deeper thoughts? And that dark Its brief sad tale, on which the soul might dwell, power
And learn immortal lessons? Who beheld To whom guilt owes one late but dreadful hour, The struggling hope, by shame, by doubt repellidThe mighty debt through years of crime delay'd, The agony of prayer—the bursting tears But, as the grave's, inevitably paid ;
The dark remembrances of guilty years,
Crowding upon the spirit in their might ? 1 The French prisoners, taken in the wars with Napoleon,
He, through the storm who look'd, and there was were confined in a depot on Dartmoor.
And, midst thy hamlet shades, the embosom'd spire Catch from deep-kindling heavens their earliest
That scene is closed !--that wild, tumultuous
It is a glorious hour when Spring goes forth O'er the bleak mountains of the shadowy north, And with one radiant glance, one magic breath, Wakes all things lovely from the sleep of death; While the glad voices of a thousand streams, Bursting their bondage, triumph in her beams !
ee, too, that hour shall bless, the balmy close Of labour's day, the herald of repose, Which gathers hearts in peace; while social mirth Basks in the blaze of each free village hearth; While peasant-songs are on the joyous gales, And merry England's voice floats up from all her
vales. Yet are there sweeter sounds; and thou shalt hear Such as to Heaven's immortal host are dear. Oh ! if there still be melody on earth Worthy the sacred bowers where man drew birth, When angel-steps their paths rejoicing trode, And the air trembled with the breath of God; It lives in those soft accents, to the sky Borne from the lips of stainless infancy, (sprung, When holy strains, from life's pure fount which Breathed with deep reverence, falter on his tongue.
But Peace hath nobler changes ! O'er the mind, The warm and living spirit of mankind, Her influence breathes, and bids the blighted heart, To life and hope from desolation start ! She with a look dissolves the captive's chain, Peopling with beauty widow'd homes again ; Around the mother, in her closing years, Gathering her sons once more, and from the tears Of the dim past but winning purer light, To make the present more serenely bright.
Nor rests that influence here. From clime to
clime, In silence gliding with the stream of time, Still doth it spread, borne onwards, as a breeze With healing on its wings, o'er isles and seas. And as Heaven's breath call'd forth, with genial
power, From the dry wand the almond's living flower, So doth its deep-felt charm in secret move The coldest heart to gentle deeds of love ; Whilo round its pathway nature softly glows, And the wide desert blossoms as the rose.
And such shall be thy music, when the cells, Where Guilt, the child of hopeless Misery, dwells, (And, to wild strength by desperation wrought, In silence broods o'er many a fearful thought,) Resound to pity's voice; and childhood thence, Ere the cold blight hath reach'd its innocence, Ere that soft rose-bloom of the soul be fled, Which vice but breathes on and its hues are dead, Shall at the call press forward, to be made A glorious offering, meet for Him who said, “Mercy, not sacrifice!" and, when of old Clouds of rich incense from his altars rolld, Dispersed the smoke of perfumes, and laid bare The heart's deep folds, to read its homage there!
Yes ! let the waste lift up the exulting voice ! Let the far-echoing solitude rejoice ! And thou, lone moor! where no blithe reaper's
song E'er lightly sped the summer hours along, Bid thy wild rivers, from cach mountain-source Rushing in joy, make music on their course! Thou, whose sole records of existence mark The scene of barbarous rites in ages dark, And of some nameless combat; hope's bright eye Bcams o'er thee in the light of prophecy ! Yet shalt thou smile, by busy culture drest, And the rich harvest wave upon thy breast ! Yet shall thy cottage smoke, at dewy morn, Risc in blue wreaths above the flowering thorn,
When some crown'd conqueror, o'er a trampled
world His banner, shadowing nations, hath unfurl d, And, like those visitations which deform Nature for centuries, hath made the storm His pathway to dominion's lonely sphere, Silence behind-before him, flight and fear! When kingdoms rock beneath his rushing wheels, Till each fair isle the mighty impulse feels, And earth is moulded but by one proud will, And sceptred realms wear fetters, and are still ; Shall the free soul of song bow down to pay, The earthquake homage on its baleful way?
1 In allusion to a plan for the erection of a great national school-house on Dartmoor, where it was proposed to educate the children of convicts.
THE GREEN ISLES OF OCEAN.1
Now the rush-strewn halls are ringing, Steps are bounding, bards are singing, -Ay! the hour to all is bringing
Peace, joy, or praise.
WHERE are they, those green fairy islands, reposing In sunlight and beauty on ocean's calm breast ? What spirit, the things which are hidden disclosing, Shall point the bright way to their dwellings of rest?
Oh ! lovely they rose on the dreams of past ages, The mighty have sought them, undaunted in faith; But the land hath been sad for her warriors and sages,
[death. For the guide to those realms of the blessèd is
Save to us, our night-watch keeping,
Storm-winds to brave, While the very sea-bird sleeping
Rests in its cave ! Think of us when hearths are beaming, Think of us when mead is streaming, Ye, of whom our souls are dreaming
On the dark wave!
Where are they, the high-minded children of glory, Who steer'd for those distant green spots on the
wave? To the winds of the ocean they left their wild story, In the fields of their country they found not a
THE HIRLAS HORN.
Perchance they repose where the summer-brecze
gathers From the flowers of each vale immortality's breath; But their steps shall be ne'er on the hills of their fathers
[death. For the guide to those realms of the blessed is
Fill high the blue hirlas that shines like the waves When sunbeams are bright on the spray of the
sea; And bear thou the rich foaming mead to the brave,
The dragons of battle, the sons of the free ! To those from whose spears, in the shock of the fight,
(the field; A beam, like heaven's lightning,4 flash'd over To those who camerushing as storms in their might, Who have shiver'd the helmet, and cloven the
shield; The sound of whose strife was like oceans afar, When lances were red from the harvest of war.
Fill high the blue hirlas ! 0 cup-bearer, fill
For the lords of the field in their festival's hour, And let the mead foam, like the stream of the hill
That bursts o'er the rock in the pride of its power : Praise, praise to the mighty, fill high the smooth
horn Of honour and mirth,” for the conflict is o'er; And round let the golden-tipp'd hirlas be borne
To the lion-defenders of Gwynedd's fair shore, Who rush'd to the field where the glory was won, As cagles that soar from their cliffs to the sun.
In the dwellings of our fathers,
Round the glad blaze, Now the festive circle gathers
With harps and lays;
1 The " Green Islands of Ocean," or "Green Spots of the Floods," called in the Triads “ Gwerddonan Llion," (respecting which some remarkable superstitions have been preserved in Wales,) were supposed to be the abode of the Fair Family, or souls of the virtuous Druids, who could not enter the Christian heaven, but were permitted to enjoy this paradise of their own. Gafran, a distinguished British chieftain of the fifth century, went on a voyage with his family to discover these islands ; but they were never heard of afterwards. This event, the voyage of Merddin Emrys with his twelve bards, and the expedition of Madoc, were called the three losses by disappearance of the island of Britain.-See
W. 0. Pughe's Cambrian Biography; also Cambro-Briton, i. 124.
? See note to the “Green Isles of Ocean."
3 “ Fetch the horn, that we may drink together, whose gloss is like the waves of the sea ; whose green handles show the skill of the artist, and are tipped with gold.”—From the Hirlas Horn of Owain CYFEILIOG.
4 “ Heard ye in Maelor the noise of war, the horrid din of arms, their furious onset, loud as in the battle of Bangor, where fire flashed out of their spears?"-From the same.
5“ Fill, then, the yellow-lipped horn-badge of honour and mirth."-From the same.
THE LAMENT OF LLYWARCH HEN.
Fill higher the hirlas ! forgetting not those
which are fled !
-renown to the dead! While harps in the hall of the feast shall be strung,
While regal Eryri with snow shall be crown'dSo long by the bards shall their battles be sung,
And the heart of the hero shall burn at the sound. The free winds of Maelorl shall swell with their
name, And Owain's rich hirlas be fill'd to their fame.
(Llywarch Hen, or Llywarch the Aged, a celebrated bard and chief of the times of Arthur, was prince of Argoed, supposed to be a part of the present Cumberland. Having sustained the loss of his patrimony, and witnessed the fall of most of his sons, in the unequal contest maintained by the North Britons against the growing power of the Saxons, Llywarch was compelled to fly from his country, and seek refuge in Wales. He there found an asylum for some time in the residence of Cynddylan, Prince of Powys, whose fall he pathetically laments in one of his poems. These are still extant; and his elegy on old age and the loss of his sons, is remarkable for its simplicity and beauty.-See Cambrian Biography, and Owren's Ileroic Elegies and other poems of Llyrarch Hen.)
The bright hours return, and the blue sky is THE HALL OF CYNDDYLAN.
With song, and the hills are all mantled with bloom; THE Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy to-night;2 But fairer than aught which the summeris bringing, I weep, for the grave has extinguish'd its light; The beauty and youth gone to people the tomb! The beam of the lamp from its summit is o'er, Oh! why should I live to hear music resounding, The blaze of its hearth shall give welcomeno more! Which cannot awake ye, my lovely, my brave?
Why smile the waste flowers, my sad footsteps The Hall of Cynddylan is voiceless and still,
surrounding? The sound of its harpings hath died on the hill ! -My sons ! they but clothe the green turf of Be silent for ever, thou desolate scene,
your grave ! Nor let e'en an echo recall what hath been !
Alone on the rocks of the stranger I linger, The Hall of Cynddylan is lonely and bare, My spirit all wrapt in the past as a dream ! No banquet, no guest, not a footstep is there! Mine ear hath no joy in the voice of the singer, 3 Oh! where are the warriors who circled its board ? Mine eye sparkles not to the sunlight's glad beam; - The grass will soon wave where the mead-cup / Yet, yet I live on, though forsaken and weeping ! was pour'd!
-O grave! why refuse to the aged thy bed,
When valour's high heart on thy bosom is sleeping, The Hall of Cynddylan is loveless to-night, When youth's glorious flower is gone down to the Since he is departed whose smile made it bright!
dead ! I mourn; but the sigh of my soul shall be brief, The pathway is short to the grave of my chief ! Fair were ye, my sons ! and all kingly your bearing,
As on to the fields of your glory ye trode! [ing, 1 Maelor, part of the counties of Denbigh and Flint, according to the modern division.
Each princeofmy race the bright golden chain wear2 “The Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night,
Each eye glancing fire, shrouded now by the sod !* Without fire, without bed
I weep when the blast of the trumpet is sounding, I must weep a while, and then be silent.
Which rouses ye not, O my lovely! my brave !
When warriors and chiefs to their proud steeds
[grave !5 Be thou encircled with spreading silence!
turn from heaven's light, for it smiles on your
The Hall of Cynddylan is without love this night,
The Hall of Cynddylan it is not easy this night,
Ower's Heroic Elegies of Llywarch Hen.
4 “ Four and twenty sons to me have been
Elegics of Llynoarch llen.
When the warriors are hastening to the battle ;
Elegies of Llyroarch llen,