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He startles from the bordering wood
The bashful wild-duck's early brood.
O'er the broad downs, a novel race,
Frisk the lambs with faultering pace,
And with eager bleatings fill
The foss that skirts the beacon'd hill.
His free-born vigour yet unbroke
To lordly man's usurping yoke,
The bounding colt forgets to play,
Basking beneath the noon-tide ray,
And stretch'd among the daisies pied
Of a green dingle's sloping side :
While far beneath, where Nature spreads
Her boundless length of level meads,
In loose luxuriance taught to stray
A thousand tumbling rills inlay
With silver veins the vale, or pass
Redundant through the sparkling grass.
Yet, in these presages rude,
Midst her pensive solitude,
Fancy, with prophetic glance,
Sees the teeming months advance;
The field, the forest, green and gay,
The dappled slope, the tedded hay;
Sees the reddening orchard blow,
The harvest wave, the vintage flow;
Sees June unfold his glossy robe
Of thousand hues o'er all the globe ;
Sees Ceres grasp her crown of corn,
And plenty load her ample horn.
Bound for holy Palestine,
Nimbly we brush'd the level brine,
All in azure steel array'd;
O’er the wave our weapons play'd,
And made the dancing billows glow;
High upon the trophied prow,
Many a warrior-minstrel swung
His sounding harp, and boldly sung:
Syrian virgins, wail and weep,
English Richard plows the deep!
Tremble, watchmen, as ye spy
From distant towers, with anxious eye,
The radiant range of shield and lance
Down Damascus' hills advance :
From Sion's turrets as afar
Ye ken the march of Europe's war!
Saladin, thou paynim king,
From Albion's isle revenge we bring !
On Acon's spiry citadel,
Though to the gale thy banners swell,
Pictur'd with the silver Moon;
England shall end thy glory soon!
In vain, to break our firm array,
Thy brazen drums hoarse discord bray:
Those sounds our rising fury fan :
English Richard in the van,
On to victory we go,
A vaunting infidel the foe.”
Blondel led the tuneful band,
And swept the wire with glowing liando
Cyprus, from her rocky mound,
And Crete, with piny verdure crown'd,
Far along the smiling main
Echoed the prophetic strain.
Soon we kiss'd the sacred earth
That gave a murder'd Saviour birth;
Then with ardour fresh endu'd,
Thus the solemn song renew'd.
“ Lo, the toilsome voyage past,
Heaven's favour'd hills appear at last!
Object of our holy vow,
We tread the Tyrian valleys now.
From Carmel's almond-shaded steep
We feel the cheering fragrance creep:
O’er Engaddi's shrubs of balm
Waves the date-empurpl'd palm:
See Lebanon's aspiring head
Wide his immortal umbrage spread!
Hail Calvary, thou mountain hoar,
Wet with our Redeemer's gore !
Ye trampled tombs, ye fanes forlorn,
Ye stones, by tears of pilgrims worn;
Your ravish'd honours to restore,
Fearless we climb this hostile shore !
And thou, the sepulchre of God;
By mocking pagans rudely trod,
Bereft of every aweful rite,
And quench'd thy lamps that beam'd so bright;
For thee, from Britain's distant coast,
Lo, Richard leads his faithful host !
Aloft in his heroic hand,
Blazing like the beacon's brand,
O'er the far-affrighted fields,
Resistless Kaliburn * he wields.
Proud Saracen, pollute no more
The shrines by martyrs built of yore !
From each wild mountain's trackless crown
In vain thy gloomy castles frown:
Thy battering engines, huge and high,
In vain our steel-clad steeds defy;
And, rolling in terrific state
On giant-wheels harsh thunders grate.
When eve has hush'd the buzzing camp,
Amid the moon-light vapours damp,
Thy necromantic forms, in vain,
Haunt us on the tented plain :
We bid the spectre-shapes ayaunt,
Ashtaroth, and Termagaunt! +
With many a demon, pale of hue,
Doom'd to drink the bitter dew,
That drops from Macon's sooty tree,
Mid the dread grove of ebony.
* Kaliburn is the sword of king Arthur, which, as the monkish historians say, came into the possession of Richard I., and was given by that monarch, in the Crusades, to Tanered king of Sicily, as a royal present of inestimable value, about the year 1190.
+ Ashtaroth is mentioned by Milton as a general name of the Syrian deities : Par. Lost, i. 422. And Termagaunt is the name given in the old romance to the god of the Saracens. See Percy's Reliques, vol. i. p. 74.
Nor magic charms, nor fiends of Hell,
The Christian's holy courage quell.
Salem, in ancient majesty
Arise, and lift thee to the sky !
Soon on thy battlements divine
Shall wave the badge of Constantine.
Ye barons, to the Sun unfold
Our cross with crimson wove and gold !
WHEN now mature in classic knowledge,
The joyful youth is sent to college,
His father comes, a vicar plain,
At Oxford bred - in Anna's reign,
And thus, in form of humble suitor,
Bowing accosts a reverend tutor :
“ Sir, I'm a Glo'stershire divine,
And this my eldest son of nine ;
My wife's ambition and my own
Was that this child should wear a gown :
I'll warrant that his good behaviour
Will justify your future favour;
And, for his parts, to tell the truth,
My son 's a very forward youth;
Has Horace all by heart - you 'd wonder
And mouths out Homer's Greek like thunder.
If you 'd examine - and admit him,
A scholarship would nicely fit him;