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Long, long in darkness did she sit,
And her first words were, "Let there be
In Bolton, on the Field of Wharf,
A stately Priory!"
The stately Priory was reared;
To Matins joined a mournful voice,
And the Lady prayed in heaviness
That looked not for relief!
But slowly did her succour come,
Oh! there is never sorrow of heart
If but to God we turn, and ask
Of Him to be our Friend!
A FACT, AND AN IMAGINATION;
CANUTE AND ALFRED.
THE Danish Conqueror, on his royal chair,
To aid a covert purpose, cried
Approaching waters of the deep, that share
With this green isle my fortunes, come not where Your Master's throne is set!". - Absurd decree! A mandate uttered to the foaming sea,
Is to its motion less than wanton air.
Then Canute, rising from the invaded Throne, Said to his servile Courtiers, "Poor the reach, The undisguised extent, of mortal sway! He only is a king, and he alone
Deserves the name (this truth the billows preach) Whose everlasting laws, sea, earth, and heaven obey."
This just reproof the prosperous Dane
Drew, from the influx of the Main,
For some whose rugged northern mouths would strain
At oriental flattery;
And Canute (truth more worthy to be known)
From that time forth did for his brows disown
The ostentatious symbol of a Crown;
Now hear what one of elder days, Rich theme of England's fondest praise, Her darling Alfred, might have spoken; To cheer the remnant of his host
When he was driven from coast to coast,
Distressed and harassed, but with mind unbroken :
My faithful Followers, lo! the tide is spent ; That rose, and steadily advanced to fill The shores and channels, working Nature's will Among the mazy streams that backward went, And in the sluggish pools where ships are pent: And now, its task performed, the Flood stands still At the green base of many an inland hill, In placid beauty and sublime content!
repose that Sage and Hero find;
Such measured rest the sedulous and good
Of humbler name; whose souls do, like the flood Of Ocean, press right on; or gently wind,
Neither to be diverted nor withstood,
Until they reach the bounds by Heaven assigned."
" A LITTLE onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on !”
What trick of memory to my voice hath brought
This mournful iteration? For though Time,
The Conqueror, crowns the Conquered, on this brow Planting his favourite silver diadem,
Nor he, nor minister of his — intent
To run before him, hath enrolled me yet,
Though not unmenaced, among those who lean
Upon a living staff, with borrowed sight.
O my Antigone, beloved child!
Should that day come but hark! the birds salute
The cheerful dawn, brightening for me the east;
For me, thy natural Leader, once again
A tottering Infant, with compliant stoop