Imágenes de páginas

All promises vouchsafed by Heaven will shine
In light confirmed while years their course shall run,
Confirmed alike in progress and decline.



ENOUGH! for see, with dim association
The tapers burn; the odorous incense feeds
A greedy flame; the pompous Mass proceeds;
The Priest bestows the appointed consecration;
And, while the HOST is raised, its elevation
An awe and supernatural horror breeds;
And all the people bow their heads, like reeds
To a soft breeze, in lowly adoration.

This Valdo brooks not. On the banks of Rhone
He taught, till persecution chased him thence,
To adore the Invisible, and him alone.
Nor are his Followers loth to seek defence,
'Mid woods and wilds, on Nature's craggy throne,
From rites that trample upon soul and sense.



BUT whence came they who for the Saviour Lord Have long borne witness as the Scriptures teach? Ages ere Valdo raised his voice to preach

[ocr errors]

In Gallic ears the unadulterate Word,
Their fugitive Progenitors explored
Subalpine vales, in quest of safe retreats,
Where that pure Church survives, though summer


Open a passage to the Romish sword,

Far as it dares to follow. Herbs self-sown,
And fruitage gathered from the chestnut wood,
Nourish the sufferers then; and mists, that brood
O'er chasms with new-fallen obstacles bestrown,
Protect them; and the eternal snow that daunts
Aliens, is God's good winter for their haunts.


PRAISED be the Rivers, from their mountain springs

Shouting to Freedom, "Plant thy banners here!"
To harassed Piety, "Dismiss thy fear,

And in our caverns smooth thy ruffled wings!"
Nor be unthanked their final lingerings,
Silent, but not to high-souled Passion's ear,
'Mid reedy fens wide-spread and marshes drear,
Their own creation. Such glad welcomings
As Po was heard to give where Venice rose
Hailed from aloft those Heirs of truth divine
Who near his fountains sought obscure repose,
Yet came prepared as glorious lights to shine,
Should that be needed for their sacred Charge;
Blest Prisoners they, whose spirits were at large!



THOSE had given earliest notice, as the lark Springs from the ground the morn to gratulate; Or rather rose the day to antedate,

By striking out a solitary spark,

When all the world with midnight gloom was

[blocks in formation]

Then followed the Waldensian bands, whom Hate In vain endeavors to exterminate,


Whom Obloquy pursues with hideous bark:
But they desist not; - and the sacred fire,
Rekindled thus, from dens and savage woods
Moves, handed on with never-ceasing care,
Through courts, through camps, o'er limitary floods;
Nor lacks this sea-girt Isle a timely share
Of the new Flame, not suffered to expire.



"WHAT beast in wilderness or cultured field

The lively beauty of the leopard shows?

What flower in meadow-ground or garden grows
That to the towering lily doth not yield?
Let both meet only on thy royal shield!

* See Note.

Go forth, great King! claim what thy birth bestows; Conquer the Gallic lily which thy foes

Dare to usurp ;

- thou hast a sword to wield,

And Heaven will crown the right.”—The mitred


Thus spake,

and lo! a Fleet, for Gaul addrest, Ploughs her bold course across the wondering seas;

For, sooth to say, ambition, in the breast

Of youthful heroes, is no sullen fire,

But one that leaps to meet the fanning breeze.



THUS is the storm abated by the craft

Of a shrewd Counsellor, eager to protect

The Church, whose power hath recently been


Whose monstrous riches threatened.

So the shaft

Of victory mounts high, and blood is quaffed
In fields that rival Cressy and Poictiers,
Pride to be washed away by bitter tears!
For deep as hell itself, the avenging draught
Of civil slaughter. Yet, while temporal power
Is by these shocks exhausted, spiritual truth
Maintains the else endangered gift of life;
Proceeds from infancy to lusty youth;
And, under cover of this woful strife,

Gathers unblighted strength from hour to hour.



ONCE more the Church is seized with sudden fear,
And at her call is Wicliffe disinhumed:

Yea, his dry bones to ashes are consumed
And flung into the brook that travels near;
Forthwith, that ancient Voice which Streams can


Thus speaks (that Voice which walks upon the wind,
Though seldom heard by busy human kind):
"As thou these ashes, little Brook! wilt bear
Into the Avon, Avon to the tide

Of Severn, Severn to the narrow seas,
Into main Ocean they, this deed accurst

An emblem yields to friends and enemies
How the bold Teacher's Doctrine, sanctified
By truth, shall spread, throughout the world dis-



"WOE to you, Prelates! rioting in ease

[ocr errors]

And cumbrous wealth, the shame of your estate;
You, on whose progress dazzling trains await
Of pompous horses; whom vain titles please;
Who will be served by others on their knees,
Yet will yourselves to God no service pay;

« AnteriorContinuar »