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The cimeter, that yields not to the charms
Of ease, the narrow Bosphorus will disdain ;
Not long (that crossed) would Grecian hills detain
Their tents, and check the current of their arms.
Then blame not those who, by the mightiest lever
Known to the moral world, Imagination,
Upheave, so seems it, from her natural station
All Christendom: they sweep along (was never
So huge a host!) to tear from the Unbeliever
The precious Tomb, their haven of salvation.
REDOUBTED King, of courage leonine,
I mark thee, Richard! urgent to equip
Thy warlike person with the staff and scrip;
I watch thee sailing o'er the midland brine;
In conquered Cyprus see thy Bride decline
Her blushing cheek, love-vows upon her lip,
And see love-emblems streaming from thy ship,
As thence she holds her way to Palestine.
My Song, a fearless homager, would attend
Thy thundering battle-axe as it cleaves the press
Of war, but duty summons her away
To tell-how, finding in the rash distress
Of those Enthusiasts a subservient friend,
To giddier heights hath clomb the Papal sway.
REALMS quake by turns: proud Arbitress of grace
The Church, by mandate shadowing forth the
She arrogates o'er heaven's eternal door,
Closes the gates of every sacred place.
Straight from the sun and tainted air's embrac
All sacred things are covered: cheerful morn
Grows sad as night, no seemly garb is worn,
Nor is a face allowed to meet a face
With natural smiles of greeting. Bells are dumb; funeral rites denied ;
And in the churchyard he must take his bride Who dares be wedded! Fancies thickly come Into the pensive heart ill fortified,
And comfortless despairs the soul benumb.
As with the Stream our voyage we pursue,
The gross materials of this world present
A marvellous study of wild accident;
Uncouth proximities of old and new;
And bold transfigurations, more untrue
(As might be deemed) to disciplined intent
Than aught the sky's fantastic element,
When most fantastic, offers to the view.
Saw we not Henry scourged at Becket's shrine?
Lo! John self-stripped of his insignia :— crown,
Sceptre and mantle, sword and ring, laid down
At a proud Legate's feet! The spears that line
Baronial halls the opprobrious insult feel;
And angry Ocean roars a vain appeal.
BLACK Demons hovering o'er his mitred head, To Cæsar's successor the Pontiff spake :
"Ere I absolve thee, stoop! that on thy neck Levelled with earth this foot of mine may tread." Then he, who to the altar had been led,
He whose strong arm the Orient could not check, He who had held the Soldan at his beck,
Stooped, of all glory disinherited,
And even the common dignity of man!
Amazement strikes the crowd: while many turn Their eyes away in sorrow, others burn
With scorn, invoking a vindictive ban
From outraged Nature; but the sense of most
In abject sympathy with power is lost.
UNLESS to Peter's Chair the viewless wind
Must come and ask permission when to blow,
What further empire would it have? for now
A ghostly Domination, unconfined
As that by dreaming Bards to Love assigned,
Sits there in sober truth,— to raise the low,
Perplex the wise, the strong to overthrow;
Through earth and heaven to bind and to un-
Resist, the thunder quails thee! - crouch,
Shall be thy recompense! from land to land
The ancient thrones of Christendom are stuff
For occupation of a magic wand,
And 'tis the Pope that wields it:
Or smooth his front, our world is in his hand!
TO THE CLOSE OF THE TROUBLES IN THE REIGN
How soon, alas! did Man, created pure,
By Angels guarded, deviate from the line
Prescribed to duty!-woful forfeiture
He made by wilful breach of law divine.
With like perverseness did the Church abjure
Obedience to her Lord, and haste to twine,
'Mid Heaven-born flowers that shall for aye endure, Weeds on whose front the world had fixed her sign. O Man! if with thy trials thus it fares,
If good can smooth the way to evil choice,
From all rash censure be the mind kept free;
He only judges right who weighs, compares,
And, in the sternest sentence which his voice
Pronounces, ne'er abandons Charity.
FROM false assumption rose, and, fondly hailed
By superstition, spread the Papal power;
Yet do not deem the Autocracy prevailed
Thus only, even in error's darkest hour.
She daunts, forth-thundering from her spiritual tower,
Brute rapine, or with gentle lure she tames.
Justice and Peace through her uphold their claims;
And Chastity finds many a sheltering bower.
Realm there is none that, if controlled or swayed
By her commands, partakes not, in degree,
Of good, o'er manners, arts, and arms diffused:
Yes, to thy domination, Roman See,
Though miserably, oft monstrously, abused
By blind ambition, be this tribute paid.