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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 dark.Then followed the Waldensian bands, whom Hate
In vain endeavours 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.
ARCHBISHOP CHICHELY TO HENRY V.
“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!
"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 Sire
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.
WARS OF YORK AND LANCASTER,
THUS is the storm abated by the craft
Of a shrewd Counsellor, eager to protect
The Church, whose power hath recently been checked,
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 woeful 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 hear 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
CORRUPTIONS OF THE HIGHER CLERGY.
"WOE to you, Prelates! rioting in ease “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; "Pastors who neither take nor point the way "To Heaven; for, either lost in vanities "Ye have no skill to teach, or if ye know "And speak the word" Alas! of fearful things 'Tis the most fearful when the people's eye Abuse hath cleared from vain imaginings; And taught the general voice to prophesy Of Justice armed, and Pride to be laid low.
AND what is Penance with her knotted thong;
Mortification with the shirt of hair,
Wan cheek, and knees indúrated with
Vigils, and fastings rigorous as long;
If cloistered Avarice scruple not to wrong
The pious, humble, useful Secular,
And rob the people of his daily care,
Scorning that world whose blindness makes her strong?
Inversion strange! that, unto One who lives
For self, and struggles with himself alone,
The amplest share of heavenly favour gives;
That to a Monk allots, both in the esteem
Of God and man, place higher than to him
Who on the good of others builds his own!
YET more,-round many a Convent's blazing fire
Unhallowed threads of revelry are spun;
There Venus sits disguised like a Nun,-
While Bacchus, clothed in semblance of a Friar,