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The following Ode is founded on a Tradition current in Wales, that Edward the First, when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the Bards that fell into his hands to be put to death.
Confusion on thy banners wait; s Tho' fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing, 5* They mock the air with idle state !
* Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
SHAKESPEARE's King John.
• Helm, • Helm, nor * Hauberk's twisted mail, • Nor even thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail • To save thy secret soul from nightly fears, • From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's
Such were the sounds that o'er the up crested
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,
* The Hauberk was a texture of steel ringlets, or rings interwoven, forming a coat of mail, that fat close to the body, and adapted itself to every motion.
+ The crested adder's pride.
DRYDEN's Indian Queen.
Snowdon was a name given by the Saxons to that mountainous tract which the Welsh themselves call Craigian-eryri: it included all the highlands of Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire, as far east as the river Conway. R. Hygden, speaking of the castle of Conway, built there by King Edward the First, says, “ Ad ortum am“ nis Conway ad clivum montis Erery;" and Matthew of Westminster, (ad ann. 1283), “ Apud Aberconway ad pedes montis 6 Snowdoniæ fecit erig castrum forte."
Stout Glo'ster * stood aghaft in speechless
To arms! cried Mortimer up, and couch'd his
On a rock, whose haughty brow Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood, Robed in the fable garb of woe, With haggard eyes the Poet stood; (Loose his beard, and hoary hair || Stream’d, like a meteor, to the troubled air;)
* Gilbert de Clare, surnamed the Red, Earl of Gloucefter and Hertford, son-in-law to King Edward.
+ Edmond de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore.
They both were Lords Marchers, whose lands lay on the borders of Wales, and probably accompanied the King in this expedition.
# The image was taken from a well known picture of Raphael, representing the Supreme Being in the vision of Ezekiel. There are two of these paintings, both believed original, one at Florence, the other at Paris. # Shone, like a meteor, streaming to the wind.
Milton's Paradise Lost.