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FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO BRITAIN, TO THE CONSUMMMATION OF THE PAPAL DOMINION.
"A verse may catch a wandering Soul, that flies
I, WHO accompanied with faithful pace
Won for herself a lasting resting-place, —
Now seek upon the heights of Time the source
Full oft the unworthy brow of lawless force;
If there be prophets on whose spirits rest
And with dread signs the nascent Stream invest?
Or some of humbler name, to these wild shores Storm-driven, who, having seen the cup of woe Pass from their Master, sojourned here to guard The precious Current they had taught to flow?
* See Note.
TREPIDATION OF THE DRUIDS.
SCREAMS round the Arch-druid's brow the seamew,* white
As Menai's foam; and toward the mystic ring
Haughty the Bard: can these meek doctrines blight
A way first opened; and, with Roman chains,
they spread, the weak, the suffer
Receive the faith, and in the hope abide.
MERCY and Love have met thee on thy road,
*This water-fowl was, among the Druids, an emblem of those traditions connected with the deluge that made an important part of their mysteries. The Cormorant was a bird of bad
And food cut off by sacerdotal ire,
From every sympathy that Man bestowed! Yet shall it claim our reverence, that to God, Ancient of days! that to the eternal Sire, These jealous Ministers of law aspire,
As to the one sole fount whence wisdom flowed,
DARKNESS surrounds us; seeking, we are lost
Nor characters of Greek or Roman fame,
LAMENT! for Diocletian's fiery sword
And dreadful respite. Thus was Alban tried, England's first Martyr, whom no threats could shake;
Self-offered victim, for his friend he died,
And for the faith; nor shall his name forsake That Hill, whose flowery platform seems to rise By Nature decked for holiest sacrifice.*
As, when a storm hath ceased, the birds regain
Their cheerfulness, and busily retrim
Their nests, or chant a gratulating hymn
* See Note.