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Michael, and thou, St. George, whose flaming brand
The Dragon quelled; and valiant Margaret
Whose rival sword a like Opponent slew :
And rapt Cecilia, seraph-haunted Queen
Of harmony; and weeping Magdalene,
Who in the penitential desert met
Gales sweet as those that over Eden blew !
MOTHER! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skys at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast;
Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible Power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!
NOT utterly unworthy to endure
Was the supremacy of crafty Rome;
Age after age to the arch of Christendom
Aërial keystone haughtily secure ;
Supremacy from Heaven transmitted pure,
As many hold; and, therefore, to the tomb
Pass, some through fire,
Like saintly Fisher, and unbending More.
"Lightly for both the bosom's lord did sit
Upon his throne"; unsoftened, undismayed
By aught that mingled with the tragic scene
Of pity or fear; and More's gay genius played
With the inoffensive sword of native wit,
Than the bare axe more luminous and keen.
DEEP is the lamentation! Not alone
From sages justly honored by mankind;
But from the ghostly tenants of the wind,
Demons and Spirits, many a dolorous groan
Issues for that dominion overthrown:
Proud Tiber grieves, and far-off Ganges, blind
As his own worshippers: and Nile, reclined
Upon his monstrous urn, the farewell moan
Renews. Through every forest, cave, and den,
Where frauds were hatched of old, hath sorrow
Hangs o'er the Arabian Prophet's native Waste,
Where once his airy helpers schemed and planned 'Mid spectral lakes bemocking thirsty men, And stalking pillars built of fiery sand.
GRANT, that by this unsparing hurricane
Green leaves with yellow mixed are torn away,
And goodly fruitage with the mother spray;
'T were madness, wished we, therefore, to detain,
With hands stretched forth in mollified disdain,
The "trumpery " that ascends in bare display,
Bulls, pardons, relics, cowls black, white, and gray,-
Upwhirled, and flying o'er the ethereal plain
Fast bound for Limbo Lake. And yet not choice,
But habit, rules the unreflecting herd,
And airy bounds are hardest to disown;
Hence, with the spiritual sovereignty transferred
Unto itself, the Crown assumes a voice
Of reckless mastery, hitherto unknown.
TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE.
BUT, to outweigh all harm, the sacred Book,
In dusty sequestration wrapt too long,
Assumes the accents of our native tongue;
And he who guides the plough, or wields the crook, With understanding spirit now may look
Upon her records, listen to her song,
Transcendent Boon! noblest that earthly king
Ever bestowed to equalize and bless
Under the weight of mortal wretchedness!
But passions spread like plagues, and thousands wild
With bigotry shall tread the Offering
Beneath their feet, detested and defiled.
FOR what contend the wise? for nothing less Than that the Soul, freed from the bonds of Sense, And to her God restored by evidence
Of things not seen, drawn forth from their recess,
Root there, and not in forms, her holiness;
For Faith, which to the Patriarchs did dispense
Was needful round men thirsting to transgress; —
more perfect still, with which the Lord
Of all, himself a Spirit, in the youth
Of Christian aspiration, deigned to fill
The temples of their hearts who, with his word
Informed, were resolute to do his will,
And worship him in spirit and in truth.
"SWEET is the holiness of Youth";
Time-honored Chaucer, speaking through that Lay
By which the Prioress beguiled the way,
And many a Pilgrim's rugged heart did melt.
Hadst thou, loved Bard! whose spirit often dwelt
In the clear land of vision, but foreseen
King, child, and seraph blended in the mien
Of pious Edward kneeling as he knelt
In meek and simple infancy, what joy
For universal Christendom had thrilled
Thy heart! what hopes inspired thy genius, skilled
(O great Precursor, genuine morning Star!)
The lucid shafts of reason to employ,
Piercing the Papal darkness from afar!
EDWARD SIGNING THE WARRANT FOR THE EXECUTION OF JOAN OF KENT.
THE tears of man in various measures gush
From various sources; gently overflow
From blissful transport some, from clefts of woe
Some with ungovernable impulse rush;