Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Bark an answer, Britain's raven! bark and blacken

innumerable, Blacken round the Roman carrion, make the car

cass a skeleton, Kite and kestrel, wolf and wolfkin, from the wil

derness, wallow in it, Till the face of Bel be brighten'd, Taranis be pro

pitiated.
Lo their colony half-defended ! lo their colony,

Cámulodúne!
There the horde of Roman robbers mock at a bar-

barous adversary
There the hive of Roman liars worship a glutton-

ous emperor-idiot. Such is Rome, and this her deity: hear it, Spirit

of Cássivëlaún!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

· Hear it, Gods! the Gods have heard it, O Ice

nian, O Coritanian! Doubt not ye the Gods have answer'd, Catieuch

lanian, Trinobant. These have told us all their anger in miraculous

utterances, Thunder, a flying fire in heaven, a murmur heard

aërially, Phantom sound of blows descending, moan of an

enemy massacred, Phantom wail of women and children, multitudi

nous agonies. Bloodily flow'd the Tamesa rolling phantom bodies

of horses and men; Then a phantom colony smoulder'd on the refluent

estuary; Lastly yonder yester-even, suddenly giddily totter

ing There was one who watch'd and told me down

their statue of Victory fell. Lo their precious Roman bantling, lo the colony

Cámulodúne.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

VOL. I.

25

Shall we teach it a Roman lesson ? shall we care

to be pitiful ? Shall we deal with it as an infant ? shall we dan

dle it amorously?

Hear Icenian, Catieuchlanian, hear Coritanian,

Trinobant! While I roved about the forest, long and bitterly

meditating, There I heard them in the darkness, at the mysti

cal ceremony, Loosely-robed in flying raiment, sang the terrible

prophetesses. “ Fear not, isle of blowing woodland, isle of silvery

parapets! Tho' the Roman eagle shadow thee, tho' the gather

ing enemy narrow thee, Thou shalt wax and he shall dwindle, thou shalt be

the mighty one yet! Thine the liberty, thine the glory, thine the deeds

to be celebrated, Thine the myriad-rolling ocean, light and shadow

illimitable, Thine the lands of lasting summer, many-blossoming

Paradises, Thine the North and thine the South and thine the

battle-thunder of God.” So they chanted : how shall Britain light upon

auguries happier ? So they chanted in the darkness, and there cometh

a victory now. • Hear Icenian, Catieachlanian, hear Coritanian,

Trinobant ! Me the wife of rich Prasutagus, me the lover of

liberty, Me they seized and me they tortured, me they Me the sport of ribald Veterans, mine of ruffian

lash'd and humiliated,

violators!
See they sit, they hide their faces, miserable in

ignominy!
Wherefore in me burns an anger, not by blood to

be satiated.
Lo the palaces and the temple, lo the colony Cámu-

lodúne !
There they ruled, and thence they wasted all the

flourishing territory,
Thither at their will they halod the yellow-ringleted

Britoness
Bloodily, bloodily fall the battle-axe, unexhausted,

inexorable.
Shout Icenian, Catieuchlanian, shout Coritanian,

Trinobant,
Till the victim hear within and yearn to hurry pre-

cipitously
Like the leaf in a roaring whirlwind, like the smoke

in a hurricane whirl'd.
Lo the colony, there they rioted in the city of Cú-

nobeline!
There they drank in cups of emerald, there at tables

of ebony lay,
Rolling on their purple couches in their tender

effeminacy.
There they dwelt and there they rioted; there -

there they dwell no more.
Burst the gates, and burn the palaces, break the

works of the statuary,
Take the hoary Roman head and shatter it, hold

it abominable,
Cut the Roman boy to pieces in his lust and volup-

tuousness,
Lash the maiden into swooning, me they lash'd and

humiliated,
Chop the breasts from off the mother, dash the

brains of the little one out,

[ocr errors]

Up my Britons, on my chariot, on my chargers,

trample them under us.'

So the Queen Boadicéa, standing loftily charioted, Brandishing in her hand a dart and rolling glances

lioness-like, Yelld and shrieked between her daughters in her

fierce volubility. Till her people all around the royal chariot agitated, Madly dash'd the darts together, writhing barbarous

lineaments, Made the noise of frosty woodlands, when they

shiver in January, Roard as when the rolling breakers boom and

blanch on the precipices, Yell'd as when the winds of winter tear an oak on

a promontory: So the silent colony hearing her tumultuous adver

saries Clash the darts and on the buckler beat with rapid

unanimous hand, Thought on all her evil tyrannies, all her pitiless

avarice, Till she felt the heart within her fall and flutter

tremulously, Then her pulses at the clamoring of her enemy

fainted away.

Out of evil evil flourishes, out of tyranny tyranny

buds. Ran the land with Roman slaughter, multitudinous

agonies. Perish'd many a maid and matron, many a valorous

legionary Fell the colony, city, and citadel, London, Verulam,

Cámulodune,

IN QUANTITY.

MILTON.

Alcaics.

O MIGHTY-MOUTH'd inventor of harmonies,
O skilld to sing of Time or Eternity,
God-gifted organ-voice of England,

Milton, a name to resound for ages;
Whose Titan angels, Gabriel, Abdiel,
Starr'd from Jehovah's gorgeous armories,
Tower, as the deep-domed empyrëan

Rings to the roar of an angel onset Me rather all that bowery loneliness, The brooks of Eden mazily murmuring, And bloom profuse and cedar arches

Charm, as a wanderer out in ocean, Where some refulgent sunset of India Streams o'er a rich ambrosial ocean isle, And crimson-hued the stately palmwoods

Whisper in odorous heights of even.

Hendecasyllabics.

O you chorus of indolent reviewers,
Irresponsible, indolent reviewers,
Look, I come to the test,,a tiny poem
All composed in a metre of Catullus,
All in quantity, careful of my motion,
Like the skater on ice that hardly bears him,
Lest I fall unawares before the people,

« VorigeDoorgaan »