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Too feebly nerv'd for so severe a trial,
Wert thou, O Cranmer! yet thy heart was true, And the church owes thee much and loves thee too. If thou didst faint beneath the fiercest vial That wrath could pour, O let no harsh decrial Tarnish the martyr's fame! The Saviour knew How weak are even the best!-'ere the cock crew, Peter thrice utter'd the foretold denial ! Think not of Cranmer to his chains descending, Fear-palsied, and his mind scarce half awake But Cranmer, with the faithful Ridley, bending Over the liturgy; Cranmer as he spake From his last pulpit; Cranmer when extending His hand through flame, undaunted, at the stake! SIR AUBREY DE VERE.
YE quenchless stars! so eloquently bright,
Untroubled sentries of the shadowy night,
While half the world is lapp'd in downy dreams,
And round the lattice creep your midnight beams,
How sweet to gaze upon those placid eyes,
In lambent beauty looking from the skies!
And when, oblivious of the world, we stray
At dead of night along some noiseless way,
How the heart mingles with a moon-lit hour,
As if the starry heavens suffus'd a power.
See! not a cloud careers yon pensile sweep,
A waveless sea of azure, still as sleep;
Full in her dreamy light the Moon presides,
Shrin'd in a halo, mellowing as she rides;
And far around, the forest and the stream
Bathe in the beauty of her emerald beam.
The lull'd winds, too, are sleeping in their caves,
No stormy murmurs roll upon the waves;
Nature is hush'd, as if her works ador'd,
Still'd by the presence of her living Lord!
WEAVE, brothers, weave! Swiftly throw
The shuttle athwart the loom,
And show us how brightly your flowers grow,
That have beauty, but no perfume!
Come, show us the rose, with a hundred dyes,
The lily, that hath no spot;
The violet, deep as your true love's eyes,
And the little forget-me-not!
Singsing, brothers! weave and sing!
"Tis good both to sing and to weave;
'Tis better to work than live idle:
'Tis better to sing than to grieve.
The colours of sunset glow!
Let grace in each gliding thread be hid!
Let beauty about ye blow!
Let your skein be long, and your silk be fine,
And your hands both fine and sure,
And time nor chance shall your work untwine;
But all, like a truth, - endure!
Weave, brothers, weave! - Toil is ours;
But toil is the lot of men:
One gathers the fruit, one gathers the flowers,
One soweth the seed again!
There is not a creature, from England's king,
To the peasant that delves the soil,
That knows half the pleasures the seasons bring,
If he have not his share of toil!
ON THE DEATH OF HIS ELDEST SON.
THOUGH short thy space, God's unimpeach'd decrees,
Which made that shorten'd space one long disease;
Yet, merciful in chast'ning, gave thee scope
For mild redeeming virtues, faith and hope,
Meek resignation, pious charity;
And, since this world was not the world for thee,
Far from thy path remov'd, with partial care,
Strife, glory, gain, and pleasure's flowery snare,
Bade earth's temptations pass thee harmless by,
And fix'd on heav'n thine unreverted eye!
Oh! mark'd from birth, and nurtur❜d for the skies!
In youth with more than learning's wisdom wise!
As sainted martyrs, patient to endure!
Simple as unwean'd infancy, and pure!
Pure from all stain (save that of human clay,
Which Christ's atoning blood hath wash'd away!)
By mortal suff'rings now no more oppress'd,
Mount, sinless spirit, to thy destin'd rest!
While I-revers'd our nature's kindlier doom
Pour forth a father's sorrows on thy tomb.
NIGHT was again descending, when my mule,
That all day long had climb'd among the clouds,
Higher and higher still, as by a stair
Let down from heaven itself, transporting me,
Stopp'd, to the joy of both, at that low door,
That door which ever, as self-open'd, moves
To them that knock, and nightly sends abroad
Ministering spirits. Lying on the watch,
Two dogs of grave demeanour welcom'd me,
All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb;
And a lay-brother of the Hospital,
Who, as we toil'd below, had heard by fits
The distant echoes gaining on his ear,
Came and held fast my stirrup in his hand
While I alighted. Long could I have stood,
With a religious awe contemplating
That house, the highest in the Ancient World',
And destin'd to perform from age to age
The noblest service, welcoming as guests
All of all nations and of every faith;
A temple, sacred to humanity 2!
It was a pile of simplest masonry,
The Hospice of St. Bernard is the highest habitation in the old world, being 8200 feet above the level of the sea. It stands in the canton of the Vallais, and was founded in 962, by Bernard, who was born of a noble family in Savoy, and who lived there forty years. It soon acquired great celebrity and opulence. In the 15th century, the monastery possessed extensive domains in Sicily, the Neapolitan States, Low Countries, and even, it is said, in England; but of these the monks have been gradually deprived, and now their resources are so small that collections are annually made for the monastery in the Swiss Cantons.
2 In the course of the year, they entertain from thirty to thirty-five thousand travellers.
With narrow windows and vast buttresses,
Built to endure the shocks of time and chance;
Yet showing many a rent, as well it might,
Warr'd on for ever by the elements,
And in an evil day, nor long ago,
By violent men when on the mountain-top
The French and Austrian banners met in conflict. I
On the same rock beside it stood the church,
Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity;
The vesper-bell, for 'twas the vesper-hour,
Duly proclaiming through the wilderness,
"All ye who hear, whatever be your work,
Stop for an instant- move your lips in prayer!"
And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale,
If dale it might be called, so near to heaven,
A little lake, where never fish leap'd up,
Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow;
A star, the only one in that small sky,
On its dead surface glimmering. "Twas a place
Resembling nothing I had left behind,
As if all worldly ties were now dissolv'd; ·
And, to incline the mind still more to thought,
To thought and sadness, on the eastern shore
Under a beetling cliff stood half in gloom
A lonely chapel destin'd for the dead,
For such as, having wander'd from their way,
Had perish'd miserably. Side by side,
Within they lie, a mournful company,
All in their shrouds, no earth to cover them;
Their features full of life, yet motionless,
In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change,
In 1799. The battle lasted a whole day, at the end of which, the French remained masters of the mountain. Between 1798 and 1801, more than 150,000 soldiers crossed St. Bernard. In 1800, Napoleon made his memorable passage, and, on his descent, defeated the Austrians on the plains of Marengo, where General Desaix fell, and was buried in the chapel of the hospice.