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EXCELSIOR. – H. W. Longfellow.
And from the sky, serene and far,
37. TO THE RAINBOW. - Thomas Campbell. TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
To teach me what thou art:
A midway station given,
Betwixt the earth and Heaven.
Thy form to please me so,
Hid in thy radiant bow ?
Enchantment's veil withdraws,
To cold material laws!
But words of the Most High,
Was woven in the sky.
Heaven's covenant thou didst shine, How came the world's gray fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign!
O'er mountains yet untrod,
To bless the bow of God.
The first-made anthem rang
And the first poet sang.
Unraptured greet thy beam;
Be still the poet's theme !
The earth to thee her incense yields,
The lark thy welcome sings,
The snowy mushroom springs.
O'er mountain, tower, and town
A thousand fathoms down!
As fresh in yon horizon dark,
As young, thy beauties scem,
First sported in thy beam.
Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
That first spoke peace to man.
- Thomas Campbell. 0! HEARD you yon pibroch sound sad in the gale, Where a band cometh slowly, with weeping and wail ? 'T is the chief of Glenara laments for his dear; And her sire and her people are called to her bier. Glenara came first, with the mourners and shroud ; Her kinsmen they followed, but mourned not aloud; Their plaids all their bosoms were folded around ; They marched all in silence, — they looked to the ground. In silence they passed over mountain and moor, To a heath where the oak-tree grew lonely and hoar : “ Now here let us place the gray-stone of her cairn; Why speak ye no word ?” said Glenara the stern. “ And tell me, I charge you, ye clan of my spouse, Why fold ye your mantles, why cloud ye your brows?" So spake the rude chieftain : no answer is made, But each mantle, unfolding, a dagger displayed. “ I dreamed of my lady, I dreamed of her shroud," Cried a voice from the kinsmen, all wrathful and loud; “ And empty that shroud and that coffin did seem : Glenara! Glenara! now read me my dream!” 0! pale grew the check of that chieftain, I ween, When the shroud was unclosed, and no body was seen : Then a voice from the kinsmen spoke louder in scorn — "T was the youth that had loved the fair Ellen of Lorn:
“I dreamed of my lady, I dreamed of her grief,
39. THE O'KAVANAGH.-J. A. Shea. The Saxons had met, and the banquet was spread, And the wine in fleet circles the jubilee led; And the banners that hung round the festal that night Seemed brighter by far than when lifted in fight. In came the O’Kavanagh, fair as the morn, When earth to new beauty and vigor is born ; They shrank from his glance like the waves from the prow, For nature's nobility sat on his brow. Attended alone by his vassal and bard, No trumpet to herald, no clansmen to guard, He came not attended by steed or by steel : No danger he knew, for no fear did he feel. In eye, and on lip, his high confidence smiled, So proud, yet so knightly — so gallant, yet mild; He moved like a god through the light of that hall, And a smile, full of courtliness, proffered to all. “Come pledge us, lord chieftain! come pledge us !” they cried : Unsuspectingly free to the pledge he replied ; And this was the peace-branch O'Kavanagh bore, “The friendships to come, not the feuds that are o'er !” But, minstrel, why cometh a change o'er thy theme? Why sing of red battle — what dream dost thou dream? Ha! “ Treason!” is the cry,
and Revenge!” is the call, As the swords of the Saxons surrounded the hall ! A kingdom for Angelo's mind, to portray Green Erin's undaunted avenger that day; The far-flashing sword, and the death-darting eye, Like some comet commissioned with wrath from the sky Through the ranks of the Saxon he hewed his red way, — Through lances, and sabres, and hostile array ; And, mounting his charger, he left them to tell The tale of that feast, and its bloody farewell.
And now on the Saxons his clansmen advance,
40. ODE ON THE PASSIONS. - William Collins.
WHEN Music, Heavenly maid, was young,
Amid the chords bewildered laid ;
Even at the sound himself had made. Next, Anger rushed, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings: In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept, with hurried hands, the strings. With woful measures, wan Despair –
Low sullen sounds ! - his grief beguiled; A solemn, strange, and mingled air;
'T was sad, by fits, — by starts, 't was wild. But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?
Still it whispered promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail !
Still would her touch the strain prolong; And, from the rocks, the woods, the vale,