Thomas Love Peacock.

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the tuition of the sublime Longinus. — Gibbon.

If we add to this her uncommon strength, and
consider her excessive military fatig-ues, for she used
no carriage, generally rode, and often marched on
foot three or four miles with her army^ aijd if we at
the same time suppose her haranguing her soldiers,
which she used to do in a helmet, and often with
her arms bare, it will give us an idea of that severe
character of masculine beauty, which puts one more
in mind of Minerva than Venus. — Wood.

St. 7. L. 14. Zabdas.
Zenobia's general.

St. 7. L. 15. Yet vain the hope to share the purple robe.

From the time of Adrian to that of Aurelian, for

about 140 years, this city continued to flourish, and

increase in wealth and power, to that degree, that

JfOTES. 39

when the Emperor Valerian was taken prisoner by
Sapor, King of Persia, Odenathus, one of the Lords
of this town, was able, whilst Gallienus neglected his
duty both to his father and his country, to bring a
powerful army into the field, and to recover Meso-
.potamia from the Persians, and to penetrate as far as
their capital city Ctesiphon. Thereby rendering so
considerable a service to the Roman state, that Gal-
lienus thought himself obliged to give him a share in
the empire : of which action Trebellius Pollio, in the
Life of Gallienus, has these words : Laudatur ejus
(Gallieni) optimum factum, qui Odenatum partici-
pato imperio Augustum vocavit, ejusque monetam,
quce Persas captos traheret, cudi jussit; quod et Se-
natus et Urbs et omnis cetas gratanter accepit. The
same, in many places, speaks of this Odenathus with
great respect 3 and mentioning his death, he says : Ira-
tumfuisse Deum Reipuhlicce credo, qui interfecto Va-
Jeriano noluit Odenatum reservare. But by a strange
reverse of fortune, this honor and respect to Odenn-


thus occasioned the sudden ruin and subversion of
the city. For he and his son Herodes being mur-
dered by Maeonius, their kinsman, and dying with
the title of Augustus, his wife Zenobia, in right of
her son Vaballathus tlien a minor, pretended to take
upon her the government of the east, and did admi-
nister it to admiration : and when, soon after, Gal-
lienus was murdered by his soldiers, she grasped the
government of Egypt, and held it during the short
reign of the Emperor Claudius Gothicus. But Au-
relian, coming to the imperial dignity, would not
suffer the title of Augustus in this family, tliough he
was contented that they should hold under him as
vice Ccesaris, as plainly appears by the Latin coins,
of Aurelian on the one side, and Vaballathus on the
other, with tliese letters, V. C. R. IM. ORj wdiich
P. Harduin has most judiciously interpreted. Vice
C^SARis Rector Imperii Orientis, without the
title of Caesar or Augustus, and with a laurel in-
stead of a diadem. But both Vaballatlius and Zenc-


bia are styled SEBASTOI in the Greek coins, made,
it is probable, within tlieir own jurisdiction.

But notliing less than a participation of the em-
pire contenting Zenobia, and Aurelian persisting not
to have it dismembered, he marched against her ; and
having in two battles routed her forces, he shut her
up and besieged her in Palmyra, and tlie besieged
finding that the great resistance they made availed
not against that resolute emperor, they yielded tlie
town ; and Zenobia flying with her son was pursued
and taken 3 witli which Aurelian being contented
spared the city, and marched for Rome with this cap-
tive ladyj but tlie inhabitants, believing he would
not return, set up again for tliemselves, and, as Vo-
piscus has it, slew the garrison he had left in tlie
place. Which Aurelian understanding, tliough by
tliis time he was gotten into Europe, witli his usual
fierceness, speedily returned, and collecting a suffi-
cient army by the way, he again took the city with-
out any great opposition, and put it to the sword


with uncommon cruelty (as he himself confesses
in a letter extant in Vopiscus), and delivered it
to the pillage of his soldiers,— Philosophical Trans-

St. 9. L. 6. Nor beauteous youth nor helpless age.
The following is the letter of Aurelian above al-
luded to : Aurelianus Augustus Ceionio Basso :

Non oportet ulterius progredi militum gladios, jam
satis Palmyrenorum caesum atque occisum est. Mii-
lierilus non pepercimuSf infantes occidimus, senes
jugulavimus, rusticos interemimus, cui terras, cui
urbem, deinceps relinquemus ? Parcendum est iis qui
remanserunt. Credimus enim paucos tarn multo-
rum suppliciis esse correctos, Templum sane solis,
quod apud Palmyram aquilifer Icgionis tertiae cum
vexilliferis et draconario cornicinibus atque liticinibus
diripuerunt, ad earn formam volo, quae fiiit, reddi.
Habes trecentas auri libras Zenobiae capsulis : habes
argenti mille octingenta pondo e Palmyrenorum


1301113: habes gemmas regias. Ex his omnibus fac
cohonestari templum : mihi et diis immortalibus gra-
tissimiim feceris. Ego ad Senatum scribairi;, petens
ut mittet pontificem^ qui dedicet templum.

St. 12, L. 1. In yon proud fane.
Architecture more especially lavished her orna-
ments, and displayed her magnificence, in the temple
of the sun, the tutelar deity of Palmyra. The square
court which enclosed it was six hundred and seventy-
nine feet each way, and a double range of columns
extended all round the inside. In the middle of the
vacant space, the temple presents anotlier front of
forty-seven feet by one hundred and twenty-four in
depth, and around it runs a peristyle of one hundred
and forty columns. — Volney.

St. 16. L. 1. Woe to thy numbers fierce and rude.
Woe to the multitude of many people, that
make a noise like the noise of the seas, and to the


rushing of nations, that make a rushing hke tlie
rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall msh
like the rushing of many waters j but God shall re-
buke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be
chased as the chaff of the mountains before the
wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
Isaiah, c, xvii.

St. 21. L. 4. The queen of cities.

St. 21. L. 10. Oh City of the Sun!
Balbec,theHELioPOLis of tlieGreeks and Romans.

St. 23. L. 4. Again the sun-beams gild the plain.
Let clouds rest on the hills, spirits fly, and tra-
vellers fear. Let the winds of the woods arise, tlie
sounding storms descend. Roar streams, and win-
dows flap, and green-winged meteors fly; rise the
pale moon from behind her hills, or enclose her head


in clouds; night is alike to me^ blue, stormy, or
gloomy the sky. Night flies before the learn, when
it is poured on the hill. The young day returns from
his clouds, hut we return no more.

Where are our chiefs of old? Where our kings
of mighty name? The fields of their battles are
silent; scarce their mossy tombs remain. We shall
also be forgotten. This lofty house shall fall. Our
sons shall not behold the ruins in grass. They shall
ask of the aged, " Where stood tlie walls of our fa-
thers?" — See the beautiful little poem of The
Bards in the notes on Ossian's Croma.

Raise, ye bards, said the mighty Fingal, the
praise of unhappy Moi na. Call her ghost, with your
songs, to our hills; that she may rest with the fair
of MoRVEN, tlie sun-beams of other days, and tlie
delight of heroes of old. I have seen the walls of
Balclutha, but they were desolate. The fire had



resounded in the halls: the voice of the people was
heard no more. The stream of Clutha was re-
moved from its place, by the fall of the walls. The
thistle shook, there, its lonely head : the moss whistled
to the wind. The fox looked out from tlie windows,
tlie rank grass of the wall waved round his head.
Desolate is the dwelling of Mo in a., silence is in the
house of her fathers. Raise the song of mourning,
oh bards, over the land of strangers. They have
but fallen before us: for, one day, we must fall.
Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged
days ? Thou lookest from thy towers to-day ; yet a
few years, and the blast of the desert comes 5 it
howls in thy empty court, and whistles round thy
half-worn shield. — Ossian.



Senza I'amabile

Dio di Citera,
I di non tornano

Di primavera ;
Non spira un zeffiro,

Non spunta un fior,



To chase the clouds of life's tempestuous hours.
To strew its short but weary way with flow'rs.
New hopes to raise, new feelings to impart.
And pour celestial balsam on the heart j
For this to man was lovely woman giv'n.
The last, best work, the noblest gift of Heav'n.

At Eden's gate, as ancient legends say.
The flaming sword for ever bars the way 5
Not ours to taste the joys our parents shar'd.
But pitying Nature half our loss repair' d.
Our wounds to heal, our murmurs to remove.
She left mankind the paradise of Love.


All-conqu'ring Love ! thy pow'rfiil reign surrounds
Man's wildest haunts^ and earth's remotest bounds :
Alike for thee th' untainted bosom glows
'Mid eastern sands and hyperborean snows :
Thy darts unerring fly with strong controul.
Tame the most stern^ and nerve the softest soul.
Check the swift savage of the sultry zone.
And bend the monarch on his glitt'ring throne.

When wakeful Memory bids the mind explore
The half-hid deeds of years that are no more.
How few the scenes her hand can picture there
Of heart-felt bliss untroubled by a care !
Yet many a charm can pow'rful Fancy raise.
To point the smiling path of future days -,
There too will Hope her genial influence blend.
Faithless, but kind) a flatt'rer, but a friend.


But most to cheer the lover's lonely hours.
Creative Fancy wakes her magic pow'rsj
Most strongly pours, by ardent love refin'd.
Her brightest visions on the youthful mind.
Hence, when at eve with lonely steps I rove
The flow'r-enamell'd plain or dusky grove.
Or press tlie bank with grassy tufts o'erspread.
Where the brook murmurs o'er its pebbly bed )
Then steals thy form, Rosalia, on my sight.
In artless charms pre-eminently bright:
By Hope inspir'd, my raptur'd thoughts engage
To trace the lines of Fate's mysterious page 3
At once in air, tlie past, the present, fadej
In fairy-tints the future stands display'dj
No clouds arise, no shadows intervene.
To veil or dim the visionary scene.


Within the sacred altar's mystic shade,
I see tliee stand, in spotless white array'd;
I hear tliee there tliy home, thy name resign,
I hear the awful vow that seals thee mine.
Not on my birth propitious Fortune smil'd.
Nor proud Ambition mark'd me for her child j
For me no dome witli festal splendor shines;
No pamper'd lacquies spread their length'ning lines;
No venal crowds my nod obsequious wait;
No summer-friends besiege my narrow gate;
Joys such as these, if joys indeed they be.
Indulgent Nature ne'er design'd for me:
I ask them not: she play'd a kinder part:
She gave a nobler gift, Rosalia's heart.

The simple dwelling, by affection rear'd;
The smiling plains, by calm content endear'd :


The classic book-case, deck'd with learning's store.
Rich in historic truth, and bardic lore 3
The garden-walks, in Nature's liv'ry dress'dj
Will these suffice to make Rosalia bless'd?
And will she never feel a wish to roam
Beyond the limits of our rural home ?

How sweet, when Spring has crown'd, by genial
The woods with verdure, and the fields with flow'rs^
When fleeting Summer holds his burning reign.
Or fruitfiil Autumn nods with golden grain^
With thee, dear girl, each well-known path to tread.
Where blooming shrubs their richest odors shed.
With thee to mark the seasons' bright career.
The varied blessings of the rip'ning year.


When frost-crown'd Winter binds the earth in
And pours his snow-storms on tlie whit'ning plains.
Then shall the pow'r of constant Love be found.
To chase the deep'ning gloom that low'rs around.
Beside the cheerful fire's familiar blaze.
Shall Memory trace the deeds of long-past days 5
Of those propitious hours when first I strove
To win thy gentle ear with tales of love.
When, while thy angel-blushes half-conceal'd
The kind consent thy bashfiil smiles reveal'd.
From those bright eyes a soft expression stole.
That spoke the silent language of tlie soul.

Or haply then the poet's song may cheer
The dark death-season of th' accomplish'd year:


Together then we'll roam the sacred plain^
Where the bright Nine in ceaseless glory reign 3
By Homer led, tlirough Trojan battles sweeps
With Virgil cleave the tempest-beaten deepj
Trace the bold flights of Shakespear's muse of fire j
Strike the wild chords of Gray's enraptur'd lyre;
From Milton learn with holy zeal to glow 3
Or weep with Ossian o'er a tale of woe.
Nor less shall Music charm: her pow'r sublime
Shall oft beguile the ling' ring steps of Time :
Then, as I watch, while my Rosalia sings.
Her seraph fingers sweep the sounding strings.
In soft response to sorrow's melting lay, -
Or joy's loud swell, that steals our cares away.
My heart shall vibrate to the heav'nly sound.
And bless the stars our mutual fates tliat bound.


And oft, when darkness veils the stormy skies.
Beneath our roof shall Friendship's voice arise j
On ev'ry breast her sacred influence pour'd.
Shall crown with gen'rous mirth our social board 3
The chosen few, to Taste and Virtue dear.
Shall meet a welcome, simple, but sincere.

Not from our door, his humble pray'r denied.
The friendless man shall wander unsupplied 5
Ne'er shall the wretch, whom fortune's ills assail.
Tell there in vain his melancholy talc :
Thy heart, where Nature's noblest feelings glow.
Will throb to heal the bending stranger's woe;
On mercy's errand wilt thou oft explore
The crazy dwellings of the neighb'ring poor.
To blunt the stings of want's unsparing rage.
To smooth the short and painful path of age.


The childless widow's drooping head to raise.
And cheer her soul with hopes of better days :
For thee the pray'r affliction's child shall frame.
And lisping orphans bless Rosalia's name.

Soon shall new objects thy affection share.
New hopes, new duties claim Rosalia's care.
How will thy anxious eye exulting trace
The charms and virtues of thy infant-race!
Thy tender hand with sense and taste refin'd
Shall stamp each impulse of the rip'ning mind.
And early teach their little steps to stray
Through Virtue's paths,andWisDOM'sflow'ry way.

Thus may our lives in one smooth tenor flow j
Possess' d of thee, I ask no more below.


That constant love, which bless'd with genial rays

The bright and happy spring-time of our days.

Shall still dispel the clouds of woe and strife

From the full summer of progressive life.

The hand of Time may quench the ardent fire

Of rising passion, and of young desire j

But that pure flame esteem first taught to burn

Can only perish in the silent urn.

And when the last, the solemn hour draws near.

That bids us part from all that charm' d us here.

Then on our thoughts the heav'nly hope shall rise.

To meet in higher bliss, in better skies.

In those bright mansions of the just above.

Where all is Rapture, Innocence, and Love.




Si perda la vita,
Finisca il martire ;
E meglio morire,
Che viver cosi.



The whit'ning ground
In frost is bound j
The snow is swiftly falling j
While coldly blows the northern breeze.
And whistles through the leafless trees^
In hollow sounds appalling.

On this cold plain.
Now reach'd with pain,
- Once stood my father's dwelling:


Where smiling pleasure once was found.
Now desolation frowns around.
And wintry blasts are yelling.

Hope's visions wild
My thoughts beguil'd.
My earliest days delighting.
Till unsuspected treach'ry came.
Beneath affection's specious name.
The lovely prospect blighting.

With many a wile
Of blackest guile
Did Henry first deceive me:
What winning words to him were giv'n !
He swore, by all the pow'rs of Heav'n,
That he would never leave me.


With fondest Uiith
I lov'd the youth :
My soul, to guilt a stranger.
Knew not, in those too simple hours.
That oft beneath the sweetest flow'rs
Is couch'd the deadliest danger.

With him to roam

I fled my homej

I burst the bonds of duty 5

I thought my days in joy would rollj

But Henry hid a demon's soul

Beneatli an angel's beauty!

Shall this poor heart

E'er cease to smart?

Oh never! never! never!

64 Maria's return.

Did av'rlce whisper thee, or pride.
False Henry ! for a wealthier bride
To cast me off for ever ?

My sire was poor :
No golden store
Had he, no earthly treasure :
I only could his griefs assuage,
• The only pillar of his age.

His only source of pleasure.

With anguish wild.
He miss'd his child.
And long in vain he sought her :
The fiercest thunder-bolts of heav'n
Shall on thy guilty head be driv'n.


Maria's return. 6.5

I feel his fears,
I see his tears,
I hear his groans of sadness :
My cruel falsehood seal'd his doom :
He seems to curse me from the tomb.
And lire my brain to madness !

Oh ! keenly blow.
While drifts the snow.
The cold nocturnal breezes 3
On me the gath'ring snow-flakes rest.
And colder grows my friendless breast j
My very heart-blood freezes !

'Tis midnight deep,

And thousands sleep.

Unknown to guilt and sorrow 5

66 Maria's return.

They think not of a wretch like me.
Who cannot, dare not, hope to see
The rising hght to-morrow!

An outcast hurl'd
From all the world.
Whom none would love or cherish.
What now remains to end my woes,
Bilt Rere, amid the *d^ep'ni% snows.
To lay me down and perish ?

Death's icy dart
Invades my heart :
JustHfiAv'N! all-good! all-seeing!
Thy matchless' mercy I implore.
When I must wake, to sleep no more,
In realms of endless being !




Ferrata vasto diruit impetu.




In the dark-rolling waves at the verge of the west
The steeds of Bellinger had hasten'd to rest.
While Hkimfax advanc'd through the star-spangled

And shook the thick dews from his grey-flowing mane j
The moon with pale lustre was shining on high.
And meteors shot red down the paths of the sky.
By the shore of the ocean Fiolfar reclin'd.
Where through the rock-fissures loud- murmur' d the

For sweet to his ear was the deep-dashing flow
Of the foam- cover' d billows that thunder' d below.


— '*^ Alas!" he exclaim' d^ " were the hopes of my

Though rais'd by affection, unfounded on trutli ?
Ye are flown, ye sweet prospects, deceitfully fair.
As the light-rolling gossamer melts into airj
As the wild-beating ocean, with turbulent roar.
Effaces my steps on the sands of the shore !
Thy waters, oh Niord! tumultuously roll.
And such are the passions that war in my soul :
Thy meteors, oh Norver ! malignantly dart.
And such are the death-flames that burn in my heart.
NiTALPHA ! my love! on the hill and the plain.
In the vale and the wood, have I sought tliee in vain ;
Through the nations for thee have I carried afar
The sun-shine of peace and the tempests of war;
Through danger and toil I my heroes have led.
Till hope's latest spark in my bosom was dead!


Cold, silent^ and dark, are the halls of thy sires.

And hush'd are the harps, and extinguish'd the fires j

The wild autumn-blast in the lofty hall roars.

And the yellow leaves roll through the half-open doors.

Nitalpha! when rapture invited thy stay.

Did force or inconstancy bear thee away ?

Ah, no ! though in vain I thy footsteps pursue,

I will not, I cannot, believe thee untme :

Perchance thou art doom'd in confinement to moan.

To dwell in the rock's dreary caverns alone.

And Lok's cruel mandates, while fast thy tears flow,

Forbid thy Fiolfar to solace thy woe.

Condemn thee unvaiying anguish to bear.

And leave me a prey to the pangs of despair."—

Ha ! whence were those accents, portentous and dread.

Like the mystical tones of the ghosts of the dead,


In echoes redoubling that rung through the gloom.

As the thunder resounds in the vaults of the tomb ?

— " FioLFAR !" — He started, and wond'ring descried

A sable-clad form standing tall by his side :

His soul-piercing eyes as the eagle's were bright.

And his raven-hair flow'd on the breezes of night.

— ''"Fiolfar!" he cried, *^'' thy affliction forsake :

To hope and revenge let thy bosom awake 3

For he, that Nit alpha from liberty tore.

Is Lochlin's proud monarch, the bold Yrrodore.

Still constant to thee, she the traitor abhorr'd;

Haste ! haste ! let thy valor her virtue reward :

For her let the battle empurple the plain :

In the moment of conquest I meet thee again." —

He ceas'd, and Fiolfar beheld him no more 3

Nor long paus'd the youth on the dark-frowning shore


— " Whate'er be thy nature, oh stranger!" he said,
m " Thou hast call'd down the tempest on Yrrodore's
»^-: head:

The broad-beaming buckler and keen-biting glaive
Shall ring and resound on the fields of the brave.
And vengeance shall burst, in a death-rolHng flood.
And deluge thy altars, Valfandek, with blood!" —



To Loda's dark circle and mystical stone,
Witli the grey-gather'd moss of long ages o'ergrown.
While the black car of Norver was central in air.
Did the harp-bearing bards of Fiolfar repair^
The wild-breathing chords, as they solemnly sung.
In deep modulations responsively rungj
To the hall of Valhalla, where monarchs repose.
The full-swelling war-song symphoniously rose :
— " The mountains of Lochlin shall ring with

For tlie heroes of Norway are rising in armsj
The heroes of Norway destruction shall pour
On the wide-spreading plains of the bold Yrrodore.
Valfander ! look down from thy throne in the skies !
Our suppliant songs from thy altar arise :


Be thou too propitious, invincible Thor!
And lend thy strong aid to our banners of war.
As the white-beating sti'eam from the rock rushes down ,
FioL par's young warriors will speed to renown.
Ye spirits of chieftains, tremendous in fight !
That dwell with Valfandek in halls of delight;
Awhile from your cloud-circled mansions descend ;
On the steps of your sons through the batde attend.
When the raven shall hover on dark-flapping wing.
And the eagle shall feed on tlie foes of our king!" —
As full to the wind rose the soul-thrilling tones.
Strange murmurs rung wild from the moss-cover' d

stones ;
The ghosts of the mighty, rejoicing, came forth.
And roll'd their thin forms on the blasts of the north ;
On hght-flying meteors triumphantly driv'n.
They scatter'd their signs from the centre of heav'n


The skies were all glowing, portentously bright.
With strong coruscations of vibrating light :
In shadowy forms^ on the long-streaming glare.
The insignia of battle shot swift through tlie airj
In lines and in circles successively whirl'd.
Fantastical arrows and jav'lins were hurl'd.
That, flashing and falling in mimic affray.
In tlie distant horizon died darkly away.
Where a blood- dropping bamier seem'd slowly to sail.
And expand its red folds to tlie death- breathing gale.
FioLFAR look'd fortli from his time-honor'd halls.
Where the trophies of battle emblazon'd the walls :
He heard the faint song as at distance it swell'd.
And the blazing of ether with triumph beheld 3
He saw the white flames inexhaustibly stream.
And he knew that his fathers rode bright on the


That the spirits of warriors of ages long past
Were flying sublime on the wings of the blast.
— " Ye heroes'." he cried, " that in clanger arose.
The bulwark of friends, and the terror of foes j
By Odin with glory eternally crown'dj
By valor and virtue for ever renown'd;
Like yours may my arm in the conflict be strong.
Like yours may my name be recorded in song,
And when Hilda and Mista my spirit shall bear
The joys of Valhalla with Odin to share.
Oh then may you smile on the deeds I have done.
And bend forward with joy to acknowledge your son !"



The sword clatter' d fiercely on helm and on shield.
For Norway and Lochlin had met in the field j
The long lances shiver' d^ the swift arrows flew.
The string shrilly twang' d on the flexible yew 3
Rejoicing, the Valkyrs strode through the plain.

2 4

Online LibraryThomas Love PeacockPalmyra, and other poems → online text (page 2 of 4)