Thomas Love Peacock.

Palmyra, and other poems online

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And guided the death-blow, and singled the slain.
Long, long did the virgins of Lochlin deplore
The youths whom their arms should encircle no more,
For, strong as the whirlwinds the forest that tear.
And strew with its boughs the vast bosom of air.
The NoRWEYANsboredown with all-conqueringforce.
And havoc and slaughter attended their course.
FiOLFAR through danger triumphantly trod.
And scatter' d confiision and terror abroad ;


Majestic as Balder, tremendous as Thor,
He plung'd in tlie red-foaming torrent of war:
Through the thickest of battle he hasten'd at length
Where Yr rod ore stood in the pride of his strength:
— ^^ Turn, traitor !" he cried, '' thy destruction is nigh !
Thy soul to the regions of Hela shall fly.
Where the base and the guilty for ever are toss'd
Through Nilfhil's nine worlds of unchangeable

— ' ' Vain boaster ! no ! never shall Yr r o d o r e yield ! ' ' —
But the sword of Fiolfar had shatter'd his shield:
Indignantly Yrrodore sprung on the foe.
And rear'd his strong arm for a death-dealing blow.
But the monarch of Norway impatiently press'd^
And sheath'd tlie bright steel in his enemy's breast.
Swift flow'd the black blood, and in anguish he breath'd.
Yet he mutter'd these words as expiring he writh'd:


— *"' And deem'st thou, Fi olfar, the conquest is thine '.
No ! victory, glory, and vengeance, are mine !
In triumph I diej thou shalt languish in pain :
For ne'er shall Nitalpha delight thee again!
The wakeful duekgi the caverns surround.
Where in magical slumbers the maiden is bound;
Those magical slumbers shall last till the day.
When Odin shall summon thy spirit away:
Then, then shall she wake to remembrance and pain.
To seek her Fiolfar, and seek him in vain.
Long years of unvarying sorrow to prove.
And weep and lament on the grave of her love ! ' ' —
He said, and his guilt-blacken'd spirit went forth.
And rush'd to the caves of the uttermost north 3
Still destin'd to roam through the frost-cover 'd

Where He la has iix'd her inflexible reign,


Till the day when existence and nature shall end.
When the last fatal twilight on earth shall descend.
When Fenris and Lok, by all beings accurst.
Their long-galling chains shall indignantly burst.
When the trump of Heimdaller the signal shall peal
Of the evils Creation is destin'd to feel.
And SuRTUR shall scatter his ruin-fraught fire, »■ —

And earth, air, and ocean, burn, sink, and expire !



Now dreary and dark was the field of the dead^
For Norway had conquer' d, and Lochlin had fled:
The hoarse raven croak' d from the blood- streaming

Where the dead and the dying lay mingled around :
The warriors of Norway were sunk in repose.
And rush'd, in idea, again on their foesj
Yet lonely and sad did Fiolfar remain
Where the monarch of Lochlin had fall' n on the plain ;
In the silence of sorrow he lean'd on his spear.
For Yrrodore's words echoed still in his ear :
When sudden, through twilight, again he descried
The sable-clad form standing tall by his side :
— "^ Behold me, Fiolfar : my promise I keep :
Nitalpha is fetter'd in magical sleep:


Yet I to thy arms can the maiden restore^
And passion and vengeance shall harm her no more.
The monarch of Lochlin, enrag'd at her scorn,
Confin'd her in Deuranil's caverns forlorn.
Nor dar'd he endeavour, though deeply he sigh'd.
By force to obtain what affection denied." —
— ^' Strange being ! what art thou ? tliy nature de-
clare." —
— " The name of Nerimnher from mortals I bear:
Mid desolate rocks, in a time-hollow' d cell.
At distance from man and his vices I dwell 3
**^"^But, obedient to Odin, I haste from the shade.
When virtue afflicted solicits my aid 3
For the mystical art to my knowledge is giv'n.
That can check the pale moon as she rolls through the
heav'n, ,


Can strike the dark dwellers of Nilfhil with dread.
And breathe the wild verse that awakens the dead.
My voice can the spells of thy rival destroy :

Then follow, Fiolfar! I lead thee to joy!" •

As flow'd the deep accents mysterious and stern,
Fiolfar felt hope to his bosom return ;
He foUow'd the stranger, by vale and by flood.
Till they pierc'd the recesses of Deur anil's wood:
Through untrodden thickets of ash and of yew.
Whose close-twining boughs shut the sky from their

Slow-toiling they wound, till before them arose
The black-yawning caves of Nit alpha's repose.
A blue-burning vapor shone dim tlirough the gloom,
And roll'd its thin curls round a rude-fashion'd



Where the weary duergi, by magic constrain'd.
With eyes never closing, their station maintain'd.
Loud shouting they rose when the strangers advanc'd.
But fear glaz'd their eyes, and they paus'd as entranc'd.
While the mighty Nekimnher, in fate-fovor'd hour.
Thus breath'd the strong spell that extinguish'd their

pow'r :
— " By the hall of Valhalla, where heroes repose.
And drink beer and mead from the skulls of their foes ;
By the virtues of Freyer, and valor of Thor j
By the twelve giant-sisters, tlie rulers of war 5
By the unreveal'd accents, in secret express'd,
Of old by Valfander to Balder address'dj
By the ills which the guilty and dastardly share ;
By Hela's dominions of pain and despair ^
By Surtur's wide regions of death-spreading fire;
Hence, children of evil! duergi, retire!" —


The DUERGi with yells made the caverns resound^
As^ reluctantly yielding, they sunk through the ground ;
And the youth felt his breast with anxiety swell.
While thus the magician concluded the spell :
— *"' Fair maid, whom the tomb's dreary confines sur-
Whom the dark, iron slumber of magic has bound;,
Let life and delight re-illumine thine eyes.
Arise, star of beauty ! Nitalpha, arise !" —
The vapor-flame died in a bright-beaming flash}
The tomb burst in twain with an earth-shaking crash :
All wonder, Nitalpha arose in her charms.
She knew her Fiolfar, she flew to his arms.
And he found ev'ry shadow of sorrow depart.
As he clasp'd the dear maiden again to his heart.



Though the names of Odin and Thor, the Fatal
, Sisters, and the Hall of Valhalla, be familiar to the readers of
English poetry, yet, as the minutiae of the Gothic Mythology
are not very generally known, I have subjoined a few short
explanatory notes, which, though they cannot be expected to
afford much insight into the general system, will, I trust, be
^^ sufEcient to enable my readers to comprehend such parts of
it, as are alluded to in this poem.

JDellinger, — day.

Hrimfax, — the steed of the evening twihght.
NiORD^ — the God of the sea and wind.
NoRVEii, — Night.

LoK. — Lok, though he ranked amongst the
Scandinavian Deities, had all the attributes of a


demon. He was the enemy of Gods and Men^ and
the author of crimes and calamities.

Valfander, — a name of Odin^, the chief of the

To Loda's dark circle, and mystical stone.

The Circle of Loda, or Loden^ was a rude circle
of stoneS;, used as a place of worship amongst the

Thor^ — the Gothic Mars.

ValhallAj — the hall of Odin^ where the spirits
of heroes who died in battle di-ank mead and beer
from the skulls of their enemies.

With strong coruscations of vibrating light.
It is well known with what superstitious anxiety
the Aurora Borealis was formerly regarded. Igno-
rance and credulity readily discerned in its brilliant
phenomena the semblance of aerial battles : and it
is not surprising, that from such a source the va-


liant should draw prognostics of victoiy^ and the
timid of defeat and destruction. Thus Lucan, in
describing the prodigies which preceded the civil

Turn ne qua futuri
Spes saltern trepidas mentes levet, addita fati
Pejoiis manifesta fides, superique minaces
Prodigiis terras implerunt, aethera, pontum.
Ignota obscurae viderunt sidera noctes,
Ardentemque polum flammis, coeloque volantes
Obliquas per inane faces, crinemque timendi
Sideris, et terris mutantem regna cometen.
Fulgura fallaci micuerunt crebra sereno,
Et varias ignis tenso dedit acre formas;
Nunc jaculum longo, nunc sparso lurnine lampas
Emicuit ccelo.

Fantastical arrows and jav'lins were hurl'd.

The northern lights which appeared at London
in 1560 were denominated lurning spears.

Hilda and Mjsta, — two of tlie Valkyrse, or
fatal sisters.

Balder, — the Scandinavian Apollo^ the son of


Odin. He was the most amiable and beautiful of
all the Deities 3 and drove the chariot of the sun,
till, being killed by Hoder through the machinations
of Lok, he was compelled to fix his residence in the
palace of Hela, when his office was transferred to

Hela, — the Goddess of Death. She presided
over Nilfhil, or Nistheimr, the hell of the Gothic
Nations, which was situated in the frozen regions
at the north pole. At the south pole was the region
of fire, inhabited by Surtur, the enemy of Odin,
and his attendant genii and giants, by whom, in tlie
twilight of the Gods, the world is to be consumed.

DuERGi, — dwarfs.

Freyeii, — the son of Niord.






Loud and long the church-bells ringing

Spread their signals on tlie air 3
Tow'rds his Ellen lightly springing.

Faithless Edward hastens there.
Can he dare to wed another?

Can he all his vows forget?
Can he truth and conscience smother,

And desert his Henriette?

Pale remorse my steps attending.
Whither can I hope to fly?

When shall all my woes have ending?
Never, never, till I die !


Can the youth who once ador'd me.
Can he hear without regret,

Deatli has that repose restor'd me.
He has stol'n from Henriette ?

Brightly smiles the summer-morning

On my Edward's nuptial day;
While the bells, with joyous warning.

Call to love and mirth away.
How this wretched heart is throbbing '

Ere the ev'ning sun shall set,
Deatli shall ease my bosom's sobbing,

Death shall comfort Henriette.

Cruel youth, farewell for ever !
False as thou hast been to me,


Ne'er, till Fate my thread shall sever.
Can I turn my thoughts from thee.

Guilt and shame tliy soul enslaving.
Thou mayst weep and tremble yet.

When thou seest the willow waving
O'er the grave of Henriette!



On Eternity's confines I stand.

And look back on the paths I have trod :

I pant for the summoning hand^

That shall call me away to my God!

My temples are sprinkled with snow ;

The sands of existence decline ;
The dwelling is cheerless and low.

The dwelling that soon must be mine.


No longer beside me are found

The forms that of old were so dear 5

No longer the voices resound.

That once were so sweet to mine ear.

The wife of my bosom is lost^

Long, long, has she sunk into sleep :

My boy on the ocean was toss'd.
He rests in the caves of the deep.

A villain my daughter betray' d 3
Her home and her father she fled :

But Heav'n has in justice repaid
The tears he has cans' d me to shed.


Her peace and her honor he stole ;

Abandon' d, despairing, she died :
Remorse quickly seiz'd on his soul.

And he rests in the grave by her side.

Oh ! where are the friends of my youth.
The lovely, the good, and the brave?

All flown to the mansions of Truth !
AJl pass'd through the gates of the grave !

On parents, and children, and friends.
Have mortality's arrows been driv'nj

But swiftly the darkness descends.

And my spirit shall join them in Heav'n !



Where yon green tombs their heads promiscuous raise.
With tearful eyes let Friendship mark the spot
Where Pembroke slumbers. Upright and sincere.
For public worth esteem'd, for private lov'd.
Approving Virtue smil'd upon his life.
And soft eyed sorrow consecrates his urn.
Above that spot where rests his honour'd dust.
The sportive child may spend his idle houi's.
Unthinking that the silent form below
Was once like him, hke him was wont to play.
Unknown to care. Thrice happy innocent!
Thou too shalt fall, and on tliy humble grave


Another child, unthinking as thyself.
Light as the lark, and rosy as the morn.
Shall frolic in his turn. Thus 'tis witli man :
Like Autumns leaves the present race decays, — •—
Another race succeeds. But after death
Shall Virtue live, and live to die no more.
In better climes, from mortal eyes retir'd.
There, Pembroke, there thy sainted spirit dwells.
In everlasting rest 5 there, far remov'd
From all the troubles of the world, enjoys
The sure reward of goodness here below.
Eternal, boundless happiness above.


1 HE day has pass'd in storms, though not unmix'd
With transitory calm. The western clouds.
Dissolving slow, unveil the glorious sun.
Majestic in decline. The wat'ry east
Glows with the many-tinted arch of Heav'n.
We hail it as a pledge that brighter skies
Shall bless the coming morn. Thus rolls the day.
The short dark day of life ^ with tempests thus.
And fleeting sun-shine chequer' d. At its close.
When the dread hour draws near, that bursts all ties,
All commerce with the world. Religion pours


Hope's fairy-colors on the virtuous mind.
And, like the rain-bow on the ev'ning clouds.
Gives the bright promise that a happier dawn
Shall chase the night and silence of the grave.



1 HE marble tomb, in sculptur'd state display' d^
Decks the vile earth where wealthy vice is laid;
But no vain pomp its hollow splendor throws.
Where Beauty, Virtue, Innocence, repose.
The cypress tow'rs, the waving willows weep.
Where Ellen sleeps the everlasting sleep.
Where with a sigh the passing stranger sees
The long rank grave-grass bending in the breeze.



A. JE. 16.

-t A THE R of all ! who dwell'st above I
Thy praises we proclaim :

To thee be endless fear and love j
All-hallow'd be thy name.

Thy kingdom come : thy will be done
On earth_, as 'tis in Heav'n:

In ev'ry realm beneath the sun.
To thee be glory giv'n.


Grant us, oh tliou who cloth' st the field!

This day our daily bread :
As we to others mercy yield.
On us thy mercy shed.

Permit not in temptation's road
Our heedless steps to strays

Free us from evil's dire abode.
And guide us on our way.

For ever above all to tow'r.

For ever bright to shine.
Thine is the kingdom, thine the pow'r.

And endless glory thine.


Oui, pour jamais

Chassons I'image

De la volage

Que j'adorais. Parny.

JMatilda, farewell! Fate has doom'd us to part.
But the prospect occasions no pang to my heart ;
No longer is love with my reason at strife.
Though once thou wert clearer, far dearer than life.

As together we roam'd, I the passion confess' d.
Which thy beauty and virtue had rais'd in my breast j
That the passion was mutual thou mad'st me believe.
And I thought ?)iy Matilda could never deceive.


My Matilda! no, false one! my claims I resign:
Thou canst not, thou must not, thou shalt not be mine :
I now scorn thee as much as I lov'd thee before.
Nor sidi when I think I shall meet thee no more.

Though fair be thy form, thou no lovers wilt find^
While folly and falsehood inhabit tliy mind.
Though coxcombs may flatter, though ideots may prize.
Thou art shunn'd by the good, and contemn'd by the

Than mine what affection more fervent could be.
When I thought ev'ry virtue was center'd in thee ?
Of the vows thou hast broken I will not complain.
For I mourn not the loss of a heart I disdain.


Oh ! hadst thou but constant and amiable prov'd
As ihdit fancied perfectioji I formerly lov'd.
Nor absence^ nor time, though supreme their controul.
Could have dimm'd the dear image then stamp'd on
my soul.

How bright were the pictures, untinted with shade.
By Hope's glowing pencil on Fancy pourtray'd!
Sweet visions of bliss ! which I could not retain j
For they, like thyself, were deceitful and vain.

Some other, perhaps, to Matilda is dear.
Some other, more pleasing, though not more sincere^
May he fix thy light passions, now wav'ring as air,
Then leave tliee, inconstant, to shame and despair !


Repent not, Matilda, return not to me:
Unavailing thy grief, thy repentance will be :
In vain will thy vows or thy smiles be resum'd.
For Love, once extinguish' d, is never relum'd*


15en"eath yon yew-tree's silent shade>
Long, tufted grass the spot discloses,

Where^ low in death untimely laid^
Pale Mira's silent form reposes.

The plaintive bird, at ev*ning-close.

Pours there her softly-mournful numbers^

The earth its earliest sweets bestows.

To deck the grave where Mir a slumbers.

MIRA. 113

There summer's brightest flow'rs appear 3
There oft the hollow breeze is swelling j

The passing stranger drops a tear

On Mira's dark and narrow dweUing.

The moralist^ with musing eyes^

Loves there his pensive steps to measure :
'' How vain is human pride!" he cries,

'^ How soon is lost each earthly treasure!'

'' To snatch the fleeting bubble, joy.
How weak is ev'ry fond endeavour

We rush to seize the glitt'ring toyj
It bursts, it vanishes for ever !

114 MIRA.

'^ How soon our pleasures pass away !

How soon our bliss must yield to sorrow!
The friend, with whom we smile to-day,
.-^May wither in his shroud to-morrow 1^._



(DuNftUE addio, care selve^

Care mie selve, addio.

Ricevete questi ultimi sospiri.

Fin che sciolta da ferro ingiusto, e crudo>

Torni la mia fredd' ombra

A le vostr' ombre amate.

Che nel penoso inferno

Non pub gir innocente,

Ne pub star tra beati


Disperata e dolente.

i' moro_, e senza colpa,

E senza frulto^ e senza te_, cor mio:
Mi moro^ oime^ Mirtillo.)

Dear woods, your sacred haunts I leave :
Adieu ! my parting sighs receive !
Adieu ! dear native woods, adieu !
Which I no more am doom'd to view^

From ev'ry joy remov'd^
Till from the cold and cruel urn
My melancholy shade shall turn

To seek your shades beloy'd.
For, free from guilt, I cannot go
To join the wailing ghosts below^


Nor can despair and bleeding love
Find refuge with the blest above,

In youth and innocence I diej

The cold grave-stone must be ray pillow;
From life, from love, from hope I fly;

Adieu! a long adieu! Mirtillo!



^' The loves of Clonar andTlamin were rendered famous
in the north by a fragment of a lyric poem still preserved
which is ascribed to Ossian. It is a dialogue between Clonar
and Tlamin. She begins with a soliloquy, which he


Son of Conglas of Imor! thou first in the battle!

Oh Clonar, young hunter of 4un-sided roes!
Where the wings of the wind through the tall branches

Oh, where does my hero on rushes repose?


By the oak of the valley, my love, have I found thee.
Where swift from tlie hill pom- thy loud-rolling
streams J
The beard of the thistle flies sportively round thee.
And dark o'er thy face pass the thoughts of thy

Thy dreams are of scenes where the war-tempest
rages :

Tlamin's youthful warrior no dangers appal:
Even now, in idea, my hero engages.

On Erin's green plains, in the wars of Fingal.

Half hid, by the grove of the hill, I retire :

Ye blue mists of Luth a ! why rise ye between?

Why hide the young warrior whose soul is all fire.
Oh why hide her love from the eyes of Tl am in?



As the vision that flies with the beams of the morninsr.

While fix'd on the mind its bright images prove.
So fled the young sun-beam these valhes adorning ;

Why flies my Tlamin from the sight of her love?


Oh Clonar ! my heart will to joy be a stranger.
Till thou on our mountains again shalt be seen 3

Then why wilt thou rush to the regions of danger.
Far, far from the love of the mournflil Tlamin?


The signals of war are from Selma resounding I
With morning we rise on the dark-rolling wave:

Towards green-vallied Erin our vessels are bounding;
I rush to renown, to the fields of the brave I


Yet around me when war's hottest thunders shall rattle.
Thy form to my soul ever present shall be j

And should deatli's icy hand check my progress in
The last sigh .of Clonar shall rise but for thee.






In your presence dark I stand:

Spirits of my sires ! disclose.
Shall my steps, o'er Atha's land.

Pass to Ullin of the roes ?




Thou to Ullin's plains shall go:

There shall rage the battle loud:
O'er the fall'n thy fame shall grow.

Like the gath'ring thunder-cloud.

There thy blood-stain'd sword shall gleam.

Till, around while danger roars,
Cloncath, the reflected beam.

Come from Moruth's sounding shores.



Somnia, quae mentes ludunt volitantibus umbris, &c.

Dreams, which^ beneath the hov'ring shades of night.
Sport with the ever-restless minds of men,
Descend not from the gods. Each busy brain
Creates its own. For when the chains of sleep
Have bound the weary, and the lighten'd mind
Unshackled plays, the actions of the light
Become renew'd'in darkness. Then the chief.
Who shakes the world with war, who joys alone


In blazing cities, and in Ayasied plains^ — - '

O'erthrown battalions sees,, and dying kings.

And fields o'erflow'd with blood. The lawyer dreams

Of causes, of tribunals, judges, fees.

The trembling miser hides his ill-gain'd gold.

And oft with joy a buried treasure finds.

The eager hunter witli his clam'rous dogs

Makes rocks and woods resound. The sailor brings

His vessel safe to port, or sees it whelm'd

Beneath the foaming waves. The anxious maid

Writes to her lover, or beholds him near.

The dog in dreams pursues the tim'rous hare.

The wretch, whom Fortune's iron hand has scourg'd,

Finds in his slumbers all his woes reviv'd.



AKti$ asXiou TtoXvo-KOirs, KtX,

All-enlight'ninGj all-beholding.
All-transcending star of day !

Why, thy sacred orb enfolding.
Why does darkness veil thy ray ?

On thy life difRising splendor
These portentous shades that rise.

Vain the strength of mortals render.
Vain the labors of the wise.


Late thy wheels, through ether burning,

Roll'd in unexampled Hght:
Mortals mourn thy change, returning

In the sable garb of night.

Hear, oh Phcebus! we implore thee.
By Olympian Jove divine j

Phoebus! Thebans kneel before thee.
Still on Thebes propitious shine.

On thy darken' d course attending.
Dost thou signs of sorrow bring?

Shall the summer rains, descending.
Blast the promise of the spring ?


Or shall War, in evil season,
^.^^..- Spread unbounded ruin round ?

Or the baleful hand of Treason
Our domestic joys confound?

By the bursting torrent's power.
Shall our rip'ning fields be lost ?

Shall the air with snow-storms lower,
Or tJie soil be bound in frost ?

Or shall ocean's waves stupendous.

Unresisted, unconfin'd.
Once again, with roar tremendous.

Hurl destruction on mankind?


While those bewitching hands combine^
With matchless grace, the silken line.
They also weave, with gentle art.
Those stronger nets that bind the heart.

^"^HBut soon all earthly things decay: -^ — •*
#^hat net in time must wear away-:- — »
E'en Beauty's silken meshes gay
No lasting hold can take :



But Beauty, Virtue, Sense, combin'd,
(And all these charms in thee are join'd)
Can throw that net upon the mind,
No human art can e'er unbind.
No human pow'r can break.



Sed quo divitias haec per tormenta coactas?

Cum furor baud dubius, cum sit manifesta pbrenesis,

Ut locuplcs moriaris cgenti vivere fato ?


Ma name'sh Levi Moshesh: I tink I vash born.

Dough I cannot exactly remember,
in RosHEMARY-LANE, about tree in de morn,

Shome time in de mont of November.
Ma fader cried *' clotheshy' trough de shtreetsh ash he

Dough he now shleeping under de shtone ish.

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Online LibraryThomas Love PeacockPalmyra, and other poems → online text (page 3 of 4)