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SHAKS PEARE ODE.
Despair, that haunts the gurgling stream,
Then, broken-hearted, sinks to rest,
Young Love, with eye of tender gloom,
Where his plighted victims lie,
Where they met, but met to die :
Through the dewy arbor peeping,
To youth's devoted tale is listening,
Rapture on her dark lash glistening, While fairies leave their cowslip cells and guard the hap
Thus rise the phantom throng,
Obedient to their Master's song,
Night's paltering hags their fearful orgies keep,
Lo! hand in hand,
They tempt him to the work of death,
In midnight's hallowed hour,
He seeks the fatal tower,
Pours to the sullen gale
Her hoarse prophetic wail,
Pale, guilty thing,
Hark! 'tis the signal bell,
Struck by that bold and unsexed one,
'Tis done ! 'tis done!
Sad gazing there,
Mark the sceptred traitor slumbering!
Sleep's leaden portals catch the sound.
Soon that dream to fate shall turn,
For him the living furies burn;
Hark! the trumpet's warning breath
Vengeance! he meets thy dooming blade!
And all his guilty glories fade.
Behold yon crownless king
Yon white-locked, weeping sire :-
And burst their streams of food and fire !
In such a night of wo,
Why lingers she behind !
His aching eyeballs strain
But all is dark and cold.
Swells in his throat,
Each withered heart-string tugs and breaks ! Round her pale neck his dying arms he wreathes, And on her marble lips his last, his death-kiss breathes.
Down! trembling wing-shall insect weakness keep
The sun-defying eagle's sweep?
A mortal strike celestial strings, And feebly echo what a seraph sings ?
Who now shall grace the glowing throne,
Where, all unrivalled, all alone,
That throne is cold - that lyre in death unstrung, On whose proud note delighted Wonder hung. Yet Old Oblivion, as in wrath he sweeps, One spot shall spare — the grave where Shakspeare sleeps. Rulers and ruled in common gloom may lie, But Nature's laureate bards shall never die. Art's chiselled boast, and Glory's trophied shore, Must live in numbers, or can live no more. While sculptured Jove some nameless waste may claim, Still rolls the Olympic car in Pindar's fame : Troy's doubtful walls, in ashes passed away, Yet frown on Greece in Homer's deathless lay: Rome, slowly sinking in her crumbling fanes, Stands all immortal in her Maro's strains : – So, too, yon giant empress of the isles, On whose broad sway the sun for ever smiles, To Time's unsparing rage one day must bend, And all her triumphs in her Shakspeare end !