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O thou! to whose creative power
We dedicate the festal hour, --
While Grace and Goodness round the altar stand,
Learning's anginted train, and Beauty's rose-lipped
... • band— - •o. o .
Realms yet unborn, in accents now unknown,
Thy song shall learn, and bless it for their own.
Deep in the West, as Independence roves,
His banners planting round the land he loves,
Where nature sléeps in Eden's infant grace,
In time’s full hour shall spring a glorious race : —
Thy name, thy verse, thy language shall they bear,
And deck for thee the vaulted temple there.
Our Roman-hearted fathers broke
Thy parent empire's galling yoke,
But thou, harmonious monarch of the mind,
Around their sons a gentler chain shall bind;—
Still o'er our land shall Albion's sceptre wave,
And what her mighty Lion lost her mightier Swan shall
HoME of the Percy's highborn race,
Home of their beautiful and brave,
Alike their birth and burial place,
Their cradle, and their grave!
Still sternly o'er the castle gate
Their house’s Lion stands in state,
As in his proud departed hours;
And warriors frown in stone on high,
And feudal banners “flout the sky”
Above his princely towers.
A gentle hill its side inclines,
Lovely in England’s fadeless green,
To meet the quiet stream which winds
Through this romantic scene
As silently and sweetly still,
As when, at evening, on that hill,
While summer's wind blew soft and low,
Seated by gallant Hotspur's side,
His Katherine was a happy bride,
A thousand years ago.
Gaze on the Abbey’s ruined pile :
Toes not the succouring Ivy, keeping
Her watch around it seem to smile,
As o'er a loved one sleeping !
One solitary turret gray
Still tells, in melancholy glory,
The legend of the Cheviot day,
The Percy’s proudest border story.
That day its roof was triumph's arch;
Then rang, from aisle to pictured dome,
The light step of the soldier's march,
The music of the trump and drum;
And babe, and sire, the old, the young,
And the monk’s hymn, and minstrel's song,
And woman's pure kiss, sweet and long,
Welcomed her warrior home.
Wild roses by the Abbey towers
Are gay in their young bud and bloom:
They were born of a race of funeral flowers
That garlanded, in long-gone hours,
A Templar's knightly tomb.
He died, the sword in his mailed hand,
On the holiest spot of the Blessed Land,
Where the Cross was damped with his dying breath;
When blood ran free as festal wine, k
And the sainted air of Palestine
Was thick with the darts of death.
Wise with the lore of centuries,
What tales, if there be “tongues in trees,”
Those giant oaks could tell,
Of beings born and buried here;
Tales of the peasant and the peer,
Tales of the bridal and the bier,
The welcome and farewell,
Since on their boughs the startled bird
First, in her twilight slumbers, heard
The Norman’s curfew-bell.
I wandered through the lofty halls
Trod by the Percys of old fame,
And traced upon the chapel walls
Each high, heroic name,
From him who once his standard set
Where now, o'er mosque and minaret,
Glitter the Sultan’s crescent moons;
To him who, when a younger son,
Fought for King George at Lexington,
A Major of Dragoons.
That last half stanza—it has dashed
From my warm lip the sparkling cup;
The light that o'er my eye-beam flashed,
The power that bore my spirit up
Above this bank-note world—is gone;
And Alnwick's but a market-town,
And this, alas! its market-day,
And beasts and borderers throng the way;