« PreviousContinue »
Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought 15 all his battles o'er again ; And thrice he routed 16 all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain !
45 The master 17 saw the madness rise ; His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ; And, while he heav'n and earth defied Chang’d his hand and check'd his pride.
He chose a mournful muse,
Soft pity to infuse : 18
By too severe a fate,
With downcast look the joyless victor sat,
The various turns of fate below;
65 The mighty master smild, to see That love was in the next degree ; 'Twas but a kindred sound to move; For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian 2 measures, 70
Never ending, still beginning,
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, oh think, it worth enjoying !
Now, strike the golden lyre again!
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain !
See the snakes that they rear,
How they hiss in their bair,
Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand!
To the valiant crew!
How they point to the Persian abodes,
The princes applaud with a furious joy;
105 To light him to his prey ; And, like another Helen, 2 fired another Troy!
Thus, long ago,
And sounding lyre,
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
Or both divide the crown:
She drew an angel down!
NOTES ON "ALEXANDER'S FEAST."
1 Alexander the Great, son of Philip
of Macedon, was born in 356 B.C., and was trained by Aristotle, the great philosopher. He was the greatest general who ever lived. Alexander marched against Darins, king of Persia, who was at the head of 500,000 men at Ar
bela, B.C. 331. The Persians were
5 Desert, that wbich one deserves. was defeated by Alexander, who 6 Thais, one of the ladies attached conquered his kingdom.
to the court of Alexander the 20 Weltering, to roll. Great.
21 Lydia, a province of Asia Minor. 7 Timotheus, a celebrated musiciau 22 Furies, the goddesses of vengeance.
of Boeotia, was a special favourite 23 Grecian ghosts. It is said by Dio. with Alexander. His musical dorus that the sight of 800 Greeks, skill was so great that it is said whom the Persians had mutilated, he could animate his royal patron so exasperated Alexander that he with any passion he desired to permitted his army to plunder move, hy his mastery over “the the capital. At a royal banquet, power of sound.”
given by him to his
thirty gene8 Lyre, a musical instrument, a! rals, being intoxicated, he allowed harp.
the splendid city to be fired, at 9 Deity, a god.
the instigation of Thais. 10 Ravished, delighted.
24 Flambeau, a flaming torch. 11 Assume, to take upon oneself. 25 Helen, the beautiful wife of Mene12 Spheres, worlds.
laus, king of Lacedæmon, was 13 Bacchus, the god of wine.
carried away by Paris, the son of 14 Hautboys, a high-toned wooden Priam, king of Troy. This occa
musical instrument, having a sioned the great Trojan War,
tapering tube with holes and keys. which lasted ten years, when 15 Fought, &c., Alexander imagines Troy was reduced to ashes by the
that he is again on the field of Greeks. battle.
26 Cecilia, the patroness of music, 16 Routed, conquered, defeated.
and regarded as the inventress of 17 The master, the musician. 18 Infuse, to pour into, to inspire. 27 Enthusiast, one who admires or 19 Darius was king of Persia, but loves intensely.
BATTLE OF KILLIECRANKIE.'
On the heights of Killiecrankie yester-morn
our army lay : Slowly rose the mist in columns from the
river's broken way; Hoarsely roared the swollen torrent, and the
pass was wrapped in gloom, When the clansmen rose together from their
lair amidst the broom. Then we belted on our tartans, and our bonnets
down we drew, And we felt our broadswords' edges, and we
proved them to be true;
And we prayed the prayer of soldiers, and we
cried the gathering cry; And we clasped the hands of kinsmen, and we
swore to do or die!
Then our leader rode before us on his war-horse
black as nightWell the Cameronian rebels knew that
charger in the fight! And a cry of exultation from the bearded
warriors rose ; For we loved the house of Claver'se, and we
thought of good Montrose.3
But he raised his hand for silence—“Soldiers !
I have sworn a vow : Ere the evening's sun shall glisten on Schehal
lion's lofty brow Either we shall rest in triumph, or another of the Grames
15 Shall have died in battle-harness for his coun
try and King James !,
Think upon the Royal Martyr'—think of what
his race endureThink on him whom butchers murdered on the
field of Magus Moor : By his sacred blood I charge ye, by the ruined
hearth and shrineBy the blighted hopes of Scotland, by your
injuries and mine