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Come.. listen to a tale of times of old:

Come.. for ye know me: I am he who sung

The Maid of Arc & I am he who framed

Of Thalaba the wild & wonderous song.

Come.. listen to my lay & you shall hear

How Madoc from the shores of Britain spread

The adventurous sail .. explored the ocean ways,

And quelled barbarian power & overthrew

The bloody altars of idolatry.

And planted in its fanes triumphantly

The cross of Christ. Come.. listen to my lay.


My days among the dead are past

My days among the Dead are past;

Around me I behold,

Where'er these casual eyes are cast,

The mighty minds of old;

My never-failing friends are they,

With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal,

And seek relief in woe;

And while I understand and feel

How much to them I owe,

My cheeks have often been bedew'd

With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead, with them

I live in long-past years,

Their virtues love, their faults condemn,

Partake their hopes and fears,

And from their lessons seek and find

Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead, anon

My place with them will be,

And I with them shall travel on

Through all Futurity;

Yet leaving here a name, I trust,

That will not perish in the dust.

How beautiful is night

How beautiful is night!

A dewy freshness fills the silent air;

No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,

Breaks the serene of heaven;

In full-orb’d glory, yonder moon divine

Rolls through the dark blue depths.

Beneath her steady ray

The desert-circle spreads

Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.

How beautiful is night!

Go, Valentine

Go, Valentine, and tell that lovely maid

Whom fancy still will portray to my sight,

How here I linger in this sullen shade,

This dreary gloom of dull monastic night;

Say, that every joy of life remote

At evening's closing hour I quit the throng,

Listening in solitude the ring-dome's note,

Who pours like me her solitary song;

Say, that of her absence calls the sorrowing sigh;

Say, that of all her charms I love to speak,

In fancy feel the magic of her eye,

In fancy view the smile illume her cheek,

Court the lone hour when silence stills the grove,

And heave the sigh of memory and of love.

The Battle of Blenheim

It was a summer evening,

Old Kaspar's work was done,

And he before his cottage door

Was sitting in the sun,

And by him sported on the green

His little grandchild Wilhelmine.

She saw her brother Peterkin

Roll something large and round,

Which he beside the rivulet

In playing there had found;

He came to ask what he had found,

That was so large, and smooth, and round.

Old Kaspar took it from the boy,

Who stood expectant by;

And then the old man shook his head,

And, with a natural sigh,

"'Tis some poor fellow's skull," said he,

"Who fell in the great victory.

"I find them in the garden,

For there's many here about;

And often when I go to plough,

The ploughshare turns them out!

For many thousand men," said he,

"Were slain in that great victory."

"Now tell us what 'twas all about,"

Young Peterkin, he cries;

And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes;

"Now tell us all about the war,

And what they fought each other for."

"It was the English," Kaspar cried,

"Who put the French to rout;

But what they fought each other for,

I could not well make out;

But everybody said," quoth he,

"That 'twas a famous victory.

"My father lived at Blenheim then,

Yon little stream hard by;

They burnt his dwelling to the ground,

And he was forced to fly;

So with his wife and child he fled,

Nor had he where to rest his head.

"With fire and sword the country round

Was wasted far and wide,

And many a childing mother then,

And new-born baby died;

But things like that, you know, must be

At every famous victory.

"They say it was a shocking sight

After the field was won;

For many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun;

But things like that, you know, must be

After a famous victory.

"Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,

And our good Prince Eugene."

"Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!"

Said little Wilhelmine.

"Nay... nay... my little girl," quoth he,

"It was a famous victory.

"And everybody praised the Duke

Who this great fight did win."

"But what good came of it at last?"

Quoth little Peterkin.

"Why that I cannot tell," said he,

"But 'twas a famous victory."


HE found a Woman in the cave,

A solitary Woman,

Who by the fire was spinning,

And singing as she spun.

The pine boughs were cheerfully blazing,

And her face was bright with the flame;

Her face was as a Damsel’s face,

And yet her hair was grey.

She bade him welcome with a smile,

And still continued spinning,

And singing as she spun….

The thread she spun it gleam’d like gold

In the light of the odorous fire,

Yet was it so wonderously thin,

That, save when it shone in the light,

You might look for it closely in vain.

The youth sate watching it,

And she observed his wonder,

And then again she spake,

And still her speech was song;

‘Now twine it round thy hands I say,

Now twine it round thy hands I pray;

My thread is small, my thread is fine,

But he must be

A stronger than thee,

Who can break this thread of mine!’

And up she raised her bright blue eyes,

And sweetly she smiled on him,

And he conceived no ill;

And round and round his right hand,

And round and round his left,

He wound the thread so fine.

And then again the Woman spake,

And still her speech was song,

Now thy strength, O Stranger, strain!

Now then break the slender chain.’

Thalaba strove, but the thread

By magic hands was spun,

And in his cheek the flush of shame

Arose, commixt with fear.

She beheld and laugh’d at him,

And then again she sung,

‘My thread is small, my thread is fine,

But he must be

A stronger than thee,

Who can break this thread of mine!’

And up she raised her bright blue eyes,

And fiercely she smiled on him;

‘I thank thee, I thank thee, Hodeirah’s son!

I thank thee for doing what can’t be undone,

For binding thyself in the chain I have spun!’

Then from his head she wrench’d

A lock of his raven hair,

And cast it in the fire,

And cried aloud as it burnt,

‘Sister! Sister! hear my voice!

Sister! Sister! come and rejoice!

The thread is spun,

The prize is won,

The work is done,

For I have made captive Hodeirah’s Son.’