1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. George Croly

G., "On Reading the Poem of 'Paris,' by the Rev. George Croly, A.M." The Sun (1 November 1821).



By the trim taper, and the blazing hearth,
(While loud without the blasts of winter sung),
Now thrill'd with awe, and now relax'd with mirth,
PARIS, I've roam'd thy varied haunts among,
Loitering where Fashion's insect myriads spread
Their painted wings, and sport their little day;
Anon, by beckoning recollection led
To the dark shadow of the stern ABBAYE,
Pale Fancy heard the petrifying shriek
Of midnight Murder from its turrets bleak,
And to her horrent eye came passing on
Phantoms of those dark times, elaps'd and gone,
When Rapine yell'd o'er his defenceless prey,
As unchain'd Anarchy her tocsin rung,
And, France! in dust and blood thy throne and altars lay!

Oh, thou! thus skill'd with absolute controul,
Where'er thou wilt to lead th' admiring soul,
Gifted alike with Fancy's train to sport,
And tread light measures in her elfin court;
Or pierce the height where Grandeur sits alone,
Girt by the tempest, on his mountain throne:
Whate'er the theme which wakes thy vocal shell,
Well-pleas'd I follow where its concords swell;
In regal halls, where pleasure wings the night
With pomp and music, revelry and light,
Or where, unwept by Love's deploring eyes,
In the lone Morgue, the self-doom'd victim lies,—
Then, midst the twilight of yon Chapel dim,
To mark Religion's reverend Martyr, him
Who kneels entranced in agony of prayer,
His fellow victims torpid with despair,
Thrill'd by his piercing tones, his beaming eye
Glow, as he glows, nor longer dread to die!

Now, borne to Belgium's plain on bolder wings,
Where England's warriors fix'd the fate of Kings:
At once the Patriot and the Poet glows,
And full the mingling inspiration flows:—
Resume thy lyre: not thine in myrtle bowers
To trifle with Life's uncounted hours,
To crown thy toils, propitious Fame from far
Entwines her noblest wreath, illumes her loftiest star!