1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Thomas Percy

Henry Boyd, "A Nocturnal View of the Mount near Dromore, in the County Down" Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1803 (1805) 111-14.



Night-wand'ring Spirit! (whatsoe'er thy name,)
Who marshall'd here of old thy warlike train,
Methinks I hear thee mourn thy faded fame
To the night breeze, in many a plaintive strain.

For deep in central gloom the Demon weeps
That, in a Minstrel's form, enflam'd thy pride,
Which claim'd the region round, from Donard's steep,
To the rich dales on Banna's flow'ry side.

In vain, where Lagan leads his murm'ring wave.
Thou often seem'st thine airy trump to wind,
Calling thy lost battalions from the grave—
Oblivion's spells thy sleeping legions bind.

And oft thou court'st the rising winds to swell
The stormy concert of their martial song,
And call'st the Water Fairies of the Dell
To join the chorus as they sport along.

Far other pageants, on each sacred morn,
(Whose dawn the Demon's fear) salute the sight;
Far other sounds, on balmy Zephyrs borne,
The peasants to yon House of Prayer invite.

Far other troops, in many a blooming file,
Are seen to muster on you hills afar,
And bend their march to yonder hallowed pile
To learn Emmanuel's rudiments of war.

Where'er the sacred ensign waves on high
Upborne, tho' viewless, o'er the moving scene,
In thought I see the baffled tempters fly,
And dusky shadows flit across the green.

The Crozier is their guide. No feeble hand
Is seen to raise the standard of the Faith,
And oft their LEADERS voice directs the band,
To ward the double wound of sin and death.

As you bleak hills his fost'ring care proclaim,
With solemn groves, and smiling vistas, gay,
His living care (a nobler source of fame)
The blooms of SALEM to the sun display.

Mellow'd at his command, the niggard earth
The tender Scion feeds, from richer mold
So, when a soul of more celestial birth
He finds, his tendance bids its powers unfold.

Hail! reverend Patron! Hail, respected Name!
Mute are the transports of the youthful band.
But could they sing thy praise, applauding Fame
Would propagate the theme to distant lands.

But, could the plaudit circle round the zones,
Poor is that cloudy theatre to thee!—
A voice is heard, amid the saintly thrones,
Prelusive to a nobler symphony.

If one regenerate soul is joy above,
Faith, plum'd by Hope, a chorus hears on high,
Applauding, when, betimes paternal love,
Such numbers calls the hallowed task to ply.

Long may the lessons of the Pastor's care,
That woke the sacred flame, its soarings guide,
And aeras long of lineal worth declare
What virtues o'er the rising race preside.