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Title: Gustavus Vasa - and other poems
Author: Walker, William Sidney, 1795-1846
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Gustavus Vasa,



--Tentanda via est, qua me quoque possim
Tollere humo.






It would be a sufficient reason for sanctioning this work with your
Ladyship's name, that it is an offering of gratitude, presented because
there is nothing worthier to give.

But there is another cause. He who celebrates a patriot, cannot address
himself to any one more properly than to the daughter of a patriot; of
one who was for years the naval sun of England, and from whom the young
and enterprising caught the unextinguishable rays of patriotism and

For actions and glory such as his, the female mind is not formed; but in
the calm and active virtues of private life, which are almost equally
honourable to the possessor, your Ladyship maintains the dignity of your
race. I call to witness those whom you have soothed in affliction, and
those whom you have honoured with your friendship. They will vindicate
me from the charge of flattery, and support my assertion, that your
patronage is as glorious to me, as any I could possibly have chosen.

With the hope, that the virtues of your excellent daughter, and your
son, whom I am proud to call my friend, may answer your fullest

I remain,
  Your Ladyship's
    Most obliged
      And devoted Servant,
        W.S. WALKER.


As the author of these Poems is only seventeen, some apology may be
required for offering them to the public.

Many precedents may be quoted in favour of early publication; and the
practice perhaps is not in itself blameable, except when the advice of
good judges is unasked, or the work itself uncorrected and negligent. To
neither of these charges is the author liable. These poems, as well as
the design of publishing them, have been approved of by many sincere and
judicious friends; and the work has been altered in many parts, in
conformity to the advice of the same persons. The author has made no
improper sacrifice to the Muse: he has deserted no duty, and neglected
no necessary employment. Influenced by these motives, he appears before
the bar of criticism, not indeed without diffidence, but unconscious of
having deserved censure. If his verses are bad, he is content to sink
into oblivion; and if the public confirms the favourable judgment of his
friends, he does not deny that it will give him real satisfaction.--He
is sensible, that if he delayed till time had matured his judgment, and
reflection perfected his ideas, the "_scribendi cacoëthes_," perhaps an
unfortunate inclination, would take a firm and unalterable possession
of his mind. He is therefore determined to try the public opinion; that
he may be enabled either to pursue his poetical studies under their
encouragement, or to desist in time from an useless employment. This
volume is not intended to challenge approbation, but to be the precursor
of something which may challenge it in future: it is not an attempt to
gain the prize, but a specimen of his powers, which may entitle him to
the honour of standing candidate for that prize. The reader will here
find the genuine effusions of a youthful fancy, free, yet not
uncontrolled; a collection of pieces, exempt from negligence and
inaccuracy, though not from the usual and inevitable faults of early
compositions. To offer less than this would be arrogant, and to require
more than this would be unreasonable.

"Gustavus Vasa" was originally planned (the reader will smile) at eleven
years of age. When the author began to know what poetry was, his first
design was to write an epic poem--no matter of what sort or character,
so it was an epic poem. The subject was soon chosen; and the progress of
the work was various: sometimes hurried on with all the ardour of hope
and enterprize, sometimes relinquished for more lively pursuits, and
left to sleep for months in the leaves of a portfolio. In this manner
were six long cantos completed. At length the author, in his thirteenth
year, perceived numerous faults and extravagances in his early
composition. He destroyed the manuscript: and some time after
recommenced his poem on a new and more rational plan. Accordingly, the
first and part of the second book, were written in 1810, and the rest of
the work which is published in this volume, principally in 1812. All
that is yet completed of this production (except the sequel of the
fourth book, and the whole fifth, which are yet uncorrected) is here
presented to the public; and on its success the continuation of
"Gustavus Vasa" depends.

It was designed to embrace the whole actions of the hero, from his first
signalizing himself under Steen Sture, to his death in 1560; but as all
this could not be regularly related without destroying the unity of the
poem, it was thought most convenient to begin with his introduction
among the Dalecarlians at Mora, and conclude with his first election to
the royalty, in 1523; the rest being introduced by means of narration,
anticipation, and episode.

It will be doubtless objected, that the enterprize is beyond his powers,
and that he acted rashly in undertaking it. But this is no light scheme;
no work, begun for want of other amusement, and deserted when a more
specious or pleasing subject for poetry presented itself. He has
considered it seriously; the subject appears full of poetical
capabilities, and superior to many others which offered themselves; and
if the opinion of the world coincides with his own in this point, he
has resolved to make it the favourite employment of his maturer years,
and to reduce it as far as possible to perfection. Part of his plan for
continuing the poem, will be found in the Notes.

The smaller pieces are selected from a large number of original
compositions; they are not chosen as his favourites, but as what he
esteems most faultless. This appeared the safer method; since it is
impossible that "the flimsy productions of a youth of seventeen," as
Kirke White expresses it, should be free from considerable errors; and
we are apt to think our most irregular flights, our most vigorous ones.
On these pieces, however, he places little stress; his principal
reliance is on "Gustavus Vasa." The Latin Poems have been honoured by
the approbation of different Masters at Eton.

The Author may be accused of arrogance in saying too much of himself.
But he felt strongly that early publication, and the design of writing a
long epic poem, would naturally be censured by many well-meaning
persons; he thought it his duty to state his motives; and was less
solicitous to avoid the possible charge of self-conceit, than the
certain one of folly and presumption.

Any resemblance to former writers, which may occur in the course of the
work, are generally unintentional. Thus the lines--

    "Touch'd the abyss, and, lest his eyes might view
    The abandon'd shore, into its depths withdrew,"

were written before the author had seen Persius's description of a
totally abandoned man:

    --nescit quid perdat, et, alto
    Demersus, summâ rursus non bullit in undâ.

_The Author has to express his sincere gratitude for a numerous and
respectable list of Subscribers. It is far beyond his expectations; and
it encourages his hope, that the reception of the present volume will
authorize his continuing in the same pursuit._

_1st MARCH, 1813._


Andrews, Rev. Charles, Hempton
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Atkinson, Mr., Eton
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Gustavus Vasa.


_State of Sweden at the commencement of the Poem--A
Council--Trollio--Bernheim--Ernestus--Christiern proposes the reduction
of Dalecarlia--Ernestus opposes him, is committed to prison--Christiern
takes his measures to oppose a rebellion just arisen in Denmark._

Gustavus Vasa,



    The Swede I sing, by Heaven ordain'd to save
    His country's glories from a Danish grave,
    Restore her laws, her Papal rites efface,
    And fix her freedom on a lasting base.

      Celestial Liberty! by whom impell'd
    From early youth fair honour's path he held;
    By whose strong aid his patient courage rose
    Superior to the rushing tide of woes,
    And at whose feet, when Heaven his toils repaid,
    His brightest wreaths the grateful hero laid:
    Me too assist; with thy inspiring beam
    Aid my weak powers, and bless my rising theme!

      Stockholm to Christiern bow'd her captive head; }
    By Treachery's axe her slaughter'd senate bled,   }
    And her brave chief was numbered with the dead.   }
    Piled with her breathless sons, th' uncultured land
    With daily ravage fed a wasteful band;
    And ruthless Christiern, wheresoe'er be flew,
    Around his steps a track of crimson drew.
    Already, by Heaven's dark protection led,
    To Dalecarlia Sweden's hero fled;
    There, with a pious friend retired, unknown,
    He mourn'd his country's sorrows, and his own.
    Those mountain peasants, negatively free,
    The sole surviving friends of Liberty,
    Unbought by bribes, still trample Christiern's power,
    And wait in silence the decisive hour.

      'Twas morn when Christiern bade a herald call
    His secret council to the regal hall--
    Those whom his skill, selecting, had combined
    To share the deep recesses of his mind:
    In these the prince unshaken trust reposed,
    To these his intricate designs disclosed;
    Their counsel, teeming with maturest thought,
    His ripening plans to full perfection brought,
    Each enterprise with proper means supplied,
    And stemm'd strong difficulty's threatening tide:
    The summons heard, th' obedient train attend,
    Collect, and hastening toward the palace bend.

      First of their order, as in rank and fame
    Superior, Upsal's haughty prelate came;
    Erect in priestly pride, he stalk'd along,
    And tower'd supreme o'er all the princely throng.
    A soul congenial, and a mind replete
    With ready artifice and bold deceit,
    To suit a tyrant's ends, however base,
    In Christiern's friendship had secured his place.
    His were the senator's and courtier's parts,
    And all the statesman's magazine of arts;
    His, each expedient, each all-powerful wile,
    To thwart a foe, or win a monarch's smile:
    The nicely-plann'd and well-pursued intrigue;
    The smooth evasion of the hollow league;
    The specious argument, that subtly strays
    Thro' winding sophistry's protracted maze:
    The complicated, deep, immense design,
    That works in darkness like a labouring mine,
    Unknown to all, 'till, bursting into birth,
    Its wide explosion shakes th' astonish'd earth.
    His was the prompt invention, fruitful still
    In means subservient to the varying will:
    The flexible expertness, smooth and mean,
    That glides thro' obstacles, and wins unseen:
    The quick discernment, that with eagle eyes
    Sees distant storms in ether darkly rise,
    And active vigour, that arrests their course,
    Or to a different aim diverts their force.
    He, in a happier land, by freedom bless'd,
    Had hallow'd virtue dawn'd upon his breast,
    Had done some glorious deed, to stamp his name
    High on the roll of ever-during fame;
    Snatch'd from Oppression's jaws some victim realm,
    Or fix'd in stable peace his country's wavering helm.
    But baleful Guilt usurp'd with fatal care
    A heart which Virtue had been proud to share;
    And turn'd to hateful dross the radiant ore,
    Whose lustre might have gilded Sweden's shore.
    As the red dog star, Autumn's fiery eye,
    Shines eminent o'er all the spangled sky,
    While thro' th' afflicted earth his torrid breath
    Darts glowing fevers and a cloud of death:
    So Trollio shone, in whose corrupted mind
    Transcendent genius and deep guilt combined;
    Placed all his arduous aims within his reach,
    Yet fix'd the stamp of infamy on each.
    But Providence, whose undiscover'd plan
    Lies deeper than the wiliest schemes of man,
    Can bare the sty designer's latent guilt,
    And crush to dust the structures he has built;
    Can disappoint the subtle tyrant's spite,
    And stem the billows of his stormy might;
    Confound a Trollio's skill, a Christiern's power,
    And blast presumption in its haughtiest hour.
    So Christiern found--and Trollio found it true,
    (Unwelcome truth, to his experience new!)
    That he, who trusts in guilty friendship, binds
    His fortune to a cloud, that shifts with veering winds.
    Throned in Religion's seat, he scorn'd her laws,
    And with a cool indifference view'd her cause:
    Yet, might her earthly treasures feed the fire
    Of wild ambition, or base gain's desire,
    He could assume, at will, her fairest dress--
    Could plunge in Superstition's dark recess--
    Or the red mask of Bigotry put on;
    The fiercest champion, where there needed none.
    But, should she cross some glittering enterprise,
    Her pleas, her awful threats, he could despise;
    Oaths, lightly sworn, and now forgotten things,
    Vanish'd, like smoke before the tempest's wings.
    At interest's call, when danger's sudden voice
    Extinguish'd hope, nor left a final choice,
    His sacred honours he renounc'd, and fled
    To hide in silent solitude his head:
    At interest's call, he calmly thrust aside
    Each bond of conscience that opposed his pride,
    And, deeming every scruple out of place,
    Back posted to his dignified disgrace.

      Next, with a lofty step advancing, came
    A martial chieftain--Otho was his name:
    In Denmark born, of an illustrious line,
    Whose glories, now effaced, had ceased to shine;
    And he was but unanxious to redeem
    Those honours, in his eyes a worthless dream.
    Trained in licentious customs, he despised
    All virtue's rules, and pleasure only prized;
    And, faithful as the magnet, turn'd his head
    To follow fortune wheresoe'er it led:
    Tho' hostile justice rear'd her loftiest mound,
    To bar his passage o'er forbidden ground.
    Swift o'er all impediments he flew,
    And strain'd his eyes to keep the prize in view.
    Religion, virtue, sense, to him were nought;
    He hated none, yet none employ'd his thought,
    Save when he glitter'd in their borrowed beam,
    To gain preferment, or to court esteem.
    The minister, not tool, of Christiern's will,
    He serv'd his measures, yet despis'd him still:
    Scann'd with impartial view th'encircling scene,
    Glancing o'er all an eye exact and keen,
    Advantage to descry; and seldom fail'd,
    When Virtue's cause by Fortune's will prevail'd,
    On virtue's side his valour to display,
    And ne'er forsake it, but for better pay.
    And, e'en when Danger round his fenceless head
    Her threatening weight of mountain surges spread,
    He, like a whale amid the tempest's roar,
    Smiled at the storm, nor deign'd to wish it o'er.
    'Twas dull instinctive boldness--like a fire
    Pent up in earth, whose forces ne'er expire,
    By grossest fuel nourished, but immured
    In dingy night, shine heavy and obscured;
    Sustain'd by this thro' all the scenes of strife,
    Whose dark succession form'd his chequer'd life,
    He ne'er the soul's sublimer courage felt,
    That warms the heart, and teaches it to melt;
    That nurses liberty's expanding seeds,
    And teems prolific with the noblest deeds.
    To guide the storm of battle o'er the plain,
    Condense its force, expand it, or restrain;
    To turn the tide of conquest to defeat
    By stratagems too fatally complete,
    Or freeze it by delay; to aim at will
    The well-timed stroke that mars all adverse skill;
    To range, in order firm, th'embattled line;
    Or shape, as regular, the bold design;
    All these were his--yet not all these could claim
    Exemptions from the lot of penal shame,
    Or snatch from glory's plant one servile wreath,
    To deck the waste of crimes, that frown'd beneath.
    Harden'd in villany, with fate unfeign'd
    He mock'd at warning, scorn'd reproach, nor deign'd
    To answer either, and remorse's dart
    Recoil'd from his impenetrable heart:
    Save in those hours when darkness or when pain
    Recals its force, and guilt recedes again;
    When passion, vice, and fancy quit their sway,
    When lawless pleasure trembling shrinks away,
    While black conviction's rushing whirlwinds quench
    Her smoky torch, and leave a sickening stench;
    And thro' the soul's chill gloom, fierce conscience pours
    His fiery arrows in resistless showers.
    But, as accumulated guilt oppress'd
    With stronger obstacles his hardening breast,
    Faint and more faint the dread awakenings grew,
    And their subsiding terrors soon withdrew.
    Like traces on the mountain's giant form
    Imprinted by the finger of the storm,
    They vanish'd; fierce atrocity return'd
    Triumphant, and the galling shackles spurn'd.

      Him closely following, with a thoughtful pace
    And slow, the young Ernestus took his place;
    Like Bernheim, graced with an illustrious birth,
    But hapless Sweden was his native earth.
    His father sunk by death's untimely doom,
    His youthful mother followed to the tomb,
    And to a honour'd friend's paternal care
    Bequeath'd her only hope, her infant heir.
    With wary steps had Harfagar pass'd o'er
    The world's wide scene, and learn'd its various lore;
    And, with religion's pole-star for his guide,
    Serenely voyaged life's tempestuous tide.
    Yet in Ernestus' mind his skilful sense
    Observ'd no dawn of future excellence;
    He found no early graces to adorn
    Of springing life the inauspicious morn;
    No prompt benevolence, no sacred flow
    Of purest feeling taught his heart to glow;
    But virtue's native influence was in him,
    A wintry sun-beam, not extinct, but dim.
    Yet Harfagar with kind attention tried
    To rouse the warmth her hidden beams supplied;
    And, wheresoe'er his penetrating eye
    One bud of distant promise could descry,
    There all his toil was bent, to fix the root
    Unmoved, and spread secure the growing shoot.
    He watch'd the rising blossoms as they grew,
    Preserv'd with constant care their lively hue,
    Spread o'er each flow'ret a protecting veil
    To shelter it from trial's rougher gale,
    And clear'd, with strenuous and unceasing toil,
    From each insidious weed th' improving soil.
    His patient diligence had won at length
    A partial triumph over nature's strength:
    Tho' unsuppress'd th' internal weakness still
    With frequent bias pois'd the wavering will,
    Still losing ground, it seem'd to die away,
    Like nightly storms before advancing day:
    When thrice seven rolling years matured his age,
    And call'd him forth to life's eventful stage.

      'Twas now the time, when all the northern land
    Was sinking under Christiern's ruthless hand;
    When patriotism from Sweden's hills sublime
    With tearful eyes o'erlook'd the subject clime,
    And saw where Stenon and a matchless few,
    To her bright race unalterably true,
    Regardless of the thunders launch'd by Rome,
    Self-titled arbitress of future doom,
    O'er a waste realm her shatter'd flag unfurl'd,
    Conspicuous to the whole applauding world.
    Ernestus' sire in Sweden's state before
    High eminence and ample influence bore;
    And public hope call'd forth the willing youth
    To join the cause of liberty and truth;
    Yet here his wary diffidence look'd round
    For due support--but no support was found,
    For Harfagar, whose strong unconquer'd mind       }
    The tyrant knew, unmatch'd among mankind,         }
    Caught in his snares, was now in chains confined. }
    The sudden blow his resolution shook;
    Deliberate fortitude his heart forsook;
    The pile of hope, that many a year had rear'd,
    Seem'd sunk in air, and now no more appear'd.
    Stenon had welcomed him, benign and free,
    With warm and undissembling amity,
    Enroll'd him in the list of friends select
    He singled out his measures to direct--
    And e'en his life was in Ernestus' power.
    This Christiern saw, and urg'd the fatal hour.
    With bribes and honours he the youth attack'd,
    With promised secrecy his proffers back'd,
    Tried smooth persuasion's most effectual strain,
    And added threats, not likely to be vain.
    Strong was th' assault; he arm'd his hopeless breast,
    And summon'd all his forces to the test.
    His unassisted strength awhile withstood,
    With desperate energy, th' invading flood,
    As the pale victim of all-conquering death
    With one faint effort struggles yet for breath.
    His courage soon beneath th' encounter bent,
    Languid before, and now by efforts spent;
    He yielded--his brave chief to death betray'd,
    And Stenon's blood dyed treachery's reeking blade.

      'Twas done; and peace the traitor's bosom left,
    Of every comfort, every joy bereft.
    Rack'd by despair, in vain he sought repose:
    Round all his steps a cloud of horror rose,
    From keen reflection's maddening sting he fled,
    And rush'd on further crimes devoid of dread;
    Touch'd the abyss, and lest his eye might view
    Th' abandon'd shore, into its depths withdrew.

      'Twas night; the cheerless moon's o'erclouded ray
    Shone dim; the breeze's murmurs died away:
    On his wan brow unwonted slumbers creep,
    And drench his soul in visionary sleep.
    When lo! deep thunders on his startled ear
    Successive roll, and shadowy forms appear;
    As thro' the misty vale at morning rise
    A row of trees before the traveller's eyes.
    His father's, from the first of time, arose,
    Their country's friends, and terror of her foes,
    Who factions quell'd, or legal justice plann'd,
    Or bade fair science brighten o'er the land.
    They came; they stopp'd--an angry eye they cast
    On the pale slumberer, and in silence pass'd.
    Again the thunder roll'd; the lightning flew;
    His country's form appear'd before his view:
    All stain'd with gore appear'd her azure vest,
    And her dim eyes unusual grief confess'd.
    The gloomy phantom on Ernestus frown'd,
    And with her sceptre touch'd the yawning ground:
    A boundless space, with mourning myriads spread,
    Appear'd below, and thus the vision said:
    "Behold th' abode of traitors! Sylla here,
    And guiltier Cæsar, mourn their mad career;
    Here Curio gnaws his chain--Ernestus! see
    A darker grave;--a grave reserv'd for thee!"
    The widening chasm around him seem'd to grow.
    His kindred spirits call'd him from below;
    When lo! it closed--and from heaven's opening height,
    A brilliant ray burst on his dazzled sight,
    And broke the dream.--In deep amazement lost,
    Unnumber'd thoughts his feverish bosom cross'd;
    Hope, wonder, fear, and penitence combined,
    For many a hour oppress'd his varying mind,
    'Till now in heaven's blue space the lamp of day
    Was hung serene: he hail'd the cheering ray,
    And thus began: "Eternal beam, give ear!
    Earth, air, and thou, all-ruling Monarch, hear!
    Call'd forth by thee from the deep maze of ill,
    I haste, to work the mandates of thy will.
    This hour, this moment, unappall'd by shame,
    The servitude of guilt I will disclaim;
    And, if eternal mercy deign to spare
    The forfeit life she rescued from despair,
    'Tis mine to watch my country's hapless cause,
    And with fix'd soul defend her injured laws.
    Hear, Stenon, hear! from heaven's bright arch bend down
    The sapphire glories of thy radiant crown,
    Accept th' atonement with propitious brow,
    And thro' the courts of heaven proclaim my vow!"

      Thus spoke Ernestus, and in silence sought
    The council hall, involved in careful thought.

      These occupied a more distinguished seat;
    A chosen train the monarch's list complete.
    There unsubmitting Brask's proud genius shone,
    There Bernheim's might, in many a contest known;
    There Theodore: a bold ungovern'd soul,
    Rapacious, fell, and fearless of control:
    A harlot's favour rais'd him from the dust,
    To rise the pander of tyrannic lust:
    Graced with successive gifts, at length he shone
    With wondering Trollio on the sacred throne.
    With pleasure's arts, and sophistry's refined,
    Alike he pleas'd the body and the mind;
    Skilful alike to cheat the wandering soul,
    Or mix luxurious pleasure's midnight bowl.
    All these, and more, at Christiern's sudden call,
    (A shining conclave) fill the towering hall.

      Ere yet they enter'd, Trollio left the rest,
    Th' advancing monarch met, and thus address'd:

      "Hear, Christiern, hear! th' unwelcome news attend,
    Forced from the lips of an unwilling friend.
    Nor think 'tis from a mean suspicious heart
    I speak my message from our friends apart;
    I know their general worth, in duty tried,
    Yet in one man I tremble to confide:
    False to his country, to himself, and thee,
    Sick of success, and tired of infamy,
    Ernestus now prepares to burst your yoke,
    And win his freedom by some glorious stroke.
    I know him well; his ever-varying soul
    Now searches earth, now looks beyond the pole;
    Successive schemes usurp his changeful breast,
    That seeks for toil, and languishes in rest:
    Like a frail bark, the sport of every breeze,
    That floats unguided on the boundless seas.
    E'en now I mark'd him--struggling passions play'd
    On his pale forehead, and alternate sway'd.
    Of this no more.--Our friends, dread prince, have sent
    Advices, that concern your government.
    The factious souls, that late, o'eraw'd by you,
    Their inward rancour hid from open view,
    Are rous'd afresh, and gathering all their power,
    Beneath the smiles of this auspicious hour.
    Reports and whispers, toss'd about, ferment
    With ceaseless breath the tide of discontent.
    Each vile complainer casts his grievance in,         }
    The common clamours to augment, and win              }
    His share of future spoils, reward of clamorous din. }
    The torrent of sedition swells amain,
    Disloyalty invades the firmest Dane;
    And Christiern's arm, outstretch'd without delay,
    Alone has power to prop his tottering sway.
    Haste, while in momentary bounds is kept,
    The struggling flood, which else may intercept
    Your passage; haste! your new dominions quit;
    Their care to some experienced chief commit;
    Haste, and by speediest means secure your crown
    Ere violence and treason tear it down!"

      While thus he spoke, the tyrant's mien express'd
    The troubled sea that roll'd within his breast.
    By hopes, and doubts, and fears, his mind was torn,
    From thought to thought irregularly borne.
    Thus the swift traveller, whose successful haste
    Has many a hill, and many a wood o'erpast,
    Trembling beholds new mountains touch the skies,
    And wider forests all around him rise.
    His mind, unsettled by the sudden shock,
    At length recovering, to his friend be spoke.
    "Thy counsels, Trollio, thy inventive soul,
    Have gain'd me half my power, secured the whole:
    Display thy talents now; exert them all:
    Rewards and honours wait without a call.
    I dread Ernestus; and my cautious fear
    These tidings would conceal, while he can hear.
    Myself, ev'n now, some fair pretence will frame,
    From this assembly to erase his name.
    But haste, my friend, to council--should we stay,
    Suspicion might comment on our delay!"

      This said, they enter'd--at the monarch's side
    Sate lordly Trollio, in accustom'd pride.
    A mute attention still'd each listening man,
    'Till, rising from his throne, the prince began.

      "Friends of my heart! to whom your monarch owes
    The brightest honours his kind fate bestows;
    My empire, unconfirm'd, imperfect still,
    Yet asks the aid of your auspicious skill.
    Tho' Sweden's general voice consents to own
    Me the true master of her triple throne,
    Tho' her disputed crown adorns my brow,
    And tributary millions round me bow;
    One bold, one stubborn province, yet defies
    My brandish'd arm, and to my threats replies;
    In face of all the realm denies my right,
    And challenges three kingdoms to the fight.
    On Dalecarlia's wide uncultured ground,
    With rugged hills, and mineral riches crown'd,
    A race, endued with native freedom, dwell;
    A race, that stood, when total Sweden fell.
    Their strong and unremitting bands explore
    In earth's dark caverns her metallic store,
    And, from laborious days extracting health,
    Rest satisfied, and ask no other wealth:
    Rough and unyielding, like their native soil,
    The hardy sons of Nature and of Toil;
    Resistless vigour, resolute and warm,
    Strings every nerve, and braces every arm.
    Foremost to vindicate the righteous cause,
    And from th' oppressor guard their injur'd laws,
    Thro' many a rolling century these have shone
    Th' unfailing champions of the Swedish throne,
    And now with all my forces singly cope,
    Sweden's last bulwark, and her choicest hope.
    No trivial loss their courage will alarm,
    No threatening martial show their minds disarm,
    And bribes, those glittering, oft successful darts,
    Will find no entrance to their guarded hearts.
    No--fields must smoke, and blood in torrents flow,
    Ere all our force can master such a foe."

      More had he said, but, with indignant heat
    Inspired, Ernestus started from his seat:
    His soul's resistless ardour bade him rise,
    His kindling soul came rushing to his eyes--

      "Yes! fresh domains to ruin must succeed,
    Fresh cities sink in flame, fresh thousands bleed!
    What want'st thou more, thou prodigal of guilt!
    Oppression's sword is buried to the hilt
    In unoffending blood--what want'st thou more,
    Thou sanguinary pest of an unhappy shore?
    Far as thy sight can stretch, look round, and see
    All Sweden piled with monuments of thee;
    Behold her provinces with slaughter strown,
    Her ruined fields, her castles overthrown;
    Behold--But ah! more glaring than the rest,
    In me thy brightest trophy stands confess'd!
    Yes--prompt each fatal mandate to fulfil,
    Perpetual slave of thy tyrannic will,
    I stood, to sovereign infamy preferr'd,
    The meanest of thy mercenary herd:
    Thy crimes I copied--for thy worthless gold
    My monarch's life, my country's freedom sold!
    The cloud of wrath that veils in thickening gloom
    Thee and those partners of thy crimes and doom,
    In its black scope involv'd me--not a ray
    Shot thro' the ambient night one glimpse of day;
    'Till heaven's own mercy offer'd to my view
    From its dark sphere, a radiant avenue:
    Cheer'd with fresh hope, its limits I forsook,
    And, wing'd with new-born speed, a fresh direction took.
    If Heaven prohibit not the blow, my fate
    Lies in thy hands; my transitory date
    This hour may close; and thou, e'en thou, mayst be
    The doom'd assertor of his wrath on me:
    So let it be! E'en so, thy friendly hate
    Will snatch its victim from a heavier fate:
    And when the storms of vengeance, that impend
    O'er thee and thine, collected shall descend,
    The bolt that shakes your haughty souls with dread,
    Shall roll innocuous o'er my shelter'd head,
    Safe in that mansion of unbroken rest,
    Which neither lightnings strike nor winds molest.
    Thus then in brief, relentless tyrant, take
    A fix'd resolve, thou hast no power to shake.
    Let wily Trollio try his utmost art,
    Join'd with thy power, on this determined heart.
    Let sorrows round me like an ocean flow,
    Let earth dividing yawn my grave below,
    Bribes, threats, nor torments, more shall bid me own
    Thy sway, or bow to thy detested throne,
    Dread power! whom, prompt to succour and to bless,
    Reverent I name, yet confident address,
    Do thou the marks of former guilt efface,
    Speed every just resolve, and every terror chase!"

      Ernestus ceas'd. The listening senate heard;
    On every face derision's smile appear'd.
    Yet some less harden'd bosoms heav'd a sigh,       }
    Like the faint breezes of an evening sky,          }
    That curl the rippled wave and on its surface die. }
    Reproach, familiar to the monarch's ear,
    Might move contempt, but ne'er excited fear:
    It cross'd his mind, like streams of melted snow, }
    That o'er a cavern'd rock's cold surface flow,    }
    But soften not their stony bed below.             }
    His haughty bosom with impatience burn'd,
    He smiled contemptuous, and in brief return'd--
    "What! hast thou then exhausted all thy store
    Of sounding words? and is the tempest o'er?
    Haste, noble Trollio, fetch my guards, and send
    Th' incautious hero to his wiser friend!"

      Swift as the word obsequious Trollio speeds,
    And to the secret hall the soldiers leads.
    The youth, resign'd, bow'd down his thoughtful head,
    And calmly silent follow'd where they led.
    "Such be the fate of all," the monarch cried,
    "Who, born to meanness, swell with worthless pride;
    Who, glad with nobler men to be preferr'd,
    Rise, by officious guilt, above the vulgar herd,
    Obtrude their ready service on the great,
    And deem their talents fit to rule a state!
    Yes, my brave friends, I meant this recreant fool
    But as a means, a momentary tool.
    To push my purpose to a readier end,
    Then to the dust my worn-out weapon send.--
    But leave we this; far weightier themes arise:
    Th' occasion told all waste of words denies.
    In my own realm, our trusty spies report,
    While Christiern lingers in a Swedish court,
    Once more Sedition rears her batter'd crest,
    And plants her snakes in every loyal breast.
    Wide o'er the realm the growing tumults swell,
    And ask immediate force their rage to quell.
    Let valiant Bernheim, with a chosen band,
    Use all his speed to reach his native land;
    There countermining each insidious plot
    By hostile Craft and Treachery begot,
    Prepare my way; while I thro' Sweden lead
    A wider army, with inferior speed,
    And, as I pass, the trembling cities awe,
    Display my terrors, and confirm my law;
    Then, entering Denmark, pour my eager host,
    An unexpected torrent, on the coast.
    Thou, Trollio, strait to Soren Norbi send,
    Our faithful subject, and unfailing friend;
    Bid him with speed his gallant fleet dispose,
    To man our ports against invading foes:
    (My own brave troops will guard the conquests made,
    Who every province, every town pervade)
    Thyself to Norbi constant help afford,
    And with thy prudence guide brave Otho's sword,
    And you, my friends, to second each design.
    Your arts, your counsels, and your arms combine."

      And now (what time the westering orb of day,
    Shot thro' the purpled clouds a mellower ray)
    The soldiers, with their charge, the tower had gain'd,
    Where, wrapt in fetters, Harfagar remain'd--
    From whose tall top the eye unbounded threw
    O'er all the subject town its ample view,
    O'er crowded streets, and marts, and sacred spires,
    That glitter'd with the day's declining fires.
    There, round his limbs a length of chain they threw,
    Strict charge enjoin'd, and to their posts withdrew.
    The tranquil captive press'd the rugged ground,
    Smiled on his chains, and gazed the prison round;
    "And here," he cried, "the fates, relenting, give
    Fair Freedom back; again to her I live!
    I am once more a patriot--fix once more
    My foot on rectitude's deserted shore!
    O Sweden! tho' by me to death betray'd,
    Accept these tears, thou dear maternal shade!
    Thy image shall my lonely dungeon cheer,
    And in dark slumbers to my soul appear:
    While hopes of thee shall every terror brave,
    And gild the gloomy confines of the grave.
    Tho' snatch'd by cleaving earth to central gloom,
    Or buried in the Ocean's watery tomb,
    Yet should my soul in exile pant for thee,
    And lightly prize all meaner misery!"
    Down his warm cheeks the tears unbidden roll,
    And speak the silent language of his soul.

      Meanwhile the council closed; the peers withdrew:
    To Trollio's dome the prince impatient flew;
    There saw at large the hostile plot disclosed,
    And his own plans with silent care disposed:
    While Bernheim bade his quarter'd troops prepare
    At earliest dawn the toils of war to share.
    The weak he strengthen'd, and confirm'd the brave,
    Arranged each band, and due directions gave.

      Then to their stations baste the joyful powers,
    And cheat with various sport the midnight hours.
    Some brighten up their arms to polish'd flame,
    And shake the sword, as in the field of fame:
    Some crown the bowl, to chase dull fears away,
    And end in long debauch the task of day.
    Some court the aid of sleep, whose soft relief
    Weighs down the eye of care, and smooths the thorns of Grief.
    Enfolded in his golden wings they lie,
    And fancied triumphs swell in every eye:
    Each bounds in thought the airy champaign o'er,
    And grasps the prize, distain'd with streaming gore.

      Now move the summoned peers, a shining train,
    To where the palace glitters o'er the plain.
    The opening gate receives the pompous throng;
    Thence to the festive room they move along,
    Where tapers, rang'd in lofty rows, display
    An added splendour, and nocturnal day.
    There, till the close of night, the bowls go round,
    And the full board with luxury is crown'd.



_Soliloquies of Ernestus and Harfagar in prison--Christiern in a
conversation with his peers throws further light on the rebellion of
Prince Frederic in Denmark--He employs Olaus to carry Ernestus and
Harfagar, in a boat, into the sea, and there assassinate them--Death of
Olaus and Harfagar--Ernestus is ordered by the genius of Sweden, to seek
Gustavus Vasa, hero of the poem, in Dalecarlia--Character of Admiral


    Day's golden eye had closed, his ruddy light
    Expiring on the bosom of the night;
    And solitary twilight's deepening shade
    In dusky robe the firmament array'd.
    The moon, resplendent, fill'd her glittering throne,
    And tipp'd with yellow gems all ether shone.
    The breeze was silent on the glassy deep,
    And half the world was sinking into sleep:
    Save where the shepherd led his fleecy train
    To crop the verdure of the moon-light plain;
    Save where the warder on the turret's height
    Trimm'd his weak lamp, and watch'd the bell of night,
    And the lone captive, in the dungeon's gloom,
    With beating pulse look'd forward to his doom.

      Still Harfagar refused the gift of rest;
    His country's cares lay brooding in his breast:
    And many a gloomy pang his heart assail'd,
    But fortitude at each assault prevail'd.
    So stands in British woods a broad-bough'd oak,
    That braved three centuries every stormy stroke;
    While howling winds the scatter'd forest rend,
    He rears his aged trunk, and scorns to bend;
    So stood, serenely stood the godlike man,
    And thus, deep musing, inwardly began.

      "Now silent night, the parent of repose,
    O'er half the earth her shadowy pinion throws.
    Hail, sleep, restorer of the tortured mind,
    Balm of the soul, and friend to human kind!
    The toils and tumults of our earthly scene
    Subside, and melt into thy sway serene.
    Life's sweetest cup, with purest blessings fraught,
    Were, without thee, a vapid joyless thought!
    My fellow captives all thy pleasures taste;
    Their fears, their sorrows, all in sleep are past;  }
    Oh! be it peaceful still, for this may be the last! }
    Now, borne in vision to those airy plains           }
    Where fancy undisturb'd by reason reigns,
    Where thron'd in rainbow light she sits serene,
    And flings her sportive glories o'er the scene;
    The first tumultuous ocean wafts them o'er,
    And lands them safe upon the flowery shore.
    This seems to see his utmost wishes crown'd,
    Rebellion spread to Sweden's farthest bound;
    Beneath his banners the whole country flies;
    On swarming myriads, swarming myriads rise:
    He leads the van: the tyrant shrinks for fear,
    Hides in his native den, and trembles there.
    This, weary of our present vale of tears,
    Draws back the chain of time five thousand years:
    Delightful visions swim before his view,       }
    Of peaceful pleasures, joys for ever new,      }
    When time was young, and mortals were but few: }
    When man, content, his freedom never sold,
    Nor fear'd for poverty, nor hoped for gold.
    Joyful he wanders, and expects to see
    Ten centuries of peace and liberty.
    This seems to meet within some moonlight glade
    His ancient friend, but now an empty shade:
    The beckoning phantom stretches toward the skies:
    He strives to follow, and the vision flies.
    This bold ferocious spirit, madly strong,
    Supporter of his country e'en to wrong,
    Impetuous to extremes, now longs to dart
    The point of vengeance into Christiern's heart:
    A whetted dagger in his hand display'd        }
    He waves in air, and, o'er and o'er survey'd, }
    Smiles grimly at the visionary blade.         }

      "Thrice happy you! for fancy's shadowy power,
    Unfailing friend of sorrow's darkest hour,
    O'er your dim state a transient gleam can throw,
    Like twilight glimmering on a waste of snow!

      "But me, condemn'd alone to wake and weep,
    My country's doubtful ills forbid to sleep:
    Each night the agonizing theme renews,
    And bathes my cheek in sorrow's bitterest dews.
    Where art thou, Stenon? whose resistless hand
    Stretch'd like a shield o'er this deserted land!
    Say, does that hand still turn a nation's doom,
    Or sleeps its valour in the silent tomb?
    Heroes and chieftains! whither are ye fled,
    Whose powerful arm collected Sweden led?
    I saw you glorious, from the field of fight,
    When Denmark shrunk before your stormy might:
    And now, perhaps, your buried ashes sleep,
    And o'er your honour'd tombs your country's sorrows weep.
    Illustrious senators! whose wisdom view'd
    Th' approaching storm, and oft its strength subdued:
    And thou, young Vasa! once renown'd in war,
    Thy country's hope, and freedom's northern star:
    Too true, alas! I fear, a tyrant's hand
    Has swept your glories from the darken'd land.
    Why else these walls resign'd to Christiern's powers,
    And I a captive in these mournful towers?
    Stockholm once lost, can Sweden yet remain,
    Or freedom linger in her desert plain?
    Yet, unextinguish'd by the conquering foe,
    Some spark in distant provinces may glow;
    (As the swift lightning, weary of its course,
    On some low distant cloud collects its scatter'd force)
    Prepared ere long to burst in tenfold wrath,
    And dart destruction on the hostile path.

      "Thou too, Ernestus! what protecting doom
    Has guided thee thro' fate's tremendous gloom?
    Unhappy relic of a patriot line,
    Dost thou with all their ancient glory shine,
    And, unappall'd by labour or by fear,
    Lift for thy country the protecting spear?
    Or, wrapt in fetters, and in darkness lost,
    Say, dost thou languish for thy native coast?
    Perhaps, unnoted, by the tyrant's eyes,
    In unknown solitude secure he lies--
    Whate'er his fate, nor terror's base control,
    Nor hostile bribes, can e'er have moved his soul,
    No! taught by me, Ernestus nobly spurns
    Each vulgar aim, and for his country burns.

      "Why art thou sad, my soul? the eye divine
    Still looks on all; to grieve is to repine!
    And tho' destruction cover all the shore,
    Tho' heroes, kings, and statesmen be no more,
    Tho' Stenon, vainly mild, and vainly brave,
    Fill the dark bosom of the dreary grave,
    Tho' Sweden's sons no earthly hope retain,
    Tho' not one spark of ancient fire remain,
    Tho' hostile banners crowd her blazing sky,
    And stretch'd in dust her smoking castles lie:
    Yet, Lord of all! from ruin's blackening ware,
    Thy arm is till omnipotent to save:
    Thy arm can stop the whirlwind's rushing breath,
    And light with hope the funeral shades of death!

      "The gloom dissolves! and Sweden's glories old
    With added lustre to my sight unfold;
    He comes! the doom'd deliverer, from afar,
    Gathers his rushing thousands to the war!
    His generous might uniting factions greet,
    And crush'd oppression groans beneath his feet:
    From each bright year successive glories spring,
    And shouting millions hail a patriot king!

      "For me--these joys assured, in calm repose,
    With trembling hope, I wait my end of woes.
    Long vers'd in sufferings, I no more complain,
    Nor shall one tear my former patience stain.
    Long, long, has time, slow rolling, swept away
    The dear companions of my earlier day;
    So long, that memory scarce their names retains,
    And blank oblivion o'er my bosom reigns.
    Ernestus, now, alone sustains their part,
    (Loved more than all) within this widow'd heart:
    And thou, my God, wilt hear my prayers, and spread
    A guardian veil o'er youthful virtue's head.
    Thy hand supreme, an ever watchful guide,
    Has steer'd me safe o'er life's uncertain tide;
    Has led me on thro' danger's various forms,
    Thro' faithless sunshine, and thro' whelming storms:
    Thy kind indulgence now unfolds the page
    Of future time to my desponding age.
    On thee I call, with grateful joy oppress'd,
    To speed my passage to eternal rest!
    I am alone on earth--at heaven's bright gate,
    Perhaps my friends their kindred spirit wait;
    E'n now they wait, to bid my labours cease,
    And point my journey to the realms of peace.
    As the swift eagle seeks the fields of light,
    When rolling clouds invest his mountain height,
    My soul, on fiery pinion, upward flies,
    And swell'd with grateful hope anticipates the skies."

      Nor less Ernestus, from his friend apart,
    In lengthen'd thought explored his secret heart.
    Far from the rest, in fetters wrapt he lay,
    Where the wan moonlight threw a slanting ray
    Thro' the dim grate; his rapture beaming eyes
    On this he fixes, and in transport cries--
    "Oh, sacred lamp! since last on thee I gazed,
    What joy unthought this drooping soul has raised!
    In deep amaze I view my alter'd state,
    And scarce believe the wonders of my fate.
    My heart, so late the slave of vice and fear,
    Now smiles at death, and thinks no fate severe.
    Drop, infamy from thy neglecting hand
    My name; deny it a perennial brand;
    And cast a friendly veil on the disgrace
    A deed like mine entails on human race.
    What said I? No.--Pour all thy floods of shame
    Thro' future ages on Ernestus' name;
    Say, that with cool untrembling hand he spilt
    His master's blood, and gloried in his guilt:
    So shall the sons of earth in other times,
    Know my disgrace, and tremble at my crimes.
    Oh Stenon! could my ceaseless tears restore
    Thee, patriot chief to Sweden's widow'd shore!
    How would I joy, amidst thy martial train,
    To mow the adverse ranks, and sweep along the plain,
    Tread in thy daring steps with equal fire,
    Or at thy feet triumphantly expire!
    But vain the wish--let hope's unfading ray
    Lead my firm steps in duty's arduous way;
    Pain, shame, and death, at heaven's all righteous call
    I meet, and in its strength shall conquer all."

      So mused the captives; while, in lordly state,
    Smiling amidst his peers the monarch sate.
    O'er the vast roof, with gilded rafters gay,
    Unnumber'd lamps effused a mingled ray:
    The dancing glory fill'd the spacious hall,
    Play'd on the roof, and cheer'd the pictured wall,
    With glancing beams the golden goblets shine,
    The red light trembles on the sparkling wine.
    Here sat the chiefs, in stormy war renown'd,
    Or with the senate's peaceful honours crown'd
    On various themes their mingled converse ran,
    'Till Trollio to the monarch thus began.

      "Your nice experience, prince, and art combined,
    Famed thro' the north, long charmed my wondering mind:
    This morn, I deem'd it lost; and scarce believ'd
    Th' unwonted words my doubtful ear receiv'd.
    Can then a mighty monarch eye with fear
    The feeble motions of the mountaineer?
    Is Christiern dazzled with the empty boast
    Of Dalecarlia, and her rugged host?
    A fiery race, undisciplined and loud,
    They move to war, no army, but a crowd:
    Hot from the bowl they stagger to the fight,
    And rush impetuous with ungovern'd might.
    Shall such resist us? I expect as soon
    A midnight rainbow, or a star at noon.
    Their quickly muster'd force will quickly yield,
    And quit in momentary flight the field.
    Or if some deep-mouth'd demagogue should blow
    The flame of war, and bid its fury glow,
    Yet well-told fiction and inventive art
    With milder force can turn the vulgar heart.
    Rais'd by a breath their swelling clamours rise,
    And with a breath their vain opinion dies."
    He spoke; attention sat on every eye,
    And all in silence watch'd their king's reply.

      "Sees not my Trollio thro' the thin disguise,
    Form'd only to deceive Ernestus' eyes?
    Vers'd in the changeful temper of mankind,
    From day to day I watch'd his varying mind;
    I saw, where'er he roved, unsettled thought
    In his weak mind a storm of passion wrought;
    At length, this morn, he cast a scowling eye
    Upon his prince, and pass'd disdainful by.
    This theme, I knew, the moody youth would fire,
    And rouse to rage his long collected ire.
    Enough of this; a weightier care demands
    Our keen reflection, and our active hands.
    While here we feast, increasing dangers lower,
    And artful Frederic shakes my tottering power.
    Impatient of their lawful monarch's sway
    Full twenty towns sedition's flag display.
    Th' ambitious brother of my martial sire
    In every bosom fans the growing fire:
    His throne he rais'd on Jutland's faithless coast,
    Thence o'er the country spread his factious host.
    Each day, each hour, the ripening tumult grows,
    And discord's torch with added fuel glows.
    Ev'n now, perhaps, their midnight council wait
    'Till their wise chief shall close some dark debate.
    Of this let Trollio tell: my anxious breast,
    Oft worn with thought, demands its wonted rest;
    And thro' yon western window's chequer'd height,
    The setting planets shoot a ruddier light.'
    He spoke; departing thro' the unfolded gate
    The long procession glides in lordly state;
    Then each, with eyes in balmy slumber closed,
    From the day's revels and its cares reposed.

      Among the ruffians that, allured by gain,
    Lurk'd round the dwellings of the royal Dane,
    The horrid eminence a Swede might claim,
    A lawless wretch--Olaus was his name:
    His name, with darkest brand exalted high,
    Glared on the towering pitch of infamy.
    Twice, o'er his head ere thirty suns had roll'd,
    With shameless hand his freedom had he sold,
    And twice in battle drawn his venal sword
    Against a generous and forgiving lord.
    Successive crimes o'er nature soon prevail'd,
    And Denmark's king the perfect villain hail'd;
    Bade his known skill each midnight treason guide,
    And o'er each murdering band preside.

      Him to a room the tyrant call'd by night,
    Where thick and gloomy grates shut out the light;
    From the low roof a smoky taper hung,
    And wide around its fitful lustre flung.

      "Haste, brave Olaus!" (Scandia's monarch spoke,
    And on the ruffian cast a gracious look)
    "Haste, to the castle's lofty walls repair,
    And find Ernestus, lock'd in fetters there,
    Him and his friend from their dark cell convey,
    And lead them secret o'er the watery way;
    Thou know'st the rest." No more the tyrant said;
    And, at his word, th' obedient felon sped.

      The stars now gliding down th' ethereal blue,
    O'er earth and air a shadowy lustre threw;
    When, by relentless avarice led to fate,
    Olaus issued from the royal gate.
    The ruffian centinels their brother knew,
    And at his word the portals open flew.
    Then to the tower he moved with silent speed,
    And smiled, exulting in the future deed.

      So to the town where weary riot sleeps
    On purple clouds some dark contagion creeps:
    From eastern climes proceeding swift and fell,
    Where torrid suns the ripen'd poison swell;
    Borne on infected gales along the skies
    Th' ethereal store of vast destruction flies,
    O'er interposing deserts wins its way,
    Blasts the green vale, and withers cheerful day;
    Then settling on the walls, with steaming breath
    Pours thro' the thicken'd air disease and death.

      And now in view the ancient castle frown'd,
    With many a dim-appearing turret crown'd:
    Here, round the gloomy doors, the warder-band
    (A watchful train) in silent order stand.
    The jarring gates unfold: two torches play
    Thro' the broad gloom, and point the darksome way.
    First to Ernestus' cell his way he took,
    And from th' astonish'd youth his fetters shook.
    Next to the sage, now wrapp'd in slumber, sped,      }
    Loos'd his firm chain, and rais'd his sleeping head; }
    And thro' the echoing valves the noble captives led. }
    With kindling eye the hoary sire survey'd
    The stars careering thro' the nightly shade,
    Fix'd on the long-lost heavens his raptured sight,
    And drank with joy the flowing gale of night.

      Then thus Olaus: "To my anxious king,
    Illustrious Swedes, your nightly steps I bring.
    He knows your worth, and deems his power were vain,
    Should souls like your's a captive doom sustain.
    Secret his purpose, to the farther coast
    Of Bothnia's gulph he leads his gather'd host.
    When first gray twilight spread her glimmering shade,
    On the broad main his streamers were display'd:
    And soon th' auspicious breeze shall waft you o'er
    To meet your monarch on the destined shore."

      He spoke, but neither answer'd--wonder hung
    On either mind, and silenced either tongue;
    Fix'd for a space, each other's form they view'd;
    Then, wrapp'd in thought, their unknown guide pursued.
    O'er the dark streets with half-extinguish'd beam,
    The scatter'd lamps diffused a quivering gleam;
    At distant intervals the ruddy light
    Half mingles with the dusky robe of night:
    While, as they past, with loud repeated stroke
    A midnight bell the solemn stillness broke.

      At length they reach the borders of the deep,
    Where a selected band in silence keep
    Perpetual watch. Before Olaus' stride,
    Ere yet he spoke, th' obedient crowd divide.
    A lonely boat amidst the harbour stood,
    And cast its shadow o'er the neighbouring flood.
    This from the strand he loos'd, and bade the sail
    Spread its white bosom to th' indulgent gale:
    They take their seats, and from the lessening shore
    It flies; the parted billows foam before:
    On each wan cheek the freshening breezes play,
    And speed their passage o'er the watery way.
    The silver splendors of the lunar beam          }
    Dance on the waves, and in the quiet stream     }
    The twinkling stars with faint reflection gleam }
    Now on the guide Ernestus turn'd his eyes,
    The gloomy look, and the gigantic size;
    Now on his friend, involv'd in new amaze,
    Fix'd the keen ardour of his silent gaze:
    Each thought reflected on his brow was seen,
    And all his soul seem'd centred in his mien.

      Meanwhile the felon, exercised in ill,
    Watch'd the due time to work his master's will;
    At length his sable robe aside he threw,
    And from its dark concealing mantle drew
    A dagger's well-tried point. The moonshine play'd
    On the smooth surface of the polish'd blade.
    Ernestus saw: his heart-blood quicker flow'd;
    On his bold cheek the mounting courage glow'd:
    Inspired by Heaven, a sudden vigour strung
    His youthful limbs; high from the deck he sprung,
    And grasp'd the steel, then, wheeling swiftly round,
    On the astonish'd ruffian dealt a wound:
    Th' unerring blade, with nervous force impell'd,
    Deep thro' his neck its bloody passage held,
    Prone falls the staggering wretch: the wary foe
    With added strength inflicts a second blow;
    Then heaves his prostrate bulk with forceful strain,
    And hurls him headlong in the flashing main.
    High o'er his head the booming surges sweep,
    And his soul bursts amidst the roaring deep.

      Now on the deck distain'd with recent blood,
    Involv'd in thought the silent victor stood,
    And turn'd to Harfagar--when on his view
    Successive wonders burst, and all around him grew.
    Faint and more feint the billowy roar became,
    And sunk, and died at last.--With lessening flame
    The starry host along th' ethereal way,
    Unknown the cause, successive die away.
    For yet the morn was far, nor had the sky
    With reddening blush proclaimed the solar glory nigh.
    Amidst the swiftly-changing scene, amazed,
    They stood, and on the brightening ether gazed:
    They gazed, but trembled not: some power unseen
    Confirmed their hearts to meet the awful scene.
    O'er the wide skies, and o'er the ocean's bed,
    A growing stream of wavy splendor spread,
    As if another sun with bright control
    Had changed heaven's motions, and revers'd the pole.
    Nature was in alarm: with sudden dread        }
    To his dark nook the screaming sew-mew fled:  }
    The murmurs of the midnight breeze were dead. }
    Wider and wider spread th' unusual glare,
    And the last cloud at length dispers'd in air.
    When, as a flame bursts broad thro' azure smoke,
    From the bright cloud a dazzling vision broke.
    Like some tall dome, that shoots its towers on high,
    His airy stature mingled with the sky:
    Terror and might stood blended in his mien,
    And his blue eye-balls shone with flames serene.
    A wreath of light his fulgent brows array'd,
    That, shifting, with a thousand colours play'd.
    His star-bespangled robe, of sparkling blue,
    O'er sea and air reflected glories threw:
    The moon, the skies, the golden stream of rays,
    Seem'd lost and dimm'd in that all-conquering blaze.
    His yellow locks sail'd on the clouds afar,
    And o'er his temples flamed the northern star.
    His better hand sustain'd a spacious shield,
    Round as nocturnal Cynthia's argent field;
    On whose enormous surface stood emblazed
    A mighty realm, with towers and turrets rais'd.
    Here, a broad lake in mimic waves extends;
    There, a tall mountain's sloping summit bends.
    O'er many a river many a navy rode,
    With commerce rich, and thro' the yielding flood
    With outspread sails proceeded--all around,
    Huge untamed rocks, and giant castles frown'd.
    The vault above serenely calm appear'd,
    And cloudless light the short-lived summer cheer'd.
    Here, fell marauders wasting far and near
    Spread their wild ravage o'er the yellow year:
    There, towers and walls and lofty works extend;
    Victorious legions the scaled walls ascend.
    Last stretch'd along a valley's shadowy length,
    Appear'd two realms' consolidated strength.
    Wide fly the glowing balls, swift falchions glare,
    And whizzing arrows hide the clouded air.
    The sculptured kings pursue their trembling foes,
    And, where they move, the imaged tumult grows.
    Another scene--the toil of war is past;
    This seems to triumph, that to groan his last:
    Blood covers all, refulgent trophies rise,
    And shouts of conquest seem to rend the skies.

      In silent reverence stood each wondering Swede,
    Unmoved by terror: thrice the youth decreed
    To speak, and thrice upon his fetter'd tongue,
    Restrain'd by awe, th' imperfect accents hung,
    When the dread form the boundless stillness broke;
    Ocean and air stood listening as he spoke.

      "The power who reins the whirlwind's stormy force,
    And guides the wheeling planets in their course,
    Provoked by crimes, o'er Sweden's guilty land
    Stretch'd wide the terrors of his flaming hand:
    Her venal priests, her kings in luxury lost,
    Her factious nobles, and seditious host,
    Call'd down th' unwilling bolt; and many a year
    Beheld it blaze, and shrunk beneath its flames severe.
    His angry thunder on a blasted shore           }
    Has wreak'd its vengeance; the collected store }
    Of wrath is spent, and the last peal is o'er.  }
    Now o'er the land, rich with a new-born spring,
    Returning Mercy waves her golden wing:
    Obedient fate draws back its sable line,              }
    And bright events in long succession shine:           }
    Consenting years roll on, and crown the great design. }
    Unnumber'd arts, more glorious from decay,
    Rise one by one, and gild the land with day.
    No more shall Sweden mourn her fetter'd doom,
    The sport of despots, and the slave of Rome:
    Slanderers of Heaven, betrayers of mankind
    By passion bloated, and to reason blind,
    Her prelates shall oppress the land no more;
    But Liberty, with charms unknown before,
    Break forth effulgent; and protecting Peace,
    For a long age, bid battle's trumpet cease.
    Her guardian genius, from th' empyreal plain   }
    I come, to bid primeval blessings reign,       }
    And exiled Science lift her sacred lamp again. }

      "Thou, Harfagar, allied to earth no more,
    Pursue my flight, and seek our friendly shore.
    Thy term of care is past: thy clouded day
    Dissolves at length in heaven's eternal ray.
    Th' almighty Parent calls thee, from on high,
    To fill the seats of immortality.
    His eyes the labours of mankind regard,
    And suffering virtue claims her late reward.
    There may'st thou sit, and far removed from thence
    Behold the clouds of passion and of sense:
    Smile at the tumults of the world below,
    And triumph in the weakness of thy foe.

      "And thou, Ernestus--thou, to whom 'tis given
    To bear the tidings of benignant Heaven,
    Aided by me, pursue the watery road,
    And seek Gustavus in his dark abode.
    Where swift Dal-Elbe his wandering current leads
    Thro' barren mountains and uncultured meads,
    Resign'd to cold despair, the hero lies,
    Nor knows the favour of th' indulgent skies.
    For twenty months unwearied has he traced
    The town, the province, and the watery waste:
    No aiding friend his patriot labours found;
    Fear master'd all, and all were slaves around.
    Each hope of liberty and Sweden lost,
    He now resolves to seek a foreign coast,
    In Albion or in Gaul secure to rest,
    And cling to Freedom's warm maternal breast.
    Such his intent--Ernestus! be it thine
    To tear the warrior from the rash design!
    Bid him to arms the free-born peasants move,
    Safe in the conduct of the powers above!
    Swift as from hill to hill the beacon flies,
    In every heart the patriot flame shall rise:
    From Wermeland's hills the war-cry shall rebound,
    And Sudermania echo back the sound:
    The frank Westmanian's generous heart shall glow,
    And join the sterner Goth to crush the foe.
    Bid him his standard in mid Sweden rear,
    And check th' oppressor in his fell career:
    Say, that, impatient of unjust command,
    Indignant Denmark spurns him from her land!
    He builds a lofty tower; the basis stands
    Fix'd in the stormy ocean's moving sands:
    The turrets in unstable grandeur rise,
    The baseless fabric shoots into the skies,
    Soon shall the glories of the ponderous hall
    Come thundering down, to crush him in their fall!

      "Cheer'd with this hope let gallant Vasa raise
    His daring soul, to meet immortal praise.
    Graced with hereditary virtue shine,
    And vindicate the glories of his line.
    From age to age that generous line shall reign,
    'And sons succeeding sons the lasting race sustain.'"

      The mighty seraph ceas'd. While thus he said,
    Without a sigh, the old man's spirit fled.
    Ere yet, enfranchis'd, thro' the air it past,
    On the lov'd youth one parting look it cast,
    And gazed on Sweden, then, no more confined,
    Soar'd thro' the clouds, and mingled with the wind.
    Th' angelic power his sacred arm applied
    To push the vessel o'er the yielding tide,
    And swifter than the eagle's noon-day flight
    It flew: while, melting from the dazzled sight,
    O'er the wide heavens a radiant line he drew,
    The track still glittering where the glory flew.

      And now 'twas silence all: the pale stars shone;
    The moon, declining, fill'd her ruddy throne.
    But wrapt in deepest trance Ernestus lay,
    'Till Phosphor's lamp restored the purple day.

      Meanwhile, ere yet on Stockholm's towery height
    The morning-planet shed its trembling light,
    A troop, with Bernheirn, thro' the portals past,
    Whose polish'd arms a glimmering splendor cast.
    No single breath the general stillness stirr'd;
    Their trampling feet alone the warder heard,
    And follow'd with his sight the dusty cloud,
    That in its mantle wrapp'd the marching crowd.
    O'er crackling bushes scud the warrior train
    And pass with haste the solitary plain;
    'Till the broad sun discover'd from afar
    The dawning lustre of his golden car.
    Beneath the covert of a neighbouring wood
    They paus'd awhile, and their swift march renew'd.

      Now, driven by force celestial o'er the tides,
    With lightning speed the rapid pinnace glides:
    'Till, having finish'd its predestined way,
    Its winged motions silently decay.
    And now, from slumber rous'd, Ernestus spied
    A river, branching from the ocean tide;
    The mighty stream roll'd on its darksome flood
    Thro' mossy cavern and thro' tangled wood;
    Thence in soft mazes drew its humid train,
    To feed the verdure of a lonely plain.
    He furl'd the sail, and grasp'd the labouring oar,
    And sped to Dalecarlia's welcome shore.
    The oar, light-stretching, breaks the sparkling tide.
    And scatters the reflected sunbeam wide.

      And now, by Trollio sent, without delay
    From Stockholm's towers a herald took his way,
    Amidst his idle fleet where Norbi slept,
    And on the ocean's verge his station kept.
    Amongst those peers, whom matchless talents rais'd
    To shine in Christiern's court, their names emblazed
    With glittering infamy, and splendid shame,
    This naval chief held no inglorious fame.
    In his firm heart ambition fix'd her reign,
    But led celestial mercy in her train.
    While others joy'd to crush the yielding foe,
    And bid the torch of ruin ceaseless glow,
    'Twas his alone, to bid th' uplifted dart
    Recoil unsated from the victim's heart,
    The wounds of misery and despair to heal,
    And smile upon the griefs he could not feel.
    A lawless pirate, by his king's command
    His numerous navy on the hostile strand
    Pour'd their incessant force, and o'er his head
    Her wings for many a year bold triumph spread:
    'Till, doom'd at length the chance of war to feel,
    Entangled in ambition's broken wheel,
    Crush'd by his falling master's hapless fate,
    Awhile he struggled with th' opposing weight:
    In vain; of every hope and power bereft,
    Expell'd from Sweden, and by Denmark left,
    The chief whose barks once hid the Baltic wave,
    In Russian fetters pined a haughty slave.
    From lord to lord by envious fortune toss'd,
    He join'd at last imperial Charles's host.
    An exile, doom'd to waste in joyless strife
    The poor remainder of an ill-spent life,
    There long he mourns--and adverse fates deny,
    His last remaining wish, with fame to die;
    Condemn'd amidst the vulgar dead to fall,
    And sink obscure beneath a foreign wall.
    So perish all, impell'd by thirst of fame
    To seek in crimes the lustre of a name;
    Who the bright path of genuine greatness seek,
    But, having found it, take a course oblique,
    Where glittering rainbows rise from far, to cheat
    Their wondering eyes, and tempt their eager feet;
    And lead them forward o'er forbidden ground,       }
    Where pleasures still decrease, and pains abound,  }
    Till in a miry lake, or whelming torrent, drown'd. }
    Thus form'd by art, a fancied meteor flies
    On glowing wings, and sails along the skies,
    Shoots to the stars with imitative blaze
    Of feeble splendor, rivalling their rays;
    With many a glittering track indents its way,
    Wastes as it shines, and sparkling fades away;
    'Till having spent at length its noisy fires,
    The mimic glory drops, and in a flash expires.



_Ernestus enters Dalecarlia--View of the scene round Mora--Transition to
Gustavus Vasa, who it represented as reclining under a tree near his
friend, the pastor's house, and retracing past events in his mind--His
soliloquy--After briefly recounting the late disasters of Sweden, and
the arguments which induced him to resolve to quit his country, he
concludes with a prayer--Ernestus then appears, and delivers his message
from the Genius of Sweden--Gustavus treats his mission as a fiction,
upbraids him as a traitor, and attempts his life, but is prevented by
apparent prodigies, which, however, do not entirely convince him or
alter his resolution._


    Auspicious Spirit, whosoe'er thou art,
    Who warm, exalt, and fill, the Poet's heart:
    Who bade young Homer pour the martial strain,
    And led the Tuscan bard thro' hell's profound domain:
    By whom unequal Camöens, borne along
    A torrent-stream, majestic, wild, and strong,
    Sung India's clime disclosed, and fiery showers
    Bursting on Calicut's perfidious towers:
    By whom soft Maro caught Mæonian fire,
    And plaintive Ossian tuned his Celtic lyre:--
    If still 'tis thine o'er Morven's heaths to rove,
    Tago's green banks, or Meles' hallow'd grove,
    Assist me thence--command my growing song
    To roll with nobler energy along!
    Before me Life's extended vale appears,
    Onward I hasten thro' the gulf of years,
    And soon must sink beneath them; let my name
    With one bright furrow of recording fame
    Mark my brief course!--If led by thee I stray'd
    In youth's sweet dawn beneath the hazel shade,
    While over head clear shone the sunny beam,
    And noon's weak breeze scarce curl'd the tepid stream:
    Still aid me, gentle Spirit! still inspire
    My _first_ bold task, and add diviner fire.

      Thou too, eternal Freedom! Britain's friend,
    To British strains thy wonted influence lend,
    And fire my kindling mind, while I display
    Thy own Gustavus in unclouded day.
    From where, on vast Nevada's icy brow,
    Enthroned in clouds, thou view'st the realm below,
    The Lusian, Gaul, and Albion's warring train,
    The clash of arms, and tumult of the plain;
    From thence I call thee--rouse thy name once more, }
    And to an equal theme thine aid implore,           }
    Since Spain is now, what Sweden was before.        }

      And now with transport wild Ernestus spies
    Dalarne's continuous coast before him rise.
    Ere yet he reach'd the bank, the toiling oar
    He dropp'd, and sprung impatient to the shore.
    Before him wide the dark-brow'd forests frown'd,
    And morn's still hour hush'd all the space around,
    Save where the whispers of the changeful breeze
    Half waved the summits of the towering trees.
    Alone, and guided by a straggling beam,
    He hastened onward, where the murmuring stream
    Cut thro' the woods its liquid way, and laved
    The grass, that round their trunks luxuriant waved.
    The willing woods an easy passage yield,
    And his glad footsteps reach the bordering field.

      O'er many a hill he pass'd, and many a plain,
    While the steep sun toiled up heaven's blue domain:
    At length, o'erspent with labour, he descries
    A spire white-glistening in the morning-skies;
    Around, a hundred cots in order rose,                }
    And mingling trees a shadowy scene compose;          }
    A mighty wood, o'er all, its dark protection throws. }
    On vale, on village, and protecting wood,
    The southern sun shot down his fiery flood.
    Recent from toil, the weary peasant-train
    Reclined their languid limbs along the plain,
    Or dragg'd their idle steps along the soil,
    To watch the mountain-miner's distant toil.
    Here first Ernestus paused, and gazing round,
    Traced the wide scene, and measured all the ground.
    At length, his search determined to delay
    'Till deepening twilight quench the crimson ray,
    On the cool grass his weary limbs he threw,
    While future years rose imaged to his view,
    From hope to hope his mind enraptur'd pass'd,
    And every hope seem'd brighter than the last.
    So the swift eagle, with exulting wings,
    Freed from his cage, thro' echoing ether springs;
    Towers, cities, hills recede, untired he flies,
    Cleaves the blue space, and gains upon the skies:
    There wantons in the warm expanse of day,
    And drinks, with kindling eyes, the sun's accustomed ray.

      Meanwhile the guardian genius round him pours
    Celestial dews, and nature's strength restores;
    His swimming eyes to balmy sleep resign'd,
    And fancy bore sweet visions to his mind.

      'Twas now the time, when sober Evening sheds
    Her dusky mantle o'er the grassy meads:
    Nor yet the pale stars trembled thro' the trees,
    Nor sparkling quiver'd on the inconstant seas;
    Nor yet the moon illumed the solemn scene:
    The fields were silent, and the heavens serene.
    The sheep had sought the fold; nor yet arose
    Night's listless bird from her dull day's repose.
    When in a vale with shadowy firs replete,
    Whose broad boughs rustled thro' the dark retreat,
    Beneath a pine that sunk to slow decay,
    Unseen, Gustavus pass'd the hours away.
    From earliest morn, ere day's third glass was run, }
    The chief had mused, nor mark'd the rising son;    }
    And the retiring day appear'd as just begun.       }
    Each flattering argument his mind revolved,
    Each gleam of patriot hope yet undissolved,
    Traced to its dubious source each meteor-light,
    'Till the last spark went out, and all was night.
    Convinced at length, he spoke: the woods around
    With solemn awe return'd the mournful sound;
    And souls of patriots listen'd from on high,
    Uncertain yet of Sweden's destiny.

      "Yes, thou must fall! oh once o'er earth renown'd,
    Queen of the North, with choicest blessings crown'd,
    While martial glory waited on thy voice,
    And wealth and power seem'd rivals for thy choice!
    Ye fond survivors of a ruined state,              }
    Here quit, at length, your hopes of happier fate, }
    And view your country's fix'd unalterable date!   }
    You were not made to fear a tyrant's frown,
    To gild with tributary wealth his crown,
    To welcome some deputed robber's sway,
    And watch his wavering will from day to day:
    No--once o'erwhelm'd beneath a tyrant's blow.
    Each following age will bring increase of woe,
    And every sigh, that loads the Swedish air,
    Will fly the herald of a patriot's care!

      "How art thou changed, oh fate! since smiling Time
    Bore on his noiseless wings my youthful prime!--
    By my paternal castle-gate reclined,
    I caught the murmurs of the evening wind;
    Or, leaning o'er the rampire's battled height,
    Cast my young eye, with ever-new delight,
    O'er rocks, o'er vallies rich with many a flower,
    The lake blue-glistening, and the snowy tower:
    While my sire joy'd on days long past to dwell,
    How Haquin triumph'd, or how Birger fell--
    'That land,' he said, 'thy gallant fathers won
    From realms that glow beneath a brighter sun.
    Their beacons blazing on each snow-clad height,
    The yelling sons of Odin rush'd to fight,
    And rent the eagles of invading Rome,
    Whose power had changed a hundred nations' doom.
    In vain the Empress of the Northern Zone,
    With arts on arts high piled her ill-gained throne:
    Stern Engelbert trod Usurpation down,
    And from the thirteenth Eric tore the crown.
    Yet may my country fall--earth's works decay,
    And heaven's high laws expect the annulling day.

      "While yet a youth, by venturous hope impell'd,
    Thro' foreign climes my devious course I held;
    And came at last, where high in ether shine
    The golden towers of sceptred Constantine.
    There Palæologus the kingdom sway'd,
    And willing Greece his mild commands obey'd.
    I saw the town with antique splendours crown'd,
    The martial force, the crowded ports around,
    The peopled fields, with waving harvests fair,
    And deem'd, security and peace were there.

      "Onward I pass'd in youthful ardour bold,
    'Till o'er the changeful earth four suns had roll'd,
    When Stockholm's towers and Meler's native stream,
    Of every vision, every thought the theme,
    Recall'd my steps.--Returning thence, I saw
    Byzantium sunk beneath a victor's law:
    O'er the high walls barbaric ensigns wave,
    Red with the recent carnage of the brave:
    On quarter'd camps the sun his red beam flings;
    Thro' night's dim arch the shrill-toned Ezzau rings;
    Buried in dust the Christian altars lie,
    And exiled Science seeks another sky.

      "Thus, Sweden, mayst thou fall! in ruin lost,
    Each hope of aid by swift destruction cross'd;
    Thy blazing domes may feed a tyrant's ire,
    Thy shrines; unwilling, burn with Danish fire;
    Thy latest king, like Constantine, in vain
    May join his slaughtered subjects on the plain!--
    Handmaid of Science, and by Science fed,
    Each vice already rears its blooming head:
    Already Treason digs his silent mine;                }
    With, civil follies, foreign wars combine;           }
    And raging Faction waits to give th' appointed sign. }
    Oh! in that hour, when growing dangers rise,
    When the weak trembles, and the faithless flies,
    Gustavus, fight for her! for Sweden fight!
    For her employ the day, outwatch the night!
    Untouch'd by grief, by terror, or dismay,
    Urge thro' surrounding ills thy fearless way;
    Let useless torture and defeated hate
    Confess the triumphs of a hero's fate:
    Let tranquil courage in each act be seen,
    And tyrants tremble at thy dying mien!'

      "He spoke no more. O'er my astonish'd soul
    I felt a flood of high emotions roll:
    Toss'd on the mighty stream of future time,
    My young heart shook with ecstasies sublime!

      "Oh, look not from thy skies, lamented shade,
    Nor view that land to misery betray'd:
    If ignorance can cloud immortal sight,
    Be Sweden's fortunes wrapp'd in tenfold night!
    Thou saw'st not Devastation sweep her shore,
    Her forests smoke, her rivers roll in gore;
    Thou saw'st not half her woes. Her senate low,
    Thou thought'st her people would revenge the blow;
    And hope shone kindling in thy dying eye,
    That some new sun would rise to light her starless sky.--
    'Twas then, when Christiern thought the axe too slow,
    And watch'd with eager transport every blow,
    And drank each murmur that to death consign'd
    The noblest, wisest, bravest of mankind,--
    When ev'n the gazing crowd was doom'd to feel
    The fury of his yet unsated steel,--
    'Twas then thou met thy fate,--unshared by me!
    Thou fell'st, and with thee Sweden's liberty!
    Thy spouse, thy daughter, wrapp'd in fetters lie;
    Thy son, self-exiled, quits his native sky!"--

      He paused, and starting from the verdant ground
    With hurried footsteps paced the forests round,
    Stung with fierce grief, 'till the full tide of woes
    Subsiding sunk, and calmer thoughts arose.

      While yet he roams beneath the shady groves,
    And tears gush forth at every step he roves;
    Sleep's humid vapours lessening on his eyes,
    Ernestus rose, and mark'd the changing skies.
    And now a furze-clad eminence he found,
    That wide o'erlook'd the immensity of ground:
    From this, with eye insatiate, he admires
    Woods, hamlets, fields, and awe-commanding spires.
    And seeks where first to steer his fateful flight,
    Safe under covert of the quiet night.
    Wide to the left the blue-tinged river roll'd,
    And faintly tipped with eve's departing gold,
    The village rose: half-shaded, on the right
    A sloping hill appeared to bound the sight:
    From its hoar summit to the midmost vale,
    Unnumbered boughs waved floating in the gale.
    Imbrown'd with ceaseless toil, a smiling train
    Whirl the keen axe, and clear the farther plain,
    The intruding trees and scatter'd stems o'erthrow,
    And form a grassy theatre below.
    A hundred piles beneath the moon's wan beams,
    O'er rock and valley shed their lengthening streams;
    Three youths at each their joyous station keep,
    In festive contest bent to banish sleep,
    And strive which first shall see the morn arise
    With pale-red streamer waving thro' the skies.
    Sequester'd from the rest a shaded dome
    Arose, the son of Eric's rural home:
    On its low roof the light appear'd to rest,
    The last green light that trembled in the west.
    Thither, by Heaven impell'd, he took his way,
    And sought the spot where Sweden's hero lay.

      Meanwhile beneath an oak, ere day was met,
    The village-chiefs, a rustic council, met;
    Whom ancient custom bade with annual care
    The ensuing day's festivities prepare.
    Thro' their dark locks cold sigh'd the evening wind;
    Their dogs upon the dewy plain reclined
    Beside them lay. In their afflicted thought
    Each proof of Christiern's fell oppression wrought,
    Each deed, each menace: gloomy bodings swell
    In every bosom--not a tongue can dwell
    On sports, on prizes, or on social games:--
    O'er their wide vallies doom'd to hostile flames,
    O'er their devoted domes, their eyes they throw,
    Dimm'd with the rising tear that dares not flow.
    At length a veteran chief, Olafsen named,
    In early youth for fiery valour famed,
    By labour unimpaired, unchilled by age,
    And still in battle more than counsel sage--
    At length Olafsen rose, and darting round
    His eyes, where rage and resolution frown'd,
    "Arouse!" he cried, "delay were madness here!
    Let all who dare in arms, in arms appear!
    Enough our eyes have track'd the conquering foe,
    And in calm torpor watch'd each new o'erthrow!
    Yon troop of peasants, ignorantly gay,
    Who waste in careless sports the passing day,
    Soon shall behold the waving sheets of fire,
    Sent from their peaceful domes, to heaven aspire.
    Each year, each month, new towns with ruin smoke,
    And province after province feels the yoke.
    Already on our conquer'd castle's height
    The Danish watchfires redden all the night,
    Soon, soon, their inroads will our fate decide--
    Haste, let us spread th' eventful tidings wide,
    Arm every hand, provoke the lingering fight;
    And woe to him, that joys not at the sight!
    By this dread tree, which many an age has stood
    Unshaken, and survived the subject wood,
    Which never pruner's steel has dared invade,
    Nor venturous woodman lopp'd the hallow'd shade;
    By this dread tree I swear, no peace to know,
    'Till conqueror, captive, or in death laid low!
    Arouse, and conquer, by my zeal inspired!"

      He spoke, and speaking every bosom fired.
    From one to one the patriot ardour flows,
    As on the ruffled deep the watery circle grows.

      First rose his generous son, Adolphus named,       }
    For martial sports and manly courage famed,          }
    A youth, who once in war the palm of honour claimed: }
    And thus express'd his mind: "To-morrow's dawn
    Will see assembled on our spreading lawn
    The chiefs of Dalecarlia's mountain-land,
    With all their following train, a countless band.
    To that vast crowd let some bold youth proclaim            }
    Eternal war on Denmark's hated name,                       }
    And say, "From Mora's chiefs this martial challenge came." }
    Their valiant clans will gather at the sound,
    And squadrons people all the dales around.
    Oh! did one fearless heart, of those who died
    When reeking Stockholm pour'd a crimson tide,
    Did one, but one, remain, his country's shield,
    To lead our warriors to the deathful field;
    Then might the angry king his legions tire,
    Waste on these rocks his ineffectual ire,
    Scowl at his freeborn foes, and vainly try
    To plant his silken standards in our sky!"

      Struck with the welcome thought, from man to man
    Mingled with praise, assenting murmurs ran
    Unequal--So in night's tempestuous roar
    The waves successive lash the stony shore.
    The bold advice, by inexperience moved,
    All seem'd applauding, yet not all approved;
    And old Adalfi thus: "Tho' hopes remain;       }
    Tho' dauntless rashness may oft-times attain   }
    What wisdom's wiliest arts had sought in vain; }
    He, whose wild counsels risk a nation's fate,
    For public fame, may meet with public hate.
    Perhaps, ev'n now, to the victorious Dane
    Dalarne has yielded half her rich domain:
    Shall we to Denmark's slaves our hopes disclose,
    And court with frantic haste Oppression's rushing woes?--
    Oft have our sires the work of war delay'd,
    'Till signs aërial promised heavenly aid;
    Oft pitch'd their idle lances in the plain,
    While south-winds held their unpropitious reign.
    Remember too the word disclosed from high,
    The sacred word of ancient prophecy,--
    "When gather'd mists from Denmark's sky shall crowd,
    And blot the North with one continued cloud,
    Then shall a second sun to Sweden rise,
    And with unchanging glory gild her skies."
    Reflect on this, and let my words have way,
    Nor spurn the needful counsels of delay.
    Should all our province with united strength
    Assail the foe, the foe may yield at length,
    And backward shrink, while in the favouring hour
    All Sweden aids us with collective power.
    The hope that yet remains our care should guard,
    Nor blast by rashness, nor by fears retard.
    Ere yet the assembled chiefs our fate decide,
    Let chosen spies among the council glide,
    To every speech a listening ear incline,
    And sound each heart, and fathom each design.
    Let the skill'd augur Heaven's high will explore,
    And all with suppliant fear Heaven's Lord adore:
    So may success our fearless efforts guide,
    And Heaven auspicious fight on Sweden's side.--
    But see! the red-haired sun to ocean bends,
    And purple twilight on the heath descends.
    Haste to your homes--shake anxious care away,
    And, fresh with slumber, wait the long laborious day."

      Adalfi spoke; and bade ere noon of night
    With sacred spells and many a mystic rite
    Invoke the Power Divine, and seek from high
    The dark events of dread futurity.

      Thus they; while, stretch'd beneath the sheltering wood,
    The son of Eric thus his thoughts pursued.

      "Yes--'tis decreed! in heaven's recording hall
    Her guardian Spirit wrote my country's fall.
    When first red faction burn'd thro' all her shore,
    And icy Meler blush'd with civil gore,
    Our ills began. As whirling Maelstrom sweeps
    The shrieking sailor to the boundless deeps,
    Wide and more wide the increasing ruin grew,
    And all our hopes into its vortex drew.
    In vain the statesman thro' laborious days
    Piled plan on plan, and maze involved in maze;
    In vain Süante, and either Stenon, fought;
    In vain my arm a transient succour brought:
    Almighty Fate on all our labours frown'd,
    Athwart each scheme the thread of error wound,
    Our efforts with an unseen chain controll'd,
    Perplex'd the prudent, and dismay'd the bold.
    Fate urges on--Her adamantine shield
    Protects our destined Conqueror in the field;
    To his own seas by War and Famine driven,
    Furious he mounts, nor heeds the frowns of heaven:
    Fresh hosts appear, unnumber'd standards rise,
    From town to town his gather'd vengeance flies,
    His banner each ambitious prelate rears,
    In arms for him each factious Lord appears.
    Still, as around the blackening tempest grew,
    From cloud to cloud my ardent spirit flew,
    Watch'd every gleam of sunshine as it pass'd,
    And hoped the darkness would dissolve at last:
    But Time now hasten'd to the dread event!--
    In fruitless toil my days, my nights were spent;
    Our chiefs deputed felt the treacherous chain,
    And faith was lost, and victory was vain.

      "Saved from the captive crowd for death designed,
    Many a dark month, in slavery's gloom I pined.
    To seek, with hopeless eyes, my native ground;
    To hear, in thought, the din of battle sound;
    To watch each passing beam, and think it falls
    On slaughter'd armies and unpeopled walls,
    Was all my life--Suspense still waved a dart
    Of death-like terror o'er my throbbing heart.--
    I was not there, when thou, my Stenon, fell,
    To cheer thee with a soldier's kind farewell,
    At once to lay thy base betrayer low,
    And pour full vengeance on the astonished foe!
    Thy spirit, from its earthly home released,
    Thy patriot spirit entered in my breast;
    That soul ev'n now my toil-worn bosom fires,
    Prompts every deed, and every wish inspires!--
    Stung with fresh hope, I burst the involving chain, }
    Sought the sad relics of my friends in vain,        }
    And roam'd o'er Sweden's now subdued domain.        }
    As the swift flame alike unquench'd remains
    In air's clear space, and earth's dark cavern'd veins,
    Thro' every change burn'd on my great design;
    The crowded trade-ship, and the starless mine,
    The forest now, and now the mountain-cave,
    From following foes alternate refuge gave.
    Now my bold purpose boldly I pursued,
    Call'd Sweden's sons to arms, and all my hopes renew'd;
    Now the thick storm of danger shunn'd, and fled
    To hide in darkness my devoted head:
    Now fierce to conquer, now content to live,
    A patriot now, and now a fugitive.
    Thro' province, town, and hamlet, on I pass'd,
    Where virtue, or where freedom, yet might last;
    With keen reproach the lagging spirit fired,
    The weak with hope, the bold with praise inspired.
    But all was changed! and Sweden but a name!
    Her rocks and mountains only were the same!

      "In toil and danger nurs'd, the peasants cried--
    'Hence, mighty victor! o'er the Baltic tide;
    To other realms thy noisy projects bear,
    Nor vex our humble state with hope and fear:
    Whoe'er is master, we are still forgot,
    And harmless poverty is still our lot.'
    They spoke, and shunn'd me, as a rebel hurl'd
    By Heaven's red vengeance from the starry world.
    Yet, as they turn'd, a deep, a long-drawn sigh
    Deplored their ruined joys and ravish'd liberty:
    They wept for blessings once bestow'd in vain,
    And mourn'd the good they hoped not to regain.
    The venal noble spurn'd me from his board,
    Or 'midst his smiles suborn'd the treacherous sword:
    While the proud prelate and his titled foe, }
    (As reconciled by fellowship in woe)        }
    Alike resolved no patriot Swede to know.    }
    All, all was Christiern's--and the haughtiest fear'd
    That voice, her peasants late with scorn had heard.
    Alone amidst my country's wreck I stood,
    A little bark surrounded by the flood,
    And hung suspended o'er the rolling wave,
    Whose every surge disclosed a gaping grave.
    'Tis time to give superfluous toils a close,
    And seek the friendly haven of repose.
    To foreign realms I fly, a peaceful guest:
    Ev'n Denmark's friends will give Gustavus rest,
    An exiled youth with cheap protection shade,
    And glad with comfort him they dare not aid.

      "What help, what hope to Sweden now remains?
    Imperial Charles with kindred power sustains
    Her fell oppressor: his o'erwhelming hosts
    Awe the wide North, and deluge Europe's coasts;
    Nor could our forces Pavia's victor brave,
    Tho' the fierce Dane were left without a slave.
    Still arm'd for battle, watchful Norbi sweeps
    With many a prow her subjugated deeps.
    Dark Trollio, deep in all the craft of hell,
    Who with one art a hundred hosts might quell,
    Conducts her foes: his active prudence schools
    The veteran leaders, and their courage rules.
    Unnumber'd legions swarm thro' all her coast,
    And scarce the land supports its conquering host.
    Experienced Otho o'er the troops presides,
    And parts their plunder, and their fury guides.
    Her trembling people, as when winds conspire
    To wrap some capital in clouds of fire,
    Now here, now there, for hopeless succour fly,
    Or, chill'd with dread, in pale submission lie.
    Ev'n Dalecarlia's fierce untutored train
    In arms a sullen slow defence maintain,
    Nor meet the foe; but from their summits dare
    His coming steps, and menace useless war.
    Soon will the hostile steel, wide-conquering, mow
    Their strength, and Sweden's last defence lie low.
    No more is left to fate: the fix'd decree
    Stands on the tablets of eternity:
    And many a towering empire may decay,              }
    And many an age roll its slow years away,          }
    Ere Freedom light again her once-extinguished ray. }

      "Away with vain regrets, and useless tears!
    One labour more, one final task appears;
    From all my joys with calmness to depart,
    The last brave effort of a hero's heart:
    The smiles of partial Conscience to enjoy,
    Since erring Hope no longer can decoy,
    And, high on Resolution's pinions borne,
    Look down on fate, and all its evils scorn.
    Yes--o'er my head whatever sun may roll,
    Scorch'd at the line, or freezing at the pole,
    Still will I guard, untired, some righteous cause,
    Still shield some country's violated laws;
    And many a joy, that Christiern cannot taste,
    Shall cheer Gustavus thro' misfortune's waste.
    Enough for me, with honour to perform
    My destined course, and face the allotted storm;
    That done, who will may snatch the wreath of fame:
    Oblivion, close for ever on my name!
    The souls of heroes shall frequent my stone,
    In torrents buried, or with moss o'ergrown,
    And, while all else forget me, shall proclaim
    To kindred spirits their Gustavus' name.

      "Ye faithful warriors, fearless hearts, farewell!
    Who fought with me, and for your country fell!
    O'er your cold dust I wept not; hurrying war
    Forbade all pause.--Yet, oh! whatever star,
    Sacred to patriot worth, and valour's crown,           }
    Contain you now,--from heaven's bright noon look down, }
    Visit an exile's dreams, and blunt misfortune's frown! }

      "Thou too, farewell! my country! since in vain
    I strove to snatch thee from the eternal chain;
    Thou, of whose glory future tongues shall tell,
    Mother of kings and heroes--fare thee well!
    What human thought and prudence could sustain,
    For thee I proved, and proved that all was vain;
    And could my single toils protection give,
    Armies might sleep, and Stenon yet might live.
    For thee I could refuse with fame to fall,                }
    When glorious death stood ready at my call;               }
    For thee I rush'd thro' ills, for thee despised them all. }
    Farewell!--thy rocks, thy skies, thy mountains blue,
    Where'er I turn, shall seem to meet my view;
    While Hope, unterrified by all the past,
    Shall pierce thro' future years, and view thee free at last!

      "God of my sires! if studious to fulfill
    In every point thy uncontested will,
    I long have struggled, careless to escape,
    With ills of every size, of every shape;
    If still from Superstition's darkness free,
    My heart has breathed a purer prayer to thee,
    While erring millions with vain worship stained
    Thy holy altars, and thy praise profaned;
    If now, obeying thy implied command,
    I quit at length this long-disputed land:
    Assist me still!--and grant my native shore
    One hour of rest, one tranquil season more!
    Enough her ancient crimes have teem'd with woes;
    Let her long griefs be paid with short repose:
    Or, if I seek that kind reprieve in vain,
    Let future years, at least, dissolve her chain!
    Protect my honoured mother: and assuage
    The woes that wreck my sister's youthful age:--
    If yet on earth the beauteous flow'ret bloom,
    Or wither'd moulder in the silent tomb,
    I must not know--Enough--thy gracious will
    Divides, with equal measure, good and ill!--
    To them, if aught I merit, be it given;
    And grant them peace on earth, or bliss in heaven.
    I will not name them more--the mournful name
    Would damp with grief my soul's reviving flame.
    To safe retreats my fellow-patriots lead,
    Reward their labours, and their vows succeed;
    Nor let one soul repine he ever fought
    For virtuous praise, or deem it dearly bought!"

      Scarce had he finish'd, when o'er rock and dell
    A sudden stream of yellow splendour fell,
    As if a star, with sunlike lustre crown'd,
    Dropp'd instantaneous thro' the blue profound.
    His heaving breast the joyful omen cheer'd,
    And now thro' parting clouds the moon appear'd.

      Beneath her glimmering light the chief survey'd
    A stranger-youth advancing thro' the shade.
    His stately air, his gold-embroider'd vest,
    And towering step superior birth confess'd;
    But time, and mental storms, had changed a mien
    By godlike Vasa once with pleasure seen:
    Tho' recent hope and transport half effaced
    The lines, which sorrow had so lately traced.

      Unaw'd by fear the courteous hero stood,
    And near the shady confines of the wood
    Now met the youth. "Whoe'er thou art," he cried,
    "Beneath our roof the tranquil morn abide:
    For see, the red stars rise, and all around
    The dew falls heavy on the silent ground."

      "Hear, gallant guardian of an injured state!"
    (Replied the certain messenger of fate)
    "For well I know thee, once in battle seen:
    No length of years can change a hero's mien,
    Unalter'd as his soul; since in his lines
    The stamp of Heaven's own hand distinguish'd shines."--

      On him, in speechless wonder, Vasa gazed:
    New feelings, by uncertain memory raised,
    Rose indistinct: now rage, he knew not why,
    Fired all his spirit; now the half-felt sigh
    Of ancient friendship in his breast renew'd,
    Urged its slow course, whilst thus the youth pursu'd:

      "Ask not my name--lest rising wrath prevent
    My hurried speech, and hinder Heaven's intent.--
    Confined by Christiern's doom, I saw, with dread,
    The axe hang glaring o'er my fated head:
    Escaped, thro' nightly seas I held my way,
    'Till starry midnight verged on purple day;
    When instant at my prow a form appear'd,
    Array'd in splendours, and the darkness cheer'd.
    Genius of Sweden (such his sacred name)
    From heaven's high arch the lucid herald came.
    He bade me instant cross the watery road,          }
    And seek Gustavus in his dark abode,               }
    Where swift Dal-Elbe thro' rocky mountains flow'd. }
    Then thus: "To him, Ernestus! is decreed
    To govern nations by his valour freed,
    Oppression's fiercest efforts to subdue,
    And at his feet contending factions view.
    Indignant Denmark mourns her laws o'erthrown,
    And spurns her monarch from his iron throne.
    Soon as Gustavus blows the loud alarms,
    Each town, each province will arise to arms;
    With Wermeland's tribes Westmania's shall unite,
    And Gothland's answering shouts provoke the fight.
    Bid him, who now in sluggish languor lies,
    Nor knows the favour of the indulgent skies,
    Rise and avenge! for him Heaven's laws ordain     }
    The lengthen'd blessings of a peaceful reign,     }
    And sons succeeding sons, his glory to maintain." }
    He spoke, and swifter than the falcon's flight
    The ship shot instant thro' the seas of night.
    The vision vanish'd from my earnest view,
    And o'er me sleep his drowsy mantle threw:
    'Till, roused by morning's beam, my bark I steer'd
    Where full in sight your mountain-land appear'd,
    Cut thro' the bordering groves my rapid way,
    And reach'd your rural dome by close of day,
    Propitious Heaven my guide." While yet he spoke,
    In Vasa's breast the storm of fury woke:
    Each phrase accustomed, each familiar tone,
    Proclaim'd the wretch for daring treasons known.
    With giant grasp he seiz'd the youth, whose mind
    Nor hoped, nor sought to shun the death design'd;
    "And comest thou then, young veteran in deceit,
    To make thy work of perfidy complete,
    To earn by Vasa's death one title more,
    And revel in another patriot's gore?--
    And think'st thou still to flatter and deceive,
    By fables madness only can believe?--
    Thy wealth is useless now--this ruined state
    Has long in vain required her traitor's fate;
    She bids me, when I can, avenge her woes,
    And wreak her wrongs where'er I meet her foes!
    Brave Stenon quits the mansions of the dead,
    And calls down lightning on his murderer's head!
    Confirm my deed, ye all-attesting skies!
    Sweden! accept the grateful sacrifice
    That stains thy thirsty soil!" He spoke, and raised
    His long-tried sword; high o'er the youth it blazed--
    "Accept the sacrifice!" with voice serene
    The youth re-echoed, and unalter'd mien:
    When lo! that practised arm, which once could rear
    The ponderous mace, and couch the winged spear,
    That arm, by some superior force unsteel'd,
    Shook, and the sword dropp'd idly on the field.
    Again he raised the point; again essay'd
    To bury in his heart the reeking blade,
    When lo! a sudden whirlwind scour'd the sky,
    Seiz'd the descending falchion, and on high
    In whirling eddies bore it, while around
    Low thunders rattled thro' the heavens profound.
    Awhile in dumb suspense the hero stood;
    Then sought the falchion thro' the dusky wood,
    Resolved the seeming wonder to explore,
    And search the depths of fate's mysterious lore.

      His changing mien the youth intent survey'd,
    And slowly follow'd thro' the winding shade.



[_The Argument to the Fourth Book, of which this is only the
commencement, will be found in the Notes._]

    Observant of the deepening maze of fate,
    High on his throne of stars the Eternal sate:
    Whence his broad eyes the changeful earth survey'd,
    The rolling seas, the sun, the infernal shade,
    And all his worlds. In one collected beam
    Heaven's various rays around his temples gleam,
    Yet veil with dusky cloud the lustre pure,
    Whose fulness no archangel can endure.
    In bright obscurity he sits sublime,
    And tranquil looks thro' all the stream of time.

      Around the throne a blue expanse of light
    Extended past the reach of angel sight;
    There heaven's superior spirits made abode,
    Foremost in power, and nearest to their God.
    Amidst the azure sea like stars they shone,
    And circled in an hundred orbs the throne.
    Those who o'er states preside, and those whose hand
    Sheds war, or peace, or famine o'er a land;
    Who guide the uncertain tempest in the pole,
    Watch the red comet, and the stars control.

      Thro' the bless'd orders, as in ranks they rise,
    The Power on Earth's bright guardians turn'd his eyes.
    The attendant Spirit knew the mystic sign,
    For ever seated near the throne divine:
    He saw his sovereign's will by looks express'd,
    And Suecia's guardian angel thus address'd:

      "Haste, faithful Spirit! to the nether skies,
    Where Dalecarlia's misty mountains rise:
    A Danish fort on the rude frontier stands,
    Pregnant with war, and all the land commands:
    With specious safety lull the band to rest,
    Unstring each nerve, and weaken every breast.
    The peasant-tribes with new-born strength inspire,
    Bid ev'n the fearful glow with martial fire,
    With sudden hope their cold despondence quell,
    And patriot grief with patriot ire dispel.
    Thence bend thy way to Denmark's stormy coast,
    Where princely Frederic heads his secret host.
    Let fears and jealousies each town alarm,
    And Denmark's boldest tribes for Frederic arm.
    That done, on Eric's hero-son attend,
    Each motion guide, and each design befriend;
    And to his sight in broader view unfold
    The bright events to young Ernestus told.
    Such be thy task: the rest in silence wait,
    'Till changeful time shall work the will of fate."

      Before the throne th' obedient Seraph bows,
    And veils the star that glitters on his brows;
    Then thro' the blue abyss impetuous flies
    Where starr'd with suns heaven's ample pathway lies,
    Its radiant limit: thro' that path he springs,
    And shoots smooth-gliding on refulgent wings.

      Far in the void of heaven a secret way
    Leads from the mansions of empyreal day,
    That wanders devious from the road of light,
    And deepens gradual into central night:
    By this dim path he sought the dark profound
    Of utmost hell, Creation's flaming bound,
    Saw the far-distant gleam, and heard the roar
    Of dashing surges on the burning shore.
    With hasty steps he trod the deep descent,
    Thro' the gross air, that brighten'd as he went,
    And call'd a spirit from the gulphs below,
    Heaven's scourge, and minister of human woe.
    The summon'd fiend forsook the fiery wave,
    And Sweden's Genius thus his mandate gave:

      "To Dalecarlia's tented fields repair,
    And seek the Danish host assembled there.
    With seeming safety and false hopes destroy
    Their watchful care, and melt them down to joy;
    And, while they sleep in the delusive charm,
    Unstring each nerve, and weaken every arm;
    So shall their fears, not Vasa, strike the blow,
    And ready Conquest meet the coming foe."

      He spoke. Incumbent on the boundless night,
    To upper air they wing their echoing flight:
    Thence swift to earth their airy voyage bend,
    Where the cold North's unmeasured tracts extend:
    O'er pine-clad Norway's wilderness of snow,
    O'er the huge Dofrine's cloudy tops they go,
    Thro' many a fertile province urge their flight;
    And on Dal-Elbe's uncultured plains alight.

      Thro' the majestic forest's leafy pride
    The murmurs of the recent tempest sigh'd,
    The shades of eve were closed, and pattering showers
    Shed added gloom o'er midnight's starless hours.
    Sleep in his downy car o'er Mora rode,
    And soft-winged Silence ruled the calm abode.
    Lull'd by the distant gale's unequal sound,
    The peasants press their beds, with rushes crown'd,
    From daily toil and fear a respite steal,
    And dream of joys the waking may not feel.

      High blazing on the Danish castle's brow,
    The beacon redden'd all the fields below.
    From its tall battlements, o'er moat and dell,
    Chequering the light, uncertain shadows fell.
    On high, the warder tunes his martial song;
    The rocks, the dales, the cheerful notes prolong.

      On a broad plain the rising structure stands,
    The work of Dalecarlia's mountain bands,
    In ancient years, ere Margaret ruled the clime,
    Majestic still it stands, and unimpair'd by time.
    The Western height primeval rocks inclose;
    Low-murmuring to the south a river flows:
    The rest with towers and tower-like works was crown'd,
    And cast a various shadow o'er the ground.
    Unnumber'd outworks, lessening by degrees,
    Sloped to the plain: wide quivering to the breeze
    The Danish standard, on the heights unrolled,
    Inflames the air with many a waving fold.
    Stupendous gates the massy fabric crown'd,
    That rough with iron studs impervious frown'd.
    Oft had the rocky cattle's rugged form
    From its steep sides roll'd off the martial storm:
    And whirlwinds, wasting all the neighbouring plain,
    Spent their loud anger on its walls in vain.
    Lofty it stood, impregnated with war,
    And seem'd a craggy mountain from afar.

      Fast by a fire, whose half-extinguished rays
    Shot here and there a fluctuating blaze,
    The warriors' languid eyes in slumber closed;
    Their arms, beside them, gleam'd as they reposed.
    The guards alone, still cautious of surprise,  }
    Watch'd at each gate, and gazing on the skies, }
    Repell'd unwilling slumber from their eyes.    }

      Five hundred Danish youths this post maintain'd,
    To fight alike, and hardy ravage train'd;
    Prepared the fiercest mountain-host to dare,
    And dash from many a battlement the war;
    Prepared to hurl the whizzing lance, to pour
    The missive flame, or dart the arrowy shower:
    Young Eric the selected squadron led,
    Count Bernheim's son, in camps and contests bred;
    A fiery spirit, never at a stay,
    With martial projects teeming night and day;
    Alike by terror, pity, and remorse
    Untouch'd, he held, thro' crimes, his fearless course;
    Proud, like his king, to conquer and oppress,
    In action rash, and haughty with success.

      While thus deep slumber half the troop oppress'd,
    And ev'n the waking found a pause of rest,
    The joyful demon, with malignant look,
    O'er all the host his sable mantle shook.
    Instant before the slumbering soldier's eyes
    Dreams of past joy and sweet illusions rise:
    And he whose ardent spirit late engaged
    In airy wars, and bloodless battles waged,
    A mountain-chief in every vision slew,
    And on the yielding rear still foremost flew,
    Now, sudden, sees each fading phantom changed,
    Feels every care and thought from war estranged,
    Seeks the lost quiet of his native shore,
    And mourns the lengthen'd toils, he gloried in before:
    Burns with impetuous pleasure's feverish fire,
    Or trembles in the tumult of desire.
    The drowsy watch a sullen vigil keep,
    And scarce oppose the invading hand of sleep.
    Ev'n Eric, watchful still, and us'd to bear
    His destined weight of military care,
    Ev'n Eric feels his soul's wild tumult fled,
    And bows to softer sleep his restless head.
    Before him visionary glories roll,
    And fancied victories dilate his soul.

      Here, to complete his task, low-hovering stay'd
    The fiend; while, mingling with the nightly shade,
    Intent his generous purpose to fulfil,                      }
    The radiant herald of th' eternal will                      }
    Thro' the wide province flies, and darts from hill to hill. }



    Circling ages swept away
    Sweden's kings of ancient sway,
        And hid their race from sight:
    Circling ages bring again
    To that race the long-lost reign,
        And Time revokes his flight.
    Their star shall rise with brighter beam
    From slumbering in the ocean-stream.

    Dalecarlia, grasp the spear!
    Hail thy great Deliverer near,
        To alter Sweden's doom!
    Born to raise her darken'd name,
    Heir of all her former fame,
        And source of all to come,
    Past and future glories shine
    Centred in the youth divine.

    Sweden, rise! I bid thee brave,
    Unappall'd, War's dubious wave,
        'Till the doom'd period close!
    War in vain shall spend his rage,
    Prelude to a peaceful age
        That shall redress his woes.
    Sweden! rouse thy martial band;
    'Tis thy Guardian Power's command!

    When the slow-emerging sun
    First dispels the shadows dun,
        And his whole circle rears:
    When the north-wind's stormy breath
    Shakes the mountain, sweeps the heath,
        The clouded ether clears:
    Own the signal of the sky!
    Hail the great Deliverer nigh!



    Cœruleas Ticinus aquas et stagna vadoso
    Perspicuus servat turbari nescia fundo,
    Ac nitidum viridi latè trahit amne liquorem:
    Vix credas labi; ripis tam mitis opacis,
    Argutos inter volucrum certamina cantus,
    Somniferam ducit lucenti gurgite lympham.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Thro' these fair scenes the smooth Ticinus glides,
    And in soft murmurs rolls his slumbering tides:
    No mud disturbs the mirror calm and deep;
    The clouds upon its stilly bosom sleep:
    The varied beauties of the flowery scene
    Chequer the azure light, and paint the floods with green.
    Scarce seems the wave to roll, so sweetly flows
    The tranquil stream, inviting soft repose:
    While on its side, in tuneful contest gay,
    Their mellow notes the feather'd songsters play.



    Ipse refulgebat Tarpeiæ culmine rupis,
    Elatâ quatiens flagrantia fulmina dextrâ,
    Jupiter, ac lati fumabant sulphure campi,
    Et gelidis Anio trepidabat cœrulus undis:
    Et densi ante oculos iterùmque iterùmque tremendum
    Vibrabant ignes....

       *       *       *       *       *

    High on the rock, the God, with furious look,
    From side to side his burning thunder shook:
    Now here, now there, the scattering lightnings broke,
    And the wide vallies flamed, and glowed with sulphurous smoke:
    Contagious terror roll'd from plain to plain;
    Cold Anio trembled in his watery reign;
    And dazzled by the withering flames, o'eraw'd,
    The chief shrunk back, and own'd the present God.



    Where are the kings of ancient sway?
    Where are the terrors of their day,
        The chiefs that with glory bled?
    Soon, soon their little sun was o'er;
    And, hurried to oblivion's shore,
        Their very names are fled!
    Yet can the Muse from fate redeem
        Her favourites here below;
    Can check Time's all-devouring stream
        In its eternal flow;
    Can catch the quickly-passing beam,
        And bid it for ever glow!


    The darkly-gathering clouds of night
    Had quench'd the red remains of light;
    O'er the hill and o'er the plain
    She held her dim and shadowy reign,
    And the distant billows of the main
        In boundless darkness roll'd.
    O'er land and sea, it was silence all,
    No breezes waved the pine-wood tall,
        Or swept the lonely wold:
    The murmurs of the lake had died,
    The reeds upon its plashy side
        No rustling motion felt;
    But o'er the world, as life were fled,
    As Nature thro' her world were dead,
        Portentous stillness dwelt.


    On a rock of the sea young Carthon stood,
    And his lamp shone faint on the ocean-flood,
    As with both his hands he toiled to raise
    The seaward beacon's ruddy blaze:
    And aye the warrior, far and near,
        Explored the dark profound,
    And aye the warrior's cautious ear
        Was watching every sound;
    But the air of night was mirk and dread,
    And all was silent around his head.


    At length, uncertain murmurs rose
        Athwart the billows grey,
    Breaking the night-air's still repose,
        And deepening on their way:
    He beard the dashing of the oar,
    And the long surge whitening to the shore;
    And now the broad-sailed bark appear'd,
    And now to the silvery beach it steer'd,
        And anchored in the bay.


    "What news, what news of Lochlin's king?"
        The Chief of Lona cried:
    "Tidings of war and death I bring,"
        The ocean-scout replied.
    "A dreadful vow has King Haquin vow'd,
    To spread in Albin his banners proud,
    Disperse o'er forest, field, and fold,
    His hundred troops of warriors bold,
    'Till every rock with gore shall smoke,
    And every castle own the yoke.
    The keen remains of recent hate
    Yet burn thro' all the Northern state,
    And many an age's gather'd ire
    With added fury fans the fire.


    "'Twas under the shade of dark midnight
    They met at his hall, in armour dight,
        The king and his chieftains proud;
    Their lances at their sides were hung,
    And the oak-tree, blazing 'midst the throng,
    Across the hall, with flashes long,
    A broad uncertain lustre flung,
        Like a red and shifting cloud.
    'Twas here, to all before concealed,
    The Monarch his design revealed.


    "Their answering clamours shook the ground,
    And Gormul's mountain far around
    From all his rocks flung back the sound.
    Pierced by the monarch, with struggling yell
    A bull at Odin's altar fell;
    The priest in a bowl received the gore,
    And round the troop the chalice bore.
    Eager, as he the wine-cup quaffed,
    Each chief caroused the sable draught,--
        The pledge of martial faith;
    And not a word the stillness broke,
    As thus, in turn, each chieftain spoke,
        With slow and solemn breath:


    "'When the fiery-mantled Sun
    Sees the glorious fight began,
    He shall see its stubborn course
    Burn with unabated force!
    Swords shall clatter, javelins sing,
    Arrows whistle from the string,
    Not a step be turned to flight,
    Not a warrior wish for night,
    'Till the burning star of day
    Quenches his declining ray
    In the darkness of the main,
    And throughout the purple plain,
    Heaped with slaughter, piled with death,
    Not a foeman draws his breath.
    He who well performs his vow,
    Monarch Odin, shield him thou!
    He who shrinks from hostile blow,
    Hela! scourge the wretch below
    In thy ninefold house of woe!'"


    "O'er hill and field the war-drum peal'd,
        High flamed the beacon-flame,
    And each noble peer, from far and near,
        To Haquin's standard came.
    I saw ten thousand lances gleam
    Beneath the winter's swart sun-beam!
    They hide old Gormul's snow-capt height,
        They hide the craggy dell;
    And I hastened thro' the waves of night,
        The tidings of war to tell."



--Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.

    'Twas night: the stars denied one cheering ray,
    And wrapp'd in clouds the lunar splendours lay.
    No lightest zephyr brush'd the silent floods,
    Or swept the bosom of the lofty woods:
    Each human heart the general calm confess'd;
    The childless sire had hush'd his cares to rest:
    And he, the victim of his country's laws,
    The base deserter of her awful cause,
    Whose eyes no more in earthly sleep shall close, }
    Yet sunk oppress'd, and drank in calm repose     }
    A short, a deep oblivion of his woes.            }

      Diffusing verdure o'er a lonely glade,
    A fountain with eternal murmurs play'd:
    Hard by, an ancient forest's leafy brow
    Cast a brown horror o'er the stream below,
    On the green margin of the quiet flood,
    With looks of woe, a time-worn Exile stood:
    On the dim wave he cast a gloomy look,
    Then thus in low and troubled accents spoke:

      "Dear native stream! and thou, thrice happy lawn!
    Where once I roved, in youth's first joyous dawn,
    While every wind a holy silence kept,
    And peaceful on the flood the sunbeam slept:
    I now return, and ask of your kind wave
    The last unenvied gift, a quiet grave!
    From scene to scene of varied misery toss'd,
    Each hope, each joy, each cheerful prospect lost,
    With cares and labours many a year oppress'd,
    I hail the dawn of everlasting rest!
    Tho' worn with sufferings, my distracted soul
    Scarce bows to former reason's firm controul,
    Ere yet I sink to death's secure repose,
    Once more let me retrace my ancient woes,
    And count those various pangs, which now shall cease
    In the calm bosom of unchanging peace.

      "Smooth roll'd my vernal years, while on my head
    Fate's early smiles a meteor-lustre shed.
    No painful fear, no troubles, then had power
    To break the current of one peaceful hour.
    Oft as I trod the meadow's verdant round,
    Or pierced the echoing forest's gloomy bound,
    Or traced the willowy margin of the stream,
    Lost in the wildering maze of Fancy's dream,
    Before me Life's long years in prospect rose,
    By fears unbroken, undisturb'd by woes.
    Yes! I remember well,--my dizzy brain
    Feels those bright hours not yet effaced by pain:
    Still on my soul they cast a distant light,
    And gild with transitory gleams the night!

      "Yet then, ev'n then, the powers of fate below
    Prepared for me their gather'd stores of woe:
    The tempest watch'd to blot my peaceful day,
    And silent in their beds the thunders lay!

      "Short was my date of joy: the yawning tomb
    Snatch'd my loved parents to eternal gloom.
    With fearful awe my shuddering soul survey'd
    The untried path of misery display'd,
    Gazed wild upon Misfortune's unknown form,
    And watch'd the coming terrors of the storm.

      "Soon burst the cloud, and far away was borne
    The last faint gleam of Life's deceitful morn.
    For fancied crimes expell'd my native shore,
    And doom'd alone to measure ocean o'er,
    I left those scenes where joy for ever reigns,
    Secure to find her on no other plains.

      "Dark rose the morn: the wind in every wood
    Howl'd, and the meteors glancing o'er the flood
    Flash'd a portentous light. Before the gale
    With streaming eyes I spread my little sail:
    Swift o'er the sounding waves the vessel flew,
    Cliff after cliff receding from my view:
    Chill ran my heart--the swelling sails I furl'd,
    While yet emerging from the watery world
    One headland rose--O'er all the boundless main. }
    I cast my shuddering view--I wept in vain--     }
    I wrung my hands in agonizing pain:             }
    O'er my dim eyes increasing darkness hung,
    No low, faint murmurs, trembled on my tongue,
    A deadly torpor every limb oppress'd,
    Weak were my sinews, and unmann'd my breast:
    When lo! a voice, that struck my inmost heart,
    Seem'd, thro' the wavering storm, to cry, 'Depart!'
    Trembling with awe, I turn'd my aching view,
    And spread the flying sail, and o'er the billows flew.

      "On foreign shores, to poverty resign'd,
    An exile, friendless and alone, I pined.
    Hope and Content inspired my toils no more;
    Alas! I left them on my native shore!
    Stern Want around me pour'd her chilling woes,
    And no faint beam, to cheer my winter, rose.

      "At length, when years, with slow-revolving round,
    Had half assuaged my soul's eternal wound,
    And rural peace my humble efforts bless'd
    With one short calm of momentary rest;
    Sudden, the demons of tyrannic war             }
    Whirl thro' our peaceful haunts his rapid car, }
    And waving standards kindle all the air:       }
    In crackling heaps the flaming forests rise,
    The smoking cities darken half the skies.
    Thro' burning woods and falling towers I sprung,
    While torches hiss'd, and darts around me sung,
    And, still expectant of some happier time,
    Sought distant refuge in another clime.

      "My term of sorrows came not: black Despair,
    And lawless Force, and shrinking Fear, were there.
    Woes, yet unfelt, were nigh;--fell Slavery shed
    Her night of sorrows on my hapless head:
    Doom'd each imperious order to fulfil,
    And watch a ruthless master's various will.
    Five years, exposed to unremitted pain,
    I languish'd there--'till Friendship broke my chain.

      "Now o'er my head full fifteen suns had burn'd,    }
    Since from my native rocks my eyes I turn'd:         }
    And practised now in woe, my soul no longer mourn'd. }
    I sought my patron, and (a bark supplied)
    His fortunes follow'd o'er the foamy tide.

      "From these dire shores our rapid course we held;
    Auspicious gales the flying canvas swell'd;
    And joy's faint sunshine kindled in my eyes,
    As the last mountain mingled with the skies:
    When, by conflicting winds together driven,
    A night of clouds involved the starless heaven;
    Fierce and more fierce th' increasing tempest blew,
    The thunder rattled, and the lightning flew.
    Soon, borne at random o'er the watery way,
    The yawning rocks our guideless ship betray;
    My shrieking comrades sink.--Some power unseen
    Preserved me, trembling, thro' the deathful scene;
    I rode th' opposing waves, and from the steep
    Beheld the vessel plunge into the flashing deep.

       "Beneath a sheltering wood all night I lay,
    'Till morn had chased the flying stars away;
    Then sought the wave-worn strand.--The storm was dead;
    And Silence o'er the deep her pinions spread.
    All--all were gone!--I saw my doom severe;
    And, dull with suffering, scarcely dropp'd a tear!

      "There, by the murmurs of the sea's hoarse wave,
    Scorch'd on the rock, or shivering in the cave,
    Long, long I stay'd: Fate yet prolong'd my day,
    And Grief and Famine spared their willing prey.
    A roving bark at length approach'd, and bore
    The suppliant stranger to fair India's shore.

      "With wondering steps I traced the sunny strand,
    And mark'd each giant work of nature's hand;
    Saw towering oaks th' aërial tempest brave,
    And mighty rivers roll the sea-like wave.
    Amaze, unmix'd with joy, my soul possess'd;
    What beauteous scene can charm an Exile's breast?
    Sadly I saw primeval forests frown,
    And, in each foreign stream, still sought my own.

      "No bright success my rising labours crown'd;
    The sunbeam wither'd, or the deluge drown'd,
    Each growing hope: my frame seem'd worn with care,
    And Death still hover'd in the feverish air.
    Stern Famine o'er my solitary gate
    Spread her cold wings, and watch'd in sullen state.
    Life yet was dear--Each visionary night
    Restored my ancient dwelling to my sight;
    And every gale, that swept the valley o'er,
    Appear'd to point me to my native shore.

      "Soon as the morning waved her banner red,
    With bounding heart the winged sail I spread.
    Again the tempest roars, the meteors play,
    And struggling clouds repel the rising ray.
    Yet nought disturb'd my unprophetic soul;
    Resign'd to joy, impatient of control,
    I seem'd new-born: Creative Hope again
    Restored the sense of pleasure, and of pain;
    Tumultuous transport, now no more suppressed,
    Shone from my eyes, and wanton'd in my breast.

      "Soon did the storm subside: before the breeze
    Smooth flew the boat, across the summer seas.
    The brightening sunbeam on the waters danced,
    From the blue clouds a stream of radiance glanced.

      "As the fleet swallow, eager to attain
    Her well-known regions, scuds o'er land and main;
    So, wing'd with hope, I flew: my eager sail
    Stemm'd many a sea, and waved in many a gale,
    While, ardent still one object to pursue,
    I shunn'd the rock, and thro' the tempest flew:
    And still, with rapture's mingled tear and smile,
    Mark'd, as it pass'd, each dim receding isle.
    From each fair view my swimming eyes declined,
    And fairer views rose imaged in my mind.

      "Swift o'er the waves I flew; and many a day
    On the smooth wings of joy had roll'd away,
    When, half-discover'd 'mid the clouds of night,
    My native cliffs rose beauteous to my sight.
    With beating heart I furl my sail, and sweep
    With rapid oar the smooth-dividing deep.
    The well-known bay a ready entrance gave,
    And safe return'd me from the stormy wave.

      "Now Night, advancing up th'etherial plain,
    Drew slowly her broad veil o'er land and main.
    With falling tears I bathed the sacred ground,
    And thro' the viewless darkness gazed around:
    But air's blank waste deceived my ardent sight;
    The hills were dark, the rivers roll'd in night.
    Yet swift imagination, uncontroll'd,
    Ranged o'er the scene, and tinged it all with gold.
    'And here,' I cried, 'amid this piny grove,
    In winter's morn my lonely steps shall rove;
    And there, beneath yon' poplar's silver shade,
    At summer noon my weary limbs be laid.
    Yon azure stream, that parts the fruitful scene,
    Shall see my cottage on its banks of green,
    Long-cherish'd friends shall charm each livelong day,
    And jocund children, more beloved than they:
    My sun thro' ambient clouds shall set more fair,
    And thirty years of grief be lost in air.
    Oh, happy long-lost land! once more receive
    Thy time-worn Exile, and his cares relieve!'

      "The gathered mists roll'd slowly from the lawn,
    And fading stars announced the silent dawn:
    A hill, that tower'd above the bounded heath,
    I climb'd, and gazed upon the scene beneath.
    The beams of morning woke no living eye
    Amid this vast and cheerless vacancy:
    They only pour'd their ineffectual light
    On a bleak prospect, better hid in night!
    Where'er I look'd, outstretch'd in long survey,
    A huge unmeasured waste of ruins lay.
    War's fiery steps had mark'd the beauteous scene,
    And mingled ravage show'd where death had been,
    The fallen cottage, and the mouldering tower--
    A dreary monument of wrathful power!
    The stream that once, diffused in lucid pride,
    Saw towers, and woods, and hamlets, on its side,
    Now choked with weeds, in mossy fragments lost,
    Dragg'd a slow current o'er the mournful coast.
    My friends, my foes, were fled--not one of all
    Remain'd, to see his country's hapless fall!
    O'er the wild plain the useless zephyrs blow,
    And wasted suns unprofitably glow.
    This ancient forest now remain'd alone:--
    Beneath its shade I sat me down to moan;
    Resign'd to dumb despair, without a tear,          }
    Prostrate I lay, or slowly wander'd, here,         }
    And, wandering, thought upon the things that were: }
    'Till crowding thoughts a sudden lustre flung,
    And my wild heart with desperate hope was strung.

      "Hence, vain regrets! unmanly tears, away!
    'Tis time to close my melancholy day.
    Smiling with peace, or brilliant with delight,
    Eternity lies open to my sight.
    I go, a fearless soul, unstain'd by crimes,
    To seek the rest denied in earthly climes.

      "Ye righteous Powers, whoe'er ye are, who guide
    Earth's changeful tumult, and its cares divide;
    Who rule mankind with absolute decree,
    And grace the bless'd with good, unknown to me:
    To you I pray not: Your afflicting hand         }
    Has given the sign to quit this earthly strand: }
    I bow with joy to your implied command!         }
    Yes--in the bosom of eternal fate
    Some real joys, perhaps, my soul await:
    Some peace may yet be mine--some powerful rock,
    Unmoved by terror, or misfortune's shock;
    Some vale of calmness, some sequester'd shore,
    Where hope, and fear, and sorrow, are no more.

      "My soul, thro' endless ages doom'd to live,
    A quenchless flame, must every sphere survive:
    Whence, then, these sorrows in her mortal times;
    Chain'd down to woe, ere yet involved in crimes?
    This cloud unpierced, that darkens all her way?
    Is this the dawn of an eternal day?--
    Death, death alone, can chase th' unfathom'd gloom,
    And light the mazes of my doubtful doom!"

      He spoke; and gazing on the watery grave.
    Approach'd with tranquil step the fatal wave,
    Where the green verge with easy slope descends,
    And, rippling on the sand, the water ends.
    When lo! some power, with deep resistless force,
    Check'd his firm soul, and stopp'd his fearless course;
    He felt its languid influence thro' his breast,
    And, stretch'd in sleep, the grassy margin press'd;
    His weary soul to balmy rest resign'd,
    And fancy bore these visions to his mind.

      On a broad bank, alone, he seem'd to stand,
    Whose flowery limit closed a spacious land.
    Around, the cultured plains appeared to glow
    With various hues: a river roll'd below:
    Unvex'd by storms, the tranquil waters ran:
    On heaven's blue verge calm shines the mounting sun.
    As waken'd from a dream of woe, amazed,
    On woods, and skies, and murmuring streams, he gazed:
    Calm, silent raptures flow'd thro' all his breast,
    And seem'd the foretaste of eternal rest.

      His eye, now settled, mark'd a little boat,
    Which on the nearest waves appear'd to float:
    Its airy sail with snow-white radiance blazed;
    Its blue prow tinged the waters.--As he gazed,
    Lo! the clouds opened, and with sudden glare
    A dazzling form descended thro' the air.
    Swift as a sea-bird darting o'er the deep,
    Or meteor hovering with aërial sweep,
    He flew, and lighting radiant on the helm,
    Cast a bright shadow o'er the watery realm.
    He waved his hand; the Exile took the sign,
    Embark'd, and join'd the messenger divine.

      Smooth o'er the liquid plain the vessel steers;
    A faint-reflected sun on every wave appears.
    Swift o'er the stream it steers: on either side,
    In murmurs low th' advancing waves divide.
    Thro' cloudless skies the radiant orb of day,
    Enthroned in light, held on his heavenly way;
    A line of light along the ocean streams,
    The white sails glisten in the golden beams.
    Still, as they roll, the river's waters lave
    With ceaseless flow the lily of the wave:
    The willow-forests on its verdant side
    Bathe their green tresses in the crystal tide:
    The bending alders paint the floods, and seem
    A waving curtain o'er the glassy stream.
    Thro' the wide clouds and thro' the watery way
    Calm Light and Silence held their boundless sway.

      Now vanish'd from their eyes the lessening shore,
    And nearer grew the ocean's sullen roar:
    And when the sun-heaven's topmost dome had scaled,
    The green-tinged waters of the deep they sailed.
    The orb of day, faint-glittering from afar,
    Now veil'd in gradual gloom his beamy car:
    A hollow murmur thro' the blackening skies,
    Rolls dismal on, and loudens as it flies:
    The watery birds fly screaming from the steep,
    And darkness settles on the shivering deep.
    The wondering Exile, from the deck, beheld
    The tempest grow, and clouds on clouds impell'd:
    Far to the south their dusky legions bend,
    And thence o'er heaven a gloomy line extend.
    He heard th' approaching tempest's hollow sigh,
    And cold despondence trembled in his eye--
    And lo, it bursts! the boundless whirlwinds sweep,
    Toss the light clouds, and tear the staggering deep
    Sheer from its lowest caves--the smoking rain
    Bursts in white torrents o'er the echoing main:
    The fiery bolts uninterrupted roll
    From sky to sky, and shake the stedfast pole:
    Red volleying o'er the heavens with curving beam
    The fitful lightnings dart a quivering gleam,
    And, glancing thro' the raven plumes of night,
    Shed o'er the deep a pale sepulchral light.

      Swift to the Power unknown his eyes he rear'd--
    No sign of comfort in the Power appear'd:
    Silent he stood--when lo! another blast
    Rends the strong sail, and shakes the tottering mast!
    Now, by the mounting billows upward swung,
    Trembling amid the darksome sky they hung;
    Now seem'd to touch the fountains of the deep,
    Where in eternal rest the waters sleep.
    And now beneath a milder tempest's sway
    Onward the rapid vessel bounds away;
    When, lo! again--as if with thundering fall
    Descended to the deep heaven's loosen'd wall,
    Yells the fierce storm: beneath the furious shock,
    Torn from its roots, the long-resisting rock
    Falls prone; the sands, driven by the whirling sweep,
    Boil up, and darken the discolour'd deep.

      Still o'er the stormy waste they labour on,
    Thro' bowling deserts and thro' paths unknown--
    A long, long way! the lightnings flame around,
    And winds and billows mix their mournful sound.
    Still on they fare--'till thro' the ambient night
    Bursts a third whirlwind with redoubled might;
    The congregated clouds in one vast sweep
    It drives, and bares the bosom of the deep.
    The sail flies loose, the mast in fragments torn
    O'er the black surface of the waves is borne
    Louder, and longer, over heaven's wide field
    Thro' the rent clouds the bellowing thunders peal'd:
    In one blue sheet the streamy lightnings glare;
    A thousand demons ride the flaming air,
    O'er the dark waves a deeper horror cast,
    And howl between the pauses of the blast.
    And now 'twas silence all--a sulphurous smell
    Spread round: a cloud arose with sudden swell;
    Slow o'er the ocean's trembling waves it past,
    And from its bosom, indistinct and vast,
    A giant form advanced across the gloom
    Of air, and pointed to the watery tomb.

      Shuddering with fear, he turn'd.--His guide was gone;
    A broad chaotic cloud appear'd alone.
    His limbs no more their chilly weight sustained,
    A deathlike torpor o'er his bosom reign'd,
    His stony eyeballs fix'd in silent trance
    Met the terrific Spectre's withering glance.
    And lo! the Phantom waves, with sudden glare,
    His burning sceptre thro' the starless air!
    High o'er the bark the booming billows spread,
    The deafening waves were closing o'er his head;
    When rushing clouds the towering form involved,
    And all the vision into air dissolved.
    Like mist that flits before the solar car,
    Or the wan splendours of a falling star,
    The scene dispers'd; and at his side, return'd,
    The heavenly Guide in all his radiance burn'd.

      A smile, with love and calm affection fraught,
    The Seraph gave, as by the hand he caught
    Th' admiring Exile: then the earth forsook,
    And thro' dividing clouds his easy journey took.

      Above the skies on silent wings upborne,
    They seek the quarter of the rising morn,
    And, wheeling thro' the stars their level flight,
    On a tall mountain's cloudless top alight.

      Beneath, a boundless realm in prospect lay;
    Fair as the regions of perpetual day
    Wide stretch'd the peaceful vale. A brighter sun
    Thro' purer skies his azure course begun,
    And, uneclips'd, along th' etherial road
    A host of stars with rival splendours glow'd.
    Far to the west, with dewy spangles gay,
    Long tracts of meads reflect the orient ray;
    Collected fragrance breathes in every gale,
    And harvests nod on every yellow dale.
    The southern plain a lordly city crown'd:
    Its ample range with marble turrets frown'd.
    The golden spires with pointed radiance glow'd;
    From tower to tower the pure effulgence flow'd.
    The lofty gates for ever open stood,
    And o'er the region pour'd a living flood.
    Their dusky sides by piny groves conceal'd,
    A range of snow-capp'd hills the north reveal'd:
    Amidst the dark-brow'd woods with murmurs hoarse
    A thousand torrents took their foamy course.
    The eastern limit show'd a spacious bay;
    Blue Ocean redden'd in the morning ray:
    Reflected lustre crown'd the chalky steep,
    And stately navies darkened half the deep.
    From the tall hill, beneath the sunny beam,
    Three rivers, issuing, pour a various stream,
    Now thro' the lawns in parted currents glide,
    And now, uniting, spread an equal tide.
    Unnumber'd tints the forest-boughs unfold,
    And the bright waters seem to roll in gold.

      Successive wonders on the Exile's breast
    A visionary strange amaze impress'd;
    New hopes, new fears, his trembling bosom throng,
    Doubt follows doubt, and thought drives thought along.
    When now the Angel, with that awful grace,
    That waits on spirits of celestial race,
    On the pale mortal lost in dark surprize,
    Fix'd the keen radiance of his sun-like eyes:
    Mild were his looks: yet, when his accents flow'd,
    It seem'd as thunder shook the bursting cloud.

      "Beneath the weight of earthly evil bent,
    In varied toils and woes thy days were spent;
    'Till cold Misfortune, with unceasing lower,
    Weigh'd down thy soul, and deaden'd every power,
    Reflection's lamp withdrew her guiding ray,
    And fail'd to point thee on thy darkling way,
    And thy wild soul prepared to launch alone
    From Night's dark bosom into worlds unknown:
    When, sent by Heaven thy earthly deeds to guide,
    And o'er thy term of varied life preside,
    I check'd thy course: and Providence by me
    Unfolds her secret train of destiny.

      "Oh, ignorant! to deem thyself the first
    Of mortals with unmingled troubles curs'd!
    Thou hast not yet the height of woe attain'd,
    Nor every cup of human sorrow drain'd.
    Thy path of suffering has been trod alone;        }
    No following friend, no consort, hast thou known, }
    To double all thy sorrows with their own:         }
    No artful foe has doom'd thy humble name
    To public enmity, or public shame;
    And last, and worst of all, the pangs of woe
    Hell can inflict, or vengeful Heaven bestow,
    Relentless Conscience has not shed on thee
    Her poison'd darts,--her stings of misery!
    Thy virtue shone thro' the dim vale of earth,
    And toils and dangers proved thy blameless worth.
    For this, my hand its timely aid bestow'd
    To draw thee back from error's devious road.

      "All, all are equal: Heaven's impartial mind
    One bliss, one woe allots to all mankind:
    And he whose morn seem'd wrapp'd in cloudy night,
    Shall see his evening glow with placid light.
    Thro' calm prosperity's serenest sky
    The approaching gales of adverse fortune sigh;
    And when Affliction whets her keenest dart,
    And hurls it, flaming, at the shrinking heart,
    Celestial Hope with golden wing attends,
    Heals every wound, and every toil befriends:
    The horrors vanish; gleams of light divine
    Illume the cloud, and thro' its openings shine;
    As the bow, herald of ethereal peace,
    Smiles thro' the storm, and makes the tempest please.

      "To sway the whirlwind, gathering clouds control,
    Arrest the sun, or shake with storms the pole,
    Heaven gives to none:--nor have the mightiest power
    To stop the current of one changeful hour:
    Resistless Fate with even course proceeds,
    And o'er their levell'd pomp her thundering chariot leads.
    But all can solace their afflicted mind
    With temperate wishes, and a will resign'd,
    Can cheer the sad, improve the prosperous hour,
    With meek Humility, and Virtue's power:
    With these, terrestrial pleasures never cloy,
    And fear is lost in peace, and sorrow turns to joy.

      "Yet oft' the brave resisting soul, like thee,
    At random borne across Life's wintery sea,
    When various tempests, with successive force,
    Still drive her devious from her destined course,
    With labour worn, at last the helm resigns,
    And in deep anguish at her lot repines;
    Despair throws round impenetrable gloom,
    And Death invites her to the ready tomb.

      "Let faithful Memory tell (for Memory can)
    How thy first years in even current ran;
    How every pleasure, every good, combined
    To feast with countless sweets thy tranquil mind:
    Each passing joy a kindred joy pursued,
    Nor ask'd the aid of sad vicissitude.
    Swift flew thy boat, thro' isles with verdure crown'd,
    Heaven's smile above, and prosperous seas around:
    O'er the smooth waves Hope's cheering zephyr pass'd,
    And every wave seem'd smoother than the last.

      "Soon fled those halcyon days. The storm began;
    From pole to pole the doubling thunder ran.
    Yet still with patient toil I saw thee urge
    Thy fearless passage o'er the gloomy surge;
    Still Faith discern'd the harbour of repose,
    And panting Hope look'd forward to the close.

      "As vapours, slowly thickening, blot away,
    Beam after beam, the sacred orb of day;
    So woes on woes in long continuance blind
    The sense, and blunt the vigour of the mind;
    'Till, by some sudden gust of misery cross'd,
    On the mad ocean of despondence toss'd,
    Reason herself, once bold, acute, and strong,
    No more discerns the bounds of right and wrong:
    Lost, in the mist of fear, her Heavenly Guide,
    She deems all efforts vain, and sinks beneath the tide.

      "But shrink not thou from earth's malignant power!
    Hope builds on high an everlasting tower;
    And strength divine supports the suffering good,
    As lasting ramparts break the torrent-flood.

      "Sustain'd by this, with resolute control
    The Mental Hero curbs his struggling soul,
    Bids with new fire his pure affections glow,
    And calls his lingering wishes from below.
    Refined by slow degrees, his passions rise,
    Soar from the earth, and gain upon the skies.
    A light, unbought by all the joys of Sin,
    Cheers his wide soul, and brightens all within:
    And, though mankind his pious peace molest,
    And mock the sigh that struggles half suppress'd;
    Tho', leagued with man, the hostile powers of hell
    Bid round his head the maddening tempest swell;
    For ever fix'd on worlds beyond the pole,
    Nought else can move his heaven-directed soul.
    'Tis his with tearless fortitude to feel
    The bigot fury of a tyrant's steel;
    'Tis his with cool untempted eye to gaze
    On Wealth's bright pomp, and Beauty's brighter blaze:
    And, as the stream its equal current leads
    Thro' dusky forests and thro' flowery meads,
    Serene he treads Misfortune's thorny soil,
    Nor on surrounding pleasures wastes a smile--
    Whate'er events the tide of time may swell,
    His only care, to act or suffer well.
    What tho' malignant foes innumerous scowl,
    Tho' mortals hiss, and fiends around him howl?
    Yet, higher powers, the guardians of his life,
    With sacred transport watch the godlike strife;
    Yet Heaven, with all her thousand eyes, looks down,
    And binds her martyr with a deathless crown.

      "When the last pang the struggling spirit sends
    Far from the circle of his mourning friends,
    And, bathed with many a tear, the hallow'd bust
    Protects the mouldering body of the just;
    Oh! with what rapture, mounting, he descries
    Scenes of unutterable glory rise,
    With trembling hope bows to his heavenly Lord,
    And hears with awful joy th' absolving word!
    Oh! with what speed he flies, dismiss'd to stray
    Thro' the vast regions of eternal day;
    Creation's various wonders to explore,
    A radiant sea of light, without a shore!
    Then, too, that spark of intellectual fire
    Which burn'd thro' life, and never shall expire,
    Which, oft' on earth deplored its bounded view,
    And still from sphere to sphere excursive flew,
    The mind, upborne on intuition's wings,
    Thro' Truth's bright regions, momentary, springs,
    And, piercing at one view the maze of fate,
    Smiles at the darkness of her former state!

      "The varied pleasures of yon' smiling plain
    Would feebly image Joy's eternal reign.
    As that bright prospect, still to beauty true,
    Presents new charms at every varied view,
    Here towns and waving forests rise reveal'd,
    There the blue deep, and here the golden field;
    Such and so boundless are the joys decreed
    To those, whom Truth from all their chains has freed.
    Nor time shall limit, nor dull space control
    The winged motions of th' immortal soul.
    From star to star to spread her restless wing,
    Learn each dread law, and trace each mighty spring;
    To mix with angels, and renew the hours
    Of earthly friendship in celestial bowers;
    The Source of All, undazzled, to survey,
    His triumphs join, and his commands obey:--
    To span Futurity with raptured sight,
    Age after age interminably bright,
    While with one tranquil all-enlightening beam,
    The past, the present, and the future gleam:--
    Still, as the joyful ages run their race,
    Progressive glories ripening as they pass,
    With new perfections, new desires, to shine,
    Her will reflected by the will divine:--
    To see new suns arise, and see their flame
    Lost and extinct in night, herself the same:--
    Such the soul's hopes; and such the blessings given
    To Virtue's sons,--the brightest stars of heaven!

      "Oft, ev'n on earth, by Heaven's unfathom'd doom,
    She breaks thro' her dark fortune's circling gloom,
    And thro' the dim-dissolving cloud of woe
    Refulgent mounts, and gilds the world below.
    Pale Envy pines, and sickens in the dust,
    And gazing nations learn that Heaven is just.

      "Such are the truths thy vision would relate,
    And such the secret of thy doubtful fate.

      "Go, then--thy God has fix'd thy future doom,
    And light and transient are thy woes to come:
    Those sorrows past, ev'n Earth has joys in store;
    And Heaven expects thee on her happy shore.
    Go--and, by chilling grief no more oppress'd,
    Hold firm thy heart--to stand, is to be bless'd!"

      Quick-glancing from his sight the Seraph sped,
    And all the dream in gay confusion fled.
    Soft o'er the wave the summer-breezes sigh'd,
    The moon play'd quivering on the restless tide.
    He rose, and now with new ideas fraught,
    Revolv'd the vision in his alter'd thought;
    An eye of meek contrition upward cast,
    And stretch'd in lonely prayer, bewail'd the past;
    Traced all his years, and with a tranquil eye
    Exulting scann'd his promised destiny;
    Then steer'd his bark, with Providence his guide,
    To realms unknown, and oceans yet untried.



     Be ye not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are
     dismayed at them. JER. X. 2.

        Comet! who from yon' dusky sky
    Dart'st o'er a shrinking world thy fiery eye,
        Scattering from thy burning train
    Diffusive terror o'er the earth and main;
        What high behest dost thou perform
    Of Heaven's Almighty Lord? what coming storm
    Of war or woe does thy etherial flame
        To thoughtless man proclaim?
        Dost thou commissioned shine
    The silent harbinger of wrath divine?
        Or does thy unprophetic fire
        Thro' the wide realms of solar day
    Mad Heat or purple Pestilence inspire?
    Thro' all her lands, Earth trembles at thy ray;
        And starts, as she beholds thee sweep
    With fiery wing Air's far-illumined deep.

    The Eternal gave command, and from afar,
        From realms unbless'd with heat or light,
    The mournful kingdoms of perpetual Night,
    Unvisited but by thy glowing car,--
    Radiant and clear as when thy course begun,
    Swift as the flame that fires th'etherial blue,
    Thro' the wide system, like a sun,
        Thy moving glories flew.
        Thou shinest terrific to the guilty soul!
          But not to him, who calmly brave
        Spurns earthly terror's base control,
          And dares the yawning grave:
        To one superior Will resigned,
        He views with an unanxious mind
        Earth's passing wonders,--and can gaze
    With eye serene on thy innocuous blaze,
        As on the meteor-fires, that sweep
        O'er the smooth bosom of the deep,
          Or gild with lustre pale
    The humid surface of some midnight vale.


     Jamque in pulvereum, furiis hortantibus, æquor Prosiliunt, &c.
     403--407, 409--423.

    Soon as both armies from the field withdrew,
    Fierce to the fight the rival brothers flew:
    Each warrior his auxiliar fiend inspires,
    Directs his arm, and pours in all her fires:
    Round the bright reins their snaky locks they twine,
    And with each swelling mane their glittering folds combine.
    The horns were hush'd: the drums no longer peal'd:
    A death-like stillness brooded o'er the field:
    And thrice hell's monarch rock'd the ground below,
    And thrice his thunders shook the realms of woe.--
    No martial power was there: the God of War
    Whirl'd from the hated field his heavenly car:
    Indignant Pallas sought th'ethereal climes:
    And Furies learn'd to blush at human crimes.
    The thronging people, from the stately crown   }
    Of each tall turret, look with horror down,    }
    And general grief overwhelms th' unhappy town: }
    The old deplore their late remains of light;
    And mothers lead their infants from the sight.
    The ghosts of Cadmus' race, an impious crew,
    This prodigy of kindred guilt to view,
    Sent from the mansion of eternal hills,
    (A dark assembly) crowd Bæotia's hills;
    O'er day's fair face a gloomy twilight cast,
    And smile with joy to see their crimes surpass'd.


    Where, in the midst of vast Infinitude,
    The arm creative stopp'd,--dread bound of space,
    Alien to God, and from his sight exil'd,
    Hell rolls her sulph'rous torrents. There, nor law
    Of motion, nor eternal Order reigns;
    But anarchy instead, and wild uproar,
    And ruinous tumult. Now with lightning speed
    Th' accursed sphere, with all its flames, flies up
    Into the void abrupt, and with its roar,
    With groans commixt, and shrieks, and boundless yells,
    Astounds the nearest stars: calm now and slow,
    With dreadful peace the universal waves
    Of sulphur roll, and pour a mightier flood
    On those tormented, their eternal crimes
    Avenging with fresh pain and sharper darts
    Of never-dying torture.--They meanwhile,
    The caitiff and his puissant guide, on wing
    Impetuous, skirt creation's flaming waste,
    And suns innumerable, and with prone flight
    Descending down, light sheer upon the coast
    Of outmost Night. The guard seraphic knows.
    That power ministrant, ----
    ---- and with quick despatch
    Unfolds the Stygian doors, that jarring hoarse
    Slow on their adamantine hinges turn'd,
    And open'd to their ken the dread abyss,
    Unfathomably deep, mother of woes.
    Not mountains pil'd on mountains would close up
    Th' infernal entrance: they would but increase
    Its native ruggedness. No path leads down
    To those abhorred deeps. Close by the gate
    Impendent rocks with fiery whirlwinds cleft
    For ever fell into the deep abyss,
    Continuous ruin. ----
    ---- On the hideous brink
    Of this great tomb, where Death nor sleeps, nor dies,
    In dreadful silence, with the wretch hell-doom'd,
    Stood the Death-angel. ----



     Ζεὺς δ' ἐπεὶ οὔν Τρῶάς τε καὶ Ἑκτορα νηυσὶ πέλασσε, &c.


    From Ida's peak high Jove beheld
    The tumults of the battle-field,
        The fortune of the fight--
    He marked, where by the ocean-flood
    Stout Hector with his Trojans stood,
    And mingled in the strife of blood
        Achaia's stalwart might:
    He saw--and turn'd his sunbright eyes
    Where Thracia's snow-capped mountains rise
        Above her pastures fair:
    Where Mysians feared in battle-fray,
    With far-famed Hippemolgians stray,
        A race remote from care,
    Unstained by fraud, unstained by blood,
    The milk of mares their simple food.
    Thither his sight the God inclines,
    Nor turns to view the shifting lines
        Commix'd in fight afar:
    He deemed not, he, that heavenly might
    Would swell the bands of either fight,
        When he forbade the war.


    Not so the Monarch of the Deep:
    On Samothracia's topmast steep
        The great Earth-shaker stood,
    Whose cloudy summit viewed afar
    The crowded tents, the mingling war,
    The navy dancing on the tide,
    The leaguered town, the hills of Ide,
        And all the scene of blood.
    There stood he, and with grief surveyed
    His Greeks by adverse force outweighed:
    He bann'd the Thunderer's partial will,
    And hastened down the craggy hill.


    Down the steep mountain-slope he sped,
    The mountain rocked beneath his tread,
    And trembling wood and echoing cave
    Sign of immortal presence gave.
    Three strides athwart the plain he took,
    Three times the plain beneath him shook;
        The fourth reached Ægæ's watery strand,
    Where, far beneath the green sea-foam,
    Was built the monarch's palace-home,
    Distinct with golden spire and dome,
        And doom'd for aye to stand.


    He enters: to the car he reins
    His brass-hoofed steeds, whose golden manes
        A stream of glory cast:
    His golden lash he forward bends,
    Arrayed in gold the car ascends;
        And swifter than the blast,
    Across th' expanse of ocean wide,
        Untouched by waves, it passed:
    The waters of the glassy tide
    Joyful before its course divide,
        Nor round the axle press:
    Around its wheels the dolphins play,
    Attend the chariot on its way,
        And their great Lord confess.



́    Ἤρπαζον--οὐκ ἔχοντός πω αἰσχύνην τούτου τοῦ ἔργου, φέροντος δέ τι
    καὶ δόξης μᾶλλον. THUC. Lib. 1.

Pirata loquitur.

    Quid nos immeritâ, turba improba, voce lacessis,
        Sanguineasque manus, agmina sæva vocas?
    Quidve carere domo, totumque errare per orbem
        Objicis, et fraudem cæcaque bella sequi?
    Non nobis libros cura est trivisse Panætî,
        Nec, quid sit rectum, discere, quidve malum;
    Hæc quærant alii: toto meliora Platone
        Argumenta manu, qui gerit arma, tenet.
    Et tamen, ut primi repetamus sæcula mundi,
        Omnibus hæc populis pristina vita fuit:
    Lege orbis caruit: leges ignavior ætas
        Excoluit, patrium descruitque decus.
    Ut culpent homines, Dîs hæc laudare necesse est;
        Nec pudet auctores fraudis habere Deos.
    Ætheriam bello rapuisti, Jupiter, arcem;
        Quam, dicat genitor si tibi, Redde; neges.
    Fertur Atlantiades, nobis venerabile numen,
        Surripuisse omni plusve minusve Deo.
    Legiferos alii celebrent justosque poëtæ;
        Mæonides nostri nominis auctor erit.
    Sisyphium canit ille ducem, canit inclyta Achillis
        Pectora: prædonum ductor uterque fuit.
    Lyrnessum Æacides, Ciconas vastavit Ulysses:
        Num facta est tali gloria clade minor?
    Tu quoque pro raptâ pugnabas, Romule, turbâ,
        Et fur imperium furibus ipso dabas.
    Armiger ipse Jovis, qui prædâ vivit et armis,
        Inter aves primum nomen habere solet.
    At vaga turba sumus. Vaga erat Tirynthia virtus;
        Quam tamen in cœlum sacra Camæna vehit
    Anne viro, lucrum trans æquora longa secuto,
        Dedecori est tantas explicuisse vias?
    Si genus in toto quæris felicius orbe,
        Falleris: est nobis æmula vita Deûm.
    Nec fora, nec leges colimus; nec aratra subimus;
        Prædandi est solus militiæque labor:
    Seu ruimus per aperta maris, seu cingimus igne
        Mænia, seu cultis exspatiamur agris.
    Oppida quum positis florent ingloria bellis,
        Fortia pax altâ corda quiete tenet:
    At nobis medio Fama est quæsita periclo,
        Quòque magis durum est, hôc magis omne placet.
    Plurima quid referam? Si tu ista refellere nescis,
        Vicimus, inque auras crimen inane fugit.


        ---- Ἀντολὰς ἐγω
        ἄστρων ἔδειξα τάς τε δυσκρίτους δύσεις. ÆSCH.

    Densantur tenebræ: subsidunt ultima venti
    Murmura, tranquillumque silet mare: Somnus ab alto
    Advehitur gelidis, spargitque silentia pennis.
    Musarum intentus studiis, taciturna per arva
    Deferor, herbosamque premunt vestigia vallem
    Somnus babet pecudes: humili de cespite culmen
    Apparet rarum, et sparsæ per pascua quercus.
    Fons sacer, irriguos ducens cum murmure flexus,
    Vicinum reddit fluvio nemus: æquore puro
    Vibrantes cerno stellas, atque ordine longo
    Lucida perspicuis simulacra natantia lymphis.

      Fulgore assiduo et vario convexa colore
    Ardebant nuper: rapidi violentia cœli
    Torrebat pecudes, et languida rura premebat.
    Nunc sedata novos spirat Natura decores,
    Regalique magis formâ nitet. Æthere toto
    Se stellæ agglomerant: micat almo lumine campus
    Cærulus, et densis variantur nubila signis.
    Sic quondam ruptum subiti miracula mundi
    Effudit Chaos, et primi exsiluere planetæ
    Cursibus, atque novum stupuerunt sæcula Solem;
    Tunc radiis fulsere Arcti, secuitque profundas
    Orion tenebras: molli et formosior igne
    Luna per æquoreos radiavit pallida fluctus.
    Quâcunque aspicio, tremulus per cœrula crescit
    Ardor, et innumeros stupeo lucescere soles.

      Talia miranti sacrâ formidine tota
    Mens rapitur: videor stellantia visere templa
    Numinis, argenteamque domum, lucisque recessus,
    Solus ubi in vacuo regnat Pater orbis, et, igne
    Cinctus inexhausto, devolvit stamina fati,
    Æquatoque regit varium discrimine mundum.

      At tu corporeis anima haud retinenda catenis,
    Libera quæ letho perrumpis claustra sepulchri,
    Sublimi spectes etiam nunc lumine mundum,
    Sideraque, et longo fulgentes limite soles:
    Hæc tua sunt: toto hôc quondam versaberis orbe
    Devia, et in cunctis pandes regionibus alas.
    Erroris fugient nebulæ; fatique licebit
    Explorare vias, unumque per omnia Numen.
    Barbarus evictis referat Sesostris ab Indis
    Signa; triumphanti se jactet in axe Philippus,
    Læteturque suum spectans Octavius orbem:
    Te majora manent: nullis obnoxia curis
    Regna petis, domitâque nitet victoria morte.



    Humentes abiere umbræ, et jam lampada opaco
    Extulit Oceano Phœbus, noctemque fugavit;
    Jamque, brevem excutiens somnum, rapit arma Saülus,
    Ingrediturque iter; hunc denso circum undique ferro
    Agmina funduntur, strictisque hastilibus horret
    Omne solum, et tremulus telorum it ad æthera fulgor.
    Corripuere viam celeres: jamque alta Damasci
    Mænia cernuntur, raræque ex æquore turres.
    Lætatur spectans, immensaque pectore versat
    Funera, sanguineumque videt fluere undique rivum,
    Invisamque unâ gentem miscere ruinâ
    Posse putat: summâ veluti de rupe leæna
    Sopitas prospectat oves, ubi plurima toto
    Incumbit nox campo, illunemque æthera condit.
    Haud aliter furit, et flammantia lumina torquens
    Talia voce refert: "Magni regnator Olympi,
    Ultricem firma dextram, justoque furori
    Annue, et ipse novam spira in mea pectora flammam.
    Robora da gladiis insueta, adde ignibus iras,
    Sic ego templa tua et sacros spernentia ritus
    Pectora confundam; fausto sic numine lætus
    Relliquias vincam sceleris: vastam ipse ruinam
    Aspicies, pater, et stellanti summus ab arce
    Accipies gemitus morientûm, et fulmine justum
    Confirmabis opus: lætabitur æthere toto
    Sancta cohors, magnique ibunt longo ordine patres
    Visuri exitium, et pravorum fata nepotum!"

      Dixerat; interea medium Sol attigit orbem,
    Et totum jubar explicuit: quum creber ad auras
    Auditur fragor, et volucres per inania cœli
    Hinc atque hinc fugiunt nubes: dant flumina murmur
    Insolitum, vastæque tremunt sine flamine sylvæ.
    Obstupuere omnes: subito quum lumine nimbus
    Signat iter cœlo, et radiis totum æthera complet:
    Collesque fluviique micant, pulsisque tenebris
    Lætantur sylvæ: veluti quum Luna coruscam
    Extendit per aperta facem. Sacer erubuit Sol,
    Agnovitque Deum, densisque recessit in umbris.
    Attoniti siluere viri, manibusque remissis
    Sponte cadunt tela: insolito ferus ipse timore
    Diriguit ductor, stravitque in pulvere corpus.
    Quum subitò nova vox, mille haud superanda procellis,
    Excidit, et juveni trepidantia pectora complet:

      "Quo gressus, vesane rapis? quæve effera menti
    Impulit infandum dementia inire laborem,
    Et gentes vexare piàs? Huc flecte superbos,
    Huc oculos; ego sum, quem vanâ fraude lacessis,
    Tartarei domitor regni, prolesque Tonantis.
    Flecte viam ventis, motâ quate littora dextrâ,
    Siste maris cursum, aut medio rape sidera cœlo;
    Non tamen hoc facies; neque enim gens concidet unquam
    Nostra, nec humani patietur damna tumultûs.
    Cæde Deo tandem, et cæptos compesce furores."

      Tum vero ingenti pressus formidine mentem
    Intremuit juvenis, rupitque has pectore voces:
    "Cedo equidem, victusque abeo: tu, maxime rerum,
    Suffice consilia, atque errantes dirige gressus.
    Immanes fugere animi, et quà ducis eundum est.
    Sit modo fas te, Christe, sequi!" Nec plura locuto
    Intonuere poli, et mediam inter fulgura vocem
    Audiit: "Infaustos animis depone timores,
    Vicinamque urbem et celsæ pete tecta Damasci.
    Ipse adero, rerumque oculis arcana recludam.
    Eia age, carpe viam, et permissis utere fatis."

      Hoc Deus, et sese nubis caligine septum
    Claudit inaccessâ; tellus tremit, et sonat æther,
    Terque per attonitos vibrantur fulmina campos.
    Jamque novæ exierant flammæ, et Sol redditus orbi:
    Assistunt Domino turmæ, gelidamq. resurgens
    Linquit humum Saulus: sed non redit ossibus ardor,
    Non oculis lumen; subitis exterrita monstris
    Haud aliter juveni stupuerunt pectora, quàm cùm
    Fulmina si flammis straverunt forte bisulcis
    Coniferam pinum, aut surgentem in sidera quercum,
    Agricola exsurgit conterritus, et pede lustrat
    Exustum nemus, et pallentes sulphure campos.
    Explorat latè noctem, cæcosq. volutat
    Hinc atq. hinc oculos, et ab omni nube Tonantes
    Expectat vocem. Intereà regione viarum
    Progreditur notâ, et Syriam defertur ad urbem:
    Non, oriens qualem nuper Sol viderat, acri
    Non animo stragem intentans, non ense coruscus
    Fulmineo: supplex, oculosque ad sidera tendens,
    Demissâ sine fine trahit suspiria mente,
    Immiscetq. preces. Tres illic septus opacâ
    Nube dies peragit, tolidem sine sidere noctes.
    Intereà nova paulatim sub pectore flamma
    Nascitur, æthereoq. viget nutrita calore:
    Erroris fugiunt nebulæ; sacer ingruit ardor
    Cœlestisque fides; dant corda immitia pacem,
    Mutanturq. animi: placido ceu murmure labens
    Æternos ducit per saxa rigentia cursus
    Fons sacer, et fluvio tacitè mollescit opaco.

      Quin etiam, ut perhibent, animam sine corpore raptam
    Flammifero alati curru avexere ministri,
    Ad superasq. domos, et magni tecta Parentis
    Fulmineæ rapuere rotæ: medio æthere vectus
    Miratur sonitum circumvolventis Olympi,
    Sideraq., et rutilo flagrantes igne Cometas;
    Inde cavi superans flammantià mænia mundi,
    Elysias spectat sedes, et casta piorum
    Regna, ubi cæruleâ vestitus luce superbit
    Latè æther, aliis ubi fulgent ignibus astra,
    Atq. alii volvunt lætantia sæcula Soles:
    Et puro cernit volitantes aëre Manes,
    Quos rutilâ cingit jubar immortale coronâ,
    Oblitas terrarum animas, venerabile vulgus.

      Tertia jamq. diem expulerat nox humida cælo,
    Et medios tenuit per vasta silentia cursus:
    Cæsarie subito et vittâ venerabilis albâ
    Visus adesse senex, talesq. effundere voces:
    "Surge, age, nate: tibi nam vitæ certa patescit
    Semita, teque Deus cœlo miseratus ab alto est.
    Ipse ego, quæ tristes hebetant caligine visus,
    Eripiam nubes, exoptatumq. revisent
    Solem oculi." Divinâ hæc talia voce loquentem
    Involvere umbræ, tenuisq. refugit imago,
    Excutiturq. sopor. Nova dum portenta renarrat,
    Auditasq. refert voces; fugit æquora currus
    Solis, et ignotus tacitum subit advena limen,
    Compellatq. viros: eadem altâ in fronte sedebat
    Majestas, îsdemq. albebant crinibus ora.
    Agnovit vocem juvenis; nam cætera nigræ
    Eripuere oculis tenebræ. Tum talibus Annas
    Aggreditur senior: "Patriæ te, Saule, petitum
    Linquo tuta domûs, ac mille pericula ferri
    Invado, sævumque adeo imperterritus hostem.
    Nam, qui te medio errantem de tramite vertit,
    Imperat ipse Deus, perq. alta silentia noctis
    Ingeminat mandata monens. Nunc accipe lucem
    Amissam, munusq. Dei. Nec plura locutus
    Pallentes oculos dextrâ premit: atra fugit nox
    Cœlestes tactus, aciemq. effusa per omnem
    Irruit alma dies: primi nova lumina Solis
    Haurit inexpletùm, et fugientia sidera lustrat.
    Sed major puro accendit divina calore
    Lux animos, atq. exsultantia pectora complet.
    Ante oculos nova se rerum fert undique imago:
    Deletas veterum leges, renovataque cernit
    Jura homini, et pactum divino sanguine fœdus;
    Edomitam mortem, raptique arcana sepulchri,
    Perpetuamq. diem, atq. æterni vulnera leti.
    Explorat tacitus sese, et vix cernere credit,
    Quæ mens alta videt; tantâ formidine vasta
    Exterret rerum species, mixtoq. voluptas
    Ingruit alta metu: velut insuetum mare pastor
    Observans oculis, vastiq. silentia ponti,
    Horret, et ignoto perculsus corda timore
    Hinc atq. hinc oculos jacit, æternùmq. volutos
    Miratur fluctus, tantarum et murmur aquarum.

      Exsurgit tandem, rumpitq. silentia voce:
    "Æterni salvete ignes! salve aurea nostris
    Reddita lux oculis! Tuq. O, qui primus inane
    Rupisti, et variâ jussisti effervere flammâ,
    Adsis nunc, pater, et placidus tua numina firmes.
    Da mihi vitai casus, sævosq. labores
    Perferre, et cunctis tua nomina pandere terris,
    Magne parens! et quum gelidis inamabilis alis
    Summa dies aderit, tardæ prænuntia mortis,
    Cunctanti adspires animo, justosq. timores
    Imminuas, ducasq. animam in tua regna trementem!"

      Vix ea fatus erat; per nubes ales apertas
    Devolat ætherio demissus ab axe satelles,
    Alloquiturq. virum, placidoq. hæc incipit ore:

      Macte novâ, Isacide, virtute; opus excipe magnum;
    Afflatuq. Dei et præsenti; numine fortis
    Perge, viamq. rape invictam per littora mundi.
    Non tumidum mare, non sævi violentia belli,
    Nec populi rabies, circùmq. volantia tela,
    Immotos quatient animos; sacrum omnia vincet
    Auxilium, et præsens favor omnipotentis Olympi.
    Graia tibi excussâ cedet Sapientia cristâ,
    Ore tuo devicta; trement regna excita latè
    Cecropis, et vario splendentia numine templa.
    Te mæsti æterno reboantia murmure ponti
    Agnoscent Melitæ saxa, et quæ pulcher Orontes
    Arva secat, fluvioq. vigens Tiberinus amæno,
    Et vix Ausonium passura Britannia regnum.
    Audiet Ionii littus maris, atq. ubi fluctus
    Ægæi sonat, atq. ubi turbidus Hellespontus
    Sævit, et angustâ populos interstrepit undâ.
    O nimium dilecte Deo, cui concidit ingens
    Oceani fragor, et rabidæ silet ira procellæ,
    Pacatusq. cadit, infecto vulnere, serpens.
    Perge, atq. immensum laudes diffunde per orbem.
    Per freta, per flammas, per mille pericula, vade
    Impavidus; miseros refice, atq. petentibus almam
    Da requiem populis; animam pater ipse, laborum
    Defunctam, Christumq. pari jam morte secutam
    Excipiet, cæloq. novum decus inseret alto.


     Cœlestis Sapientia. HOR.

    Qualem in profundi gurgitibus maris
    Undæque, ventique, et scopuli graves
        Nautam lacessunt, et trisulca
            Quæ volitat per inane flamma,
    Quum nulla amicis dat pharon ignibus
    Fortuna; dum Nox signa per horridas
        Diffundat auras, et benignâ
            Luna face imminuat tenebras:
    Sic prima cæcam gens hominum tulit
    Ignara vitam: regna nec Elysî
        Novere nec valles opacas
            Tartareæ timuere sedis;
    Non spes futuri, non reverentia
    Cœlestis aulæ; culpa piaculis
        Vacavit, Eleique luci
            Fatidicæ siluere frondes:
    Donec reclusâ cælicolûm domo,
    Jussu parentis, dicitur huc cohors
        Venisse Musarum, capillos
            Castaliâ redimita lauro,
    Sacramque qui Delum et Pataram regit,
    Cyrrhæque turres: increpuit lyram
        Thalia, divinoque canta
            Tristia personuere regna;
    Quo bruta tellus, quo volucres vagæ, et
    Dura improbarum pectora tigridum,
        Regesque, bellanterque turmæ
            Insolitâ tacuere curâ.
    Informe primùm vox cecinit Chaos,
    Terrasque natas, Iäpeti et genus
        Infame, Phlegræamque pugnam,
            Et triplici data jura mundo:
    Panduntur arcana, et Superûm domus,
    Virtusque, legesque, et ratio boni,
        Oræque Cocyti dolentis,
            Et placidæ loca amœna Leuces.
    O, quæ coruscam concutis ægida,
    Frangens tyrannorum arma minacium,
        Regina Pallas, dona nobis
            Cælicolûm inviolata serva,
    Quam misit æterni arbiter ætheris
    Terras in omnes, ut Sapientiæ
        Accensa duraret per ævum
            Stella, nec in tenebras abiret!
    Te novit Argos, cultaque divitis
    Sedes Corinthi; Cecropias modò
        Turres et Ilissi colebas
            Pascua, floriferosque saltus;
    Nunc Martialis mænia Romuli,
    Et regna Tuscis subdita montibus;
        Nunc arva terrarum remota, et
            Æquorei scopulos Britanni.
    Tu, Diva, rerum detegis ordinem;
    Gaudesque primis nubila gentibus
        Obducta, nulli pervia astro,
            Et Stygiâ graviora nocte
    Rupisse. Frustrà dissociabile
    Objecit atrox Oceani fretum
        Neptunus, insanique rauco
            Turbine confremuere fluctus:
    Vicit furentes, te duce, navita
    Ventosque, et undas, clanstraque saxea
        Perrupit, extremumque mundi
            Impavidus penetravit axem.


I have prefixed to this fragment the title of Epic Poem, though epic
poems are growing out of fashion; because, in the structure, plan, and
metre, the heroic model is followed. My authorities for facts, dates,
and characters, are Vertot and Puffendorff. The latter I have only read
in an English translation, dated 1702: the former I quote from a small
Amsterdam edition, printed for Stephen Roger, in 2 vols. 1722.


Line 3.

    ---- her papal rites efface.

Gustavus, by his prudent and vigorous measures, effectually abolished
Popery in Sweden, and established the disciples and doctrine of Luther.

9, 10.

    And at whose feet, when Heaven his toils repaid,
    His brightest wreaths the grateful Hero laid.

Many have attributed the efforts which Gustavus made use of to deliver
his country, to ambition, and a desire of reigning. Yet, since his
elevation produced much good to Sweden, and no evil, it is surely
allowable, if not just, to attribute them to a purer motive: at any
rate, a poet is at liberty to set his hero's character in the fairest
light he can, consistently with history.


    By Treachery's axe her slaughter'd senate bled.

Alluding to the celebrated massacre of Stockholm. For an account of it,
see notes on the Third Book.


    And her brave chief was numbered with the dead.

Steen Sture, Poeticè Stenon, was the son of Suante Sture, administrator
of Sweden, who reduced John the Second of Denmark to conclude a treaty
with him, and who is greatly extolled by historians for the
extraordinary spirit, skill, and moderation, with which he governed a
turbulent kingdom for many years. Sture, though a young man, was
admitted his successor, being duly elected on the 21st of July, 1513,
after a violent struggle with his competitor, Eric Trolle, the senator,
which laid the foundation of the enmity between him and Gustavus Trolle,
the famous Primate of Sweden. On that prelate's arrival from Rome,
however, he welcomed him to his see, and behaved to him in the most
courteous manner. This behaviour was repaid by Trolle with almost open
hostility; but the young administrator had spirit enough to resist his
encroachments. Arcemboldi, the Pope's Legate, and merchant of
indulgences, when passing through Sweden, in execution of his gainful
office, was well received by Sture, who encouraged him in his exactions,
from a political motive, and even exempted him from the duty which
former venders of indulgences had been accustomed to pay to the Kings
and Governors of Sweden. In the war commenced by Christiern the Second
against Sweden, he signalized his courage and military talents on many
occasions, and was killed in an engagement with Otho Crumpein's army,
near Bogesund in East Gothland.

Inferior to his father as an Administrator, he appears to have equalled
him only in courage and the art of war. He was one of those men who are
born to adorn, though not defend, a declining state: and, in the words
of the French writer, was "fitter to command a party, than govern an
empire." His death happened in the beginning of 1519.


    ---- ruthless Christiern ----

Christiern the Second was perhaps the worst king that ever disgraced the
Danish throne. It is difficult to find any thing estimable or admirable
in his character; he had neither the moderation of a Pisistratus, the
talents of a Cæsar, nor the political prudence of an Augustus. He
succeeded his father John in 1512, and declared war against Sweden, in
which he was assisted by Trolle. Having made a descent on the coast, he
was repulsed by Steen Sture, and reduced to extremities. Wishing to
treat with Sture, he demanded hostages for his safety; some of the
principal nobles were sent to him in that quality, and among them
Gustavus Vasa. With these he immediately sailed away, and on his return,
confined them in the castle of Copenhagen, excepting Gustavus, who was
committed to the custody of Eric Banner. He made a second attack upon
Sweden, and, after the death of Steen Sture, was crowned King of Sweden.
Under false pretences, he put to death the whole Swedish senate, and
exercised innumerable barbarities on the townsmen and peasants.
(Puffendorff, passim.) Being afterwards expelled from Denmark by his
uncle Prince Frederick, and from Sweden by Gustavus Vasa, after many
fruitless attempts to regain possession of either kingdom, he was at
last seized by Frederick, August 2, 1532, and confined in the Castle of
Coldinger, where he died some years after.


    'Twas morn, when Christiern, &c.

This poem begins in January, 1521, immediately before the introduction
of Gustavus in the assembly of Mora.


    ---- Upsal's haughty Prelate ----

Gustavus Trolle, son of Eric the rival of Steen Sture, was sent when
young to Rome (where it is supposed he learned the art of political
finesse), and was there consecrated Archbishop of Upsal by Leo the
Tenth. On his return to Sweden, he treated with great haughtiness Steen
Sture, who came to congratulate him on his elevation. He joined in
Christiern's attempts on Sweden, and, being convicted of treason by the
assembled Swedish States, retired from his archiepiscopal throne to a
monastery. On the successes of Christiern, however, he quitted his
retirement, and, regardless of his oaths of abdication, resumed his
former office. His forcible deposition was one of the pretexts for the
massacre of Stockholm. He opposed Gustavus Vasa in his patriotic
endeavours, and once circumvented the hero with a troop of Danes, so
that he narrowly escaped with his life. Vasa, however, soon retorted the
same stratagem on his enemy; and he was at last obliged to retire into
Denmark, where he with difficulty escaped death from the resentment of
his master. A wound, received in an engagement with the troops of
Christiern the Third, terminated the existence of one of the most
restless caballers, and most accomplished statesmen, of his time.



Otho Crumpein, one of the most celebrated generals of the North, was
employed by Christiern in his war with Steen Sture, and gained many
signal victories over the Danes; and afterwards, by his master's orders,
invested Stockholm. He was at length removed to Denmark by the tyrant,
who was jealous of his talents.



Ernestus and Harfagar are fictitious characters. Puffendorff, however,
reports that Steen Sture was killed by the treachery of one of his
confidential friends.--The hint of the vision, l. 281-311, is taken from


    Brask's proud genius.

Brask, Bishop of Lincoping, was secretly a partisan of Christiern's, and
escaped the massacre of Stockholm by an artful contrivance. When the
order for Trolle's arrest was signed by the Senate and Bishops, at the
instigation of Steen Sture, he added his name to the rest, but secretly
slipped under the seal a note, declaring his dissent: of this he
informed Christiern, when under the edge of the axe. On Gustavus's
insurrection, he at first remained neutral: afterwards, being besieged
in his castle by Gustavus, he came over to him. But his invincible
obstinacy and factious disposition were a great obstacle to Gustavus in
the introduction of Lutheranism into his kingdom.



Bernheim is a fictitious character.



Theodore, Archbishop of Lunden, is thus characterized by Vertot:

     "L'Archevêque de Lunden avoit beaucoup de part dans sa confiance.
     C'étoit un homme de basse naissance, sans érudition, et même sans
     habileté; mais savant dans l'art d'inventer de nouveaux plaisirs,
     et qui en connoissoit également tous les sécrèts et les
     assaisonnemens. Il étoit redevable de sa faveur et de son élevation
     à Sigebritte (the well-known mistress of Christiern): elle l'avoit
     d'abord introduit à la cour pour lui servir d'espion: il passa
     ensuite tout d'un coup (here we must suspect some exaggeration),
     par le crédit de cette femme, de la fonction de Barbier du Prince à
     la dignité d'Archevêque, et il se maintint dans sa faveur en
     presentant à Christierne des plaisirs qu'il savoit accommoder à son
     goût." P. 108, 109, Amst. ed.

Christiern, having first employed Theodore in an official commission,
appointed him Administrator of Sweden in his absence. On the news of the
Swedish rebellion, that prelate, fearful of losing the ample
opportunities he now possessed of indulging his voluptuousness and
rapacity, sent an immediate express to his master, who ordered him to
assemble his army, and attack the insurgents. In conformity to these
orders, he occupied an advantageous post on the banks of the river
Brunebec: Gustavus was on the opposite side, and he intended to dispute
the passage with him. But, through natural cowardice, or a sudden fit of
alarm, he quitted his station, like Hector; and flying for safety from
one fortress to another, was at last obliged, like Trolle, to take
refuge in Denmark.


    The factious souls, &c.

While Christiern was exercising his cruelty towards the Swedes, the
Danish nobility, offended at his usurping absolute power, combined
against him under the auspices of Prince Frederic, and finally succeeded
in expelling him from Denmark. The rebellion began in Jutland.


    Their strong and persevering bands explore, &c.

Such is the character usually given of the inhabitants of Dælarne or


Line 300.

    So to the town, &c.

Klopstock, Book 3.

425, &c.

This passage may remind the reader of Burns's vest of Coila, in his
"Vision, Duan First." The resemblance was unintentional.

475, 6.

    Slanderers of Heaven, &c.

The character here given of the Romish Bishops of Sweden at the time of
the grand revolution, is supported by the historical accounts of Trolle,
Brask, and others.

479, 480.

    ---- and protecting Peace,
    Thro' a long age, bid battle's trumpet cease.

Gustavus was disturbed during the first years of his reign, by the
restless machinations of Christiern and Trolle: but from 1532 to 1560,
when he died (Sept. 29), the kingdom enjoyed a profound peace. The same
may be said of the earlier part of his son Eric's reign.


    The mighty seraph ceas'd ----

This speech, and the whole intervention of the Guardian Genius of
Sweden, is introduced in order to elevate the subject, by ascribing the
calamities of Sweden to a supernatural arm, and by giving, as it were, a
divine direction to the sword of Gustavus. Its more immediate use is to
bring about the main design of the poem, by persuading Gustavus to
relinquish his design of self-banishment, and renew his patriotic

544, 545.

    Th' angelic Power his sacred arm applied
    To push the vessel o'er the yielding tide--

Virg. Æn. 10.



Soren Norbi (Gallicè Severin), one of the most renowned adherents of
Christiern, was employed by him on many occasions, during the war with
Steen Sture. It was by his intercession that Christina, the widow of
that Governor, was saved from death. According to Vertot, he wished to
marry her, and, by the means of her influence and his master's
unpopularity, procure himself elected Administrator. He also concealed
many Swedish gentlemen from the rage of Christiern. He defeated the
generals of Gustavus in their first attempt upon Stockholm, and
afterwards routed one of that hero's armies in Finland. But his fleet
was at last burnt by the Lubeckers, under the command of Gustavus, and
he was compelled to retire to Gothland, where he purposed to erect an
independent kingdom of his own. This design being defeated, he continued
to harass Gustavus and the Lubeckers in various ways, 'till they at
length expelled him from Sweden. He now collected his remaining forces,
and retreated to Narva, where he was seized and imprisoned by the
Russians. After remaining some time in confinement, he was at length
released at the instance of Charles the Fifth of Germany, in whose
service he died, at the siege of Florence. According to Puffendorff, his
death happened in 1539.


Line 7.

    ---- sulphurous showers
    Bursting on Calicut's perfidious towers.

Lusiad, Book 8.


    My first bold task ----

See Preface.


    Before him wide the dark-browed forests frown'd--

According to Pinkerton, forests are frequent in Dalecarlia. This remark
seemed necessary, to obviate the objection against placing woods in a
mineral soil.



Gustaf Wase, or Gustavus Vasa, was the son of Eric Vasa, governor of
Halland, and was cousin-german to Steen Sture. Being the grand nephew of
King Canutson, he was descended from the ancient kings of Sweden. Before
his confinement by Christiern, he was one of the moving springs of the
state; he assisted Sture with his counsels, which were bold and
judicious, and gained a signal victory over the Danes. Christiern,
receiving him as a hostage, caused him to be arrested and carried him to
Denmark, where, by the request of Eric Banner, he was entrusted to the
care of that nobleman. From his custody, however, he soon escaped, and
traversed the various provinces of Sweden, in hopes of exciting at least
some of them to assert their independence. His efforts, however,
surprising and unwearied as they were, did not avail, 'till he arrived
in the remote province of Dalecarlia. His unexpected appearance there
among the peasants excited the whole province to revolt, and an army,
assembled in haste, stormed the Governor's castle, and destroyed the
greater part of the garrison. After this beginning, his successes
gradually increased, and Angermanland, Helsingland, Gestricia, and other
governments almost immediately came over to his party. He sustained a
war against the whole powers of Christiern for some years in a most
skilful and indefatigable manner, and succeeded at last in expelling
Christiern, Trolle, and Norbi, from the land of which he was now elected
monarch. A task, scarcely less difficult, remained--to extirpate the
Catholic religion from Sweden. This he effected, and established
Lutheranism on so firm a basis, that it has resisted all attempts to
shake it. After a long and really glorious reign, he was succeeded by
his son Eric the Fourteenth, in 1560. In him were combined all the
qualities necessary to constitute a hero; he was enterprising, vigilant,
proof against pleasures, brave, prudent, and generous. He erected Sweden
to a degree of power and respectability unknown before, and laid the
foundation for the victories of Gustavus Adolphus and Charles the
Twelfth. For the particular events of his life and reign, see Vertot,
Puffendorff, the Encyclopædia Britannica, and most modern histories.


    How Haquin triumph'd, or how Birger fell--

Haquin and Birger were common names among the earlier kings of Sweden.


    ---- the Mistress of the Northern Zone.

Margaret, who united the three northern kingdoms, and whose empire, like
Alexander's, did not long survive after the death of its founder.


    ---- the thirteenth Eric.

The successor of Margaret. He is called the thirteenth by Vertot, though
according to other accounts he was but the tenth or eleventh.


    'Twas then, when, &c.

The Massacre of Stockholm, as it is commonly called, happened on the 8th
of November, 1520. Of this almost unparalleled act of baseness and
cruelty, Vertot (p. 113, 114, 115, Amst. ed.) gives the following
account, from Zigler, who was an eye-witness, and many other authors of
credit. The pretext for this execution was the demolishing of Stecka, a
castle belonging to the traitor Trolle, which the Swedish States had
ordered to be rased, contrary to the bull of Leo the Tenth.

     "Le nouveau Roi fit ensuite inviter tout ces Seigneurs à une fête
     magnifique qu'il fit dans le château, pour marquer la joie de son
     avènement a la couronne. Le Sénat en corps, et ce qu'il y avoit de
     Seigneurs de la première noblesse, à Stocolme, ne manquèrent pas de
     s'y rendre: ce ne fut pendant les deux premiers jours que festins,
     que jeux, que plaisirs; Christierne affectoit des manières pleines
     de bonté et de familiarité; il sembloit qu'on eût enseveli dans la
     bonne chère la haine et l'aversion que les deux parties avoient
     fait paroître si long-tems l'une contre l'autre; tout le monde
     s'abandonnoit tranquillement à la joie, lors que, le troisième
     jour, les Suédois furent tirés de cet excès de securité, d'une
     maniere bien funeste."

He then proceeds to relate the proceedings of the Danish Monarch against
the Nobility, in the way of accusation, by means of his ministers the
Danish Bishops, and the Pope's Bull; and having described their pleas,
&c. thus continues:

     "Ce Prince sortit ensuite de l'Assemblée, comme s'il cut voulu
     laisser la liberté aux commissaires de délibérer: mais en même tems
     on vit entrer une troupe de soldats de ses gardes, qui arrêtoient
     la veuve de l'Administrateur (Christina), les Senateurs, les
     Evêques même, et tout ce qui se trouva de Seigneurs et de
     Gentilshommes Suédois dans le château.

     "Les Evêques Danois, commissaires du Pape, commencèrent à instruire
     leur procès comme à des héretiques, et comme s'ils eussent êté en
     pays d'inquisition; mais la procedure étant trop longue pour des
     gens qui étoient déjà condamnés, Christierne, dans la crainte qu'il
     ne se fît quelque revolte en leur faveur, leur envoya des bourreaux
     sans autre formalité, pour leur annoncer qu'il falloit mourir.

     "Le huitième de Novembre fut destiné pour leur supplice; on
     entendit dès le matin des trompettes et des hérauts de la part du
     Prince, qui défendoient à qui que ce fût de sortir de la ville,
     sous peine de la vie: toute la garrison étoit sous les armes: il y
     avoit des corps de garde aux portes, et dans toutes les places. Le
     canon prêt à tirer étoit dans la grande place, la bouche tournée
     contre les principals rues; tout le monde étoit dans une profonde
     consternation; ou ne savoit à quoi aboutiroient ces mouvemens
     extraordinaires, lorsque sur le midi ou vit ouvrir les portes du
     château, et, au travers de deux files de soldats, des illustres
     prisonniers, la plupart encore avec les marques de leur dignité,
     conduits à la mort par des bourreaux.

     "Si-tôt qu'ils furent arrivés au lieu de leur supplice, un officier
     Danois lût tout haut la bulle du pape, comme l'arrêt de leur
     condemnation, et il ajouta que dans le châtiment des coupables, le
     Roi ne faisoit rien que par l'ordonnance des commissaires
     apostoliques, et que suivant le conseil de l'Archevèque d'Upsal.
     Les Evêques condamnés, et les autres prisonniers, demandèrent avec
     instance des confesseurs; mais Christierne leur refusa cette
     consolation avec beaucoup d'inhumanité, soit que ce Prince trouvât
     un rafinement de vengeance à étendre son ressentiment sur les
     choses de l'autre vie, où qu'il ne voulût pas qu'on traitât en
     Catholiques des gens qu'on venoit de condamner comme héretiques: il
     sacrifia par la même politique ses amis et ses partisans, pour
     n'être pas soupçonné d'avoir fait périr ses ennemis: toute l'ardeur
     et tout le zêle que les Evêques de Stregnez et de Scara avoient
     fait paroître pour ses interêts, ne purent les exempter de la mort,
     la qualité de Sénateurs leur coûta la vie, et la signature qu'ils
     avoient mise à la condamnation de l'Archevêque avec les autres
     Sénateurs, fut la prétexte de leur supplice."

(He mentions here the stratagem of Bishop Brask, related in a former

     "On exécuta ensuite" (i.e. after the execution of the Bishops)
     "tous les Senateurs seculiers: on commença par Eric Vasa, père de
     Gustave; les Consules et les Magistrats de Stocolme, et
     quatre-vingt quatorze Senateurs, qui avoient été arrêtés dans le
     Chateau, eurent la même destinée.

     "Le Roi n'apprit qu'avec un violent chagrin qu'on n'avoit pû faire
     périr quelques Seigneurs qu'il avoit proscrits particulièrement, et
     qu'on croyoit qu'ils étoient cachés dans la ville. La crainte
     qu'ils n'échappassent, et l'espérance de décourrir la rétraite de
     Gustave, qu'il soupçonnoit d'être caché dans Stocolme, lui fit
     confondre les innocens avec les coupables. Il abandonna la ville à
     la fureur de ses troupes: les soldats se jettèrent d'abord sur le
     peuple qui étoit accoura à ce triste spectacle: ils frappoient et
     ils tuoient indifferemment tous ceux qui étoient assez malheureux
     pour se rencoutrer à leur chemin: ils passèrent ensuite dans les
     meilleurs maisons de la ville, sous prétexte de chercher Gustave et
     les autres proscrits; ils poignardoient les bourgeois jusque dans
     les bras de leur femmes; les maisons furent mises au pillage, et la
     pudicité des femmes et des filles exposée à la brutalité des
     soldats. Rien ne fut épargué que la laideur et la pauvreté: tout le
     reste devint la proie du soldat furieux, qui, sous les ordres et à
     l'exemple de son souverain, se faisoit un mérite de sa fureur et de
     son emportement."


    And strive which first shall see the morn arise--

All the transactions recorded in the Third Book are supposed to have
taken place on the evening and night preceding the annual festival of
Dalecarlia, a day so memorable in Swedish history.


    And icy Meler blush'd with civil gore.

A most bloody engagement took place in 1464, on the lake Meler, when
frozen over, between Bishop Catil and the partizans of the twice deposed
Canutson. The Bishop was victorious.



See the account of Steen Sture, in the note on line 15 of the First


    His patriot spirit entered in my breast.

My precedent for this is Lucan, who says of the soul of Pompey,

    ---- in sancto pectore Bruti
    Sedit, et invicti posuit se mente Catonis.

Lib. ix. l. 17.


    ---- we are still forgot,
    And harmless poverty is still our lot.

Gustavus appeared in a public assembly of the Sudermanian Peasants, and
exhorting them to revolt, was repulsed with the following answer: "We
want neither salt nor herrings under the reign of the King of Denmark,
and another King could not give us more: besides, if we take arms
against so great a Prince, we shall unavoidably perish." The Swedish
peasantry, however, soon felt that the cruelty and tyranny of Christiern
were something more than a mere report.


    Imperial Charles, &c.

     "Charles-Quint entroit dans les intèrêts du Roi de Danemarck avec
     une chaleur que la seule alliance ne produit guère entre les
     potentats. On prétend que ce prince, le plus ambitieux de son
     siècle, n'avoit accordé la princesse sa sœur à Christierne, qu'à
     condition qu'il le reconnoitroit pour son successeur aux couronnes
     du Nord, en cas qu'il mourât sans enfans. Cette succession étoit
     une pièce importante au dessein de la monarchiæ universelle: on
     sait assez que ce fut l'idole et la vision de ce Prince." P. 110,
     Amst. ed.


    Ere Freedom light again her once extinguished ray.

I beg leave to quote the animated lines of Lord Byron:

    A thousand years scarce serve to form a state:
    An hour may lay it in the dust: and when
    Shall man its shatter'd vigour renovate,
    Recal its glories back, and vanquish Time and Fate?


    My spirit breath'd a purer prayer to thee--

Alluding to his profession of Lutheranism, which he probably embraced
while in Steen Sture's army.


    Scarce had he finish'd ----

The foregoing soliloquy is introduced for many reasons: first, to
illustrate the character of the hero: secondly, to shew the
difficulties which opposed, and were still destined to oppose, his
memorable enterprize: thirdly, to account for his determination (Book
ii. l. 509.) to leave his country: and, fourthly, to give the reader
some idea of the prior calamities of Sweden, which are to be developed
in a future book. These, and other motives, induced me to insert this
soliloquy, which may appear rather long, but the prolixity of which the
good-natured reader will excuse.


    Rush'd instantaneous ----

For the use of this word, I have many authorities in cattie:

    Flowers instantaneous spring--
    With instantaneous gleam, illumed the vault of night--
    An instantaneous change of thought--&c.



The Supreme Being commands the Genius of Sweden to lull the Danish
garrison of Dalecarlia into false security, to invigorate the drooping
spirits of the Dalecarlians, and to assist and increase the army of
Prince Frederic of Denmark by means of various rumours, &c.--The Genius
dispatches a fiend to execute the first commission, while he hastens to
perform the second.--Transition to Gustavus.--He finds his sword, but
misses Ernestus, by means of a storm which the whirlwind had
excited.--His reflections.--Taking shelter under the roof of a cottage;
he there overhears a party of young men, with Adolphus at their head,
exclaiming against the dilatory measures of the seniors, and resolving
on more vigorous plans.--He joins them, without disclosing himself, and
bids them report to the council, that a stranger will appear in the
public assembly of Dalecarlia, the following day, and notify things
which may influence their counsels.--He retires: Adolphus follows him
unseen.--The youths, returning to the assembly, find their elders
watching the event of an augury, mentioned in the Third Book.--Its
process described--the result.--The young men announce their
message.--Reflections of the Dalecarlians on it.--Gustavus meets
Ernestus, and prepares to attack him, but is prevented by a miraculous
sign.--The Genius of Sweden, after having revived the spirits of the
Dalecarlians, passes to Denmark, where he influences the Danes to join
the standards of Prince Frederic of Oldenburg.--Description of that
Prince's court, and of the state of Denmark.--The Genius returns through
Sweden.--Account of what was passing there.


The Genius arrives at Mora.--Gustavus is convinced of the truth.--His
reflections on the occasion.--He concludes a friendship with
Ernestus.--He meets Adolphus, whom he recognizes as one of his former
soldiers, and whom he dispatches to the Danish fortress, to observe the
motions of the enemy.--They return to the house of the Priest of Mora,
under whose protection Gustavus then remained, and relate the recent
events.--The Curate's reply.--They retire to rest.

The Dalecarlian convention described.--Their proceedings prior to the
arrival of Gustavus among them.--He announces himself in the
morning.--Their joy.--The augury miraculously fulfilled.--Gustavus takes
measures to prevent the treacherous designs of some of the Dalecarlian
tribes.--He is saluted king and general by the whole assembly.--They
request him to relate his adventures.


Gustavus recounts the causes of the war, and its progress, prior to the
capitulation of Stockholm; which will afford much room for detail. This
narration is necessary, to acquaint the reader with what happened before
the commencement of the action, and is therefore similar in design to
the second and third Æneid, and the four narrative books of the Odyssey.
Christiern, Steen Sture, Archbishop Trolle, Otho, Norbi, and other
distinguished characters, will make a figure in this relation. The hero
describes the massacre of Stockholm, from the account of an eye-witness
of that catastrophe.--He enlarges on the death of his father Eric. Some
reflections on this event may be introduced, in imitation of
Lucan.--Fate of Gustavus's wife and sister; whose death, and the
intercession made by Christiern with Gustavus for their preservation,
will afterwards form one of the principal episodes.--He then relates
part of his numerous adventures in the different provinces of Sweden.


He continues his recital, and concludes with his arrival in Dalecarlia,
and adventures there. He then exhorts them to assist in his patriotic
design. (See his speech in Vertot.) The Dalecarlians applaud his
harangue, which is also attended by favourable omens. A body-guard of
400 men is appointed him; Adolphus is chosen captain, having now
returned, and disclosed the supineness and neglect of the Danish
garrison. Gustavus declares his intentions of storming the castle;
arranges the troops, and bids all be ready by midnight. They retire.


The proceedings of Christiern, Trolle, and Norbi, from the conclusion of
Book 4, severally described.--Gustavus secretly dismisses the unfaithful
tribes.--The Genius of Sweden appears to him in a dream; foretels his
future exaltation, and the disgraceful end of Christiern and his party.
He then shews him the reward of patriots in heaven.--Ancient Swedish
kings and heroes.


He now shews him, "in a sort of Pisgah-sight," as Pope expresses it, but
on a new plan, the future history of Sweden: its wars, arts, manners,
&c.--Gustavus Adolphus.--Christina.--Charles the Twelfth.--Puffendorff,
Oxenstiern, Linnæus, &c.--Part of the Danish history may be mentioned,
as connected with that of Sweden.--Gustavas the Fourth.--Siege of
Copenhagen by the English.--Bernadotte.--The Genius concludes with an
exhortation, and directions for prosecuting the war.--Gustavus's
prayer.--The army described.--Their leaders.


Parting of the Dalecarlians with their kindred: briefly delineated, like
the scene in the 5th Lusiad. Some episode may naturally be here
introduced.--The Genius blows his angelic trumpet, as a prelude to the
war: its effects.--The army of Gustavus, increased on its way by new
multitudes, reaches the castle at midnight.--Negligence of the
guard.--Gustavus, Ernestus, and Adolphus, signalize themselves. Valour
of the Governor.--The fort is stormed.--General slaughter of the Danes
by the incensed Dalecarlians.--Clemency of Gustavus to the Governor,
and all he could save from the fury of his soldiers.--The tribes who had
adhered to Christiern, send intelligence to Stockholm of the
revolt.--Trolle, in the absence of Christiern, calls a council.

The action, from the council in Book 1, to the taking of the castle, in
Book 10, occupies four days.

The remaining books, ten or fourteen in number, will be occupied with a
detail of the long and various war waged by Gustavus against Christiern,
and the poem will conclude with his coronation. Many events afford great
scope for poetry; such as the hero's constancy under his defeat by
Trolle, his subsequent victory over that prelate, the adventures of
Steen Sture's widow, the death of Gustavus's mother and sister, the
burning of Norbi's fleet, the coronation of Gustavus, &c.


1. Where, in the midst of vast infinitude, &c.

This is the conclusion of the 9th hook of the Messiah, where Obaddon, or
Sevenfold Revenge, one of the angels of death, carries the Soul of Judas
Iscariot to hell.

    ---- Where, in the midst, &c.

Orig. "Where God has set bounds to infinitude:" an expression authorized
by Milton: "stood vast Infinitude confined."

2. From Ida's peak high Jove beheld, &c.

An intelligent person suggested to the author, that to compose a new
version of Homer, in the style and measure of Scott's Marmion, would be
a feasible idea. He observed, that Scott's style, and his circumstantial
descriptions, bore much resemblance to those of Homer and that the
rapid flow of Scott's verse was happily accommodated to the swift
succession of events, and fiery impetuosity of the Iliad; corresponding
with the dactylic hexameter of the old poet. These hints induced the
author to attempt the above translation.

3. Through these fair scenes, &c.

This description has been preferred to that of the fountain of Narcissus
in Ovid. Crucius, Lives of the Roman Poets.

4. Quid nos Immeritâ, &c.

An ironical defence of piracy.

5. D. Pauli Conversio, 94. Quin etiam, ut perbibent, &c.

Alluding to his transportation into the third heaven.

    ---- 142. Æterni vulnera leti.

The scripture phrase "eternal death."

    ---- 178. Britannia.

He is said by some to have passed into Britain.

    ---- 184. Pacatusque.

Alluding to the miracle on the coast of Melita.



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