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Snowdon has heard the strain :
Hark, amid the wond'ring grove

Other harpings answer clear,

Other voices meet our ear,
Pinions flutter, shadows move,

Busy murmurs hum around,

Rustling vestments brush the ground;
Round and round, and round they go,

Thro' the twilight, thro' the shade,

Mount the oak's majestic head,
And gild the tufted misletoe.
Cease, ye glitt'ring race of light,
Close your wings, and check your flight:
Here, arrang'd in order due,
Spread your robes of saffron hue;
For lo, with more than mortal fire,
Mighty Mador smites the lyre:
Hark, he sweeps the master-strings;
Listen all-

Chor. Break off; a sullen smoke involves the altar; The central oak doth shake; I hear the sound Of steps profane: Caractacus, retire; Bear hence the victims; Mona is polluted.

Semich. Father, as we did watch the eastern side, We spied and instant seiz'd two stranger youths, Who, in the bottom of a shadowy dell, Held earnest converse: Britons do they seem, And of Brigantian race. Chor.

Haste, drag them hither.

FROM THE SAME.

Yellinus, the treacherous brother of Elidurus, having fled to the

Romans, Elidurus is sentenced to die Evelina pleads for his life.

Chorus, Evelina, Elidurus, and Bard.

Chor. What may his flight portend? Say, Evelina, How came this youth to 'scape? Evel.

And that to tell
Will fix much blame on my impatient folly:
For, ere your hallow'd lips had given permission,
I flew with

eager
haste to bear my

father
News of his son's return. Inflam’d with that,
Think how a sister's zealous breast must glow!
Your looks give mild assent. I glow'd indeed
With the dear tale, and sped me in his ear
To pour the precious tidings: but my tongue
Scarce nam'd Arviragus, ere the false stranger
(As I bethink me since) with stealthy pace
Fled to the cavern's mouth.
Chor.

The king pursu'd ? Evel. Alas! he mark'd him not, for 'twas the

moment, When he had all to ask and all to fear, Touching my brother's valour. Hitherto His safety only, which but little mov'd him, Had reach'd his ears: but when my tongue unfolded The story of his bravery and his peril, Oh how the tears cours'd plenteous down his cheeks!

How did he lift unto the Heav'ns his hands
In speechless transport! Yet he soon bethought him
Of Rome's invasion, and with fiery glance
Survey'd the cavern round; then snatch'd his spear,
And menac'd to pursue the flying traitor:
But I with prayers (oh pardon, if they err'd)
Withheld his step, for to the left the youth
Had wing'd his way, where the thick underwood
Afforded sure retreat. Besides, if found,
Was age a match for youth?
Chor.

Maiden, enough;
Better perchance for us, if he were captive:
But in the justice of their cause, and Heav'n,
Do Mona's sons confide.
Bard.

Druid, the rites
Are finish’d, all save that which crowns the rest,
And which pertains to thy blest hand alone:
For that he kneels before thee.
Chor.

Take hiin hence,
We may not trust him forth to fight our cause.

Elid. Now by Andraste's throne
Chor.

Nay, swear not, youth,
The tie is broke, that held thy fealty :
Thy brother's fled.
Elid.

Fled!
Chor.

To the Romans fled;
Yes, thou hast cause to tremble.
Elid.

Ah, Vellinus !
Does thus our love, does thus our friendship end!
Was I thy brother, youth, and hast thou left me!

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Yes; and how left me, cruel as thou art,
The victim of thy crimes !
Chor.

True, thou must die.
Elid. I pray ye then on your best mercy, fathers,
It may be speedy. I would fain be dead,
If this be life. Yet I must doubt ev'n that:
For falsehood of this strange stupendous sort
Sets firm-ey'd reason on a gaze, mistrusting,
That what she sees in palpable plain form,
The stars in yon blue arch, these woods, these caverns,
Are all mere tricks of cozenage, nothing real,
The vision of a vision. If he's fled,
I ought to hate this brother.
Chor.

Yet thou dost not. Elid. But when' astonishment will give me leave, Perchance I shall.--And yet he is my brother, And he was virtuous once. Yes, ye vile Romans, Yes, I must die, before my thirsty sword Drinks one rich drop of vengeance. Yet, ye robbers, Yet will I curse you with my dying lips : 'Twas

you, that stole away my brother's virtue. Chor. Now then prepare to die. Elid.

I am prepar'd. Yet, since I cannot now (what most I wish'd) By manly prowess guard this lovely maid; Permit that on your holiest earth I kneel, And pour one fervent prayer for her protection. Allow me this, for though you think me false, The gods will hear me. Evel.

I can hold no longer!

Oh Druid, Druid, at thy feet I fall :
Yes, I must plead, (away with virgin-blushes)
For such a youth must plead. I'll die to save him,
Oh take my life, and let him fight for Mona.

Chor. Virgin, arise. His virtue hath redeem'd him,
And he shall fight for thee, and for his country.
Youth, thank us with thy deeds. The time is short,
And now with reverence take our high lustration;
Thrice do we sprinkle thee with day-break dew
Shook from the may-thorn blossom ; twice and thrice
Touch we thy forehead with our holy wand:
Now thou art fully purg'd. Now rise restor's
To virtue and to us. Hence then, my son,
Hie thee, to yonder altar, where our Bards
Shall arm thee duly both with helm and sword
For warlike enterprise.

THE CAPTURE OF CARACTACUS.

FROM THE SAME.

Aul. Did.

Ye bloody priests, Behold we burst on your infernal rites, And bid you pause. Instant restore our soldiers, Nor hope that superstition's ruthless step Shall wade in Roman gore. Ye savage men, Did not our laws give license to all faiths, We would o'erturn your altars, headlong heave These shapeless symbols of your barbarous gods, And let the golden sun into your caves.

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