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A SCENE FROM THE MARTYR OF ANTIOCH.
THE VERY Rev. Henry Hart Milman, D.D.,
DEAN OF ST. PAUL's. [Dr. Milman is the youngest son of the late Sir Francis Milman, Bart., physician_to George III. He was born Feb. 10, 1791, and educated at Dr. Burney's, Greenwich, at Eton, and at Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1817 he took orders, and was appointed Vicar of St. Mary's, Reading. Previously to this he had written his tragedy of "Fazio," in which the celebrated Miss O'Neill sustained the rôle of the heroine at Covent-garden Theatre. His subsequent works are
“The Martyr of Antioch,” and “Belshazzar" (an heroic poem in twelve bouks), “Samor (1818), and “The Fall of Jerusalem,” a poem (1820). Dr. Milman bas also contributed largely to the “Quarterly Review;" and has written in prose a “History of Latin Christianity,” a “ History of the Jews,” a “Life of Horace," and other works. As a poet he takes rank with Bowles and Keble, and has made a reputation “that the world will not willingly let die." Having been some years the Rector of St. Margaret's, Westminster, he was presented with the deanery of St. Paul's in 1849.] MARGARITA'S REVELATION TO HER FATHER (CALLIAS, PRIEST
OF APOLLO) OF HER CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY.
Callias. How ? What? mine ears
Ring with a wild confusion of strange sounds
That have no meaning. Thou’rt not wont to mock
Thine aged father, but I think that now
Thou dost, my child.
Margarita. By Jesus Christ-by Him
In whom my soul hath hope of immortality,
Father! I mock not.
Lightnings blast-not thee,
But those that, by their subtle incantations,
Have wrought upon thy innocent soul!
Marg. Father, I'll follow thee where'er thou wilt:
Thou dost not mean this cruel violence
With which thou dragg'st me on.
Dost not behold him,
Thy God! thy father's God! the God of Antioch!
And feel'st thou not the cold and silent awe
That emanates from his immortal presence
O'er all the breathless temple? Dar'st thou see
The terrible brightness of the wrath that burns
On his arch'd brow ? Lo, how the indignation
Swells in each strong dilated limb! his stature
Grows loftier; and the roof, the quaking pavement,
The shadowy pillars, all the temple feels
The offended God! I dare not look again-
Dar'st thou ?
Marg. I see a silent shape of stone,
In which the majesty of human passion
Is to the life express'd. A noble image,
But wrought by mortal hands, upon a model
As mortal as themselves.
Ha! look again, then,
There in the East. Mark how the purple clouds
Throng to pavilion him : the officious winds
Pant forth to purify his azure path
From night's dun vapours and fast-scattering mists.
The glad earth wakes in adoration; all
The voices of all animate things lift up
Tumultuous orisons; the spacious world
Lives but in him, that is its life.
Disdainful of the universal homage,
Holds his calm way, and vindicates for his own
Th' illimitable heavens, in solitude
Of peerless glory unapproachable.
What means thy proud undazzled look, to adore
Or mock, ungracious ?
On yon burning orb
I gaze, and say,--Thou mightiest work of Him
That launch'd thee forth, a golden-crowned bridegroom,
To hang thy everlasting nuptial lamp
In the exulting heavens. In thee the light,
Creation's eldest born, was tabernacled.
To thee was given to quicken slumbering nature,
And lead the seasons' slow vicissitude
Over the fertile breast of mother earth;
Till men began to stoop their grov'lling prayers,
From the Almighty Sire of all, to thee.
And I will add, --Thou universal emblem,
Hung in the forehead of the all-seen heavens,
Of Him, that, with the light of righteousness,
Dawn'd on our latter days; the visitant day-spring
Of the benighted world. Enduring splendour!
Giant refreshed ! that ever more renew'st
Thy flaming strength ; nor ever shalt thou cease
With time coeval, even till Time itself
Hath perish'd in eternity. Then thou
Shalt own, from thy apparent deity
Debased, thy mortal nature, from the sky
Withering before the all-enlightening Lamb,
Whose radiant throne shall quench all other fires.
Call. And yet she stands unblasted ! In thy mercy Thou dost remember all my
faithful VOWS, Hyperion ! and suspend the fiery shaft That quivers on thy string. Ah, not on her,
. This innocent, wreak thy fury! I will search, And thou wilt lend me light, although they shroud In deepest Orcus. I will pluck them forth, And set them up a mark for all thy wrathThose that beguiled to this unholy madness My pure and blameless child. Shine forth, shine forth, Apollo, and we'll have our full revenge ! [Exit.
Marg. 'Tis over now-and oh! I bless thee, Lord,
For making me thus desolate below;
For severing one by one the ties that bind me
To this cold world—for whither can earth's outcasts
Fly but to heaven ?
Yet is no way but this,
None but to steep my father's lingering days
In bitterness? Thou knowest, gracious Lord
Of mercy, how he loves me, how he loved me
From the first moment that my eyes were open'd
Upon the light of day and him. At least,
If thou must smite him, smite him in thy mercy.
He loves me as the life-blood of his heart;
His love surpasses every love but thine.
(By permission of the Author.)
A THING of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darken'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
Nor do we merely feel these essences For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.
Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now, while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now, while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy-pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
Oh! may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finish’d; but let autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end.
And now at once, adventuresome I send
My herald thought into a wilderness :
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, through flowers and weed.
Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread A mighty forest; for the moist earth fed