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O'er the green dell its boughs were wildly thrown,
And seem'd to make a forest all their own.

The trees that round their leafy honours rear'd,
Like lowly shrubs on barren heaths appear'd
When mated with its height-in the cool shade
I lay reclined; a mossy stone my head
Supported; for around, in order placed,
The lonely spot a rocky circle graced.

Scarcely had he yielded to repose, when he beholds, in a vision, the trunk of this gigantic oak divide, whilst, rising from its centre, appears the genius of his native island, and thus addresses

him :

'Twas thine, directed by the powers above,

To pierce the precincts of my hallow'd grove.
Where from the branch, at consecrated hour,
Sage Druids pluck the plant* of mystic power;
And claim'd kind influence from the host of night,
While the pale crescent, tipt with borrow'd light,

* "The oak was considered as sacred in the earliest ages. The misletoe is a plant of the parasite kind, which sometimes, but not frequently, grows on it. In gathering it the Druids used many ridiculous ceremonies, which are described by Pliny in his Natural History, I. xvi. c. 44. He there says, that it was never gathered but on the sixth day of the moon, which was so highly esteemed by them, that all their religious festivals were held on it; and their months, years, and ages, which consisted of the revolution of thirty years, took their commencement from that day."-HOLE.

Sail'd through heaven's azure vault-their temples crown'd
With garlands, oft they traced this rocky round,
And on their altar rude, yon central stone,
The milk-white steer expired with hollow moan.
And man himself, a sacrifice abhorr'd,
Beneath the axe life's sanguine current pour'd.
While ruthless priests, in robes of snowy hue,
From gushing blood, and limbs convulsive, drew
Presages wild and vain.-B. ii. p. 48-50.

The genius then declares that the weird sisters, dreading the downfall of the Pagan superstitions, and the consequent future glory of Arthur, had woven round his natal hour and that of Inogen a spell of such pernicious potency as could not be counteracted by any thing short of superhuman aid. To supply this assistance, he presents Merlin with a wand of hallowed power, telling him, that as the sisters had destined Inogen to the arms of Hengist, it must be his object to conceal her from his view. For this purpose he directs him to form, through the influence of the gift he had just received, an enchanted bower, placing Inogen within its deepest recess, and enjoining her not to quit it but with his consent. He is then told to fly instantly to the Isle of Ligon, which the elements, now in subjection to the secret virtue of his wand,

will enable him to do with ease, and instruct Arthur to collect succours from all the nations allied to Britain, conducting them to Menevia or Milford Haven, and on no account to leave them until they enter that bay.

The genius then vanishes, and Merlin, awakened from his dream, beholds with astonishment and joy the wand at his feet. He immediately hastens to obey the mandates of his friendly visitant; he encloses the willing Inogen and her companion Ellena in the magic bower, and Arthur, following his advice, collects his auxiliaries from every quarter, but, unhappily deluded by the machinations of the weird sisters, he deserts his forces ere they reach the bay of Menevia, and becomes, in consequence of that rash act, subjected to further persecution and danger.

Merlin here closes his narrative, and the night being far advanced he takes leave of Melaschlen and his chiefs, and retires to rest.

The third book of Arthur, perhaps from the wild and romantic nature of its incidents the most interesting in the work, opens with the following description of morning, in which, whilst there is much to admire in the strength and selection of the

imagery, it is impossible not to be struck with the animation given to the picture by the very beautiful and picturesque manner in which the hero of the poem is presented to our view.

Faint streaks of light the purpled east illume,
And westward rolls the slow decreasing gloom.
With various screams around Conagra's height
The birds of ocean urge their eddying flight.
Some o'er th' unruffled main disporting sweep
On outstretch'd wings, some mid the briny deep
With pinions closed fall headlong; and convey
Exulting to their young the scaly prey.

Soon brighter beams, as o'er the hills is borne
The vapour dim, its curling sides adorn
With golden tints: meanwhile th' enlivening gale
With shadowy waves o'ercasts the grassy vale:
And the rill bursting from the rocky height
Winds through the narrow dell in floating light.
Besides its bank, where droops the willow green,
The stately form of Uther's son is seen.
Ofttimes he plunges mid the liquid stream
His pointed lance; the parted waters gleam
On either side. But, ah! though there his eyes
Are fix'd, his mind to different objects flies.
His mind, with various scenes of sorrows fraught,
By memory rack'd, and heart-corroding thought.

B. iii. p. 63.

Whilst thus immersed in painful reverie, Melaschlen and Ivar, accompanied by Merlin, ap

proach, and the latter tells Arthur, that as he had, though under the influence of delusion, deserted his valiant host, he must now, if glory were in his eyes yet preferable to safety, traverse the coasts of Britain without a friend or even menial to attend him, and be prepared to encounter singly not only the enmity of man, but the force and fraud of demoniacal agency. Arthur hesitates not a moment in undertaking the enterprise; and though with all the enthusiasm of friendship and heroic ardour Ivar petitions to accompany him, the prince firmly but gratefully declines the offer, whilst Merlin, to put an end to the generous contest, again repeats that the task can only be achieved by the unassisted arm of the son of Uther. As he is yet speaking, a slender bark appears distantly on the waves, and being endued with self-directing power, rapidly bends its course to the shore. Merlin and Arthur immediately enter it, and, after taking a most affectionate leave of their kind friends, are, to the inconsolable disappointment of Ivar, wafted with almost meteoric swiftness from their sight.

The poet here bursts forth into a valedictory and highly animated address to the Western Islands of Scotland, in which the prophetic allusion to the

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