O'er bush and briar Childe Launcelot sprung
With ardent hopes elate,
And loudly blew the horn that hung
Before Sir Hornbook's gate.

The inner portals opened wide,
And forward strode the chief,
Arrayed in paper helmet's pride,
And arms of golden leaf.

--"What means,"--he cried,--"This daring noise,
That wakes the summer day?
I hate all idle truant boys:
Away, Sir Childe, away!"--

--"No idle, truant boy am I,"--
Childe Launcelot answered straight;
--"Resolved to climb this hill so high,
I seek thy castle gate.

"Behold the talisman I bear,
And aid my bold design:"--
Sir Hornbook gazed, and written there,
Knew Emulation's sign.

"If Emulation sent thee here,"
Sir Hornbook quick replied,
"My merrymen all shall soon appear,
To aid thy cause with shield and spear,
And I will head thy bold career,
And prove thy faithful guide."--

Loud rung the chains; the drawbridge fell;
The gates asunder flew:
The knight thrice beat the portal bell,
And thrice he call'd "Halloo."

And out, and out, in hasty rout,
By ones, twos, threes, and fours;
His merrymen rush'd the walls without,
And stood before the doors.


Full six and twenty men were they,
In line of battle spread:
The first that came was mighty A,
The last was little Z.

Six Vocal men Sir Hornbook had,
Four Double men to boot,
And four were Liquids soft and sad,
And all the rest were Mute.

He called his Corporal, Syllable,
To range the scatter'd throng;
And Captain Word dispos'd them well
In bands compact and strong.

--"Now mark, Sir Childe,"--Sir Hornbook said:--
"These well-compacted powers,
Shall lead thy vent'rous steps to tread
Through all the Muses' bowers,

"If rightly thou thyself address,
To use their proffer'd aid:
Still unallur'd by idleness,
By labor undismay'd;

"For many troubles intervene,
And perils widely spread,
Around the groves of evergreen,
That crown this mountain's head:
But rich reward he finds, I ween,
Who through them all has sped."--

Childe Launcelot felt his bosom glow
At thought of noble deed;
Resolved through every path to go,
Where that bold knight should lead.

Sir Hornbook wound his bugle horn,
Full long, and loud, and shrill;
His merrymen all, for conquest born,
With armour glittering to the morn,
Went marching up the hill.


--"What men are you beside the way?"--
The bold Sir Hornbook cried:
--"My name is The, my brother's A,"--
Sir Article replied.

"My brother's home is any where,
At large and undefin'd;
But I a preference ever bear
For one fix'd spot, and settle there;
Which speaks my constant mind."

--"What ho! Childe Launcelot! seize them there,
And look you have them sure!"--
--Sir Hornbook cried,--"my men shall bear
Your captives off secure."--

The twain were seized: Sir Hornbook blew
His bugle loud and shrill:
His merrymen all, so stout and true,
Went marching up the hill.


And now a wider space they gained,
A steeper, harder ground,
Where by one ample wall contained,
All earthly things they found:

All beings, rich, poor, weak, or wise,
Were there, full strange to see,
And attributes and qualities
Of high and low degree.

Before the circle stood a knight,
Sir Substantive his name,
With Adjective, his lady bright,
Who seemed a portly dame;

Yet only seemed; for whenso'er
She strove to stand alone,
She proved no more than smoke and air,
Who looked like flesh and bone.

And therefore to her husband's arm
She clung for evermore,
And lent him many a grace and charm
He had not known before;

Yet these the knight felt well advised,
He might have done without;
For lightly foreign help he prized
He was so staunch and stout.

Five sons had they, their dear delight,
Of different forms and faces;
And two of them were Numbers bright,
And three they christened Cases.

Now loudly rung Sir Hornbook's horn;
Childe Launcelot poised his spear;
And on they rushed, to conquest borne,
In swift and full career.

Sir Substantive kicked down the wall:
It fell with furious rattle:
And earthly things and beings all
Rushed forth to join the battle.

But earthly things and beings all,
Through mixed in boundless plenty,
Must one by one dissolving fall
To Hornbook's six-and-twenty.

Childe Launcelot won the arduous fray,
And, when they ceased from strife,
Led stout Sir Substantive away,
His children, and his wife.

Sir Hornbook wound his horn again,
Full long, and loud, and shrill:
His merrymen all, a warlike train,
Went marching up the hill.


Now when Sir Pronoun look'd abroad,
And spied the coming train,
He left his fort beside the road,
And ran with might and main.

Two cloth-yard shafts from I and U,
Went forth with whizzing sound:
Like lightning sped the arrows true;
Sir Pronoun pressed the ground:
But darts of science ever flew
To conquer, not to wound.

His fear was great: his hurt was small:
Childe Launcelot took his hand:
--"Sir Knight,"--said he,--"though doomed to fall
Before my conquering band,

"Yet knightly treatment shall you find,
On faith of cavalier:
Then join Sir Substantive behind,
And follow our career."--

Sir Substantive, that man of might,
Felt knightly anger rise;
For he had marked Sir Pronoun's flight
With no approving eyes.

"Great Substantive, my sovereign liege!"--
Thus sad Sir Pronoun cried,
--"When you had fallen in furious siege,
Could I the shock abide?"

"That all resistance would be vain,
Too well, alas! I knew:
For what could I, when you were ta'en,
Your poor lieutenant, do?"

Then louder rung Sir Hornbook's horn,
In signals long and shrill:
His merrymen all, for conquest born,
Went marching up the hill.


Now steeper grew the rising ground,
And rougher grew the road,
As up the steep ascent they wound
To bold Sir Verb's abode.

Sir Verb was old, and many a year,
All scenes and climates seeing,
Had run a wild and strange career
Through every mode of being.

And every aspect, shape, and change
Of action, and of passion:
And known to him was all the range
Of feeling, taste, and fashion.

He was an Augur, quite at home
In all things present done,
Deeds past, and every act to come
In ages yet to run.

Entrenched in intricacies strong,
Ditch, fort, and palisado,
He marked with scorn the coming throng,
And breathed a bold bravado:

--"Ho! who are you that dare invade
My turrets, moats, and fences?
Soon will your vaunting courage fade,
When you on the walls, in lines array'd,
You see me marshal undismay'd
My host of moods and tenses."--

--"In vain,"--Childe Launcelot cried in scorn,--
--"On them is your reliance;"--
Sir Hornbook wound his bugle horn,
And twange'd a loud defiance.

They swam the moat, they scal'd the wall,
Sir Verb, with rage and shame,
Beheld his valiant general fall,
Infinitive by name.

Indicative declar'd the foes
Should perish by his hand;
And stout Imperative arose,
The squadron to command.

Potential and Subjunctive then
Came forth with doubt and chance:
All fell alike, with all their men,
Before Sir Hornbook's lance.

Action and Passion nought could do
To save Sir Verb from fate;
Whose doom poor Participle knew,
He must participate.

Then Adverb, who had skulk'd behind,
To shun the mighty jar,
Came forward, and himself resign'd
A prisoner of war.

Three children of Imperative,
Full strong, though somewhat small,
Next forward came, themselves to give
To conquering Launcelot's thrall.

Conjunction press'd to join the crowd;
But Preposition swore,
Though Interjection sobb'd aloud,
That he would go before.

Again his horn Sir Hornbook blew,
Full long, and loud, and shrill;
His merrymen all, so stout and true,
Went marching up the hill.


Sir Syntax dwelt in thick fir-grove,
All strown with scraps of flowers,
Which he had pluck'd to please his love,
Among the Muses' bowers.

His love was gentle Prosody,
More fair than morning beam;
Who liv'd beneath a flowering tree,
Beside a falling stream.

And these two claim'd, with high pretence
The whole Parnassian ground,
Albeit some little difference
Between their taste was found:
Sir Syntax he was all for sense,
And Prosody for sound.

Yet in them both the Muses fair
Exceedingly delighted;
And thought no earthly thing so rare,
That might with that fond twain compare,
When they were both united.

--"Ho! yield, Sir Syntax!"--Hornbook cried,
"This youth must pass thy grove,
Led on by me, his faithful guide,
In yonder bowers to rove."--

Thereat full much, Sir Syntax said,
But found resistance vain:
And through his grove Childe Launcelot sped,
With all Sir Hornbook's train.

They reach'd the tree where Prosody
Was singing in the shade:
Great joy Childe Launcelot had to see,
And hear that lovely maid.

Now, onward as they press'd along,
Did nought their course oppose;
Till full before the martial throng
The Muses' gates arose.

There Etymology they found,
Who scorn'd surrounding fruits;
And ever dug in deepest ground,
For old and mouldy Roots.

Sir Hornbook took Childe Launcelot's hand,
And tears at parting fell:
--"Sir Childe,"--he said,--"with all my band
I bid you here farewell.

"Then wander through these sacred bowers,
Unfearing and alone:
All shrubs are hear, and fruits, and flowers,
To happiest climates known."--

Once more his horn Sir Hornbook blew,
A parting signal shrill:
His merrymen all, so stout and true,
Went marching down the hill.

Childe Launcelot pressed the sacred ground,
With hope's exulting glow;
Some future song perchance may sound
The wondrous thing which there he found,
If you the same would know.

Palmyra (1st Edition)

---anankta ton pantôn huperbal-
lonta chronon makarôn.
Pindar. Hymn. frag. 33


As the mountain-torrent rages,
Loud, impetuous, swift, and strong,
So the rapid streams of ages
Rolls with ceaseless tide along.
Man's little day what clouds o'ercast!
How soon his longest day is past!
All-conquering DEATH, in solemn date unfurl'd,
Comes, like the burning desert blast,
And sweeps him from the world.
The noblest works of human pow'r
In vain resist the fate-fraught hour;
The marble hall, the rock-built tow'r,
Alike submit to destiny:
OBLIVION's awful storms resound;
The massy columns fall around;
The fabric totters to the ground,
And darkness veils its memory!


'Mid SYRIA's barren world of sand,
Where THEDMOR's marble wastes expand.
Where DESOLATION, on the blasted plain,
Has fix'd his adamantine throne,
I mark, in silence and alone,
His melancholy reign.
These silent wrecks, more eloquent than speech,
Full many a tale of awful note impart;
Truths more sublime than bard or sage can teach
This pomp of ruin presses on the heart.
Whence rose that dim, mysterious sound,
That breath'd in hollow murmurs round?
As sweeps the gale
Along the vale,
Where many a mould'ring tomb is spread,
Awe-struck, I hear,
In fancy's ear,
The voices of th' illustrious dead:
As slow they pass along, they seem to sigh,
"Man, and the works of man, are only born to die!"


As scatter'd round, a dreary space,
Ye spirits of the wise and just!
In reverential thought I trace
The mansions of your sacred dust,
Enthusiast FANCY, rob'd in light,
Pours on the air her many-sparkling rays,
Redeeming from OBLIVION's deep'ning night
The deeds of ancient days.
The mighty forms of chiefs of old,
To VIRTUE dear, and PATRIOT TRUTH sublime,
In feeble splendor I behold,
Discover'd dimly through the mists of TIME,
As through the vapours of the mountain-stream
With pale reflection glows the sun's declining beam.


Still as twilight's mantle hoary
Spreads progressive on the sky,
See, in visionary glory,
Darkly-thron'd, they sit on high.
But whose the forms, oh FAME, declare,
That crowd majestic on the air?
Bright Goddess! come, on rapid wings,
To tell the mighty deeds of kings.
Where art thou, FAME?
Each honor'd name
From thy eternal roll unfold:
Awake the lyre,
In songs of fire,
To chiefs renown'd in days of old.
I call in vain!
The welcome strain
Of praise to them no more shall sound:
Their actions bright
Must sleep in night,
Till TIME shall cease his mystic round.
The dazzling glories of their day
The stream of years has swept away;
Their names, that struck the foe with fear,
Shall ring no more on mortal ear!


Yet faithful MEMORY's raptur'd eye
Can still the godlike form descry,
Of him, who, on EUPHRATES' shore,
From SAPOR's brow his blood-stain'd laurels tore,
And bade the ROMAN banner stream unfurl'd;
When the stern GENIUS of the startling waves
Beheld on PERSIA s host of slaves
Tumultuous ruin hurl'd!
Meek SCIENCE too, and TASTE refin'd,
The grave with deathless flow'rs have dress'd,
Of him whose virtue-kindling mind
Their ev'ry charm supremely bless'd;
Who trac'd the mazy warblings of the lyre
With all a critic's art, and all a poet's fire.


Where is the bard, in these degen'rate days,
To whom the muse the blissful meed awards,
Again the dithyrambic song to raise,
And strike the golden harp's responsive chords?
Be his alone the song to swell,
The all-transcendent praise to tell
Of yon immortal form,
That bursting through the veil of years,
In changeless majesty appears,
Bright as the sun-beams thro' the scatt'ring storm!
What countless charms around her rise!
What dazzling splendor sparkles in her eyes!
On her radiant brow enshrin'd,
MINERVA's beauty blends with JUNO's grace;
The matchless virtues of her godlike mind
Are stamp'd conspicuous on her angel-face.


Hail, sacred shade, to NaATURE dear!
Though sorrow clos'd thy bright career,
Though clouds obscur'd thy setting day,
Thy fame shall never pass away!
Long shall the mind's unfading gaze
Retrace thy pow'r's meridian blaze,
When o'er ARABIAN deserts, vast and wild,
And EGYPT s land, (where REASON's wakeful eye
First on the birth of ART and SCIENCE smil'd,
And bade the shades of mental darkness fly)
And o'er ASSYRIA's many-peopled plains,
By Justice led, thy conqu'ring armies pour'd,
When humbled nations kiss'd thy silken chains,
Or fled dismay'd from zABDAS ' victor-sword:
Yet vain the hope to share the purple robe,
Or snatch from ROMAN arms the empire of the globe.


Along the wild and wasted plain
His veteran bands the ROMAN monarch led,
And rolled his burning wheels o'er heaps of slain:
The prowling chacal heard afar
The devastating yell of war,
And rush'd, with gloomy howl, to banquet on the dead!


For succour to PALMYRA's walls
Her trembling subjects fled, confounded,
But wide amid her regal halls
The whirling fires resounded.
Onward the hostile legions pour'd:
Nor beauteous youth, nor helpless age,
Nor female charms, by savage breasts ador'd,
Could check the ROMAN's barb'rous rage,
Or blunt the murd'rous sword.
Loud, long, and fierce, the voice of slaughter roar'd,
The night-shades fell, the work of death was o'er,
PALMYRA's sun had set, to rise no more!


What mystic form, uncouth and dread,
With wither'd cheek, and hoary head,
Swift as the death-fire cleaves the sky,
Swept on sounding pinions by?
'Twas TIME: I know the FOE OF KINGS,
His scythe, and sand, and eagle wings:
He cast a burning look around,
And wav'd his bony hand, and frown'd.
Far from the spectre's scowl of fire
FANCY's feeble forms retire,
Her air-born phantoms melt away,
Like stars before the rising day.


Yes, all are flown!
I stand alone,
At ev'ning's calm and pensive hour,
Mid wasted domes,
And mould'ring tombs,
The wrecks of vanity and pow'r.
One shadowy tint enwraps the plain;
No form is near, no sounds intrude,
To break the melancholy reign
Of silence and of solitude.
How oft, in scenes like these, since TIME began,
With downcast eye has CONTEMPLATION trod,
Far from the haunts of FOLLY, VICE, and MAN,
To hold sublime communion with her GOD!
How oft, in scenes like these, the pensive sage
Has mourn'd the hand of FATE, severely just,
WAR's wasteful course, and DEATH's unsparing rage,
And dark OBLIVION, frowning in the dust!
Has mark'd the tombs, that king's o'erthrown declare,
Just wept their fall, and sunk to join them there!


In yon proud fane, majestic in decay,
How oft of old the swelling hymn arose,
In loud thanksgiving to the LORD OF DAY,
Or pray'r for vengeance on triumphant foes!
'Twas there, ere yet AURELIAN's hand
Had kindled Ruin's smould'ring brand,
As slowly mov'd the sacred choir
Around the altar's rising fire,
The priest, with wild and glowing eye,
Bade the flow'r-bound victim die;
And while he fed the incense-flame,
With many a holy mystery,
Prophetic inspiration came
To teach th' impending destiny,
And shook his venerable frame
With most portentous augury!
In notes of anguish, deep and slow,
He told the coming hour of woe;
The youths and maids, with terror pale,
In breathless torture heard the tale,
And silence hung
On ev'ry tongue,
While thus the voice prophetic rung:


"Whence was the hollow scream of fear,
Whose tones appall'd my shrinking ear?
Whence was the modulated cry,
That seem'd to swell, and hasten by?
What sudden blaze illum'd the night?
Ha! 'twas DESTRUCTION's meteor-light!
Whence was the whirlwind's eddying breath?
Ha! 'twas the fiery blast of DEATH!


See! the mighty God of Battle
Spreads abroad his crimson train!
Discord's myriad voices rattle
O'er the terror-shaken plain.
Banners stream, and helmets glare,
Show'ring arrows hiss in air;
Echoing through the darken'd skies,
Wildly-mingling murmurs rise,
The clash of splendor-beaming steel,
The buckler ringing hollowly,
The cymbal's silver-sounding peal,
The last deep groan of agony,
The hurrying feet
Of wild retreat,
The lengthening shout of victory!


"O'er our plains the vengeful stranger
Pours, with hostile hopes elate:
Who shall check the coming danger?
Who escape the coming fate?
Thou! that through the heav'ns afar,
When the shades of night retire,
Proudly roll'st thy shining car,
Clad in sempiternal fire!
Thou! from whose benignant light
Fiends of darkness, strange and fell,
Urge their ebon-pinion'd flight
To the central caves of hell!
Sun ador'd! attend our call!
Must thy favor'd people fall?
Must we leave our smiling plains,
To groan beneath the stranger's chains ?
Rise, supreme in heav'nly pow'r,
On our foes destruction show'r;
Bid thy fatal arrows fly,
Till their armies sink and die;
Through their adverse legions spread
Pale Disease, and with'ring Dread,
Wild Confusion's fev'rish glare,
Horror, Madness, and Despair!


"Woe to thy numbers fierce and rude,
Thou madly-rushing multitude,
Loud as the tempest that o'er ocean raves!
Woe to the nations proud and strong,
That rush tumultuously along,
As rolls the foaming stream its long-resounding waves!
As the noise of mighty seas,
As the loudly-murmuring breeze,
Shall gath'ring nations rush, a pow'rful band:
Rise, God of Light, in burning wrath severe,
And stretch, to blast their proud career,
Thy arrow-darting hand!
Then shall their ranks to certain~fate be giv'n,
Then on their course Despair her fires shall cast,
Then shall they fly, to endless ruin driv'n,
As flies the thistle-down before the mountain-blast l


"Alas! in vain, in vain we call!
The stranger triumphs in our fall!
And Fate comes on, with ruthless frown,
To strike Palmyra's splendor down.
Urg'd by the steady breath of Time,
The desert-whirlwind sweeps sublime,
The eddying sands in mountain-columns rise:
Borne on the pinions of the gale,
In one concenter'd cloud they sail;
Along the darken'd skies.
It falls! it falls! on Thedmor's walls
The whelming weight of ruin falls
Th' avenging thunder-bolt is hurl'd,
Her pride is blotted from the world,
Her name unknown in story:
The trav'ller on her site shall stand,
And seek, amid the desert-sand,
The records of her glory!
Her palaces are crush'd, her tow'rs o'erthrown,
Oblivion follows stern, and marks her for his own!"


How oft, the festal board around,
These time-worn walls among,
Has rung the full symphonious sound
Of rapture-breathing song!
Ah! little thought the wealthy proud,
When rosy pleasure laugh'd aloud,
That here, amid their ancient land,
The wand'rer of the distant days
Should mark, with sorrow-clouded gaze,
The mighty wilderness of sand;
While not a sound should meet his ear,
Save of the desert-gales that sweep,
In modulated murmurs deep,
The wasted graves above,
Of those who once had revell'd here,
In happiness and love!


Short is the space to man assign'd
This earthly vale to tread
He wanders, erring, weak, and blind,
By adverse passions led.
Love, the balm of ev'ry woe,
The dearest blessing man can know;
Jealousy, whose pois'nous breath
Blasts affection's opining bud;
Stern Despair, that laughs in death;
Black Revenge, that bathes in blood;
Fear, that his form in darkness shrouds,
And trembles at the whisp'ring air;
And Hope, that pictures on the clouds
Celestial visions, false, but fair;
All rule by turns:
To-day he burns
With ev'ry pang of keen distress;
To-morrow's sky
Bids sorrow fly
With dreams of promis'd happiness.


From the earliest twilight-ray,
That mark'd Creation's natal day,
Till yesterday's declining fire,
Thus still have roll'd, perplex'd by strife,
The many-clashing wheels of life,
And still shall roll, till Time's last beams expire
And thus, in ev'ry age, in ev'ry clime,
While circling years shall fly,
The varying deeds that mark the present time
Will be but shadows of the days gone by.


Along the desolated shore,
Where, broad and swift, Euphrates flows,
The trav'ller's anxious eye can trace no more
The spot where once the Queen of Cities rose.
Where old Persepolis sublimely tow'r'd,
In cedar-groves embow'r'd,
A rudely-splendid wreck alone remains,
The course of Fate no pomp or pow'r can shun
Pollution tramples on thy giant-fanes,
Oh City of the Sun!
Fall'n are the Tyrian domes of wealth and joy,
The hundred gates of Thebes, the tow'rs of Troy;
In shame and sorrow pre-ordain'd to cease,
Proud Salem met th' irrevocable doom;
In darkness sunk the arts and arms of Greece,
And the long glories of imperial Rome.


When the tyrants iron hand
The mountain-piles of Memphis rais'd,
That still the storms of angry Time defy,
In self-adoring thought he gaz'd,
And bade the massive labors stand,
Till Nature's self should die!;
Presumptuous fool! the death-wind came,
And swept away thy worthless name;
And ages, with insidious flow,
Shall lay those blood-bought fabrics low.
Then shall the stranger pause, and oft be told,
"Here stood the mighty Pyramids of old!"
And smile, half-doubtful, when the tale he hears,
That speaks the wonders of the distant years


Though Night awhile usurp the skies,
Yet soon the smiling Morn shall rise,
And light and life restore;
Again the sun-beams gild the plain;
The youthful day returns again,
But man returns no more.
Though Winter's frown severe
Deform the wasted year,
Spring smiles again, with renovated bloom;
But what sweet Spring, with genial breath,
Shall chase the icy sleep of death,
The dark and cheerless winter of the tomb ?
Hark! from the mansions of the dead,
What thrilling sounds of deepest import spread I
Sublimely mingled with the eddying gale,
Full on the desert-air these solemn accents sail:


"Unthinking man! and cost thou weep,
That clouds o'ercast thy little day?
That Death's stern hands so quickly sweep
Thy ev'ry earthly hope away?
Thy rapid hours in darkness flow, '
But well those rapid hours employ,
And they shall lead from realms of woe
To realms of everlasting joy.
For though thy Father and thy God
Wave o'er thy head his chast'ning rod,
Benignantly severe,
Yet future blessings shall repair,
In tenfold measure, ev'ry care,
That marks thy progress here.


And loves the works His hands have made;
In earth, in air, in fire, in flood,
His parent-bounty shines display'd.
Though mortals scan His ways in vain;
Repine not, children of the dust!
For HE in mercy sends ye pain.
And was, ere NATURE, TIME, and FATE,
Began their mystic flight;
And still shall be, when consummating flame
Shall plunge this universal frame
In everlasting night.
Whose nod bids empires rise and fall,
To HIM, Who, matchless and alone,
Has fix'd in boundless space His throne,
Unchang'd, unchanging still,while worlds and suns expire!"