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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

Atkins Diary 1793

1 Jany 1793

The new year sets in very hot, while our friends are shivering in England, we are broiling here, May God of his infinite mercy send us what is good for us, and may this Government be has happily administered this year as it was last under the fostering band of a Govr. who had most sincerely at heart the happiness and prosperity of this his adopted child.  he reared it from its infancy with trembling anxiety, he brought it to some degree of knowing its own resources, and had God spared him his health those resources would have been brought forth into active life, and would have laid a solid foundation for the happiness of future generations.  Ther: 94.

2  Still warm weather.  Ther: 87. Wind variable.

3  Hott: Ther: 88.  Wind S E.  4  Excessive Hott, Ther: 96.  Wind: S E.  the rainey point, but no signs of that desirable thing, unless it comes soon Indian Corn will be very scarce. 

5  Hott weather, a small quantity of rain fell yesterday Evng but it was of no use.  Th: 90.  6  A smart Shower attended with most violent thunder and lightening equal if not superior to that which I have experienced in the Straits of Malacca, it continued about ½ an hour, it has cool'd the Air, but otherwise it has been of very little use.  Wind S E. Th: 89.  7  The morning cloudy, small misling rain, still in hopes of more.  Ther: 78.  Wind S W.  8  Cloudy, some gentle Showers, Wind S E. Ther: 78.  9  The morning Showery, at 5 o'clock evng. a violent gale of wind from the S.ward attended with Thunder, lightening and heavy rain which has been of infinite service to us.  Ther: 74.

10  Cloudy, Wind S E. no rain Ther: 70.  11  Clear weather, and hott Ther. 84.  Wind S W.  12  Clear weather Ther. 87.  Wind NW.  13.  Hott.  Ther. 96.  Wind S W.  14  The hottest day and night I ever felt. The Ther: 116.  Wind S W.  15  Cloudy Wind S E.  Ther: 86.  16  Sultry:  Ther. 94.  Wind S W.  17.  Hott.  T: 86  NW.  18.  Hott.  Ther: 94 Wind N W.  Had my good friend Govr. Philip been here I should have dined with him at Sydney being the Queens Birth day. but Tempera matentor.  19  Hott.  Wind East. Ther: 87.  20  Cool: Wind South.  Ther. 78.  21  Cool: and cloudy.  Wind S E.  22  Rain most of the day and night.  Wind S E. Ther: 72.  23  Fine weather, everything is refreshed by the Rain: Wind N W. Ther 78.  24  Fine weather.  Wind N W.  Ther 96. Rain in the Evening.  25  Do. Wind N W From this day to this 1 Feby  Have been so ill as to prevent my paying any attention to this or any thing else, but as it has pleased God in some measure to restore me I mean to continue it.  Ther: 86. Wind. S W.

2  Cloudy.  Wind South, Thunder and lightning and heavy rain:  Ther 80.

3  Cloudy.  Small rain, Wind S E Ther: 86.

4  Do.  Wind East.  Ther: 79. From this day to the 9th very ill.

10  something better.  Excessive hot.  Ther. 116 Wind N W.  11 Do. Ther: 112.  Wind S E.

12  Cloudy,  On this day was teken excessively ill and continued so till the 20th on which day it rained almost the whole day wh. has been of infinite service.  With God's blessing we may yet have a tolerable much better than we could reasonably expect.  The rain as usual S E.  21  Sharp cold wind from the S.ward.  This day met with a great domestic loss, No observation till 25 Rain.  Wind S E.  Ther: 70.  The mornings and evenings begin to get cold, but the middle of the days are still hot.  26  Showers.  Wind S E.  Ther: 73.  27  The morning Cool, the middle of the day very sultry, the Ther.87.  Wind S E.  28.  I forgot to mention that on the 24th a ship arrived from Calcutta laden with live Stock, rice, flour, dholl and sougee, which will be of great service to the Colony, as our ration is rather small viz. 6 ld Flour and 4 ld Pork.  By her we hear that the Pitt got safe to Calcutta with the loss of most of her hands at Batavia

Though the Religion of the Hindoos is frought with absurdities, yet their Sages and Philosophers have the purest and most sublime Idea of the Supreme being, of which the following Stanzas from the hymn to Narrayna or the Spirit of God is a convincing proof.

Spirit of Spirits, who through every part

Of space expanded, and of endless time,

Beyond the reach of lab'ring thought sublime

Badat uproar into beauteous order start.

Before heaven was, thou art.

 

Ere Spheres beneath us roll'd, or spheres above

Ere Earth in firnamental ether hung

Thou sat'st alone, till, through thy mystic love,

Things unexisting to existing sprung

A grateful descant sung.

 

Omnicient spirit, whose all-ruling power

Bids from each sense bright emanation beams

Glows in the Rainbow, sparcles in the stream,

Smiles in the Bud, and glistens in the flow'r

That crowns each vernal bow'r.

 

Sighs in the gale, and warbles in the throat

Of every bird that hales the bloomy spring

Or tels him love in many a liquid Note

Whilst envious artists touch the rival string,

Till rooks and forests ring

 

Breathes in rich fragrance from the Sandal grove

Or where the precious mush-deer playful rove

In dulcet juice, from clust'ring fruit distils,

And burns salubrious in the tasteful clove:

Soft banks and verdant hills

Thy present influence fills

 

In air, in floods, in caverns, woods and plains

Thy will inspirits all, thy sovereign Maya reigns.

Blue crystal vault, and elemental fires,

That in th'etheral fluid blaze and breathe:

Thou, tossing main, whose snaky branches wreathe

This pensive orb with intertwisting gyres;

Mountains, whose lofty spires

Presumptious rear their summits to the skyes,

And blend their emerald hue with sapphire light,

Smooth meads and lawns, that glow with verying dyes

Of dew-bespangled leaves and blossoms bright,

Hence! Vanish from my sight,

Delusive pictures. Unsubstantial shows!

My soul absorb'd one only Being knows!

Of all perceptions one abundant source,

Whence every object, ev'ry moment flows:

Suns hence derive their force

Hence Planets learn their course:

But Suns and fading worlds I view no more;

God only I perceive, God only I adore.

 

1t March Small mizling rain.  Wind South Ther: 78.  Ill again.  6  Excessive hott Wind North.  Ther: 96.

Philosophy may be defined that love of wisdom which incitas to the persuit of important and useful science.  Philosophy discovers and teaches those principles by means of which happiness may be acquired, preserved and increased.  wisdom applies these principles to the benefit of individuals and to society.  Knowledge which is applicable to no useful society or purpose, cannot deserve the name of wisdom.  The sources of that knowledge of truth which leads to the possession of happiness are two - Reason and Revelation.  To instruct men in those truths which God hath communicated to mankind by revelation is the province of Theology.  To teach them such truths connected with their happiness, as are capable of being discovered by the powers of reason, is the province of philosophy.  Dialectics, physics, natural religion, ethics and policy are comprehended under the general term Philosophy

 

A day shall come when all this earth shall perish,

Noe leave behind e'en chaos. It shall come

When all the armies of the elements

Shall war against themselves, and mutual rage

And make Perdition triumph; it shall come

When the capacious atmosphere above

Shall in sulphursous thunders groan and die,

And vanish into vois, the earth beneath

Shall sever to the center, and devour. -

Th'enormous blaze of the distructive flames.

 

But what is this, celestial tho' the note

And proclamation of the reign supreme,

Compared with such as for a mortal ear,

Too great, amaze the incorporeal worlds?

Should ocean to his congregated waves,

Call in each river, cataract and lake,

And with the wat'ry world down a huge rock

Fall headlong in one horrible cascade

`Twere but the echo of the parting breeze,

When Zephyr faints upon the lily's breast

``Twere but the ceasing of some instrument

When the last ling'ring undulation,

Dies on the doubting ear. If ram'd with sounds

So mighty! so stupendous! so divine!

 

The Night comes on apace -

Chill blows the blast, and drives the Snow in wreaths.

 

.... ev'ry creature looks around for shelter,

.....  man or beast, all move alike

Regards their several homes, and happy they

Who have a house to screen them from the cold!

Is o'er the frost a rev'rend form advances!

His hair white as the snow on which he treads,

His forehead mark'd with many a care-worn furrow.

Whose feeble body, bending o'er a staff

Still shew that once it was the seat of strength,

Tho' now it shakes like some old ruin'd Tower.

Cloth'd, indeed, but not disgraced by rags

He still maintains that decent dignity

Which well becomes those who have serv'd their country.

With tottering steps he to the cottage moves.

The Wife within, who hears his hollow cough.

And patt'ring of his stick upon the threshold,

Sends out her little boy to see who's there.

The child looks up to see the strangers face

And, seeing it enlightened with a smile

Holds out his little hand to lead him in.

Rous'd from her work, the mother turns her head

And sees them not ill pleased. -

The Stranger whines not with a piteous tale

But only asks a little, to relieve

A poor old Soldiers wants. -

The gentle Matron brings the ready chair

And bids him sit to rest his wearied limbs

And warm himself before her blazing fire.

The Children, full of curiosity

Flock round and with their fingers in their mouths

Stand staring at him, whilst the stranger pleas'd

Takes up the youngest boy upon his knee.

Proud of its seat, it wags its little feet

And prates, and laughs and plays with his white locks.

But soon the Soldier's face lays off his smiles;

His thoughtful mind is turn'd on other days

When his own boys were wont to play around him,

Who now be distant from their native land,

In honourable but untimely graves.

He feels now helpless and forelorn he is

And bitter tears gush from his dim-worn eyes.

His toilsome daily labor at an end

In comes the wearied master of the house

And marks with satisfaction his old guest

With all his children round. -

His honest heart is fill'd with manly kindness

He bids him stay, and share their homely meal

And take with them his quarters for the night.

The weary wanderer thankfully accepts

And seated with the cheerful family,

Around their plain but hospitable board

Forgets the many hardships he had pass'd.

 

Ode to Fancy, by an untaught Muse.

 

O thou keen power! Whose radiant eye

Can thousand shadowy forms descry

That cheat corporeal sight,

Thou who cans't soar above yon spheres

Past days recal, see future years

Or pierce the shades of night.

 

Come swift-wing'd Fancy, airy maid

In varied, dazzling vest array'd

Inspire thy vot'ry's lay

Grant me thy Flow'ry walks to tread

To range thy summer painted mead

Or near thy fountain play.

 

6  Thick heavy fog, but very hot when it dispersed.  Ther:  116 Wind N W.  7  Excessive Hott. Wind N W. Ther: 114.  8. Cloudy but hot.  Wind N W. Ther: 112.  9 Cloudy, very sultry.  Wind S E. Ther: 96.  10 Continual rain Wind S E. Ther: 78.  11  Very hot, Ther. 87. Wind N W.  The Chesterfield saild for Norfolk 9th  12.  Warm. Lightening to the S E. Wind West Ther: 69.

Rebellions against lawful government have often been the means of strengthening that power which they were intended to subvert.  Attacks on truth have frequently increased the extent and force of its dominion.  Doctrines intellectually erroneous or wilfully false, have call'd forth able opponents whose powers, but for them would not have been exerted.  The Aristotelian metaphysics excited the genius of Bacon to expose their absurdity and point out the only road to knowledge.  To Filmer we own Lock's treatise on Government.  The Philosophy of Hume produced Reids enquiry. -

 

Sonnet to Hope.

 

Oh! Ever skil'd to wear the form we love!

To bid the shapes of grief and fear depart,

Come gentle Hope! With one gay smile remove

The lasting sadness of an aching heart.

Thy voice benighn enchantress! Let me hear,

Say that for me some pleasures yet shall bloom!

That Fancy's radiance, friendships precious tear,

Shall soften or shall chase misfortunes gloom -

But come not glowing in the dazzling ray

Which once with dear illusions charm's my eye!

Oh strew no more sweet flatterer! On my way

The flowers I fondly thought too bright to die.

Visions less fair will sooth my pensive breast,

That asks not happiness, but longs for rest.

 

Sonnet to the Moon

 

To glitt'ring colours of the day is fled -

Come melancholy Orb! That dwell'st with night

Come and o'er earth thy wand'ring lustre shed,

Thy deepest shadow, and thy softest light.

To me congenial is the gloomy grove,

When with faint rays the sloping uplands shine;

That gloom, those pensive rays, alike I love,

Whose sadness seems in sympathy with mine!

But most for this pale orb!  I hail thee most

That while I pour the unavailing tear

And mourn that hope to me, in youth is lost!

Thy light can visionary thoughts impart,

And lead the Muse to sooth a suff'ring heart.

 

13.  Hott. In the evening some rain fell.  Wind West. Ther: 69.  Two Spanish Ships arrived at Sydney, their destination unknown, but they say they are upon a voyage of discovery. Time will shew.

14  The morning very cold, winter sets in apace.  Wind S E. Ther: 78.

15  This day begun getting in Indian Corn. Hardly ripe.  Hott. Wind, S E.  Ther: 76.

16  Cool: Wind N W. Ther 69.  17  Cool. Wind West. Ther: 68.

18  Cool.  Wind North.  19  Very hot, the Indian Corn ripening fast. in the Evening, violent thunder and lightening from the W.ward attended with Rain and hail, hail is very uncommon in this country.

20  Showery with thunder at a distance In the evng. violent Thunder, lightg and rain from the W.ward.

 

Hymn to Narayena.  By Sir William Jones

 

Spirit of spirits, who, thro' every part

Of space expanded, and of endless time,

Beyond the stretch of lab'ring thought sublime,

Bad'st uproar into beauteous order start,

Before heaven was, thou art.

 

Ere spheres beneath us roll'd or spheres above

Ere earth in firmamental ether hung

Thou satt"st alone: till, through thy mystic love

Things unexisting to existence sprung.

And grateful descant sung.

 

What first impell'd thee to exert thy might?

Goodness unlimited.  What glorious light

Thy power directed?  Wisdom without bound.

What prov'd it first?  Oh! Guide my fancy right

Oh raise from cumbrous ground

My soul in rapture drown'd

That fearless it may soar on wings of fire,

For them, who only know'st, thou only canst inspire.

 

2

 

Wrapt in eternal solitary shade

Th' impenetrable gloom of light intense,

Impervious, inaccessible, immense,

Ere spirits were infus'd or forms display'd

Brehon his own mind survey'd.

 

As mortal eyes (thus finite we compare

With infinite) in smoothest mirrors gaze.

Swift as his look, a shape supremely fair

Leap'd into being, with a boundless blaze,

That fifty sons might daze.

 

Primaeval Maya was the goddess nam'd

Who to her Sire, with love divine inflam'd

A Casket gave, with rich ideas fill'd

From which this gorgeous universe he fram'd,

But when the Almighty will'd

Unnumber'd worlds to build,

From unity diversified he sprang

While gay creation laugh'd and procreant nature rang.

 

3

 

First of all potent, all pervading sound

Bade flow the waters. - and the waters flow'd

Exulting in their measureless abode,

Diffuse, multitudinous, profound,

Above, beneath, arround.

 

Then o'er the vast expanse primordial winds

Breath'd gently, till a lucid bubble rose,

Which grew in perfect shape an egg refined;

Created substance no such lustre shows

Earth o such beauty knows.

 

Above the warring winds it danc'd elate,

Till from its bursting shell, with lovely state,

A form cerulean flutter'd o'er the deep

Brightest of beings, greatest of the great,

Who not as mortals steep

Their eyes in dewy sleep,

But heavenly pensive on the lotos lay,

That blossom'd at his touch, and shed a golden ray.

 

4

 

Hail primal blossom! Hail, empyreal gem!

Kemal or Peduna, or whate'er high name

Delight thee, say, what four form'd Godhead came

With graceful stole and beamy diadem

Forth from thy radiant stem?

 

Full-gifted Brehma? Wrapt in solemn thought

He stood, and round his eyes fire-darting threw,

But, whilst his viewless origin he sought,

One plain he saw of living waters blue,

Their spring nor saw nor knew.

 

Then in his parent stalk again retired,

With restless pain for ages he enquir'd

What were his powers, by whom, and why conferr'd

With doubts perplex'd, with keen impatience fir'd

He rose, and rising heard

Th'unknown, all knowing word

``Brehma no more in vain research persist

``My veil thou canst not move - Go bid all worlds exist"

 

5

 

Hail self-existent, in celestial speech

Naryen, from they watery cradle nam'd,

Or Venamally may I sing umblam'd

With flowery braids, that to thy Sandals reach,

Whose beauties who can teach?

 

Or high Pictamber clad in yellow robes

Than Sun-beams brighter in meridian glow

That weave their heaven-spun light o'er circling globes?

Unwaried, lotos-eyed, with dreadful bow,

Dire evils constant fee!

 

Great Redmanabha, o'er thy cherish'd world

The pointed Chaera, by thy fingers whirl'd

Fierce Hytabh shall distroy, and Medhugrim,

To black dispair and deep distruction hurl'd.

Such views my senses dim

My eyes in darkness swim

What eye can bear thy blaze, what utterance tell

Thy deeds with silver trump or many-wreathed shell.

 

6

 

Omniscient spirit whose all ruling power

Bids from each sense bright emanations beam;

Glows in the rainbow, sparkles in the stream,

Smiles in the bud, and glistens in the flower

That crowns each vernal bower!

 

Sighs in this gale, and warbles in the throat

Of every bird that hails the bloomy spring,

Or tells his love in many a liquid note

Whilst envious artists touch the rival string

Till rock and forests ring.

 

Breathes in rich fragrance from the sandal gove

Or where the previous mush-deer playful rove

In dulcet juice from clustr'ing fruit distils

And burns salubrious in the tasteful clove:

Soft banks and verderous hills

The present influence fills

In air, in floods, in caverns, woods and plains,

Thy will inspirits all, thy sovereign Maya reigns.

 

7

 

Blue crystal vault and elemental fires

That in th'etherial fluid blaze and breathe

Thou tossing main, whose snaky branches weathe

This pensive orb with interesting gyres,

Mountains whose radiant spires

 

Presumptous rear their summits to the Skies

And bland their emerald hue with sapphire light

Smooth meads and lawns that flow with varying dyes

Of dew-bespangled leaves and blossoms bright

Hence! Vanish from my sight

 

Delusive pictures! Unsubstantial shows

My soul absorb'd one only being knows

Of all perceptions one abundant source

Whence every object, every moment flows

Suns hence derive their source

Hence planets learn their course

But Suns of fading worlds I view no more

God only I perceive, God only I adore.

 

Stanzas of Time

 

Capricious foe to human joy

Still varying with the fleeting day:

With thee the purest raptures cloy

The fairest prospects fade away.

Nor worth, nor pow'r, thy wings can bind

All earthly pleasures fly with Thee;

Inconstant as the wav'ring wind

That plays upon the summer sea.

 

I court thee not, ungentle guest

For I have e'en been doom'd to find

Life's gayest hours but idly drest

With seets that pale the sick'ning mind

When smiling hope with placid mien

Around my couch did fondly play;

Too oft the very form I've seen

On downy pinions glide away.

 

But when perplexed with care or pain

My couch with thorns was scatter'd round

And when the pale priestess of Dispair

My mind in fatal spels had bound.

When the dull hours no joy could bring

No bliss my weary fancy prove:

I mark'd they lead in pond'rous wing

With Tardy pace unkindly move.

 

If Such Thy Gifts, O Time! For thee

My sated heart shall ne'er repine;

I vow content to Fate's decree

And with thy thorn thy roses twine;

Yet e're thy fickle race shall end

The dalmy sweets of Friendship's hour

Ill with my cup of sorrow blend

And smile, regardless of thy pow'r.

 

21 The morning very cold.  Ther:73.  Win N W. 22 Rain.

23  Cloudy.  24th very Hott Th:94.  25  Rain in the morning, in the evning fine.  Wind S E.  26  Fine weather.  Wind N W. Ther 76.

27  Fine weather. Cool.  Wind East.  Ther.74.  28  Warm, the Convicts now work from 8 till 12 in the morning and from 2 till sun set.  The ration has for some time been 7 ld flour and 4 ld Port or 7 ld Beer w.h has lately been bad, the Civil and Military have 1 ld Flour more.  Wind West.  28  Temperate, Wind West.  29  Do Wind East.

30  Hott. Wind N W.  31  Temperate Wind N W. 1 April  This day begun clearing the farm at 8 Qu: of Burn pr Acre.  The two Spanish Ships have been on a voyage of discovery 3 years 9 months. They are call'd The Descubista Come. Moespina, and the Atreveda Capt. Bustamante, they are going to the Socy. Isds. Friend Id. &c.  Cool.  Wind South.

 

Philemon.  An Elegy.

 

Were shade yon yews in churchyard's lonely bourn

With faultering step, absorb'd in thought profound,

Philemon wends in solitude to mourn

While evening pours her deep'ning glooms around.

 

Loud shrieks the blast, the sleety torrent drivers

Wide spreads the tempest's desolating pow'r.

To grief alone Philemon reckless lives

No rolling peal he heeds, cold blast or shower.

 

For this the Date that stampt his Emma's doom

In his fond arms she breath'd her lifes last sigh

``Say will my KLKoveo'er seek his Emma's tomb?"

She cried, then clos'd in death each wistful eye.

 

No sighs he breath'd, for anguish riv'd his breast

Her clay cold hand he grasp'd, no tears he shed,

``ill fainting nature sunk by grief oppress'd

And ere distraction came all sense was fled.

 

Now Time has calm'd, nor cur'd Philemon's woe

For gried like this, life-woven never dies;

And still each year's collected sorrows flow

As drooping o'er his Emma's tomb he sighs

 

Extract on an Ode on Ill Nature

 

Away - away - behold a hideous band

A herd of all thy minions are at hand,

Suspicion first with jealous caution stalks,

And ever looks arround her as she walks

 

With her libulous ear imperfect sounds to catch

And Prompt to listen at her neighbours latch.

Next Scandalls meagre shade.

 

Foe to the virgins and the poet's fame

A wither'd time - deflower'd old maid,

That ne'er enjoy'd Love's ecer sacred flame.

It iprocracy succeeds with saint - like look,

And elevantes her hand and plods upon her book.

 

Next comes illiberal scrambling Avarice,

Then vanity and affectation nice -

See she salutes her shadow with a bow

As in short Gallic trip she minces by,

Hasting Antipathy is in her eye

And squeamishly she knits her scornfull brow.

 

To thee, Ill Nature, all the numerous group

With lowly reverence stoop -

They wait thy call, and mourn thy long delay

Away - thou art infectious - haste away!

 

Animated picture of Christianity

 

Behold, she sits,

While faith unveils her to the vulgar gaze

Streaming cherubic effluence o'er her heaven

Of spotless azure! To the dazzling light

Her everlasting robe, the asbestos floats

In vivid folds. Around her emerald throne

The passions tremble at her awful beck -

``Her ministers as flaming fire" to waft

Into the mortal bosom the pure spark

Ethereal, that refines our thought. Hence fly

The words that burn, while her impulsive power

Imparts an oratory only less

Than what inspired the Apostles"

 

To the Violet

 

Sweet humble flow'r! that on the pathless hill

Unfolds thy soft leaves to the orient ray

Or bendest o'er some unfrequented rill

That bathes they green stem as it winds away.

 

There no proud foot shall damp thy velvet floom

Or rudely rob thee of thy pensive grace

There thou may'st oft the evening gale perfume

Till nature calls thee to thy primal place.

 

When all thy power's exausted - `mongst the reeds

Thou droop'st in solitude thy faded head,

And with thy fragrant sisters of the meads

Find'st a sweet shelter, and a quiet bed.

 

Epitaph on Miss Drummond

 

Here rests what once was beauty, once was grace

Grace that with tenderness and sense combin'd

To show that harmony of soul and face

Where beauty shines the mirror of the mind.

 

Such was the maid that in the morn of youth

In virgin innocence, in natures pride,

Blest with each grace that owes its charm to truth.

Sunk in her fathers fond embrace and died.

 

He weeps - Oh! Venerate the holy tear

Faith lends her aid to ease afflications load

The parent mourns the child upon the bier

The Christian yields an Angel to his God.

 

To the Nightingale

 

Sweet bird of twilight, that on yonder spray

Wablest thy wild notes to the pitying gale

O say what sorrow tunes thy pensive lay,

That in sweet cadence thou dost ceaseless wail?

 

Mourn'st thou thy mate by ruthless spoiler torn

As fond he woo'd thee to his quiv'ring breast

Whilst with false coyness though permit'st him mourn

And love-tax persuing lur'd him from his nest?

 

Then swiftly wing thee to my Juilet's ear

And bid her listen to thy truth-taught Iore;

``Oh lend some pity to a lover's tear

``Or courting death, that lover weeps no more"

 

And then sweet bird, I'll strive to soothe thy pain

And joy shall woo thee, nor shall woo in vain.

 

The Baird. A Pindario Ode

 

I.1

 

``Ruin size thee, ruthless King!

Confusion on thy banners wait

Tho' fann'd by Conquest's Crimson wing

They moch the air with idle state!

Helm, nor Hauberk's twisted mail,

Nor even thy virtues tyrant, shall avail

To save thy secret soul from nightly fears

From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears"

Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride

Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,

As down the steep of Snowden's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array.

Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance!

To arms! Cried Mortimer and couch'd his quiv'ring lance.

 

The Hauberk was a texture of steel ringlets forming a coat of Mail, that sat close to the body, and adopted itself to every motion.

 

Snowden was a name given by the Saxons to the mountainous tract, which the Welch themselves call Craigian - eryri it included all the high land of Caernarvon Sh: and Merioneth Sh: as far East as the river Conway.

 

I.2

 

On a rock whose haughty brow

Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,

Rob'd in the sable garb of woe

With haggard eyes the Poet stood,

(Loose his beard and heavy hair

Stream'd like a meteor, to the troubled aid)

And with a masters hand, and prophets fire

Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.

``Hark how each giant oak, and desert save

Sighs to the torrents awful voice beneath!

O'er thee O King! Their hundred arms they wave

Revenge on thee the horser murmurs breathe;

Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,

To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

 

I.3

 

Cold is Cadwallo's tongue

That hushed the stormy main:

Brace Zurien sleeps upon his craggy bed:

Mountains ye mourn in vain

Modred, whose magic song

Made huge Flinlimmon bow his cloud-top'd head.

*On dreary Arvon's shore they lie.

Smear'd with gore and fhastly pale:

Far, far aloof th'affrighted ravens sail;

The famish'd Eagle screams and passes by.

Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,

Dear, as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,

Ye died amidst your countries cries -

No more I weep. They do not sleep.

On yonger cliffs a grisly band

I see them sit, they linger yet,

Avengers of their native land:

With me in dreadful harmony they join

And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

 

*The shores of Caernarvonshire opposite the Island of Anglesey

 

II 1

 

``Weave the warp, and weave the woof

The winding sheet of Edwards race,

Give ample room and verge enough

The characters of hell to trace.

Mark the year, and mark the night,

When severn shall re-echo with affright;

The shrieks of death, thro' Berkley's roof that ring

Shrieks of an agonizing King!*

+She-wolf of France, with unrelentless fangs

That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,

From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs

The scourge of Heav'n. What terrors round him wait!

Amazement in his wan, with Flight combined

And Sorrows faded form, and Solitude behind.

 

* Ed: 2d who was cruelly murdered in Berkley castle

++ Isabel of France, E:2d Queen.

 

II. 2.

 

``Mighty Victor, mighty Lord

Low on his funeral couch he lies

No pitying heart, no eye aford

A tear to grace his obsoquies

*Is the sable warrior fled?

Thy Son is gone, he rests among the dead.

The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born?

Gone to salute the rising morn.

Fair laughs the morn, and soft the Zephyr blows

While proudly rising o'er the azure realm

In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;

Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm.

Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,

That hush'd in grim repose, expects his ev'ning prey.

 

*Ed: the Black Prince

 

II.3.

 

Fill high the sparkling bowl

The rich repast prepare,

Raft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:

Close by the regal chair

Fell Thirst and Famine scrowl

A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.

Heard ye the din of battle bray*

Lance to Lance and horst to horse?

Long years of havock urge their destin's course

And thro' the kindred sqaudrons mow their way.

Ye tow'rs of Julius, Londons lasting shame,

With many a foul and midnight murder fled,

Revere his consort's faith, his fathers fame,

And spare the meek usurper's holy head,

Above, below, the Rose of snow,

Turn'd with her blushing foe we spread,

+The bristled Boar, in infant gore,

Wallows beneath the thorny shade.

Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursed loom

Stamp we our vengeance deep and ratify his doom.

 

* Civil wars of Work and Lancaster

+ The silver Boar was the badge of Ric: 3d whence he was usually known in his own time by the name of the Boar.

 

III.1

 

``Edward, lo, to sudden fate

(Weave we the woof, the thread is spun)

* Half of thy heart we consecrate.

(The web is wove, th[e] work is done)

Stay O stay! Nor thus forlorn

Leave me unbless'd, unpity'd here to mourn:

In yon right tract, that fires the western skies,

They melt, they vanish from my eyes.

But oh! What solemn scenes on Snowden's height

Descending slow their glitt'ring skirts unroll?

Visions of Glory! Spare my aching sight

Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!

No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail,

All hail, - ye genuine Kings Britannia's issue bail.

 

* Eleanor of Castile, died a few years after the conquest of Wales.

 

III.2

 

``Girt with many a Baron bold

Sublime their starry fronts they rear;

And gorgeous Dames, and statesmen old

In bearded Majesty appear.

In the midst a form divine!

Her eye proclaims her of the Briton line;

Her Lion port, her awe-commanding face,

Attemper'd sweet to virgin grace.

What strings symphonious tremble in the air!

What strains of vocal transport round her play!

Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear

They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.

Bright rapture calls, and soaring as she sings,

Waves in the eye of heav'n her many-colour'd wings

 

III.3.

 

The verse aorn again

Fierce war and faithful Love,

And truth severe by fairy fiction drest.

* In bushin'd measures move

Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,

With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breasts.

+A voice as of the Cherub-choir

Gales from blooming Eden bear

And distant warblings lessen on my ear,

That lost in long futurity expire.

Fond impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud

Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb or day?

Tomorrow he repairs the golden flood

And warms the nations with redoubled ray.

Enough for me. with joy I see

The different doom our fates asign.

Be thine Dispair and scepterd Care.

To triumph and to die are mine.

He spoke and headlong, from the mountains height

Deep in the roaring tide he plung'd to endless night

 

* Shakespear

+ Milton

 

To each his sufferings: all are men,

Condemn'd alike to groan

The tender for another's pain,

The' unfeeling for his own.

Yet Ah! Why should they know their fate!

Since sorrow never comes too late.

And happiness too swiftly flies

Thoughts would distroy their paradise

No more - Where ignorance is bliss

`Tis folly to be wise.

 

(Alluding to boys at school)

 

2 Ap:  Cloudy. Wind East. Tendency to rain, a heavy shower in the evening. 3 Warm in the middle of the day, mornings and evenings cool.  Wind West. Ther: 84. 4  Do Wind West. Ther. 85. 5 Do From this day to the 10 III. 11 Cloudy with small rain Wind North West. In the Evning Rain.  12 Fine cool pleasant weather.  I have of late not paid proper attention to my health, I hope God of his infinite mercy will enable me to do it, and that no consideration, shall prevent my doing it.  This day is render'd famous for the two sea actions in the East and West Indies, Commanded by the Admirals Rodney and Hughs; the 2d was decisive by the taking of the Count de Grasse, the first was well fought but terminated in a drawn battle, each supporting their own losses, which were great.  Wind West. Ther. 78.

[continued]

 

 

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University