Kenelworth Castle

An eye that beauty in the landscape views
May catch from life the Painter's glowing hues;
But cold the charm that Claude or Gaspar find,
If to the moral picture we are blind.

In many a scene, thus view'd, a local tale
Bids Time on his inverted pinion sail;
And, of past ages by a charm possess'd,
The moralizing vision can arrest.

In this majestic range are themes combin'd,
That glance on the reflecting Poet's mind;
The forms appear — the living shadows play,
As if the ruins breath'd in their decay.

Ill-fated Edward , in these Towers immur'd,
The chain of Treason's conquering guilt endur'd!
A Rebel's Captive, and, bereft of light,
Fear'd the new day, and yet accus'd the night.

Oh, had he sunk, and clos'd his torments here,
When Berkeley's roof had yet n shrieks to fear;
Before the lust of sway had struck at life,
And brav'd the tortur'd Victim's baffled strife!

His youthful passions we must now forget,
His giddy and impatient scorn regret;
His pamper'd minions we accuse no more,
His errors veil, his agonies deplore.

But shift the Muse to England's proudest gem,
Nor even here Elizabeth condemn;
Smile at the awe-commanding Virgin's mien;
A Sylvan Goddess, an Arcadian Queen.

When Chivalry its bright achievements wrought,
When Burleigh rul'd, and gallant Sidney fought;
When Science could her Guide and Prophet know,
When Courage felt the zealous Patriot's glow; —

Allowance for coquetting Sceptres make!
Forgive the courtly Pageant of the Lake!
To Love ascribe these Interludes, though quaint,
Nor in the amorous Queen demand a Saint.

All but one stain by England is forgot,
One ever-living and accusing blot:
In laurels bury'd many a satire's theme;
But Mary's doom no virtues can redeem.

Dramatic mirrors! ye are chang'd again
To the lov'd Syren's charm, and Serpent's train;
To Wilmot's graceful beauty, sense, and wit,
Ere Vice and Pleasure could their banners quit.

The Fiends of Conscience hover in the rear,
And sting the heart with agonizing fear;
The toils of Pleasure waste the shatter'd frame,
And leave contrition to its lingering flame.
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