Through many a shady, soft retreat,
Where the broad willow semblance gave
Of weeping beauty to the wave;
And elm, with massy foliage prest,
And feathery aspenʼs quivering crest;
And many a spiry poplar glade,
And hazelʼs rich entangled shade:
While, onward as advancing still
From Omerʼs plain 1 to Casselʼs hill, 2
Far—yet more far the landscape threw
Its deep, immeasurable blue.
Oh, beautiful those plains were showing,
Where summer sun was hotly glowing!
Many a battlefield lay spread—
Once the dark dwelling of the dead:
But fruitful now their champaigns wave
With bending grain on soldierʼs grave.
While far beneath in long array
The priestly orders wound their way;
Heavy the massive banners rolled,
Rich wrought with gems, and stiff with gold:
While, as the cross came borne on high
Beneath its crimson canopy,
Many the haughty head that bowed,—
Sunk his high crest the warrior proud,
The priest his glance benignant cast,
And murmured blessings as he past;
While, round the hillside echoing free,
Rung the loud hymning melody.
Many a monkish voice was there,—
Many a trumpet rent the air,—
And softer, sweeter, yet the same,
The sounds in failing cadence came.
No marvel that the pomp and pride
Of Romeʼs religion thus should hide
The serpent‐folds beneath that robe,
The poison mantling in the bowl. 3