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Shall spread my terrors to the distant hills
Its formidable shade shall throw
Far o'er the broad expanse below,
Where winds yon mighty flood, and amply fills
With flowery verdure, or with golden grain,
The fairest fields thar deck my new domain.
And London's towers, that reach the watchman's eye,
Shall see with conscious awe my bulwark climb the sky.


Unchang'd, through many a hardy race,
Stood the rough dome in sullen grace;
Still on its angry front defiance frown'd,
Though monarchs kept their state within,
Still murmur'd with the martial din,
The gloomy gateway's arch profound,
And armed forms, in airy rows,

Bent o'er the battlements their bows,

And blood-stained banners crown'd its hostile head;
And oft its hoary ramparts wore

The rugged scars of conflict sore;

What time, pavilion'd on the neighbouring mead,
The indignant Barons ranged in bright array
Their feudal bands, to curb despotic sway ;

And leagued a Briton's birth-right to restore
From John's reluctant grasp, the roll of Freedom bore.


When, lo! the King,* that wreath'd his shield
With lilies pluck'd on Cressy's field,

Heaved from its base the mouldering Norman frame!
New glory cloth'd the exulting steep,
The portals tower'd with ampler sweet;
And Valour's soften'd Genius came,
Here held his pomp, and trail'd the pall
Of triumph through the trophied hall;
And War was clad awhile in gorgeous weeds;
Amid the martial pageantries,

While Beauty's glance adjudg'd the prize,
And beam'd sweet influence on heroic deeds.
Nor long, ere Henry'st holy zeal, to breathe
A milder charm upon the scene beneath,
Rear'd in the watery glade his classic shrine,
And call'd his stripling quire to woo the willing Nine.

*Edward III.

† Henry VI, Founder of Eton College.


To this imperial seat to lend
Its pride supreme, and nobly blend
British magnificence with Attic art.

Proud Castle, to thy banner'd bowers,
Lo! Picture bids her glowing powers
Their bold historic groups impart :
She bids the illuminated pane,
Along thy lofty-vaulted fane,

Shed the dim blaze of radiance richly clear.
Still may such arts of Peace engage

Their Patron's care! But should the rage
Of war to battle rouse the new-born year,
Britain, arise, and wake the slumbering fire;
Vindictive dart thy quick-rekindling ire!
Or, armed to strike, in mercy spare the foe,

And lift thy thundering hand, and then withhold the blow !


LORD BYRON has observed with characteristic flippancy, that Pye was "a man eminently respectable in everything but his poetry." Had this been precisely true, the Laureate would have been so exactly his Lordship's antithesis, that there is little cause for wondering at his satirizing him. If he had called the poet's verses respectable, the statement would have been more true, and therefore more libellous; for respectable poetry is of the kind which neither gods, men, nor columns countenance; and we are afraid that, with all our reverence for Mr. Pye as a man of ancient family, unimpeachable character, and high position, we must admit that, as a poet, his Muse's chief attributes are Mediocrity and Morality. In pronouncing this judgment, we allude to him simply under the poetic aspect; for the slightest knowledge of his voluminous writings will show that his intellect had been highly cultivated, and that he possessed erudition, judgment, and sense.

"The Pyes," says Noble, in his "Memoirs of the House of Cromwell," "are a most ancient and honourable

family, from whom two of the English kings descended. The etymology of the name of Pye, is ap Hugh, the letter u having the same sound in Welch as y; the family conformed to the Welch manner, from residing near that Principality; they bear for their arms, ermine, a bend lozengy, gules. William Pye came over with the Norman Conqueror; and his family became champions to the first kings of that race. Hugh Pye, probably his son, was lord of Kilpec Castle, in the Mynde Park, in Herefordshire; he had two sons, Thomas Pye de Kilpec and John."

The family ancient, as it was, had an additional lustre thrown on it when one of the Laureate's ancestors married the daughter of John Hampden. His father was Auditor of the Exchequer in the reign of James I. It was therefore his duty to pay to Ben Jonson the income (or rather part of it, for the marks had not then been increased to pounds), which his descendant afterwards received. There is a mendicant poetical epistle of the elder Laureate to Sir Robert Pye, to be found in Jonson's works.

"Father John Burgess,
Necesity urges
My woeful cry

To Sir Robert Pie;

And that he will venture

To send my debenture.

Tell him his Ben
Knew the time when
He loved the Muses;
Though now he refuses
To take apprehension
Of a year's pension,
And more is behind:
Put him in mind

Christmas is near,
And neither good cheer,
Mirth, fooling, or wit,
Nor any least fit

Of gambol or sport
Will come at the Court;
If there be no money,
No plover or coney

Will come to the table,

Or wine to enable

The Muse or the Poet

The parish will know it.

Nor any quick warming-pan help him to bed-
If the chequer be empty, so will be his head."

The Auditor was deprived of his office during the Protectorate, but reinstated at the Restoration, and if we may trust Noble,* procured a very large fortune for his family," and purchased the manor and seat of Faringdon, in Berks. His eldest son, Sir Robert, meanwhile sat for Woodstock, in the Long Parliament, and was a colonel of horse in Fairfax's regiment. Cromwell employed him, and during the Protectorate he represented Berkshire in two parliaments. He, however, was one of those who aided and abetted the Restoration, and after this retired into private life. He survived his wife, Hampden's daughter, only a week, and they were both buried in Faringdon Church.†


The subject of this memoir was therefore the lineal descendent of the celebrated patriot, and was the fourth in descent from Sir Robert, the son of the Auditor. was the eldest son of Henry Pye, who had represented Berkshire in four different parliaments without a contested election. Henry James was born on the 10th of July, 1745, in London. Of his childhood, little or nothing is known. Under his father's roof he was instructed to the age of seventeen by a private tutor. He was when quite a child very fond of reading, and has himself stated,

*Memoirs of the House of Cromwell.

† Portraits of the Auditor and his son, Sir Robert, are to be found among other family pictures at Camfield Place, Herts, the seat of Baron Dimsdale.

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