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Anna Jane Vardill

The Eldest King of Britain

Llewellyn’s Dream

The prophetic Fragment which suggested this imitation has been lately published by the learned and reverend editor of the Historia Brittonum.

[On the death of George III]

I have seen the eagle tear
 The cedar from its hold;
I have seen the wild-wolf’s lair
 At the gate of the Towers of Gold.*

I was in the meteor’s path
 When it shot from east to west,
Till the lion rose in wrath,
 And rent the wild-wolf’s crest.

I saw the turban yield
 Its gem to a Christian hand,
And the victor pave his field
 With the pearls of Samarcand.

I heard a voice on earth
 Cry havock to Man’s race:
The war-feast was their mirth,
 Empires their burial-place.

I saw a Stranger stand
 Alone on a mighty flood,
Fiends blew the hurricane,
 And the torrent was of blood.

His voice was like the gale
 That mountain-ocean heaves;
His fame like the blazing train
 A falling comet leaves.

I saw a morning-star
 Rise in the clear blue sky—
It set among clouds afar,
 Like a bride in her canopy.

And I sat in Britain’s court
 When her eldest King pass’d by:
His shield was her lion’s heart,
 Her cap his treasury.

The sea was his jasper wall,
 The island-rock his seat;
Three nations built his hall,
 Three worlds were at his feet.

He look’d from South to North,
 And their riches were his throne,
Yet his feet were on his hearth,
 And his lamp on the altar-stone.

Silence and shadow spread
 Over his earthly tower,
But the dwellers in heaven delay’d
 The dark death angel’s hour;

They had no herald yet
 His coming to await,
Till the son of his love was fit
 To open their diamond-gate:

Then there was joy in heaven
 For Britain’s mighty one,
And the crown of bliss was given
 To the Father by the Son.


  1. The arms of Castile. 

The European Magazine, Vol. 77, February 1820, pp. 166-167