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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/159

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Years roll on years; to ages, ages yield;
Abbots to Abbots, in a line, succeed:
Religion's charter, their protecting shield,
Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed.


One holy Henry rear'd the Gothic walls,
And bade the pious inmates rest in peace;
Another Henry[1] the kind gift recalls,
And bids devotion's hallow'd echoes cease.


Vain is each threat, or supplicating prayer;
He drives them exiles from their blest abode,
To roam a dreary world, in deep despair—
No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God.[2]


Hark! how the hall, resounding to the strain,
Shakes with the martial music's novel din!
The heralds of a warrior's haughty reign,
High crested banners wave thy walls within.

  1. At the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey on Sir John Byron.
  2. [During the lifetime of Lord Byron's predecessor in the title there was found in the lake a large brass eagle, in the body of which were concealed a number of ancient deeds and documents. This eagle is supposed to have been thrown into the lake by the retreating monks.—Life, p. 2, note. It is now a lectern in Southwell Minster.]