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 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.
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.
- At the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey on Sir John Byron.
- [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.]