[From Manx Soc vol 16]
THE writer of these lines, Mr. E. H. de St. Pierre Jones, resided in Peel for some time in 1830, and wrote a number of poems, which he intended to publish in a volume; it, however, never appeared. He was a relative of Bernardin de St. Pierre, the author of Paul and Virginia. These lines on Peel Castle have never been published.
HAIL, solemn pile! in pyramidic pride
Thy lofty ramparts rise o'er ocean's wave,
Smiling contempt upon the beating tide
That hath for ages threatened thee a grave.
Dash on, ye roaring waters! tempests low'r.
Rush winds, roll billows, elements conspire!
Undaunted it defies your fedrate power,
Unfearing dares to emulate your ire.
Mother of centuries ! work of ages past,
Great in thy plenitude I now greater still,
The wreck of days too noble not to last
The giant bully of thy sea-girt hill.
What though the savage Dane, Norwegian too,
And vent'rous Swede,'thy hoary walls assailed,
And sturdy Finn, and Scotias hostile crew?
Still have they never o'er thy power prevail'd,
So as to spoil thy beauty, nor can all ,
That nature's force or human aid combined.
Great in thy grandeur, greater in thy fall,
Hail, queen of storms! Hail, monarch of the winds!
There on the east thy stately palace rose,
Flanked at its bulwarks with gigantic towers;
There, where the sun his western radiance throws,
The courtly ladies had their maiden bowers,
And many a wreath of love, I ween, they've twined
In playful mirth or virtuous rivalry,
For knights who honour's meed aspired to find
By deeds of arms in days of chivalry.
There, on the south, behold the beacon-tower,
Where the alarum fire its war-signs threw,
Near which the armour-smith, with Vulcan power,
Forth from the ore his vengeful weapons drew.
And there, within that circumwalled space
The old cathedral's lofty ruins stand
St. German, patron of the holy place-
St. German, wonderful throughout the land.
Behold the guard-room, where the Moddy Dhoo
Nightly his visits to the ramparts made;
Stout were the hearts dared follow him, and few
Save one e'er did, which with his life he paid.
But there, within yon dungeon's murky gloom,
Unhappy Gloster's wife imprison'd lay
For fourteen years-witchcraft her crime, her doom
A living grave without one solar ray;
And mark th' embrasures, where the archers keen,
Their well-strung bows against the foemen drew,
And many a foeman bit the dust, I ween,
As through the fissures thick the keen shafts flew.
And though whole centuries have pass'd away,
Strange 'tis to tell-but, I have lived to see,
That in the present age, the present day,
None can excel Peel's sons in archery !
Hail, solemn pile! once shrouded in the sky,
Now desolate, save when the stranger's tread,
Or boding seabirds melancholy cry,
Attempts to rouse the slumbers of the dead.
Great rock of ocean! may thy ruins stand,
Till in huge desolation, all combined,
That time may hallow thee as holy land, -
Vast queen of storm! vast monarch of the wind !