The Triumphs of Owen

Thomas Gray

OWEN’S praise demands my song,

Owen swift, and Owen strong;

Fairest flower of Roderic’s stem,

Gwyneth’s shield and Britain’s gem.

He nor heaps his brooded stores,

Nor on all profusely pours;

Lord of every regal art,

Liberal hand and open heart.


  Big with hosts of mighty name,

Squadrons three against him came;

This the force of Eirin hiding,

Side by side as proudly riding,

On her shadow long and gay

Lochlin ploughs the watery way;

There the Norman sails afar

Catch the winds and join the war:

Black and huge along they sweep,

Burdens of the angry deep.


  Dauntless on his native sands

The dragon-son of Mona stands;

In glittering arms and glory dress’d,

High he rears his ruby crest.

There the thundering strokes begin,

There the press and there the din;

Talymalfra’s rocky shore

Echoing to the battle’s roar.

Check’d by the torrent-tide of blood,

Backward Menai rolls his flood;

While, heap’d his master’s feet around,

Prostrate warriors gnaw the ground.

Where his glowing eyeballs turn,

Thousand banners round him burn:

Where he points his purple spear,

Hasty, hasty Rout is there,

Marking with indignant eye

Fear to stop and Shame to fly.

There Confusion, Terror’s child,

Conflict fierce, and ruin wild,

Agony that pants for breath,

Despair and honorable death.