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EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN.
IN TWO PARTS.
Printed by James Ballantyne and Co.
FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN,
CHARLES GRANT, JUNIOR, ESQ. M. P.
IS GRATEFULLY AND RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
BY HIS OBLIGED
AND FAITHFUL SERVANT,
The Poem here presented to the Public is not meant to contain a regular Narrative of the great events which will astonish future times still more than they have even the actors in that mighty drama winch seems drawing to some awful conclusion: it is merely intended as a kind of retrospective sketch of the passing events. These are rapidly detailed in the First Part, which is meant chiefly as an introduction to the Second. The view there given of the present state and future prospects of this country, will be considered by many as just and well founded. It is but charitable to suppose, that those who do not think it just will wish it were so, and acknowledge that there is a harmless pleasure in being agreeably deceived.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN.
Britain, freed from bonds too long deplored,
Rejoicing saw her native prince restored,
The loyal flame reviving Muses fanned,
And loose-robed Frolic wantoned through the land.
O'er lesser poets, Dryden ruled supreme,
And chose the Year of Wonders for his theme;
His lyre to bold heroic notes he strung,
Annus Mirabilis he proudly sung:
The burning city, and the conquering fleet,
Resound in strains for loftiest subjects meet;
Attentive nations listened while he sung,
And high through courtly roofs applauses rung:
Ah! little thought he then his matchless powers
Should waste in false, corrupted Pleasure's bowers,
Like captive Sampson, make unhallowed sport
For the vile pleasures of a godless court,
And yield the noblest gift that Heaven bestows,
To gild the loose delights of Virtue's foes.
Ill-fated Poet! had'st thou flourished now,
When bards no longer to vain patrons bow,
But take their sanction from the public voice,
And in the fair diffusive light rejoice,
With safety on the public taste depend,
And find in every cultured mind a friend,
What high illustrious themes, what glorious views,
Had called forth all the splendours of thy muse;
And scattered from thy rich poetic urn,
Fair "thoughts that breathe," and words that lambent burn:
Immortals leaning from each lofty sphere,
Beheld the crowded glories of the year,
That, passing, sparkled in profusion gay,
Like countless stars that crowd the milky-way,
Whilst mortal minds, opprest with solemn awe,
But half believed the wondrous change they saw.
Yet more the glorious present to enhance,
Let us cast back a retrospective glance.
As when from dreams of agony we wake,
And still with the remembered horrors quake,
The dreary visions of the long dark night
Endear the blessing of returning light.
From where the North pours forth his waste of snows,
To where the Sun his brightest beam bestows,
From the chill regions of eternal frost,
To Nature's garden, fair Italia's coast,
No more by Freedom, or by Faith sustained,
One gloomy trance, one fatal torpor reigned,
The groans were secret, and the sighs were deep,
Yet none essayed to break that iron sleep;
In sullen pomp the mighty Despot sate,
His nod was terror, and his frown was fate,
Which trembling kings with prostrate souls await.
And not alone o'er Europe's wide domain
Did force or fraud extend that dreaded reign;
In vain th' Atlantic pours her severing tide,
An empire rising new in Freedom's pride,
Asserts her independent will in vain,
While guile unseen extends the tyrant's reign.
Though no embattled foes her sons assail,
Nor hostile flags along her coasts prevail,
Yet o'er their heads see thickening dangers lower,
While secret craft prepares the way for power;
Two grisly phantoms in the front appear,
With lurid Hatred, comes appalling Fear
While sordid Interest grovels in the rear:
Columbia's rulers, treacherous to her state,
To Gallia bend in fear, from Britain turn in hate;
That fear, which ever sways the servile mind,
That envious hate, to truth and merit blind,
Fear, that submissive bows to Gallia's yoke,
Hate, that each old accustomed tie hath broke.
Our language, lineage, faith, are still the same,
The torch that kindled Freedom's holy flame
To light the western world, from British altars came;
For them our sages think, our poets sing,
They quaff, unchanged, the British muse's spring;
Our Shakspeare, born for British minds alone,
To them has Fancy's boundless empire shewn;
And, mounted high on Milton's wing sublime,
They pass the "flaming hounds of space and time;"
A feeble scion from our ancient stock,
Unfixed and shrinking from each foreign shock,
Still bending to each blast that ruder blew,
Beneath our fostering care her empire grew,
With British blood we dewed their weakly stem,
Our patriots planned, our heroes died for them:
Her root was fixed, her branches spread at length,
Her sons, exulting, gloried in her strength,
No longer brooked a distant lord's command,
But wrenched the rod of power from Britain's hand;
Yet many a British heart rejoiced to see
The kindred bonds dissolved, the sons of freemen free.
The patriot race, who first from Britain came,
And graced their land with England's honoured name,
Still to their parent turn a kindling eye,
And bless the Island-home of liberty.
O'er all their coasts, the wise, the learned, the good,
Resist o'erwhelming Faction's headlong flood;
But, when wild Faction's hurricane is past,
The learned, the wise, the good, prevail at last; a
While Error, like some wandering comet flies,
Whose short-lived brightness dazzles vulgar eyes,
Fair Truth, like some mild star's propitious rays,
Creates no wonder, and excites no gaze,
Still burns with steady light its useful flame,
And passing ages find it still the same.
Rash demagogues, who hoped for Britain's fall,
And bowed before the rising sun of Gaul,
With headlong fury, join Ambition's slaves,
To wrest from her the empire of the waves.
Heedless of frantic rage, and treacherous wiles,
Aloft in calm security she smiles;
The fierce extremes of hostile rage she shuns,
And inly sorrows for Columbia's sons.
The peaceful olive, proffered oft in vain,
Maternal sympathy shall yield again;
The storm of causeless rancour pass away,
And darkness brighten into happier day.
Nor yet the tyrant thought his reign complete,
Though abject monarchs grovelled at his feet,
On the Tiara though he scornful trode,
And o'er dejected Rome triumphant rode.
Though new-made kings, like images of snow
That melt before the sun's meridian glow,
The pillars of his state were planted round,
And all his mandates heard with awe profound,
His evil Genius, in a fatal hour,
Suggests a bolder stretch of lawless power;
He snatched the Iberian crown with daring hand,
And tore their guiltless monarch from the land;
Nor trampled on their ancient rights alone,
But with a mean usurper filled their throne.
Then burst the smothered flame on every side,
By Spanish honour waked, or Spanish pride;
Urged on by dire Revenge, they pant for breath,
And rush impetuous to the work of death.
Who has not heard the applauding world's acclaim
Of Britain's generous aid, and Wellesley's deathless name,
While mortals with presumptuous pride elate,
Anticipate the dark decrees of Fate,
Or calculate, on this terrestrial ball,
How high the strong may rise, how low the proud must fall;
Nor bow the heart, nor lift the awful eye,
To own the Omnipresent Deity,
Whose potent will confounds their airy schemes,
As day's effulgence scatters morning dreams.
How bright the Lusitanian Genius blazed,
How high her fame in arts and arms was raised,
From bondage freed in a propitious hour,
How sudden rose the column of her power;
Her commerce grew, her daring flag unfurled,b
Glared like a meteor o'er the new-found world;
From wealthy Ormus to th' Arabian sea,
That whelmed the pride of Memphian chivalry,
Her empire stretched, while o'er the gorgeous east
Triumphed alike the warrior and the priest;
While Goa saw her splendid fanes ascend,
And Ethiope's monarchs to her dictates bend.
Yet never sun of empire set so soon,
A sudden cloud arose at blaze of noon,
Filled the sad land with horror and affright,
And checked her arm of power, and quenched her mental light.
From the Cimmerian depth of papal gloom,
Where never light or liberal thought found room,
Armed with the terrors of infernal flame,
In dreadful pomp the Inquisition* came:
The wizard's glance benumbs the human powers,
Blights Beauty's bloom, and withers Fancy's flowers;
Still wide and wider spreads th' enfeebling charm,
Unnerving Valour's breast, and Labour's arm;
Fame, empire, arts, and genius past away,
The land supine in helpless torpor lay.
Though groves Hesperian, rich in fragrance, bloom,
And fill the balmy air with waste perfume;
Though lavish clusters load the frequent vine,
And cloudless suns with tempered radiance shine;
For them in vain the golden orange glowed,
For them in vain the vinous nectar flowed;
And gales that check disease, and soften pain,
Breathed fresh, or whispered soft, for them in vain.
Thus low they lay, dejected and forlorn,
Of friends the pity, and of foes the scorn.
Ah! who to wonder-working wisdom blind,
Can scan the counsels of th' Almighty mind?
Or who conceive the appointed means allowed
To raise the abject, and debase the proud?
To cheer pale Misery in her darkest hour,
And break the iron yoke of lawless power?
Blest hour! when dire Oppression's galling hand
Urged forth the gallant sons of Freedom's land;
They rushed impetuous through the subject main,
And light and courage followed in their train.
Amidst the mournful ruins of decay
The dormant seeds of patriot virtue lay;
And when wild Rapine's desolating hand
In fury drove its ploughshare o'er the land,
From those deep furrows, moist with blood and tears,
Sprung a new harvest, rich in golden ears;
While British ardour lightened o'er the plain,
The Lusitanian genius waked again,
And moved with Wellesley's conquering bands along,
To prove how oft the weak confounds the strong;
By what unlooked-for means the Almighty hand
O'erthrows the schemes by wild Ambition planned,
Back to its channel calls the o'erbearing flood,
And brings from seeming evil real good.
Meanwhile Iberia's lofty spirits woke,
And spurned indignant at the Gallian yoke;
Her warriors rushed impetuous to the plain,
And long maintained the glorious strife in vain;
New armies only rose to fight or fall
Before the wiles, or whelming power of Gaul.
Though Moore at sad Corunna checked their pride,
And in the arms of weeping Victory died;
In every heart though patriot valour glowed,
In every field though blood profusely flowed;
Still ineffectual proved the fatal strife,
And seemed a hopeless waste of human life;
Till Wellington to head the conflict came,
With cool experience sprinkling Valour's flame;
And British legions lent their tempered fire
To rash resolves that blaze but to expire.
As when in summer's pride a forest burns,
The hasty flames subside and rage by turns,
With ready axe the sturdy peasants run,
Hew down a path, and think the work is done;
Yet though the summer woods are moist and green,
And fountains gush, and marshes intervene,
Still midst the ashes lurks the smothered fire,
With every breath rekindling sparks aspire,
Till all aghast the baffled rustic sees
The rushing blaze increasing with the breeze.
By British aid an impulse thus was given
To sparks enkindled by the breath of Heaven.
The new-born glories send a lustre forth,
Gild Europe's gloom, and warm the frozen North:
The germ of future conquest, nourished here,
Expanding, flourished in this wondrous year;
The last bequeathed, in its disastrous close,
A fatal legacy of human woes.
Come, dim Oblivion! spread thy mantle drear,
And hide the horrors of that blood-stained year.
Ah no! from Moscow's flames the furies rise,
And spread the scroll of vengeance in the skies,
And bid the trembling nations awed attend,
While retributive miseries impend.
Say where are now these legions once so gay,
So proudly urging their victorious way?
Far to the north extend their dazzling lines,
And a new radiance o'er the desert shines.
See! fierce Destruction in the van appear,
While Desolation hovers o'er the rear;
Insane Ambition, to the future blind,
Ne'er casts a retrospective glance behind;
In vain the storied woes of other times,
Of hostile rage, or inauspicious climes,
And all the wretched great, renowned of old,
To frantic pride the warning mirror hold.
Unhappy Charles! with calmest courage fraught,
How might thy fate instruct, could Pride be taught:
Thy iron Swedes, to polar climes inured,
Unmoved the wintry tempest long endured;
While dauntless o'er the frozen soil they moved,
Led on by glory, and the prince they loved,
(That generous prince, who knew no selfish aim,
Whose guide was honour, and whose guerdon fame;)
Yet, when through freezing wilds he led his powers,
Where Famine o'er the trackless desert lowers,
When matchless valour fought and bled in vain,
The historic muse relates the close with pain;
And even majestic Johnson's moral lay
Bids "blushing glory hide Pultowa's day."
Fierce chief! the dread of sceptred slaves so late,
Now quickly verging to the brink of fate,
The sanguine influence of thy boasted star,
That northward led the desolating war,
To ruin urged thy blind, impetuous way,
As hovering fires, that blaze to lead astray,
To pitfalls dark the traveller betray.
Like timorous deer, who midst the smothering snows
Fall thick beneath Siberian hunters' blows,
Gay, boastful children of a southern sky,
Low sunk on earth the Gallic squadrons lie.
Now they who made imprisoned nations fast,
And snatched from Labour's hand the poor repast,
With famine pinched, amidst th' ensanguined snows
Implore a speedy death to end their woes.
Though o'er their heads the shifting splendours fly,
The bright Aurora of a northern sky,
No genial heat these vivid beams impart
To thaw the life-blood curdling round the heart;
An icy torpor chills the livid limbs,
And round the closing eyes unwonted darkness swims.
Upon the frozen earth, unheeded cast,
They bleach and stiffen in the northern blast;
While morn's pale radiance, rising in the east,
But lights the hungry vulture to his feast.
Where wert thou then, stern minister of fate,
That seemed to grasp the thunderbolt so late?
Thy fancied star, that lately shone so bright,
Now fading, pales his ineffectual light.
Unmoved he saw his frozen legions lie,
No human tear suffused that iron eye;
With sympathy that melts at human woe,
That adamantine heart ne'er learnt to glow:
Colder and swifter than the wintry wind
He fled, and left his dying bands behind;
Homeward a lonely fugitive he came,
Pursued by danger, and o'ertook by shame.
And see the despot mount his tottering throne,
To tell of fatal flight, and hosts o'erthrown;
Those gallant legions, fallen no more to rise,
He styles the victims of inclement skies,
And, boastful still, the foe's success denies.
Alas! assailed by Death in every form,
The foe victorious, and the wintry storm;
Their dim sepulchral fires but gleam to show
Their chiefs expiring on th' ensanguined snow,
The Russian sabre, and the Cossack spear,
With dreadful speed advancing in the rear;
While marbled crusts, that harden drifted snows,
Their freezing barrier to the van oppose.
When Science spreading to the Caspian coast,
Shall light with purer beams the realms of frost,
When all the distant regions that obey
Their virtuous Alexander's gentle sway,
Improved in morals, as in arts refined,
Explore the riches of the British mind,
With fond attention list the British lyre,
And feel the raptures that its notes inspire.
Then Russian bards the Wolga's banks along,
Shall pour the tide of emulative song;
Smolensko's bloody field shall rise to view,
And Borodino's laurels bloom anew;
Then shall the Russian muse assert her claim
To twine the wreath of never-fading fame:
The favoured land, whence patriot heroes spring,
Shall yet produce a bard their deeds to sing.
Heroic acts, and patriotic views,
Enlarge the soul, and wake the willing muse.
While savage despots ruled in barbarous pride,
They had indeed no poet---- and they died.*
The bard inspired by Heaven, and he alone,
Can shed a lasting lustre round the throne;
The noble deeds, sung to the immortal lyre,
The souls of future bards and heroes fire:
The love of virtue, and the thirst of praise,
Bids greener laurels spring, and fresher bays.
The virtuous monarch, and the heaven-taught bard,
Together rise, each other's best reward:
Thus Virgil sung to one distinguished throne,
And Roman bays encircled that alone.
Thus Spenser, in his allegoric strain,
Displayed the glories of the Maiden Reign:
Thus he, who sings the song of triumph now,
While Spenser's laurel decks his honoured brow,
In every future age, and distant clime,
By space unfettered, and untouched by time,
Shall tell how firm unconquered Britain stood,
What glories closed the reign of George the Good;
How bounteous Heaven redundant plenty showered,
Her golden horn how liberal Commerce poured;
From Britain how the kindling ardour came,
That touched the nations round, and burst in flame,
And close the lofty strain, with vengeance shed
By justice on the proud oppressor's head.
While Russia, thus unaided and alone,
Avenged her people, and preserved her throne;
Perplexed 'twixt admiration and amaze,
The wondering nations stood in silent gaze.
As when, in sickly swoons, sensation fails,
And Death's dread image o'er the man prevails,
The ebbing blood recoils through every vein,
And seeks in whelming tides the heart again;
The deadly stupor holds in dread suspense
The power of thought, the agency of sense;
Yet when returning feeling first awakes,
And the slow pulse a feeble effort makes,
Such horrors chill, such vapours cloud the brain,
The languid patient fain would sink again;
Nor feels the blessing of returning light,
Till forms accustom'd chear the doubtful sight;--
So, when awaking from the dubious trance,
They saw the foes of Tyranny advance,
The nations chilled remained in dread suspense,
Alive to danger, fearful of offence;
While the first workings of reviving life,
With apathy and fear held doubtful strife;
Though Liberty and Truth revived again,
Degraded minds perceived their light with pain.
With toilsome steps their anxious way they bend,
Who headlong fall, and, struggling, re-ascend.
The chief, whose frown was terror and dismay,
Before whose presence armies melt away,
Now like a hunted savage stands at bay;
With watchful eye, the armed confederate kings
Avoid his fox-like wiles, and tyger-springs.
Now Doubt and Fear suspicious vigils keep,
And wonder at the avenging thunder's sleep;
It sleeps no more; the red right arm of Heaven
To mortal hands commits the sulphurous levin;
Confined no longer to the subject main,
It bursts tremendous o'er th' Iberian plain;
From proud Vittoria shouts of triumph rise,
The joyful tumults echo through the skies,
And fill th' applauding world with glad surprise.
And, hark! the dreadful blasts explode again,
The Pyrennean barriers rise in vain;
Again they hear the British thunders roar,
And yield their shelter to our foes no more.
The bulwarks stretch'd across from every mound,
The towering heights with many a fortress crowned,
That seem to cast a look of scorn below,
And hurl down ruin on th' ascending foe;
The fatal missive, and the fiery shower,
With all the dread artillery of their power,
Before our hero's prowess melt away
As snows beneath impetuous showers decay.
The sanguine cross, that want of old to shine,
Terrific on the plains of Palestine,
At Cressy over captive monarchs flew,
And rose on Poictier's plains in triumphs new,
No longer comes with horror and affright
To fill the land, or blast the patriot's sight,
But on the Gallic soil propitious waves,
Announcing freedom to a land of slaves.
Such are thy triumphs, matchless Wellington!
Well may green Erin boast her gallant son;
The nations freed by thee shall long record
The conquests of the great, the valiant Lord.
While sounds of ecstacy from Britain rise,
And spread the notes of triumph through the skies;
While grateful Europe joins the world's acclaim,
And proud Aggression trembles at thy name;
Thy country's harp, with richest, mellowest tone,
Shall fondly claim thy honours as her own,
And seem, upon Vittoria's bloody plain,
To hail old Taura's hero chiefs again.
The sanguine wreaths of fame let others boast,
Who lead o'er prostrate foes a lawless host,
And wave Alecto's torch, where terror reigns
Midst smoking villages, and plundered fanes,
While round them, mutter'd curses in mid air
Mix with the widow's sigh, the orphan's prayer;
Those powerful pray'rs that never rise unheard,
While vengeance heavier comes, the more deferr'd.
Thou, who dost Britain's awful thunders wield,
In council calm, resistless in the field,
The dread of Britain's foes, of Britain's friends the shield,
Proceed in thy unstain'd illustrious path,
While the commission'd ministers of wrath
Forsake their conquests, and disgorge their spoil,
And foil'd on every side, on every side recoil;
Of all thy host the father and the friend,
What countless blessings on thy head descend!
The grateful plaudits of thy country's foes,
Like whisper'd music, soothe thy short repose;
How sweet repose to that untroubled breast,
By no regrets, or guilty fears opprest,
Who rules to bless must conquer but to save,
The high distinction of the truly brave.
With fearless eye the Gallic peasant sees
The British ensigns waving in the breeze;
The British camp, to him a gallant shew,
Inspires no present dread, proclaims no future foe;
The wondering natives crowd with one accord,
To gaze insatiate on the mighty Lord;
With hope and fear but newly reconciled,
They view a chief so dreadful, yet so mild;
With glad surprise their wonted awe forego,
And find a guardian where they shunn'd a foe.
On wings of Alexander's eagles borne,
Swift spreads before him Freedom's orient morn;
The spell is broke, the slow-dissolving charm
Dispels the dreaded phantoms of alarm,
And many a throbbing heart, and kindling eye,
Exulting, hail approaching liberty.
Now cruel Rigour stretched his iron hand,
To force new legions from a mourning land;
O'er countless numbers sunk in endless sleep,
In vain their kindred sigh, their parents weep;
In vain the mother droops her pensive head,
Heart-struck and moaning o'er th' unburied dead.
To that sad heart her last fond hope is prest,
Till torn untimely from her bleeding breast;
Before the manly down o'erspreads his cheek,
He goes in bloody fields his early fate to seek.
The dreaded chief now pours new legions forth,
To meet the stern avengers of the north;
On every side, where'er his eagles fly,
Fresh plumed, more daring eagles meet his eye:
The Russian bird, impatient of delay,
Urged on by vengeance, pounces on his prey;
The Prussian feather'd king, with ruffled plume,
Had sunk inglorious in oppression's gloom;
Now roused aloft, he soars with wings outspread,
Denouncing terror to each guilty head;
The mingled ensigns float upon the gale,
And Europe bids her brave deliverers hail.
O'er all the hosts a dread suspense prevails,
While poised aloft appear the mighty scales.
At Bautzen, with preponderating weight,
Again the tyrant seem'd to brave his fate;
To Lutzen, where the great Gustavus bled,
Once more, with wonted pride, his troops he led;
That fatal field again he drench'd with gore,
And claim'd a doubtful victory once more.
Gustavus! glorious heir of true renown,
Couldst thou from scenes of glad repose look down,
If aught in this dim scene can interest,
Or call attention from the ever blest,
How must thy generous soul exult to see
That spot so sacred now, so dear to thee!
From whence thy gallant spirit took its flight,
Spurn'd the dull earth, and soar'd sublime in light;
Now rais'd illustrious on the rolls of fame,
With splendour added to its former claim.
Till the last trump announce the final day,
Thus sires exulting to their sons shall say,
"Here, for Germania's liberty and laws,
"Gustavus died amidst the world's applause;
"The dreadful storm of kindred war o'erpast,
"Here spent its rage, the loudest and the last;
"The light by cowards fear'd, and fools admired,
"Here shone with final blaze, and soon expired."
Now mutual counsels bid the trumpet cease,
That calm debate might ope the gates of peace;
Suspended stood the dreadful work of death,
While anxious wonder half-suppress'd her breath:
A deadly calm thus lulls the tropic sky,
Ere storms explode, and livid lightnings fly.
Reflection cool fill'd up the solemn pause;
The ghosts of vanish'd liberty and laws,
Germania's ancient boast, vindictive came,
The angry spectre of extinguish'd fame,
In every heart awaked a jealous flame.
Yet did not every generous effort cease
To build the olive bower of banished peace
For this the nations sigh, the princes toil,
And hoary statesmen o'er the midnight oil
Pursue the long debate, with fruitless pain,
And seek repose for bleeding realms in vain.
Though now the tyrant writhes with secret smart,
He still confides in wonted force and art,
And hardens still his adamantine heart:
Thus Pharaoh, bleeding from the tenfold stroke,
Refused to break the Hebrew's iron yoke;
Rose darkly frowning in gigantic pride,
And Heaven insulted, and its power defy'd.
Sunk low among the monsters of the deep,
The baffled despot and his legions sleep;
The frowning tyrant and his trembling slaves,
O'erwhelmed alike beneath commission'd waves.
The rays of truth at once resistless dart,
The kind contagion warms each generous heart;
The hapless slaves of cruelty and pride
Begin to melt away on every side;
And gathering round in dread array appear
To threat the object of their wonted fear:
Thus when the wintry blast incessant blows,
And pours on Alpine heights more frequent snows;
While Nature, fainting in the arms of frost,
Laments her buried works, her beauty lost;
Soft breathes the south, the sun with brighter beam
Awakes the foliage, and dissolves the stream;
The Avalanche touch'd by his potent ray,
First gently yields, then swiftly glides away.
At length increasing in its thundering force,
Nor hamlets, rocks, or woods retard its course;
The wilder'd traveller flies the first in vain,
Then sees another whelm the narrow plain;
T'escape on every side he vainly tries,
And sunk beneath the snowy torrent dies.
Deceitful quiet lulls the world no more;
The storm, that late suspended ceased to roar,
Now breaks again in tenfold fury forth,
The south responsive echoes to the north.
Great Austria comes in righteous arms arrayed,
To break the league unrighteous power had made;
And while sad nature in his bosom swells,
The patriot prince the private father quells.
Bavaria, dragg'd behind the despot's car,
Reluctant mingled in the lawless war;
But when she saw the Austrian banner raised,
No more in mingled doubt and fear she gazed:
The threat imperious, on the hostile plain
So oft with terror heard, commands in vain;
Roused like a lioness her chains she spurns,
And with vindictive wrath impatient burns:
Once more opposed in dread array she shines,
And sternly her collected powers combines
With Russia's puissant force and Sweden's iron lines.
All hail! undaunted Prince! whose bright renown
Reflects new honour on the Swedish crown:
A gallant exile from thy native land,
To loose her chains thou lead'st thy Gothic band;
Thy early friends from servile bonds to free,
And punish foes to merit and to thee.
Thus Coriolanus led his Volscian powers
To threaten haughty Rome's imperial towers;
Thus vanquished Rome, her race of madness run,
Shrunk from the terrors of her exiled son.
Together now three mighty monarchs came,
The palm of final victory to claim;
In arms the Gallic force assembled waits,
To bar their dread approach to Leipsic's gates.
In cloudy garb the fated morning rose,
While thousands waking form a short repose,
Behold the battle-field, where, drenched in gore,
Ere night returns they sleep no more.
Three days their force conflicting armies tried,
And thrice repulse dismay'd the Gallic side,
And checked their daring hopes, and sunk their wounded pride.
Who can the glories of the fourth display,
Or paint the imperial chiefs in dread array,
When Leipsic, waking from Oppression's trance,
Saw the triumphant cavalcade advance?
Thy dire triumvirate, all-conquering Rome,
In secret met to sign the fatal doom,
Where, each a victim to the other's hate,
Gave up his best-loved friend to bloody fate,
And, stifling nature's throbs, at once resign'd
To fierce ambition the vindictive mind.
Not so this union of consenting power,
Like stars that meet in some propitious hour,
Combine in happiest aspect all their rays,
And see the lower world delighted gaze.
No discord breaks the long embattled lines,
One spirit moves them, and one soul combines.
Their chiefs, protectors of the state and laws,
To Heaven with confidence commit their cause;
Onward in majesty serene they move,
Like "angels sent on errands full of love."
The prince in fetters by the tyrant led,
Now views the great triumvirate with dread;
And musing on the fate of vanquish'd kings,
Cowers close beneath his ruler's flagging wings.
Now martial music's loud, triumphant sound,
With joy makes every faithful heart rebound;
While to usurping power it seems a knell,
That sounds like lost dominion's passing-bell.
The blast that waves the approaching banners gay,
Chills the dire chief with secret, deep dismay.
He sees his genius now suspended wait
The grating hinges of the opening gate,
Then, darkly frowning, leave him to his fate.
And now in state th' august procession comes,
While Leipsic's walls re-echo to their drums.
Wrapt in a thickening cloud of sulphurous fires,
By backward paths the baffled chief retires.
Thus when the welcome beams of rising day
First from the orient chase the shades away,
Terrific phantoms, born of Fear and Night,
Retire appall'd before the spreading light;
Bright and more bright the calm horizon glows,
The dewy freshness, balm of human woes,
Even soothes the weary wretch, deny'd repose.
Like spirits fallen, pursued by heavenly wrath,
The flying foe holds on his blasted path;
See horror, trepidation, and dismay,
In gloomy concord marshal on his way;
While giant Danger, Hatred fierce, and Fear,
Pursue with unrelenting speed his rear.
Where desperate on he leads his frantic powers,
The river swallows, or the sword devours;
Death meets their haggard view whene'er they turn,
With tenfold rage their fell pursuers burn.
And now, nor gain nor glory urge the strife,
Their aim is safety, and the prize is life.
The chief in arms renowned, the hapless brave,
Falls undistinguish'd with the meanest slave;
And warriors, long with wreaths of conquest crowned,
Sink unregarded on the ensanguined ground;
Condemned in flight to meet inglorious death,
While all their trophies vanish with their breath:
Or, should the historic muse their deeds proclaim,
'Tis but to stigmatize each guilty name;
A sad memorial, teaching future times
The fearful sequel of successful crimes.
Though many a hurried march and bloody scene
Of victory and carnage intervene;
From daily slaughter, and from rapid flight,
Humanity averts her wearied sight;
The vanquished chief laments his laurels lost,
And homewards leads his faint diminished host;
His countless victims strew each hostile plain,
Yet still he rears his blasted front again,
And fresh supplies and other victims craves,
And snuffs fresh incense from his abject slaves.
Oh, where, since Time his stated course began,
So wholly sunk the dignity of man?
And when, since first the morn of science broke,
Did man so tamely bear oppression's yoke?
To individual pride a sacrifice,
In vain the ghosts of slaughter'd millions rise,
And vengeance seek with unremitted cries;
As the worst punishment by Heaven assign'd,
Some deadly stupor wraps the general mind;
Abandoned thus to expiate former guilt,
The blood of patriots and of worthies spilt;
Here sainted Lewis bow'd his blameless head,
And mixed his ashes with the vulgar dead;
And here, in dread succession, followed crimes
That mark with lasting infamy the times;
Deep drenched in noble and in guiltless blood,
Still have thy cities undemolished stood.
When from the abyss below and clouds above,
The meeting floods in awful conflict strove,
And man with all his works in ruin hurled,
To wash the stains from a polluted world;
The guilt that thus provoked the wrath divine,
Oh Land of Crime, could scarcely equal thine.
The ancient world of impious pride and hate,
Sunk in the justice of its watry fate:
But Gallia, fearless of another flood,
Has seen her streets and rivers run with blood;
Has felt the heaviest punishment assigned
To sins of the most aggravated kind;
Trod in the dust beneath unhallowed sway,
The iron rod of vengeance to obey;
To suffer all the penalties and pains
That wretches feel debased by servile chains;
Sunk in this abject state, to groan in vain,
Without an effort freedom to regain,
And gaze around with vacant dull despair,
While shouts of hostile triumph rend the air.
Batavia long appear'd with spirit broke
In dull tranquillity to bear her yoke;
Or seemed, her commerce lost, her children gone,
Like Niobe, to harden into stone,
Immoveable to feel the frequent goad,
Insensible to bear the increasing load.
Her mild usurper seemed to feel alone,
And, powerless to resist the evils done,
Retired indignant from his borrowed throne;
His virtuous sorrow, and his generous shame,
From obloquy's reproach shall save his name.
From the safe distance of a quiet coast,
We rashly judge of others tempest-tost.
He who, propelled by an impetuous tide,
With gasping struggles stretches to the side,
His aim attain'd, demands our praises more
Than he who safely views him from the shore.
The "tawny Lion, pawing to get free,"
Shakes off obstruction with less pain than he,
Who finds his native rectitude of will
Clogg'd and obstructed by surrounding ill.
Yet, while Batavia's genius seem'd to lie
Sunk in the stagnant pool of apathy;
Or, like her watry sluices, chill'd and lost,
Fix'd by the still resistless power of frost;
The mighty force, in Freedom's cause combined,
To ope the gates of mercy to mankind,
With shouts of triumph fill each passing wind.
As dusky meads, when Spring's soft reign prevails,
Cheer'd by reviving suns, and genial gales,
Rejoicing in the sudden change are seen,
New cloathed in vivid robes of tender green:
Even thus the beams of Freedom seem'd to dart,
The ice was melted from the general heart:
The chains were broke, that held in long controul
Each nobler purpose of the public soul,
And sudden transport filled the land to see
Batavia by one gallant effort free.
Soul of the wise self-righted Taciturn,
Who nobly wont with silent scorn to spurn
All that Ambition gives her sceptered slaves,
Whatever Luxury seeks, or Avarice craves; *
Who in thy calm, capacious, stedfast mind,
The fabric of the rising state design'd,
And safe within thy firm, unruffled breast,
Each public care, and private thought supprest;
While others strove in eloquence to shine,
The extended view, and prompt resolve were thine;
Thy treasured thought bestow'd no useless word,
But spoke in deeds, and answered with the sword.
The fabric, on whose base he firmly stood,
The dying Chief cemented with his blood;
Nor yet the fell assassin's fatal blow,
That filled the new-deliver'd land with woe,
Could check the work the glorious sire begun,
Who, dying, threw his mantle o'er his son.
From his untimely grave, with glad surprise,
Batavia saw another William rise,
Of bonds impatient, prodigal of life,
Who early long'd to join the generous strife,
And boldly wielding Freedom's puissant lance,
Opposed the encroaching giant-power of France.
Champion of Europe! faithful to her cause,
Bent to avenge her violated laws;
Who pomp and pleasure view'd with equal scorn,
For nobler ends and greater objects born:
For Europe's good he fought, he lived, he reign'd,
And while no friend, or ally, true remain'd,
The contest with unequal arms sustain'd.
In danger calm, superior in defeat,
Inexorably firm, unalterably great,
While Nassau's hero filled the British throne,
His soul indulged one ardent wish alone;
The darling object of that wish, to see
Enormous power repress'd, and Europe free,
Such were the chiefs that nurst the rising state,
And made Batavia valiant, free, and great;
And if commission'd from their heavenly home,
On gracious errands parted spirits come,
Their hovering shades may haply still inspire
The patriot zeal, and fan the martial fire;
And smile to see the princes of their race,
Beloved and honour'd, fill their wonted place.
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;"
And doubly precious may they prove to thee,
Oh gallant prince! nurst on her flinty breast,
Of power and pleasure early dispossess'd;
(Stript of dominion, treasure, friends, and home,
Thy sire was driven in foreign lands to roam;)
Thus each severe and salutary truth
That checks the headlong course of thoughtless youth,
To gay prosperity so seldom known,
Thy seeming adverse fate has made thy own.
Cam has for thee unlock'd her classic store,
Rich in the sterling worth of British lore,
For thee, with Learning's ancient wealth combined,
The deep researches of the British mind.
Nor yet content alone with studious toil,
To woo coy Science by the midnight oil;
Whate'er our isle contains, from sea to sea,
Of great, or beautiful, is known to thee:
Veil'd in the humble garb of privacy,
Full many an object met thy curious eye,
(Such as the great and powerful seldom see)
That open'd Wisdom's living book to thee.
Surveying many a proud and stately dome,
Where modern opulence has found a home;
Or where, while ruined castles tell afar,
The dismal sequel of intestine war,
Sad recollections wake with sudden smart,
The pang that shakes the exiled prince's heart.
And not alone along the fertile plain,
Or peopled towns that grace the rich domain,
Thy thoughtful progress traced each happier scene
That decks the bosom of our island queen.
Even to these lonely haunts, where Nature's child
Dwelt safe, amidst the wonderful and wild,
The poet's song thy wandering footsteps drew,
Till all Loch Catrine opened to thy view.
Like Snowdon's knight, in silent deep surprise,
Thou saw'st her waters spread, her mountains rise;
Thrice happy prince! excluded from a throne
To taste each joy to humbler bosoms known:
Thrice happy poet! whose creative mind
Truth's sober grace With Fancy's charm combined:
Who, in the annals of his country, found
A prince with every knightly virtue crown'd;
Whose country shews that wild romantic place,
So fit the deeds of chivalry to grace;
Whose fancy bids that prince to empire born,
In fair disguise that favour'd spot adorn;
And last, who sees, delighted and surprised,
The vision of his fancy realized.
On wild Loch Catrine's banks, a prince indeed
Disguised and mounted on a gallant steed,
Who loves, unknown, each calm domestic grace,
That cheers and sweetens humble life, to trace;
Who from his quiet home has wander'd far
To deck his helmet with the plumes of war,
And learns from subjects on the rural plain,
The happy art o'er subject hearts to reign.
Blest is the prince whose actions yield a theme
Of power to realize the poet's dream:
Blest is the poet whose prevailing song
To every age can princely deeds prolong.
Yet not in studious privacy alone
Thy ripening mind is fitted for a throne;
The blood derived from a heroic line,
That musters at the trumpet's sound, is thine;
Fired by the lineal ardour, thou hast been
Where death in every hideous form is seen:
Hast stood with Wellington the battle's shock,
Or climb'd with patient toil the armed rock;
Where, pouring thunders forth with hostile frown,
The castellated foe look'd proudly down.
Though hopeless sunk beneath tyrannic sway,
Thy long-lost home in sullen torpor lay,
Wherever Freedom's sanguine flag unfurl'd,
Revived the hopes of a dejected world,
Forgot each private woe, each public care,
Wherever danger threaten'd, thou wert there.
How changed the scene--what hopes, what prospects now
Those laurels gild, that brighten on thy brow!
A people late from servile bonds set free,
Pour all the fervour of their love on thee.
The honour due to heroes of thy line,
Who combated with adverse fate like thine,
The just regard thy sire has made his own,
Who governed for his people's good alone;
With all the courage, ardour, worth, and truth,
So early proved in thy well-governed youth,
Seem now concentrate with united rays,
Round thee to form one bright, distinguish'd blaze.
Led to the contest by the gallant Graham,
Who sheds new lustre on that splendid name,
To friends as dear, as terrible to foes,
As Scotland's pride and ornament, Montrose,*
The Orange Standard shall once more advance
To carry terror to the heart of France;
The Belgian states shall hail thy future reign,
And Nassau's hero seem to live again.
And not the boast of victory alone,
Shall 'stablish and adorn thy future throne;
Join'd to the joy that virtuous princes prove,
Exulting in their faithful people's love.
Haply for thee, a fair imperial flower,
(To Britain given in some propitious hour;)
Its glossy leaves unfolds, its fragrance sheds,
To thy delighted eye its beauty spreads;
Smiles on a happy nation great and free,
Yet with superior sweetness smiles on thee.
While shadowing to an allegoric age
The royal virtues in his tuneful page,
High-gifted Spenser through his fairy scene
Display'd the image of a British queen,
In the mild majesty of mellow'd light
That reign of glory rises to the sight:
The manly strength of that well-cultured mind,
Which danger ne'er could daunt, nor falsehood blind;
The deep research of that far-seeing eye,
That wont the unacknowledged thought to spy;
The "lion-port," and awe-commanding grace,
That added dignity to highest place;
Decision firm, that made her laws revered,
Her friendship courted, and her anger fear'd;
In Fame's high temple bids her image stand,
The boast and guardian of her native land.
While Shakspeare in his own wild graces drest
His royal "vestal, throned by the west;"*
And gallant Sydney on the British plain
Bade all Arcadia bloom in verse again;
Yet not the liberal policy alone,
That drew immortal Muses round her throne;
The kind protection, and the generous aim,
That fann'd in Belgia Freedom's rising flame;
That skill by which her penetrating eyes
Sought out and mark'd the worthy and the wise;
And more than all, the kind, maternal art,
That bound her faithful people to her heart;
Unfolds on history's page so great a scene,
We quite forget the woman in the queen;
And cast a forward glance to hope again
Protracted blessings in a female reign.
And not in great Eliza's reign alone
Have female worth and female wisdom shone.
When gracious Anna rose with milder grace
On the fall'n fortunes of her hapless race,
The annals of her blameless reign record
The trophies won by Marlborough's conquering sword;
Through Europe's farthest bounds her triumphs rung,
Around her throne distinguish'd poets sung:
There Pope in music pour'd his earliest lays;
There flourish'd Addison's unspotted bays.
With blended rays the poet, saint, and sage,
Add lustre to that bright Augustan age;
And thick as dew-drops deck the early thorn,
Illustrious names her honour'd reign adorn;
Propitious skies smiled on the earth's increase,
And all at home was plenty, joy, and peace.
Each soft domestic charm of private life,
That decks the fond, endearing, virtuous wife,
And humble piety, and candid truth,
And all the cordial confidence of youth;
The meltings of maternal tenderness,
By watchful prudence check'd in their excess;
With that meek majesty of private worth,
Which calls our most delighted praises forth,
Surround her with a brightness so serene,
That in the woman we forget the queen.
How doubly blest were that illustrious name,
Who, emulous of such distinguish'd fame,
Could all these virtues in herself combine,
Like gracious Anna love, like great Eliza shine,
And meek composure add to majesty divine.
END OF THE FIRST PART.
the sad theatre of fatal strife,
From all that shortens and embitters life;
From broken trophies and deserted thrones,
Unfeeling pomp, and Misery's stifled groans;
From fields where Desolation sits alone,
Nor hears the echo of a human moan;
Or where sad patriots trodden down in vain,
Learn from their fall fresh vigour to attain,
And rise, Antæus like, with double force again;--
Turn, wearied Muse, to Britain speed thy flight,
This home of Liberty, this source of light;
This citadel, where, fearless of defeat,
Truth, Peace, and Piety have found a seat;
This heart from which the genial currents flow,
That general energy and life bestow,
Then, circling glad through every distant vein,
Return to cheer their genial source again.
Island of glory! from each chalky steep
Thy genius seems to lighten o'er the deep;
Thy strength of arm, thy magnitude of soul,
Supports and cheers the weak from pole to pole;
Wherever Sorrow weeps, or Slavery bends,
Thy pity softens, and thy power extends:
In spite of foreign force, or foreign wiles,
The mountain Goddess here serenely smiles;
Here guards that shrine which all the just revere,
And builds her favourite gothic temple here.
The dread of tyrants and the hope of slaves,
Long, long, Britannia, may'st thou rule the waves!
While midst thy subject seas thou sit'st a queen,
How placid seems thy mild, majestic mien;
Whilst ruminating in thy generous mind
Wide plans of good, embracing all mankind;
Or pouring forth thy bounty's liberal stream
On nations spoil'd by Rapine's fierce extreme;
Or when thy hand a nobler gift has given,
The Book of Life--the light that leads to Heaven;
The holy charm that bids the desart bloom,
And Sharon's rose the sandy waste perfume;
Or while the blackest darkness veils the skies,
Bids on the soul the star of Bethlehem rise;
Sweet star of Hope! whose fair unfading ray
Can shed on deepest darkness happiest day,
Light up those eyes that waken but to weep,
And shine on wearied Nature's final sleep:
Cheered by its beams, and by its influence blest,
Even Sorrow's children softly sink to rest;
Fearless they enter on the dreary gloom,
And wait the mighty voice that bursts the tomb;
Assured to see that morn of glory break,
That calls the dead to higher life to wake.
When Gallia's court with dangerous splendour shone,
And venal wits assembled round her throne,
(While conquest added zest to pleasure's charms,
And Europe shrunk beneath her dreaded arms,)
There cherish'd Talent found an easy home,
Till, like the flatterers of degenerate Rome,
Degraded Genius once again began
In impious strains to deify--the Man;
The immortal Man they styled him; (ah! too sure,
A being form'd for ever to endure;)
Hence all were taught to flatter and adore,
And every royal vice was vice no more.
Their sparkling cup delicious poison crown'd,
They drank, and sent it to the nations round:
Like Circe's herd, they revell'd first in mirth,
Then sunk embruted on their parent earth;
Extinct the light that speaks the spark divine,
Lost in voluptuous joys, they sunk supine;
Their highest hope, Life's feverish vision o'er,
In kindred dust to sleep, and wake no more.
Veil'd in the lively ease, the polish'd grace,
And winning manners of that supple race,
The deeply tainting plague o'er Europe spread,
The blackest heart corrupts the clearest head;
The noblest faculties to mortals given,
Perverted, strove to quench the light from heaven:
As well the crowding locusts' darkening flight
Might hope to quench the sun's perpetual light,
Who, when the short-lived pest is seen no more,
Shines forth in cloudless beauty as before.
The sensualist in leaden slumber lies;
The sophist spreads his film o'er curious eyes.
Who strive what wisdom hides from man to know,
In vain pursuit of knowledge grasp at woe;
With rash Ixion's folly share his fate,
And envy meek Submission's bliss too late.
When first the dæmon Power from Gallia sprung,
Like some dark portent o'er the nations hung,
His form, while mounted on the noxious blast,
On Britain's shores a passing shadow cast;
Fair Charity her ample garment threw,
To screen the faults that Pity wept to view;
Exalted Faith with elevated eyes
Look'd up for aid, and found it in the skies;
And Hope the pains of abject fear beguiled,
And offer'd round her cordial draught and smiled:
Such cordials dying martyrs wont to cheer,
Such are the smiles which pitying seraphs wear.
Escaped that plague, though on our misty isle
Nor skies serene, nor springs perpetual smile;
Though Eurus frequent blast each opening bloom,
Nor golden fruits our native woods perfume;
And dripping fogs, with shortening days combined,
Oft tincture with the season's gloom the mind,
Here Faith throws light on Sorrow's shaded urn,
Here purer fires on holier altars burn:
Stedfast in truth, in righteous freedom bold,
Our fathers worshipp'd at those shrines of old;
And mitred saints, with holy fervour fired,
To seal those truths in torturing flames expired.
Yes, even in this cold Isle, the Almighty Mind
Has open'd wide a refuge for mankind;
The Name ineffable is here adored,
The Grace unspeakable is here implored;
From hence the streams of heavenly knowledge flow,
That teach the heart with holy love to glow;
Our weakness strengthen, and our pride repress,
That make us blest, and teach us how to bless.
For this when Mercy's feeble voice was drown'd,
And hostile clamour filled the nations round,
Here Safety, each ungentle sound represt,
Sat, dove-like, brooding on her downy nest.
Beneath the shelter of her guardian wings,
She gather'd exiled princes, peers, and kings;
And like the hallow'd mercy-seat of old,
Which cherubs wont to shade with wings of gold,
The British throne untouch'd and sacred stood,
While others sunk in dust, or swam in blood.
When, bending at a mortal idol's shrine,
The punish'd nations felt the wrath divine,
They sought in deep affright for Britain's aid,
And hoped a shelter in her friendly shade.
In vain! for still the pestilential blast,
Increasing, raged and wither'd where it past;
Before it blooming Eden smiled around,
Behind it utter desolation frown'd;
While Heaven the phials of its vengeance poured,
And here the sword, and there the flame devoured.
When Israel, blest in Canaan's fair abode,
Forgot the source from which their blessings flow'd,
And midst their mantling figs and clustering vines,
Unhallow'd orgies shared at idol shrines,
Forsook the paths of truth, nor ceased to roam,
Till sacred vengeance call'd the wanderers home;
At first the angry heavens the freshening dews,
And next the fertilizing showers refuse;
The rushing stream its stony bed forsakes,
The green scum mantles o'er the shrinking lakes.
In dumb despair while fainting Nature lies,
And iron fields are scorch'd by brazen skies,
The freshening wind, that speaks of cooler air,
Was granted to the zealous Tishbite's pray'r;
Ascending from the sea, a scarce-seen cloud
Soon spread o'er all the gasping land its shroud;
Soft rains descend, reviving herbage springs,
And moisture scatters plenty from its wings.
Thus, when a punish'd world repentant lay,
And own'd, in dust, vindictive Judgment's sway;
Like that small cloud o'er Palestine that rose,
Britannia seem'd, compared with mightier foes;
Like that arising from the sea it spread,
And wide o'er all its freshening influence shed;
And when the term of punishment was past,
From Britain Mercy's rays diverged at last.
'Tis thus divine protection guards our coasts,
Walks forth in majesty before our hosts;
And bids our land with joyful shouts resound,
To hail her gallant sons with conquest crown'd.
Round Britain's coasts though sounds of triumph ring,
No voice of triumph reaches Britain's king!
Thrown o'er the royal saint, behold with awe
That veil which guardian angels long to draw;
Not doomed on earth to see what millions share,
The glorious issue of his granted pray'r.
Thus the meek leader of the chosen band,
Who sought through toilsome years the Promised Land;
Though Heaven to guide his tedious march allow'd
The shining pillar, and the shadowing cloud,
Though opening rocks confest his potent rod,
And though all radiant with th' inspiring God,
The wondering tribes avert their dazzled gaze,
Till through the veil appear the soften'd rays.
Fair Canaan's milky fields, with yellow grain
And lavish fruitage, smiled for him in vain;
A distant view alone delights his eyes,
His home and his reward are in the skies.
While virtuous deeds unsullied honours claim,
Shall Britain bless her pious monarch's name;
The honest fame these virtuous deeds deserve,
To latest times her annals shall preserve:
An useful lesson, teaching future kings
Whence true renown and solid greatness springs.
Thou, too, conspicuous, doom'd aloft to stand,
And wield her trident sceptre of command,
With awe ascend thy father's spotless throne,
Nor boast that high pre-eminence alone,
Thrice happy to inherit with his crown,
His life unspotted, and his fair renown;
And his loved people's love, that precious gem,
(By far the richest in his diadem.)
Make but this blest inheritance thine own,
In vain may Flattery smile, and Rancour frown
The open foe, and the deceitful friend,
In vain shall strive thy fix'd resolve to bend;
If still determined, firm, and self-subdued,
Thy anchor, Hope, thy pillar, Fortitude.
Fair smiles the morn, that gilds thy rising power,
The fostering dew, the short-lived sunny shower,
And all that cheers and feeds the cherish'd earth,
Assist to aid her rich luxuriant birth.
Nor Plenty pours her liberal horn alone,
And with auspicious omens hails thy throne;
There Victory exults with wings outspread,
And, proudly towering, hovers o'er thy head.
Oh! may her eagle flights propitious prove,
As herald to the olive-bearing dove;
On thee no common destiny awaits,
Fame opens wide for thee her hundred gates:
Her thousand heralds hasten to proclaim
Those deeds that brighten or obscure thy name.
No rosy couch for thee shall Pleasure spread,
Nor watchful syrens warble round thy bed;
There sceptered Care shall frequent vigils keep,
And Power awake, that Innocence may sleep.
Thy every thought engross'd by weighty themes,
Thy daily toils shall form thy nightly dreams;
While in Life's humble vale the slumberer roves
Through meads Elysian, or poetic groves,
Or twines in quiet shades a flow'ry wreath,
Or gathers laurels in the fields of death.
Not even in visions canst thou
shun thy fate,
There counsellors shall urge the grave debate;
There wrangling patriots call the state undone,
Or thundering cannon tell of battles won.
Voluptuous ease thy destiny denies,
From higher sources nobler pleasures rise;
When from some proud aerial mountain's height
Sublimer prospects open to the sight,
The mind, expanding with the widening scene,
Exalted soars in majesty serene;
While vapours sail, and thunders roll below,
Looks down with pity on a world of woe;
Its poor enjoyments, and its tinsel toys,
And feels its powers attuned to higher joys.
Debarred the comforts of a humbler state,
Exalted pleasures wait the truly great;
Who to the general good devoted lives,
Reflected joy from others' good receives:
The noblest joy that fills the human breast,
In greatly blessing, to be greatly blest.
The calm still eve, the day from trouble free,
Nor soft descends, nor rises bright for thee;
The glorious labour, and the generous strife
To thee assign'd, can only cease with life.
Nor closes there the scene, the royal doom
Forbids to sleep forgotten in the tomb;
There History waits, impatient to unroll
To future times her ever-living scroll:
To bid the Patriot Prince exalted shine,
Pride of his country! glory of his line!
Or blot indignant from the rolls of Fame
The monarch who degrades the royal name.
Like the triumphal crown of ocean's queen,
Augusta's wide extent of wealth is seen,
Where Grandeur glitters, and where Plenty flows,
And Talent in its highest splendour glows;
Where Thames is seen to glide, a monarch flood,
His banks one city, and his masts one wood.
Whatever Avarice covets, rich or rare,
From every distant shore is centered there:
And all that Taste the most refined desires,
(Where Wisdom lights and guards her hallow'd fires,)
Or Science seeks, on eagle pinions borne,
That great emporium of the world adorn.
Attracting all on earth that most excels,
Receiving all that Virtue most repels;
Whate'er exalts and dignifies our kind,
Whate'er disgusts and wounds the purer mind,
Whatever heavenly fair, or basely foul,
Irradiates or depraves the human soul,
The path to honour, and the deadly snare
Where Innocence expires, are mingled there.
There Nature proudly boasts her first of men,
There Murder hides him in the robber's den;
There Vanity her painted plumes displays,
There modest Merit shuns the public gaze:
Yet though dark shades of contrast intervene,
The stronger lights illustrate all the scene.
Refinement, science, wealth, she well may boast,
Yet not for these alone we prize her most;
Her noblest pride is Legislation's seat,
Where master spirits urge the high debate;
And free-born men contend in Freedom's cause,
Or bind a generous state by equal laws;
And see the world in awed attention wait
Resolves revered like the decrees of Fate.
Its honours here no narrow bounds confine,
No lofty minds excluded here repine;
Not noble birth, nor cultured powers alone,
Adorn the senate, or surround the throne.
The mighty soul, that scorns its lowly birth,
And shaking off th' adhesive clods of earth,
Soars to its place on Intellect's strong wings,
And boldly mingles with the sons of kings,
May, with the nobles of the land combined,
Enrich his country with the wealth of mind.
Though Power's proud temple eminently stands,
And from its height the lower world commands,
No jealous bars obstruct its numerous gates,
A priestess still at every portal waits,
Who, taught undue presumption to controul,
Yet bends before the royalty of soul.
Beneath a guardian throne, with social strife,
Here mingled like the elements of life,
The different orders various powers apply,
And jointly swell the choral harmony,
Like music to the spheres by fancy given,
To regulate the rolling orbs of heaven.
'Tis thus with salutary lustre shine
Reflected glories from each nobler line;
That teach their sons, with honourable pride,
From every sordid path to turn aside
That give the polish'd ease, the graceful mien,
Mild courtesy, and dignity serene;
Which, with interior greatness condescends,
Wins without effort, without sinking bends.
Such are, or ought to be, the high-born band
Raised to adorn and guard their native land.
, too, plebeian worth, that dares to rise,
And holds its charter from the liberal skies,
With vigorous effort gains, and keeps his seat,
And tells the offspring of the truly great,--
" 'Twas thus your earliest predecessors won
"Such titles as I claim to grace my son;
"While you support the honours of your line,
"To plant the tree of heraldry be mine."
they who conquer'd in their country's cause,
Their sanction add to ratify her laws;
There princely merchants weigh with liberal mind,
These rights of Commerce that unite mankind.
The nobles of the church assembled here,
Protect those rights which pious minds revere;
Enforce those truths whose influence all must own,
And stand like hallow'd pillars round the throne.
Here, too, experienced sages of the law
With skilful eye the legal limits draw,
Decide each doubtful case with just award,
And equity with legal barriers guard.
Here lofty spirits, early wafted hence,
Once launch'd the thunderbolts of eloquence,
With powerful voice awaked the world to war,
To pluck the splendid robber from his car;
To bid the fiend of Desolation cease,
And wade through gore to purchase Europe's peace.
Or with undaunted spirit, free and bold,
Fired by the classic tale of patriots old,
Foe to the waste of treasure, and of blood,
The sovereign people's manly champion stood;
Denouncing War, with all its endless woes,
And willing to propitiate foreign foes:
Yet hoping, from an unsuspicious mind,
To bind with words, whom laws could never bind.
Too little skill'd in all the dark deceit,
That foils the just, and makes the villain great.
Peace to the shade of each exalted name!
With different views, their ends were still the same.
Whate'er the sons of little men may deem,
Each view'd his generous rival with esteem;
No party-rage their vision clear could blind,
In the fair mirror of each mighty mind,
Each other's worth and talent still were seen,
Though meaner souls too often came between,
And, blind with party-rancour, vainly tried
The light of each illustrious name to hide;
Eclipsed by this dim orb, the Queen of Night
Thus seems, but only seems, to lose her light.
Hush'd in their narrow chambers, dark and deep,
Those potent rulers of opinion sleep;
Their's was the power most envied, to controul,
With wonder-working voice, the public soul;
Without the aid of titles, wealth, or art,
To rule the empire of the willing heart;
And leave to late posterity a name,
Above all Greek, above all Roman fame.
Though high endowments call applauses forth,
'Twere joy to speak the praise of modest worth;
To mark with honour that distinguish'd band,
Who slight applauses, yet esteem command;
Nor titles seek, nor public honours claim,
Still more alive to virtue than to fame:
Nor join the courtly or contentious side,
Nor sacrifice to envy or to pride;
Who wisely make the middle path their choice,
Attentive to the still, small, inward voice:
And when injustice threatens to prevail,
Throw all their weight into the lighter scale;
With higher motives Wisdom's cares combine,
Exalting thus their "moral to divine;"
By fair example strengthen Virtue's cause,
And holier sanctions add to human laws.
Vain were the tribute of those humble lays,
To those who view unmoved all human praise;
Nor need I, WILBERFORCE
, those deeds proclaim
Which seraphs write in characters of flame.
By Niger's ample flood, by Gambia's stream,
Exulting thousands triumph in the theme:
And when the wild, disastrous form of war
No longer threatens from his iron car;
O'er the wide world when desolations cease,
And virtues flourish in the soil of peace,
Then shall Britannia with auspicious toil
The olive plant in Afric's fertile soil.
There too aloft shall Freedom's banner wave;
No more those seas shall sordid Avarice brave,
In search of slaves, himself a meaner slave.
These fields once more shall wave with golden grain,
And Industry resume her rural reign.
There Commerce bind their coast in friendly ties,
And useful Science measure earth and skies.
There poets too shall sing the human mind
Exalted, melted, purified, refined;
Borne on the tide of melody along,
Shall deeply feel the sacred power of song.
The lovely fiction and the tender woe,
Painting shall seize, and bid its colours glow.
Whate'er deserves to live no more shall die,
And all shall speak of immortality.
When happier knowledge and diviner light
Pour in upon their new-awaken'd sight;
And sacred domes in every palmy grove
Resound the praise of uncreated love;
(That love which deign'd with man to sympathize,
And drew a Saviour from the pitying skies,)
Then shall their pencil and their chisel trace
Their venerated champion's form and face;
There shall his memory live in blest record,
Beloved, admired, and only not adored.
Such is thy senate, happy land! and hence
Thy safety, plenty, and pre-eminence.
'Tis this that long o'er England's fair domain
Made Industry and Peace united reign;
While all the plenty happiest culture yields
Enriches and adorns her fertile fields;
On every side her wealthy towns increase,
Her's is indeed a more than golden fleece;
Her countless prows each distant coast explore,
And every wind wafts treasure to her shore;
Even to these northern limits bleak and bare,
Where Cheviot's mountains rise, or hills of Yare;
Or where of old the severing stream of Tweed
Saw hostile nations on its borders bleed.
Loved Caledonia! who shall call thee poor,
Though barren rocks o'erhang each dusky moor?
O'er long defiles though desolation frowns,
Or lingers o'er depopulated towns;
O'er sad Linlithgow's towers though ravens brood,
And royal shadows people Holyrood;
Though Falkland's graceful piles in ruins lie,
And Stirling, fairest seat of majesty,
Where stately peers once filled the royal dome,
Degraded sees her favourite James's home;
His lofty halls by vulgar use profaned,
His palace walls by vulgar riot stained.
What now remains him but the stately form
That frowns aloft in stone, and braves the storm?
Yes--yet remains to threaten and command
The unconquered genius of his native-land:
Genius and valour with effulgence bright,
Have clothed our mountains dark in living light;
A land of turbulence and sorrow long,
Yet still, 'midst all her woes, a land of song;
Where untaught Muses, crowned with native flowers,
Spontaneous warbled in her birchen bowers;
Told on the pastoral reed the shepherd's pains,
Or struck the iron lyre to martial strains.
When Edward led his puissant force along,
And Rapine followed in the path of wrong,
In vain the firm embattled patriot band,
With breasts the bulwark of their native land,
Despised the threats of power, the lures of gain,
Their living toils, their dying pangs were vain;
The Scot who mingled with the Saxon foe,
Felt double vengeance urge the deadly blow;
While Freedom's victims, by their Wallace led,
Sunk doubly honoured on their gory bed.
Yet these for ever live--o'er Valour's grave
See Poesy her deathless garlands wave.
To glorious Wallace, honoured, injured name,
The sightless bard awakes the trump of Fame,
And every virtue joins the loud acclaim.
Undaunted Bruce! what matchless toils were thine
How spotless bright thy hard-won honours shine!
Ten times and once before o'erwhelming foes
Thy banner sunk, the twelfth triumphant rose.
Ah! who would o'er these favoured warriors mourn,
That sleep in honour's bed at Bannockburn?
Or who prefer, to such a glorious death,
Through lingering age to draw uncertain breath?
Where'er their relics consecrate the ground,
The pilgrim steps of pious Scots are found;
The feelings by that sacred spot imprest,
With emulation heave the generous breast:
The patriot there shall muse, the poet sing,
While grateful Scotland boasts her hero king.
Thy living worth, undaunted Bruce! was crown'd,
Thy deeds an "honest chronicler" have found;
Genuine they live in Barbour's artless lays,
Who to the poet's join'd the historian's praise.
While real wonders to his theme belong,
No needless fictions aggrandize his song.
While Scottish warriors shine renown'd in arms,
While Scotland for her exiled sons has charms;
While dying Scots for absent Scotia mourn,
Shall Scottish hearts dilate at Bannockburn.
Parent of tender woe and thought sublime,
The Celtic Muse soon sought our varying clime.
On storms she came, or on a whirlwind rode,
And found in Cona's vale a meet abode;
There Cona's tuneful voice awaked to sing
The generous virtues of his fair-hair'd king,
Brave Oscar! fallen beneath perfidious foes;
Malvina's matchless faith, and ceaseless woes,
Lovely in life, illustrious in its close.
When the parental and the bridal tear
In silence mingling, fell on Oscar's bier;
While the fair mourner veil'd her streaming eyes,
Or mixed her tender plaint with Ossian's sighs,
Did e'er resembling souls in union meet,
Combined by ties so sacred and so sweet?
From kindred virtues and from kindred woes
The sympathy of grief and song arose.
While lofty minds respond to strains sublime,
While Genius triumphs o'er the wrecks of Time,
The mourning fair one and the tuneful chief
Shall wake in every land the joy of grief.
Enthusiast Youth, with bosom pure and warm,
In every land shall feel the touching charm;
On Ganges' banks Malvina's woes deplore,
By Hudson's stream these vanished scenes restore,
And Selma's songs be sung on Oroonoko's shore.
Dear native land! to thee of old belong
The powers of valour and the charms of song;
Of valour wasted in intestine broils,
And song that gave renown to fruitless toils.
Unstained the silver Tweed now smoothly flows,
Safe on her banks her peaceful swains repose,
And haply chaunt some antient martial lay,
The sole memorial of a border fray
No more the trumpet's clangour wounds the ear,
The fatal English bow, the serried Scottish spear;
No more in phalanx firm, or deadly flight,
Appals the wanderer's heart, or dims the shepherd's sight.
When mournful memory wakes sad Flodden's tale,
Still the heart throbs and still the cheek grows pale;
And still we feel our ancient pride return,
When Scottish muses sing of Bannockburn;
Yet grateful hail the reign of peace begun,
The day that joined two hostile realms in one.
Fair Scotland still, with independent pride,
Boasts that she was not won like Theseus' bride,
When his Hyppolita her vanquished charms
Gave up reluctant to her conquerors arms.
But Scotia strove in many a bloody field,
Her favourite motto, "Rather die than yield."
Her smoking cities, and her ravaged plains,
Her bleeding nobles, her impoverished swains,
Could never move her firm and lofty mind,
In slavery's chains her warlike sons to bind.
But England chose at length the wiser part,
And found a safer access to her heart;
Then softly led her like a willing bride,
To share his empire and adorn his side.
But from her Grampian throne she still looks down,
Well pleased, on Firth and Castle, Tower and Town,
That yet remind her of her old renown;
On grey Dumbarton's forehead, castle-crown'd,
On Clyde's slow stream, where swelling sails abound,
Where thriving cities rise on every side,
And wealth pours in with every rising tide;
Sees Forth, meandering through his fertile plain,
Wind slow, as loth to leave that rich domain,
Then, mingling sudden with the briny wave,
Proceed the banks of Fife's fair coast to lave;
While isles, which mouldering towers and fanes adorn,
Appear like jewels on his bosom worn;
And bordering cities, villages, and spires,
Reflect the setting sun's declining fires.
And thou, Edina, towering o'er the rest,
Queen of the North, who sit'st in state confest,
Well might the bard thou proudly call'st thy own,
Enraptured cry, "Mine own romantic town!" *
Bold were th' attempt, in meaner verse to tell
Of scenes his matchless muse has sung so well:
Yet as we move her ancient domes among,
Each changing view suggests a theme for song:
From where, in grandeur rude, her castle stands,
And, like some hoary chief unchecked, commands,
To where, in Holyrood's deserted halls,
Each shadowy form some vanish'd throne recalls:
Whether the Stuart or the Bourbon race
Forsook or found a refuge in the place;
With anguish'd view we trace the victims' names,
From the first virtuous and accomplished James,
Whose early glories set in blood too soon,
To Royal Charles, eclipsed at highest noon:
Or Lewis, bending his anointed head,
To bless the infuriate race by whom he bled.
Her stores of sorrow busy Memory brings,
And crowds the scene with shades of murder'd kings.
By pictured sorrows of the hapless great,
Thus warned and taught, we bless our humble fate,
While, safely sheltered in the lowly vale,
We see them tost by each tempestuous gale.
Where Arthur's-Seat in sullen greatness towers,
And, like a couchant-lion, darkly lours,*
The Caledonian Genius sits sublime,
And marks the silent walk of passing time;
Sees his slow foot the works of man invade,
'Midst castles, fanes, and palaces decay'd;
Yet, following in his track, improvement views,
Which all the waste of passing years renews;
And sees, on every side, with glad surprise,
Gay, modern streets, like exhalations rise;
And Grecian orders deck each modern dome,
Where Grecian arts and learning find a home.
Edina, widowed of her ancient kings,
Nor imps with thriving arts her spreading wings,
Nor sees her stores with golden commerce swell,
Nor native nobles in her shelter dwell.
Imperial city, wont of old to stand
The ornament and bulwark of the land;
Though now of all thine ancient honours shorn,
Thou dost not droop dejected and forlorn.
Despoiled of all thy wonted royalty,
Succeeding years still bounteous smile on thee;
On every side thy spacious streets extend,
And nobler buildings rise, and loftier arches bend.
What power unknown this rapid change commands?
Thy fabrics seem to rise by unseen hands,
And wealth, like fairy favours, comes unseen,
To pour abundance o'er the busy scene.
O'er every land where honourable strife
Gives certain glory for uncertain life,
Thy sons with fearless haste impatient fly,
Yet still to thee they turn a kindling eye.
Where burning suns prevail, and tepid seas
Scarce add refreshment to the passing breeze,
Where glowing Afric's torrid Wastes extend,
Or Indian priests in gorgeous pagods bend;
Nor polar snows, the mountain, or the main,
Retard their search for glory or for gain.
Their gallant, daring, patient industry,
Their toils, their cares, their wounds, are all for thee;
Their highest hope, their happiest wish, to pour
In Caledonia's breast the golden shower.
Nor foreign wealth alone adorns thy coast,
Thy lettered sons remain thy pride and boast;
By Science favoured, by the Muse beloved,
Their genius shines distinguished and approved:
Their morals pure, their manners formed to please,
Enlighten'd converse, strength combined with ease;
The character sustained in every part
That charms the fancy, while it wins the heart.
To thy Poetic Sons the power is given
To trace Invention to her brightest heaven,
And teach the fancied forms that cheat our sight,
To speak in music, and to move in light.
Philosophy, here pointing to the skies,
In Plato's mantle drest, with heavenward eyes
The secrets of the mental world explores,
And still, the more she knows, the more adores.
Nature, in vain, retired, reserved, and shy,
Avoids the searching scientific eye;
That searching eye, with penetrating sight,
Her secret stores of wonder brings to light.
The Critic, too, with wit and taste refined,
Holds up the mirror that reflects the mind;
And while his ready weapon, bright and keen,
With dextrous stroke inflicts the wound unseen,
So much its dazzling rays the sight confound,
We gaze, forgetful of the recent wound.
Thy Themis calmly sits in awful state,
And holds the balance while her sons debate.
The powerful weight of manly sterling sense,
The vivid glow of brilliant eloquence,
And all the varying lights of cultured mind,
With Learning's power, and Fancy's charm combined,
Give pleasing splendour to the noisy bar,
And scatter flowers amidst the wordy war.
Hygeia's ancient shrine distinguished stands,
Attracting worshippers from distant lands;
The mighty masters of the healing art,
With patient care their treasured skill impart;
And foreign candidates for future fame,
With grateful pleasure hear Edina's name.
Long may'st thou flourish, highly-honoured town
Thy modern boast exceeds thy old renown.
Of royalty, and all its pomp bereft,
The powerful genius of thy sons is left;
Still, with unwearied toil, for thee they brave
The wintry blast, or stem the sultry wave;
Or hold the lamp of useful science high,
Or dress in graces mild Philosophy;
Their fruitful talents bid those domes aspire
Like that proud city, built by Amphion's lyre.
And should the fate of ancient Thebes be thine,
Or, like the heaven-built towers of Troy divine,
Should all thy lofty fabrics, crumbled down,
Scarce shew the site of what was once a town,
While pilgrims from Potosi's rich domain,
Or where Peruvian Incas wont to reign,
With pensive looks thy ruin'd fanes explore,
And sigh to think thy glories are no more;
Yet while the sun, revolving round the ball,
Sees empires in succession rise and fall,
And in progressive years, by Heaven assign'd,
The brighter beams of science light mankind;
Thy fame extending with that spreading light
That gilds the gloom of intellectual night,
To nations yet unknown shall lead the day,
When temples, towers, and palaces decay.
Hail, sister Isle! fair Erin's green domain,
Where surly Winter strives to frown in vain;
While, through his dusky reign, reviving green
On every mead along her coasts is seen;
Where from pure lakes abundant rivers flow,
And through the year soft western breezes blow;
Where noxious reptiles shun the purer air,
And the rich soil, without the peasant's care,
Untilled, luxuriant herbage yields to feed
The lowing heifer, and the neighing steed;
While by her streams unfading plants appear,
That deck in happiest climes the smiling year;
Th' arbutus in the mountain's hollow breast,
Spontaneous springs with flowers and fruitage drest;
There, fragrant myrtles, rich in snowy bloom,
With modest grace dispense their soft perfume;
While the wild harp, now, mournful from the grove,
Sounds like the melting notes of plaintive love,
Then, waking brisk, the rustic revelry
Calls forth the gay response of heart-felt glee;
Each sweeter melody, each livelier tone,
Oh, changeful harp of Erin! are thine own.
In vain the power of science or of art
Would counterfeit the language of the heart;
The land, whose native music holds controul
O'er each emotion of the varying soul,
Though, sunk by Fate's resistless mandate low,
It suffers every want, and every woe,
By Nature for some happier lot design'd,
Is still a land of feeling and of mind.
Fair Nature here in lavish bounty shines,
While man alone amidst her stores repines;
Yet even to man more liberal store is given,
Of all that man would most desire of Heaven,
If all that man of heaven would most desire,
Were what on earth we wish for and admire,--
The open hand, the gay and liberal eye,
The unpractised smile of native courtesy;
The heart with ready sympathy that glows,
Cheered by our joys, and melted by our woes;
Yet blithe as infancy, and light as air,
To fear a stranger, and averse to care;
And frolic Fancy's undesigning play,
And Humour sly, disguised in grave array,
And joyous Hope, and Mirth without controul,
And all the gay festivity of soul,
Th' elastic form, that moves with graceful ease,
The "will to dare," joined with the wish to please.
Say, why, distinguish'd thus by happiest powers,
Still o'er their land some envious dæmon lowers;
And watchful still, delighting to destroy,
Pours secret venom in the cup of joy.
Their fickle caprice hence is falsehood deem'd,
Their flowing heart, profusion rash esteem'd;
Their native genius, flashing into day,
Averse to frozen Caution's rigid sway;
The prompt resolve, that shews the generous mind,
Too oft with wild precipitance combined;
Enjoyment, in her loose and careless dress,
Fast verging on the borders of excess;
And all that, cultured well, and pruned with care,
Adorns the moral garden, fresh and fair,
Here, unrestrained, the moral bounds exceeds,
While waste Luxuriance, choaked with baleful weeds,
In sad display, on every side demands
Unnumber'd watchful eyes, and careful hands:
And such there are--thy bright enthusiast Sage,
Whose wondrous mind, like wine matured by age,
When Life's meridian ardours long were past,
With richest flavour sparkled to the last,
(Whose fertile fancy, with the lapse of time,
Grew not less beautiful , and more sublime ;)
Intent from servile bonds thy sons to free,
Cast fondly back a filial eye to thee;
While his sad soul o'er ravaged Europe mourn'd,
To Erin still his fondest thoughts were turn'd.
Thy own MARIA'S
That bids thy portrait every heart engage,
At will that bids us smile, regret, and weep,
Shall rouse thy genius from its leaden sleep.
Thy children, sunk in baleful sloth no more,
Shall till the willing soil, and ply the oar,
And Industry, with hard, yet liberal hand,
Shall scatter countless blessings o'er the land.
No more thy nobles, indigent and vain,
Shall lead to Britain's shores a cumbrous train,
And change for heartless Fashion's gilded toys,
Their home-bred dignity, and home-felt joys;
In her clear mirror while they see reveal'd
What Folly bred, and Prejudice conceal'd;
Pride's frozen forms, and Ostentation's glare,
The outward splendour, and the inward care.
Proceed, fair Moralist! thy isle to guard,
And may success thy generous toils reward;
Her peasants thus to ancient rights restored,
No more shall languish for their absent lord,
No more Oppression's iron grasp deplore,
And lend rash aid to foreign foes no more:
Then shall Instruction, from her useful page,
By fair example youthful minds engage;
Her steady lamp shall pour its guiding ray,
And shed on lowliest minds celestial day,
Then, like the Fair our moral poet drew,
The cultured native mind shall hold to view
Fixed principle and fancy ever new.
Such were, such are, the nations that obey,
In union blest, our monarch's gentle sway.
Let never home-bred strife, or foreign sword,
By force or fraud, divide this threefold cord;
Which all those varied characters combines,
And strengthens still the more, the more it twines.
Hence cherished Talent to each finer art
Does hourly some distinguish'd charm impart;
And deep Research here wins his steady way,
Through all obstruction, into open day;
Explores the dark recesses of the deep,
And wakes with stars his midnight watch to keep.
Here martial skill does martial fire sustain,
That reckless courage may not bleed in vain;
His steady view o'er armed files extends,
The phalanx strengthens, or the crescent bends,
And gives those iron throats that vomit flame,
A just direction, and a certain aim.
And when our ocean warriors boldly sweep
The heaving bosom of the faithless deep,
When, midst the fury of the howling blast,
The torn sail flutters round the groaning mast,
When on the bark the mountain billow bears,
And through the midnight gloom no star appears;
Or when the foe, superior in his might,
Exulting comes to dare th' unequal fight,
While fearless they their woven wings extend,
Who can, like them, with storms or men contend;
The wintry rage of frowning skies sustain,
Or launch those thunders, never launch'd in vain?
On these Britannia builds her old renown,
And calls the wat'ry waste they plough her own.
Nor doom'd in arts and arms alone to shine,
Her genius, like an unexhausted mine,
Still pours abundant from her wealthy store,
The sterling worth of rich poetic ore.
This fruitful age with living wonders teems,
With guilt and glory in their wide extremes;
Whate'er the soul enraptures or alarms,
And all that terrifies, and all that charms;
Here daemon shapes, there angel forms appear,
Now thunder shakes the soul, now music glads the ear;
Succeeding days new scenes of wonder bring,
And wondrous bards arise, those wondrous deeds to sing.
The muse is silent on Italia's shore,
Nor wakes sad Gallia's miseries to deplore;
No voice of melody Iberia cheers,
Save the wild carol of her mountaineers;
Alive to Freedom's call, and stung by wrong,
They raise the unpremeditated song;
Careless it flows, yet sooths awhile their care,
Then, like a passing vision, melts in air.
To highly-favoured Britain Heaven awards
A constellation of high-gifted bards:
Excluded from the tyrant's iron gate,
See Genius at fair Freedom's altar wait.
While Guilt can agonize, or Hope console,
Or placid Memory sooth the pensive soul;
While fragments old, of high heroic song,
Resound the rural Teviot's banks along;
Or by clear lakes while Fancy's wayward child
Delights to sing the wonderful and wild;
So long these tuneful Pleiads shall combine
To shed inspiring influence where they shine.
But who is He, with early bays entwined,
Whose dark eye speaks his agitated mind?
Say, who is he, from worn-out feelings pale,
Who tells of guilty woes the wounding tale?
'Tis powerful BYRON strikes the ponderous lyre,
That bids us wonder, pity, and admire.
Not he, who sweetly to the evening star
Tuned his wild madrigal by Loch-na-Gair;
Or musing in the visionary vale,
Heard spirits whisper in th' inconstant gale,
And bade on wandering clouds his Scottish grandsires hail.
No! 'tis the poet of the joyless breast,
That restless wanders without hope of rest;
Who paints the sad voluptuary's fate,
Made too soon happy, and made wise too late.
While Joy, from mere satiety, expires,
Stretch'd on the ashes of extinguished fires;
Forlorn in ghastly apathy he lies,
And views past pleasures with abhorrent eyes.
Nature to him presents a dreary void,
Or lavish waste of beauties unenjoy'd;
Amidst the paths of Peace he meets Despair,
Dark fogs seem thickening in the misty air,
Through which his lost delights like angry phantoms glare.
In vain the pious or the moral page,
Rich with the labours of the saint or sage,
Have shed refreshing dews o'er fiery youth,
Or shew'd Prosperity the ways of Truth;
Experience, in her more persuasive strain,
Here echoes back the preacher, "All is vain."
Had Dives, from the dark abodes below,
Broke forth to tell the story of his woe,
With voice of agony his pangs proclaim'd,
And all the horrors of his state explain'd,
No stronger lesson could his brethren see,
Than thine, unhappy Harold, find in thee!
Not all the woes of guilty souls combined,
Exceed thy "leafless desart of the mind."
Say, Thou! whose powerful voice, with varying tone,
Makes all the empire of the mind thine own,
Who, binding wildflowers round thy boyish reed,
Woo'd to the Dee the muses of the Tweed;
Who, lightly scathed by Satire's erring hand,
Hurl'd back with tenfold force a hissing brand,
And bade thy vengeance lighten through the land;
Who paint'st with matchless force, in colours clear,
The vernal glories of the brighter year,
Where ardent suns embrown Hesperia's hills,
And Grecian grots resound to warbling rills;
What magic influence aids thy wondrous lyre,
Or does the Genius of the Land inspire?
Lo! where before our wondering lifted eyes
Majestic Ida's snowy heights arise,
We feel the fair delusion still increase,
Embodying to our sight the gods of Greece.
Her heroes once again in armour shine,
Again her poets pour the strain divine,
At Marathon devoted bands display,
To Ruin point the Persian tyrant's sway,
And shed new splendour o'er Thermopylae.
Say! can'st thou, with the noblest gifts of mind,
Be to the narrow bounds of earth confined?
Let not thy muse extend her potent hand,
To wave the gloomy Sceptic's ebon wand,
That puts fair Faith and bright-eyed Hope to flight,
And bounds our cloudy view with endless night:
Like Polyphemus with destructive might,
Revenging thus thy loss of mental sight.
Ah! who the joyless Sophist could believe,
Nor o'er thy fate, illustrious wanderer, grieve,
To see the dazzling torch that blazed so high,
In cold Oblivion's gulph extinguish'd lie!
What waste profuse of faculties divine,
To kindle being with a soul like thine,
A few short hours to suffer and to shine!
No! such a light must burn through endless days,
A warning beacon, or triumphant blaze.
Can we believe the parent plants decay,
While the rich blossoms bloom for ever gay?
The exalted bard, whose works can never die,
Shines forth a proof of immortality.
Oh! soon thy mental sight from clouds to free,
May seraphs shew, through gates of truth, to thee
The long bright vista of eternity.
Say, wizard Minstrel, who on Teviot's braes
Refresh'd and trimm'd thy country's drooping bays;
What unknown Power bestowed that magic wand,
Which waves creative in thy potent hand?
The mighty Master of dark gramarye,
Has sure bequeath'd his mystic book to thee.
The Forest flowers so gallant once and gay,*
At fatal Flodden long since fled away,
Thy wand reviving wakes to fresher bloom,
And calls departed valour from the tomb.
Others, like thee, may skilfully unite
The lively landscape, glowing on the sight,
With flowing melody, and graceful ease,
Sense to inform, and eloquence to please;
But who, like thee, with bold Promethean art,
Can life and soul to fancied forms impart;
True character and picture so combine,
(That happy art, pre-eminently thine:)
Call back the manners of a former age;
The warrior King, the Statesman, and the Sage,
The faithful Vassal, and the Baron bold,
The Nun, whose charms no eyes profane behold?
That feudal state, Where Shakespeare ruled alone,
And left no lineal heir, is all thy own!
Those breathing forms, creations of thy art,
So cheat the fancy, and so touch the heart,
That still, whatever shape thy visions take,
We grieve to find them vanish when we wake;
The bright delusion seem to grasp in vain,
And turn from dull reality with pain,
In thy enchanted towers to dream again.
And not alone thy potent spells can bind
The cheated sense; the tame subservient mind,
Forgetful of its present calm abodes,
Of tranquil, polish'd life, and moral modes,
Well pleased returning to an earlier age,
Feels all the feudal pride and feudal rage,
The nightly danger, and the daily strife,
And all the hazards of a Border life.
Its wars and tumults, like refreshing gales,
Awake our spirit, while they swell our sails;
And strong emotion, like a rushing flood,
In swifter currents speeds the lazy blood:
Fast hurried onwards by th' impetuous tide,
All modern prejudice is thrown aside.
Awed to respect, we view the lofty Dame,
Who practises the art she dares not name;
The vengeful spirit, and unconquer'd soul,
That soars undaunted, and disdains controul,
Spurns proffer'd peace, and breaks through Nature's laws,
Sternly extorts from gentler minds applause.
Bold Harden's raids, to English foemen dear,
The blood that reek'd on Elliot's border-spear;
Blunt Deloraine's defect in letter'd skill,
The courtesy and grace of Belted Will,
And Cranstoun, now no longer in disguise,
Revealed before the wond'ring Lady's eyes,
Usurp the empire of the wilder'd mind,
And leave the forms of modern life behind.
Adieu to magic rites, and Border spears,
And welcome Scotia's prince, and Scotia's peers!
With eager start we hear the distant horn,
And sweep along the freshening dews of morn:
The stag is roused, the hot pursuit we join,
And every other care and thought resign;
Panting we keep the distant chase in sight,
And trace from early dawn to setting light,
The gallant grey that bears the matchless Knight;
Well pleased to gaze upon his princely mien,
His manly form, and garb of Lincoln green.
Unhappy monarch! brave and Wise in vain,
Of thy concluding scene we think with pain;
While marshall'd forth to meet thy country's foes,
Contentious peers their treasonous feuds disclose:
By mossy Fala's banks thou saw'st them part,
And grief indignant burst thy noble heart.
Escaped the dark confinement of the grave,
A sceptered shade, by Fala's wandering wave
Oft lonely gliding by the moon's pale light,
Had fill'd the neighbouring shepherds with affright.
Rest now appeased--afflicted spirit, rest!
No more let sorrow bend thy lofty crest;
Again exalted by the power of song,
In wonted majesty thou movest along;
The newly-opened book of gramarye
Restores thy Scotland's wonted love to thee;
Restores thy manly form, thy princely grace,
Revives the faded glories of thy race;
And not alone renews thy ancient reign,
But round engirds thee with a gallant train;
Spreads to the wind the dagger crest of Mar,
Unfolds, besides, the Murray's silver star,
And Nature bids her richest stores impart,
To deck the "Lady of the Bleeding Heart."*
Bring freshest bays, and cull the greenest bough,
To twine around JOANNA'S modest brow;
The cypress, too, shall mingle in the wreath,
The mournful tree, that silent speaks of death.
Amidst that wreath one only flower appears,
A lonely purple flower begirt with spears:
While with pure hands she decks the tragic shrine,
Exulting Caledonia sees her shine,
And cries, "the Maid inspired, and armed flower, are mine!"
Sweet Bard of Hope! thy touching strain resume,
That "meets the sense like exquisite perfume;"
Those pensive graces to thy song impart,
That sink so deeply in the listener's heart;
Whether remote from fierce Ambition's strife,
Thou scatter'st violets o'er the vale of life,
Or the soft pathos of thy song refine,
Till Anguish weeps, and bleeds o'er every line,
While "Love lies bleeding" at Ambition's shrine:
Or wak'st with trumpet sound thy martial strain,
Till Fancy, shuddering, views th' embattled plain;
On Hohenlinden sees the vapours dun
Enclose the fiery Frank and furious Hun;
Or launch'd on Ocean's bosom with the brave,
Where "Britain's march is on the mountain wave,"
Sees Nelson's banner o'er the Baltic fly,
A threatening meteor in a troubled sky;
And, trembling, hears the oft-repeated roar,
That shakes the ancient towers of Elsinore,
Where, by her wild and ever-stormy steep,
Beneath rude waves our ocean warriors sleep,--
Awake, arise, resume the strains divine!
For never lyric muse could charm like thine;
Now pour abundant the resistless stream,
Each day succeeding yields some glorious theme,
Beyond or patriot's hope, or poet's dream.
Say, where does Memory's pensive poet dwell?
Do flowers of lasting bloom surround his cell,
Though shaded by the melancholy pine,
Do Asphodel and Amaranth combine
With fragrance rich, and ever-living grace,
To breathe a holy influence o'er the place?
There, pure and simple, polish'd and refined,
Is stored the retrospective wealth of mind;
There dear loved shades of long-lost friends appear,
And, smiling, beckon to some happier sphere:
There restless Agony, without his dart,
Returns to touch, but not to pierce the heart:
There joys survive in mild perpetual spring,
And softened Sorrow loses half its sting.
While musing Memory, thus with Fancy's aid,
O'er scenes departed throws her mellowing shade,
The balm remember'd virtuous deeds impart,
Yields a kind solace to the sadden'd heart.
Say, peaceful inmate of a rural home,
Whose muse delights o'er Earth's extremes to roam,
From the green confines of thy favour'd lake,
Why does that muse such wild excursions make?
In virtuous Moath's tent 'tis sweet to view
The picture thy creative fancy drew;
The homely cares that simple minds employ,
The toil domestic, and domestic joy;
The young Destroyer in the palmy shade,
The soul-fraught beauty of th' Arabian maid.
Appalled we see her from the tomb arise,
And "the dark lustre of her angel eyes,"
Though turn'd on hapless Thalaba alone,
On us with mild consoling light has shone.
Thy happy genius, form'd to reach the heart,
To wildest fictions can a charm impart;
Even for thy Leila, Fancy's shadowy child,
So sweetly artless, and so softly mild,
When mix'd (a blameless victim) with the dead,
The tear of human sympathy is shed;
And when descending from her native skies,
"Green warbler of the bowers of Paradise,"
Before the chosen youth, the winged form,
Like Hope, flies buoyant through the wint'ry storm,
Charm'd by thy powerful magic, Reason sleeps,
While every generous feeling wakes and weeps;
Tears, that the kind affections best express,
The soft delicious tears of tenderness.
While o'er the heart extends thy lawful reign,
(Though fond to rule in Fancy's wild domain,)
And though thy voice each shadowy form controuls,
That haunts the visionary land of souls,
Though Power should dazzle, and though slaves obey,
Extend no farther thy despotic sway;
Leave to the Fakir, and the venal Priest,
The senseless pagods of the gorgeous East;
Let their wild bards in useless splendour shine,
While every simple heart-felt charm is thine.
Let Eastern tyrants rule o'er desarts waste,
Be thine to cultivate the bounds of Taste,
And teach the fair creation of thy muse,
To blend with graceful ease their order'd hues,
Too faithful painter of each painful truth,
That chills the ardent soul of thoughtless youth,
That doubles care in our meridian stage,
And sheds a thicker gloom o'er helpless age;
Whose hand unsparing draws the veil aside,
O'er human weakness thrown by human pride;
Who harshly tells us, what too well we know,
That all we prize is vanity and woe;
Whose penetrating glance at once can dart
Through all the deep recesses of the heart,
While all that meets thy intuitive view,
Thy wondrous pencil paints severely true,--
Say why, minutely scrutinizing sage,
Do loathsome scenes so oft thy muse engage;
Like Swift delighting, with inverted pride,
To view our nature on the Yahoo side?
The power of conscience, and the pang of crime,
Appall'd we feel in thy too powerful rhyme;
The agonies of fear, the guilty groan,
We view as if the anguish were our own;
And when polluted souls their guilt deplore,
We suffer, shudder, pity, and abhor.
Thou, who dost o'er our minds such power possess,
Why should'st thou make thy moral influence less,
And why, when all the pathos is thine own,
That generous souls and tender hearts have known,
When all the powerful spirits wait thy call,
That lead the soul subdued in willing thrall,
When every charm that decks the rural scene,
The simple pleasures of the village green,
Joys that to Innocence alone belong,
With Nature's hues enchant us in thy song,--
Why should the base, the sordid, and the mean,
So oft, like grovelling reptiles, crowd thy scene,
To cloud with discontent the candid mind,
Unloose the ties that hold us to our kind,
Diminish reverence to the Power Divine,
And teach ungovern'd spirits to repine?
Nor do our poets only boast the praise
To charm the skilful ear with sweetest lays,
Like birds that only warble to delight,
Or flowers that merely bloom to chear the sight.
The strains we hear are of a higher mood,
Their general purport seeks a nobler good;
Nor Flattery base, nor light immoral stain,
Those bards dishonour, or their page profane;
Harmonious vehicles of pleasing truth,
Of power to reach the open heart of youth,
And teach the mind, with generous ardour fraught,
What colder lessons might in time have taught.
Embodied Virtue, there divinely fair,
In lowest state retains her noble air,
And, tried or torn by sufferings most severe,
No moment gives to weakness or to fear.
While powerful minds that leave her upward course,
Still haunted by the daemon of remorse,
With never-ceasing anguish, wail the day
That led their ductile will at first astray;
And long with deep, yet secret sorrow, mourn
The fatal barriers that forbid return.
Borne on the spreading beams of happier light,
That chase the gloom of intellectual night,
These Birds of Paradise shall stretch the wing,
Through every clime their sweetest notes shall sing:
Through every clime that purer taste infuse,
That marks the genius of the British muse;
Inspire new zeal for Freedom's holy cause,
And teach to love our language and our laws.
All-soothing soul of song! long may'st thou flow!
Much to thy harmonizing power we owe,
Though modern wits, with metaphysic pride,
Thy praise diminish, and thy power deride,
For a more wealthy shrine forsaking thee;
Their dull cold goddess, wise Utility,
To prudent Interest joined in Hymen's bands,
Their thoughts engrosses, and their vows demands.
Though daily votaries those altars crowd,
That still are covered with the murky cloud,
For her no lambs forsake the flowery mead,
Nor hetacombs of patient oxen bleed;
For her, beneath the sacrificing knife,
No gasping turtle yields its harmless life;
Alembics on her bloodless altars smoke,
While Nature's hidden powers her priests invoke.
Yet though the secrets of the deep they scan,
And bid its genii wait the call of man,
And though Discovery, handmaid to the Arts,
New stores of wealth and science still imparts,
Their goddess was not form'd to rule alone,
But fills with honour a subservient throne.
To Mind alone, "bear witness Earth and Heaven,"
The power to leave dull earth behind is given,
To Day's pure source to wing her eagle flight,
And bask in beams of uncreated light.
Through mists afar, that boundless coast explore,
Where spirits dwell, confined to earth no more;
Investigate with curious search those powers,
That slow unfolding like exotic flowers,
Here, breathing fragrance, shew those beauteous dyes,
That prove the origin which bids them rise,
To bloom perpetual in their native skies.
Methinks the voice of Contumely I hear,
And see the smile that borders on a sneer;
"Why wing the barren fields of boundless air,
"When no due resting-place awaits us there;
"Why speculate upon the depth of mind,
"Where none can anchor cast, or limits find;
"Why leave the paths of useful life to trace
"Chimeras through the boundless wilds of space;
"Or why on Fancy's airy pinions roam,
"When certainty and profit dwell at home?"
How just the reasoning, and how due the sneer,
Were man ordain'd to dwell forever here;
Well might we cling to this terrestrial ball,
If earth, so rich in wonders, were our all.
If so, why was this waste of feelings given,
That seek and centre in our native heaven?
Why do Imagination's restless powers
Thus strive to perch on amaranthine bowers?
And why, possest of all that liberal Wealth
Administers to Beauty, Youth, and Health,
Does the full soul, that vainly seeks for rest,
Impatient whisper, that it is not blest?
If nought can please the philosophic eye,
If nought the modern sage can satisfy,
But the firm gasp of sober Certainty,
Why do the sons of Science leave the land,
For seas they cannot fathom or command;
For coasts unknown, why tempt th' inconstant gale,
In icy bays, why spread the freezing sail?
Does aught they seek, or all they wish to find,
Or fill, or satisfy, the immortal mind?
When Speculation wings its upward flight,
Say not it misses profit or delight;
When its strong pinion takes its utmost scope,
It meets an angel form, and calls it Hope.
Not all the rare, the precious, and the bright
Golconda's mines have given to mortal sight,
Not all the varied beauty Nature yields,
Where flowers perpetual deck unfading fields;
Nor all that tired Invention can supply,
To fill the boundless wish of Luxury,
Can with this earnest of fruition cope,
This more than earthly joy, celestial Hope.
Chear'd by her smile, our hardest toils are blest,
Devoid of her, we loath unwelcome rest;
Even those who share the lowliest lot on earth,
By her assisted, claim their heavenly birth;
Like the gay larks, that, rising with the dew,
'Midst dusky clouds their cheering notes renew,
Through misty vapours wing their way elate,
And, warbling, triumph at Aurora's gate;
Melodious emblems of the blessing given,
To shed on humblest souls a ray from heaven.
Well may Britannia boast alike the praise
Of warlike laurels and poetic bays;
Where'er her children circle earth around,
The traces of her lenient power are found;
Wherever her unwearied sails expand,
They bear the spirit of their native land.
And not alone her triumphs on the main,
Or laurels gather'd on the hostile plain,
Or all the wealth that Commerce makes her own,
Have added splendour to her old renown.
The nations hail her, merciful and just,
On her the feeble lean, to her they trust;
Her laws revered, her gentle power beloved,
By those whom Fate has from her coasts removed,
And even by those her guardian care who boast,
Though strangers ever to that favour'd coast.
Where'er Britannia's flag appears unfurl'd,
From the bright orient to the western world,
Her arms with just success incessant crown'd,
New blessings and fresh glories spread around.
Now free from Gallic power and Gallic wiles,
By western lakes a new Arcadia smiles;
Even those who early felt our conquering arms,
Enamour'd grown of Freedom's holy charms,
Now rushing foremost in th' embattled line,
For her, with willing pride, their lives resign.
How fair is Nature in that blest retreat,
The streams how pure, the ambient air how sweet!
How clear the climate, and how rich the soil,
How gay the flowers in wild profusion smile!
The beauteous birds that hum incessant there,
Tell of mild fragrance and of lighter air;*
Where'er their glowing glossy wings are spread,
Where'er they careful fix their procreant bed,
Ambrosial sweets around their dwelling spring,
And rosy Health is fann'd by Zephyr's wing.
Nor Beauty spreads her fairest hues alone,
For every copse, by tangled flowers o'ergrown,
Abounds with fruits to our cold clime unknown.
Below unnumber'd juicy berries spread;
The vine's depending clusters overhead
Bedeck the lofty elm with purple glow,
Which shields from every blast the flow'rs below;
The wild deer frequent start from every brake;
Aquatic birds that swarming crowd the lake,
In countless numbers o'er the surface play,
Attired in snowy white or colours gay.
Here, free at will the boundless wilds to roam,
The Loyal Sufferer found a quiet home;
The warrior who, in danger's field approved,
Had fought and conquer'd for the land he loved,
By Poverty's gaunt form at length pursued,
No more with hope his native Britain view'd,
But in the depth of woods his offspring rear'd,
Who still the distant parent state revered.*
Driven from their much-loved home, the Celtic race
With social sadness seek some distant place,
Where kindred friends in woods unknown may dwell,
Their language cherish, and their legends tell,
And teach their children, in their native tongue,
The Celtic proverb, and the Celtic song.
Sons of the Mountains! wheresoe'er ye roam,
Your fervid spirits languish still for home:
Though banish'd far beyond the Atlantic wave,
Your country finds you faithful still and brave;
By pious hope to exile reconciled,
Ye find a new Glengarrie in the wild;
For the loved land that claims your latest sigh
Ye must not live, yet still for her ye die;
For her with ardour seek the field of death,
And pray for Britain with your latest breath.
While others fight for liberty and laws,
Cheer'd by their country's and the world's applause,
Must you beneath your Trans-Atlantic sky,
Unheeded conquer and unheard-of die,
Forgotten sleep without your well-won fame,
Nor leave behind the relic of a name?
Yet while this sorrowing heart impatient glows,
Fired by your virtues, melted by your woes;
And while the traces of this trembling hand
Are guided by that glowing heart's command,
Your manly hardihood, your patient toil,
The love that binds you to your native soil,
And all the native courtesy and grace
That soften'd courage in the Celtic race,
Be mine with tenderest "joy of grief" to trace.
Folly's broad grin, or Envy's bitter sneer,
The foe sarcastic, or the friend severe,
The frost of age, the petulance of youth,
Shall ne'er deter me from the paths of truth.
Blest be the day, and doubly blest the hour,
That led me far from splendour, wealth, and power,
To dwell in modest Nature's last retreat,
At once the hero's and the muse's seat;
Where still the manners of the humblest swain
The traces of a loftier age retain;
To softness melted, or to valour fired,
As their all-pow'rful native muse inspired;
No selfish motive damp'd the generous aim,
They lived for honour, friendship, love, and fame.
who can forget,
When Britain's sun appear'd for ever set,
It seem'd as whelm'd beneath the Atlantic wave,
Her long-lived glory found a final grave?
There hostile pow'rs from each confederate land,
With Britain's alien children form'd a band;
Exulted o'er her woes with envious joy,
Prompt to attack, and thirsting to destroy.
The flag that braved triumphant o'er the seas
"A thousand years the battle and the breeze,"
Seem'd faintly fluttering in the inconstant blast,
Or feebly clinging round the stedfast mast,
While Britain's day a double gloom o'ercast.
Yet Britain's genius was not form'd to bow;
Led on to combat by victorious Howe,
Again in wonted majesty she came,
Again her naval glories burst in flame.
In vain the adverse pow'rs their force combined,
And spread their wings of terror to the wind;
While British flags the seas in triumph sweep,
The vanquish'd foe fled wailing o'er the deep.
Thus in Caffraria's wide and arid plains,
Where uncontroul'd the lordly lion reigns,
The natives, wont to tremble at his roar,
Resolve to dare the unequal fight no more,
With one consent their private feuds forego,
And join in league against the noble foe.
Below his feet the cover'd pitfall lies,
While lurking round they watch the expected prize;
Sudden he sinks beneath the treacherous ground,
A hundred foes rejoicing circle round,
With shouts of triumph mortal arms display,
And wield the spear and hurl the assagaye.
The generous beast now rises in his ire,
He spurns the earth, his eye-balls flash with fire;
Indignant springing with one lofty bound,
His roar of fury makes the hills resound;
His foes in terror fly, but fly in vain,
He leaves them torn and bleeding on the plain,
And with a monarch's voice asserts his reign.
Thus envious foes Britannia's fall design'd,
Thus Britain triumph'd o'er their pow'rs combined:
Like purest gold which fiercest heat refines,
She from her fiery trial brighter shines.
Ill-fated Gallia! in an evil hour
Inflamed by jealous thirst of dangerous power,
From calm security's soft lap she rose
To carry treacherous aid to Britain's foes:
In evil hour that fatal aid was given;
Man's daring schemes o'er-ruled by righteous Heav'n,
Big with destruction's snares, returning shed
The purposed evil on the guilty head.
The fatal torch that with far different aim
Was kindled at Columbia's hasty flame,
Enkindled more by Freedom's rising breeze,
Return'd vindictive o'er the western seas;
To Gallia's coast, a dangerous light it came,
In many a heart it waked a secret flame,
Till bursting forth with fierce explosive force,
The general conflagration mark'd its course.
The legal scales, the crosier and the crown,
In one devoted mass were melted down;
One cry of wild distress, one mingled moan,
Alike surrounds the altar and the throne;
And all that piety and worth hold dear,
And all that loyalty and faith revere,
And all that firm to honour's dictates stood,
Or mourn'd in banishment, or sunk in blood.
Thus when Prometheus stole celestial fire,
The fatal theft provoked immortal ire;
In close Divan the heavenly synod sate,
And thus at length was closed the long debate.
For heaviest vengeance, bold presumption's due,
A female form shall meet his cheated view,
Adorn'd with every treacherous charm and grace
That spreads the snare for his ill-fated race;
Round her fair form shall countless graces play,
Loose to the fluttering breeze her light array,
With careless ease shall every charm display.
With that soft gesture and bewitching smile
Form'd to deceive, and practised to beguile,
Her hand the precious casket shall sustain
That holds each deadly source of mortal pain.
Disclosed in haste to each impatient eye,
On every side the fatal gifts shall fly;
From every eye repentant tears shall flow,
From every voice resound the shrieks of woe;
While deadly malice, cruelty, and pride
Their victims immolate on every side;
And penitence too late attempts in vain
With briny floods to wash each gory stain.
'Twas thus the Goddess, named of Liberty,
Seem'd to descend all radiant from the sky,
And, form'd to dazzle with illusive light,
Appear'd in beams of borrow'd splendour bright;
She, too, array'd in meretricious charms,
With words of peace has roused the world to arms.*
In her right hand the fatal casket came,
Whose fell contents awaked the general flame;
While, in her left, the bloody signal waved,
Denouncing terror to a land enslaved.
Even Fancy has no colours to supply
To image horrors of so deep a dye;
Nor years of penitence, nor stings of pain,
Can serve to wash away the crimson stain:
From crimes whose horrors blot the face of day,
Th' indignant muse in sorrow turns away;
Oh! draw, in Lethe steep'd, the thickest veil,
And hide, what Memory blushes to reveal!
The wholesome cup with harsh ingredients crown'd,
Thus through the suffering nations circles round;
Thus they who gave invidious aid to Gaul,
Exulting in Britannia's purposed fall,
Beneath his trampling fury bruised and torn,
His heavy yoke of servitude have worn,
And, pining, sunk in unavailing grief,
Till Britain's generous pity brought relief.
Rise! great in noble deeds,--Britannia, rise!--
On thee the nations fix their wondering eyes;
And all the brave that languish to be free,
For aid and high example look to thee.
Too long, with supple arts and specious wiles,
Corrupting polish, and deceitful smiles,
Has Gallia spread unseen her ample snare,
And breathed infection in the tainted air;
To courts and cities modes and maxims given,
And taught to seek on earth a Moslem heaven;
(The awful future, foe to human pride,
Poor human folly vainly strove to hide;)
To change their fancies with the varying moon,
And to quick repartee and gay lampoon,
To yield the praise for sterling Merit fit,
And Worth and Wisdom slight compared with Wit;
Wit, light, elastic, poignant, and refined,
The worshipp'd idol of the Gallic mind,
Whose priests in every gay saloon were found,
And, smiling, aim'd the meditated wound;
With equal vigour launch'd at friend or foe,
The lightly missive dart, or secret blow;
The brilliant rival, or th' ambitious fool,
By turns, the victim of their ridicule.
There vanity was pamper'd to disease,
Life's chiefest aim, to dazzle and to please;
Nor did they merely strive applause to gain,
(The coin in which the artful pay the vain;)
Those who with Fashion's low ambition burn,
Aim to be dazzled, and be pleased in turn.
While on Life's theatre they play'd their part,
In secret shrunk the cold and wither'd heart.
Though with false glitter, intellectual toys
Usurp'd the place of mild affection's joys,
Far, far was banish'd from the fluttering scene
The sweet domestic bliss that lives unseen;
That loves, like Echo in her airy cell,
In soft response of distant sounds to tell,
Yet, sooth'd by Music's tenderest notes alone,
Returns no shouts or clamours of her own.
There foreign joys, like transient guests, may come,
But all the heart-felt pleasures dwell at home.
There, Peace, retired in her sequester'd bower,
Enjoys composed Reflection's silent hour,
Where the soul's image to the view is brought
In the calm mirror of unruffled thought,
Its secret faults to self-reproach exposed,
And all its cherish'd weaknesses disclosed;
Till Reason's powers, by studious care refined,
In moral graces dress the chasten'd mind.
While Self-denial lends his pow'rful hand
To smooth the rugged way for self-command,
"That column of true dignity in man,"
Stern Fortitude, gives firmness to the plan.
What permanent delights to him are known
Who dares to meet his secret soul alone;
Who, firm in Truth and Honour's sacred cause,
Still loves his country and reveres her laws!
Though bright perfection, made alone for Heav'n,
Has not even to that favour'd land been giv'n;
Who strives not in life's vestibule to stand,
And tear the curtain with unhallow'd hand,
But waits with awful eye and will resign'd
The hour appointed by th' all-seeing Mind,
When every cloudy mist shall melt away,
And doubt dissolve in beams of endless day.
Not such the joys to Ferney's patriarch known,
Who, mounted on opinion's opal throne,
Laugh'd at Religion's ties and Wisdom's rules,
And govern'd in the paradise of fools;
Like * Vathek, lording o'er a motley crowd,
Where wits, philosophers, and monarchs bow'd.
There all who without virtue hoped for fame,
To boast their stock of public merit came;
And all whose guilty actions shunn'd the light,
Sought shelter in the shade of final night,
And while their secret fears confest a God,
Wish'd but to mingle with the trodden clod;
While feverish follies, vanity, and strife,
More agitate the hurrying Stream of life,
And ever living in the public eye,
These slaves of fame forget they e'er must die.
Alas! how long, how fatal the mistake,
To dream for life, and but in death awake!
Vice long deceived the eye in gay disguise,
And cheated shallow minds with glozing lies;--
"That fair Philosophy approved his plan,
"And said restraint had cramp'd the powers of man;
"That fear of future woe could but alloy
"Those pleasures nature courts us to enjoy;
"That superstitious terrors dull the soul,
"That longs to soar above their low controul;
"That smiling Pleasure dwelt with him alone,
"And free consent had made her all his own."
Detected now, he strives no more to feign,
But owns his fate for ever link'd to pain;
Pleasure, the cheating mistress of his life,
But Pain his constant and commanding wife.
Those who, elate with philosophic pride,
Presumed in Reason's temple to preside;
Who brew'd the tempest, hail'd its gathering gloom,
Before it burst found shelter in the tomb.
For them what punishment could Heaven ordain
Of deeper shame and more tormenting pain,
If souls beyond the reach of hope or fear,
With human feelings view our sufferings here,
Than thus to see the seed they joy'd to sow
Produce so dire a crop of mortal woe;
To see their maxims, once so dearly prized,
First slighted, next rejected, last despised,
And hear the deep and universal groan
Where late repentance pours th' unpitied moan?
If aught the horrors of such views can sooth,
When Death reveals his bright associate Truth,
(Whose rays the new-departed soul illume,
Like those eternal lamps that light the tomb,)
The lessons in Adversity's dark school,
That fond presumption's headlong fervour cool;
The heart-struck agony, the deep distress,
That impious pride and daring thoughts repress;
The manly truth that spurns at vain pretence,
The pious awe that trembles at offence;
Attention deep, which weightier themes engage,
These symptoms of a new and better age,
Which still progressive, though unfolding slow,
Strike deep their roots, where tears were wont to flow,
And, like the cypress, rear th' unfading head
Among the mournful dwellings of the dead;--
These can, where hope survives, impart a balm,
And Memory's hoard of secret anguish calm.
The nations by affliction taught and blest,
No longer dazzled, blinded, and opprest,
Shall break at once through custom's wonted ties,
And nobly bold in mental freedom rise.
Their native language, and their country's cause,
Shall guide their way to honour and applause;
Their taste in servile chains no more confined,
Shall move as freely as the liberal wind;
From each enlighten'd nation chuse the best,
Yet scorn a whole in foreign graces drest;
To all acquirements, give their native tone,
And form a taste peculiarly their own.
knew our native modes to seize,
His fancy's children thus for ever please.
Perpetual change is restless Fashion's aim,
But Nature--still another and the same;
In every varying aspect sure to please,
In every form the obedient heart can seize;
While fleeting modes, the wonder of a day,
Born soon to die, unheeded pass away.
The gay reflection of their transient hues,
Caught in the mirror of the Comic Muse,
Awhile may teach the modish world to smile,
And float on Fashion's changing tide awhile,
Then hurried to Oblivion's whelming sea,
Are swept for ever from the things that be.
Freedom assumed her liberal reign in vain,
And vainly trampled on Oppression's chain;
While unseen nets of gossamer were spread,
And captive minds in flow'ry fetters led.
The language, potent vehicle of ill,
Whose flimsy texture, light and pliant still,
With varied meaning and ambiguous phrase,
Deceptive round the cheated fancy plays,
Blunts Truth's keen edge, Suspicion's fear disarms,
And Wit's gay brilliance adds to Flattery's charms.
Thus has it often proved the hapless fate
Of those emerging from rude Nature's state;
That state where, mix'd with grossness coarse and low,
Some rugged virtues indigenous grow,
(The mountain-ash thus twines her sturdy root
Round cliffy rocks, and decks them with her fruit.--)
Taught by the lessons of the specious foe
At once their antient habits to forego,
The polish'd strangers led their thoughtless youth,
To scorn their homely parents' simple truth,
And pour'd their subtle poison in the mind,
Not arm'd by caution, soften'd, or refined.
Mix'd with barbarity's remaining lees,
The rage to shine, the boundless wish to please
The vulgar scorn of chaste simplicity,
The will to seem without the wish to be ;
To seem all politesse and soft douceur,
To be all hollow, glistering, and impure.
The germ of manly spirit thus destroy'd,
Pretence and outward polish fill the void;
Like the deep taint of unrepented sin,
The native grossness lurk'd unseen within,
While, like hypocrisy, the smooth grimace
And false refinement simper'd on the face.
Man, feeble man, of pow'r and knowledge vain,
Expects too soon perfection to attain,
With all the rash precipitance of youth,
Nor waits the gradual march of Time and Truth.
Who strives to form a statue from a rock,
Must first with patient care detach the block,
And hew away the stone, before he trace
The first rude outlines of the human face:
But when the living fire of genius glows,
And Science her enlighten'd aid bestows,
The more the artist labours in the strife
With Nature, softening marble to life,
Still more the nicer touches of his art,
Repeated oft, their plastic pow'rs impart.
The magic chisel, light, yet firm and slow,
That gradual bids the sculptured wonder grow,
At length attains such forms as still engage,
Memorials of a long-departed age,
When, slowly ripening, excellence attain'd
That height which no succeeding times have gain'd.
Thus taste, that has by slow progression grown,
Well founded, native, genuine, and our own,
Not only serves to furnish new delights,
Or guide, by juster rules, where joy invites,
But bids us, shrinking with revolting scorn,
Despise the garb by shallow foppery worn,
And gives, the fine perception, keenly nice,
That marks each shade of folly or of vice,
Howe'er they soften, or where'er they blend,
Sees where they mingle, and how far extend,
Detects each meretricious, false pretence,
And serves us as a sixth and nobler sense;
Each purer joy with chasten'd rapture views,
And adds a charm to Nature's fairest hues,
Restrains the ardour of impetuous youth,
And is indeed a cultured love of truth.
Such is the taste which haply may obtain,
If chasten'd nations have not mourn'd in vain;
If all the woes they felt, and feel, have brought
Adversity's rich dowry, serious thought.
This happiest faculty, that bids us chuse
The simple good, the splendid ill refuse,
Henceforth to nobler ends subservient made,
Shall truth sustain, and holier sanctions aid.
Howe'er in manners or in words refined,
Licentious Taste shall mark the vulgar mind,
Chaste Elegance, fix'd on a firmer base,
Shall henceforth fill a more exalted place:
By Genius led to Truth's eternal shrine,
With every virtuous feeling to combine,
And with a pure augmented lustre shine.
Nor think, elated by her theme, the Muse,
In fondly flattering dreams, perfection views;
Or seeks to find on earth that good which Fate
Reserves the blessing of a higher state,
Lest travellers, lingering on the flow'ry roads,
Should wish for ever here to find abodes:
As children, whom the daisy'd green invites,
Would fain protract their infantine delights,
And, while with careless gaiety they roam,
Neglect their parent, and forget their home.
No! though the desolating fiend of war
No more is heard to threaten from afar;
Though Truth, arising with serener light,
Dispel from every land the shades of night,
And meet with Mercy in the olive shade
For Peace and thoughtful Contemplation made;
Though Vice, abash'd, should hide each deeper stain,
And Sympathy should weep o'er every pain,
Parent of Sorrow, Sin, must still remain;
Uncertain life be bound to certain care;
And though its smiling morning promise fair,
Misfortune's clouds, or Passion's winds may rise,
Or bitter Disappointment agonize,
To teach, where'er we rest, where'er we roam,
Our pilgrim steps to seek a happier home.
In those portentous times, the whelming flood
Of evil seem'd prevailing over good,
Like some ambitious river's swelling course,
To spread o'er all its inundating force.
Awed by the powerful voice that rules the storm,
And bids the tempest's rage the skies deform,
The end fulfill'd for which their power was given,
Back to their source the noxious streams are driven;
Though sunk within their narrow'd channels low,
Yet still, while time exists, those waters flow:
But evil only lives to be subdued,
And add victorious wreaths to crown the good,
Amidst the ruins of its throne to lower,
Lamenting daily its diminish'd power;
Till from its seat of old dominion hurl'd,
Whelm'd in the fragments of a ruin'd world,
Amidst the flames of purifying fire,
Together Time and Evil shall expire,
And Man, triumphant, view their funeral pyre.
Fired by the grandeur of the swelling scene,
Which, though dim clouds and shadows rise between,
To themes exalted lifts th' awaken'd mind
That leaves this transient theatre behind;
From man that triumphs, and from worlds that burn,
To thy first theme, ambitious Muse! return.
The bird, scarce fledged, impatient of the nest,
Where whispering Nature says he must not rest,
Instinctive longs to launch into the skies,
And faintly thus his feeble pinions tries;
Thus fluttering seeks the azure void in vain,
And, trembling, thus resumes his nest again.
Returning thus to seek her native sphere,
The Muse, once more, delighted hails the year
In glory closed, that, ere it pass'd away,
Like fresh Aurora, usher'd in the day;
The day that late arising late shall cease,
The long bright day of liberty and peace.
Yet let her triumph in this theme a while,
Yet hail once more the Genius of our Isle;
And, borne upon the swelling tide of Joy,
Forget whate'er can trouble or annoy.
On every side the joyous clamour rings,
In every breast responsive rapture springs;
As rolling thunder in an azure sky,
Of old seem'd Heaven's approval to imply,
Now cannon thundering through th' untroubled air
Heaven's blessing on our glorious cause declare;
Eyes, clouded long, delighted glances dart,
And the full joy flows copious from the heart,
Even he who mourns the son untimely slain,
Now sighing cries, "He has not died in vain;
"Though feeble Nature bending to the ground
"Without the duteous filial prop be found,
"Their well-earned eulogy shall never cease,
"Who died to purchase honourable peace.
"Departed valour's meed--a glorious prize
"Shall cheer a moment even those humid eyes;
"Yes, son beloved!--thy gallant mates and thee,
"Whose wounds and dying pangs made Europe free,
"Like stars shall brighten the historic page,
"The theme and boast of every future age."
The heroes slain in this thrice-hallow'd year,
Ascending, add new glories to the sphere;
The spot illustrate whence they take their flight,
And leave behind a dazzling train of light;
Amidst the long records of vanish'd Time,
Illumed by Honour, or distain'd by Crime,
This Year, by wonders mark'd, renown'd, and blest,
Shall kindling eyes and grateful thoughts arrest.
Enlightened minds, and patriots yet unborn,
Shall trace the pages which those deeds adorn;
Whether beneath remotest Eastern skies
They see the worshipped sun in splendour rise,
Or view, in farthest regions of the West,
On Ocean's waves his parting glories rest;
Whether they share the Northern hunter's toils,
And wrap their manly breasts in furry spoils,
Or in luxurious Southern shades repose,
(The climate of the myrtle and the rose)
On every faithful soul, and generous breast,
This glorious era shall be deep imprest:
And while commencing from this fateful year,
Improvement hastens with increased career,
O'er times of crime and madness while they mourn,
To Britain every grateful thought shall turn;
Where spirits dwelt (to happier regions fled)
Who once between the living and the dead,
Like the commissioned angel, nobly stood,
Denouncing terror on that impious brood,
Who from the flaming sword of Vengeance fled,
To hide in shades obscure each guilty head.
Invoked by Britain in serener skies,
With mildest beams the Star of Peace shall rise;
Once more her hand that balance shall sustain,
That bids Germania be herself again;
To Europe all its wonted bounds restores,
And gives to liberal Commerce all its shores;
Erects a barrier in the path of wrong,
Protects the weak, with limits bounds the strong;
While watching o'er the well-adjusted scale,
Britannia lets no giant power prevail,
Intent that saving maxim to recall,
"The good of one must prove the good of all."
For this let clouds of grateful incense rise,
A willing offering to propitious skies;
For this though every labouring nerve be strain'd,
Nor wealth, nor power, nor new dominion gain'd,
While, calmly Seated on her rocky throne,
Britannia makes the strength of waves her own;
With stedfast eye surveys each neighbouring state,
And, like the chosen minister of Fate,
Injustice checks, encroaching power controuls,
And sheds celestial light on darkened souls;
No higher boon, her better hopes desire,
Nor to a more diffusive power aspire;
To her the best, the holiest power is given,
For noblest purposes, derived from Heaven;
For her celestial muses tune their lyres,
For her Devotion fans her hallow'd fires:
To her fair Freedom gives her sacred cause,
Rejoicing nations bless her lenient laws;
O'er every land her energetic tongue
Conveys the lays her lofty bards have sung;
Her children spread o'er Earth's remote extremes,
Or by Columbia's lakes, or Ganges' streams,
Whether they serve, or suffer, or command,
Led by the Genius of their native land,
Shall at their country's hallow'd altars bend,
And truth and freedom o'er the world extend.
Her offspring stretch'd along the western main,
Deceived a while by alien foes in vain,
Again shall with rekindled filial love,
Within her sphere of mild attraction move;
All wild desires of foreign rule resign'd,
Her only wish to sway the willing mind,
And gladly share with every distant land,
The scheme of power her sapient sages plann'd.
That noble fabric, bound with patriot blood,
That long the wonder of the world hath stood,
That sanctuary which Heaven delights to bless,
And make the chosen refuge of distress,
Where Justice guards, and Mercy decks the throne,
O! highly-favoured Britons, is your own.
That very night I saw, but thou could'st not,
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all armed. A certain aim he took
At a fair vestal throned by the west.
But I did see young Cupid's fiery shafts
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watry moon,
And the imperial votress passed on
In maiden meditation, fancy free.
"I have seen the forest
Adorned the foremost,
With flowers of the fairest
So gallant and gay.
"Bonny was their blooming,
With sweets the air perfuming,
But now they are withered
And all fled away."
Those verses of a popular song are supposed to allude to the destruction of the Borderers, called, par eminence , "Flowers of the Forest," at Flodden.
The leading star of every eye,
And theme of every minstrel's art,
The Lady of the Bleeding Heart.
Lady of the Lake , Canto ii.