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CoME ye—who, if (which Heaven avert 1) the Land
Were with herself at strife, would take your stand,
Like gallant Falkland, by the Monarch's side,
And, like Montrose, make Loyalty your pride—
Come ye—who, not less zealous, might display
Banners at enmity with regal sway,
And, like the Pyms and Miltons of that day,
Think that a State would live in sounder health
If Kingship bowed its head to Commonwealth—
Ye too—whom no discreditable fear
Would keep, perhaps with many a fruitless tear,
Uncertain what to choose and how to steer—
And ye—who might mistake for sober sense
And wise reserve the plea of indolence—
Come ye—whate'er your creed—O waken all,
Whate'er your temper, at your Country's call;
Resolving (this a free-born Nation can)
To have one Soul, and perish to a man,
Or save this honoured Land from every Lord
But British reason and the British sword.
Anticipation. October 1803
Shout, for a mighty Victory is won 1
On' British ground the Invaders are laid low ;
The breath of Heaven has drifted them like snow,
And left them lying in the silent sun,
Never to rise again l—the work is done.
Come forth, ye old men, now in peaceful show
And greet your sons ! drums beat and trumpets blow !
Make merry, wives | ye little children, stun
Your grandame's ears with pleasure of your noise !
Clap, infants, clap your hands ! Divine must be
That triumph, when the very worst, the pain
And even the prospect of our brethren slain,
Hath something in it which the heart enjoys:—
In glory will they sleep and endless sanctity.
Another year !—another deadly blow !
Another mighty Empire overthrown |
And We are left, or shall be left, alone;
The last that dare to struggle with the Foe.
'Tis well from this day forward we shall know
That in ourselves our safety must be sought;
That by our own right hands it must be wrought;
That we must stand unpropped, or be laid low.
O dastard whom such foretaste doth not cheer!
We shall exult, if they who rule the land
Be men who hold its many blessings dear,
Wise, upright, valiant; not a servile band,
Who are to judge of danger which they fear
And honour which they do not understand.
Who rises on the banks of Seine,
And binds her temples with the civic wreath 2
What joy to read the promise of her mien
How sweet to rest her widespread wings beneath !
But they are ever playing,
And twinkling in the light,
And, if a breeze be straying,
That breeze she will invite;
And stands on tiptoe, conscious she is fair,
And calls a look of love into her face,
And spreads her arms, as if the general air
Alone could satisfy her wide embrace.
—Melt, Principalities, before her melt
Her love ye hailed—her wrath have felt I
But She through many a change of form hath gone,
And stands amidst you now an armèd creature,
Whose panoply is not a thing put on,
But the live scales of a portentous nature;
That, having forced its way from birth to birth,
Stalks round—abhorred by Heaven, a terror to the
I marked the breathings of her dragon crest;
My Soul, a sorrowful interpreter,
In many a midnight vision bowed
Before the ominous aspect of her spear;
Whether the mighty beam, in scorn upheld,
Threatened her foes,<-or, pompously at rest,
Seemed to bisect her orbèd shield,
As stretches a blue bar of solid cloud
Across the setting sun and all the fiery west.
So did she daunt the Earth, and God defy! And, wheresoe'er she spread her sovereignty, Pollution tainted all that was most pure. —Have we not known—and live we not to tell— That Justice seemed to hear her final knell ? Faith buried deeper in her own deep breast Her stores, and sighed to find them insecure And Hope was maddened by the drops that fell From shades, her chosen place of short-lived rest. Shame followed shame, and woe supplanted woe— Is this the only change that time can show 2 How long shall vengeance sleep 2 Ye patient Heavens,
how long P
—Infirm ejaculation 1 from the tongue
Of Nations wanting virtue to be strong
Up to the measure of accorded might,
And daring not to feel the majesty of right !
Weak Spirits are there—who would ask, Upon the pressure of a painful thing, The lion's sinews, or the eagle's wing; Or let their wishes loose, in forest-glade, Among the lurking powers Of herbs and lowly flowers, Or seek, from saints above, miraculous aid— That Man may be accomplished for a task Which his own nature hath enjoined;—and why? If, when that interference hath relieved him, He must sink down to languish In worse than former helplessness—and lie Till the caves roar, and, imbecility Again engendering anguish, The same weak wish returns that had before deceived him. D
But Thou, supreme Disposer may'st not speed
The course of things, and change the creed
Which hath been held aloft before men's sight
Since the first framing of societies,
Whether, as bards have told in ancient song,
Built up by soft seducing harmonies;
Or prest together by the appetite,
And by the power, of wrong.