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269. ON THE LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEORGE Toll for the brave
She sprang no fatal leak, The brave ! that are no more : She ran upon no rock ;
All sunk beneath the wave, His sword was in the sheath, Fast by their native shore. His fingers held the pen,
Eight hundred of the brave, When Kempenfelt went down Whose courage well was tried, With twice four hundred men.
Had made the vessel heel And laid her on her side ;
Weigh the vessel up, A land-breeze shook the Once dreaded by our foes, shrouds,
And mingle with your cup And she was overset ;
The tears that England owes ; Down went the Royal George,
Her timbers yet are sound, With all her crew complete.
And she may float again,
Full charged with England's Toll for the brave
thunder, Brave Kempenfelt is gone, And plough the distant main ;
His last sea-fight is fought, But Kempenfelt is gone, His work of glory done.
His victories are o'er ; It was not in the battle,
And he and his Eight hundred No tempest gave the shock, Must plough the wave no more.
270. FROM `CHARITY'
WHEN one, that holds communion with the skies,
Has filled his urn where these pure waters rise,
And once more mingles with us meaner things,
'Tis even as if an angel shook his wings;
Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide,
That tells us whence his treasures are supplied.
So, when a ship well-freighted with the stores
The sun matures on India's spicy shores,
Has dropped her anchor and her canvas furled
In some safe haven of our western world,
"Twere vain inquiry to what port she went ;
The gale informs us, laden with the scent.
Some seek, when queasy conscience has its qualms,
To lull the painful malady with alms ;
But charity, not feigned, intends alone
Another's good-theirs centres in their own ;
And, too short-lived to reach the realms of peace,
Must cease for ever when the poor shall cease.
Flavia, most tender of her own good name,
Is rather careless of her sister's fame :
Her superfluity the poor supplies,
But, if she touch a character, it dies.
The seeming virtue weighed against the vice,
She deems all safe, for she has paid the price :
No charity but alms aught values she,
Except in porcelain on her mantel-tree.
How many deeds, with which the world has rung,
From pride, in league with ignorance, have sprung!
But God o'errules all human follies still,
And bends the tough materials to His will.
A conflagration or a wintry flood
Has left some hundreds without home or food;
Extravagance and avarice shall subscribe,
While fame and self-complacence are the bribe.
The brief proclaimed, it visits every pew,
But first the squire's—a compliment but due.
With slow deliberation he unties
His glittering purse—that envy of all eyes !
And, while the clerk just puzzles out the psalm,
Slides guinea behind guinea in his palm ;
Till, finding (what he might have found before)
A smaller piece amidst the precious store,
Pinched close between his finger and his thumb,
He half exhibits, and then drops the sum.
Gold, to be sure !—Throughout the town 'tis told
How the good squire gives never less than gold.
From motives such as his, though not the best,
Springs in due time supply for the distressed ;
Not less effectual than what love bestows-
Except that office clips it as it goes.
271. BOADICEA: AN ODE
When the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage beneath a spreading oak
Šat the Druid, hoary chief ;
Every burning word he spoke
Full of rage, and full of grief.
· Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,
'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
'Rome shall perish-write that word
In the blood that she has spilt ;
Perish, hopeless and abhorred,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
'Rome, for empire far renowned
Tramples on a thousand states ;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground-
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !
Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize-
Harmony the path to fame.
" Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Armed with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
* Regions Caesar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway,
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.'
Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending, as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow ;
Rushed to battle, fought, and died ;
Dying, hurled them at the foe.
Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due ;
Empire is on us bestowed,
Shame and ruin wait for you.'
HERE, wandering long, amid these frowning fields,
I sought the simple life that Nature yields ;
Rapine and Wrong and Fear usurped her place,
And a bold, artful, surly, savage race;
Who, only skilled to take the finny tribe,
The yearly dinner, or septennial bribe,
Wait on the shore, and, as the waves run high,
On the tossed vessel bend their eager eye,
Which to their coast directs its venturous way,
Theirs or the ocean’s, miserable prey.
As on their neighbouring beach yon swallows stand,
And wait for favouring winds to leave the land;
While still for flight the ready wing is spread :
So waited I the favouring hour, and fled ;
Fled from these shores where guilt and famine reign,
And cried, Ah! hapless they who still remain ;
Who still remain to hear the ocean roar,
Whose greedy waves devour the lessening shore;
Till some fierce tide, with more imperious sway,
Sweeps the low hut and all it holds away.
G. CRABBE (The Village).
273. HIS MOTHER'S WEDDING-RING
THE ring so worn, as you behold,
So thin, so pale, is yet of gold :
The passion such it was to prove ;
Worn with life's cares, love yet was love.
New views to life, and teach us how to live ;
They soothe the grieved, the stubborn they chastise,
Fools they admonish, and confirm the wise :
Their aid they yield to all : they never shun
The man of sorrow, nor the wretch undone :
Unlike the hard, the selfish, and the proud,
They fly not sullen from the suppliant crowd ;
Nor tell to various people various things,
But show to subjects what they show to kings.
Now bid thy soul man's busy scenes exclude,
And view composed this silent multitude :-
Silent they are, but, though deprived of sound,
Here all the living languages abound ;
Here all that live no more; preserved they lie,
In tombs that open to the curious eye.
Blessed be the gracious Power, who taught mankind
To stamp a lasting image of the mind !
G. CRABBE (The Library).
WE'VE trod the maze of error round,
Long wandering in the winding glade ;
And now the torch of truth is found,
It only shows us where we strayed :
Light for ourselves, what is it worth,
When we no more our way can choose ?
For others when we hold it forth,
They, in their pride, the boon refuse.
By long experience taught, we now
Can rightly judge of friends and foes,
Can all the worth of these allow,
And all their faults discern in those.
Relentless hatred, erring love,
We can for sacred truth forgo;
We can the warmest friend reprove,
And bear to praise the fiercest foe:
To what effect? Our friends are gone
Beyond reproof, regard or care ;
And of our foes remains there one
The mild relenting thoughts to share ?
Now 'tis our boast that we can quell
The wildest passions in their rage ;
Can their destructive force repel,
And their impetuous wrath assuage :
Ah! Virtue, dost thou arm, when now
This bold rebellious race are fled ;
When all these tyrants rest, and thou
Art warring with the mighty dead ?
G. CRABBE (Reflections),
HER supple breast thrills out
Sharp airs, and staggers in a warbling doubt
Of dallying sweetness, hovers o'er her skill,
And folds in waved notes with a trembling bill
The pliant series of her slippery song ;
Then starts she suddenly into a throng
Of short thick sobs, whose thundering volleys float
And roll themselves over her lubric throat
In panting murmurs stilled out of her breast,
That ever-bubbling spring, the sugared nest
Of her delicious soul, that there does lie
Bathing in streams of liquid melody.
And while she thus discharges a shrill peal
Of flashing airs, she qualifies their zeal
With the cool epode of a graver note,
Thus high, thus low, as if her silver throat
Would reach the brazen note of War's hoarse bird.
Her little soul is ravished, and so poured
Into loose ecstasies, that she is placed
Above herself, Music's enthusiast !
R. CRASHAW (Music's Duel).