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Sleepless; and soon the small birds' melodies
'BELOVED VALE !' I said, when I shall con
Composed in the valley, near Dover, on the day of
Landing Dear fellow-traveller, here we are once more ! The cock that crows, the smoke that curls, that sound Of bells, – those boys who in yon meadow-ground In white-sleeved shirts are playing, and the roar
Of all that is most beauteous - imaged there
* And while my youthful peers, before my eyes (Each hero following his peculiar bent), Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise By martial sports,- or, seated in the tent, Chieftains and kings in council were detain'd; What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchain'd.
'The wish'd-for wind was given :- I then revolved
• Yet bitter, ofttimes bitter, was the pang When of thy loss I thought, beloved wife ; On thee too fondly did my memory hang, And on the joys we shared in mortal life, The paths which we had trod - these fountains-flowers ; My new-plann'd cities, and unfinished towers. * But should suspense permit the foe to cry, “ Behold they tremble ! - haughty their array, Yet of their number no one dares to die?"
* For this feature in the character of Protesilaus, see the 'Iphigenia in Aulis' of Euripides.
Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft :
Written in London, September, 1802. O FRIEND! I know not which way I must look For comfort, being, as I am, oppress'd To think that now our life is only dress’d For show; mean handiwork of craftsman, cook, Or groom! We must run glittering like a brook In the open sunshine, or we are unblest : The wealthiest man among us is the best : No grandeur now, in Nature or in book, Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense, This is idolatry ; and these we adore : Plain living and high thinking are no more : The homely beauty of the good old cause Is gone ; our peace, our fearful innocence, And pure religion breathing household laws.
London, 1802. MILTON ! thou shouldst be living at this hour : England hath need of thee : she is a fen Of stagnant waters : altar, sword, and pen, . Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men : Oh ! raise us up, return to us again ; And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart : Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea ; Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free ; So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness ; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on itself did lay.
To Toussaint L'Ouverture. TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy man of men ! Whether the all-cheering sun be free to shed His beams around thee, or thou rest thy head Pillow'd in some dark dungeon's noisome denO miserable chieftain ! where and when Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow : Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee : air, earth, and skies; There's not a breathing of the common wind That will forget thee; that hast great allies ; Thy friends are exultations, agonies, And love, and man's unconquerable mind.
On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic. ONCE did she hold the gorgeous East in fee ; And was the safeguard of the West : the worth Of Venice did not fall below her birth Venice, the eldest child of Liberty ! She was a maiden city, bright and free; No guile seduced, no force could violate ; And when she took unto herself a mate, She must espouse the everlasting sea. And what if she had seen those glories fade, Those titles vanish, and that strength decay ; Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid When her long life hath reach'd its final day : Men are we, and must grieve when even the shade Of that which once was great is pass'd away.
On the Abolition of the Slave Trade. CLARKSON ! it was an obstinate hill to climb : How toilsome, nay, how dire it was, by thee
Is known — by none, perhaps, so feelingly ;
SAY, what is Honour ? 'Tis the finest sense
GREAT MEN have been among us; hands that penn'd