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Earthward it glided with a swift descent :
Saint George himself this Visitant may be;
And, ere a thought could ask on what intent
He sought the regions of humanity,
A thrilling voice was heard, that vivified
My patriotic heart; - aloud it cried,

II.

“ I, the Guardian of this Land,
“ Speak not now of toilsome duty-
“ Well obeyed was that command,

“ Days are come of festive beauty; “ Haste, Virgins, haste!- the flowers which summer

gave

“ Have perished in the field; “ But the green thickets plenteously shall yield

“ Fit garlands for the Brave, “ That will be welcome, if by you entwined !: “ Haste, Virgins, haste; - and you, ye Matrons

grave, “ Go forth with rival youthfulness of mind,

« And gather what ye find « Of hardy laurel and wild holly boughs, “ To deck your stern defenders' modest brows!

“ Such simple gifts prepare, “ Though they have gained a worthier meed;

“ And in due time shall share “ Those palms and amaranthine wreaths, “ Unto their martyred Countrymen decreed, “ In realms where everlasting freshness breathes !”

III.

And lo! with crimson banners proudly streaming,
And upright weapons innocently gleaming,
Along the surface of a spacious plain,
Advance in order the redoubted bands,
And there receive green chaplets from the hands

Of a fair female train,
Maids and Matrons — dight

In robes of purest white, -
While from the crowd burst forth a rapturous noise

By the cloud-capt hills retorted, -
And a throng of rosy boys

In loose fashion told their joys, –
And grey-haired Sires, on staffs supported,
Looked round- and by their smiling seemed to say,
Thus strives a grateful Country to display
The mighty debt which nothing can repay!

IV,

Anon, I saw, beneath a dome of state,
The feast dealt forth with bounty unconfined;
And, while the vaulted roof did emulate
The starry heavens through splendour of the show,
It rang with music, — and methought the wind
Scattered the tuneful largess far and near,
That they, who asked not, might partake the cheer,

Who listened not, could hear;
Where'er the wild winds were allowed to blow!

- That work reposing, on the verge
Of busiest exultation hung a dirge,
Breathed from a soft and lonely instrument,

That kindled recollections

Of agonized affections ;
And, though some tears the strain attended,

The mournful passion ended
In peace of spirit, and sublime content !

v. – But garlands wither, — festal shows depart, Like dreams themselves ; and sweetest sound,

Albeit of effect profound,

It was - and it is gone! Victorious England! bid the silent Art

Reflect, in glowing hues that shall not fade,
These high achievements, — even as she arrayed
With second life the deed of Marathon,

Upon Athenian walls:
So may she labour for thy civic halls ;

And be the guardian spaces

Of consecrated places,
Graced with such gifts as Sculpture can bestow,
When inspiration guides her patient toil;
And let imperishable trophies grow
Fixed in the depths of this courageous soil ;
Expressive records of a glorious strife,
And competent to shed a spark divine
Into the torpid breast of daily life ;
Trophies on which the morning sun may shine,

As changeful ages flow,
With gratulation thoroughly benign!

VI.

And ye, Pierian sisters, sprung from Jove And sage Mnemosyne, — full long debarred From your first mansions, — exiled all too long From many a consecrated stream and grove, Dear native regions where ye wont to rove, Chaunting for patriot heroes the reward

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ain,

Now (for, though truth descending from above
The Olympian summit hath destroyed for aye
Your kindred deities, ye live and move,
And exercise unblamed a generous sway)
Now, on the margin of some spotless fountain,
Or top serene of unmolested mountain,
Strike audibly the noblest of your lyres,
And for a moment meet my soul's desires !
That I, or some more favoured Bard, may hear
What ye, celestial Maids ! have often sung
Of Britain's acts, — may catch it with rapt ear,
And give the treasure to our British tongue !
So shall the characters of that proud page
Support their mighty theme from age to age;
And, in the desart places of the earth,
When they to future empires have given birth,
So shall the people gather and believe
The bold report, transferred to every clime ;
And the whole world, not envious but admiring,

. And to the like aspiring,
Own that the progeny of this fair Isle
Had power as lofty actions to achieve
As were performed in Man's heroic prime

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