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Were England's native growth; and, throughout Spain,
O'erweening statesmen have full long relied On fleets and armies, and external wealth : But from within proceeds a nation's health ; Which shall not fail, though poor men cleave with pride To the paternal floor; or turn aside, In the thronged city, from the walks of gain, As being all unworthy to detain A soul by contemplation sanctified. There are who cannot languish in this strife, Spaniards of every rank, by whom the good Of such high course was felt and understood; Who to their country's cause have bound a life, Erewhile by solemn consecration given To labour, and to prayer, to nature, and to heaven.
THE FRENCH AND THE SPANISH
GUERILLAS. HUNGER, and sultry heat, and nipping blast From bleak hill-top, and length of march by night Through heavy swamp, or over snow-clad height, These hardships ill sustained, these dangers past, The roving Spanish bands are reached at last, Charged, and dispersed like foam; but as a flight Of scattered quails by signs to re-unite, So these,-and, heard of once again, are chased With combinations of long-practised art And newly-kindled hope; but they are fled,
Gone are they, viewless as the buried dead ; Where now?-Their sword is at the foeman's heart! And thus from year to year his walk they thwart, And hang like dreams around his guilty bed.
They seek, are sought; to daily battle led, Shrink not, though far outnumbered by their foes : For they have learnt to open and to close The ridges of grim war; and at their head Are captains such as erst their country bred Or fostered, self-supported chiefs,-like those Whom hardy Rome was fearful to oppose, Whose desperate shock the Carthaginian fled. In one who lived unknown a shepherd's life Redoubted Viriatus breathes again; And Mina, nourished in the studious shade, With that great leader vies, who, sick of strife And bloodshed, longed in quiet to be laid In some green island of the western main.
The power of armies is a visible thing,
HOPE. Here pause: the poet claims at least this praise, That virtuous Liberty hath been the scope Of his pure song which did not shrink from hope In the worst moment of these evil days; From hope, the paramount duty that Heaven lays, For its own honour, on man's suffering heart. Never may from our souls one truth depart, That an accursed thing it is to gaze On prosperous tyrants with a dazzled eye; Nor, touched with due abhorrence of their guilt For whose dire ends tears flow, and blood is spilt, And justice labours in extremity, Forget thy weakness, upon which is built, O wretched man, the throne of tyranny !
THE FRENCH ARMY IN RUSSIA. 1812-13-
For he it was-dread Winter! who beset,
That host, as huge and strong as e'er defied
Fleet the Tartar's reinless steed,
And to the battle ride.
Ye storms, resound the praises of your king!
That old decrepit Winter-He hath slain,'
By Moscow self-devoted to a blaze
THE GERMANS ON THE HEIGHTS OF
HOCKHEIM. ABRUPTLY paused the strife ;-the field throughout Resting upon his arms each warrior stood, Checked in the very act and deed of blood, With breath suspended, like a listening scout. O Silence! thou wert mother of a shout That through the texture of yon azure dome Cleaves its glad way, a cry of harvest-home Uttered to heaven in ecstasy devout! The barrier Rhine hath flashed, through battle-smoke, On men who gaze heart-smitten by the view, As if all Germany had felt the shock! Fly, wretched Gauls! ere they the charge renew Who have seen (themselves delivered from the yoke) The unconquerable stream his course pursue.