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But they are ever playing, 5
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, 10
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!
But She through many a change of form hath
gone,

15 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 Earth!

20

II.

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, 25 Threatened her foes,—or, pompously at rest, Seemed to bisect her orbed shield, As stretches a blue bar of solid cloud Across the setting sun and all the fiery west.

III.

So did she daunt the Earth, and God defy! And, wheresoe'er she spread her sovereignty, Pollution tainted all that was most pure. 32 -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 35 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 ? 40 How long shall vengeance sleep? Ye patient

Heavens, how long ? -Infirm ejaculation! 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! 45

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IV.
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

50
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, 55

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.

60

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, 64
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.

1816. (3)

ᏢᎪᎡᎢ II.

ON A CELEBRATED EVENT IN ANCIENT HISTORY. A Roman Master stands on Grecian ground, And to the people of the Isthmian Games Assembled, He, by a herald's voice, proclaims THE LIBERTY OF GREECE:-the words rebound Until all voices in one voice are drowned; 5 Glad acclamation by which air was rent! And birds, high flying in the element, Dropped to the earth, astonished at the sound ! Yet were the thoughtful grieved ; and still

that voice Haunts, with sad echoes, musing Fancy's ear: 10 Ah! that a Conqueror's words should be so

dear: Ah! that a boon could shed such rapturous

joys! A gift of that which is not to be given By all the blended powers of Earth and Heaven.

1810. (?) II.

UPON THE SAME EVENT. WHEN, far and wide, swift as the beams of

morn

The tidings passed of servitude repealed,
And of that joy which shook the Isthmian

Field, The rough Ætolians smiled with bitter scorn. “? Tis known,” cried they, “that he, who would adorn

5 His envied temples with the Isthmian crown, Must either win, through effort of his own, The prize, or be content to see it worn By more deserving brows.—Yet so ye prop, Sons of the brave who fought at Marathon, 10 Your feeble spirits! Greece her head hath

bowed, As if the wreath of liberty thereon Would fix itself as smoothly as a cloud, Which, at Jove's will, descends on Pelion's top."

1810. (?)

III.

TO THOMAS CLARKSON, ON THE FINAL PASSING OF

THE BILL FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE

TRADE. MARCH, 1807. CLARKSON ! it was an obstinate hill to climb: How toilsome—nay, how dire—it was, by thee Is known; by none, perhaps, so feelingly : But thou, who, starting in thy fervent prime, Didst first lead forth that enterprise sublime, 5 Hast heard the constant Voice its charge repeat, Which, out of thy young heart's oracular seat, First roused thee.-0 true yoke-fellow of Time, Duty's intrepid liegeman, see, the palm Is won, and by all Nations shall be worn! 10 The blood-stained Writing is for ever torn; And thou henceforth wilt have a good man's

calm, A great man's happiness; thy zeal shall find Repose at length, firm friend of human kind!

March, 1807.

IV.

A PROPHECY. FEBRUARY, 1807.

High deeds, O Germans, are to come from you! Thus in your books the record shall be found, A watchword was pronounced, a potent

soundARMINIUS !—all the people quaked like dew Stirred by the breeze; they rose, a Nation, true, True to herself—the mighty Germany, 6 She of the Danube and the Northern Sea, She rose, and off at once the yoke she threw. All power was given her in the dreadful trance ; Those new-born Kings she withered like a

flame.” -Woe to them all! but heaviest woe and shame To that Bavarian who could first advance His banner in accursed league with France, First open traitor to the German name!

10

COMPOSED BY THE SIDE OF GRASMERE LAKE. 1807.

Clouds, lingering yet, extend in solid bars Through the grey west; and lo! these waters,

steeled
By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield
· A vivid repetition of the stars;

Jove, Venus, and the ruddy crest of Mars 5
Amid his fellows beauteously revealed
At happy distance from earth's groaning field,
Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars.
Is it a mirror? —or the nether Sphere
Opening to view the abyss in which she feeds 10
Her own calm fires ? --But list! a voice is near;

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