« PreviousContinue »
Upon the battle field, or under ocean's waves;
Nor will the God of peace and love
The region that in hope was ploughed
Thine!— The fierce Tornado sleeps within Thy courts— He hears the word—he flies— And navies perish in their ports; 100 For Thou art angry with Thine enemies!
For these, and mourning for our errors, And sins, that point their terrors, We bow our heads before Thee, and we laud And magnify Thy name, Almighty God! 105 But Man is Thy most awful instrument, In working out a pure intent; Thou cloth'st the wicked in their dazzling mail, And for Thy righteous purpose they prevail; Thine arm from peril guards the coasts Of them who in Thy laws delight: 111 Thy presence turns the scale of doubtful fight, Tremendous God of battles, Lord of Hosts!
But in a gentler strain 116
Of contemplation, by no sense of wrong,
To Thee—To Thee, 120
Just God of christianised Humanity,
If on Thy love our Land her hopes shall rest,
THE MORNING OF THE DAY - APPOINTED FOR A GENERAL THANKSGIVING. JANUARY 18, 1816.
Hail, orient Conqueror of gloomy Night!
Dazzling the vision that presumes to gaze. —Well does thine aspect usher in this Day; As aptly suits therewith that modest pace 15
Submitted to the chains That bind thee to the path which God ordains
That thou shalt trace, Till, with the heavens and earth, thou pass away! Nor less, the stillness of these frosty plains, 20 Their utter stillness, and the silent grace Of yon ethereal summits white with snow, (Whose tranquil pomp and spotless purity
Report of storms gone by
To us who tread below), 25
Do with the service of this Day accord.
By pious men of old; Once more, heart-cheering Sun, I bid thee hail Bright be thy course to-day, let not this promise fail! 35
11. 'Mid the deep quiet of this morning hour, AH nature seems to hear me while I speak, By feelings urged that do not vainly seek Apt language, ready as the tuneful notes That stream in blithe succession from the throats 40
Of birds, in leafy bower, Warbling a farewell to a vernal shower, —There is a radiant though a short-lived flame, That burns for Poets in the dawning east;
And oft my soul hath kindled at the same, 45
He knows that from a holier altar came
That deeper far it lies 5 5
Than aught dependent on the fickle skies.
m. Have we not conquered?—by the vengeful sword? Ah no, by dint of Magnanimity; That curbed the baser passions, and left free A loyal band to follow their liege Lord 60
Clear-sighted Honour, and his staid Compeers,
Of Britain's acts would sing,
He with enraptured voice will tell Of One whose spirit no reverse could quell; 70 Of One that 'mid the failing never failed— Who paints how Britain struggled and prevailed Shall represent her labouring with an eye
Of circumspect humanity; Shall show her clothed with strength and skill
All martial duties to fulfil; 76
Firm as a rock in stationary fight;
In motion rapid as the lightning's gleam;
And thus is missed the sole true glory
Who through the abyss of weakness dive.
v. How dreadful the dominion of the impure! Why should the Song be tardy to proclaim That less than power unbounded could not tame That soul of Evil—which, from Hell let loose, 95 Had filled the astonished world with such abuse As boundless patience only could endure? —Wide-wasted regions—cities wrapt in flame— Who sees, may lift a streaming eye To Heaven;—who never saw, may heave a sigh; But the foundation of our nature shakes, 101 And with an infinite pain the spirit aches, When desolated countries, towns on fire,
Are but the avowed attire Of warfare waged with desperate mind 105
Against the life of virtue in mankind
Assaulting without ruth
The citadels of truth;