« PreviousContinue »
By ignorance defaced,
By violence laid waste,
A crouching purpose—a distracted will — Opposed to hopes that battened upon scorn, And to desires whose ever-waxing horn 115 Not all the light of earthly power could fill; Opposed to dark, deep plots of patient skill, And to celerities of lawless force; Which, spurning God, had flung away remorseWhat could they gain but shadows of redress ? -So bad proceeded propagating worse; 121 And discipline was passion's dire excess. Widens the fatal web, its lines extend, And deadlier poisons in the chalice blend. When will your trials teach you to be wise ? 125 -O prostrate Lands, consult your agonies !
No more-the guilt is banished, And, with the guilt, the shame is fled ; And, with the guilt and shame, the Woe hath
vanished, Shaking the dust and ashes from her head! 130 -No more—these lingerings of distress Sully the limpid stream of thankfulness. What robe can Gratitude employ So seemly as the radiant vest of Joy ? What steps so suitable as those that move 135 In prompt obedience to spontaneous measures Of glory, and felicity, and love, Surrendering the whole heart to sacred plea
145 As from a forest-brake
Upstarts a glistering snake,
150 On that offensive soil, like waves upon a
thousand shores. The trumpet blew a universal blast! But Thou art foremost in the field:—there stand: Receive the triumph destined to thy hand! All States have glorified themselves ;—their
claims Are weighed by Providence, in balance even ; And now, in preference to the mightiest names, To Thee the exterminating sword is given. Dread mark of approbation, justly gained ! Exalted office, worthily sustained !
And loses its sweet savour!
Shall our sincerity to Thee present ? 170 -Not work of hands; but trophies that may
reach To highest Heaven--the labour of the Soul; That builds, as thy unerring precepts teach, Upon the internal conquests made by each, Her hope of lasting glory for the whole. 175 Yet will not heaven disown nor earth gainsay The outward service of this day; Whether the worshippers entreat Forgiveness from God's mercy-seat; Or thanks and praises to His throne ascend 180 That He has brought our warfare to an end, And that we need no second victory!Ha! what a ghastly sight for man to see ; And to the heavenly saints in peace who dwell,
For a brief moment, terrible; But, to Thy sovereign penetration, fair, Before whom all things are, that were, All judgments that have been, or e'er shall be ; Links in the chain of Thy tranquillity! Along the bosom of this favoured Nation, 190 Breathe Thou, this day, a vital undulation !
Let all who do this land inherit
Be conscious of Thy moving spirit! Oh, 'tis a goodly Ordinance,—the sight, Though sprung from bleeding war, is one of pure delight;
195 Bless Thou the hour, or ere the hour arrive, When a whole people shall kneel down in prayer, And, at one moment, in one rapture, strive With lip and heart to tell their gratitude
For Thy protecting care,
For tyranny subdued,
But hark—the summons !-down the placid lake
205 Floats the soft cadence of the church-tower bells, Bright shines the Sun, as if his beams would
wake The tender insects sleeping in their cells ; Bright shines the Sun-and not a breeze to shake The drops that tip the melting icicles. 210
0, enter now his Temple gate! Inviting words—perchance already flung (As the crowd press devoutly down the aisle Of some old Minster's venerable pile) From voices into zealous passion stung, 215 While the tubed engine feels the inspiring blast, And has begun—its clouds of sound to cast
Forth towards empyreal Heaven,
As if the fretted roof were riven. Us humbler ceremonies now await; But in the bosom, with devout respect The banner of our joy we will erect, And strength of love our souls shall elevate: For to a few collected in his name, Their heavenly Father will incline an ear 225 Gracious to service hallowed by its aim ;Awake! the majesty of God revere!
Go—and with foreheads meekly bowed Present your prayers--00—and rejoice aloudThe Holy One will hear!
230 And what, ʼmid silence deep, with faith sincere, Ye, in your low and undisturbed estate, Shall simply feel and purely meditateOf warnings—from the unprecedented might, Which, in our time, the impious have disclosed ; And of more arduous duties thence imposed 236 Upon the future advocates of right;
Of mysteries revealed,