« PreviousContinue »
The stars went out, and down the mountain-gorge
ON THE THREATENED INVASION IN 1803.
By a series of criminal enterprises, by the success of guilty ambition, the liberties of Europe have been gradually extinguished: the subjugation of Holland, Switzerland, and the free towns of Germany, has completed that catastrophe; and we are the only people in the Eastern Hemisphere, who are in possession of equal laws and a free constitution. Freedom, driven from every spot on the Continent, has sought an asylum in a country which she always chose for her favourite abode; but she is pursued even here, and threatened with destruction! The inundation of lawless Power, after covering the whole earth, threatens to follow us here; and we are most exactly—most critically placed in the only aperture where it can be successfully repelledin the Thermopylæ of the world! As far as the interests
of freedom are concerned—the most important by far of sublunary interests !-you, my countrymen, stand in the capacity of the federal representatives of the human race; for with you it is to determine (under God) in what condition the latest posterity shall be born: their fortunes are entrusted to your care, and on your conduct at this moment depends the colour and complexion of their destiny. If liberty, after being extinguished on the Continent, is suffered to expire here, whence is it ever to emerge in the midst of that thick night that will invest it? It remains with you, then, to decide, whether that freedom, at whose voice the kingdoms of Europe awoke from the sleep of ages, to run a career of virtuous emulation in every thing great and good—the freedom which dispelled the mists of superstition, and invited the nations to behold their God; whose magic torch kindled the rays of genius, the enthusiasm of poetry, and the flame of eloquence—the freedom which poured into our lap opulence and arts, and embellished life with innumerable institutions and improvements, till it became a theatre of wonders; it is for you to decide, whether this freedom shall yet survive, or be covered with a funeral pall, and wrapped in eternal gloom. It is not necessary to await your determination. In the solicitude you feel to approve yourselves worthy of such a trust, every thought of what is afflicting in warfare, every apprehension of danger must vanish, and you are impatient to mingle in the battle of the civilized world. Go, then, ye defenders of your country, accompanied with every auspicious omen; advance with alacrity into the field! Religion is too much interested in your success, not to lend you her aid; she will shed over this enterprise her selectest influence. While you are engaged in the field, many will repair to the closet-many to the sanctuary; the faithful of every name will employ that prayer which has power with God; the feeble hands, which are unequal to any other weapon, will grasp the sword of the Spirit;
and from myriads of humble, contrite hearts, the voice of intercession, supplication, and weeping, will mingle in its ascent to heaven, with the shouts of battle, and the shock of arms! The extent of your resources, under God, is equal to the justice of your cause. But should Providence determine otherwise, should you fall in this struggle—should the nation fall, you will have the satisfaction (the purest allotted to man) of having performed your parts—your names will be enrolled with the most illustrious dead, while posterity, to the end of time, as often as they revolve the events of this period, will turn to you a reverential eye, while they mourn over the freedom which is entombed in your sepulchre! I cannot but imagine that the virtuous heroes, legislators, and patriots of every age and country, are bending from their elevated seats to witness this contest, as if they were incapable, till it be brought to a favourable issue, of enjoying their eternal repose. Enjoy that repose, illustrious immortals !—your mantle fell when you ascended; and thousands, inflamed with your spirit, and impatient to tread in your steps, are ready to swear by Him that sitteth upon the throne and liveth for ever and ever, they will protect freedom in her last asylum, and never desert that cause which you sustained by your labours, and cemented with your blood! And thou, sole Ruler among the children of men, to whom the shields of the earth belong, gird on thy sword, thou Most Mighty!—go forth with our hosts in the day of battle! Impart, in addition to their hereditary valour, that confidence of success which springs from thy presence! Pour into their hearts the spirits of departed heroes-inspire them with thine own; and, while led by thy hand, and fighting under thy banners, open their eyes to behold in every valley and in every plain, what the Prophet beheld by the same illumination chariots of fire and horses of fire! Then shall the strong man be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark; and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.
ASPECT OF GREECE.
He who hath bent him o'er the dead,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now
And but for that chill, changeless brow, Where cold Obstruction's apathy Appals the gazing mourner's heart, As if to him it could impart The doom he dreads, yet dwells uponYes, but for these and these alone, Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour, He still might doubt the tyrant's power; So fair, so calm, so softly sealid, The first, last look by death reveal'd!
Such is the aspect of this shore; 'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more! So coldly sweet, so deadly fair, We start, for soul is wanting there. Her's is the loveliness in death, That parts not quite with parting breath; But beauty with that fearful bloom, That hue which haunts it to the tomb— Expression's last receding ray, A gilded halo hovering round decay, The farewell beam of Feeling pass’d away
Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth,
Clime of the unforgotten brave!
Say, is not this Thermopylæ ?.
Oh, servile offspring of the free-
WOLSEY AND CROMWELL.
Wol. FAREWELL, a long farewell to all my greatness ! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him; The third day comes a frost—a killing frost, And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely