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BY THE SEA-SIDE, NEAR CALAIS,
FAIR star of evening, splendour of the west,
Star of my country on the horizon's brink
Thou hangest, stooping, as might seem, to sink
On England's bosom ; yet well pleased to rest,
Meanwhile, and be to her a glorious crest
Conspicuous to the nations. Thou, I think,
Should'st be my country's emblem ; and should'st wink,
Bright star! with laughter on her banners, drest
In thy fresh beauty. There ! that dusky spot
Beneath thee, it is England; there it lies.
Blessings be on you both! one hope, one lot,
One life, one glory! I with many a fear
For my dear country, many heartfelt sighs,
Among men who do not love her, linger here.
Is it a reed that's shaken by the wind,
Or what is it that ye go forth to see?
Lords, lawyers, statesmen, squires of low degree,
Men known, and men unknown, sick, lame, and blind,
Post forward all, like creatures of one kind,
With first-fruit offerings crowd to bend the knee
In France, before the new-born majesty.
'Tis ever thus. Ye men of prostrate mind!
A seemly reverence may be paid to power ;
But that's a loyal virtue, never sown
In haste, nor springing with a transient shower :
When truth, when sense, when liberty were flown,
What hardships had it been to wait an hour?
Shame on you, feeble heads to slavery prone !
ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE VENETIAN
Once did she hold the gorgeous East in fee ;
And was the safeguard of the West : the worth
of Venice did not fall below her birth-
Venice, the eldest child of Liberty.
She was a maiden city, bright and free ;
No guile seduced, no force could violate ;
And, when she took unto herself a mate,
She must espouse the everlasting sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay ;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
When her long life hath reached its final day;
Men are we, and must grieve when even the shade
Of that which once was great is passed away.
TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.
TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy man of men !
Whether the whistling rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some dark dungeon's noisome den ;-
O miserable chieftain ! where and when
Wilt thou find patience ? Yet die not ; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow :
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee : air, earth, and skies ;
There's not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou has great allies ;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and man's unconquerable mind.
We had a fellow-passenger who came
From Calais with us, gaudy in array,
A negro woman like a lady gay,
Yet silent as a woman fearing blame ;
Dejected, meek, yea, pitiably tame,
She sat, from notice turning not away,
But on our proffered kindness still did lay
A weight of languid speech,-or at the same
Was silent, motionless in eyes and face.
She was a negro woman driven from France,
Rejected like all others of that race,
Not one of whom may now find footing there ;
This the poor outcast did to us declare,
Nor murmured at the unfeeling ordinance.