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Of Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day's renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark's crown,
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
By each gun the lighted brand
In a bold determined hand,
And the Prince of all the land
Led them on.
Like leviathans afloat
Lay their bulwarks on the brine ;
While the sign of battle flew
On the lofty British line :
It was ten of April morn by the chime :
As they drifted on their path
There was silence deep as death;
And the boldest held his breath
For a time.
But the might of England Aush'd
To anticipate the scene ;
And her van the fleeter rush'd
O'er the deadly space between.
'Hearts of oak !' our captains cried, when each gun
From its adamantine lips
Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse
Of the sun.
Again ! again ! again!
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a feeble cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back ;
Their shots along the deep slowly boom :-
Then ceased and all is wail,
As they strike the shatter'd sail ;
Or in conflagration pale
Light the gloom.
Out spoke the victor then
As he hail'i them o'er the wave,
'Ye are brothers ! ye are men !
And we conquer but to save :-
So peace instead of death let us bring :
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet
With the crews, at England's feet,
And make submission meet
To our King.'
Then Denmark bless'd our chief
That he gave her wounds repose ;
And the sounds of joy and grief
From her people wildly rose,
As death withdrew his shades from the day :
While the sun look'd smiling bright
O’er a wide and woeful sight,
Where the fires of funeral light
Now joy, old England, raise !
For the tidings of thy might,
By the festal cities' blaze,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light ;
And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep
Full many a fathom deep
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Brave hearts ! to Britain's pride
Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died,
With the gallant good Riou :
Soft sigh the winds of Heaven o'er their grave !
While the billow mournful rolls
And the mermaid's song condoles
Singing glory to the souls
Of the brave !
Stern Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty ! if that name thou love
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove ;
Thou who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe ;
From vain temptations dost set free,
And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!
There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them ; who, in love and truth
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth :
Glad hearts ! without reproach or blot,
Who do thy work, and know it not :
Oh ! if through confidence misplaced
They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power ! around them
Serene will be our days and bright
And happy will our nature be
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Ev'n now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed ;
Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need.
I, loving freedom, and untriel,
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust :
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandaté, I deferr'd
The task, in smoother walks to stray ;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.
Through no disturbance of my soul
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy controul,
But in the quietness of thought :
Me this uncharter'd freedom tires ;
I feel the weight of chance-desires :
My hopes no more must change their name ;
I long for a repose that ever is the same.
Stern Lawgiver ! yet thou dost wear
'The Godhead's most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face :
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,
And fragrance in thy footing treads;
Thou dost preserve the Stars from wrong ;
And the most ancient Heavens, through Thee, are fresh
To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee : I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour ;
Oh let my weakness have an end !
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give;
And in the light of truth thy Bondman let me live.
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind !
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty ! thou art,
For there thy habitation is the heart-
The heart which love of Thee alone can bind;
And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd,
To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.
Chillon ! thy prison is a holy place
And thy sad floor an altar, for 'twas troc,
Until his very steps have left a trace
Worn as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface !
For they appeal from tyranny to God.
ENGLAND AND SWITZERLAND), 1802
Two Voices are there ; one is of the Sea,
One of the Mountains; each a mighty voice :
In both from age to age thou didst rejoice,
They were thy chosen music, Liberty !
There came a tyrant, and with holy glee
Thou fought'st against him,-but hast vainly striven :
Thou from thy Alpine holds at length art driven,
Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.
-Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft;
Then cleave, cleave to that which still is left-
For, high-soul'd Maid, what sorrow would it be
That Mountain floods should thunder as before,
And Ocean bellow from his rocky shore,
And neither awful Voice be heard by Thee !
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.