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Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea :
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
lu cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.
How piteous then that there should be such dearth
Of knowledge; that whole myriads should unite
To work against themselves such fell despite :
Should come in phrensy and in drunken mirth,
Impatient to put out the only light
Of Liberty that yet remains on Earth!
GREAT Men have been among us; hauds that penned
And tongues that uttered wisdom, better none : THERE is a bondage worse, far worse, to bear
The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington,
Than bis who breathes, by roof, and floor, and wall,
Yonug Vane, and others who called Milton Friend. Pent in, a Tyrant's solitary Thrall :
These Moralists could act and comprehend :
'T is his who walks about in the open air, They knew how genuine glory was put on;
One of a Nation who, henceforth, must wear Taught us how rightfully a nation shone
Their felters in their Souls. For who could be, In splendour : what strength was, that would not bend Who, even the hest, in such condition, free But in magnanimous meekness. France, 't is strange, From self-reproach, reproach which he must share Hath brought forth no such souls as we had then. With Human Nature? Never be it ours Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change!
To see the Sun how brightly it will shine, No single Volume paramount, no code,
And know that noble Feelings, manly Powers, No master spirit, no determined road
Instead of gathering strength, must droop and pine, But equally a want of Books and Men!
And earth with all her pleasant fruits and flowers
Fade, and participate in Man's decline.
It is not to be thought of that the Flood
Of British freedom, which to the open Sea
Of the world's praise from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, u with pomp of waters, unwithstood,»
Roused though it be full often to a mood
Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
That this most famous Stream in Bogs and Sands
Should perish ; and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our Halls is Hung
Armoury of the invincible Knights of old :
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakspeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.— In every thing we are sprung
Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.
These times touch monied Worldlings with dismay:
Even rich men, brave by nature, tajot the air
With words of apprehension and despair :
While tens of thousands, thinking on the affray,
Men unto whom sufficient for the day
And minds not stinted or untilled are given,
Sound, healthy Children of the God of Heaven,
Are cheerful as the rising Sun in May.
What do we gather bence but firmer faith
That every gift of noble origin
Is breathed upon by Hope's perpetual breath ?
That virtue and the faculties within
Are vital, -and that riches are akin
To fear, to change, to cowardice, and death!
When I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
When men change Swords for Ledgers, and desert
The Student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, ing Country!-am I to be blamed ?
But when I think of Thee, and what Thou art,
Verily, in the bottom of my heart,
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
But dearly must we prize thee; we who find
In thee a bulwark for the cause of men;
And I by my affection was beguiled.
What wonder if a Poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
Felt for thee as a Lover or a Child?
England! the time is come when thou shouldst wean
Thy beart from its emasculating food;
The truth should now be better understood ;
Old things have been unsettled; we have seen
Fair seed-time, better harvest might have been
But for thy trespasses; and, at this day,
If for Greece, Egypt, India, Africa,
Aught good were destined, Thou wouldst step between
England! all nations in this charge agree :
But worse, more igoorant in love and hate
Far, far more abject is thine Enemy :
Therefore the wise pray for thee, though the freight
Of thy offences be a heavy weight :
Oh grief! that Earth's best hopes rest all with Thee!
One might believe that natural miseries
Had blasted France, and made of it a land
Unfit for Men; and that in one great Band
Her Sons were bursting forth, to dwell at ease.
But 't is a chosen soil, where sun and breeze
Shed gende favours ; rural works are there;
And ordinary business without care ;
Spot rich in all things that can soothe and please !
When, looking on the present face of things,
I see one Man, of Men the meanest too!
Raised up to sway the World, to do, undo,
With Mighty Nations for his Underlings,
The great events with which old story rings
Seem vain and hollow; I find nothing great;
Nothing is left which I can venerate;
So that almost a doubt withio me springs
Of Providence, such emptiness at length
Seems at Ulic heart of all things. But, great God !
I measure back the steps which I have trod;
And tremble, seeing wheace proceeds the strength
Of such poor Instruments, with thoughits sublime
I tremble at the sorrow of the time.
What joy to read the promise of her mien!
How sweel to rest her wide-spread wings beoeach!
But they are ever playing,
And twinkling in the light,
And if a breeze be straying,
That breeze she will invite;
And stands on tiptoe, conscious she is fair,
And calls a look of love into her face,
And spreads her arms—as if the general air
Alone could satisfy her wide embrace.
-Melt, Principalities, before her melt!
Her love ye hailed-her wrath have felt;
But She through many a change of form hath gone,
And stands amidst you now, an armed Creature,
Whose panoply is not a thing put on,
But the live scales of a portentous nature;
That, having wrought its way from birth to birth,
Stalks round-abhorred by Heaven, a terror to the Earth!
TO THE MEN OF KENT. OCTOBER, 1803. VANGUARD of Liberty, ye Men of Kent, Ye Children of a Soil that doth advance Her baughty brow against the coast of France, Now is the time to prove your hardiment! To France be words of invitation seat! They from their Fields can see the countenance Of your berce war, may ken the glittering lance, And bear you shouting forth your brave intent. Left single, in bold parley, Ye, of yore, Did from the Norman win a gallant wreath; Confirmed the charters that were yours before ;Yo parleying now! la Britain is one breath ; We all are with you now from Shore to Shore : Ye Men of Kent, 'l is Victory or Death!
I marked the breathings of her dragon crest; My Soul, a sorrowful Interpreter, In many a midnight vision bowed Before the ominous aspect of her spear; Whether the mighty Beam, in scorn upheld, Threatened her foes,-or, pompously at rest, Seemed to bisect her orbed shield, As stretches a blue bar of solid cloud Across the setting Sun, and through the fiery West.
ANTICIPATION. OCTOBER, 1803. Saout, for a mighty Victory is won! Ou Britislı grouod the Invaders are laid low : The breath of Heaven has drifted them like snow, And left them lying in the silent sun, Never to rise again! the work is done. Come forth, ye Old Men, now in peaceful show And greet your Sons! drums beat and trumpets blow! Make merry, Wives! ye little Children, stun Your Grandames' ears with pleasure of your noise ! Clap, lofants, clap your hands! Divine must be That triumpli, when tbe very worst, the pain, And even the prospect of our Brethren slain, Math something in it which the heart enjoys:la glory will they sleep and endless sanctity.
So did she daunt the earth, and God defy!
And, wheresoe'er she spread her sovereignty,
Pollution tainted all that was most pure.
-Have we not known-and live we not to tell —
That Justice seemed to hear her final knell ?
Faith buried deeper in her own deep breast
Her stores, and sighed to find them insecure!
And Hope was maddened by the drops that fell
From shades, ber chosen place of short-lived rest :
Shame followed shame-and woe supplanted woe-
Is this the only change that time can show!
How long shall vengeance sleep? Ye patient Ileavens,
-Infirm ejaculation! from the tongue
Of Nations wanting virtue to be strong
Up to the measure of accorded might,
And daring not to feel the majesty of right.
NOVEMBER, 1806. ANOTHER year!—another deadly blow! Another mighty Empire overthrown! And We are left, or shall be left, alone; The last that dare lo struggle with the Foe. T is well! from this day forward we shall know That in ourselves our safety must be sought; That by our own right hands it must be wrought, That we must stand unpropped, or be laid low. O Daslard whom such foretaste doch not cheer! We shall exult, if they who rule the land Be Men who bold its many blessings dear, Wise, upright, valiant; not a scrvile Band, Who are to judge of danger which they fear, And honour which they do not understand.
Weak Spirits are there—who would ask,
Upon the pressure of a painful thing,
The Lion's sinews, or the Eagle's wing;
Or let their wishes loose, in forest glade,
Among the lurking powers
Of berbs and lowly flowers,
Or seek, from Saints above, miraculous aid;
That Man may be accomplished for a lask
Which his own Nature hath enjoined—and why?
If, when that interference bath relieved him,
He must sink down to languish
In worse than former lielplessness-and lie
Till the caves roar,-and, imbecility
Again engendering anguish, The same weak wish returns, that had before deceived
ODE. Wao rises on the banks of Seine, And binds her temples with the civic wreath ?
But Thou, Supreme Disposer! mayst not speed The course of things, and change the creed,
Which hath been held aloft before Men's sight
Since the first framing of societies,
Whether, as Bards have told in ancient song,
Built up by soft seducing harmonies;
Or prest together by the appetite,
And by the power, of wrong!
«A Watchword was pronounced, a potent sound,
ARMINIUS !-all the people quaked like dew
Stirred by the breeze-they rose a Nation, true,
True to herself—the mighty Germany,
She of the Danube and the Northern sea,
She rose, and off at once the yoke she threw.
All power was given her in the dreadful trance;
Those new-born Kings she withered like a flame.»
- Woe to them all! but heaviest woe and shame
To that Bavarian who did first advance
His banner in accursed league with France,
First open Traitor to a sacred name!
ON A CELEBRATED EVENT IN ANCIENT
A ROMAN Master stands on Grecian ground,
And to the Concourse of the Isthmian Games
lle, by his Herald's voice, aloud proclaims
THE LIBERTY OF GREECE:- the words rebound
Until all voices in one voice are drowned;
Glad acclamation by which air was rent!
And birds, high flying in the element,
Dropped to the earth, astonished at the sound!
-A melancholy Echo of that noise
Doth sometimes hang on musing Fancy's ear:
Ah! that a Conqueror's word should be so dear;
Ah! that a boon could shed such rapturous joys!
A gift of that which is not to be given
By all the blended powers of Earth and Heaven.
Clouds, lingering yet, extend in solid bars
Through the grey west; and lo! these waters, steeled
By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield
A vivid repetition of the stars;
Jove-Venus--and the ruddy crest of Mars,
Amid his fellows beauteously revealed
At happy distance from earth's groaning field,
Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars.
Is it a mirror?—or the nether sphere
Opening to view the abyss in which it feeds
Its own calm fires?-But list! a voice is near;
Great Pan himself low-whispering through the reeds,
« Be thankful, thou; for, if unholy deeds
Ravage the world, tranquillity is here!»
UPON THE SAME EVENT. Wren, far and wide, swift as the beams of morn The ridings passed of servitude repealed, And of that joy which shook the Isthmian Field, The rough lolians smiled with bitter scorn. « 'Tis known,» cried they, « that he, who would adorn His envied temples with the Isthmian Crown, Must either win, through effort of his own, The prize, or be content to see it worn By more deserving brows. Yet so ye prop, Sons of the Brave who fought at Marathon! Your feeble Spirits. Greece her head hath bowed, As if the wreath of Liberty thereon Would fix itself as smoothly as a cloud, Which, at Jove's will, descends on Pelion's top.»
Go back to antique Ages, if thine eyes
The genuine mien and character would trace
Of the rasha Spirit that still holds her place,
Prompting the World's audacious vanities!
See, at her call, the Tower of Babel rise ;
The Pyramid extend its monstrous base,
For some Aspirant of our short-lived race,
Anxious an airy name to immortalize.
There, too, ere wiles and politic dispute
Gave specious colouring to aim and act,
See the first mighty Hunter leave the brute
To chase mankind, with men in armies packed
For his field-pastime, high and absolute,
While, to dislodge his game, cities are sacked!
WHILE THE AUTHOR WAS ENGAGED IN WRITING A TRACT, OCCASIONED BY THE CONVENTION OF
TO THOMAS CLARKSON, ON THE FINAL PASSING OF THE BILL FOR THE ABOLI
TION OF THE SLAVE TRADE, MARCH, 1807. CLARKSON! it was an obstinate Hill to climb: How toilsome, nay, how dire it was, by Thee Is known,- by none, perhaps, so feelingly; But Thou, who, starting in thy fervent prime, Didst first lead forth this pilgrimage sublime, llast heard the constant Voice its charge repcal, Which, out of thy young heart's oracular seat, First roused thee.-0 true yoke-fellow of Time Wich unabating effort, see, the palm Is won, and by all Nations shall be worn! The bloody Writing is for ever torn, And Thou henceforth shalt liave a good Man's calm, A great Man's happiness; thy zeal shall find Repose at length, firm Friend of human kind!
Not 'mid the World's vain objects! that enslave
The free-born Soul,-that World whose vaunted skill
In selfish interest perverts the will,
Whose factions lead astray the wise and brave;
Not there! but in dark wood and rocky cave,
And hollow vale which foaming torrents fill
With omnipresent murmur as they rave
Down their steep beds, that never shall be still:
Here, mighty Nature! in this school sublime
I weigh the bopes and fears of suffering Spain:
For her consult the auguries of time,
And through the human heart explore my way,
And look and listen-gathering, whence I may,
Triumph, and thoughts no bondage can restrain.
A PROPHECY. FEBRUARY, 1807. High deeds, O Germans, are to come from you! Thus in your Books the record shall be found,
Give, Herds and Flocks, your voices to the wind !
While we go forth, a self-devoted crowd,
AT THE SAME TIME AND ON THE SAME OCCASION. With weapons in the fearless hand, to assert
I DROPPED my pen ;-and listened to the wind
Our virtue, and lo vindicate mankind.
That sang of trees up-torn and vessels tost;
A midnight harmony, and wholly lost
To the general sense of men by chains confined ALAS! what boots the long, laborious quest
Of business, care, or pleasure, -or resigned
Of moral prudence, sought through good and ill;
To timely sleep. Thought I, the impassioned strain, Or pains abstruse-to elevate the will,
Which, without aid of numbers, I sustaio,
And lead us on to that transcendent rest. Like acceptation from the World will find.
Where every passion shall the sway allest Yet some with apprehensive ear shall drink
Of reason, seated on her sovereign hill; A dirge devoutly breached o'er sorrows past,
What is it but a vain and curious skill, And to the attendant promise will give heed
If sapient Germany must lie deprest, The prophecy,- like that of this wild blast,
Peneath the brutal sword? Her haughty Schools Which, wbile it makes the heart with sadness shrink, Shall blush; and may not we with sorrow say, Tells also of bright calms that shall succeed.
A few strong instincts and a few plain rules,
Among the herdsmen of the Alps, have wrought
More for mankind at this unhappy day
Than all the pride of intellect and thought?
Or mortal Parents is the Hero born
By whom the undaunted Tyrolese are led ?
Or is it Tell's great Spirit, from the dead
And is it among rude untutored Dales,
Returned to animate an age
There, and there only, that the heart is true? He comes like Phæbus through the gates of morn
And, rising to repel or to subdue, When dreary darkness is discomfied:
Is it by rocks and woods that man prevails? Yer mark his modest state! upon his head,
Ah, no! though Nature's dread protection fails, That simple crest, a heron's plume, is worn.
There is a bulwark in the soul. This knew O Liberty! they staccer at the shock;
Iberian Burghers when the sword they drew The Murderers are aghast ; they strive to flec,
In Zaragoza, naked to the gales And half their Host is buried :-rock on rock
of fiercely-breathing war. The truth was felt Descends:- beneath this godlike Warrior, see!
By Palafox, and many a brave Compeer,
Like him of noble birth and ooble mind; Bills, Torrents, Woods, embodied to bemock
By Ladies, meek-eyed Women without fear; The Tyrant, and confound his cruclıy.
And Wanderers of the street, to whom is dealt
The bread which without industry they find,
Advance-come forth from thy Tyrolean ground,
Dear Liberty! stero Nymph of soul untamed,
O'er the wide earth, on mountain and on plain, Sweet Nymph, O rightly of the mountains named!
Dwells in the affections and the soul of man
Through the long chain of Alps from mound to mound A Godhead, like the universal Pan,
And o'er the eternal snows, like Echo, bound,-
But more exalted, with a brighter train.
Like Echo, when the Hunter-train at dawn
And shall his bounty be dispersed in vain, Have roused her from her sleep: and forest-lawn,
Showered equally on city and on field, Chiffs, woods, and caves her viewless steps resound
And neither hope nor steadfast promise yield And babble of her pastime!-On, dread Power!
In these usurping times of fear and pain? With such invisible motion speed they fight,
Such doom awaits us. Nav, forbid it Heaven! Through banging clouds, from craggy leight to height, We know the arduous strife, the eternal laws Through the green vales and through the Herdsman's To which the triumph of all good is given, bower,
High sacrifice, and labour without pause, That all the Alps may gladden in thy might,
Even to the death :-else wherefore should the eye Here, there, and in all places at one hour.
Of man converse with immortality ?
FEELINGS OF THE TYROLESE.
į Tea Land we from our Fathers had in trust,
| And to our Children will transinit, or die :
This is our maxim, this our piety;
And God and Nature way that it is just.
That which we would perform in arms—we must!
We read the dictate in the lofant's eye;
In tbe Wife's smile; and in the placid sky;
And, at our feet, amid the silent dust
Of them that were before us,-Sing aloud
Old Songs, the precious music of the heart!
ON THE FINAL SUBMISSION OF THE
It was a moral end for which they fought;
Else how, when mighty Thrones were put to shame,
Could they, poor Shepherds, have preserved an aim,
A resolution, or enliveving thought?
Nor hath that moral good been vainly sought;
For in their magnanimity and fame
Powers have they left, an impulse, and a claim
Which neither can be overturned nor bought.
Sleep, Warriors, sleep! among your hills repose! :
We know that ye, beneath the steru control
Of awful prudence, keep the uovanquished soul.
And when, impatient of her guilt and woes,
Europe breaks forth; then, Shepherds! shall ye rise
For perfect triumph o'er your Enemics.
A judge, who, as man claims by meril, gives;
To whose all-pondering mind a noble aim,
Faithfully kept, is as a noble deed ;
In whose pure sight all virtue doch succeed.
Hart, Zaragoza! If with unwet eye
We can approach, thy sorrow to behold,
Yet is the heart not pitiless nor cold;
Such spectacle demands not tear or sigh.
These desolate Remains are trophies high
Of more than martial courage in the breast
Of peaceful civic virtue : they allest
Thy matchless worth to all posterity.
Blood flowed before thy sight without remorse;
Disease consumed thy vitals; War upheaved
The ground beneath thee with volcanic force;
Dread trials! yet encountered and sustained
Till not a wreck of help or hope remained,
And Law was from necessity received.
Call not the royal Swede unfortunate,
Who never did to Fortune bend the knee;
Who slighted fear, rejected steadfastly
Temptation; and whose kingly name and state
Have « perished by his choice, and not his fate!»
Hence lives He, to his inner self endeared;
And hence, wherever virtue is revered,
He sits a more exalted Potentate,
Throned in the hearts of men. Should Heaven ordain
That this great Servant of a righteous cause
Must still have sad or vexing thoughts to endure,
Yet may a sympathising spirit pause,
Admonished by these truths, and quench all pain
In thankful joy and gratulation pure."
SAY, what is Honour?—'T is the finest sense
Of justice which the human mind can frame,
Intent each lurking frailty to disclaim,
And guard the way of life from all offence
Suffered or done. When lawless violence
A Kingdom doth assault, and in the scale
Of perilous war her weightiest Armies fail,
Honour is hopeful elevation-whence
Glory, and Triumph. Yet with politic skill
Endangered States may yield to terms unjust,
Stoop their proud heads, but not unto the dust,-
A Foe's most favourite purpose to fulfil:
Happy occasions oft by self-mistrust
Are forfeited; but infamy doth kill.
Look now on that Adventurer who hath paid
His vows to Fortune; who, in cruel slight
Of virtuous hope, of liberty, and right,
Hath followed wheresoe'er a way was made
By the blind Goddess ;-ruthless, undismayed;
And so hath gained at length a prosperous Height,
Round which the Elements of worldly might
Beneath his haughty feet, like clouds, are laid.
O joyless power that stands by lawless force!
Curses are his dire portion, scorn, and hate,
Internal darkness and unquiet breath;
And, if old judgments keep their sacred course,
Him from that Height shall Heaven precipitate
By violent and ignominious death.
Is there a Power that can sustain and cheer
The captive Chieftain, by a Tyrant's doom,
Forced to descend alive into his tomb,
A dungeon dark! where he must waste the year,
And lie cut off from all his heart holds dear;
What time his injured Country is a stage
Whereon deliberate Valour and the Rage
Of righteous vengeance side by side appear,
Filling from morn to night the heroic scene
With deeds of hope and everlasting praise :
Say can he think of this with mind serene
And silent fellers? Yes, if visions bright
Shine on his soul, reflected from the days
When he himself was cried in open light.
The martial courage of a day is vain,
An empty voise of death the battle's roar,
If vital hope be wanting to restore,
Or fortitude be wanting to sustain,
Armies or Kingdoms. We have heard a strain
Of triumph, how the labouring Danube bore
A weight of hostile corses : dreuched with gore
Were the wide fields, the hamlets heaped with slain.
Yet see, the mighty tumult overpast,
Austria a Daughter of her Throne hath sold!
And her Tyrolean Champion we behold
Murdered like one ashore by shipwreck cast,
Murdered without relief. Oh! blind as bold,
To think that such assurance can stand fast!
1810. An! where is Palafox? Nor tongue nor pen Reports of him, his dwelling or his grave!
Brave Schill! by death delivered, take thy flight
From Prussia's timid region. Go, and rest
With heroes 'mid the Islands of the Blest,
Or in the fields of empyrean light.
A meteor wert thou in a darksome night;
Yet shall thy name, conspicuous and sublime,
Stand in the spacious firmament of time,
Fixed as a star : such glory is thy right.
Alas ! it may not be : for earthly fame
Is Fortune's frail dependent; yet there lives
I In this and a former Sonnet, in honour of the same Sovereige, let me be understood as a Poet availing bimself of the situation which the king of Sweden occupied, and of the principles avowel in his manifestook; as laying bold of these advantages for the purpose of embodying moral truths. This remark might, perbape, as well have been suppressed, for to those who may be in sympathy w the course of obeso Poems, it will be superfluous; and will, I bear, be thrown away upon that orber class, whose besotted admiration of the intoxicated despot here placed in contrast with bim, is the But melancholy evidence of degradation in British feeling and inteller: which the times have furbished.