Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

to say,

Maids and matrons-dight

And ye, Pierian sisters, sprung from Jove In robes of dazzling white.

And sage Mnemosyne. ---full long debarred While from the crowd bursts forth a From your first niansions,-exiled all too rapturous noise

long By the cloud-capt hills retorted, - From many a hallowed stream and grove, And a throng of rosy boys

Dear native regions where ye wont to rove, In loose fashion tell their joys, - Chanting for patriot heroes the reward And gray-haired sires, on staffs supported, Of never-dying song! Look round--and by their smiling seem Now, (for, though truth descending from

above Thus strives a grateful country to display The Olympian summit hath destrcyed for The mighty debt which nothing can repay! aye

Your kindred deities, ye live and move Anon before my sight a palace rose, And exercise unblamed a generous sway) Built of all precious substances,—so pure Now, on the margin of some spotless founAnd exquisite, that sleep alone bestows

tain, Ability like splendour to endure;

Or top serene of unmolested mountain, Entered, with streaming thousands, through Strike audibly the noblest of your lyres, the gate,

(of state, And for a moment meet my soul's desires! I saw the banquet spread beneath a dome That I, or some more favoured bard, may A lofty dome, that dared to emulate

hear The heaven of sable night

What ye, celestial maids! have often sung With starry lustre; and had power to throw Of Britain's acts,-may catch it with rapt Solemn effulgence, clear as solar light,

ear, Upon a princely company below,

And give the treasure to our British tongue! While the vault rang with choral harmony. So shall the characters of that proud page Like some nymph-haunted grot beneath Support their mighty theme from age to age; the roaring sea.

And, in the desert places of the earth, No sooner ceased that peal, than on the When they to future empires have given Of exultation hung a dirge, (verge birth, Breathed from a soft and lonely instrument, So shall the people gather and believe That kindled recollections

The bold report, transferred to every clime; Of agonized affections ;

And the whole world, not envious but ad. And, though some tears the strain attended, And to the like aspiring, (miring, The mournful passion ended

Own that the progeny of this fair isle In peace of spirit, and sublime content ! Had power as lofty actions to achieve

As were performed in man's heroic prime; But garlands wither,-festalshows depart, | Nor wanted, when their fortitude had held Like dreams themselves; and sweetest Its even tenor, and the foe was quelled,

Albeit of effect prosound, (sound, A corresponding virtue to beguile
It was--and it is gone!

The hostile purpose of wide-wasting time ; Victorious England ! bid the silent art That not in vain they laboured to secure, Reflect, in glowing hues that shall not fade, For their great deeds, perpetual memory, These high achievements, even as shearrayed And fame as largely spread as land and sea, With second life the deed of Marathon, By works of spirit high and passion pure,

Upon Athenian walls :
So may she labour for thy civic halls ;

And be the guardian spaces
Of consecrated places,

*THANKSGIVING ODE. As nobly graced by sculpture's patient toil;

JANUARY 18, 1816.
And let imperishable structures grow
Fixed in the depths of this courageous soil;
Expressive signals of a glorious strife,

ADVERTISEMENT.
And competent to shed a spark divine WHOLLY unworthy of touching upon the mo-
Into the torpid breast of daily life ; (shine, mentous subject here treated would that poet be,
Records on which the morning sun may which this kingdom labours could interpose a

before whose eyes the present distresses under As changeful ages flow,

veil sufficiently thick to hide, or even to obscure, With gratulation thoroughly benign! the splendour of this great moral triumph. I

the author has given way to exultation, un- tion; and, by permitting, they invite her to give checked by these distresses, it might be suffici- way to the courageous instincts of human nature, ent to protect him from a charge of insensibility, and to strengthen and to refine them by culshould he state his own belief that the sufferings ture. But some have more than insinuated will be transitory. On the wisdom of a very that a design exists to subvert the civil characlarge majority of the British nation rested that ter of the English people by unconstitutional generosity which poured out the treasures of applications and unnecessary increase of military this country for the deliverance of Europe : and power. The advisers and abettors of such a in the same national wisdom, presiding in time design, were it possible that it should exist, of peace over an energy not inferior to that would be guilty of the most heinous crime, which has been displayed in war, they confide, which, upon this planet, can be committed. The who encourage a firm hope, that the cup of our author, trusting that this apprehension arises wealth will be gradually replenished." There from the delusive influences of an honourable will, doubtless, be no few ready to indulge in jealousy, hopes that the martial qualities he regrets and repinings : and to feed a morbid venerates will be fostered by adhering to those satisfaction, by aggravating these burthens in good old usages which experience has sanctioned: imagination, in order that calamity so confi- and by availing ourselves of new means of indently prophesied, as it has not taken the shape disputable promise : particularly by applying, in which their sagacity allotted to it, may appear its utmost possible extent, that system of tuition as grievous as possible under another. But the whose master-spring is a habit of gradually en. body of the nation will not quarrel with the lightened subordination ;-by imparting knowgain, because it might have been purchased at a ledge, civil, moral, and religious, in such measure less price : and, acknowledging in these suffer that the mind, among all classes of the commuings, which they teel to have been in a great de- nity, may love, admire, and be prepared and gree unavoidable, a consecration of their noble accomplished to defend that country under whose efforts, they will vigorously apply themselves to protection its faculties have been unfolded, and remedy the evil.

its riches acquired ;-by just dealing towards all Nor is it at the expense of rational patriotism orders of the state, so that no members of it or in disregard of sound philosophy, that the being trampled upon, courage may everywhere author hath given vent to feelings tending to continue to rest immovably upon its ancient encourage a martial spirit in the bosoms of his English foundation, personal self-respect ;-by countrymen, at a time when there is a general adequate rewards, and permanent honours, conoutcry against the prevalence of these disposi: ferred upon the deserving; by encouraging athtions. The British army, both by its skill and letic exercises and inanly sports among the valour in the field, and by the discipline which peasantry of the country :--and by especial care has rendered it much less formidable than the to provide and support institutions, in which, armies of other powers to the inhabitants of the during a time of peace, a reasonable proportion several countries where its operations were car of the youth of the country may be instructed nied on, has performed services that will not in military science. allow the language of gratitude and admiration The author has only to add, that he shoulr to be suppressed or restrained (whatever be the feel little satisfaction in giving to the world these temper of the public mind) through a scrupu- limited attempts to celebrate the virtues of hi: lous dread lest the tribute due to the past should country, if he did not encourage a hope that 3 prove an injurious incentive for the future. subject, which it has fallen within his province Every man deserving the name of Briton adds to treat only in the mass, will by other poets be his voice to the chorus which extols the exploits illustrated in that detail which its importance of his countrymen, with a consciousness, at calls for, and which will allow opportunities to times overpowering the effort, that they tran- give the merited applause to PERSONS as well as scend all praise. --- But this particular sentiment, to THINGS. thus irresistibly excited, is not sufficient. The This Ode was published along with other nation would err grievously, if she suffered the pieces, now interspersed through this Volume. abuse which other states have made of military power, to prevent her from perceiving that no people ever was, or can be, independent, free, or secure, much less great, in any sane applica

ODE. tion of the word, without martial propensities and an assiduous cultivation of military virtues. THE MORNING OF THE DAY APPOINTED Nor let it be overlooked, that the benefits deriv.

FOR A GENERAL THANKSGIVING. able from these sources are placed within the reach of Great Britain, under conditions pecu

JANUARY 18, 1816. larly favourable. The same insular position which, by rendering territorial incorporation im- Hail, universal source of pure delight! possible, utterly precludes the desire of conquest Thou that canst shed the bliss of gratitude under the most seductive shape it can assume, On hearts howe'er insensible or rude ; enables her to rely, for her defence against Whether thv orient visitations smite foreign foes, chiefly upon a species of armed force from which her owr. liberties have nothing The haughty towers where monarchs dweil; Lo scar Such are the privileges of her situa. Or thou, impartial sun, with presence bright Cheer'st the low threshold of the peasant's Have we not conquered ?-By the venge cell !

ful sword? Not unrejoiced I see thee climb the sky Ah, no, by dint of magnanimity; In naked splendour, clear from mist or That curbed the baser passions, and left free haze,

A loyal band to follow their liege lord, Or cloud approaching to divert the rays, Clear-sighted honour—and his staid comWhich even in deepest winter testify

peers, Thy power and majesty,

Along a track of most unnatural years, Dazzling the vision that presumes to gaze.

In execution of heroic deeds ; Well does thine aspect usher in this day; Whose memory.spotless as the crystal beads As aptly suits therewith that timid pace Of morning dew upon the untrodden meads,

Submitted to the chains (dains Shall live enrolled above the starry spheres That bind thee to the path which God or- Who to the murmurs of an earthly string, That thou shalt trace,

(away! Or Britain's acts would sing. Till, with the heavens and earth, thou pass He with enraptured voice will tell Nor less, the stillness of these frosty plains, of one whose spirit no reverse could quell; Their utter stillness, and the silent grace Of one that 'mid the failing never failed : Or yon ethereal summits white with snow, Who paints how Britain struggled and pre(Whose tranquil pomp, and spotless purity,

vailed Report of storms gone by

Shall represent her labouring with an eye To us who tread below)

Of circumspect humanity; Do with the service of this day accord.

Shall show her clothed with strength Divinest object, which the uplifted eye

All martial duties to fulfil ; (and skill, Of mortal man is suffered to behold; Firm as a rock in stationary fight : Thou, who upon yon snow-clad heights hast | In motion rapid as the lightning's gleam; poured

(vale. Fierce as a flood-gate bursting in the night Meek splendour, nor forget'st the humble To rouse the wicked from their giddy Thou who dost warm earth's universal

dreammould,

Woe, woe to all that face her in the field ! And for thy bounty wert not unadored Appalled she may not be, and cannot yield. By pious men of old ;

(hail ! Once more, heart-cheering sun, I bid thee And thus is missed the sole true glory Bright be thy course to-day, let not this That can belong to human story! promise fail !

At which they only shall arrive (dive.

Who through the abyss of weakness

The very humblest are too proud of heart : Mid the deep quiet of this morning hour, And one brief day is rightly set apart All nature seems to hear me while I speak, To Him who lifteth up and layeth low; By feelings urged, that do not vainly seek For that Almighty God to whom we owe, Apt language, ready as the tuneful notes Say not that we have vanquished--but that That stream in blithe succession from the we survive.

Of birds in leafy bower, [throats Warbling a farewell to a vernal shower. How dreadful the dominion of the im'There is a radiant but a short-lived flame, That burns for poets in the dawning east; Why should the song be tardy to proclaim And oft my soul hath kindled at the same, That less than power unbounded could not When the captivity of sleep had ceased ; But who fixed immovably the frame That soul of evil-which, from hell let of the round world, and built, by laws as loose, A solid refuge for distress,

(abuse, (strong, Had filled the astonished world with such The lowers of righteousness; He knows that from a holier altar came

As boundless patience only could endure?

Wide-wasted regions - cities wrapt, in The quickening spark of this day's sacrifice; flameKnows that the source is nobler whence doth Who sees, and feels, may lift a streaming

(eye rise The current of this matin song :

To heaven, -who never saw may heave a

sigh ; That deeper far it lies Than aught dependent on the fickle skies. And with an infinite pain the spirit aches,

But the foundation of our nature shakes,

pure !

tame

When desolated countries, towns on fire, That bade him hope, and to his hope Are but the avowed attire

cleave fast !

(length of warfare waged with desperate mind The nations strove with puissance ;-at Against the life of virtue in mankind ; Wide Europe heaved, impatient to be cast, Assaulting without ruth

With all her living strength, The citadels of truth ;

With all her armed powers, While the whole forest of civility

Upon the offensive shores. is doomed to perish, to the last fair tree! The trumpet blew a universal blast !

But thou art foremost in the field ;-there A crouching purpose—a distracted will

stand : Opposed te hopes that battened upon scorn, Receive the triumph destined to thy hand ! And to desires whose ever-waxing horn

All states have glorified themselves : their

claims Not all the hght of earthly power could fill ; Opposed to dark, deep plots of patient Are weighed by Providence, in balance And to celerities of lawless force (skill,

even ,

(names, Which, spurning God, had flung away! To thee the exterminating sword is given.

And now, in preference to the mightiest
remorse-
What could they gain but shadows of Dread mark of approbation, justly gained.!
So bad proceeded propagating worse ;

Exalted office, worthily sustained !
And discipline was passion's dire excess.
Widens the fatal web, its lines extend,
And deadlier poisons in the chalice blend-

Imagination, ne'er before content,
When will your trials teach you to be

But aye ascending, restless in her pride, wise?

From all that man's performance could Oh, prostrate lands, consult your agonies !

present, Stoops to that closing deed magnificent,

And with the embrace is satisfied. No more-the guilt is banished,

Fly, ministers of fame, And, with the guilt, the shame is filed ; Whate'er your means, whatever help ye And, with the guilt and shame, the woe claim,

[delight! hath vanished,

Bear through the world these tidings of Shaking the dust and ashes from her head! Hours, days, and months, have borne them, No more-these lingerings of distress

in the sight

(shower, Sully the limpid stream of thankfulness. Of mortals, travelling faster than the What robe can gratitude employ

'That landward stretches from the sea, So seemly as the radiant vest of joy?

The morning's splendours to devour ; What steps so suitable as those that move But this appearance scattered ecstasy, In prompt obedience to spontaneous mea- And heart-sick Europe blessed the healing Of glory-and felicity-and love, (sures power. Surrendering the whole heart to sacred The shock is giventhe adversaries pleasures ?

bleed

Lo, justice triumphs! Earth is freed ! Land of our fathers ! precious unto me

Such glad assurance suddenly went forthSince the first joys of thinking infancy :

It pierced the caverns of the sluggish When of thy gallant chivalry I read,

northAnd hugged the volume on my sleepless of Andes-frozen gulfs became its bridge

It found no barrier on the ridge bed! 0 England 5-dearer far than life is dear,

The vast Pacific gladdens with the freighIf I forget thy prowess, never more

Upon the lakes of Asia 'tis bestowed Be thy ungrateful son allowed to hear

The Arabian desert shapes a willing road, Thy green leaves rustle, or thy torrents roar!

Across her burning breast, Put how can he be faithless to the past,

For this refreshing incense from the west ! Whose soul, intolerant of base decline,

Where snakes and lions breed, Saw in thy virtue a celestial sign,

Where towns and cities thick as stars

appear.

Wherever fruits are gathered, and where'er * " A discipline the rule whereof is passion." The upturned soil receives the hopeful Lord BROOK.

seed

waves :

While the sun rules, and cross the shades | Be it not unordained that solemn rites, of night

Within the circuit of those Gothic walls, The unwearied arrow hath pursued its shall be performed at pregnant intervals ; flight!

[heed, Commemoration holy, that unites The eyes of good men thankfully give The living cenerations with the dead; And in its sparkling progress read

By the deep soul-moving sense How virtue triumphs, from her bondage of religious eloquence, — freed !

By visual pomp, and by the tie Tyrants exult to hear of kingdoms won, of sweet and threatening harmony; And slaves are pleased to learn that mighty Soft notes, awful as the omen

feats are done; (tracted borders Of destructive tempests coming. Even the proud realm, from whose dis- And escaping from that sadness This messenger of good was launched in Into elevated gladness; air,

(disorders, While the white-robed choir atFrance, conquered France, amid her wild tendant, Feels, and hereafter shall the truth declare, Under mouldering banners pen. That she too lacks not reason to rejoice,

dant, And utter England's name with sadly- Provoke all potent symphonies to raise plausive voice.

Songs of victory and praise,

For them wlio bravely stood unhurt, or Preserve, O Lord! within our hearts

bled

(graves The memory of thy favour,

With medicable wounds, or found their That else insensibly departs,

Upon the battle-field, or under ocean's And loses its sweet savour ! Lodge it within us !-as the power of light Or were conducted home in single state, Lives inexhaustibly in precious gems, And long procession-there to lie, Fixed on the front of eastern diadems, Where their sons' sons, and all posterity, So shine our thankfulness for ever bright ! Unheard by them, their deeds shall celeWhat offering, what transcendent monu

brate ! Shall our sincerity to thee present? (ment Nor will the God of peace and love Not work of hands; but trophies that may Such martial service disapprove. reach

He guides the pestilence the To highest heaven--the labour of the soul ;

cloud That builds, as thy unerring precepts teach, Of locusts travels on his breath ; Upon the inward victories of each,

The region that in hope was Her hope of lasting glory for the whole.

ploughed Yet might it well become that city now, His drought consumes, his mildew taints Into whose breast the tides of grandeur with death ; flow,

He springs the hushed volcano's mine ; To whom all persecuted men retreat ; He puts the earthquake on her still design, If a new temple lift her votive brow Darkens the sun, hath bade the forest sink, Upon the shore of silver Thames—to greet And, drinking towns and cities, still can The peaceful guest advancing from afar.

drink

[Thine! Bright be the distant fabric, as a star Cities and towns-'tis Thou-the work is Fresh risen-and beautiful within !—there The fierce tornado sleeps within thy

courts-Dependence infinite, proportion just ;

He hears the word-he flies-
A pile that grace approves, that time can And navies perish in their ports ;

For thou art angry with thine enemies ! With his most sacred wealth, heroic dust! For these, and for our errors

And sins, that point their terrors, But if the valiant of this land

We bow our heads before Thee, and we In reverential modesty demand,

laud That all observance, due to them, be paid And magnify thy name, Almighty God! Where their serene progenitors are laid; But thy most dreaded instrument Kings, warriors, high-souled poets, saint- In working out a pure intent,

{ages; Is England's illustrious sons of longlong

-arrayed for mutual slaughter,

meet

trust

like sages,

man

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »