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AFTER-THOUGHT.-SONNET.-BRITONS, GUARD YOUR OWN.
We were the best of marksmen long ago,
We won old battles with our strength, the bow. SONNET
Now practice, yeomen,
Like those bowmen,
Till your balls fly as their shafts have flown.
Yeomen, guard your own.
His soldier-ridden Highness might incline
To take Sardinia, Belgium, or the Rhine: Farewell, Macready; since this night we part.
Shall we stand idle, Go, take thine honors home: rank with the best,
Nor seek to bridle Garrick, and statelier Kemble, and the rest
His rude aggressions, till we stand alone? Who made a nation purer thro' their art.
Make their cause your own. Thine is it, that our Drama did not die,
Nor flicker down to brainless pantomime, Should he land here, and for one hour prevail,
And those gilt gauds men-children swarm to see. There must no man go back to bear the tale: Farewell, Macready; moral, grave, sublime.
No man to bear itOur Shakspeare's bland and universal eye
Swear it! we swear it! Dwells pleased, thro' twice a hundred years, on Although we fight the banded world alone, thee.
We swear to guard our own.
BRITONS, GUARD YOUR OWN.I RISE, Britons, rise, if manhood be not dead ;
THE THIRD OF FEBRUARY, 1852. The world's last tempest darkens overhead; The Pope has bless'd him;
My lords, we heard you speak; you told us all The Church caress'd him;
That England's honest censure went too far
That our free press should cease to brawl,
Not sting the fiery Frenchman into war.
It was an ancient privilege, my lords,
To fling whate'er we felt, not fearing, into words. By lying priests the peasants' votes controll’d. All freedom vanish'd,
We love not this French God, this child of Hell, The true men banish’d,
Wild War, who breaks the converse of the wise, He triumphs; may be we shall stand alone.
But though we love kind Peace so well,
We dare not, e'en by silence, sanction lies.
It might safe be our censures to withdraw; Peace-lovers we-sweet Peace we all desire
And yet, my lords, not well; there is a higher law.
As long as we remain, we must speak free,
Though all the storm of Europe on us break;
No little German state are we,
But the one voice in Europe; we must speak;
There might remain some record of the things we * Punch, March 7, 1846, signed “ Alcibiades."
said. + Read by Mr. John Forster at a dinner given to Mr. Macready, March 1, 1851, on his retirement from the stage.
This and the two following pieces were printed in the Examiner If you be fearful, then must we be bold. in 1852. The last two were signed “Merlin.”
Our Britain can not salve a tyrant o'er.
HANDS ALL ROUND.-THE WAR.-1865-1866.
Better the waste Atlantic roll'd
Gigantic daughter of the West, On her and us and ours forevermore.
We drink to thee across the flood, What! have we fought for freedom from our prime, We know thee and we love thee best, At last to dodge and palter with a public crime? For art thou not of British blood ?
Should war's mad blast again be blown, Shall we fear him? our own we never feared.
Permit not thou the tyrant powers From our first Charles by force we wrung our To fight thy mother here alone, claims,
But let thy broadsides roar with ours. Prick'd by the Papal spur, we rear’d,
Hands all round ! And flung the burthen of the second James.
God the tyrant's cause confound ! I say we never fear'd! and as for these,
To our dear kinsmen of the West, my friends, We broke them on the land, we drove them on the And the great name of England, round and round. seas.
O rise, our strong Atlantic sons,
O speak to Europe through your guns!
They can be understood by kings. Is this the manly strain of Runnymede ?
You must not mix our Queen with those O fall'n nobility, that, overawed,
That wish to keep their people fools; Would lisp in honey'd whispers of this monstrous Our freedom's foemen are her foes, fraud.
She comprehends the race she rules.
Hands all round ! We feel, at least, that silence here were sin.
God the tyrant's cause confound! Not ours the fault if we have feeble hosts
To our dear kinsmen in the West, my friends, If easy patrons of their kin
And the great name of England, round and round. Have left the last free race with naked coasts ! They knew the precious things they had to guard : For us, we will not spare the tyrant one hard word.
THE WAR.* Though niggard throats of Manchester may bawl,
What England was, shall her true sons forget ? THERE is a sound of thunder afar, We are not cotton-spinners all,
Storm in the South that darkens the day, But some love England, and her honor yet.
Storm of battle and thunder of war, And these in our Thermopylæ shall stand,
Well, if it do not roll our way.
Form! form! Riflemen form!