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ODE

TO

GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE,

On the 24th Stanza in her Pussage over Mount Gothard."

And bail the Chapel! hail the Platform wild!

Where Tell directed the avenging Dart,
With well strung arm, that first preserv'd his Child,

Then aimed the arrow at the Tyrant's heart.”

SPLENDOR's fondly fostered child !
And did you hail the Platform wild,
Where once the Austrian fell

Beneath the shaft of Tell?
O Lady, nurs’d in pomp and pleasure !
Whence learnt you that heroic measure?

Light as a dream your days their circlets ran,
From all that teaches Brotherhood to Man

Far, far removed ! from want, from hope, from fear !
Enchanting music lull’d your infant ear,
Obeisant praises sooth’d your infant heart :

Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
With many a bright obstrusive form of art,

Detain'd your eye from nature : stately vests,
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine,
Rich viands, and the pleasurable wine,
Were your's unearn’d by toil; nor could you see
The unenjoying toiler's misery.
And yet, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild,

Where once the Austrian fell

Beneath the shaft of Tell !
O Lady, nurs’d in pomp and pleasure !
Whence learnt you that heroic measure?

There crowd your finely-fibred frame,

All living faculties of bliss :
And Genius to your cradle came,
His forehead wreath'd with lambent flame,

And bending low, with godlike kiss

Breath'd in a more celestial life!
But boasts not many a fair compeer

A heart as sensitive to joy and fear?
And some, perchance, might wage an equal strife,
Some few, to nobler being wrought,
Co-rivals in the nobler gift of thought.

Yet these delight to celebrate
Laurellid War and plumy State ;
Or in verse and music dress

Tales of rustic happiness-
Pernicious Tales ! insidious Strains !

That steel the rich man's breast,

And mock the lot unblest,
The sordid vices and the abject pains,
Which evermore must be

The doom of Ignorance and Penury !
But you, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild,

Where once the Austrian fell

Beneath the shaft of Tell !
O Lady, nurs’d in pomp and pleasure !
Where learnt you that heroic measure ?

-You were a Mother! That most holy name,

Which Heaven and Nature bless, I may not vilely prostitute to those

Whose Infants owe them less

Than the poor Caterpillar owes

Its gaudy Parent Fly.
You were a Mother! at your bosom fed

The Babes that lov’d you. You, with laughing eye,
Each twilight-thought, each nascent feeling read,
Which you yourself created. Oh! delight!
A second time to be a Mother,

Without the Mother's bitter groans :
Another thought, and yet another,

By touch, or taste, by looks or tones
O'er the growing Sense to roll,

The Mother of your Infant's Soul !
The Angel of the Earth, who, while he guides

His chariot-planet round the goal of day,
All trembling gazes on the Eye of God,

A moment turn’d his awful face away;
And as he view'd you, from his aspect sweet

New influences in your being rose,
Blest Intuitions and Communions fleet
With living Nature, in her joys and woes!

Thenceforth your soul rejoic'd to see
The shrine of social Liberty!
O beautiful! O Nature's child !
”Twas thence you hail'd the Platform wild,

Where once the Austrian fell

Beneath the shaft of Tell ! - O Lady, nurs'd in pomp and pleasure !

Thence learnt you that heroic measure.

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