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And all our dainty terms for fratricide;
Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongues :
Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which
We join no feeling and attach no form!
As if the soldier died without a wound;
As if the fibres of this godlike frame
Were gor'd without a pang; as if the wretch, ..
Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds,
Pass'd off to Heaven, translated and not kill'd;
As though he had no wife to pine for him,
No God to judge him! Therefore, evil days ,
Are coming on us, O'my countrymen ! .
And what if all-avenging Providence,
Strong and retributive, should make us know
The meaning of our words, force us to feel i
The desolation and the agony
Of our fierce doings?
Spare us yet awhile, Father and God! Oh! spare us yet awhile ! Oh! let not English women drag their flight Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes, Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday Laugh'd at the breast ! Sons, brothers, husbands, all Who ever gaz'd with fondness on the forms
Which grew up with you round the same fire-side,
And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells
Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure!
Stand forth ! be men! repel an impious foe,
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race,
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth
With deeds of murder ; and still promising
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free,
Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart
Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes
And all that lifts the spirit ! Stand we forth;
Render them back upon the insulted ocean,
And let them toss as idly on it's waves
As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast
Swept from our shores! And oh! may we return
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear,
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung
So fierce a foe to frenzy !
I have told, O Britons ! O my brethren ! I have told Most bitter truth, but without bitterness. Nor deem my zeal or factious or mis-tim'd;. For never can true courage dwell with them, Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look
At their own vices. We have been too long
Dupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike,
Groaning with restless enmity, expect
All change from change of constituted power ;
As if a Government had been a robe,
On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd
Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe
Pull'd off at pleasure. Fondly these attach
A radical causation to a few
Poor drudges of chastising Providence,
Who borrow all their hues and qualities
From our own folly and rank wickedness,
Which gave them birth and nurse them. Others, mean-
Dote with a mad idolatry; and all
Who will not fall before their images,
And yield them worship, they are enemies
Even of their country!
Such have I been deem'd
But, О dear Britain ! O my Mother Isle!
Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy
To me, a son, a brother, and a friend,
A husband, and a father! who revere
All bonds of natural love, and find them all
Within the limits of thy rocky shores.
O native Britain! O my Mother Isle !
How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and holy
To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills,
Thy clouds, thy quiet dates, thy rocks and seas,
Have drunk in all my intellectual life,
All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts,
All adoration of the God in Nature,
All lovely and all honorable things,
Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
The joy and greatness of its future being ?
There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul
Unborrow'd from my country. O divine
And beauteous island ! thou hast been my sole
And most magnificent temple, in the which
I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs,
Loving the God that made me!
May my fears,
My filial fears, be vain! and may the vaunts
And menace of the vengeful enemy'
Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away
In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard
In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad .. The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze: The light has left the summit of the hill, Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell, Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot! On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, Homeward I wind my way; and, lo! recall’d From bodings that have well nigh wearied me," I find myself upon the brow, and pause Startled ! And after lonely sojourning In such a quiet and surrounded nook, This burst of prospect, here the shadowy Main, Dim tinted, there the mighty majesty Of that huge amphitheatre of rich And elmy Fields, seems like society Conversing with the mind, and giving it A livelier impulse and a dance of thought! And now, beloved Stowey! I behold. Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge elms Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend ; . And close behind them, hidden from my view, Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe And my babe's mother dwell in peace! With light And quicken'd footsteps thitherward I tend,