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Then when each rumor seem'd the voice of fate,
And spoke the victor thund'ring at their gate,
Was there one mention’d peace? did they not pour
Their wealth, their jewels, to the public store,
In emulous haste all pressing to be
Alas how chang'd! how are the mighty sunk,
From the firm Patriot so the whining Monk!
Where Industry secur'd the public good,
Where censors, consuls, and dictators plough’d,
Now lazy zealots batten on the spoil,
And consecrated Sloth devours the farmer's toil.
But oh still worse! where Love and Friendship
Domestic Tyranny has fix'd his throne,
With all his train of monsters; at his side,
Swoln with self-Aatteries, sits stiff-neck'd Pride;
Two twin born fiends his other ear engage,
Heart-canker'd Jealousy, and fire-ey'd Rage;
In front, his empire's sole support
source, Rattling chains, bars, and locks, stalks brutal Force; Whilst pale and shriveld, crouch'd beneath the chair, Lies sneaking, conscious Worthlessness; and near Squint-ey'd Suspicion lurks, with self-distracting
Hail, happy BRITAIN, dear parental land, Where Liberty maintains her latest stand ! Oh while amidst tyrannic realms I rove, Enamor'd let me pour my filial love
Into thy bosom. When the raven wings
Of darkness hover o'er me, when the springs
Of every outward sense are shut, my soul
Thee oft revisits, oft without control
Ranges thy fields delighted, and inhales
Friendship's pure joys, and Freedom's healthful gales.
But say, BRITANNIA, do thy sons, who claim
A birth-right liberty, dispense the same
In equal scales ? Why then does Custom bind
In chains of Ignorance the female mind ?
Why is to them the bright ethereal ray
Of Science veil'd? Why does each pedant say,
“ Shield me, propitious powers, nor clog my life
With that supreme of plagues, a learned wife.
'Tis man's with science to expand the soul,
And wing his eagle flight from pole to pole ;
'Tis his to pierce antiquity's dark gloom,
And the still thicker shades of times to come ;
'Tis his to guide the pond'rous helm of state,
And bear alone all wisdom's solid weight.
Let woman with alluring graces move
The fondling passions and the baby love ;
Be this her only science, be her doom
Fix'd to the toilette, the spinnet and loom.”
Tongue-doughty pedant, was ATHENIA's soul
Form'd for these only? Bring th' exactest rule
Of judgment to the trial, prove that e'er
Thy school-proud tribe engross's a greater share
Of mental excellence; though vernal Youth
Just swells her lovely bosom, yet blest Truth,
Offspring of Sense and Industry, has there
Long fix'd her residence ; and taught the fair
Or wisdom's deep recesses to explore,
Or on invention's rapid wings to soar
Above th’ Aonian mount; and canst thou think
That Virtues, which exalt the soul, can sink
The outward charms ? must Knowledge give offence?
And are the Graces all at war with Sense ?
Say, who of all the fair is form’d to move
The fondest passions, most ecstatic love,
More than ATHENIA ? in her gentle eye
Soft innocence and virgin modesty
Incessant shine, while still a new-born grace
Springs in each speaking feature of her face.
Her sprightly wit no forward pertness spoils ;
No self-assuming air her judgment soils;
Still prone to learn, though capable to teach,
And lofty all her thoughts, but humble all her speech.
Proceed, ATHENIA, let thy growing mind
Take every knowlede in of every
Still on perfection fix hy steady eye,
Be ever rising, rise thou ne'er so high.
But oh reflect, that in th'advent’rous flight,
Thou mount'st a glorious, but a dangerous height:
When every science, every grace shall join,
When most thy wit, when most thy beauties shine,
When thickest crowds enamor'd
around, When loudest every tongue thy praise shall sound,
When verse too offers incense to thy shrine,
And adoration breathes in every line,
Then let my friendly Muse express her care,
Then most will danger spread her viewless snare :
Then let this truth possess thy inmost soul,
“ One drop of Vanity may spoil the whole."
Not self-secure on earth can Knowledge dwell, Knowledge the bliss of heav'n and pang of hell, Alike the instrument of good and evil, The attribute of God, and of the Devil. Without her, Virtue is a power less will: She, without Virtue, is a powerful ill ; Does she then join with Virtue, or oppose, She proves the best of Friends, or worst of Foes. O! be they once in happiest union join'd, And be that union in Athenia's mind.
At length, in pity to a nation's prayer,
Thou liv'st, O Nassau, Providence's care!
Life's sun, which lately with a dubious ray
Gave the last gleams of a short, glorious day,
Again with more than noon-tide lustre burns ;
The dial brightens, and the line returns.
Some guardian power, who o'er thy fate presides, Whose eye unerring Albion's welfare guides, Taught yonder streams with new-felt force to flow, And bade th' exalted minerals doubly glow. Thus cold and motionless Bethesda stood, Till heavenly influence brooded o'er the food.
Lo, while our isle with one loud paean rings, Equal, though silent, homage Isis brings ;