« PrécédentContinuer »
Teach him to scorn with frigid art,
Feebly to touch th' enraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce ;
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critic's studied laws.
O let each Muse's fame increase,
O bid Britannia rival Greece!
Hail meek-ey'd maiden, clad in sober gray, Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves ; As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes, Jocund he whistles through the twilight groves. When Phæbus sinks behind the gilded hills, You lightly o’er the misty meadows walk ; The drooping daisies bathe in honey dews, And nurse the nodding violet's slender stalk. The panting dryads, that in day's fierce heat To inmost bowers, and cooling caverns ran, Return to trip in wanton ev’ning-dance; Old Silvan too returns, and laughing Pan. To the deep wood the clamorous rooks repair, Light skims the swallow o'er the watery scene; And from the sheep-cote, and fresh-furrow'd field, Stout ploughmen meet, to wrestle on the green. The swain, that artless sings on yonder rock, His nibbling sheep, and lengthening shadow spies ; Pleas'd with the cool, the calm, refreshful hour, And with hoarse humming of unnumber'd flies.
Now every passion sleeps : desponding Love,
And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride ;
An holy calm creeps o'er my peaceful soul,
Anger and mad Ambition's storms subside.
O modest Evening! oft let me appear
A wandering votary in thy pensive train ;
Listening to every wildly-warbling throat
That fills with farewell sweet thy darkening plain.
O Goddess, on whose steps attend
Pleasure and laughter-loving Health,
White-mantled Peace, with olive-wand,
Young Joy, and diamond-sceptred Wealth,
Blithe Plenty, with her loaded horn,
With Science, bright-ey'd as the morn,
In Britain, which for ages past
Has been thy choicest darling care ;
Who mad'sť her wise, and strong, and fair,
May thy best blessings ever last?
For thee the pining prisoner mourns,
Depriv'd of food, of mirth, of light;
For thee pale slaves to galleys chain'd,
That ply tough oars from morn to night ;
Thee the proud sultan's beauteous train,
By eunuchs guarded, weep in vain,
Tearing the roses from their locks;
And Guinea's captive kings lament,
By christian lords to labour sent,
Whipt like the dull, unfeeling ox.
Inspir’d by thee, deaf to fond Nature's cries,
Stern Brutus, when Rome's genius loudly call’d,
Gave her the matchless filial sacrifice,
Unable to behold her power enthrall’d!
And he of later age, but equal fame,
Dar'd stab the tyrant though he lov'd the friend;
How burnt the Spartan* with warm patriot flame,
In thy great cause his valorous life to end !
How burst Gustavus from the Swedish mine!
Like light from chaos dark, eternally to shine.
When Heav'n to all thy joys bestows,
And graves upon our hearts—be free !--
Shall coward man those joys resign,
And dare reverse this great decree?
Submit him to some idol king,
Some selfish, passion-guided thing,
Abhorring'man, by man abhorr'd,
Around whose throne stands trembling Doubt,
Whose jealous eyes still roll about,
And murder with his reeking sword ?
Where trampling Tyranny with Fate
And black Revenge gigantic goes;
Hark, how the dying infants shriek,
How hopeless age is sunk in woes !
Fly, mortals, from that faded land,
Though rivers roll o'er golden sand,
Though birds in shades of cassia sing,
Harvests and fruits spontaneous rise,
No storms disturb the smiling skies,
And each soft breeze rich odours bring.
Britannia watch !-remember peerless Rome,
Her high-towerd head dash'd 'meanly to the
Remember, Freedom's guardian, Grecia's doom,
Whom weeping the despotic Turk has bound;
May ne'er thy oak-crown'd hills, rich meads and
(Fame, virtue, courage, property, forgot) (down,
Thy peaceful villages, and busy towns,
Be doom'd some death-dispensing tyrant's lot :
On deep foundations may thy freedom stand,
Long as the surge shall lash thy sea-encircled land.
HENCE to some Convent's gloomy isles, Where cheerful daylight never smiles: Tyrant ! from Albion haste, to slavish Rome; There by dim tapers' livid light,
At the still solemn hours of night, [tomb, In pensive musings walk o'er' many a sounding
Thy clanking chains, thy crimson steel, Thy venom'd darts, and barbarous wheel, Malignant fiend! bear from this isle away,
Nor dare in Error's fetters bind One active, free-born British mind [sway. That strongly strives to spring indignant from thy
Thou bad'st grim Moloch's frowning priest Snatch screaming infants from the breast, Regardless of the frantic mother's woes; Thou led'st the ruthless sons of Spain
To wond'ring India's golden plain, From deluges of blood where tenfold harvests rose.
But lo! how swiftly art thou fled,
When Reason lifts his radiant head !
When his resounding, awful voice they hear,
Blind Ignorance, thy doting sire,
Thy daughter, trembling Fear, retire ;
And all thy ghastly train of terrors disappear.
So by the Magi hail'd from far,
When Phæbus mounts his early car,
The shrieking ghosts to their dark charnels flock;
The full-gorg'd wolves retreat ; no more
The prowling lionesses roar,
[rock. But hasten with their prey to some deep-cavernd
Hail then, ye friends of Reason, hail,
Ye foes to Mystery's odious veil !
To Truth's high temple guide my steps aright,
Where Clarke and Wollaston reside,
With Locke and Newton by their side, While Plato sits above enthron’d in endless light.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and torturing hour
The bad affright, afflict the best.
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, un pitied and alone.