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There forms that mortals may not see,
Too glorious for the eye to trace;
Move with unutterable grace.
In vain the philosophic eye
May seek to view the fair abode,
It is the dwelling place of God!
Calm was the eve, and cooling was the gale
Homeward each warrior hies, and grasps the spear,
Dead, bleeding, dying blessed are the dead!
They bear not the oppressor's chain, nor feel
The bolted iron; while from a neighbouring hill
The pale-faced, ruthless author of the war,
Surveys the human harvest reaped and bound!
Fire, sword and rapine, sweep away at once
The cottage with its inmates, and transform
The happy vale into a wilderness;
No human being save the bowed down,
And children that scarce lisp a father's name,
Is left; as when a forest is laid low,
Haply some single and far sundered trees
Are spared, while every lowly shrub and flower,
That sheltered smiled, droops shivering in the breeze.
And now the wretched captives, linked in rows. In sad community of chains, drag on Their iron-cumbered limbs, while oft the scourge Or unclosed wound leaves in the thirsty sand The traces of their miserable way.
At last the fainting victims reach the shove,
Where low they lie, dispersed in mournful bands;
Then are unbound, to bear the butcher-gripe
Of brutal traffickers, or join the dance,
Mockery of mirth! to harmony of whips I
The bargain finished, piteous is the sight;
Most lamentable are the peals of cries,
The groans of parents from their children torn,
Of brother, sister severed; every tie
Of kindred, by one rude revulsion riven.
Some kindred groups remain entire, and feel
The solace of society in woe.
Behold a father driven with his sons,
The mother with her nursling in her arms,
To meet yon ship, now newly hove in sight,
And unsupplied. The trader with his flock
Hastes to the water edge, where waits his boat,
Its human cargo. First the sire is bound,
And thrown beneath a bench; the rest, unbound,
Implicit follow where affection leads:
His darling boy hastes in, and lays him down
A gentle pillow to his father's head,
And with his little hands would dry the tears
That fill the upward-turned, despairing eye.
But who is he that in the dimpling track
Elbows the brine? He is a bov bereft
Of sight, and worthless in the trader's eyes,
The only remnant to a father left
Of all his children; he the best beloved,
Because most helpless, yet no prayer will move
The felon merchant to admit the child
To share the fetters, which his father bind.
And now he gains upon the sounding oars,
That guide his following course; and now the side
Eager he grasps; and though still pushed away,
Still he returns, till frequent on his hands
He feels the bruising blow; then down he sinks,
Nor makes one faint endeavour for his life.
O God! how large a portion of the ills
Of humankind, derives itself from man!
ODE FROM THE FRENCH.
It soars and mingles in the air,
With that of lost Labedoyere—
With that of him whose honoured grave
Contains the ' bravest of the brave.'
A crimson cloud it spreads and glows,
But shall return to whence it rose;
When 'tis full 'twill burst asunder—
Never yet was heard such thunder
As then shall shake the world with wonder—
Never yet was seen such lightning
As o'er heaven shall then be bright'ning!
Like the wormwood star foretold
By the sainted seer of old,
Showering down a fiery flood,
Turning rivers into blood.
With that youthful chief competed?
Who could boast of France defeated, Till lone tyranny commanded?