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Insult so much the claims, the rights of man,
Heavens, what a picture ! yes, my friend, 'tis dark;
Not bolder truths of sacred Freedom hung From Sidney's pen or burned on Fox's tongue Than upstart Whigs produce each market night, While yet their conscience, as their purse, is fight; While debts at home excite their care for those Which, dire to tell, their much-loved country owes, And loud and upright, till their prize be known, They thwart the King's supplies to raise their cwn. But bees, on flowers alighting, cease their humSo, settling upon places, Whigs grow dumb. And though I feel as if indignant Heaven Must think that wretch too foul to be forgiven Who basely hangs the bright protecting shade Of Freedom's ensign o'er Corruption's trade, And makes the sacred flag he dares to show His passport to the market of her foe, Yet, yet, I own, so venerably dear Are Freedom's grave old anthems to my ear That I enjoy them, though by rascals sung, And reverence Scripture e'en from Satan's tongue. Nay, when the constitution has expired, I'll have such men, like Irish wakers, hired To sing old “Habeas Corpus” by its side, And ask, in purchased ditties, why it died?
* Andrew Marvell, the honest opposer of the Court during the reign of Charles the Second, and the last member of parliament who, according to the ancient mode. took wages from his constituents. The Commons have, since then. much changed their paymasters. See the State Poems for some rude bni spirited effusions of Andrew Marvell,
See that smooth lord, whom nature's plastic pains
A SATIRE. “This clamour, which pretends to be raised for the safety of religion, has almost worn out the very appearance of it, and rendered us not only the most divided but the most immoral people upon the face of the earth.”-Addison, Freeholder, No. 37.
START not, my friend, nor think the muse will stain
And thou, my friend, if, in these headlong days, When bigot zeal her drunken antics plays So near a precipice that men the while Look breathless on and shudder while they smile If, in such fearful days, thou'lt dare to look To hapless Ireland, to this rankling nook Which Heaven hath freed from poisonous things in vain, While Gifford's tongue and M-sgr-ve's pen remainI thou hast yet no golden blinkers got To shade thine eyes from this devoted spot, Whose wrongs, though blazoned o'er the world they be, Placemen alone are privileged not to seeOh! turn awhile, and, though the shamrock wreathes My homely harp, yet shall the song it breathes of Ireland's slavery, and of Ireland's woes, Live, when the memory of her tyrant foes Shall but exist all future knaves to warn, Embalmed in hate and canonized by scorn; When Castlereagh, in sleep still more profound Than his own opiate tongue now deals around, Shall wait the impeachment of that awful day Which even his practised hand can't bribe away.
And oh! my friend, wert thou but near me now,
* The “Stella Stercorarin" of the popes. The Right Honourawie and earned Doctor will find an engraving of this chair in Spanheim's “ Disquisitio Historica de Papâ Fominâ” (p. 118); and I recommend it as a model for the fashion of that seat which the Doctor is about to take in the privy-council of Ireland.
E'en through the blood-marks left by Camden * there,
* Not the Camden who speaks thus of Ireland:
“To wind up all, whether we regard the fruitfulness of the soil, the advantage of the sea with so many commodious havens, or the natives themselves, who are warlike, ingenious, handsome and well-complexioned, soft-skinned, and very nimble by reason of the pliantness of their muscles, this island is in many respects so happy that Giraldus might very well say, 'Nature had regarded with more favourable eyes than ordinary this Kingdom of Zephyr.'"
Such was the spirit, grandly, gently bright,
APPENDIX. The following is part of a Preface which was intended by a friend and countryman of mine for a collection of Irish airs, to which he has adapted English words. As it has never been published, and is not inapplicable to my subject, I shall take the liberty of subjoining it here.
Our history, for many centuries past, is creditable neither to our neighbours nor ourselves, and ought not to be read by any Irishman who wishes either to love England or to feel proud of Ireland.
The loss of independence very early debased our character ; and our feuds and rebellions, though frequent and ferocious, but seldom displayed that generous spirit of enterprise with which the pride of an independent monarchy so long dignified the struggles of Scotland. It is true this island has given birth to heroes who, under more favourable circumstances, might have left in the hearts of their countrymen recollections as dear as those of a Bruce or a Wallace; but success was wanting to consecrate resistance, their cause was branded with the disheartening name of treason, and their oppressed country was such a blank among nations that, like the adventures of those woods which Rinaldo wished to explore, the fame of their actions was lost in the obscurity of the place where they achieved them.
- Errando in quelli boschi Trovar potria strane avventure e molte, Ma come i luoghi i fatti ancor son foschi,
Che non se n'ha notizia le più volte. * Hence is it that the annals of Ireland, through a lapse of six hundred years, exhibit not one of those shining names, not one of those themes of national pride, from which poetry borrows her noblest inspiration; and that history, which ought to be the richest garden of the Muse, yields nothing to her but weeds and cypress. În truth, the poet who would embellish his songs with allusions to Irish names and events must be contented to seek them in those early periods when our character was yet unalloyed and original, before the impolitic craft of our conquerors had divided, weakened, and disgraced us; and the only traits of heroism, indeed, which
* Ariosto, canto iv.