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With many a vow from Hope's aspiring tongue,
My trembling feet his guiding steps pursue;
In vain — such bliss to one alone,
Of all the sons of soul, was known;
And Heaven, and Fancy, kindred powers,
Have now overturned the inspiring bowers; Or curtained close such scene from every future view.
WRITTEN IN THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 1746.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freed Dm shall a while repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!
0 Thou, who sitt'st a smiling bride By Valor's armed and awful side, Gentlest of sky-born forms, and best adored;
Who oft with songs, divine to hear,
Winn'st from his fatal grasp the spear,
And hidest in wreaths of flowers his bloodless sword!
Thou who, amidst the deathful field,
By godlike chiefs alone beheld,
Oft with thy bosom bare art found,
Pleading for him the youth who sinks to ground:
See, Mercy, see, with pure and loaded hands,
Before thy shrine my country's genius stands, And decks thy altar still, though pierced with many wound.
When he whom even our joys provoke,
The fiend of nature joined his yoke, And rushed in wrath to make our isle his prey;Thy form, from out thy sweet abode,
O'ertook him on his blasted road, And stopped his wheels, and looked his rage away.
I see recoil his sable steeds,
That bore him swift to savage deeds, Thy tender melting eyes they own;
0, maid, for all thy love to Britain shown,
Where Justice bars her iron tower, To thee we build a roseate bower;Thou, thou shalt rule our queen, and share our monarch's throne!
Who shall wake the Spartan fife,
And call in solemn sounds to life
The youths, whose locks divinely spreading,
Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue,
At once the breath of fear and virtue shedding,
Applauding Freedom loved of old to view?
What new Alcaeus, fancy-blest,
Shall sing the sword, in myrtles drest,
At Wisdom's shrine a while its flame concealing,
(What place so fit to seal a deed renowned ?)
Till she her brightest lightnings round revealing,
It leaped in glory forth, and dealt her prompted wound!
0 Goddess, in that feeling hour,
When most its sounds would court thy ears,
Let not my shell's misguided power
E'er draw thy sad, thy mindful tears.
No, Freedom, no, I will not tell
How Rome, before thy weeping face,
With heaviest sound, a giant-statue, fell,
Pushed by a wild and artless race
From off its wide ambitious base,
When Time his northern sons of spoil awoke,
And all the blended work of strength and grace,
With many a rude repeated stroke,
And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments broke.
Yet, even where'er the least appeared,
The admiring world thy hand revered;
Still, 'midst the scattered states around,
Some remnants of her strength were found;
They saw, by what escaped the storm,
How wondrous rose her perfect form;
How in the great, the labored whole,
Each mighty master poured his soul!
For sunny Florence, seat of art,
Beneath her vines preserved a part,
Till they, whom Science loved to name,
(0 who could fear it ?) quenched her flame.
And, lo, an humbler relic laid
In jealous Pisa's olive shade!
See small Marino joins the theme,
Though least, not last in thy esteem:
Strike, louder strike the ennobling strings
To those whose merchant sons were kings;
To him, who, decked with pearly pride,
In Adria weds his green-haired bride;
Hail, port of glory, wealth, and pleasure,
Ne'er let me change this Lydian measure:
Nor e'er her former pride relate.
To sad Liguria's bleeding state.
Ah, no! more pleased thy haunts I seek,
On wild Helvetia's mountains bleak
(Where, when the favored of thy choice,
The daring archer, heard thy voice,
Forth from his eyrie roused in dread,
The ravening eagle northward fled):
Or dwell in willowed meads more near,
With those to whom thy stork is dear:
Those whom the rod of Alva bruised,
Whose crown a British queen refused!
The magic works, thou feel'st the strains,
One holier name alone remains;
The perfect spell shall then avail,
Hail, Nymph, adored by Britain, hail!
Beyond the measure vast of thought,
The works the wizard Time has wrought!
The Gaul, 't is held of antique story,
Saw Britain linked to his now adverse strand,
No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary,
He passed with unwet feet through all our land.
To the blown Baltic then, they say,
The wild waves found another way,
Where Orcas howls, his wolfish mountains rounding;
Till all the banded west at once 'gan rise,
A wide wild storm, even Nature's self confounding,
Withering her giant sons with strange uncouth surprise.
This pillared earth so firm and wide,
By winds and inward labors torn,
In thunders dread was pushed aside,
And down the shouldering billows borne.
And see, like gems, her laughing train,
The little isles on every side.