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O Liberty! with profitless endeavor
And all the crash of onset; fear and rage, Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour;
And undetermined conflict-even now,
Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee We have offended, Oh! my countrymen!
And been most tyrannous. From east to west
The wretched plead against us; multitudes The guide of homeless winds, and playmates of the Countless and vehement, the Sons of God, waves!
Our Brethren! Like a cloud that travels on; And there I felt thee-on that sea-cliff's verge, Steam'd up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence,
Whose pines, scarce travell’d by the breeze above, Even so, my countrymen! have we gone forth Had made one murmur with the distant surge! And borne to distant tribes slavery and pange, Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint And shot my being through earth, sea, and air, With slow perdition murders the whole man, Possessing all things with intensest love,
His body and his soul! Meanwhile, at home, O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.
All individual dignity and power
Ingulf'd in Courts, Committees, Institutions,
Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth ;
Contemptuous of all honorable rule,
Yet bartering freedom and the poor man's life WRITTEN IN APRIL, 1798, DURING THE ALARM OF For gold, as at a market! The sweet words
Of Christian promise, words that even yet
Might stem destruction were they wisely preachd, A GREEN and silent spot, amid the hills,
Are mutter'd o'er by men, whose tones proclaim A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place
How flat and wearisome they feel their trade: No sinking sky-lark ever poised himself.
Rank scoflers some, but most too indolent
To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth. The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope, Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on,
Oh! blasphemous! the book of life is made All golden with the never-bloomless furze,
A superstitious instrument, on which Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell,
We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break; Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate
For all must swear-all and in every place, As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax,
College and wharf, council and justice-court; When, through its half-transparent stalks, at eve,
All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed, The level Sunshine glimmers with green light. ,
Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest, Oh! 't is a quiet spirit-healing nook!
The rich, the poor, the old man and the young ; Which all, methinks, would love; but chiefly he,
All, all make up one scheme of perjury, The humble man, who, in his youthful years,
That faith doth reel ; the very nome of God Knew just so much of folly, as had made
Sounds like a juggler's charm; and, bold with joy His early manhood more securely wise !
Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place, Here he might lie on fern or wither'd heath,
(Portentous sight!, the owlet Atheism, While from the singing-lark (that sings unseen
Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon, The minstrelsy that solitude loves best),
Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close, And from the Sun, and from the breezy Air,
And hooting at the glorious Sun in Heaven,
Cries out, " Where is it?"
Thankless too for peace Religious meanings in the forms of nature ! (Peace long preserved by fleets and perilous seas). And so, his senses gradually wrapt
Secure from actual warfare, we have loved
Its ghastlier workings (famine or blue plague,
We, this whole people, have been clamorous My God! it is a melancholy thing
For war and bloodshed ; animating sports,
Anticipative of a wrong unfelt,
(Stuff"d out with big preamble, holy names.
And adjurations of the God in Heaven),
On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd We send our mandates for the certain death Like fancy points and fringes, with the robe Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls, Pullid off at pleasure. Fondly these attach And women, that would groan to see a child A radical causation to a few Pull off an insect's leg, all read of war,
Poor drudges of chastising Providence, The best amusement for our morning-meal! Who borrow all their hues and qualities The poor wretch, who has learnt his only prayers From our own folly and rank wickedness, From curses, who knows scarcely words enough Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others, To ask a blessing from his Heavenly Father,
meanwhile, Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute
Dote with a mad idolatry ; and all And technical in victories and defeats,
Who will not fall before their images,
And yield them worship, they are enemies
Such have I been deem'd As if the fibres of this godlike frame
But, О dear Britain! O my Mother Isle ! Were gored without a pang; as if the wretch,
Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds,
To me, a son, a brother, and a friend, Pass'd off to Heaven, translated and not kill'd :
A husband, and a father! who revere As though he had no wife to pine for him,
All bonds of natural love, and find them all No God to judge him! Therefore, evil days
Within the limits of thy rocky shores. Are coming on us, O my countrymen!
O native Britain! O my Mother Isle ! And what if all-avenging Providence,
How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and Strong and retributive, should make us know
holy The meaning of our words, force us to feel
To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills, The desolation and the agony
Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, Of our fierce doings!
Have drunk in all my intellectual life,
All adoration of the God in nature,
All lovely and all honorable things,
Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel Oh! let not English women drag their flight
The joy and greatness of its future being ? Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes,
There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul of the sweet infants, that but yesterday
Unborrow'd from my country. O divine Laugh'd at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands, all And beauteous island! thou hast been my sole Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms
And most magnificent temple, in the which
Loving the God that made me!
May my fears,
My filial fears, be vain! and may the vaunts
Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away
In the distant tree: which heard, and only heard Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart
In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad
The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze :
On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill,
From bodings that have well-nigh wearied me,
I find myself upon the brow, and pause O Britons! O my brethren! I have told
Startled! And after lonely sojourning Most bitter truth, but without bitterness.
In such a quiet and surrounding nook, Nor deem may zeal or factious or mistimed; This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, For never can true courage dwell with them, Dim-tinted, there the mighty majesty Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look Of that huge amphitheatre of rich At their own vices. We have been too long And elmy fields, seems like societyDupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike,
Conversing with the mind, and giving it
A livelier impulse and a dance of thought!
Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge elma
Letters four do form his name.
Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend,
Nether Slowey, April 28th, 1798.
Thanks, sister, thanks! the men have bled,
And through the chink of a cottage-wall-
FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.
A WAR ECLOGUE.
WITH AN APOLOGETIC PREFACE.
Whisper it, sister! in our ear. The Scene a desolated Tract in La Vendée. FAMINE
A baby beat its dying mother.
The same! the same!
He let me loose, and cried Halloo!
No! no! no!
No! no! no!
No! no! no!
Sisters! I from Ireland came!
Was many a naked rebel shot:
Whisper it, sister! so and so! la a dark hint, soft and slow.
Who bade you do't?
The same! the same!
He let me loose, and cried Halloo!
Should you a rat to madness tease,
Why even a rat might plague you :
They're both alike the ague.
The grass was fine, the sun was bright,
With truth I may aver it;
Much like a beast of spirit.
The Ox is only glad.”
Halloo! the Ox is mad.
And so this Ox, in frantic mood,
Faced round like any Bull-
But had his belly-full.
Old Nick's astride the beast, 't'is clear
Old Nicholas to a tittle!
Squirt out some fasting-spittle.t
The frighted beast scamper'd about,
Plunge ! through the hedge he drove-
He's mad, he's mad, by Jove!
A sage of sober hue,
And, damme! who are you?"
Achilles was a warrior fleet,
The Trojans he could worry-
The mob fled hurry-skurry.
Ah, hapless sage! his ears they stun,
And curse him o'er and o'er * Yon bloody-minded dog!” (cries one,) * To slit your windpipe were good fun'Od bl- you for an impious* son
Of a Presbyterian w-re!
Through gardens, lanes, and fields new-plow'd,
Through his hedge and through her hedge,
That had more wrath than courage.
One of the many fine words which the most uneducated † According to the superstition of the West Countries, if you had about this time a constant opportunity of arquiring from meet the Devil, you may either cut him in half with a straw, or the termou in the palpit, and the proclamations on the you may cause him instantly to disappear by spitting over him
Alas! to mend the breaches wide
He made for these poor ninnies, They all must work, whate'er betide, Both days and months, and pay beside (Sad news for Avarice and for Pride)
A sight of golden guineas.
But here once more to view did pop
The man that kept his senses. And now he cried—“ Stop, neighbors! stop! The Ox is mad! I would not swop, No, not a school-boy's farthing top
For all the parish fences.
"The Ox is mad! Ho! Dick, Bob, Mat!
What means this coward fuss ? Ho! stretch this rope across the plat"T will trip him up or if not that, Why, damme! we must lay him flat
See, here's my blunderbuss !"
“A lying dog! just now he said,
The Ox was only glad, Let's break his Presbyterian head!". “ Hush!” quoth the sage, “ you've been misled, No quarrels now-let's all make head
You drove the poor Ox mad!"
As thus I sat in careless chat,
With the morning's wet newspaper, In eager haste, without his hat, | As blind and blundering as a bat, In came that fierce'aristocrat,
Our pursy woollen draper.
And so my Muse perforce drew bit,
And in he rush'd and panted :“Well, have you heard ?”—“No! not a whit." "What! han't you heard ?”—Come,out with it!” “That Tierney votes for Mister Pitt,
And Sheridan 's recanted.”
II. LOVE POEMS.
Quas humilis tenero stylus olim effudit in ævo.
INTRODUCTION TO THE TALE OF THE
DARK LADIE. The following Poem is intended as the introduction to a somewhat longer one. The use of the old Ballad word Ladie for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is professedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity (as Camden says) will grant me their pardon, and perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it A heavier objection may be adduced against the author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties ezplodo around us in all directions, he should
presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love: and five years ago, I own I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas ! explosion has succeeded
explosion so rapidly, that novelty itself ceases to appear new, and it is possible that now even a simple story,wholly uninspired with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the bubbub of revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time
by the falls of Niagara, the lowest whispering becomes distinct ly audible.
S. T. C
O LEAVE the lily on its stem;
O leave the rose upon the spray;
And listen to my lay.
A cypress and a myrtle-bough
This morn around my harp you twined
Its murmurs in the wind.
And now a Tale of Love and Woe,
A woful Tale of Love I sing ;
And trembles on the string.
But most, my own dear Genevieve,
It sighs and trembles most for thee!
Befell the Dark Ladie.
Few Sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope, my joy, my Genevieve!
The songs that make her grieve.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stir this mortal frame,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oh! ever in my waking dreams,
I dwell upon that happy hour,
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve:
My own dear Genevieve!
She lean'd against the armed man,
The statue of the armed knight,
Amid the ling'ring light.
I sang an old and moving story—
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen'd with a fitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest graco,
But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand ;