« AnteriorContinuar »
And adjurations of the God in Heaven),
Spare us yet awhile, Father and God! O! spare us yet awhile! Oh! let not English women drag their flight Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes, Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday Laugh'd at the breast ! Sons, brothers, husbands, all Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms Which grew up with you round the same fire-side, And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure! Stand forth : be men! repel an impious foe, Impious and false, a light yet cruel race, Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth With deeds of murder; and still promising Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free, Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes And all that lifts the spirit! Stand we forth; Render them back upon the insulted ocean, And let them toss as idly on its waves As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast Swept from our shores! And oh! may we return Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung So fierce a foe to frenzy!
I have told, O Britons! O my brethren! I have told Most bitter truth, but without bitterness. Nor deem my zeal or factious or mistimed ; For never can true courage dwell with them, Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look At their own vices. We have been too long Dupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike, Groaning with restless enmity, expect All change from change of constituted power; As if a Government had been a robe,
On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd
Such have I been deem'd—
But, O dear Britain' O my Mother Isle!
May my fears, My filial fears, be vain' and may the vaunts And menace of the vengeful enemy Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away In the distant tree: which heard, and only heard 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 surze : The light has left the summit of the hill, Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful, Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell, Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot! On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, Homeward I wind my way; and lo! recall'd From bodings that have well-nigh wearied me, I find myself upon the brow, and pause Startled ! And after lonely sojourning In such a quiet and surrounding nook, This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, Dim-tinted, there the mighty majesty Of that huge amphitheatre of rich And elmy fields, seems like society— Conversing with the mind, and giving it A livelier impulse and a dance of thought! And now, beloved Stowey! I behold Thy church-tower, and, methinks, ". four huge elms
Sisters! I from Ireland came!
* One of the many fine words which the most uneducated had about this time a constant opportunity of acquiring from the sermons in the pulpit, and the proclamations on the Contiers.
† According to the superstition of the West Countries, if you meet the Devil, you may either cut him in half with a straw, or you may cause him instantly to disappear by spitting over his