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And cried aloud, Liberty! Indignation
Of its own glorious light, thou didst arise,
At dreaming midnight o'er the western wave, Men started, staggering with a glad surprise, Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.
Thou heaven of earth I what spells could pall thea then,
In ominous eclipse? A thousand years, Bred from the slime of deep oppression's den,
Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears, Till thy sweet stars could weep the stain away: How like Bacchanals of blood Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood Destruction's sceptred slaves, and Folly's mitred brood!
When one, like them, but mightier far than they,
The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers Rose armies mingled in obscure array
Like clouds with clouds, darkening the M> cred bowers
Df serene heaven. He, by the past pursued, Rests with those dead but unforgotten hours, Whose ghosts scare victor kings in their ancestral towers.
England yet sleeps: was she not called of old?
Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder Vesuvius wakens iEtna, and the cold
Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder: O'er the lit waves every iEolian isle From Pithecusa to Pelorus Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus: They cry, Be dim, ye lamps of heaven suspended o'er us.
Her chains are threads of gold, she need but smile And they dissolve; but Spain's were links Till bit to dust by virtue's keenest file, [of steel,
Twins of a single destiny! appeal To the eternal years enthroned before us, In the dim West; impress us * from a seal, All ye have thought and done I Time cannot dare conceal.
Tomb of Arminius! render up thy dead
His soul may stream over the tyrant's head 1
* Read asl
Vol. in. 22
Wild Bacchanal of truth's mysterious wine.
Where desolation, clothed with loveliness, Worships the thing thou wert! 0 Italy, Gather thy blood into thy heart; repress The beasts who make their dens thy sacred palaces.
O that the free would stamp the impious name
Of * * * * into the dust; or write it there, So that this blot upon the page of fame
Were as a serpent's path, which the light air Erases, and the flat sands close behind! Ye the oracle have heard: Lift the victory-flashing sword, And cut the snaky knots of this foul gordian word,
Which, weak itself as stubble, yet can bind
Into a mass, irrefragably firm, The axes and the rods which awe mankind;
The sound has poison in it, 'tis the sperm Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and abhorred; Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term, To set thine armed heel on this reluctant worm XVI.
0 that the wise from their bright minds would kindle
Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, That the pale name of Priest might shrink and dwindle
Into the hell from which it first was hurled, A scoff of impious pride from fiends impuie,
Till human thoughts might kneel alone. Each before the judgment-throne Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown! O that the words which make the thoughts obscure
From which they spring, as clouds of glimmering dew
From a white lake blot heaven's blue portraiture, Were stript of their thin masks and various hue
And frowns and smiles and splendours not their own,
Till in the nakedness of false and true They stand before their Lord, each to receive its due.
He who taught man to vanquish whatsoever
If on his own high will, a willing slave,
What if earth can clothe and feed Amplest millions at their need, [seed' And power in thought be as the tree within the Or what if Art, an ardent intercessor,
Diving on fiery wings to Nature's throne, Checks the great mother stooping to caress her And cries, give me, thy child, dominion Over all height and depth? if Life can breed New wants, and wealth from those who toil and groan
Bend of thy gifts and hers a thousand-fold for one.
Come thou, but lead out of the inmost cave
Wisdom. I hear the pennons of her car
Blind Love, and equal Justice, and the Fame Of what has been, the Hope of what will be? 0, Liberty! if such could be thy name
Wert thou disjoined from these, or they from
If thine or theirs were treasures to be bought