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But the cries of the fatherless mix with her praise,
And the tears of the widow are shed on her bays!
() Britain ! dear Britain ! the land of my birth;
O Isle, most enchantingly fair !
Thou pearl of the ocean! thou gem of the earth!
O my mother! my mother! beware;
For wealth is a phantom, and empire a snare:
Oh, let not thy birthright be sold
For reprobate glory and gold:
Thy distant dominions like wild graftings shoot,
They weigh down thy trunk, they will tear up thy root:--
The root of thine oak, O my country, that stands
Rock-planted and flourishing free;
Its branches are stretched o'er the uttermost lands,
And its shadow eclipses the sea :
The blood of our ancestors nourished the tree;
From their tombs, from their ashes it sprung;
Its boughs with their trophies are hung;
Their spirit dwells in it:-and hark! for it spoke;
The voice of our fathers ascends from their oak:-
“Ye Britons, who dwell where we conquered of old,
Who inherit our battle-field graves;
Though poor were your fathers,-gigantic and bold,
We were not, we would not be, slaves;
But firm as our rocks, and as free as our waves,
The spears of the Romans we broke,
We never stooped under their yoke ;
In the shipwreck of nations we stood up alone,-
The world was great Cæsar's--but Britain our own.
“For ages and ages, with barbarous foes,
The Saxon, Norwegian, and Gaul,
We wrestled, were foiled, were cast down, but we rose
With new vigour, new life from each fall;
By all we were conquered :-WE CONQUERED THEM ALL!
The cruel, the cannibal mind,
We softened, subdued, and refined ;
Bears, wolves, and sea-monsters, they rushed from their den;
We taught them, we tamed them, we turned them to men!
“Love led the wild hordes in his flower-woven bands,--
The tenderest, strongest of chains !
Love married our hearts, he united our hands,
And mingled the blood in our veins.
One race we became:-on the mountains and plains,
Where the wounds of our country were closed,
The ark of religion reposed,
The unquenchable altar of liberty blazed,
And the temple of justice in mercy was raised.
“Ark, altar, and temple, we left with our breath
To our children a sacred bequest!
Oh, guard them, oh, keep them, in life and in death;
So the shades of your fathers shall rest,
And your spirits with ours be in Paradise blest:
Let ambition, the sin of the brave,
And avarice, the soul of the slave,
No longer seduce your affections to roam
From liberty, justice, religion, at home!"
ONCE in the flight of ages past,
There lived a man :-and who was he?
Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,
That man resembled thee.
Unknown the region of his birth,
The land in which he died unknown :
His name hath perished from the earth,
This truth survives alone :-
That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
Alternate triumphed in his breast;
His bliss and woe,-a smile, a tear !
Oblivion hides the rest.
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits rise and fall ;
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.
He suffered--but his pangs are o'er ;
Enjoyed—but his delights are fed ;
Had friends—his friends are now no more
And foes_his foes are dead.
He loved, but whom he loved, the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb :
Oh, she was fair !—but nought could save
Her beauty from the tomb.
He saw-whatever thou hast seen,
Encountered-all that troubles thee;
He was-whatever thou hast been ;
He is-what thou shalt be.
The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main,
Erewhile his portion, life and light,
To him exist in vain.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.
The annals of the human race,
Their ruins, since the world began,
Of him afford no other trace
Than this,—THERE LIVED A MAN!
AS SUDDEN lightning dissipates the sight,
And leaves the eye unable to discern
The plainest objects,-living light so flashed
Around me, and involved me in a veil
Of such effulgence, that I ceased to see.
“Thus love which soothes this heaven, all kindly fits
The torch to take his flame!"28_These few brief words
Had scarcely reached mine ear, when I perceived
Power from on high diffuse such virtue through me,
And so rekindle vision, that no flame,
However pure, could 'scape mine eyes.
Light, like a river clear as crystal, flowing
Between two banks, with wondrous spring adorned;
While from the current issued vivid sparks,
That fell among the flowers on either hand,
Glittered like rubies set in gold, and then,
As if intoxicate with sweetest odours,
Re-plunged themselves into the mystic flood,
Whence, as one disappeared, another rose.
“The intense desire that warms and stirs thy thoughts
To understand what thou beholdest, yields
More joy to me, the more it urges thee;
But ere such noble thirst can be assuaged,
Behoves thee first to drink of this clear fount.”
The sun that lights mine eyes29 thus spake, and added :-
“Yon stream, these jewels fitting to and fro,
And all the joyance of these laughing flowers,
Are shadowy emblems of realities,
Not dark themselves, but the defect is thine,
Who hast not yet obtained due strength of vision."
Ah! then, no infant, startled out of sleep,
Long past his time, springs to the mother's milk
More eagerly than o'er that stream I bowed,
To make more perfect lustres of mine eyes,
Which, when the fringes of their lids had touched it,
Seemed, from a line, collapsed into a round.
As maskers, when they cast their visors off,
Appear new persons, stript of such disguise,
The sparks and flowers assumed sublimer forms,
And both the courts of heaven were opened round me.
O splendour of the Deity! by which
The lofty triumph of thy real reign
I saw,-give power to paint it as I saw.
There is a light, which renders visible
The Maker to the creature who desires
Felicity in seeing Him alone :
Though but a ray of uncreated glory,
Sent from the fountain-head of life and power,
It forms a circle, whose circumference
Would be too wide a girdle for the sun;
And as a cliff in water, from its foot,
Looks down upon its height in that broad mirror,
And seems therein contemplating its beauty,
What verdure clothes, what flowers its flanks adorn,
So, standing round about the sea of glass,
As many souls as earth hath sent to heaven,
Upon ten thousand thrones and more, beheld
Their happy semblances reflected there.
If round its lowest stem such pomp appear,
What must the full expanded foliage show
Of that celestial rose? and yet my sight,
Through its whole amplitude and elevation,
Gazed unbewildered ; yea, at once took in
The measure and the amount of all that joy.
ON THE WALL OF MALMESBURY ABBEY.
On seeing a solitary specimen near the Great Archway, and being told that the plant
was not to be found elsewhere in the neighbourhood.
The hand that gives the angels wings,
And plants the forest by its power,
O'er mountain, vale, and champaign flings
The seed of every herb and flower;
Nor forests stand, nor angels fly,
More at GOD'S will, more in His eye,
Than the green blade strikes down its root,
Expands its bloom, and yields its fruit.
Beautiful daughter of a line
Of unrecorded ancestry!
What herald's scroll could vie with thine,
Where monarchs trace their pedigree?
Thy first progenitor had birth
While man was yet unquickened earth,
And thy last progeny may wave
Its flag o'er man's last-opened grave.
How camest thou thither? from what soil,
Where those that went before thee grew,
Exempt from suffering, care, and toil,
Clad by the sunbeams, fed with dew?
Tell me on what strange plot of ground
Thy rock-born kindred yet are found,
And I the carrier-dove will be
To bring them wondrous news of thee.
How, here, by wren or redbreast dropt,
Thy parent germ was left behind,
Or, in its trackless voyage stopt,
While sailing on the autumnal wind,