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BOADICEA.

AN ODE.

I. WHEN the British warrior queen, Bleeding from the Roman rods, Sought, with an indignant mien, Counsel of her country’s gods,

II,
Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Ev'ry burning word he spoke
Full of rage, and full of grief.

III. Princess! if our aged eyes Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, *Tis because resentment ties All the terrours of our tongues.

IV. Rome shall perish—write that word In the blood that she has spilt; Perish, hopeless and abhorr'd. Deep in ruins as in guilt.

W. Rome, for empire far renown'd, Tramples on a thousand states; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground— Hark! the Gaul is at her gates!

VI. Other Romans shall arise, Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize, Harmony the path to fame.

- VII.
Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.

VIII. Regions Caesar never knew Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never flew, None invincible as they.

IX.
Such the bard's prophetick words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.

X.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow :

Wor, II. 22

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XI. Ruffians, pitiless as proud, Heav'n awards the vengeance due Empire is on us bestow'd, Shame and ruin wait for yott.

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TllERE was a time when Ætna's silent fire Slept unperceiv'd, the mountain yet entire; When, conscious of no danger from below, She tower'd a cloud-capt pyramid of snow. No thunders shook with deep intestine sound The blooming groves, that girdled her around. Her unctuous olives, and her purple vines (Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines) The peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assur’d, In peace upon her sloping sides matur'd. When on a day, like that of the last doom, A conflagration lab’ring in her womb, She teem’d and heav'd with an infernal birth, That shook the circling seas and solid earth. Dark and voluminous the vapours rise, And hang their horrours in the neighb'ring skies, While through the Stygian veil, that blots the day, In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play. But oh! what muse, and in what pow’rs of song, Can trace the torrent as it burns along; r Havock and devastation in the van, It marches o'er the prostrate works of man; Wines, olives, herbage, forests disappear, And all the charms of a Sicilian year.

Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass, See it an uninform'd and idle mass; r

Without a soil t” invite the tiller's care,
Or blade, that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
Obliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
O charming Paradise of short-liv'd sweets!
The sel'same gale, that watts the fragrance round,
Brings to the distant ear a sullen sound:
Again the mountain feels th’ imprison'd foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below.
Ten thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws,
Who write in blood the merits of your cause,
Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence,
Glory your aim, but justice your pretence ;
Behold in AEtna's emblematick fires,
The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires :
Fast by the stream, that bounds your just domain,
And tells you where ye have a right to reign,
A nation dwells, not envious of your throne,
Studious of peace, their neighbours and their own.
Ill-fated race how deeply must they rue
Their only crime, vicinity to you!
The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad,
Through the ripe harvest lies their destin’d road;
At ev'ry step beneath their feet they tread
The life of multitudes, a nation's bread!
Earth seems a garden n its loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness.

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