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Except a sew with Eli's spirit blest,
Hophni and Phineas may describe the rest.
Where shall a teacher look, in days like these,
For ears and hearts that he can hope to please?
Look to the poor—the simple and the plain
Will hear, perhaps, thy salutary strain:
Humility is gentle, apt to learn,
Speak but the word, will listen and return.
Alas, not so! the poorest of the flock
Are proud, and set their faces as a rock}
Denied that earthly opulence they choose,
God's better gift they scoff at, and refuse.
The rich, the produce of a nobler stem,
Are more intelligent, at least—try them.
Oh, vain inquiry! they, without remorse,
Are altogether gone a devious course;
Where beck'ning pleasure leads them, wildly stray;
Have burst the bands, and cast the yoke away.
Now, born upon the wings of truth sublime, Review thy dim original and prime.
This island, spot of unreclaim'd rude earth,
The cradle that receiv'd thee at thy birth,
Was rock'd by many a rough Norwegian blast,
And Danish howlings scar'd thee as they pass'd;
For thou wast born amid the din of arms,
And suck'd a breast that panted with alarms.
While yet thou wast a grov'ling, puling chit,
Thy bones not fashion'd, and thy joints not knit,
The Roman taught thy stubborn knee to bow,
Though twice a Cæsar could not bend thee now;
His victory was that of orient light,
When the fun's shafts disperse the gloom of night,
Thy language at this distant moment shows
How much the country to the conqu'ror owes;
Expressive, energetic, and refin'd,
It sparkles with the gems he left behind:
He brought thy land a blessing when he came;
He found thee savage, and he left thee tame;
Taught thee to clothe thy pink'd and painted hide,
And grace thy figure with a soldier's pridcj
He sow'd the seeds of order where he went,'
Improv'd thee far beyond his own intent,
And, while he rul'd thee by the sword alone,
Made thee at last a warrior like his own.
(Religion, if in heav'nly truths attir'd,
/Needs only to be seen to be admir'd;
"But thine, as dark as witch'ries of the night,
Was form'd to harden hearts and shock the sight.
Thy Druids struck the well-strung harps they bore
With fingers deeply dy'd in human gore;
And, while the victim slowly bled to death,
Upqn the rolling chords rung out his dying breath.
Who brought the lamp, that with awaking beams
Dispell'd thy gloom, and broke away thy dreams,
Tradition, now decrepid and worn out,
Babbler of ancient fables, leaves a doubt:
But still light reach'd thee; and those gods of thine,
Woden and Thor, each tott'ring in his shrine,
Fell, broken, and defac'd, at their own door,
As Dagon in Philistia long before.
But Rome, with sorceries and magic wand,
Soon rais'd a cloud that darken'd ev'ry land;
And thine was smoth'er'd in the stench and fog
Of Tiber's marshes and the papal bog.
Then priests, with bulls and briefs, and shaven crowns,
And griping fists, and unrelenting frowns,
Legates and delegates, with pow'rs from hell,
Though heavenly in pretension, fleec'd thee well;
And to this hour, to keep it fresh in mind,
Some twigs of that old scourge are left behind *,
Thy soldiery, the pope's well manag'd pack,
Were train'd beneath his lash, and knew the smack,
And, when he laid them on the scent of blood,
Would hunt a Saracen through fire and flood.
Lavish of life, to win an empty tomb,
That prov'd a mint of wealth, a mine, to Rome,
They left their bones beneath unfriendly skies,
His worthless absolution all the prize!
* Which may be found at Doctors' Commons. VOL. I, K r
Thou wast the veriest slave, in days of yore,
That ever dragg'd a chain, or tugg'd an oar.
Thy monarchs, arbitrary, fierce, unjust,
Themselves the slaves of bigotry or lust,
Disdained thy counsels; only in distress
Found thee a goodly spunge for pow'r to press.
Thy chiess, the lords of many a petty fee,
Provok'd and harass'd, in return plagu'd thee;
Call'd thee away from peaceable employ,
Domestic happiness and rural joy,
To waste thy life in arms, or lay it down
In causeless feuds and bick'rings of their own.
Thy parliaments ador'd, on bended knees,
The sov'reignty they were conven'd to please;
Whate'er was ask'd, too timid to resist,
Comply'd with, and were graciously dismiss'd;
And, if some Spartan soul a doubt express'd,
And, blushing at the tameness of the rest,
Dar'd to suppose the subject had a choice,
He was a traitor by the gen'ral voice.