« ForrigeFortsett »
Place me where Winter breathes his keenest air,
And I will sing if Liberty be there;
And I will sing at Liberty's dear feet,
In Afric's torrid clime, or India's fiercest heat.
A. Sing where you please; in such a cause I grant
An English poet's privilege to rant;
But is not Freedom-at least is not ours
Too apt to play the wanton with her powrs,
Grow freakish, and, o’erleaping every mound,
Spread anarchy and terrour all around?
B.Agreed. But would you sell or slay your horse
For bounding or curvetting in his course?
Or if, when ridden with a careless rein,
He break away, and seek the distant plain?
No. His high mettle, under good control,
Gives him Olympic speed, and shoots him to the goal.
Let Discipline employ her wholesome arts;
Let magistrates alert perform their parts,
Not skulk or put on a prudential mask,
As if their duty were a desp'rate task;
Let active Laws apply the needful curb,
To guard the Peace, that Riot would disturb;
And Liberty, preserv'd from wild excess,
Shall raise no feuds for armies to suppress.
When Tumult lately burst his prison door, .
And set plebeian thousands in a roar;
When he usurped authority's just place,
And dar'd to look his master in the face;
When the rude rabble’s watchword was destroy,
And blazing London seem'd a second Troy;
.Liberty blush'd, and hung her drooping head,
Beheld their progress with the deepest dread;
Blush'd that effects like these she should produce,
Worse than the deeds of galley-slaves broke loose.
She loses in such storms her very name,
And fierce Licentiousness should bear the blame.
Incomparable gem! thy worth untold;
Cheap tho' blood-bought, and thrown away when
May no foes ravish thee, and no false friend
Betray thee, while professing to defend !
Prize it, ye ministers; ye monarchs, spare;
Ye patriots, guard it with a miser's care.
A. Patriots, alas! the few that have been found,
Where most they flourish, upon English ground,
The country's need have scantily supplied,
And the last left the scene, when Chatham died.
B. Not somthe virtue still adorns our age, Though the chief actor died upon the stage. In him Demosthenes was heard again; Liberty taught him her Athenian strain; She cloth'd him with authority and awe, Spoke from his lips, and in his looks gave law. His speech, his form, his action, full of grace, And all his country beaming in his face, He stood, as some inimitable hand Would strive to make a Paul or Tully stand. No sycophant or slave, that dard oppose Her sacred cause, but trembled when he rose; And ev'ry venal stickler for the yoke Felt himself crush'd at the first word he spoke.
Such men are rais’d to station and command, When Providence means mercy to a land. He speaks, and they appear; to him they owe Skill to direct, and strength to strike the blow; To manage with address, to seize with pow'r The crisis of a dark decisive hour. So Gideon earn'd a victry not his own; Subserviency his praise, and that alone. · Poor England! thou art a devoted deer, Beset with ev'ry ill but that of fear.
The nations hunt; all mark thee for a prey;
They swarm around thee, and thou stand’st at bay.
Undaunted still, though wearied and pexplex'd,
Once Chatham sav'd thee; but who saves thee next?
Alas! the tide of pleasure sweeps along
All, that should be the boast of British song
Tis not the wreath, that once adorn’d thy brow,
The prize of happier times, will serve thee now,
Our ancestry, a gallant christian race,
Patterns of ev'ry virtue, ev'ry grace,
Confess'd a God; they knelt before they fought,
And prais'd him in the victories he wrought.
Now from the dust of ancient days bring forth
Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth;
Courage, ungrac'd by these, affronts the skies,
Is but the fire without the sacrifice.
The stream, that feeds the wellspring of the heart,
Not more invigorates life's noblest part,
Than Virtue quickens with a warmth divine
The pow'rs, that Sin has brought to a decline.
A. Th'inestimable Estimate of Brown
Rose like a paper-kite, and charm'd the town; .
But measures, plann’d and executed well,
Shifted the wind that rais'd it, and it fell.
He trod the very self-same ground you tread,
And Victory refuted all he said.
B. And yet his judgment was not fram’d amiss;
It's errour, if it err'd, was merely this-
He thought the dying hour already come,
And a complete recov'ry struck him dumb.
But that effeminacy, folly, lust,
Enervate and enfeeble, and needs must;
And that a nation shamefully debas’d,
Will be despis’d and trampled on at last,
Unless sweet Penitence her pow'rs renew;
Is truth, if history itself be true.
There is a time, and justice marks the date,
For long-forbearing clemency to wait;
That hour elaps'd, th' incurable revolt
Is punish’d, and down comes the thunderbolt:
If mercy then put by the threat’ning blow,
Must she perform the same kind office now?
· May she! and, if offended Heav'n be still
Accessible, and pray’r prevail, she will.
'Tis not, however, insolence and noise,
The tempest of tumultuary joys,
Nor is it yet despondence and dismay,
Will win her visits, or engage her stay;