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Now from the dust of ancient days bring forth
Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth;
Courage, ungraced by these, affronts the skies,
Is but the fire without the sacrifice.
The stream, that feeds the well-spring of the heart,
Not more invigorates life's noblest part,
Than virtue quickens with a warmth divine
The powers, that sin has brought to a decline.
A. The inestimable estimate of Brown
Rose like a paper-kite, and charmed the town ;
But measures, planned and executed well,
Shifted the wind that raised 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 framed amiss; Its error, if it erred, was merely thisHe thought the dying hour already come, And a complete recovery struck him dumb.
But that effeminacy, folly, lust, Enervate and enfeeble, and needs must, And that a nation shamefully debased, Will be despised and trampled on at last, Unless sweet penitence her powers 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 elapsed, the incurable revolt Is punished, and down comes the thunder.bolt. If mercy then put by the threatning blow, Mus she perform the same kind office now?
May she ! and, if offended heaven be still
Accessible, and prayer 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 ;
Prayer only, and the penitential tear,
Can call her smiling down, and fix ber here.
But when a country (one that I could name)
In prostitution sinks the sense of shame;
When infamous venality, grown bold,
Writes, on his bosom, to be let or solid;
When perjury, that heaven-defying vice,
Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price,
Stamps God's owo nanje upon a lie just made,
To turn a penny in the way of trade;
When avarice starves (and never hides his face)
Two or three millions of the human race,
And not a tongue inquires, how, where, or when,
Though concience will have twinges now and
then; When protanation of the sacred cause In all its parts, times, miniştry, and laws, ; jete) Bespeaks a land, once christian, fallen, and lost In all, that wars against that title most, What follows next let cities of great name, And regions long since desolate proclaim. Nineveh, Babylon, and ancient Rome, Speak to the present times, and times to come , They cry aloude in every careless ear, en Stop, while you may; suspend your mad career ;
O learn from our example and our fate,
Learn wisdom and repentance ere too late.
Not only vice disposes and prepares
The mind, that slumbers-sweetly in her snares,
To stoop to tyranny's usurped command,
And bend her polished neck beneath his hand,
(A dire effect, by one of nature's laws
Unchangeably connected with its cause);
But Providence himself will intervene
To throw his dark displeasure over the scene.
All are his instruments ; each form of war,
What burns at home, or threatens from afar,
Nature in arms, her elements at strife,
The storms, that overset the joys of life,
Are but his rods to scourge a guilty land,
And waste it at the bidding of his hand.
He gives the word, and mutiny soon roars
In all her gatës, and shakes her distant shores;
The standards of all nations are unfurled ;
She has one foe, and that one foe the world.
And, if he doom that people with a frown,
And mark them with a seal of wrath pressed down,
Obduracy takes place; callous and tough,
The reprobated race grows judgment proof:
Earth shakes beneath them, and heaven roars above;
But nothing scares them from the course they love:
To the lascivious pipe and wanton song,
That charm dowh fear, they frolic it along,
With mad rapidity and unconcern,
Down to the gulph, from which is no return,
They trust in navies, and their navies fail
God's curse can cast away ten thousand sail!
They trust in arınies, and their courage dies;
In wisdom, wealth, in fortune, and in lies;
But all they trust in withers as it must,
When he commands, in whom they place no trust.
Vengeance at last pours down upon their coast
A long despised, but now victorious, host;
Tyranny sends the chain, that must abridge
The noble sweep of all their privilege ;
Gives liberty the last, the mortal shock :
Slips the slave's collar on, and snaps the lock.
A. Such lofty strains einbellish what you
teach, Mean you to prophesy, or but to preach?
B. I know the mind, that feels indeed the fire The muse imparts, and can command the lyre, Acts with a force, and kindles with a zcal, Whatever the theme, that others never feel. if human woes her soft attention claim, A tender sympathy pervades the frame, She pours a sensibility divine Along the nerve of every feeling line. But if a deed not tamely to be borne Fire indignation and a sense of scorn, The strings are swept with such a power so loud, The storm of music shakes the astonished crowd. So, when remote futurity is brought Before the keen inquiry of her thought, A terrible sagacity informs The poet's heart; he looks to distant storms;
He hears the thunder ere the tempest lowers;
Andarmed with strength surpassing human powers,
Seizes events as yet unknown to man,
And darts his soul into the dawning plan.
Hence, in a Roman mouth, the graceful name
Of prophet and of poet was the same;
Hence British poets too the priesthood shared,
And every hallowed druid was a bard.
But no prophetic fires to me belong;
I play with syllables, and sport in song.
A. At Westminster, where little poets strivo
To set a distich upon six and five,
Where discipline helps the opening buds of sense,
And makes his pupils proud with silver-pence,
I was a poet too: but modern taste
Is so refined, and delicate, and chaste,
That verse, whatever fire the fancy warms,
Without a creamy smoothness has no charms.
Thus, all success depending on an ear,
And thinking I might purchase it too dear,
If sentiment were sacrificed to sound,
And truth cut short to make a period round,
I judged a man of sense could scarce do worse,
Than caper in the morris-dance of verse.
B. Thus reputation is a spur to wit, And some wits flag through fear of losing it. Give me the line, that plows its stately course Like, a proud swan conquering the stream by force; That, like some cottage beauty, strikes the heart, Quite unindebted to the tricks of art.