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And only dares betray,
With reptile wiles, alas! prevail,
When force and rage and priestcraft fail,
To pilfer power away?
O! shall the bought and buying tribe,
The slaves who take and deal the bribe,
A people's claims enjoy!
So Indian murderers hope to gain
The powers and virtues of the slain,
Of wretches they destroy.
'Avert it, Heaven; you love the brave, You hate the treacherous, willing slave, The self-devoted head.
Nor shall a hireling's voice convey
That sacred prize to lawless sway,
For which a nation bled.'
Vain prayer, the coward's weak resource!
Directing reason, active force
Propitious Heaven bestows.
But ne'er shall flame the thundering sky
To aid the trembling herd that fly
Before their weaker foes.
In names there dwell no magic charms,
The British virtues, British arms
Unloosed our fathers' band:
Say, Greece and Rome, if these should fail,
What names, what ancestors avail,
To save a sinking land?
Far, far from us such ills shall be,
Mankind shall boast one nation free,
One monarch truly great:
Whose title speaks a people's choice,
Whose sovereign will a people's voice,
Whose strength a prosperous state.
Ye are the salt of the earth.
SALT of the earth, ye virtuous few,
Who season humankind;
Lights of the world, whose cheering ray
Illumes the realms of mind;
Where Misery spreads her deepest shade
Your strong compassion glows;
From your bless'd lips the balm distils
That softens mortal woes.
By dying beds, in prison glooms,
Your frequent steps are found;
Angels of love! you hover near,
To bind the stranger's wound.
You wash with tears the bloody page,
Which human crimes deform;
When vengeance threats, your prayers ascend,
And break the gathering storm.
As down the summer stream of vice
The thoughtless many glide,
Upwards you steer your steady bark,
And stem the rushing tide.
Where Guilt her foul contagion spreads,
And golden spoils allure,
Unspotted still your garments shine,—
Your hands are ever pure.
Whene'er you touch the poet's lyre
A loftier strain is heard;
Each ardent thought is yours alone,
And every burning word.
Yours is the large expansive thought,
The high heroic deed;
Exile and chains to you are dear,
To you 'tis sweet to bleed.
You lift on high the warning voice,
When public ills prevail;
Yours is the writing on the wall,
That turns the tyrant pale.
The dogs of hell your steps pursue,
With scoff and shame and loss;
The hemlock bowl 'tis yours to drain,
To taste the bitter cross.
E'en yet the steaming scaffolds smoke
By Seine's polluted stream;
With your rich blood the fields are drench'd
Where Polish sabres gleam.
E'en now, through those accursed bars
In vain we send our sighs,
Where, deep in Olmutz' dungeon glooms,
The patriot martyr lies.
Yet yours is all, through History's rolls
The kindling bosom feels;
And at your tomb, with throbbing heart,
The fond enthusiast kneels.
In every faith, through every clime,
Your pilgrim steps we trace;
And shrines are dress'd, and temples rise,
Each hallow'd spot to grace :
And pæans loud, in every tongue,
And choral hymns resound;
And lengthening honours hand your name
To time's remotest bound,
Proceed! your race of glory run,
Your virtuous toils endure!
You come, commission'd from on high,
And your reward is sure.
QUEEN of every moving measure!
Sweetest source of purest pleasure!
Music! why thy powers employ
Only for the sons of Joy?
Only for the smiling guests
At natal or at nuptial feasts?
Rather thy lenient numbers pour
On those whom secret griefs devour;
Bid be still the throbbing hearts
Of those whom Death or Absence parts;
And with some softly whisper'd air
Smooth the brow of dumb Despair.
Subject proposed. Invocation of May. Description of her: her operations on Nature. Bounty recommended in par. ticular at this season. Vernal apostrophe. Love the ruling passion in May. The celebration of Venus her birthday in this month. Rural retirement in spring. Conclusion.
ETHEREAL daughter of the lusty Spring
And sweet Favonius, ever gentle May!
Shall I, unblamed, presume of thee to sing,
And with thy living colours gild my lay?
Thy genial spirit mantles in my brain;
My numbers languish in a softer vein :
I pant, too emulous, to flow in Spenser's strain.
Say, mild Aurora of the blooming year,
With storms when Winter blackens Nature's face;
When whirling winds the howling forest tear,
And shake the solid mountains from their base;
Say, what refulgent chambers of the sky
Veil thy beloved glories from the eye,
For which the nations pine, and Earth's fair children die?
Where Leda's twins*, forth from their diamond tower,
Alternate, o'er the Night their beams divide;
In light embosom'd, happy, and secure
From Winter rage, thou choosest to abide.
*Castor and Pollux.