Elegy On A Young Thrush
WHICH ESCAPED FROM THE WRITER'S HAND, AND FAL-
LING DOWN THE AREA OF A HOUSE, COULD NOT
MISTAKEN Bird, ah whither hast thou stray'd?
My friendly grasp why eager to elude?
This hand was on thy pinion lightly laid,
And fear'd to hurt thee by a touch too rude.
Is there no foresight in a Thrush's breast,
That thou down yonder gulph from me wouldst go?
That gloomy area lurking cats infest,
And there the dog may rove, alike thy foe.
I would with lavish crumbs my bird have fed,
And brought a crystal cup to wet thy bill;
I would have made of down and moss thy bed,
Soft, though not fashion'd with a Thrush's skill.
Soon as thy strengthen'd wing could mount the sky,
My willing hand had set my captive free;
Ah, not for her who loves the Muse, to buy
A selfish pleasure, bought with pain to thee!
The vital air, and liberty, and light
Had all been thine; and love, and rapt'rous song,
And sweet parental joys, in rapid flight,
Had led the circle of thy life along.
Securely to my window hadst thou flown,
And ever thy accustom'd morsel found;
Nor should thy trusting breast the wants have known
Which other Thrushes knew when winter frown'd.
Fram'd with the wisdom nature lent to thee,
Thy house of straw had brav'd the tempest's rage,
And thou through many a Spring hadst liv'd to see
The utmost limit of a Thrush's age.
Ill-fated bird!-and does the Thrush's race,
Like Man's, mistake the path that leads to bliss?
Or, when his eye that tranquil path can trace,
The good he well discerns through folly miss?
Ode To Peace
She comes, benign enchantress, heav'n born PEACE!
With mercy beaming in her radiant eye;
She bids the horrid din of battle cease,
And at her glance the savage passions die.
'Tis Nature's festival, let earth rejoice,
And pour to Liberty exulting songs,
In distant regions, with according voice,
Let Man the vict'ry bless, its prize to Man belongs.
Resistless Freedom! when she nerves the arm,
No vulgar triumph crowns the hero's might;
She, she alone can spread a moral charm
O'er war's fell deeds, and sanctify the fight.
O, GALLIA ! in this bright immortal hour,
How proud a trophy binds thy laurel'd brow!
Republic, hail! whose independent power
All earth contested once, all earth confesses now.
Protecting spirits of the glorious dead!
Ah, not in vain the hero's noble toil,
Ah, not in vain the patriot's blood is shed,
That blood shall consecrate his native soil.
Illustrious names! to hist'ry's record dear,
And breath'd when some high impulse fires the bard,
For you shall virtue pour the glowing tear,
And your remember'd deeds shall still your country guard.
And thou, lov'd BRITAIN , my parental Isle!
Secure, encircled by thy subject waves,
Thou, land august, where Freedom rear'd her pile,
While gothic night obscur'd a world of slaves;
Thy genius, that indignant heard the shock
Of frantic combat, strife unmeet for thee,
Now views triumphant, from his sea-girt rock,
Thee unsubdued alone, for thou alone wert free!
O, happy thy misguided efforts fail'd,
My Country! when with tyrant-hosts combin'd--
O, hideous conquest, had thy sword prevail'd,
And crown'd the impious league against mankind!
Thou nurse of great design, of lofty thought,
What homicide, had thy insensate rage
Effac'd the sacred lesson thou hast taught,
And with thy purest blood inscrib'd on glory's page.
Ah, rather haste to Concord's holy shrine,
Ye rival nations, haste with joy elate;
Your blending garlands round her altar twine,
And bind the wounds of no immortal hate:
Go--breathe responsive rituals o'er the sod
Where Freedom martyrs press an early grave;
Go--vow that never shall their turf be trod
By the polluting step of tyrant or of slave.
And from your shores the abject vices chase,
That low Ambition generous souls disdain,
Corruption blasting every moral grace,
Servility that kneels to bless his chain;
O, Liberty, those demons far remove,
Come, nymph severely good, sublimely great!
Nor to the raptur'd hope of mortals prove
Like those illusive dreams that pass the iv'ry gate.
New Age! that roll'st o'er man thy dawning year,
Ah, sure all happy omens hail thy birth,
Sure whiter annals in thy train appear,
And purer glory cheers the gladden'd earth:
Like the young eagle, when his stedfast glance
Meets the full sun-beam in his upward flight,
So thou shalt with majestic step advance,
And fix thy dauntless eye on Liberty and Light.
To Dr. Moore,
IN ANSWER TO A POETICAL EPISTLE WRITTEN TO
ME BY HIM IN WALES, SEPTEMBER 1791.
WHILE in long exile far from you I roam,
To soothe my heart with images of home,
For me, my friend, with rich poetic grace
The landscapes of my native Isle you trace;
Her cultur'd meadows, and her lavish shades,
The rivers winding through her lovely glades;
Far as where, frowning on the flood below,
The rough Welsh mountain lifts its craggy brow.
Meanwhile my steps have stray'd where Autumn yields
A purple harvest on the sunny fields;
Where, bending with their luscious weight, recline
The loaded branches of the clust'ring vine;
There, on the Loire's sweet banks, a joyful band
Cull'd the rich produce of the fruitful land;
The youthful peasant, and the village maid,
And age and childhood lent their feeble aid.
The labours of the morning done, they haste
Where in the field is spread the light repast;
The vintage-baskets serve, revers'd, for chairs,
And the gay meal is crown'd with tuneless airs.
Delightful land! ah, now with gen'ral voice,
Thy village sons and daughters may rejoice;
Thy happy peasant, now no more a slave,
Forbad to taste one good that nature gave,
No longer views with unavailing pain
The lavish harvest, ripe for him in vain.
Oppression's cruel hand shall dare no more
To seize its tribute from his scanty store;
And from his famish'd infants wring the spoils,
Too hard-earn'd produce of his useful toils;
For now on Gallia's plain the peasant knows
Those equal rights impartial heav'n bestows;
He now, by freedom's ray illumin'd, taught
Some self-respect, some energy of thought,
Discerns the blessings that to all belong,
And lives to guard his humble shed from wrong.
Auspicious Liberty! in vain thy foes
Deride thy ardour, and thy force oppose;
In vain refuse to mark thy spreading light,
While, like the mole, they hide their heads in night,
Or hope their eloquence with taper-ray
Can dim the blaze of philosophic day;
Those reas'ners, who pretend that each abuse,
Sanction'd by precedent, has some blest use!
Does then a chemic power to time belong,
Extracting by some process right from wrong?
Must feudal governments for ever last,
Those Gothic piles, the work of ages past?
Nor may obtrusive reason dare to scan,
Far less reform, the rude, mishapen plan?
The winding labyrinths, the hostile towers,
Where danger threatens, and where horror lowers;
The jealous drawbridge, and the mote profound,
The lonely dungeon in the cavern'd ground;
The sullen dome above those central caves,
Where liv'd one despot and a host of slaves?--
Ah, Freedom, on this renovated shore
That fabric frights the moral world no more!
Shook to its basis by thy powerful spell,
Its triple walls in massy fragments fell;
While, rising from the hideous wreck, appears
The temple thy firm arm sublimely rears;
Of fair proportions, and of simple grace,
A mansion worthy of the human race.
For me, the witness of those scenes, whose birth
Forms a new era in the storied earth;
Oft, while with glowing breast those scenes I view,
They lead, ah friend belov'd, my thoughts to you!
Still every fine emotion they impart
With your idea mingles in my heart;
You, whom I oft have heard, with gen'rous zeal,
With all that truth can urge, or pity feel,
Refute the pompous argument, that tried
The common cause of millions to deride;
With reason's force the plausive sophist hit,
Or dart on folly the bright flash of wit;
And warmly share, with philosophic mind,
The great, the glorious triumph of mankind.
The Bastille: A Vision
"Drear cell! along whose lonely bounds,
Unvisited by light,
Chill silence dwells with night,
Save where the clanging fetter sounds!
Abyss, where mercy never came,
Nor hope the wretch can find;
Where long inaction wastes the frame,
And half annihilates the mind!
"Stretch'd helpless in this living tomb,
O haste, congenial death!
Seize, seize this ling'ring breath,
And shroud me in unconscious gloom.
BRITAIN ! thy exil'd son no more
Thy blissful vales shall see--
Why did I leave thy hallow'd shore,
Ah, land ador'd, where all are free?"
BASTILLE ! within thy hideous pile,
Which stains of blood defile,
Thus rose the captive's sighs,
Till slumber seal'd his weeping eyes.
Terrific visions hover near!
He sees an awful form appear!
Who drags his step to deeper cells,
Where stranger, wilder horror dwells!
"O! tear me from these haunted walls,
Or these fierce shapes controul!
Lest madness seize my soul!
That pond'rous mask of iron* falls,
I see--" "Rash mortal, ha! beware,
Nor breathe that hidden name!
Should those dire accents wound the air,
Know death shall lock thy stiff'ning frame.
"Hark! that loud bell which sullen tolls!
It wakes a shriek of woe
From yawning depths below;
Shrill through this hollow vault it rolls!
A deed was done in this black cell
Unfit for mortal ear--
A deed was done when toll'd that knell,
No human heart could live and hear!
"Arouse thee from thy numbing glance,
Near yon thick gloom, advance;
The solid cloud has shook;
Arm all thy soul with strength to look--
Enough!--thy starting locks have rose--
Thy limbs have fail'd--thy blood has froze!--
On scenes so foul, with mad affright,
I fix no more thy fasten'd sight.
"Those troubled phantoms melt away!
I lose the sense of care--
I feel the vital air--
I see--I see the light of day!
Visions of bliss!--eternal powers!
What force has shook those hated walls?
What arm has rent those threat'ning towers?
It falls--the guilty fabric falls!"
"Now, favour'd mortal, now behold!
To soothe thy captive state
I ope the book of fate;
Mark what its registers unfold:
Where this dark pile in chaos lies,
With nature's execrations hurl'd,
Shall Freedom's sacred temple rise,
And charm an emulating world!
" 'Tis her awak'ning voice commands
Those firm, those patriot bands;
Arm'd to avenge her cause,
And guard her violated laws!--
Did ever earth a scene display
More glorious to the eye of day,
Than millions with according mind,
Who claim the rights of human kind?
"Does the fam'd Roman page sublime
An hour more bright unroll,
To animate the soul,
Than this lov'd theme of future time?--
Posterity, with rapture meet,
The consecrated act shall hear;
Age shall the glowing tale repeat,
And youth shall drop the burning tear!
"The peasant, while he fondly sees
His infants round the hearth
Pursue their simple mirth,
Or emulously climb his knees,
No more bewails their future lot,
By tyranny's stern rod opprest;
While freedom cheers his straw-roof'd cot,
And tells him all his toils are blest!
"Philosophy! O, share the meed
Of freedom's noblest deed!
'Tis thine each truth to scan,
And dignify the rank of man!
'Tis thine all human wrongs to heal,
'Tis thine to love all nature's weal;
To give our frail existence worth,
And shed a ray from heaven on earth."
Paraphrases From Scripture
The day is thine, the night also is thine; thou hast prepared the
light and the sun.
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; thou hast made summer and
PSALM lxxiv. 16, 17.
My God! all nature owns thy sway,
Thou giv'st the night, and thou the day!
When all thy lov'd creation wakes,
When morning, rich in lustre breaks,
And bathes in dew the op'ning flower,
To thee we owe her fragrant hour;
And when she pours her choral song,
Her melodies to thee belong!
Or when, in paler tints array'd,
The evening slowly spreads her shade;
That soothing shade, that grateful gloom,
Can more than day's enliv'ning bloom
Still every fond, and vain desire,
And calmer, purer, thoughts inspire;
From earth the pensive spirit free,
And lead the soften'd heart to Thee.
In every scene thy hands have drest,
In every form by thee imprest,
Upon the mountain's awful head,
Or where the shelt'ring woods are spread;
In every note that swells the gale,
Or tuneful stream that cheers the vale,
The cavern's depth, or echoing grove,
A voice is heard of praise, and love.
As o'er thy work the seasons roll,
And sooth with change of bliss, the soul,
Oh never may their smiling train
Pass o'er the human scene in vain!
But oft as on the charm we gaze,
Attune the wond'ring soul to praise;
And be the joys that most we prize,
The joys that from thy favour rise!
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should
not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea,
they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
ISAIAH xlix. 15.
Heaven speaks! Oh Nature listen and rejoice!
Oh spread from pole to pole this gracious voice!
'Say every breast of human frame, that proves
'The boundless force with which a parent loves;
'Say, can a mother from her yearning heart
'Bid the soft image of her child depart?
'She! whom strong instinct arms with strength to bear
'All forms of ill, to shield that dearest care;
'She! who with anguish stung, with madness wild,
'Will rush on death to save her threaten'd child;
'All selfish feelings banish'd from her breast,
'Her life one aim to make another's blest.
'When her vex'd infant to her bosom clings,
'When round her neck his eager arms he flings;
'Breathes to her list'ning soul his melting sigh,
'And lifts suffus'd with tears his asking eye!
'Will she for all ambition can attain,
'The charms of pleasure, or the lures of gain,
'Betray strong Nature's feelings, will she prove
'Cold to the claims of duty, and of love?
'But should the mother from her yearning heart
'Bid the soft image of her child depart;
'When the vex'd infant to her bosom clings
'When round her neck his eager arms he flings;
'Should she unpitying hear his melting sigh,
'And view unmov'd the tear that fills his eye;
'Should she for all ambition can attain,
'The charms of pleasure, or the lures of gain,
'Betray strong Nature's feelings—should she prove
'Cold to the claims of duty, and of love!
'Yet never will the God, whose word gave birth
'To yon illumin'd orbs, and this fair earth;
'Who thro' the boundless depths of trackless space
'Bade new-wak'd beauty spread each perfect grace;
'Yet when he form'd the vast stupendous whole,
'Shed his best bounties on the human soul;
'Which reason's light illumes, which friendship warms,
'Which pity softens, and which virtue charms;
'Which feels the pure affections gen'rous glow,
'Shares others joy, and bleeds for others woe—
'Oh never will the gen'ral Father prove
'Of man forgetful, man the child of love!'
When all those planets in their ample spheres
Have wing'd their course, and roll'd their destin'd years;
When the vast sun shall veil his golden light
Deep in the gloom of everlasting night;
When wild, destructive flames shall wrap the skies,
When Chaos triumphs, and when Nature dies;
Man shall alone the wreck of worlds survive,
Midst falling spheres, immortal man shall live!
The voice which bade the last dread thunders roll,
Shall whisper to the good, and cheer their soul.
God shall himself his favour'd creature guide
Where living waters pour their blissful tide,
Where the enlarg'd, exulting, wond'ring mind
Shall soar, from weakness and from guilt refin'd;
Where perfect knowledge, bright with cloudless rays,
Shall gild eternity's unmeasur'd days;
Where friendship, unembitter'd by distrust,
Shall in immortal bands unite the just;
Devotion rais'd to rapture breathe her strain,
And love in his eternal triumph reign!
Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
MATT. vii. 12.
Precept divine! to earth in mercy given,
O sacred rule of action, worthy heaven!
Whose pitying love ordain'd the bless'd command
To bind our nature in a firmer band;
Enforce each human suff'rer's strong appeal,
And teach the selfish breast what others feel;
Wert thou the guide of life, mankind might know
A soft exemption from the worst of woe;
No more the powerful would the weak oppress,
But tyrants learn the luxury to bless;
No more would slav'ry bind a hopeless train,
Of human victims, in her galling chain;
Mercy the hard, the cruel heart would move
To soften mis'ry by the deeds of Jove;
And av'rice from his hoarded treasures give
Unask'd, the liberal boon, that want might live!
The impious tongue of falshood then would cease
To blast, with dark suggestions, virtue's peace;
No more would spleen, or passion banish rest
And plant a pang in fond affection's breast;
By one harsh word, one alter'd look, destroy
Her peace, and wither every op'ning joy;
Scarce can her tongue the captious wrong explain,
The slight offence which gives so deep a pain!
Th' affected ease that slights her starting tear,
The words whose coldness kills from lips so dear;
The hand she loves, alone can point the dart,
Whose hidden sting could wound no other heart—
These, of all pains the sharpest we endure,
The breast which now inflicts, would spring to cure.—
No more deserted genius then, would fly
To breathe in solitude his hopeless sigh;
No more would Fortune's partial smile debase
The spirit, rich in intellectual grace;
Who views unmov'd from scenes where pleasures bloom,
The flame of genius sunk in mis'ry's gloom;
The soul heav'n form'd to soar, by want deprest,
Nor heeds the wrongs that pierce a kindred breast.—
Thou righteous Law! whose clear and useful light
Sheds on the mind a ray divinely bright;
Condensing in one rule whate'er the sage
Has proudly taught, in many a labour'd page;
Bid every heart thy hallow'd voice revere,
To justice sacred, and to nature dear!
That thine alms may be in secret,
and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.
Matt. VI. 4.
HEAR heav'n's pure dictates, ye presumptuous crowd,
Be kind ye selfish, and abash'd ye proud!
Nor think the ostentatious act, which draws
The incense of ill judging man's applause,
The boon obtruded on the gazer's sight,
Outweighs in virtue's scale, the widow's mite;
Claim not in His divine rewards, a part,
Who knows the motive, and who views the heart;
Be yours to hear the empty accents roll
Of praise, rejected by the conscious soul.
But ye, who when to succour want ye fly,
Have never paus'd to wish a witness nigh,
Have mingled with your alms, the unseen tear,
The secret sigh which heav'n alone could hear;
Be yours, when life shall reach the closing scene,
To read its record with a hope serene;
And yours to listen, while a voice of love
Proclaims your bright inheritance above.
An Epistle To Dr. Moore
Whether dispensing hope, and ease
To the pale victim of disease,
Or in the social crowd you sit,
And charm the group with sense and wit,
Moore's partial ear will not disdain
Attention to my artless strain.
An Epistle To Dr. Moore, Author Of A View Of Society And Manners In France, Switzerland And Germany
I mean no giddy heights to climb,
And vainly toil to be sublime;
While every line with labour wrought,
Is swell'd with tropes for want of thought:
Nor shall I call the Muse to shed
Castalian drops upon my head;
Or send me from Parnassian bowers
A chaplet wove of fancy's flowers.
At present all such aid I slight—
My heart instructs me how to write.
That softer glide my hours along,
That still my griefs are sooth'd by song,
That still my careless numbers flow
To your successful skill I owe;
You, who when sickness o'er me hung,
And languor had my lyre unstrung,
With treasures of the healing art,
With friendship's ardor at your heart,
From sickness snatch'd her early prey
And bade fair health—the goddess gay,
With sprightly air, and winning grace,
With laughing eye, and rosy face,
Accustom'd when you call to hear,
On her light pinion hasten near,
And swift restore with influence kind,
My weaken'd frame, my drooping mind.
With like benignity, and zeal,
The mental malady to heal,
To stop the fruitless, hopeless tear,
The life you lengthen'd, render dear,
To charm by fancy's powerful vein,
'The written troubles of the brain,'
From gayer scenes, compassion led
Your frequent footsteps to my shed:
And knowing that the Muses' art
Has power to ease an aching heart,
You sooth'd that heart with partial praise,
And I before too fond of lays,
While others pant for solid gain,
Grasp at a laurel sprig—in vain—
You could not chill with frown severe
The madness to my soul so dear;
For when Apollo came to store
Your mind with salutary lore,
The god I ween, was pleas'd to dart
A ray from Pindus on your heart;
Your willing bosom caught the fire,
And still is partial to the lyre.
But now from you at distance plac'd
Where Epping spreads a woody waste;
Tho' unrestrain'd my fancy flies,
And views in air her fabrics rise,
And paints with brighter bloom the flowers,
Bids Dryads people all the bowers,
And Echoes speak from every hill,
And Naiads pour each little rill,
And bands of Sylphs with pride unfold
Their azure plumage mix'd with gold,
My heart remembers with a sigh
That you are now no longer nigh.
The magic scenes no more engage,
I quit them for your various page;
Where, with delight I traverse o'er
The foreign paths you trod before:
Ah not in vain those paths you trac'd,
With heart to feel, with powers to taste!
Amid the ever-jocund train
Who sport upon the banks of Seine,
In your light Frenchman pleas'd I see
His nation's gay epitome;
Whose careless hours glide smooth along,
Who charms MISFORTUNE with a song.
She comes not as on Albion's plain,
With death, and madness in her train;
For here, her keenest sharpest dart
May raze, but cannot pierce the heart.
Yet he whose spirit light as air
Calls life a jest, and laughs at care,
Feels the strong force of pity's voice,
And bids afflicted love rejoice;
Love, such as fills the poet's page
Love, such as form'd the golden age—
FANCHON, thy grateful look I see—
I share thy joys—I weep with thee—
What eye has read without a tear
A tale to nature's heart so dear!
There, dress'd in each sublimer grace
Geneva's happy scene I trace;
Her lake, from whose broad bosom thrown
Rushes the loud impetuous Rhone,
And bears his waves with mazy sweep
In rapid torrents to the deep—
Oh for a Muse less weak of wing,
High on yon Alpine steeps to spring,
And tell in verse what they disclose
As well as you have told in prose;
How wrapt in snows and icy showers,
Eternal winter, horrid lowers
Upon the mountain's awful brow,
While purple summer blooms below;
How icy structures rear their forms
Pale products of ten thousand storms;
Where the full sun-beam powerless falls
On crystal arches, columns, walls,
Yet paints the proud fantastic height
With all the various hues of light.
Why is no poet call'd to birth
In such a favour'd spot of earth?
How high his vent'rous Muse might rise,
And proudly scorn to ask supplies
From the Parnassian hill, the fire
Of verse, Mont Blanc might well inspire.
O SWITZERLAND! how oft these eyes
Desire to view thy mountains rise;
How fancy loves thy steeps to climb,
So wild, so solemn, so sublime;
And o'er thy happy vales to roam,
Where freedom rears her humble home.
Ah, how unlike each social grace
Which binds in love thy manly race,
The HOLLANDERS phlegmatic ease
Too cold to love, too dull to please;
Who feel no sympathetic woe,
Nor sympathetic joy bestow,
But fancy words are only made
To serve the purposes of trade,
And when they neither buy, nor sell,
Think silence answers quite as well.
Now in his happiest light is seen
VOLTAIRE, when evening chas'd his spleen,
And plac'd at supper with his friends,
The playful flash of wit descends—
Of names renown'd you clearly shew
The finer traits we wish to know—
To Prussia's martial clime I stray
And see how FREDERIC spends the day;
Behold him rise at dawning light
To form his troops for future fight;
Thro' the firm ranks his glances pierce,
Where discipline, with aspect fierce,
And unrelenting breast, is seen
Degrading man to a machine;
My female heart delights to turn
Where GREATNESS seems not quite so stern:
Mild on th' IMPERIAL BROW she glows,
And lives to soften human woes.
But lo! on ocean's stormy breast
I see majestic VENICE rest;
While round her spires the billows rave,
Inverted splendours gild the wave.
Fair liberty has rear'd with toil,
Her fabric on this marshy soil.
She fled those banks with scornful pride,
Where classic Po devolves her tide:
Yet here her unrelenting laws
Are deaf to nature's, freedom's cause.
Unjust! they seal'd FOSCARI'S doom,
An exile in his early bloom.
And he, who bore the rack unmov'd,
Divided far from those he lov'd,
From all the social hour can give,
From all that make it bliss to live,
These worst of ills refus'd to bear,
And died, the victim of despair.
An eye of wonder let me raise,
While on imperial ROME I gaze.
But oh! no more in glory bright
She fills with awe th' astonish'd sight:
Her mould'ring fanes in ruin trac'd,
Lie scatter'd on Campania's waste.
Nor only these—alas! we find
The wreck involves the human mind:
The lords of earth now drag a chain
Beneath a pontiff's feeble reign;
The soil that gave a Cato birth
No longer yields heroic worth,
Whose image lives but on the bust,
Or consecrates the medal's rust:
Yet if no heart of modern frame
Glows with the antient hero's flame,
The dire Arena's horrid stage
Is banish'd from this milder age;
Those savage virtues too are fled
At which the human feelings bled.
While now at Virgil's tomb you bend,
O let me on your steps attend!
Kneel on the turf that blossoms round,
And kiss, with lips devout, the ground.
I feel how oft his magic powers
Shed pleasure on my lonely hours.
Tho' hid from me the classic tongue,
In which his heav'nly strain was sung,
In Dryden's tuneful lines, I pierce
The shaded beauties of his verse.
Bright be the rip'ning beam, that shines
Fair FLORENCE, on thy purple vines!
And ever pure the fanning gale
That pants in Arno's myrtle vale!
Here, when the barb'rous northern race,
Dire foes to every muse, and grace,
Had doom'd the banish'd arts to roam
The lovely wand'rers found a home;
And shed round Leo's triple crown
Unfading rays of bright renown.
Who e'er has felt his bosom glow
With knowledge, or the wish to know;
Has e'er from books with transport caught
The rich accession of a thought;
Perceiv'd with conscious pride, he feels
The sentiment which taste reveals;
Let all who joys like these possess,
Thy vale, enchanting FLORENCE bless—
O had the arts benignant light
No more reviv'd from Gothic night,
Earth had been one vast scene of strife,
Or one drear void had sadden'd life;
Lost had been all the sage has taught,
The painter's sketch, the poet's thought,
The force of sense, the charm of wit,
Nor ever had your page been writ;
That soothing page, which care beguiles,
And dresses truth in fancy's smiles:
For not with hostile step you prest
Each foreign soil, a thankless guest!
While travellers who want the skill
To mark the shapes of good and ill,
With vacant stare thro' Europe range,
And deem all bad, because 'tis strange;
Thro' varying modes of life, you trace
The finer trait, the latent grace,
And where thro' every vain disguise
You view the human follies rise,
The stroke of irony you dart
With force to mend, not wound the heart.
While intellectual objects share
Your mind's extensive view, you bear,
Quite free from spleen's incumb'ring load,
The little evils on the road—
So, while the path of life I tread,
A path to me with briers spread;
Let me its tangled mazes spy
Like you, with gay, good-humour'd eye;
Nor at those thorny tracts repine,
The treasure of your friendship, mine.
On The Bill Which Was Passed In England For Regulating The Slave-Trade
The hollow winds of night no more
In wild, unequal cadence pour,
On musing fancy's wakeful ear,
The groan of agony severe
From yon dark vessel, which contains
The wretch new bound in hopeless chains!
Whose soul with keener anguish bleeds,
As AFRIC'S less'ning shore recedes--
No more where Ocean's unseen bound
Leaves a drear world of waters round,
Between the howling gust, shall rise
The stifled captive's latest sighs!--
No more shall suffocating death
Seize the pent victim's sinking breath;
The pang of that convulsive hour,
Reproaching man's insatiate power;
Man! who to AFRIC'S shore has past,
Relentless, as the annual blast
That sweeps the Western Isles, and flings
Destruction from its furious wings!--
And woman, she, too weak to bear
The galling chain, the tainted air,--
Of mind too feeble to sustain
The vast, accumulated pain,--
No more, in desperation wild,
Shall madly strain her gasping child;
With all the mother at her soul,
With eyes where tears have ceas'd to roll,
Shall catch the livid infant's breath,
Then sink in agonizing death!
BRITAIN! the noble, blest decree
That soothes despair, is fram'd by thee!
Thy powerful arm has interpos'd,
And one dire scene for ever clos'd;
Its horror shall no more belong
To that foul drama, deep with wrong.
O, first of EUROPE'S polish'd lands
To ease the captive's iron bands;
Long, as thy glorious annals shine,
This proud distinction shall be thine!
Not first alone when valour leads
To rush on danger's noblest deeds;
When mercy calls thee to explore
A gloomy path, untrod before,
Thy ardent spirit springs to heal,
And, greatly gen'rous, dares to feel!--
Valour is like the meteor's light,
Whose partial flash leaves deeper night;
While Mercy, like the lunar ray,
Gilds the thick shade with softer day.
Blest deed! that met consenting minds
In all but those whom av'rice binds,--
Who creep in interest's crooked ways,
Nor ever pass her narrow maze;
Or those whom hard indiff'rence steels
To every pang another feels.
For them has fortune round their bowers
Twin'd, partial nymph! her lavish flowers;
For them , from unsunn'd caves, she brings
Her summer ice; for them she springs
To climes where hotter suns produce
The richer fruit's delicious juice;
While they , whom wasted blessings tire,
Nor leave one want to feed desire,
With cool, insulting ease demand
Why, for yon hopeless, captive band,
Is ask'd, to mitigate despair,
The mercy of the common air?
The boon of larger space to breathe,
While coop'd that hollow deck beneath?
A lengthen'd plank, on which to throw
Their shackled limbs, while fiercely glow
The beams direct, that on each head
The fury of contagion shed?--
And dare presumptuous, guilty man,
Load with offence his fleeting span?
Deform creation with the gloom
Of crimes that blot its cheerful bloom?
Darken a work so perfect made,
And cast the universe in shade?--
Alas! to AFRIC'S fetter'd race
Creation wears no form of grace!
To them earth's pleasant vales are found
A blasted waste, a sterile bound;
Where the poor wand'rer must sustain
The load of unremitted pain;
A region in whose ample scope
His eye discerns no gleam of hope;
Where thought no kind asylum knows
On which its anguish may repose;
But death, that to the ravag'd breast
Comes not in shapes of terror drest;
Points to green hills where freedom roves,
And minds renew their former loves;
Or, hov'ring in the troubled air,
Hangs the fierce spectre of Despair;
Whose soul abhors the gift of life,
Who stedfast grasps the reeking knife,
Bids the charg'd heart in torrents bleed,
And smiles in frenzy at the deed!
Ye noble minds! who o'er a sky
Where clouds are roll'd, and tempests fly,
Have bid the lambent lustre play
Of one pure, lovely, azure ray;
O, far diffuse its op'ning bloom,
And the wide Hemisphere illume!
Ye, who one bitter drop have drain'd
From slav'ry's cup, with horror stain'd,
O, let no fatal dregs be found,
But dash her chalice on the ground,
While still she links her impious chain,
And calculates the price of pain;
Weighs agony in sordid scales,
And marks if death or life prevails;
Decides how near the mangling scourge
May to the grave its victim urge,--
Yet for awhile, with prudent care,
The half-worn wretch, if useful, spare;
And speculates, with skill refin'd,
How deep a wound will stab the mind;
How far the spirit can endure
Calamity, that hopes no cure!--
Ye! who can selfish cares forego,
To pity those which others know,--
As light that from its centre strays
To glad all nature with its rays,--
O, ease the pangs ye stoop to share,
And rescue millions from despair!--
For you, while morn in graces gay
Wakes the fresh bloom of op'ning day,
Gilds with her purple light your dome,
Renewing all the joys of home,--
Of that dear shed which first ye knew,
Where first the sweet affections grew;
Whose charm alike the heart can draw,
If form'd of marble or of straw;
Whether the voice of pleasure calls,
And gladness echoes through its walls,
Or to its hallow'd roof we fly
With those we love to pour the sigh;
The load of mingled pain to bear,
And soften every pang we share!--
Ah, think how desolate his state,
How he the cheerful light must hate,
Whom, sever'd from his native soil,
The morning wakes to fruitless toil
To labours hope shall never cheer,
Or fond domestic joy endear!
Poor wretch! on whose despairing eyes
His cherish'd home shall never rise!
Condemn'd, severe extreme, to live
When all is fled that life can give:--
And ah, the blessings valued most
By human minds, are blessings lost!
Unlike the objects of the eye,
Enlarging as we bring them nigh;
Our joys at distance strike the breast,
And seem diminish'd when possest.
Who from his far-divided shore
The half-expiring captive bore?
Those whom the traffic of their race
Has robb'd of every human grace;
Whose harden'd souls no more retain
Impressions nature stamp'd in vain:
As streams that once the landscape gave
Reflected on the trembling wave,
Their substance change when lock'd in frost,
And rest in dead contraction lost;
Who view, unmoved, the look that tells
The pang that in the bosom dwells;
Heed not the nerves that terror shakes,
The heart convulsive anguish breaks;
The shriek that would their crimes upbraid,
But deem despair a part of trade.
Such only for detested gain
The barb'rous commerce would maintain;
The gen'rous sailor, he who dares
All forms of danger, while he bears
The British flag o'er sultry seas,
And spreads it on the Polar breeze;
He to whose guardian arm we owe
Each blessing that the happy know;
Whatever charms the soften'd heart,
Each cultur'd grace, each finer art,
E'en thine, most lovely of the train!
Sweet Poetry, thy heav'n-taught strain,
His breast, where nobler passions burn,
In honest poverty, would spurn
The wealth oppression can bestow,
And scorn to wound a fetter'd foe!
True courage in the unconquered soul
Yields to Compassion's mild control;
As, the resisting frame of steel
The magnet's secret force can feel.
When borne at length to Western lands,
Chain'd on the beach the captive stands,
Where Man, dire merchandize! is sold,
And barter'd life is paid for gold!
In mute affliction, see him try
To read his new possessor's eye;
If one blest glance of mercy there,
One half-form'd tear may check despair!
Ah, if that eye with sorrow sees
His languid look, his quiv'ring knees,
Those limbs which scarce their load sustain,
That form consum'd in wasting pain,
Such sorrow fills his ruthless eye
Who sees the lamb he doom'd to die;
In pining sickness yield his life,
And thus elude the sharpen'd knife.
Or if where savage habit steels
The vulgar mind, one bosom feels
The sacred claim of helpless woe--
If pity in that soil can grow!
Yet why on one poor chance must rest
The int'rest of a kindred breast?
Why yield to passion's wayward laws
Humanity's devoted cause?--
Ah ye, who one fix'd purpose own,
Whose untir'd aim is self alone;
Who think in gold the essence lies
From which extracted bliss shall rise;
Does fleeting life proportion bear
To all the wealth ye heap with care?
When soon your days in rapid flight
Shall sink in death's terrific night,
Then seize the moments in your power,
To Mercy consecrate the hour!
Risk something in her cause at last,
And thus atone for all the past.
Does avarice, your god, delight
With agony to feast his sight?
Does he require that victims slain,
And human blood his altars stain?--
Ah, not alone of power possest
To check each virtue of the breast:
As when the numbing frosts arise
The charm of vegetation dies;
His sway the harden'd bosom leads
To cruelty's remorseless deeds;
Like the blue lightning, when it springs
With fury on its livid wings,
Darts to its goal with baleful force,
Nor heeds that ruin marks its course!
O, Eloquence! prevailing art!
Whose force can chain the list'ning heart;
The throb of sympathy inspire,
And kindle every great desire;
With magic energy control,
And reign the sov'reign of the soul!
That dreams, while all its passions swell,
It shares the power it feels so well:
As visual objects seem possest
Of those clear hues by light imprest.
O, skill'd in every grace to charm,
To soften, to appal, to warm,--
Fill with thy noblest rage the breast,
Bid on those lips thy spirit rest,
That shall, in Britain's Senate, trace
The wrongs of AFRIC'S captive race!--
But Fancy o'er the tale of woe
In vain one heighten'd tint would throw;
For ah, the truth is all we guess
Of anguish in its last excess!
Fancy may dress in deeper shade
The storm that hangs along the glade;
Spreads o'er the ruffled stream its wing,
And chills awhile the flowers of spring;
But where the wint'ry tempests sweep
In madness o'er the darken'd deep,--
Where the wild surge, the raging wave,
Point to the hopeless wretch a grave;
And death surrounds the threat'ning shore--
Can fancy add one horror more?--
Lov'd BRITAIN ! whose protecting hand,
Stretch'd o'er the globe, on AFRIC'S strand
The honour'd base of freedom lays,
Soon, soon the finish'd fabric raise!
And when surrounding realms would frame,
Touch'd with a spark of gen'rous flame,
Some pure, ennobling, great design,
Some lofty act, almost divine,
Which earth may hail with rapture high,
And heav'n may view with fav'ring eye,--
Teach them to make all nature free,
And shine by emulating thee!
An Ode On The Piece
As wand'ring late on Albion's shore
That chains the rude tempestuous deep,
I heard the hollow surges roar
And vainly beat her guardian steep;
I heard the rising sounds of woe
Loud on the storm's wild pinion flow;
And still they vibrate on the mournful lyre,
That tunes to grief its sympathetic wire.
From shores the wide Atlantic laves,
The spirit of the ocean bears
In moans, along his western waves,
Afflicted nature's hopeless cares:
Enchanting scenes of young delight,
How chang'd since first ye rose to sight;
Since first ye rose in infant glories drest
Fresh from the wave, and rear'd your ample breast.
Her crested serpents, discord throws
O'er scenes which love with roses grac'd;
The flow'ry chain his hands compose,
She wildly scatters o'er the waste:
Her glance his playful smile deforms,
Her frantic voice awakes the storms,
From land to land, her torches spread their fires,
While love's pure flame in streams of blood expires.
Now burns the savage soul of war,
While terror flashes from his eyes,
Lo! waving o'er his fiery car
Aloft his bloody banner flies:
The battle wakes—with awful sound
He thunders o'er the echoing ground,
He grasps his reeking blade, while streams of blood
Tinge the vast plain, and swell the purple flood.
But softer sounds of sorrow flow;
On drooping wing the murm'ring gales
Have borne the deep complaints of woe
That rose along the lonely vales—
Those breezes waft the orphan's cries,
They tremble to parental sighs,
And drink a tear for keener anguish shed,
The tear of faithful love when hope is fled.
The object of her anxious fear
Lies pale on earth, expiring, cold,
Ere, wing'd by happy love, one year
Too rapid in its course, has roll'd;
In vain the dying hand she grasps,
Hangs on the quiv'ring lip, and clasps
The fainting form, that slowly sinks in death,
To catch the parting glance, the fleeting breath.
Pale as the livid corse her cheek,
Her tresses torn, her glances wild,—
How fearful was her frantic shriek!
She wept—and then in horrors smil'd:
She gazes now with wild affright,
Lo! bleeding phantoms rush in sight—
Hark! on yon mangled form the mourner calls,
Then on the earth a senseless weight she falls.
And see! o'er gentle Andre's tomb,
The victim of his own despair,
Who fell in life's exulting bloom,
Nor deem'd that life deserv'd a care;
O'er the cold earth his relicks prest,
Lo! Britain's drooping legions rest;
For him the swords they sternly grasp, appear
Dim with a sigh, and sullied with a tear.
While Seward sweeps her plaintive strings,
While pensive round his sable shrine,
A radiant zone she graceful flings,
Where full emblaz'd his virtues shine;
The mournful loves that tremble nigh
Shall catch her warm melodious sigh;
The mournful loves shall drink the tears that flow
From Pity's hov'ring soul, dissolv'd in woe.
And hark, in Albion's flow'ry vale
A parent's deep complaint I hear!
A sister calls the western gale
To waft her soul-expressive tear;
'Tis Asgill claims that piercing sigh,
That dropp which dims the beauteous eye,
While on the rack of Doubt Affection proves
How strong the force which binds the ties she loves.
How oft in every dawning grace
That blossom'd in his early hours,
Her soul some comfort lov'd to trace,
And deck'd futurity in flowers!
But lo! in Fancy's troubled sight
The dear illusions sink in night;
She views the murder'd form—the quiv'ring breath,
The rising virtues chill'd in shades of death.
Cease, cease ye throbs of hopeless woe;
He lives the future hours to bless,
He lives, the purest joy to know,
Parental transports fond excess;
His sight a father's eye shall chear,
A sister's drooping charms endear:—
The private pang was Albion's gen'rous care,
For him she breath'd a warm accepted prayer.
And lo! a radiant stream of light
Defending, gilds the murky cloud,
Where Desolation's gloomy night
Retiring, folds her sable shroud;
It flashes o'er the bright'ning deep,
It softens Britain's frowning steep—
'Tis mild benignant Peace, enchanting form!
That gilds the black abyss, that lulls the storm.
So thro' the dark, impending sky,
Where clouds, and fallen vapours roll'd,
Their curling wreaths dissolving fly
As the faint hues of light unfold—
The air with spreading azure streams,
The sun now darts his orient beams—
And now the mountains glow—the woods are bright—
While nature hails the season of delight.
Mild Peace! from Albion's fairest bowers
Pure spirit! cull with snowy hands,
The buds that drink the morning showers,
And bind the realms in flow'ry bands:
Thy smiles the angry passions chase,
Thy glance is pleasure's native grace;
Around thy form th' exulting virtues move,
And thy soft call awakes the strain of love.
Bless, all ye powers! the patriot name
That courts fair Peace, thy gentle stay;
Ah! gild with glory's light, his fame,
And glad his life with pleasure's ray!
While, like th' affrighted dove, thy form
Still shrinks, and fears some latent storm,
His cares shall sooth thy panting soul to rest,
And spread thy vernal couch on Albion's breast.
Ye, who have mourn'd the parting hour,
Which love in darker horrors drew,
Ye, who have vainly tried to pour
With falt'ring voice the last adieu!
When the pale cheek, the bursting sigh,
The soul that hov'ring in the eye,
Express'd the pains it felt, the pains it fear'd—
Ah! paint the youth's return, by grief endear'd.
Yon hoary form, with aspect mild,
Deserted kneels by anguish prest,
And seeks from Heav'n his long-lost child,
To smooth the path that leads to rest!—
He comes!—to close the sinking eye,
To catch the faint, expiring sigh;
A moment's transport stays the fleeting breath,
And sooths the soul on the pale verge of death.
No more the sanguine wreath shall twine
On the lost hero's early tomb,
But hung around thy simple shrine
Fair Peace! shall milder glories bloom.
Lo! commerce lifts her drooping head
Triumphal, Thames! from thy deep bed;
And bears to Albion, on her sail sublime,
The riches Nature gives each happier clime.
She fearless prints the polar snows,
Mid' horrors that reject the day;
Along the burning line she glows,
Nor shrinks beneath the torrid ray:
She opens India's glitt'ring mine,
Where streams of light reflected shine;
Wafts the bright gems to Britain's temp'rate vale,
And breathes her odours on the northern gale.
While from the far-divided shore
Where liberty unconquer'd roves,
Her ardent glance shall oft' explore
The parent isle her spirit loves;
Shall spread upon the western main
—Harmonious concord's golden chain,
While stern on Gallia's ever hostile strand
From Albion's cliff she pours her daring band.
Yet hide the sabre's hideous glare
Whose edge is bath'd in streams of blood,
The lance that quivers high in air,
And falling drinks a purple flood;
For Britain! fear shall seize thy foes,
While freedom in thy senate glows,
While peace shall smile upon thy cultur'd plain,
With grace and beauty her attendant train.
Enchanting visions sooth my sight—
The finer arts no more oppress'd,
Benignant source of pure delight!
On her soft bosom love to rest.
While each discordant sound expires,
Strike harmony! strike all thy wires;
The fine vibrations of the spirit move
And touch the springs of rapture and of love.
Bright painting's living forms shall rise;
And wrapt in Ugolino's woe,
Shall Reynolds wake unbidden sighs;
And Romney's graceful pencil flow,
That Nature's look benign pourtrays,
When to her infant Shakspeare's gaze
The partial nymph 'unveil'd her awful face,'
And bade his 'colours clear' her features trace.
And poesy! thy deep-ton'd shell
The heart shall sooth, the spirit fire,
And all the passion sink, or swell,
In true accordance to the lyre.
Oh! ever wake its heav'nly sound,
Oh! call thy lovely visions round;
Strew the soft path of peace with fancy's flowers,
With raptures bless the soul that feels thy powers.
While Hayley wakes thy magic string,
His shades shall no rude sound profane,
But stillness on her folded wing,
Enamour'd catch his soothing strain:
Tho' genius breathe its purest flame
—Around his lyre's enchanting frame;
Tho' music there in every period roll,
More warm his friendship, and more pure his soul.
While taste refines a polish'd age,
While her own Hurd shall bid us trace
The lustre of the finish'd page
Where symmetry sheds perfect grace;
With sober and collected ray
To fancy, judgment shall display
The faultless model, where accomplish'd art
From nature draws a charm that leads the heart.
Th' historic Muse illumes the maze
For ages veil'd in gloomy night,
Where empire with meridian blaze
Once trod ambition's giddy height:
Tho' headlong from the dang'rous steep
Its pageants roll'd with wasteful sweep,
Her tablet still records the deeds of fame
And wakes the patriot's, and the hero's flame.
While meek philosophy explores
Creation's vast stupendous round;
Sublime her piercing vision soars,
And bursts the system's distant bound.
Lo! mid' the dark deep void of space
A rushing world her eye can trace!—
It moves majestic in its ample sphere,
Sheds its long light, and rolls its ling'ring year.
Ah! still diffuse thy genial ray,
Fair Science, on my Albion's plain!
And still thy grateful homage pay
Where Montagu has rear'd her fane;
Where eloquence and wit entwine
Their attic wreath around her shrine;
And still, while Learning shall unfold her store,
With their bright signet stamp the classic ore.
Enlight'ning Peace! for thine the hours
That wisdom decks in moral grace,
And thine invention's fairy powers,
The charm improv'd of nature's face;
Propitious come! in silence laid
Beneath thy olive's grateful shade,
Pour the mild bliss that sooths the tuneful mind,
And in thy zone the hostile spirit bind.
While Albion on her parent deep
Shall rest, may glory light her shore,
May honour there his vigils keep
Till time shall wing its course no more;
Till angels wrap the spheres in fire,
Till earth and yon fair orbs expire,
While chaos mounted on the wasting flame,
Shall spread eternal shade o'er nature's frame.
Peruvian Tales: Cora, Tale Vi
The troops of ALMAGRO and ALPHONSO meet on the plain of CUZCO --. MANCO -CAPAC attacks them by nights--His army is defeated, and he is forced to fly with its scattered remains--CORA goes in search of him-- Her infant in her arms--Overcome with fatigue, she rests at the foot of a mountain--An earthquake--A band of Indians fly to the mountain for shelter--CORA discovers her husband--Their interview--Her death --He escapes with his infant--ALMAGRO claims a share of the spoils of Cuzco--His contention with PIZARRO --The Spaniards destroy each other--ALMAGRO is taken prisoner, and put to death--His soldiers, in revenge, assassinate PIZARRO in his palace--LAS CASAS dies--The annual festival of the PERUVIANS --Their victories over the Spaniards in Chili--A wish for the restoration of their liberty--Conclusion.
At length ALMAGRO and ALPHONSO'S train,
Each peril past, unite on Cuzco's plain;
CAPAC resolves beneath the shroud of night
To pierce the hostile camp, and brave the fight;
Though weak the wrong'd PERUVIANS ' arrowy showers
To the dire weapons stern IBERIA pours,
Fierce was th' unequal contest, for the soul,
When rais'd by some high passion's strong controul,
New strings the nerves, and o'er the glowing frame
Breathes the warm spirit of heroic flame.
But from the scene where raging slaughter burns,
The timid muse with silent horror turns;
The blended sounds of grief she panting hears,
Where anguish dims a mother's eye with tears;
Or where the maid, who gave to love's soft power
Her faithful spirit, weeps the parting hour;
And O, till death shall ease the tender woe,
That soul must languish, and those tears must flow;
For never with the thrill that rapture proves,
Her voice again shall hail the youth she loves!
Her earnest eye no more his form shall view,
Her quiv'ring lip has breath'd the last adieu!
Now night, that pour'd upon the hollow gale
The din of battle, dropp'd her mournful veil.
The sun rose lovely from the sleeping flood,
And morning glitter'd o'er the field of blood;
Where, bath'd in gore, PERUVIA'S vanquish'd train
Lay cold and senseless on the sanguine plain.
The gen'rous CAPAC saw his warriors yield,
And fled indignant from the conquer'd field.
A wretched throng from Cuzco now repair,
Who tread 'mid slaughter'd heaps in mute despair;
O'er some lov'd corse the shroud of earth to spread,
And breathe some ritual that may soothe the dead.
No moan was heard, for agony supprest
The fond complaints which ease the swelling breast;
Each hope for ever lost, they only crave
The deep repose that wraps the shelt'ring grave:--
So the meek lama, lur'd by some decoy
Of man, from all his unembitter'd joy,
Erewhile as free as roves the wand'ring breeze,
Meets the hard burden on his bending knees;
O'er rocks and mountains, dark and waste he goes,
Nor shuns the path where no fresh herbage grows;
Till, worn with toil, on earth he prostrate lies,
Heeds not the barb'rous lash, and scornful dies.
Swift o'er the field of death sad CORA flew,
Her infant to his mother's bosom grew;
She seeks her wretched lord, who fled the plain
With the last remnant of his vanquish'd train:
Thro' the long glen, or forest's gloomy shade,
A dreary solitude, the mourner stray'd;
Her timid heart can now each danger dare,
Her drooping soul is arm'd by deep despair--
Long, long she wander'd, till oppress'd with toil,
Her trembling footsteps track with blood the soil.
Where o'er an ample vale a mountain rose,
Low at its base her fainting form she throws:
"And here, my child," she cried, with panting breath,
"Here let us wait the hour of ling'ring death;
This famish'd bosom can no more supply
The streams that nourish life--my babe must die!
In vain I strive to cherish, for thy sake,
My failing strength; but when my heart-strings break,
When my cold bosom can no longer warm,
My stiff'ning arms no more enfold thy form,
Soft on this bed of leaves my child shall sleep--
Close to his mother's corse, he will not weep!
O! weep not then, my tender babe--tho' near,
I shall not hear thy moan, nor see thy tear;
Hope not to move me by thy mournful cry,
Nor seek with earnest look my answering eye."
As thus the dying CORA'S plaints arose,
O'er the fair valley sudden darkness throws
A hideous horror; thro' the wounded air
Howl'd the shrill voice of nature in despair;
The birds dart screaming thro' the fluid sky,
And, dash'd upon the cliff's hard surface, die;
High o'er their rocky bounds the billows swell,
Then to their deep abyss affrighted fell;
Earth groaning heaves with dire convulsive throes,
While yawning gulphs its central caves disclose.
Now rush'd a frighted throng with trembling pace
Along the vale, and sought the mountain's base;
Purpos'd its perilous ascent to gain,
And shun the ruin low'ring o'er the plain.
They reach'd the spot where CORA clasp'd her child,
And gaz'd on present death with aspect wild:
They pitying pause--she lifts her mournful eye,
And views her lord!--he hears his CORA'S sigh--
He meets her looks--their melting souls unite,
O'erwhelmed, and agoniz'd with wild delight.
At length she faintly cried, "we yet must part!
Short are these rising joys--I feel my heart,
My suff'ring heart is cold, and mists arise,
That shroud thy image from my closing eyes!
O, save my child!--our helpless infant save,
And shed a tear upon thy CORA'S grave."
The fluttering pulse of life now ceas'd to play,
And in his arms a pallid corse she lay!
O'er her dear form he hung in speechless pain,
And still on CORA call'd--but call'd in vain;
Scarce could his soul in one short moment bear
The wild extremes of transport and despair.
Now o'er the west in melting softness streams
A lustre, milder than the morning beams;
A purer dawn dispell'd the fearful night,
And nature glow'd in all the blooms of light;
Then first the mourner, waking from his trance,
Cast on his smiling babe an eager glance:
Then rose the hollow voice on fancy's ear,
The parting words he hears, or seems to hear!
That sought with anxious tenderness to save
That dear memorial from the closing grave;
He clasps the object of his love's last care,
And vows for him the load of life to bear.
He journey'd o'er a dreary length of way,
To plains where freedom shed her hallow'd ray;
There, o'er the pathless wood, and mountain hoar,
His faithful band the lifeless CORA bore:
Ye who ne'er pin'd in sorrow's hopeless pain,
Deem not the toil that soothes its anguish vain;
Perchance the conscious spirit hovers near,
And love's fond tribute to the dead is dear.
Not long IBERIA'S sullied trophies wave,
Her guilty warriors press th' untimely grave;
For av'rice rising from the caves of earth,
Wakes all her savage spirit into birth:
Bids proud ALMAGRO feel her baleful flame,
And Cuzco's treasures from PIZARRO claim.
Now fierce in hostile rage each warlike train.
Purple with kindred blood PERUVIA'S plain;
While pensive on the hills, whose lofty brow
O'erhung with waving woods the vale below,
PERUVIA'S hapless tribes in scatter'd throngs,
Behold the fiends of strife avenge their wrongs:
Till, fetter'd in PIZARRO'S iron chain,
ALMAGRO swells the victor's captive train.
In vain his pleading voice, his suppliant eye,
Conjure his conqu'ror by the holy tie
That seal'd their mutual league with sacred force,
When first to climes unknown they bent their course;
When danger's rising horrors low'r'd afar,
The storms of ocean, and the toils of war,
The sad remains of wasted life to spare,
The shrivell'd bosom, and the silver'd hair--
ALMAGRO dies--the victor's barb'rous pride
To his pale corpse funereal rites denied;
Chill'd by the heavy dews of night it lay,
And wither'd in the sultry beam of day;
Till Indian bosoms, touch'd with gen'rous woe,
Paid the last duties to a prostrate foe.
With unrelenting hate the conqu'ror views
ALMAGRO'S band, and vengeance still pursues.
Condemns the victims of his power to stray
In drooping poverty's chill, thorny way;
To pine with famine's agony severe,
And all the ling'ring forms of death to fear;
Till, by despair impell'd, the rival train,
Rush to the haughty victor's splendid fane;
Swift on their foe with rage impetuous dart,
And plunge their daggers in his guilty heart.
How unavailing now the treasur'd ore
That made PERUVIA'S rifled bosom poor!
He falls--unpitied, and would vainly buy
With ANDES ' mines, the tribute of a sigh.
Now faint with virtue's toil, LAS CASAS ' soul
Sought, with exulting hope, her heavenly goal:--
But whence descends, in streams of lambent light,
That lovely vision on the raptur'd sight?
'Tis Sensibility! she stands confest:
With trembling step she moves, and panting breast;
To yon deserted grave, lo, swift she flies,
Where her lov'd victim, mild LAS CASAS lies!
I see her deck the solitary haunt
With chaplets twin'd from every weeping plant:
Its odours soft the simple violet shed,
The shrinking lily hung its drooping head;
A moaning zephyr sigh'd within the bower,
And bent the frail stem of the pliant flower:
"Hither," she cried, her melting tone I hear,
It vibrates full on fancy's wakeful ear;
"Ye to whose yielding hearts my power endears,
The transport blended with delicious tears,
The bliss that swells to agony the breast,
The sympathy that robs the soul of rest;
Hither, with fond devotion, pensive come,
Kiss the pale shrine, and murmur o'er the tomb;
Bend on the hallow'd turf the tearful eye,
And breathe the precious incense of a sigh.
LAS CASAS ' tear has moisten'd misery's grave,
His sigh has moan'd the wretch he fail'd to save!
He, while conflicting pangs his bosom tear,
Has sought the lonely cavern of despair,
Where desolate she pin'd, and pour'd her thought
To the dread verge of wild distraction wrought.
While drops of mercy bath'd his hoary cheek,
He pour'd, by heav'n inspir'd, its accents meek;
In truth's clear mirror bade the mourner's view
Pierce the deep veil which error darkly drew,
And vanquish'd empire with a smile resign,
While brighter worlds in fair perspective shine."
She paus'd--yet still the sweet enthusiast bends
O'er the cold turf, and still her tear descends.
Ah, weak PERUVIA ! oft thy murmur'd sighs,
Thy stifled groans in fancy's ear arise;
She views, as slow the years of bondage roll,
On solemn days* when sorrow mocks controul,
Thy captive sons their antique garb assume,
And wake remember'd images of gloom.
Lo! ATALIBA'S murder'd form appears,
The mournful object of eternal tears!
Wild o'er the scene indignant glances dart,
And pangs convulsive seize the throbbing heart--
Distraction soon each burning breast inflames,
And from the tyrant foe a victim claims!
But now, dispersing desolation's night,
A ray benignant cheers my gladden'd sight!
A blooming Chieftain of Peruvian race,
Whose soaring soul its high descent can trace,
The feather'd standard rears on Chili's* plain,
And leads to glorious strife his gen'rous train.
And see, IBERIA bleeds! while Vict'ry twines
Her fairest garlands round PERUVIA'S shrines;
The gaping wounds of earth disclose no more
The lucid silver, and the blazing ore;
A brighter radiance gilds the passing hour,
While Freedom breaks the rod of lawless power;
On Andes' icy steep exulting glows,
And prints with rapid step th' eternal snows;
While, roll'd in dust her graceful feet beneath,
Fades the dark laurel of IBERIA'S wreath!--
PERU ! the timid muse who mourn'd thy woes,
Whom pity robb'd so long of dear repose,
The muse whose pensive soul with anguish wrung,
Her early lyre for thee has trembling strung;
Shed the vain tear, and breath'd the powerless sigh,
Which in oblivion with her song must die;
Pants with the wish thy deeds may rise to fame;
Bright on some high-ton'd harp's immortal frame,
While on the string of ecstacy it pours
Thy future triumphs o'er unnumber'd shores.