Friendship And Love
A DIALOGUE: Addressed to a young Lady.
In vain thy lawless Fires contend with mine,
Tho' Crouds unnumber'd fall before thy Shrine;
Let Youths, who ne'er aspir'd to noble Fame,
And the soft Virgin, kindle at thy Flame,
Thee, Son of Indolence and Vice, I scorn,
By Reason nourish'd, and of Virtue born.
Vain is that boasted Reason 'gainst my Dart,
I pierce the Sage's, as the vulgar Heart,
All Ages, Sexes, the soft Torment share,
The hoary Patriot, and the blooming Fair.
To narrow Limits is thy Sway confin'd,
To some few Breasts, I triumph o'er Mankind.
From grov'ling Sources, ever springs thy Pow'r,
Still varying Fancy, and frail Beauty's Flow'r:
Then with its Cause the short liv'd Ardour flies,
A flash of Passion that but gleams and dies.
Mine upon Virtue rais'd, still lives the same,
In gen'rous Hearts a constant equal Flame.
Love is not always that degen'rate thing,
I too from Virtue, as from Beauty spring.
Thou to the same dull Circle ever true,
Know'st but one Form all Tempers to subdue
Wide is my Empire, manyfold my Arts,
And various are the Plumes that wing my Darts.
Here a Fair face allures desiring Eyes,
There Modesty and Sense enslave the Wise.
Thus whilst each Pow'r with equal Warmth contends,
The Clouds divide, an heavenly Form descends,
Wings o'er his Shoulders mantling wav'd, behind
His snowy Garments floated in the wind;
A Wreath of mingled Flow'rs adorned his Head,
Immortal Flow'rs by Mold Ætherial fed,
Graceful he mov'd in Youth and Beauty's pride,
His Cheeks Aurora's op'ning Blushes dy'd,
A flaming Torch he bore, approaching now,
Fair Hymen Guardian of the nuptial Vow,
They knew and paus'd, He first the Silence broke,
Celestial Musick warbled as he spoke.
Cease, rival Pow'rs, with Rage unjust to glow,
Ye both to Men the noblest Gifts bestow.
Howe'er by Folly or by Vice abus'd,
Blessings are turn'd to Curses when misus'd.
Mine be the Praise the Gifts of both to blend.
And to the virtuous Lover join the Friend.
Thus shall Life glide away in mutual Joys,
Sweets that ne'er tire, and Rapture that ne'er cloys.
So blest an Union, Anna mayst thou prove,
A constant Friendship, in a tender Love.
Ode Iii: To A Friend, Unsuccessful In Love
Indeed, my Phædria, if to find
That wealth can female wishes gain
Had e'er disturb'd your thoughtful mind,
Or cost one serious moment's pain,
I should have said that all the rules,
You learn'd of moralists and schools,
Were very useless, very vain.
Yet I perhaps mistake the case—
Say, though with this heroic air,
Like one that holds a nobler chace,
You try the tender loss to bear,
Does not your heart renounce your tongue?
Seems not my censure strangely wrong
To count it such a slight affair?
When Hesper gilds the shaded sky,
Oft as you seek the well-known grove,
Methinks I see you cast your eye
Back to the morning scenes of love:
Each pleasing word you heard her say,
Her gentle look, her graceful way,
Again your struggling fancy move.
Then tell me, is your soul intire?
Does wisdom calmly hold her throne?
Then can you question each desire,
Bid this remain, and that begone?
No tear half-starting from your eye?
No kindling blush you know not why?
No stealing sigh, nor stifled groan?
Away with this unmanly mood!
See where the hoary churl appears,
Whose hand hath seiz'd the favorite good
Which you reserv'd for happier years:
While, side by side, the blushing maid
Shrinks from his visage, half-afraid,
Spite of the sickly joy she wears.
Ye guardian powers of love and fame,
This chaste, harmonious pair behold;
And thus reward the generous flame
Of all who barter vows for gold.
O bloom of youth, o tender charms
Well-buried in a dotard's arms!
O equal price of beauty sold!
Cease then to gaze with looks of love:
Bid her adieu, the venal fair:
Unworthy she your bliss to prove;
Then wherefore should she prove your care?
No: lay your myrtle garland down;
And let awhile the willow's crown
With luckier omens bind your hair.
O just escap'd the faithless main,
Though driven unwilling on the land;
To guide your favor'd steps again,
Behold your better genius stand:
Where truth revolves her page divine,
Where virtue leads to honor's shrine,
Behold, he lifts his awful hand.
Fix but on these your ruling aim,
And time, the sire of manly care,
Will fancy's dazzling colors tame
A soberer dress will beauty wear:
Then shall esteem by knowledge led
Inthrone within your heart and head
Some happier love, some truer fair.
Ode Xi: On Love, To A Friend
No, foolish youth—To virtuous fame
If now thy early hopes be vow'd,
If true ambition's nobler flame
Command thy footsteps from the croud,
Lean not to love's inchanting snare;
His songs, his words, his looks beware,
Nor join his votaries, the young and fair.
By thought, by dangers, and by toils,
The wreath of just renown is worn;
Nor will ambition's awful spoils
The flowery pomp of ease adorn:
But love unbends the force of thought;
By love unmanly fears are taught;
And love's reward with gaudy sloth is bought.
Yet thou hast read in tuneful lays,
And heard from many a zealous breast,
The pleasing tale of beauty's praise
In wisdom's lofty language dress'd;
Of beauty powerful to impart
Each finer sense, each comelier art,
And sooth and polish man's ungentle heart.
If then, from love's deceit secure,
Thus far alone thy wishes tend,
Go; see the white-wing'd evening hour
On Delia's vernal walk descend:
Go, while the golden light serene,
The grove, the lawn, the soften'd scene
Becomes the presence of the rural queen.
Attend, while that harmonious tongue
Each bosom, each desire commands:
Apollo's lute by Hermes strung
And touch'd by chaste Minerva's hands,
Attend. I feel a force divine,
O Delia, win my thoughts to thine;
That half the color of thy life is mine.
Yet conscious of the dangerous charm,
Soon would i turn my steps away;
Nor oft provoke the lovely harm,
Nor lull my reason's watchful sway.
But thou, my friend—i hear thy sighs:
Alass, i read thy downcast eyes;
And thy tongue falters; and thy color flies.
So soon again to meet the fair?
So pensive all this absent hour?
—O yet, unlucky youth, beware,
While yet to think is in thy power.
In vain with friendship's flattering name
Thy passion veils its inward shame;
Friendship, the treacherous fuel of thy flame!
Once, I remember, new to love,
And dreading his tyrannic chain,
I sought a gentle maid to prove
What peaceful joys in friendship reign:
Whence we forsooth might safely stand,
And pitying view the lovesick band,
And mock the winged boy's malicious hand.
Thus frequent pass'd the cloudless day,
To smiles and sweet discourse resign'd;
While i exulted to survey
One generous woman's real mind:
Till friendship soon my languid breast
Each night with unknown cares possess'd,
Dash'd my coy slumbers, or my dreams distress'd.
Fool that i was—And now, even now
While thus i preach the Stoic strain,
Unless i shun Olympia's view,
An hour unsays it all again.
O friend!—when love directs her eyes
To pierce where every passion lies,
Where is the firm, the cautious, or the wise?
Ode Xii: On Recovering From A Fit Of Sickness, In The Country
Thy verdant scenes, O Goulder's hill,
Once more i seek, a languid guest:
With throbbing temples and with burden'd breast
Once more i climb thy steep aerial way.
O faithful cure of oft-returning ill,
Now call thy sprightly breezes round,
Dissolve this rigid cough profound,
And bid the springs of life with gentler movement play.
How gladly 'mid the dews of dawn
My weary lungs thy healing gale,
The balmy west or the fresh north, inhale!
How gladly, while my musing footsteps rove
Round the cool orchard or the sunny lawn,
Awak'd i stop, and look to find
What shrub perfumes the pleasant wind,
Or what wild songster charms the Dryads of the grove.
Now, ere the morning walk is done,
The distant voice of health i hear
Welcome as beauty's to the lover's ear.
“Droop not, nor doubt of my return,” she cries;
“Here will i, 'mid the radiant calm of noon,
“Meet thee beneath yon chesnut bower,
“And lenient on thy bosom pour
“That indolence divine which lulls the earth and skies.”
The goddess promis'd not in vain.
I found her at my favorite time.
Nor wish'd to breathe in any softer clime,
While (half-reclin'd, half-slumbering as i lay)
She hover'd o'er me. Then, among her train
Of nymphs and zephyrs, to my view
Thy gracious form appear'd anew,
Then first, o heavenly Muse, unseen for many a day.
In that soft pomp the tuneful maid
Shone like the golden star of love.
I saw her hand in careless measures move;
I heard sweet preludes dancing on her lyre,
While my whole frame the sacred sound obey'd.
New sunshine o'er my fancy springs,
New colours clothe external things,
And the last glooms of pain and sickly plaint retire.
O Goulder's hill, by thee restor'd
Once more to this inliven'd hand,
My harp, which late resounded o'er the land
The voice of glory, solemn and severe,
My Dorian harp shall now with mild accord
To thee her joyful tribute pay,
And send a less-ambitious lay
Of friendship and of love to greet thy master's ear.
For when within thy shady seat
First from the sultry town he chose,
And the tir'd senate's cares, his wish'd repose,
Then wast thou mine; to me a happier home
For social leisure: where my welcome feet,
Estrang'd from all the intangling ways
In which the restless vulgar strays,
Through nature's simple paths with ancient faith might roam.
And while around his sylvan scene
My Dyson led the white-wing'd hours,
Oft from the Athenian Academic bowers
Their sages came: oft heard our lingering walk
The Mantuan music warbling o'er the green:
And oft did Tully's reverend shade,
Though much for liberty afraid,
With us of letter'd ease or virtuous glory talk.
But other guests were on their way,
And reach'd erelong this favor'd grove;
Even the celestial progeny of Jove,
Bright Venus, with her all-subduing son,
Whose golden shaft most willingly obey
The best and wisest. As they came,
Glad Hymen wav'd his genial flame,
And sang their happy gifts, and prais'd their spotless throne.
I saw when through yon festive gate
He led along his chosen maid,
And to my friend with smiles presenting said;
“Receive that fairest wealth which heaven assign'd
“To human fortune. Did thy lonely state
“One wish, one utmost hope confess?
“Behold, she comes, to adorn and bless:
“Comes, worthy of thy heart, and equal to thy mind.”
Ode Vi: Hymn To Cheerfulness
How thick the shades of evening close!
How pale the sky with weight of snows!
Haste, light the tapers, urge the fire,
And bid the joyless day retire.
—Alas, in vain i try within
To brighten the dejected scene,
While rouz'd by grief these fiery pains
Tear the frail texture of my veins;
While winter's voice, that storms around,
And yon deep death-bell's groaning sound
Renew my mind's oppressive gloom,
Till starting horror shakes the room.
Is there in nature no kind power
To sooth affliction's lonely hour?
To blunt the edge of dire disease,
And teach these wintry shades to please?
Come, Cheerfulness, triumphant fair,
Shine through the hovering cloud of care:
O sweet of language, mild of mien,
O virtue's friend and pleasure's queen,
Asswage the flames that burn my breast,
Compose my jarring thoughts to rest;
And while thy gracious gifts i feel,
My song shall all thy praise reveal.
As once ('twas in Astræa's reign)
The vernal powers renew'd their train,
It happen'd that immortal Love
Was ranging through the spheres above,
And downward hither cast his eye
The year's returning pomp to spy.
He saw the radiant god of day,
Waft in his car the rosy May;
The fragrant Airs and genial Hours
Were shedding round him dews and flowers;
Before his wheels Aurora pass'd,
And Hesper's golden lamp was last.
But, fairest of the blooming throng,
When Health majestic mov'd along,
Delighted to survey below
The joys which from her presence flow,
While earth enliven'd hears her voice,
And swains, and flocks, and fields rejoice;
Then mighty Love her charms confess'd,
And soon his vows inclin'd her breast,
And, known from that auspicious morn,
The pleasing Cheerfulness was born.
Thou, Cheerfulness, by heaven design'd
To sway the movements of the mind,
Whatever fretful passion springs,
Whatever wayward fortune brings
To disarrange the power within,
And strain the musical machine;
Thou, Goddess, thy attempering hand
Doth each discordant string command,
Refines the soft, and swells the strong;
And, joining nature's general song,
Through many a varying tone unfolds
The harmony of human souls.
Fair guardian of domestic life,
Kind banisher of homebred strife,
Nor sullen lip, nor taunting eye
Deforms the scene where thou art by:
No sickening husband damns the hour
Which bound his joys to female power;
No pining mother weeps the cares
Which parents waste on thankless heirs:
The officious daughters pleas'd attend;
The brother adds the name of friend:
By thee with flowers their board is crown'd,
With songs from thee their walks resound;
And morn with welcome lustre shines,
And evening unperceiv'd declines.
Is there a youth, whose anxious heart
Labors with love's unpitied smart?
Though now he stray by rills and bowers,
And weeping waste the lonely hours,
Or if the nymph her audience deign,
Debase the story of his pain
With slavish looks, discolor'd eyes,
And accents faltering into sighs;
Yet thou, auspicious power, with ease
Can'st yield him happier arts to please,
Inform his mien with manlier charms,
Instruct his tongue with nobler arms,
With more commanding passion move,
And teach the dignity of love.
Friend to the Muse and all her train,
For thee i court the Muse again:
The Muse for thee may well exert
Her pomp, her charms, her fondest art,
Who owes to thee that pleasing sway
Which earth and peopled heaven obey.
Let melancholy's plaintive tongue
Repeat what later bards have sung;
But thine was Homer's ancient might,
And thine victorious Pindar's flight:
Thy hand each Lesbian wreathe attir'd:
Thy lip Sicilian reeds inspir'd:
Thy spirit lent the glad perfume
Whence yet the flowers of Teos bloom;
Whence yet from Tibur's Sabine vale
Delicious blows the inlivening gale,
While Horace calls thy sportive choir,
Heroes and nymphs, around his lyre.
But see where yonder pensive sage
(A prey perhaps to fortune's rage,
Perhaps by tender griefs oppress'd,
Or glooms congenial to his breast)
Retires in desart scenes to dwell,
And bids the joyless world farewell.
Alone he treads the autumnal shade,
Alone beneath the mountain laid
He sees the nightly damps ascend,
And gathering storms aloft impend;
He hears the neighbouring surges roll,
And raging thunders shake the pole:
Then, struck by every object round,
And stunn'd by every horrid sound,
He asks a clue for nature's ways;
But evil haunts him through the maze:
He sees ten thousand demons rise
To wield the empire of the skies,
And chance and fate assume the rod,
And malice blot the throne of God.
—O thou, whose pleasing power i sing,
Thy lenient influence hither bring;
Compose the storm, dispell the gloom,
Till nature wear her wonted bloom,
Till fields and shades their sweets exhale,
And music swell each opening gale:
Then o'er his breast thy softness pour,
And let him learn the timely hour
To trace the world's benignant laws,
And judge of that presiding cause
Who founds on discord beauty's reign,
Converts to pleasure every pain,
Subdues each hostile form to rest,
And bids the universe be bless'd.
O thou, whose pleasing power i sing,
If right i touch the votive string,
If equal praise i yield thy name,
Still govern thou thy poet's flame;
Still with the Muse my bosom share,
And sooth to peace intruding care.
But most exert thy pleasing power
On friendship's consecrated hour;
And while my Sophron points the road
To godlike wisdom's calm abode,
Or warm in freedom's ancient cause
Traceth the source of Albion's laws,
Add thou o'er all the generous toil
The light of thy unclouded smile.
But, if by fortune's stubborn sway
From him and friendship torn away,
I court the Muse's healing spell
For griefs that still with absence dwell,
Do thou conduct my fancy's dreams
To such indulgent placid themes,
As just the struggling breast may cheer
And just suspend the starting tear,
Yet leave that sacred sense of woe
Which none but friends and lovers know.
Ode Iv: To The Honourable Charles Townshend In The Country
How oft shall i survey
This humble roof, the lawn, the greenwood shade,
The vale with sheaves o'erspread,
The glassy brook, the flocks which round thee stray?
When will thy cheerful mind
Of these have utter'd all her dear esteem?
Or, tell me, dost thou deem
No more to join in glory's toilsome race,
But here content imbrace
That happy leisure which thou had'st resign'd?
Alas, ye happy hours,
When books and youthful sport the soul could share,
Ere one ambitious care
Of civil life had aw'd her simpler powers;
Oft as your winged train
Revisit here my friend in white array,
Oh fail not to display
Each fairer scene where I perchance had part,
That so his generous heart
The abode of even friendship may remain.
For not imprudent of my loss to come,
I saw from contemplation's quiet cell
His feet ascending to another home
Where public praise and envied greatness dwell.
But shall we therefore, o my lyre
Reprove ambition's best desire?
Extinguish glory's flame?
Far other was the task injoin'd
When to my hand thy strings were first assign'd:
Far other faith belongs to friendship's honor'd name.
Thee, Townshend, not the arms
Of slumbering ease, nor pleasure's rosy chain,
Were destin'd to detain:
No, nor bright science, nor the Muse's charms.
For them high heaven prepares
Their proper votaries, an humbler band:
And ne'er would Spenser's hand
Have deign'd to strike the warbling Tuscan shell,
Nor Harrington to tell
What habit an immortal city wears,
Had this been born to shield
The cause which Cromwell's impious hand betray'd,
Or that, like Vere, display'd
His redcross banner o'er the Belgian field.
Yet where the will divine
Hath shut those loftiest paths, it next remains,
With reason clad in strains
Of harmony, selected minds to inspire,
And virtue's living fire
To feed and eternize in hearts like thine.
For never shall the herd, whom envy sways,
So quell my purpose or my tongue controul,
That I should fear illustrious worth to praise,
Because it's master's friendship mov'd my soul.
Yet, if this undissembling strain
Should now perhaps thine ear detain
With any pleasing sound,
Remember thou that righteous fame
From hoary age a strict account will claim
Of each auspicious palm with which thy youth was crown'd.
Nor obvious is the way
Where heaven expects thee, nor the traveller leads,
Through flowers or fragrant meads,
Or groves that hark to Philomela's lay.
The impartial laws of fate
To nobler virtues wed severer cares.
Is there a man who shares
The summit next where heavenly natures dwell?
Ask him (for he can tell)
What storms beat round that rough laborious height.
Ye heroes, who of old
Did generous England freedom's throne ordain;
From Alfred's parent reign
To Nassau, great deliverer, wise and bold;
I know your perils hard,
Your wounds, your painful marches, wintry seas,
The night estrang'd from ease,
The day by cowardice and falsehood vex'd,
The head with doubt perplex'd,
The indignant heart disdaining the reward
Which envy hardly grants. But, o renown,
O praise from judging heaven and virtuous men,
If thus they purchas'd thy divinest crown,
Say, who shall hesitate? or who complain?
And now they sit on thrones above:
And when among the gods they move
Before the sovran mind,
'Lo, these,' he saith, 'lo, these are they
'Who to the laws of mine eternal sway
'From violence and fear asserted human kind.'
Thus honor'd while the train
Of legislators in his presence dwell;
If I may aught foretell,
The statesman shall the second palm obtain.
For dreadful deeds of arms
Let vulgar bards, with undiscerning praise,
More glittering trophies raise:
But wisest heaven what deeds may chiefly move
To favor and to love?
What, save wide blessings, or averted harms?
Nor to the imbattled field
Shall these achievements of the peaceful gown
The green immortal crown
Of valor, or the songs of conquest, yield.
Not Fairfax wildly bold,
While bare of crest he hew'd his fatal way,
Through Nasesby's firm array,
To heavier dangers did his breast oppose
Than Pym's free virtue chose,
When the proud force of Strafford he controul'd.
But what is man at enmity with truth?
What were the fruits of Wentworth's copious mind
When (blighted all the promise of his youth)
The patriot in a tyrant's league had join'd?
Let Ireland's loud-lamenting plains,
Let Tyne's and Humber's trampled swain
Let menac'd London tell
How impious guile made wisdom base;
How generous zeal to cruel rage gave place;
And how unbless'd he liv'd and how dishonor'd fell.
Thence never hath the Muse
Around his tomb Pierian roses flung:
Nor shall one poet's tongue
His name for music's pleasing labor chuse.
And sure, when nature kind
Hath deck'd some favor'd breast above the throng,
That man with grievous wrong
Affronts and wounds his genius, if he bends
To guilt's ignoble ends
The functions of his ill-submitting mind.
For worthy of the wise
Nothing can seem but virtue; nor earth yield
Their fame an equal field,
Save where impartial freedom gives the prize.
There Somers fix'd his name,
Inroll'd the next to William. there shall Time
To every wondering clime
Point out that Somers, who from faction's croud,
The slanderous and the loud,
Could fair assent and modest reverence claim.
Nor aught did laws or social arts acquire,
Nor this majestic weal of Albion's land
Did aught accomplish, or to aught aspire,
Without his guidance, his superior hand.
And rightly shall the Muse's care
Wreaths like her own for him prepare,
Whose mind's inamor'd aim
Could forms of civil beauty draw
Sublime as ever sage or poet saw,
Yet still to life's rude scene the proud ideas tame.
Let none profane be near!
The Muse was never foreign to his breast:
On power's grave seat confess'd,
Still to her voice he bent a lover's ear.
And if the blessed know
Their ancient cares, even now the unfading groves,
Where haply Milton roves
With Spenser, hear the inchanted echos round
Through farthest heaven resound
Wise Somers, guardian of their fame below.
He knew, the patriot knew,
That letters and the Muses powerful art
Exalt the ingenuous heart,
And brighten every form of just and true.
They lend a nobler sway
To civil wisdom, than corruption's lure
Could ever yet procure:
They too from envy's pale malignant light
Conduct her forth to sight
Cloath'd in the fairest colors of the day.
O Townshend, thus may Time, the judge severe,
Instruct my happy tongue of thee to tell:
And when i speak of one to freedom dear
For planning wisely and for acting well,
Of one whom glory loves to own,
Who still by liberal means alone
Hath liberal ends pursu'd;
Then, for the guerdon of my lay,
'This man with faithful friendship,' will i say,
'From youth to honor'd age my arts and me hath view'd.'
Ode Xi: To The Country Gentlemen Of England
Whither is Europe's ancient spirit fled?
Where are those valiant tenants of her shore,
Who from the warrior bow the strong dart sped,
Or with firm hand the rapid pole-ax bore?
Freeman and soldier was their common name.
Who late with reapers to the furrow came,
Now in the front of battle charg'd the foe:
Who taught the steer the wintry plough to indure,
Now in full councils check'd incroaching power,
And gave the guardian laws their majesty to know.
But who are ye? from Ebro's loitering sons
To Tiber's pageants, to the sports of Seine;
From Rhine's frail palaces to Danube's thrones
And cities looking on the Cimbric main,
Ye lost, ye self-deserted? whose proud lords
Have baffled your tame hands, and given your swords
To slavish ruffians, hir'd for their command:
These, at some greedy monk's or harlot's nod,
See rifled nations crouch beneath their rod:
These are the public will, the reason of the land.
Thou, heedless Albion, what, alas, the while
Dost thou presume? O inexpert in arms,
Yet vain of freedom, how dost thou beguile,
With dreams of hope, these near and loud alarms?
Thy splendid home, thy plan of laws renown'd,
The praise and envy of the nations round,
What care hast thou to guard from fortune's sway?
Amid the storms of war, how soon may all
The lofty pile from its foundations fall,
Of ages the proud toil, the ruin of a day!
No: thou art rich, thy streams and fertile vales
Add industry's wise gifts to nature's store:
And every port is crouded with thy sails,
And every wave throws treasure on thy shore.
What boots it? If luxurious plenty charm
Thy selfish heart from glory, if thy arm
Shrink at the frowns of danger and of pain,
Those gifts, that treasure is no longer thine.
Oh rather far be poor. Thy gold will shine
Tempting the eye of force, and deck thee to thy bane.
But what hath force or war to do with thee?
Girt by the azure tide and thron'd sublime
Amid thy floating bulwarks, thou canst see,
With scorn, the fury of each hostile clime
Dash'd ere it reach thee. Sacred from the foe
Are thy fair fields. athwart thy guardian prow
No bold invader's foot shall tempt the strand—
Yet say, my country, will the waves and wind
Obey thee? Hast thou all thy hopes resign'd
To the sky's fickle faith? the pilot's wavering hand?
For oh may neither fear nor stronger love
(Love, by thy virtuous princes nobly won)
Thee, last of many wretched nations, move,
With mighty armies station'd round the throne
To trust thy safety. Then, farewell the claims
Of freedom! Her proud records to the flames
Then bear, an offering at ambition's shrine;
Whate'er thy ancient patriots dar'd demand
From furious John's, or faithless Charles's hand,
Or what great William seal'd for his adopted line.
But if thy sons be worthy of their name,
If liberal laws with liberal hearts they prize,
Let them from conquest, and from servile shame
In war's glad school their own protectors rise.
Ye chiefly, heirs of Albion's cultur'd plains,
Ye leaders of her bold and faithful swains,
Now not unequal to your birth be found:
The public voice bids arm your rural state,
Paternal hamlets for your ensigns wait,
And grange and fold prepare to pour their youth around.
Why are ye tardy? what inglorious care
Detains you from their head, your native post?
Who most their country's fame and fortune share,
'Tis theirs to share her toils, her perils most.
Each man his task in social life sustains.
With partial labours, with domestic gains
Let others dwell: to you indulgent heaven
By counsel and by arms the public cause
To serve for public love and love's applause,
The first imployment far, the noblest hire, hath given.
Have ye not heard of Lacedæmon's fame?
Of Attic chiefs in freedom's war divine?
Of Rome's dread generals? the Valerian name?
The Fabian sons? the Scipios, matchless line?
Your lot was theirs. the farmer and the swain
Met his lov'd patron's summons from the plain;
The legions gather'd; the bright eagles flew:
Barbarian monarchs in the triumph mourn'd;
The conquerors to their houshold gods return'd,
And fed Calabrian flocks, and steer'd the Sabine plough.
Shall then this glory of the antique age,
This pride of men, be lost among mankind?
Shall war's heroic arts no more ingage
The unbought hand, the unsubjected mind?
Doth valour to the race no more belong?
No more with scorn of violence and wrong
Doth forming nature now her sons inspire,
That, like some mystery to few reveal'd,
The skill of arms abash'd and aw'd they yield,
And from their own defence with hopeless hearts retire?
O shame to human life, to human laws!
The loose adventurer, hireling of a day,
Who his fell sword without affection draws,
Whose God, whose country, is a tyrant's pay,
This man the lessons of the field can learn;
Can every palm, which decks a warrior, earn,
And every pledge of conquest: while in vain,
To guard your altars, your paternal lands,
Are social arms held out to your free hands:
Too arduous is the lore; too irksome were the pain.
Meantime by pleasure's lying tales allur'd,
From the bright sun and living breeze ye stray;
And deep in London's gloomy haunts immur'd,
Brood o'er your fortune's, freedom's, health's decay.
O blind of choice and to yourselves untrue!
The young grove shoots, their bloom the fields renew,
The mansion asks its lord, the swains their friend;
While he doth riot's orgies haply share,
Or tempt the gamester's dark, destroying snare,
Or at some courtly shrine with slavish incense bend.
And yet full oft your anxious tongues complain
That lawless tumult prompts the rustic throng;
That the rude village-inmates now disdain
Those homely ties which rul'd their fathers long.
Alas, your fathers did by other arts
Draw those kind ties around their simple hearts,
And led in other paths their ductile will;
By succour, faithful counsel, courteous cheer,
Won them the ancient manners to revere,
To prize their country's peace and heaven's due rites fulfill.
But mark rhe judgement of experienc'd Time,
Tutor of nations. Doth light discord tear
A state? and impotent sedition's crime?
The powers of warlike prudence dwell not there;
The powers who to command and to obey,
Instruct the valiant. There would civil sway
The rising race to manly concord tame?
Oft let the marshal'd field their steps unite,
And in glad splendor bring before their sight
One common cause and one hereditary fame.
Nor yet be aw'd, nor yet your task disown,
Though war's proud votaries look on severe;
Though secrets, taught erewhile to them alone,
They deem profan'd by your intruding ear.
Let them in vain, your martial hope to quell,
Of new refinements, fiercer weapons tell,
And mock the old simplicity, in vain:
To the time's warfare, simple or refin'd,
The time itself adapts the warrior's mind;
And equal prowess still shall equal palms obtain.
Say then; if England's youth, in earlier days,
On glory's field with well-train'd armies vy'd,
Why shall they now renounce that generous praise?
Why dread the foreign mercenary's pride?
Though Valois brav'd young Edward's gentle hand,
And Albret rush'd on Henry's way-worn band,
With Europe's chosen sons in arms renown'd,
Yet not on Vere's bold archers long they look'd,
Nor Audley's squires nor Mowbray's yeomen brook'd:
They saw their standard fall, and left their monarch bound.
Such were the laurels which your fathers won;
Such glory's dictates in their dauntless breast:
—Is there no voice that speaks to every son?
No nobler, holier call to You address'd?
O! by majestic freedom, righteous laws,
By heavenly truth's, by manly reason's cause,
Awake; attend; be indolent no more:
By friendship, social peace, domestic love,
Rise; arm; your country's living safety prove;
And train her valiant youth, and watch around her shore.