« EelmineJätka »
Yet oh! if thou hast learnt to scan,
With feeling eye, the fate of man ;
Go weep for those still doomed to sorrow-
Who mourn the past !-nor hope the morrow !
For those, whose tears must ceaseless flow!-
Whose round of pain each morn renew;
Who-if they dream-but dream of woe,
And wake to find their visions true.
'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume;
And we are weeds without it. All constraint,
Except what wisdom lays on evil men,
Is evil: hurts the faculties, impedes
Their progress in the road of science; blinds
The eye-sight of discovery, and begets,
In those that suffer it a sordid mind,
Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit
To be the tenant of man's noble form.
Thee therefore, still, blame-worthy as thou art,
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeezed
By public exigence till annual food
Fails for the craving hunger of the state,
Thee I account still happy, and the chief
Among the nations, seeing thou art free;
My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude,
Replete with vapours, and disposes much
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine;
Thine unadulterate manners are less soft
And plausible than social life requires,
And thou hast need of discipline and art
To give thee what politer France receives
From Nature's bounty-that humane address
And sweetness, without which no pleasure is
In converse, either starved by cold reserve,
Or flushed with fierce dispute, a senseless brawl ;
Yet, being free, I love thee: For the sake
Of that one feature, can be well content,
Disgraced as thou hast been, poor as thou art,
To seek no sublunary rest beside.
But, once enslaved, farewell! I could endure
Chains no where patiently; and chains at home,
Where I am free by birthright, not at all.
Then what were left of roughness in the grain
Of British natures, wanting its excuse,
That it belongs to freemen, would disgust
And shock me. I should then with double pain
Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime;
And if I must bewail the blessing lost,
For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled,
I would at least bewail it under skies
Milder, among a people less austere;
In scenes which having never known me free,
Would not reproach me with the loss I felt.
Whose freedom is by sufferance, and at will
Of a superior, he is never free.
Who lives, and is not weary of a life
Exposed to manacles, deserves them well.
The state, that strives for liberty, though foiled,
And forced to abandon what she bravely sought,
Deserves at least applause for her attempt,
And pity for her loss.-
EXTRACT FROM THE COURSE OF TIME.
Praise God, ye servants of the Lord! praise God,
Ye angels strong! praise God, ye sons of men!
Praise him who made, and who redeemed your souls!
Who gave you hope, reflection, reason, will;
Minds that can pierce eternity remote,
And live at once on future, present, past;
Can speculate on systems yet to make,
And back recoil on ancient days of time.
Of time, soon past; soon lost among the shades
Of buried years. Not so the actions done
In time, the deeds of reasonable men ;
As if engraven with pen of iron grain,
And laid in flinty rock, they stand unchanged,
Written on the various pages of the past;
If good, in rosy characters of love;
If bad, in letters of vindictive fire.
God may forgive, but cannot blot them out.
Systems begin, and end; eternity
Rolls on his endless years; and men absolved
By mercy from the consequence, forget
The evil deed; and God imputes it not:
But neither systems ending, nor begun ;
Eternity that rolls his endless years;
Nor men absolved, and sanctified, and washed
By mercy from the consequence; nor yet
Forgetfulness; nor God imputing not,
Can wash the guilty deed once done, from out
The faithful annals of the past; who reads,
And many read, there find it, as it was,
And is, and shall for ever be a dark,
Unnatural and loathly moral spot.
IMAGINARY APOSTROPHE OF NAPOLEON
Oh! bury me deep in the boundless sea,
Let heart have a limitless grave;
For my spirit in life was as fierce and free
As the course of the tempest wave.
And as far from the reach of mortal control
Were the depths of my fathomless mind;
And the ebbs and flows of my single soul,
Were tides to the rest of mankind.
Then my briny pall shall engirdle the world,
As in life did the voice of my fame;
And each mutinous billow, that skyward curled,
Shall to fancy re-echo my name.