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Yet, to accomplish what her soul desired,
All was as nothing; and the mightiest kings,
Each in his hour of strife exhausted, fallen,
Drew strength from Her, their coffers from her own
Filled to o’erflowing. When her fleets of war
Had swept the main; when not an adverse prow,
From pole to pole, far as the sea-bird flies,
Ruffled the tide ; and they themselves were gone,
Gone from the eyes and from the minds of men,
Their dreadful errands so entirely done-
Up rose her armies ; on the land they stood,
Fearless, erect; and in an instant snote
Him with his legions.
Yet ere long 'twas hers,
Great as her triumphs, to eclipse them all,
To do what none had done, none had conceived,
An act how glorious, making joy in Heaven!
When, such her prodigality, condemned
To toil and toil, alas, how hopelessly,
* Alluding to the battle of Waterloo. The illustrious Man who commanded there on our side, and who, in his anxiety to do justice to others, never fails to forget himself, said many years afterwards to the Author with some agitation, when relating an occurrence of that day, “ It was a battle of giants !"
Herself in bonds, for ages unredeemed-
As with a godlike energy she sprung,
All else forgot, and, burdened as she was,
Ransomed the African.
AN INSCRIPTION FOR STRATFIELD SAYE.
THESE are the groves a grateful people gave
For noblest service ; and from age to age,
May they, to such as come with listening ear,
Relate the story! Sacred is their shade ;
Sacred the calm they breathe-oh, how unlike
What in the field 'twas his so long to know;
Where many a mournful, many an anxious thought,
Troubling, perplexing, on his weary mind
Preyed, ere to arms the morning-trumpet called ;
Where, till the work was done and darkness fell,
Blood ran like water, and, go where thou wouldst, ,
Death in thy pathway met thee, face to face.
For on, regardless of himself, He went;
And, by no change elated or depressed,
Fought, till he won the’ imperishable wreath,
Leading the conquerors captive ; on he went,
Bating nor heart nor hope, whoe'er opposed ;
The greatest warriors, in their turn, appearing ;
The last that came, the greatest of them all-
One scattering fear, as born but to subdue,
And, even in rout, in ruin, scattering fear;
So long, till warred on by the elements,
Invincible; the mightiest of the earth!
When such the service, what the recompense ?
What was not due to him if he survived ?
Yet, if I err not, a renown as fair,
And fairer still, awaited him at home;
When in his place, day after day, he stood,
The party-zeal, that round him raged, restraining;
-His not to rest, while his the strength to serve.
Man to the last is but a froward child ;
So eager for the future, come what may,
And to the present so insensible !
Oh, if he could in all things as he would,
Years would as days and hours as moments be ;
He would, so restless is his spirit here,
Give wings to Time, and wish his life away!
ALAS, to our discomfort and his own,
Oft are the greatest talents to be found
In a fool's keeping. For what else is he,
What else is he, however worldly wise,
Who can pervert and to the worst abuse
The noblest means to serve the noblest ends;
Who can employ the gift of eloquence,
That sacred gift, to dazzle and delude ;
Or, if achievement in the field be his,
Climb but to gain a loss, suffering how much,
And how much more inflicting! Every where,
Cost what they will, such cruel freaks are played ;
And hence the turmoil in this world of ours,
The turmoil never ending, still beginning,
The wailing and the tears.—When CÆSAR came,
He who could master all men but himself,
Who did so much and could so well record it;
Even he, the most applauded in his part,
Who, when he spoke, all things summed up in him,
Spoke to convince, nor ever, when he fought,
Fought but to conquer—what a life was his,
Slaying so many, to be slain at last,*
A life of trouble and incessant toil,
And all to gain what is far better missed!
The heart, they say, is wiser than the schools;
And well they may. All that is great in thought,
That strikes at once as with electric fire,
And lifts us, as it were, from earth to heaven,
Comes from the heart; and who confesses not
Its voice as sacred, nay almost divine,
When inly it declares on what we do,
Blaming, approving ? Let an erring world
Judge as it will, we care not while we stand
Acquitted there ; and oft, when clouds on clouds
Compass us round and not a track appears,
Oft is an upright heart the surest guide,
Surer and better than the subtlest head;
Still with its silent counsels thro' the dark
Onward and onward leading.
* He is said to have slain a million of men in Gaul alone.