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AN INSCRIPTION FOR A TEMPLE
DEDICATED TO THE GRACES.*
APPROACH with reverence. There are those within, Whose dwelling-place is Heaven. Daughters of Jove, From them flow all the decencies of Life;
Without them nothing pleases, Virtue's self
Admired not loved and those on whom They smile,
Great though they be, and wise, and beautiful,
Shine forth with double lustre.
WELL, when her day is over, be it said
That, though a speck on the terrestrial globe,
Found with long search and in a moment lost,
She made herself a name-a name to live
While science, eloquence, and song divine,
And wisdom, in self-government displayed,
And valour, such as only in the Free,
Shall among men be honoured.
Was covered with her sails, in every port
Her language spoken; and, where'er you went,
Exploring, to the east or to the west,
Even to the rising or the setting day,
Her arts and laws and institutes were there,
Moving with silent and majestic march,
Onward and onward, where no pathway was;
There her adventurous sons, like those of old,
Founding vast empires*-empires in their turn
Destined to shine thro' many a distant age
With sunlike splendour.
The world itself her willing tributary;
* North America speaks for itself; and so indeed may we say of India, when such a territory is ours in a region so remote-"a territory larger and more populous than Great Britain and France and Spain, and Germany and Italy together;" when a company of merchants, from such small beginnings, have established a dominion so absolute, "where Trajan never penetrated and where the phalanx of Alexander refused to proceed"-a dominion over a people for ages civilized and cultivated, while we were yet in the woods.
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 smote
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;