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-Et tantas audetis tollere molles?
Quos egosed motos præstat componere fluctus.
Post, mihi non simili pœna commissa luetis.
Maturate fugam, regique hæc dicite vestro:
Non illi imperium pelagi, sævumque tridentem,
Sed mihi sorte datum.-


AS on the sea-beat shore Britannia sat,
Of her degenerate sons the faded fame
Deep in her anxious heart revolving sad,
Bare was her throbbing bosom to the gale,

That hoarse and hollow from the bleak surge blew; 5
Loose flow'd her tresses, rent her azure robe.
Hung o'er the deep, from her majestic brow
She tore the laurel, and she tore the bay;
Nor ceas'd the copious grief to bathe her cheek,
Nor ceas'd her sobs to murmur to the main.
Peace discontented nigh, departing, stretch'd
Her dove-like wings; and War, tho' greatly rous'd,
Yet mourns his fetter'd hands; while thus the queen
Of nations spoke, and what she said the muse
Recorded, faithful, in unbidden verse.



The scatter'd remnants drove; on the blind shelve
And pointed rock, that marks th' indented shore,
Relentless dash'd, where loud the northern main
Howls thro' the fractur'd Caledonian isles.

Such were the dawnings of my wat❜ry 1 eign;
But since how vast it grew, how absolute,

E'en in those trouble times, when dreadful Blake
Aw'd angry nations with the British name,
Let every humble state, let Europe say,
Sustain'd and balanc'd by my naval arm.
Ah! what must those immortal spirits think




Of your poor shifts? those, for their country's good,
Who fac❜d the blackest danger, knew no fear,
No mean submission, but commanded peace?
Ah! how with indignation must they burn!
(If aught but joy can touch ethereal breasts)
With shame, with grief, to see their feeble sons
Shrink from that empire o'er the conquer'd seas,
For which their wisdom plann'd, their councils glow'd,
And their veins bled, thro' many a toiling age!
Oh! first of human blessings, and supreme!
Fair Peace! how lovely, how delightful thou!
By whose wide tie the kindred sons of men
Like brothers live, in amity combin'd,


And unsuspicious faith; while honest Toil
Gives every joy, and to those joys a right,
Which idle barbarous Rapine but usurps.
Pure is thy reign, when, unaccurs'd by blood,
Nought save the sweetness of indulgent showers,
Trickling, distils into the vernant glebe;
Instead of mangled carcases, sad-seen,


When the bly the sheaves lie scatter'd o'er the field;


When only shining shares, the crooked knife,

And hooks, imprint the vegetable wound;

When the land blushes with the rose alone,


The falling fruitage and the bleeding vine.

Oh, Peace! thou source and soul of social life,
Beneath whose calm inspiring influence
Science his views enlarges, Art refines,
And swelling Commerce opens all her ports,
Blest be the man divine who gives us thee!
Who bids the trumpet hush his horrid clang,
Nor blow the giddy nations into rage;

Who sheaths the murderous blade; the deadly gun
Into the well-pil'd armoury returns;

5 And, every vigour from the work of death
To grateful industry converting, makes
The country flourish, and the city smile.
Unviolated, him the virgin sings,




And him the smiling mother to her train :
Of him the shepherd, in the peaceful dale,
Chaunts and, the treasures of his labour sure,
The husbandman of him, as at the plough
Or team he toils. With him the sailor sooths,
Beneath the trembling moon, the midnight wave; 140
And the full city, warm, from street to street,
And shop to shop, responsive, sings of him.
Nor joys one land alone; his praise extends
Far as the sun rolls the diffusive day,

Far as the breeze can bear the gifts of Peace,


Till all the happy nations catch the song.

What would not, Peace, the patriot bear for thee?

What painful patience? what incessant care?
What mixt anxiety? what sleepless toil?

E'en from the rash, protected, what reproach?
For he thy value knows, thy friendship, he,
To human nature: but the better thou,
The richer of delight, sometimes the more
Inevitable war; when ruffian Force
Awakes the fury of an injur'd state.

E'en the good patient man, whom Reason rules,
Rouz'd by bold insult, and injurious rage,



With sharp and sudden check th' astonish'd sons
Of Violence confounds; firm as his cause
His bolder heart; in awful justice clad,
His eyes effulging a peculiar fire;

And as he charges through the prostrate war,
His keen arm teaches faithless men no more
To dare the sacred vengeance of the just.



And what, my thoughtless sons! should fire you more,
Than when your well-earn'd empire of the deep
The least beginning injury receives?

What better cause can call your lightning forth?
Your thunder wake? your dearest life demand?
What better cause, than when your country sees
The sly destruction at her vitals aim'd?
For oh! it much imports you, 'tis your all,
To keep your trade entire, entire the force
And honour of your fleets; o'er that to watch,
E'en with a hand severe, and jealous eye.
In intercourse be gentle, generous, just,
By wisdom polish'd, and of manners fair;
But on the sea be terrible, untam'd,
Unconquerable still; let none escape,
Who shall but aim to touch your glory there.
Is there the man into the lion's den

Who dares intrude, to snatch his young away?
And is a Briton seiz'd, and seiz'd beneath
The slumbering terrors of a British fleet?

Then ardent rise! oh, great in vengeance rise!
O'erturn the proud, teach Rapine to restore;
And, as you ride sublimely round the world,
Make ev'ry vessel stoop, make every state
At once their welfare and their duty know.
This is your glory; this your wisdom; this
The native pow'r for which you were design'd
By Fate, when Fate design'd the firmest state
That e'er was seated on the subject sea;






A state alone where Liberty should live

In these late times, this evening of mankind,
When Athens, Rome, and Carthage are no more!
The world almost in slavish sloth dissolv❜d.


For this these rocks around your coast were thrown;
For this your oaks, peculiar harden'd, shoot
Strong into sturdy growth; for this your hearts
Swell with a sullen courage, growing still

As danger grows; and strength and toil for this
Are liberal pour'd o'er all the fervent land.
Then cherish this, this unexpensive power,
Undangerous to the public, ever prompt,
By lavish Nature thrust into your hand;
And, unencumber'd with the bulk immense
Of conquests, whence huge empires rose, and fell
Self-crush'd, extend your reign from shore to shore,
Where'er the wind your high behests can blow,
And fix it deep on this eternal base.
For should the sliding fabric once give way,
Soon slacken'd quite, and past recovery broke,
It gathers ruin as it rolls along,

Steep-rushing down to that devouring gulf,
Where many a mighty empire buried lies.
And should the big redundant flood of Trade,
In which ten thousand thousand labours join
Their several currents, till the boundless tide
Rolls in a radiant deluge o'er the land,






Should this bright stream, the least inflected, point

Its course another way, o'er other lands

The various treasure would resistless pour,

Ne'er to be won again; its ancient tract
Left a vile channel, desolate and dead,
With all around a miserable waste.


Not Egypt, were her better heaven, the Nile,

Turn'd in the pride of flow, when o'er his rocks
And roaring cataracts, beyond the reach

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