« PreviousContinue »
Fierce in his eye the fire of valour burns,
And, as the slave departs, the man returns !
Oh, sacred Truth! thy triumph ceas'd a while,
And Hope, thy sister, ceas'd with thee to smile,
When leagu'd Oppression pour'd to Northern wars
Her whisker'd pandours and her fierce hussars,
Wav'd her dread standard to the breeze of morn,
Peal'd herloud drum, and twang'd her trumpet horn;
Tumultuous horror brooded o'er her van,
Presaging wrath to Poland....and to man! 9
Warsaw's last champion, from her height survey'd,
Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid.....
Oh, Heaven! he cry'd, my bleeding country save!
Is there no hand on high to shield the brave ?
Yet, though destruction sweep these lovely plains,
Rise, fellow-men! our Country yet remains !
By that dread name we wave the sword on high,
And swear for her to live !....with her to die !
He said, and, on the rampart-heights, array'd
His trusty warriors, few, but undismay'd ; -
Firm-pac'd and slow, a horrid front they form,
Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm;
Low, murm’ring sounds along their banners fly,
Revenge, or death....the watchword and reply;
Then peal'd the notes, omnipotent to charm,
And the loud tocsin toll'd their last alarm!
In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few!
From rank to rank your volley'd thunder flew .....
Oh! bloodiest picture in the book of Time,
Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime;
Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe,
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe!
Dropt from her nerveless grasp the shatter'd spear,
Clos’d her bright eye, and curb'd her high career .....
Hope, for a season, bade the world farewel,
And Freedom shriek'd....as KOSCIUSKO fell!
The sun went down, nor ceas'd the carnage there, Tumultuous murder shook the midnight air.... On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow, His blood-dy'd waters murm’ring far below ;.... The storm prevails, the rampart yields a way, Bursts the wild cry of horror and dismay ..... Hark! as the smouldering piles with thunder fall, A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call! Earth shook....red meteors flash'd along the sky, And conscious Nature shudder'd at the cry!
Oh! righteous Heav'n! ere Freedom founda grave, Why slept the sword, omnipotent to save?
Where was thine arm, O Vengeance! where thyrod,
That smote the foes of Zion and of God,
That crush'd proud Amon, when his iron car
Was yok'd in wrath, and thunder'd from afar?
Where was the storm that slumber'd till the host
Of blood-stain'd Pharaoh left their trembling coast,
Then bade the deep in wild commotion flow,
And heav'd an ocean on their march below?
Departed spirits of the mighty dead !
Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled !
Friends of the world! restore your swords to man,
Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van!
Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone,
And make her arm puissant as your own !....
Oh! once again to Freedom's cause return
The patriot TELL....the BRUCE of BANNOCKBURN!
Yes, thy proud lords, unpitied land! shall see
That man hạth yet a soul....and dare be free!
A little while, along thy saddening plains,
The starless night of desolation reigns;
Truth shall restore the light by Nature giv'n,
And, like Prometheus, bring the fire of Heav'n!
Prone to the dust Oppression shall be hurld,
Her name, her nature, wither'd from the world!
Ye that the rising morn invidious mark, And hate the light....because your deeds are dark, Ye that expanding truth invidious view, And think, or wish the song of Hope untrue ; Perhaps your little hands presume to span The march of Genius, and the pow'rs of man ; Perhaps ye watch, at Pride's unhallow'd shrine, Her victims, newly slain, and thus divine :.... “Here shall thy triumph, Genius, cease, and here, Truth, Science, Virtue, close your short career.”
Tyrants ! in vain ye trace the wizard ring; In vain ye limit Mind's unwearied spring: What! can ye lull the winged winds asleep, Arrest the rolling world, or chain the deep? No:....the wild wave contemns your scepter'd hand ;... It rolld not back when Canute gave command !
Man! can thy doom no brighter soul allow?
Still must thou live a blot on Nature's brow?
Shall War's polluted banner ne'er be furld?
Shall crimes and tyrants cease but with the world?
What! are thy triumphs, sacred Truth, belied ?
Why then hath Plato liv'd....or Sydney died !
Ye fond adorers of departed fame,
Who warm at Scipio's worth, or Tully's name !
Ye that, in fancied vision, can admire
The sword of Brutus, and the Theban lyre !
Wrapt in historic ardour, who adore
Each classic haunt, and well-remember'd shore,
Where Valour tun'd, amid her chosen throng,
The Thracian trumpet and the Spartan song;
Or, wand'ring thence, behold the later charms
Of England's glory, and Helvetia's arms!
See Roman fire in Hampden's bosom swell,
And fate and freedom in the shaft of Tell!
Say, ye fond zealots to the worth of yore,
Hath Valour left the world....to live no more?
No more shall Brutus bid a tyrant die,
And sternly smile with vengeance in his eye?
Hampden no more, when suffering Freedom calls,
Encounter Fate, and triumph as he falls?
Nor Teil disclose, through peril and alarm,
The might that slumbers in a peasant's arm?
Yes ! in that generous cause forever strong,
The patriot's virtue, and the poet's song,
Still, as the tide of ages rolls away,
Shall charm the world, unconscious of decay!
Yes! there are hearts, prophetic Hope may trust,
That slumber yet in uncreated dust,