« PreviousContinue »
Piled on the steep, her blazing fagots burn When leagued Oppression pour'd to Northern wars To hail the bark that never can return;
Her whisker'd pandoors and her fierce hussars, And still she waits, but scarce forbears to weep Waved her dread standard to the breeze of mom, That constant love can linger on the deep.
Peal'd her loud drum, and twang'd her trumpet born;
Tumultuous horror brooded o'er her van, And, mark the wretch, whose wanderings never
Presaging wrath to Poland—and to man! (9) knew The world's regard, that soothes, though half untrue, Warsaw's last champion from her height survey'd, Whose erring heart the lash of sorrow bore, Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid, But found not pity when it err'd no more.
Oh! Heaven! he cried, my bleeding country sare Yon friendless man, at whose dejected eye Is there no hand on high to shield the brave? Th' unfeeling proud one looks—and passes by, Yet, though destruction sweep these lovely plains, Condemn'd on Penury's barren path to roam, Rise, fellow-men! our country yet remains ! Scorn'd by the world, and left without a home- By that dread name, we wave the sword on high! Even he, at evening, should he chance to stray And swear for her to live ! -with her to die! Down by the hamlet's hawthorn-scented way, Where, round the cot's romantic glade, are seen
He said, and on the rampart-heights array'd The blossom'd bean-field, and the sloping green, His trusty warriors, few, but undismay'd ; Leans o'er its humble gate, and thinks the while Firm-paced and slow, a horrid front they form, Oh! that for me some home like this would smile,
Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm ; Some hamlet shade, lo yield my sickly form
Low murmuring sounds along their banners fly, Health in the breeze, and shelter in the storm! Revenge, or death,—the watch-word and reply; There should my hand no stinted boon assign Then peal'd the notes, omnipotent to charm, To wretched hearts with sorrow such as mine And the loud tocsin toll'd their last alarm That generous wish can soothe unpitied care, And Hope half mingles with the poor man's prayer. From rank to rank your volley'd thunder flew :
In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few! HOPE! when I mourn, with sympathizing mind, Oh, bloodiest picture in the book of Time, The wrongs of fate, the woes of human kind,
Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime; Thy blissful omens bid my spirit see
Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe, The boundless fields of rapture yet to be ;
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe! I watch the wheels of Nature's mazy plan, Dropp'd from her nerveless grasp the shatter'd spear, And learn the future by the past of man.
Closed her bright eye, and curb'd her high career;Come, bright Improvement! on the car of Time, Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell, And rule the spacious world from clime to clime; And Freedom shriek’d-as Kosciusko fell! Thy handmaid arts shall every wild explore,
The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there Trace every wave, and culture every shore.
Tumultuous murder shook the midnight air, On Erie's banks, where tigers steal along, And the dread Indian chants a dismal song,
On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow, Where human fiends on midnight errands walk,
His blood-dyed waters murmuring far below;
The storm prevails, the rampart yields away,
Bursts the wild cry of horror and dismay!
Hark! as the smouldering piles with thunder fall, And shepherds dance at Summer's opening day;
A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call ! Each wandering genius of the lonely glen
Earth shook-red meteors flash'd along the sky, Shall start to view the glittering haunts of men,
And conscious Nature shudder'd at the cry!
Oh! righteous Heaven! ere Freedom found a grave,
Where was the storm that slumber'd till the host roam, Truth, Mercy, Freedom, yet shall find a home;
of blood-stain'd Pharaoh left their trernbling coast; Where'er degraded Nature bleeds and pines,
Then bade the deep and wild commotion flow, From Guinea's coast to Sitir's dreary mines, (8)
And heaved an ocean on their march below! Truth shall pervade the unfathom'd darkness there,
Departed spirits of the mighty dead! And light the dreadful features of despair.-
Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled! Hark! the stern captive spurns his heavy load,
Friends of the world! restore your swords to man, And asks the image back that Heaven bestow'd!
Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van! Fierce in his eye the fire of valor burns,
Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone, And, as the slave departs, the man returns.
And make her arm puissant as your own! Oh! sacred Truth! thy triumph ceased awhile, Oh! once again to Freedom's cause return And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to smile, The patriot Tell—the Bruce of Bannockburn!
Yes! thy proud lords, unpitied land! shall see Or, warm with Fancy's energy, to glow,
And say, supernal Powers! who deeply scan
Shall burst the Lybian's adamantine bands?
Who, sternly marking on his native soil
Shall bid each righteous heart exull, to see
Peace to the slave, and vengeance on the free! Perhaps your little hands presume 10 span The march of Genius, and the powers of man;
Yet, yet, degraded men! th' expected day
A wretch, a coward; yes, because a slave!
Eternal Nature! when thy giant hand
Had heaved the floods, and fix'd the trembling land, Arrest the rolling world, or chain the deep?
When life sprung starting at thy plastic call,
Say, was that lordly form inspired by thee,
Was man ordain’d the slave of man to toil,
Yoked with the brutes, and fetter'd to the soil; Still must thou live a blot on Nature's brow? Shall War's polluted banner ne'er be furld?
Weigh'd in a tyrant's balance with his gold ?
No-Nature stamp'd us in a heavenly mould! Shall crimes and tyrants cease but with the world?
She bade no wretch his thankless labor urge, What! are thy triumphs, sacred Truth, belied ?
Nor, trembling, take the pittance and the scourge! Why then hath Plato livedor Sidney died ?
No homeless Lybian, on the stormy deep,
To call upon his country's name, and weep!
Lo! once in triumph, on his boundless plain, Ye that, in fancied vision, can admire
The quiver'd chief of Congo loved to reign; The sword of Brutus, and the Theban lyre!
With fires proportion'd to his native sky, Wrapt in historic ardor, who adore
Strength in his arm, and lightning in his eye; Each classic haunt, and well-remember'd shore,
Scour'd with wild feet his sun-illumined zone, Where Valor tuned, amid her chosen throng,
The spear, the lion, and the woods, his own! The Thracian trumpet and the Spartan song:
Or led the combat, bold without a plan,
An artless savage, but a fearless man!
The plunderer came!-alas! no glory smiles And fate and freedom in the shaft of Tell!
For Congo's chief on yonder Indian isles ; Say, ye fond zealots to the worth of yore,
For ever fallin! no son of nature now, Hath Valor left the world to live no more?
With freedom charter'd on his manly brow! No more shall Brutus bid a tyrant die,
Faint, bleeding, bound, he weeps the night away, And sternly smile with vengeance in his eye ?
And when the sea-wind wafts the dewless day, Hampden no more, when suffering Freedom calls,
Starts, with a bursting heart, for ever more Encounter Fate, and triumph as he falls;
To curse the sun that lights their guilty shore !
His guardian angel took a last farewell!
The fiery grandeur of a generous mind!
Poor fetter'd man! I hear thee whispering low Shall charm the world, unconscious of decay! Unhallow'd vows to Guilt, the child of Woe!
Friendless thy heart; and canst thou harbor there Yes! there are hearts, prophetic HOPE may trust, A wish but death—a passion but despair ? That slumber yet in uncreated dust, Ordain’d to fire th' adoring sons of earth
The widow'd Indian, when her lord expires, With every charm of wisdom and of worth ; Mounts the dread pile, and braves the funeral fires ! Ordain'd to light, with intellectual day,
So falls the heart at Thraldom's bitter sigh! The mazy wheels of Nature as they play So Virtue dies, the sponse of Liberty!
But not to Lybia's barren climes alone,
Earth, and her trembling isles in Ocean's bed, To Chili, or the wild Siberian zone,
Are shook; and Nature rocks beneath his tread! Belong the wretched heart and haggard eye, Degraded worth, and poor misfortune's sigh!
“To pour redress on India's injured realm, Ye orient realms, where Ganges' waters run!
The oppressor to dethrone, the proud to whelm; Prolific fields ! dominions of the sun!
To chase destruction from her plunder'd shore
With arts and arms that triumph'd once before, How long your tribes have trombled and obey'd !
The tenth Avatar comes! at Heaven's command How long was Timour's iron sceptre sway'd, (11)
Shall Seriswattee wave her hallow'd wand!
And Camdeo bright, and Ganesa sublime, (15)
Shall bless with joy their own propitious clime With blazing torch and gory cimeter,
Come, Heavenly Powers! primeval peace restore ! Stunn'd with the cries of death each gentle gale,
Love!—Mercy Wisdom Srule for evermore!
APOSTROPHE to the power of Love—its intimate When Europe sought your subject realms to gain, connexion with generous and social sensibility, And stretch'd her giant sceptre o'er the main,
allusion to that beautiful passage in the beginning of Taught her proud barks the winding way to shape, the book of Genesis, which represents the happiness And braved the stormy spirit of the Cape ; (12)
of Paradise itself incomplete, till Love was superChildren of Brama! then was Mercy nigh
added to its other blessings——the dreams of future To wash the stain of blood's eternal dye?
felicity which a lively imagination is apt to cherish, Did Peace descend, to triumph and to save,
when Hope is animated by refined attachment—this When freeborn Britons cross'd the Indian wave ?
disposition to combine, in one imaginary scene of Ah, no to more than Rome's ambition true,
residence, all that is pleasing in our estimate of hap The nurse of Freedom gave it not lo you!
piness, compared to the skill of the great artist who She the bold route of Europe's guilt began,
personified perfect beauty, in the picture of Venus, by And, in the march of nations, led the van!
an assemblage of the most beautiful features he
could find a summer and winter evening described, Rich in the gems of India's gaudy zone,
as they may be supposed to arise in the mind of one And plunder piled from kingdoms not their own,
who wishes, with enthusiasm, for the union of friendDegenerate trade! thy minions could despise
ship and retirement. The heart-born anguish of a thousand cries; Could lock, with impious hands, their teeming store, in those contemplative moments when our imagina.
Hope and Imagination inseparable agents even While famish'd nations died along the shore :(13)
tion wanders beyond the boundaries of this world, Could mock the groans of fellow-men, and bear
our minds are not unattended with an impression The curse of kingdoms peopled with despair ;
that we shall some day have a wider and distinct Could stamp disgrace on man's polluted name,
prospect of the universe, instead of the partial glimpse And barter, with their gold, eternal shame!
we now enjoy. But hark! as bow'd to earth the Bramin kneels, concluding topic of the poem—the predominance of
The last and most sublime influence of Hope is the From heavenly climes propitious thunder peals ;
a belief in a future state over the terrors attendant Of India's fate her guardian spirits tell,
on dissolution—the baneful influence of that scepProphetic murmurs breathing on the shell,
tical philosophy which bars us from such comforts And solemn sounds, that awe the list'ning mind,
allusion to the fate of a suicide-episode of Conrad Roll on the azure paths of every wind.
and Ellinore-conclusion. “ Foes of mankind! (her guardian spirits say,)
In joyous youth, what soul hath never known Revolving ages bring the bitter day,
Thought, feeling, taste, harmonious to its own? When Heaven's unerring arm shall fall on you,
Who hath not paused while Beauty's pensive eye And blood for blood these Indian plains bedew;
Ask'd from his heart the homage of a sigh?
The power of grace, the magic of a name?
There be, perhaps, who barren hearts avow,
'T is yours, unmoved, to sever and to meet; Like summer suns, and light the world below! No pledge is sacred, and no home is sweet!
Who that would ask a heart to dullness wed, And as he sojourn'd on the Ægean isles, The waveless calm, the slumber of the dead ? Woo'd all their love, and treasured all their smiles; No; the wild bliss of Nature needs alloy, Then glow'd the tints, pure, precious, and refined, And fear and sorrow fan the fire of joy!
And mortal charms seem'd heavenly, when combined And say, without our hopes, without our fears, Love on the picture smiled! Expression pour'd Without the home that plighted love endears, Her mingling spirit there—and Greece adored! Without the smile from partial beauty won, Oh! what were man?–a world without a sun. So thy fair hand, enamour'd Fancy! gleans
The treasured pictures of a thousand scenes; Till Hymen brought his love-delighted hour, Thy pencil traces on the lover's thought There dwelt no joy in Eden's rosy bower!
Some cottage-home, from towns and toil remote, In vain the viewless seraph lingering there,
Where love and lore may claim alternate hours, At starry midnight charm'd the silent air;
With Peace embosom'd in Idalian bowers! In vain the wild-bird caroll’d on the steep.
Remote from busy Life's bewilder'd way, To hail the sun, slow wheeling from the deep;
O'er all his heart shall Taste and Beauty sway! In vain, to soothe the solitary shade,
Free on the sunny slope, or winding shore, Aërial notes in mingling measure play'd ;
With hermit steps to wander and adore ! The summer wind that shook the spangled tree,
There shall he love, when genial morn appears, The whispering wave, the murmur of the bee ;
Like pensive Beauty smiling in her tears, Still slowly pass'd the melancholy day,
To watch the brightening roses of the sky, And still the stranger wist not where to stray.
And muse on Nature with a Poet's eye! The world was sad the garden was a wild;
And when the sun's last splendor lights the deep, And man, the hermit, sigh'd—till woman smiled!
The woods and waves, and murmuring winds asleep,
When fairy harps th' Hesperian planet hail, True, the sad power to generous hearts may bring His path shall be where streamy mountains swell
And the lone cuckoo sighs along the vale,
Their shadowy grandeur o'er the narrow dell,
Where mouldering piles and forests intervene, By wealthless lot, or pitless command;
Mingling with darker tints the living green;
No circling hills his ravish'd eye to bound,
Heaven, Earth, and Ocean, blazing all around. Of joys that faded like the morning dew; Peace may departand life and nature seem
The moon is up—the watch-tower dimly burns
And down the vale his sober step returns ; A barren path, a wildness, and a dream!
But pauses oft, as winding rocks convey
The still sweet fall of music far away ; But can the noble mind for ever brood,
And oft he lingers from his home awhile The willing victim of a weary mood,
To watch the dying notes and start, and smile! On heartless cares that squander life away, And cloud young Genius brightening into day ? Let Winter come! let polar spirits sweep Shame to the coward thought that e'er betray'd
The darkening world, and tempest-troubled deep! The noon of manhood to a myrıle shade (16)
Though boundless snows the wither'd heath deform, If Hope's creative spirit cannot raise
And the dim sun scarce wanders through the storm One trophy sacred to thy future days,
Yet shall the smile of social love repay, Scorn the dull crowd that haunt the gloomy shrine, With mental light, the melancholy day! Of hopeless love to murmur and repine !
And, when its short and sullen noon is o'er, But, should a sigh of milder mood express The ice-chain'd waters slumbering on the shore, Thy heart-warm wishes, true to happiness,
How bright the fagots in his little hall Should Heaven's fair harbinger delight to pour Blaze on the hearth, and warm the pictured wall! Her blissful visions on thy pensive hour, No tear to blot thy memory's pictured page,
How blest he names, in Love's familiar tone, No fears but such as fancy can assuage :
The kind, fair friend, by Nature mark'd his own; Though thy wild heart some hapless hour may miss And, in the waveless mirror of his mind, The peaceful tenor of unvaried bliss
Views the fleet years of pleasure left behind, (For love pursues an ever-devious race,
Since Anna's empire o'er his heart began! True to the winding lineaments of grace); Since first he call’d her his before the holy man! Yet still may Hope her talisman employ To snatch from Heaven anticipated joy,
Trim the gay taper in his rustic dome, And all her kindred energies impart
And light the wintry paradise of home; That burn the brightest in the purest heart And let the half-uncurtain'd window hail
Some way-worn man benighted in tho vale! When first the Rhodian's mimic art array'd Now, while the moaning night-wind rages high, The queen of Beauty in her Cyprian shade, As sweep the shot-stars down the troubled sky, The happy master mingled on his piece
While fiery hosts in Heaven's wide circle play, Each look that charm'd him in the fair of Greece. And bathe in lurid light the milky-way, To faultless Nature true, he stole a grace
Safe from the storm, the meteor, and the shower, From every finer form and sweeter face;
Some pleasing page shall charm the solemn hour
With pathos shall command, with wit beguile, The vesper-clock tolls mournful to the wind), A generous tear of anguish, or a smile
Counts every wave-worn isle, and mountain hoar Thy woes, Arion!(17) and thy simple tale, From Kilda to the green lerne's shore; O'er all the heart shall triumph and prevail ! So, when thy pure and renovated mind Charm'd as they read the verse too sadly true, This perishable dust hath left behind, How gallant Albert, and his weary crew, Thy seraph eye shall count the starry train, Heaved all their guns, their foundering bark to save, Like distant isles embosom'd in the main ; And toil'd--and shriek'd—and perish'd on the wave! Rapt to the shrine where motion first began,
And light and life in mingling torrent ran; Yes, at the dead of night, by Lonna's steep, From whence each bright rotundity was hurld, The seaman's cry was heard along the deep; The throne of God—the centre of the world! There, on his funeral waters, dark and wild, The dying father blest his darling child !
Oh! vainly wise, the moral muse hath sung Oh! Mercy, shield her innocence, he cried, That suasive Hope hath but a Syren tongue! Spent on the prayer his bursting heart, and died ! True; she may sport with life's untutor d day
Nor heed the solace of its last decay, Or they will learn how generous worth sublimes The guileless heart her happy mansion spurn, The robber Moor, (18) and pleads for all his crimes ! And part, like Ajut—never to return! (22) How poor Amelia kiss'd, with many a tear, His hand blood-stain'd, but ever, ever dear!
But yet, methinks, when Wisdom shall assuage Hung on the tortured bosom of her lord,
The grief and passions of our greener age, And wept and pray'd perdition from his sword! Though dull the close of life, and far away Nor sought in vain! at that heart-piercing cry Each flower that hail'd the dawning of the day; The strings of Nature crack'd with agony ! Yet o'er her lovely hopes, that once were dear, He, with delirious laugh, the dagger hurld, The time-taught spirit, pensive, not severe, And burst the ties that bound him to the world! With milder griefs her aged eye shall fill,
And weep their falsehood, though she love them still! Turn from his dying words, that smite with steel The shuddering thoughts, or wind them on the wheel Thus, with forgiving tears, and reconciled, Turn to the gentler melodies that suit
The king of Judah mourn'd his rebel child! Thalia's harp, or Pan's Arcadian lute:
Musing on days, when yet the guiltless boy Or, down the stream of Truth's historic page, Smiled on his sire, and fill’d his heart with joy! From clime to clime descend, from age to age ! My Absalom! the voice of Nature cried :
Oh! that for thee thy father could have died! Yet there, perhaps, may darker scenes obtrude For bloody was the deed, and rashly done, Than Fancy fashions in her wildest mood; That slew my Absalom my son my son! There shall he pause with horrent brow, to rate What millions died—that Cæsar might be great!(19) Unfading Hope! when life's last embers burn Or learn the fate that bleeding thousands bore, When soul to soul, and dust to dust return! March'd by their Charles to Dnieper's swampy Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour; shore ; (20)
Oh! then, thy kingdom comes ! immortal Power! Faint in his wounds, and shivering in the blast, What though each spark of earth-born rapture i, The Swedish soldier sunk-and groan'd his last ! The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye! File after file the stormy showers benumb,
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey Freeze every standard-sheet, and hush the drum! The morning dream of life's eternal dayHorseman and horse confess'd the bitter pang, Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin, And arms and warriors fell with hollow clang! And all the phanix spirit burns within! Yet, ere he sunk in Nature's last repose, Ere life's warm torrent to the fountain froze,
Oh! deep-enchanting prelude to repose, The dying man to Sweden turn'd his eye,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes! Thought of his home, and closed it with a sigh! Yet half I hear the panting spirit sigh, Imperial Pride look'd sullen on his plight,
It is a dread and awful thing to die!
Where Time's far-wandering tide has never run, Above, below, in Ocean, Earth, and Sky, From your unfathom'd shades, and viewless spheres, Thy fairy worlds, Imagination, lie,
A warning comes, unheard by other ears. And Hope attends, companion of the way, "Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud Thy dream by night, thy visions of the day! Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud! In yonder pensile orb, and every sphere
While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust, That gems the starry girdle of the year;
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust; In those unmeasured worlds, she bids thee tell, And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod Pure from their God, created millions dwell, The roaring waves, and callid upon his God, Whose names and natures, unreveal'd below, With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss, We yet shall learn, and wonder as we know; And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss ! For, as Iona's saint, (21) a giant form, Throned on her towers, conversing with the storm Daughter of Faith! awake, arise, illume (When o'er each Runic altar, weed-entwined, The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb;