« PreviousContinue »
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.
WRITTEN IN 1834.
WELL, when her day is over, be it said
*At Woburn Abbey.
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,
Even to the rising or the setting day,
Her arts and laws and institutes were there,
Wondrous was her wealth,
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,
Up rose her armies; on the land they stood,
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,
* 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,
AN INSCRIPTION FOR STRATFIELD SAYE.
THESE are the groves a grateful people gave
And, by no change elated or depressed,
Fought, till he won the' imperishable wreath,
Leading the conquerors captive; on he went,
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;