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AN ODE.

The fiend hag on her perilous couch doth leap, For ne'er, O Liberty! with partial aim
Muttering distemper'd triumph in her charmed sleep. I dimm'd thy light or damp'd thy holy flame;

But bless'd the pæans of deliver'd France,
IX.

And hung my head, and wept at Britain's name.
Away, my soul, away!
In vain, in vain, the birds of warning sing-

III. And hark! I hear the famish'd brood of prey

“ And what," I said, “ though blasphemy's loud Flap their lank pennons on the groaning wind !

scream Away, my soul, away!

With that sweet music of deliverance strove! I, unpartaking of the evil thing,

Though all the fierce and drunken passions wov With daily prayer and daily toil

A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's dream! Soliciting for food my scanty soil,

Ye storms, that round the dawning east assembled, Have waild my country with a loud lament.

The sun was rising, though he hid his light! Now I recentre my immortal mind

And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and In the deep sabbath of meek self-content;

trembled, Cleansed from the vaporous passions that bedim

The dissonance ceased, and all seem'd calm and God's Image, sister of the Seraphim.

bright;
When France her front deep-scarr'd and gory
Conceal'd with clustering wreaths of glory;

When, insupportably advancing,
FRANCE.

Her arm made mockery of the warrior's tramp;

While timid looks of fury glancing,

Domestic treason,crush'd beneath her fatal stamp, I.

Writhed like a wounded dragon in his gore; Ye clouds! that far above me float and pause,

Then I reproach'd my fears that would not flee; Whose pathless march no mortal may control !

“ And soon,” I said, “ shall wisdom teach her lore Ye ocean waves ! that, wheresoe'er ye roll,

In the low huts of them that toil and groan ! Yield homage only to eternal laws!

And, conquering by her happiness alone, Ye woods! that listen to the night-birds' singing,

Shall France compel the nations to be free, Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined,

Till love and joy look round, and call the earth Save when your own imperious branches swinging,

their own." Have made a solemn music of the wind !

IV. Where, like a man beloved of God, Through glooms, which never woodman trod, Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams!, How oft, pursuing fancies holy,

I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament, My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds I wound, From bleak Helvetia's icy caverns sentInspired, beyond the guess of folly,

I hear thy groans upon her blood-stain'd streams ! By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound ! Heroes, that for your peaceful country perish'd; O ye loud waves! and ( ye forests high !

And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain snows And 0 ye clouds that far above me soar'd!

With bleeding wounds; forgive me that I cherish'd Thou rising sun! thou blue, rejoicing sky! One thought that ever bless'd your cruel foes ! Yea, every thing that is and will be free!

To scatter rage, and traitorous guilt, Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be,

Where peace her jealous home had built; With what deep worship I have still adored

A patriot race to disinherit The spirit of divinest Liberty.

Of all that made their stormy wilds so dear;

And with inexpiable spirit
II.

To taint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer-
When France in wrath her giant-limbs uprear'd, O France, that mockest Heaven, adulterous, blind,
And with that oath, which smote air, earth and And patriot only in pernicious toils !
sea,

Are these thy boasts, champion of human kind? Stamp'd her strong foot, and said she would be To mix with kings in the low lust of sway, free,

Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey; Bear witness for me, how I hoped and fear'd! To insult the shrine of liberty with spoils With what a joy my lofty gratulation

From freemen torn; to tempt and to betray? Unawed I sang, amid a slavish band : And when to whelm the disenchanted nation,

V. Like fiends embattled by a wizard's wand,

The sensual and the dark rebel in vain, The monarchs march'd in evil day,

Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad game And Britain join'd the dire array;

They burst their manacles, and wear the name Though dear her shores and circling ocean,

Of freedom, graven on a heavier chain ! Though many friendships, many youthful loves O Liberty! with profitless endeavour Had swoln the patriot emotion,

Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour; And flung a magic light o'er all her hills and groves ; But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever Yet still my voice, unalter'd, sang defeat

Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power. To all that braved the tyrant-quelling lance, Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee, And shame too long delay'd and vain retreat! (Not prayer nor boastful name delays thee,)

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AN INVASION.

Alike from priestcraft's harpy minions, Our brethren! Like a cloud that travels on, And factious blasphemy's obscener slaves, Steam'd up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence, Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions,

E’en so, my countrymen! have we gone forth, The guide of homeless winds, and playmates of the And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs, waves !

And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint
And there I felt thee !-on that sea-cliff's verge, With slow perdition murders the whole man,

Whose pines, scarce travell’d by the breeze above, His body and his soul! Meanwhile, at home,
Had made one murmur with the distant surge ! All individual dignity and power
Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, Ingulf'd in courts, committees, institutions,
And shot my being through earth, sea, and air, Associations and societies,

Possessing all things with intensest love, A vain, speech-mouthing, speech-reporting guild, O Liberty ! my spirit felt thee there.

One benefit club for mutual flattery,
February, 1797.

We have drunk up, demure as at a grace,
Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth;
Contemptuous of all honourable rule,

Yet bartering freedom and the poor man's life
FEARS IN SOLITUDE.

For gold, as at a market! The sweet words
WRITTEN IN APRIL, 1798, DURING THE ALARM OF Of Christian promise, words that even yet

Might stem destruction were they wisely preachd,

Are mutter'd o'er by men whose tones proclaim A GREEN and silent spot amid the hills,

How flat and wearisome they feel their trade: A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place

Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent No sinking skylark ever poised himself.

To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth. The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope, 0! blasphemous ! the book of life is made Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on, A superstitious instrument, on which All golden with the never-bloomless furze, We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break; Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell, For all must swear-all and in every place, Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate

College and wharf, council and justice court; As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax,

All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed, When, through its half-transparent stalks, at eve, Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest, The level sunshine glimmers with green light. The rich, the poor, the old man and the young; 0! 'tis a quiet, spirit-healing nook !

All, all make up one scheme of perjury, Which all, methinks, would love ; but chiefly he, That faith doth reel; the very name of God The humble man, who, in his youthful years, Sounds like a juggler's charm; and, bold with joy, Knew just so much of folly as had made

Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place, His early manhood more securely wise !

(Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism, Here he might lie on fern or wither'd heath, Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon, While from the singing lark, (that sings unseen Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close, The minstrelsy that solitude loves best,)

And hooting at the glorious sun in heaven, And from the sun, and from the breezy air,

Cries out, “ Where is it?” Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame;

Thankless too for peace, And he, with many feelings, many thoughts, (Peace long preserved by fleets and perilous seas,) Made up a meditative joy, and found

Secure from actual warfare, we have loved Religious meanings in the forms of nature !

To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war! And so, his senses gradually wrapt

Alas! for ages ignorant of all In a half sleep, he dreams of better worlds, Its ghastlier workings (famine or blue plague, And dreaming hears thee still, 0 singing lark ! Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry snows,) That singest like an angel in the clouds !

We, this whole people, have been clamorous My God! it is a melancholy thing

For war and bloodshed; animating sports,
For such a man, who would full fain preserve The which we pay for as a thing to talk of,
His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel Spectators and not combatants! No guess
For all his human brethren--() my God!

Anticipative of a wrong unfelt,
It weighs upon the heart, that he must think No speculation or contingency,
What uproar and what striie may now be stirring However dim and vague, too vague and dim
This way or that way o'er these silent hills, To yield a justifying cause; and forth
Invasion, and the thunder and the shout,

(Stuff?d out with big preamble, holy names, And all the crash of onset; fear and rage,

And adjurations of the God in heaven) And undetermined conflict-even now,

We send our mandates for the certain death E’en now, perchance, and in his native isle ; Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls, Carnage and groans beneath this blessed sun! And women, that would groan to see a child We have offended, 0! my countrymen!

Pull off an insect's leg, ali read of war, We have offended very grievously,

The best amusement for our morning meal? And been most tyrannous. From east to west The poor wretch, who has learnt his only prayers A groan of accusation pierces heaven!

From curses, who knows scarcely words enough The wretched plead against us; multitudes To ask a blessing from his heavenly Father, Countless and vehement, the sons of God,

Becomes a flucnt phraseman, absolute

And technical in victories and defeats,

And yield them worship, they are enemies And all our dainty terms for fratricide;

E’en of their country! Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongues

Such have I been deem'dLike mere abstractions, empty sounds, to which But, О dear Britain ! O my mother isle ! We join no feeling and attach no form!

Needs must thou prove a name most dear and As if the soldier died without a wound;.

holy As if the fibres of this godlike frame

| To me, a son, a brother, and a friend, Were gored without a pang; as if the wretch, A husband, and a father! who revere Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds,

All bonds of natural love, and find them all Pass'd off to heaven, translated and not kill'd: Within the limits of thy rocky shores. As though he had no wife to pine for him, O native Britain ! O my mother isle ! No God to judge him! Therefore, evil days How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and Are corning on us, O my countrymen!

holy And what if all-avenging Providence,

To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills Strong and retributive, should make us know Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, The meaning of our words, force us to feel Have drunk in all my intellectual life, The desolation and the agony

All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts,
Of our fierce doings !

All adoration of the God in nature,
Spare us yet a while, All lovely and all honourable things,
Father and God! 0! spare us yet a while ? Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
0! let not English women drag their light The joy and greatness of its future being ?
Fainting beneath the burden of their babes, There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul
Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday

Unborrow'd from my country. O divine Laugh'd at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands, all And beauteous island! thou hast been my sole Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms And most magnificent temple, in the which Which grew up with you round the same fireside, I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs, And all who ever heard the Sabbath-bells

Loving the God that made me ! Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure!

May my fears, Stand forth : be men ! repel an impious foe, My filial fears, be vain! and may the vaunts Impious and false, a light yet cruel race,

And menace of the vengeful enemy Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth Pass like the gust, that roard and died away With deeds of murder; and still promising In the distant tree: which heard, and only heard Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free, In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass. Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart

But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze: And all that lifts the spirit! Stand we forth ; The light has left the summit of the hill, Render them back upon the insulted ocean, Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful, And let them toss as idly on its waves

Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell, As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain blast Farewell, a while, O soft and silent spot! Swept from our shores! And 0! may we return, On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, Homeward I wind my way; and lo! recall’d Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung From bodings that have wellnigh wearied me, So fierce a foe to frenzy!

I find myself upon the brow, and

pause I have told,

Startled! And after lonely sojourning O Britons ! O my brethren! I have told

In such a quiet and surrounding nook, Most bitter truth, but without bitterness.

This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, Nor deem my zeal or factious or mistimed; Dim-tinted, there the mighty majesty For never can true courage dwell with them, Of that huge amphitheatre of rich Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look And elmy fields, seems like societyAt their own vices. We have been too long Conversing with the mind, and giving it Dupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike

A livelier impulse and a dance of thought! Groaning with restless enmity, expect

And now, beloved Stowey! I behold All change from change of constituted power ; Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge As if a government had been a robe,

elms On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend, Like fancy points and fringes, with the robe And close behind them, hidden from my view, Pull’d off at pleasure. Fondly these attach Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe A radical causation to a few

And my babe's mother dwell in peace! With light Poor drudges of chastising Providence,

And quicken'd footsteps thitherward I tend, Who borrow all their hues and qualities

Remembering thee, O green and silent dell! From our own folly and rank wickedness, And grateful, that, by nature's quietness Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others, And solitary musings, all my heart meanwhile,

Is sosten’d, and made worthy to indulge Dote with a mad idolatry; and all

Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human kind. Who will not fall before their images,

Nether Stowey, April 28th, 1798.

FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.

А WAR

ECLOGUE.

BOTH. Who bade you do't ?

FAMINE.

The same! the same! Letters four do form his name. He let me loose, and cried Halloo ! To him alone the praise is due.

The scene a desolated tract in La Vendée. FAMINE is

discovered lying on the ground; to her enter Fire and SLAUGHTER.

FAMINE.
SISTERS! sisters ! who sent you here?

SLAUGHTER, (to FIRE.)
I will whisper it in her ear.

FIRE,
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell:
'Twill make a holiday in hell.

No! no! no!
Myself, I named him once below,
And all the souls that damned be,
Leap'd up at once in anarchy,
Clapp'd their hands and danced for glee.
They no longer heeded me;
But laugh'd to hear hell's burning rafters
Unwillingly re-echo laughters !

No! no! no! Spirits hear what spirits tell: "Twill make a holiday in hell !

FIRE. Sisters! I from Ireland came ! Hedge and corn-fields all on flame, I triumph'd o'er the setting sun ! And all the while the work was done, On as I strode with my huge strides, I flung back my head and I held my sides, It was so rare a piece of fun To see the swelter'd cattle run With uncouth gallop through the night, Scared by the red and noisy light! By the light of his own blazing cot Was many a naked rebel shot: The house-stream met the flame and hiss'd, While crash ! fell in the roof, I wist, On some of those old bedrid nurses, That deal in discontent and curses.

DOTH. Who bade you do't ?

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FAMINE. Wisdom comes of lack of food, I'll gnaw, I'll gnaw the multitude, Till the cup of rage o'erbrim : They shall seize him and his brood

вотн.

Who bade you do it?

SLAUGHTER.

The same! the same!
Letters four do form his name.
He let me loose, and cried Halloo
To him alone the praise is due.

FAMINE.
Thanks, sister, thanks! the men have bled,
Their wives and their children faint for bread.
I stood in a swampy field of battle;
With bones and sculls I made a rattle,
To frighten the wolf and carrion crow,
And the homeless dog—but they would not go.
So off I flew; for how could I bear
To see them gorge their dainty fare?
I heard a groan and a peevish squall,
And through the chink of a cottage wall-
Can you guess what I saw there?

BOTH. Whisper it, sister! in our ear.

FAMINE . A baby beat its dying mother. I had starved the one, and was starving the other!

FIRE. O thankless beldames and untrue! And is this all that you can do For him who did so much for you? Ninety months he, by my troth! Hath richly cater'd for you both; And in an hour would you repay An eight years' work ?-Away! away! I alone am faithful! I Cling to him everlastingly.

1796.

RECANTATION

ILLUSTRATED IN THE STORY OF THE MAD OX.

An ox, long fed with musty hay,

And work'd with yoke and chain, Was turn'd out on an April day, When fields are in their best array, And growing grasses sparkle gay,

At once with sun and rain.

2

The grass was fine, the sun was bright,

With truth I may aver it;
The ox was glad, as well he might,
Thought a green meadow no bad sight,
And frisk'd to show his huge delight,

.Much like a beast of spirit. “Stop, neighbours ! stop! why these alarms ?

The ox is only glad.”
But still they pour from cots and farms—
Halloo! the parish is up in arms,
(A hoaring hunt has always charms,)

Halloo! the ox is mad.
The frighted beast scamper'd about,

Plunge! through the hedge he drove-
The mob pursue with hideous rout,
A bull-dog fastens on his snout,
He gores the dog, his tongue hangs out-

He's mad, he's mad, by Jove !
“Stop, neighbours, stop!” aloud did call

A sage of sober hue,
But all at once on him they fall,
And women squeak and children squall,
“ What! would you have him toss us all ?

And, damme! who are you?”
Ah, hapless sage! his ears they stun,

And curse him o'er and o'er-
“ You bloody-minded dog!" (cries one,)
“ To slit your windpipe were good fun-
'Od bl- you for an impious* son

Of a Presbyterian w-re! “ You'd have him gore the parish-priest,

And run against the altarYou fiend!”—The sage his warnings ceased, And north, and south, and west, and east, Halloo! they follow the poor beast,

Mat, Dick, Tom, Bob, and Walter.
Old Lewis, 'twas his evil day,

Stood trembling in his shoes;
The ox was his—what could he say?
His legs were stiffend with dismay,
The ox ran o'er him 'mid the fray,

And gave him his death's bruise.
The frighted beast ran on—but here,

The gospel scarce more true is-
My muse stops short in mid career
Nay, gentle reader! do not sneer,
I cannot choose but drop a tear,

A tear for good old Lewis.
The frighted beast ran through the town,

All follow'd, boy and dad,
Bull-dog, parson, shopman, clown,
The Publicans rush'd from the Crown,
“ Halloo! hamstring him! cut him down;"

They drove the poor ox mad. Should you a rat to madness tease,

Why e'en a rat might plague you: There's no philosopher but sees

That rage and fear are one disease
Though that may burn and this may freeze,

They're both alike the ague.
And so this ox, in frantic mood,

Faced round like any bull-
The mob turn'd tail, and he pursued,
Till they with fright and fear were stew'd,
And not a chick of all this brood

But had his belly-full.
Old Nick's astride the beast, 'tis clear

Old Nicholas to a tittle!
But all agree he'd disappear,
Would but the parson venture near,
And through his teeth, right o'er the steer,

Squirt out some fasting-spittle.*
Achilles was a warrior fleet,

The Trojans he could worry-
Our parson too was swist of feet,
But show'd it chiefly in retreat!
The victor ox scour'd down the street,

The mob fled hurry-skurry.
Through gardens, lanes, and fields new-plow'd,

Through his hedge and through her hedge,
He plunged and toss’d, and bellow'd loud,
Till in his madness he grew proud
To see this helter-skelter crowd,

That had more wrath than courage.
Alas! to mend the breaches wide

He made for these poor ninnies,
They all must work, whate'er betide,
Both days and months, and pay beside
(Sad news for avarice and for pride)

A sight of golden guineas.
But here once more to view did pop

The man that kept his senses.
And now he cricd_Stop, neighbours ! stop!
The ox is mad! I would not swor,
No, not a schoolboy’s farthing top

For all the parish fences.
“ The ox is mad! Ho! Dick, Bob, Mat!

What means this coward fuss ?
Ho! stretch this rope across the plat-
'Twill trip him up—or if not that,
Why, damme, we must lay him nat-

See, here's my blunderbuss !"
“A lying dog! just now he said,

The ox was only glad, Let's break his Presbyterian head!” “ Hush !" quoth the sage, “you've been misled, No quarrels now let's all make head

You drove the poor ox mad.!
As thus I sat in careless chat,

With the morning's wet newspaper,
In eager haste, without his hat,
As blind and blundering as a bat,
In came that fierce aristocrat,

Our pursy woollen-draper.

* One of the many fine words which the most uneducated * According to the superstition of the west countries, if ad about this time a constant opportunity of acquiring you meet the devil, you may either cut him in half with rom the sermons in the pulpit, and the proclamations on a straw, or you may cause him instantly to disappear by he

spilling over his horns.

corners,

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