صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Each of its natural cause the sure effect,
All righteously ordain'd. Lo! kingdoms wreck’d,
Thrones overturn’d, built up, then swept away
Like fabrics in the summer clouds, dispersed
By the same breath that heap'd them; rightful kings,
Who, from a line of long-drawn ancestry
Held the transmitted sceptre, to the axe
Bowing the anointed head; or dragg'd away
To eat the bread of bondage; or escaped
Beneath the shadow of Britannia's shield,
There only safe. Such fate have vicious courts,
Statesmen corrupt, and fear-struck policy,
Upon themselves drawn down ; till Europe, bound
In iron chains, lies bleeding in the dust,
Beneath the feet of upstart tyranny :
Only the heroic Spaniard, he alone
Yet unsubdued in these degenerate days,
With desperate virtue, such as in old time
Hallow'd Saguntum and Numantia's name,
Stands up against the oppressor undismay'd.
So may the Almighty bless the noble race,
And crown with happy end their holiest cause !

Deem not these dread events the monstrous birth Of chance! And thou, O England, who dost ride Serene amid the waters of the flood, Preserving, even like the Ark of old, Amid the general wreck, thy purer faith, Domestic loves, and ancient liberty, Look to thyself, O England ! for be sure, Even to the measure of thine own desert, The cup

of retribution to thy lips

Shall soon or late be dealt! ..a thought that well
Might fill the stoutest heart of all thy sons
With aweful apprehension. Therefore, they
Who fear the Eternal's justice, bless thy name,
Grenville, because the wrongs of Africa
Cry out no more to draw a curse from Heaven
On England 1- for if still the trooping sharks
Track by the scent of death the accursed ship
Freighted with human anguish, in her wake
Pursue the chace, crowd round her keel, and dart
Toward the sound contending, when they hear
The frequent carcass from her guilty deck
Dash in the opening deep, no longer now
The guilt shall rest on England; but if yet
There be among her children, hard of heart
And sear'd of conscience, men who set at nought
Her laws and God's own word, upon themselves
Their sin be visited ... the red-cross flag,
Redeem'd from stain so foul, no longer now
Covereth the abomination.

This thy praise,
O Grenville, and while ages roll away
This shall be thy remembrance. Yea, when all
For which the tyrant of these abject times
Hath given his honourable name on earth,
His nights of innocent sleep, his hopes of heaven ;
When all his triumphs and his deeds of blood,
The fretful changes of his feverish pride,
His midnight murders and perfidious plots,
Are but a tale of years so long gone by,
That they who read distrust the hideous truth,
Willing to let a charitable doubt

Abate their horror; Grenville, even then
Thy memory will be fresh among mankind
Afric with all her tongues will speak of thee,
With Wilberforce and Clarkson, he whom Heaven,
To be the apostle of this holy work,
Raised up and strengthen’d, and upheld through all
His arduous toil. To end the glorious task,
That blessed, that redeeming deed was thine:
Be it thy pride in life, thy thought in death,
Thy praise beyond the tomb. The statesman's fame
Will fade, the conqueror's laurel crown grow sere;
Fame's loudest trump upon the ear of Time
Leaves but a dying echo; they alone
Are held in everlasting memory,
Whose deeds partake of heaven. Long ages hence
Nations unborn, in cities that shall rise
Along the palmy coast, will bless thy name;
And Senegal and secret Niger's shore,
And Calabar, no longer startled then
With sounds of murder, will, like Isis now,
Ring with the songs that tell of Grenville's praise.

Keswick, 1810.

BOTANY-BAY ECLOGUES.

Where a sight shall shuddering sorrow find,
Sad as the ruins of the human mind. BowLES.

I.

ELINOR.

TIME, Morning. SCENE, The Shore.

Once more to daily toil, once more to wear
The livery of shame, once more to search
With miserable task this

savage

shore !
O thou, who mountest so triumphantly
In yonder Heaven, beginning thy career
Of glory, O thou blessed Sun! thy beams
Fall on me with the same benignant light
Here, at the farthest limits of the world,
And blasted as I am with infamy,
As when in better years poor Elinor
Gazed on thy glad uprise with eye

undimm'd
By guilt and sorrow, and the opening morn
Woke her from quiet sleep to days of peace.
In other occupation then I trod
The beach at eve; and then when I beheld
The billows as they roll’d before the storm

Burst on the rock and rage, my timid soul
Shrunk at the perils of the boundless deep,
And heaved a sigh for suffering mariners; ..
Ah ! little thinking I myself was doom'd
To tempt the perils of the boundless deep,
An outcast, unbeloved and unbewail'd.

Still wilt thou haunt me, Memory! still present
The fields of England to my exiled eyes,
The joys which once were mine.

Even now I see
The lowly lovely dwelling ; even now
Behold the woodbine clasping its white walls,
Where fearlessly the red-breasts chirp'd around
To ask their morning meal: and where at eve
I loved to sit and watch the rook sail by,
And hear his hollow tone, what time he sought
The church-yard elm, that with its ancient boughs
Full-foliaged, half-conceal'd the house of God;
That holy house, where I so oft have heard
My father's voice explain the wonderous works
Of Heaven to sinful man. Ah! little deem'd
His virtuous bosom, that his shameless child
So soon should spurn the lesson, .. sink, the slave
Of Vice and Infamy,.. the hireling prey
Of brutal appetite; at length worn out
With famine, and the avenging scourge of guilt,
Should share dishonesty,- yet dread to die !

Welcome, ye savage lands, ye barbarous climes,
Where angry England sends her outcast sons,
I hail your joyless shores! My weary bark,
Long tempest-tost on Life's inclement sea,

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »