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Disgrac'd as thou hast been, poor as thou art,
To seek no sublunary rest beside.
But once enslav'd, farewel! I could endure
Chains no where patiently; and chains at home,
Where I am free by birthright, not at all. .
Then what were left of roughness in the grain
Of British natures, wanting its excuse
That it belongs to freemen, would disgust
And shock me. I should then, with double pain,
Feel all the rigor of thy fickle clime;
And if I must bewail the blessing lost,
For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled,
I would at least bewail it under skies
Milder, among a people less austere,
In scenes which, having never known me free,
Would not reproach me with the loss I felt.
Do I forebode impossible events,
And tremble at vain dreams ? Heav'n grant I may!
But th' age of virtuous politics is past,
And we are deep in that of cold pretence.
Patriots are grown too shrewd to be fincere,
And we too wise to trust them. He that takes
Deep in his soft credulity, the stamp
Design’d by loud declaimers on the part
Of liberty, themselves the Naves of lust,
I . Incurs
Incurs derision for his easy faith And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough: For when was public virtue to be found . Where private, was not? Can he love the whole Who loves no part? He be a nation's friend, Who is, in truth, the friend of no man there? Can he be strenuous in his country's cause, - Who flights the charities, for whose dear fake :: That country, if at all, must be belov'd ? :
'Tis therefore fober and good men are fad.. For England's glory, seeing it wax pale. And fickly, while her champions wear their hearts So loose to private duty, that no brain, ... Healthful and undisturb'd by fa&ious fumes, . Can dream them trusty to the gen’ral weal. Such were not they of old, whose temper'd blades, Dispers’d the shackles of usurp'd controul, And hew'd them link from link: then Albion's:
sons Were sons indeed; they felt a filial heart Beat high within them at a mother's wrongs, And, shining each in his domestic sphere, Shone brighter still, once calld to public view.. 'Tis therefore many, whose fequefter'd lot Forbids their interference, looking on,
Anticipate perforce fome dire event ;
And seeing the old castle of the state,
That promis'd once more firmness, so affail'd,
That all its tempest-beaten turrets shake,
Stand motionless, expectants of its fall."
All has its date below; the fatal hour
Was register'd in heav'n ere time began.
We turn to dust, and all our mightiest works
Die too: the deep foundations that we lay,
Time ploughs them up, and not a trace remains.
We build with what we deem eternal rock ;
A distant age alks where the fabric stood,
And in the duft, fifted and search'd in vain,
The undiscoverable secret fleeps. .
But there is yet a liberty unsung ..;
By poets, and by senators unprais’d,
Which monarchs cannot grant, nor all the powers
Of earth and hell confed’rate take away.
A liberty, which persecution, fraud,
Oppression, prisons, have no power to bind,
Which whoso tastes can be enflav'd no more.
'Tis liberty of heart, derived from heav'n,
Bought with HIS blood who gave it to mankind,
And seald with the same token. It is held:
By' charter, and that charter fan&ion'd sure
By th’ unimpeachable and awful oath
And promise of a God. His other gifts
All bear the royal stamp that speaks them his,
And are august, but this transcends them all.
His other works, this visible display
Of all-creating energy and might,
Are grand, no doubt, and worthy of the word
That, finding an interminable space
Unoccupied, has filled the void so well,
And made so sparking what was dark before.
But these are not his glory. Man, 'tis true,
Smit with the beauty of fo fair a scene,
Might well suppose th' artificer divine
Meant it eternal, had he not himself . .
Pronounc'd it transient, glorious as it is,
And still designing a more glorious far,
Doom'd it, as insufficient for his praise.
These therefore are occasional and pass;
Form'd for the confutation of the fool,
Whose lying heart disputes against a God;
Not so the labours of his love : they shine
In other heav'ns than these that we behold,
And fade not. There is paradise that fears
No forfeiture, and of its fruits he sends
Large prelibation oft to faints below.
Of these the first in order, and the pledge
And confident assurance of the rest,
Is Liberty. A flight into his arms
· Ere yet mortality's fine threads give way,
A clear escape from tyrannizing luft,
And full immunity from penal woe.
Chains are the portion of revolted man,
Stripes and a dungeon; and his body serves
The triple purpose. In that fickly, foul,
Opprobrious residence, he finds them all.
Propenfe his heart to idols, he is held
In filly dotage on created things,
Careless of their Creator. And that low
And sordid gravitation of his pow'rs
To a vile clod, so draws him, with such force
Refastless from the center he should seek,
That he at last forgets it. All his hopes
Tend downward, his ambition is to sink,
To reach a depth profounder still, and fill
Profounder, in the fathomless abyss
Of folly, plunging in pursuit of death.
But ere he gain the comfortless repose
He seeks, and acquiescence of his soul
In heav'n-renouncing exile, he endures-- .
What does he not ? from lusts oppos’d in vain,