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Or covet more than freemen choose to grant :
That even our enemies, so oft employed
THE PRISOXER OF THE BASTILE.
LOYALTY AND SERVILITY CONTRASTED.
Mark now the difference, ye that boast your love Of kings, between your loyalty and ours. We love the man, the paltry pageant you : We the chief patron of the commonwealth, You the regardless author of its woes : We, for the sake of liberty, a king; You chains of bondage for a tyrant's sake. Our love is principle, and has its root In reason, is judicious, manly, free; Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod, And licks the foot that treads it in the dust. Were kingship as true treasure as it seems, Sterling, and worthy of a wise man's wish, I would not be a king to be beloved Causeless, and daubed with undiscerning praise, Where love is mere attachment to the throne, Not to the man who fills it as he ought.
TRUE FREEDOM. STRUGGLES FOR LIBERTY.
Whose freedom is by sufferance, and at will Of a superior, he is never free. Who lives, and is not weary of a life Exposed to manacles, deserves them well. The state that strives for liberty, though foiled, And forced to abandon what she bravely sought, Deserves at least applause for her attempt, And pity for her loss. But that's a cause Not often unsuccessful : power usurped Is weakness when opposed : conscious of wrong, 'Tis pusillanimous and prone to flight. But slaves that once conceive the glowing thought Of freedom, in that hope itself possess All that the contest calls for ; spirit, strength, The scorn of danger, and united hearts : The surest presage of the good they seek.1
There dwell the most forlorn of human kind, Immured though unaccused, condemned untried, Cruelly spared, and hopeless of escape. There, like the visionary emblem seen By him of Babylon, life stands a stump, And, filleted about with hoops of brass, Still lives, though all his pleasant boughs are gone, To count the hour-bell, and expect no change ; And ever, as the sullen sound is heard, Still to reflect, that though a joyless note To him, whose moments all have ono dull pace, Ten thousand rovers in the world at large Account it music ; that it summons some To theatre, or jocund feast, or ball : The wearied hireling finds it a release From labor ; and the lover, who has chid Its long delay, feels every welcome stroke Upon his heart-strings, trembling with delight; To fly for refuge from distracting thought To such amusements as ingenious woe Contrives hard-shifting, and without her tools ; To read engraven on the mouldy walls, In staggering types, his predecessor's tale, A sad memorial, and subjoin his own; To turn purveyor to an over-gorged And bloated spider, till the pampered pest Is made familiar, watches his approach, Comes at his call, and serves him for a friend ; To wear out time in numbering to and fro The studs, that thick emboss his iron door ; Then downward and then upward, then aslant And then alternate ; with a sickly hope By dint of change to give his tasteless task Some relish ; till, the sum exactly found In all directions, he begins again.
CAPTIVITY ; ITS HORRORS. O comfortless existence ! hemmed around With woes, which who that suffers would not kneel And beg for exile, or the pangs of death? That man should thus encroach on fellow-man, Abric him of his just and native rights, Eradicate him, tear him from his hold Upon the endearments of domestic life And social, nip his fruitfulness and use, And doom him for perhaps a heedless word To barrenness, and solitude, and tears, Moves indignation ; makes the name of king (of king whom such prerogative can please) As dreadful as the Manichean god, Adored through fear, strong only to destroy.
THE BASTILE THE SHAME OF FRANCE. - THE CAUSE OF
LIBERTY THE CAUSE OF HUMANITY.
Then shame to manhood, and opprobrious more To France than all her losses and defeats, Old or of later date, by sea or land, Her house of bondage, worse than that of old Which God avenged on Pharaoh — the Bastile. Ye horrid towers, the abode of broken hearts; Ye dungeons, and ye cages of despair, That monarchs have supplied from age to age With music, such as suits their sovereign ears, The sighs and groans of miserable men ! There's not an English heart that would not leap To hear that ye were fallen at last ; to know
1 The Manichean sect, named for their founder Manes, in the third century, adored a dual deity, made up of the principle of good and the principie of evil.
1 The author hopes that he shall not be censured for unnecessary warmth upon so interesting a subject. He is aware that it is become almost fashionable to stigmatize such sentiments as no better than empty declaration : but it is an ill symptom, and pecaliar to modern times.
LIFE WITHOUT LIBERTY A BURTHEN, USE OF FREEDOM.
'T is liberty alone that gives the flower Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume ; And we are weeds without it. All constraint, Except what wisdom lays on evil men, Is evil : hurts the faculties, impedes Their progress in the road of science ; blinds The eyesight of discovery; and begets In those that suffer it a sordid mind Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit To be the tenant of man's noble form. Theo therefore still, blame-worthy as thou art, With all thy loss of empire, and though squeezed By public exigence till annual food Fails for the craving hunger of the state, Thee I account still happy, and the chief Among the nations, seeing thou art free; My native nook of earth!
Designed by loud declaimers on the part
'T is therefore sober and good men are sad
PATRIOTS OF THE OLDEN TIME.
Such were not they of old, whose tempered blades Dispersed the shackles of usurped control, And hewed 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 called to public view.
FOREBODINGS OF THE BRITISH PATRIOT. - ALL THINGS HAVE
THE CLIMATE AND MANNERS OF BRITAIN. - FRENCH POLITE
Thy clime is rude, Replete with vapors, and disposes much All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine : Thine unadulterate manners are less soft And plausible than social life requires, And thou hast need of discipline and art, To give thee what politer France receives From nature's bounty — that humane address And sweetness, without which no pleasure is In converse, either starved by cold reserve, Or flushed with fierce dispute, a senseless brawl. Yet being free I love thee : for the sake Of that one feature can be well content, Disgraced as thou hast been, poor as thou art, To seek no sublunary rest beside.
BRITAIN EXSLAVED NO FITTING HOME.
But once enslaved, farewell! I could endure
'T is therefore many, whose sequestered lot
LIBERTY OF THE CHRISTIAN. - A GIFT OF GOD.
Of earth and hell confederate take away :
His other gifts
And are august; but this transcends them all.
Infect his happiest moments, he forebodes
REFORM THAT IS BUT SELF-RELIANT IS FLEETING.
TIE LABORS OF GOD'S LOVE ARE IMMORTAL. — FREEDOM
Riot is not loud, Nor drunk enough, to drown it. In the midst Of laughter his compunctions are sincere ; And he abhors the jest by which he shines. Remorse begets reform. His master-lust Falls first before his resolute rebuke, And seems dethroned and vanquished. Peace ensues, But spurious and short-lived ; the puny child Of self-congratulating pride, begot On fancied innocence. Again he falls, And fights again ; but finds his best essay A presage ominous, portending still Its own dishonor by a worse relapse ; Till nature, unavailing nature, foiled So oft, and wearied in the vain attempt, Scoffs at her own performance.
Not so the labors of His love : they shine In other heavens 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 saints 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 lust, And full immunity from penal woe.
MAN'S BODY A DISCIPLINARY DUNGEOX. Chains are the portion of revolted man, Stripes, and a dungeon; and his body serves The triple purpose. In that sickly, foul, Opprobrious residence he finds them all. Propense his heart to idols, he is held In silly dotage on created things, Careless of their Creator. And that low And sordid gravitation of his powers To a vile clod so draws him, with such force Resistless from the centre 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 still Profounder, in the fathomless abyss Of folly, plunging in pursuit of death.
THE REASONIXGS OF PRIDE ; FALSE AND RUINOUS GUIDES TO
Hath God indeed given appetites to man,
Such reasonings (if that name must needs belong To excuses in which reason has no part) Serve to compose a spirit well inclined To live on terms of amity with vice, And sin without disturbance.
THE DISQUIET AND FEARS OF THE WICKED.
But ere he gain the comfortless repose He seeks, and acquiescence of his soul In heaven-renouncing exile, he endures — What does he not, from lusts opposed in vain, And self-reproaching conscience? He foresees The fatal issue to his health, fame, peace, Fortune, and dignity ; the loss of all That can ennoble man, and make frail life, Short as it is, supportable. Still worse, Far worse than all the plagues, with which his sins
COXSCIENCE AT LENGTH HARDEXED BY PERVERTED
Often urged (As often as, libidinous discourse Exhausted, he resorts to solemn themes of theological and grave import), They gain at last his unreserved assent; Till, hardened his heart's temper in the forge Of lust, and on the anvil of despair, He slights the strokes of conscience. Nothing moves, Or nothing much, his constancy in ill ; Vain tampering has but fostered his disease ; 'T is desperate, and he sleeps the sleep of death.
Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass
MARTYRDOM IS TRUE GLORY.
PHILOSOPHY VAINLY ESSAYS TO FREE FROM SPIRITUAL
DEATH. ITS ABORTIVE EFFORTS SATIRIZED.
Haste now, philosopher, and set him free. Charm the deaf serpent wisely. Make him hear Of rectitude and fitness, moral truth How lovely, and the moral sense how sure, Consulted and obeyed, to guide his steps Directly to the first and only fair. Spare not in such a cause. Spend all the powers Of rant and rhapsody in virtue's praise ; Be most sublimely good, verbosely grand, And with poetic trappings grace thy prose, Till it out-mantle all the pride of verse. — Ah, tinkling cymbal, and high-sounding brass, Smitten in vain ! such music cannot charm Th’ eclipse, that intercepts truth's heavenly beam, And chills and darkens a wide-wandering soul.
Their blood is shed In confirmation of the noblest claim, Our claim to feed upon immortal truth, To walk with God, to be divinely free, To soar, and to anticipate the skies. Yet few remember them. They lived unknown, Till persecution dragged them into fame, And chased them up to heaven. Their ashes flew No marble tells us whither. With their names No bard embalms and sanctifies his song : And history, so warm on meaner themes, Is cold on this. She execrates indeed The tyranny that doomed them to the fire, But gives the glorious sufferers little praise.
TRUTH ALONE MAKES FREE. - JOYS OF THIS FREEDOY.
ONLY THE CREATOR OF THE SOUL CAN REDEEM IT. -HTS
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, | And all are slaves beside. There's not a chain, That hellish foes, confederate for his harm, Can wind around him, but he casts it off With as much ease as Samson his green withes. He looks abroad into the varied field Of nature, and though poor, perhaps, compared With those whose mansions glitter in his sight, Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
THE CHILD OF GOD ENJOYS HIS FATHER'S BEALMS.
The still small voice is wanted. He must speak, Whose word leaps forth at once to its effect; Who calls for things that are not, and they come.
Grace makes the slave a freeman. ”T is a change, That turns to ridicule the turgid speech And stately tone of moralists, who boast, As if, like him of fabulous renown, They had indeed ability to smooth The shag of savage nature, and were each An Orpheus, and omnipotent in song: But transformation of apostate man From fool to wise, from earthly to divine, Is work for Him that made him. He alone, And He by means in philosophic eyes Trivial and worthy of disdain, achieves The wonder: humanizing what is brute In the lost kind, extracting from the lips Of asps their venom, overpowering strength By weakness, and hostility by love.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his, And the resplendent rivers : his t' enjoy With a propriety that none can feel, But who, with filial confidence inspired, Can lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye, And smiling say, “My Father made them all!' Are they not his by a peculiar right, And by an emphasis of interest his, Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy, Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love, That planned, and built, and still upholds, a world So clothed with beauty for rebellious man?
PATRIOTS GLORIOUS ; MARTYRS MORE 80. Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve, Receive proud recompense. We give in charge Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic muse, Proud of the treasure, marches with it down To latest times ; and sculpture, in her turn,
THE GOOD MAN THE HEIR OF GOD'S UNIVERSE. — HIS TITLE
PERFECT ; HIS FREEDOM UNLIMITED.
The unambiguous footsteps of the God,
THE REDEEMED SOUL HOLDS CONVERSE WITH THE STARS,
ITS APOSTROPIE TO THOSE WORLDS OF LIGHT.
Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong,
LOVE TO GOD GIVES DELIGHT IN AND INSIGHT INTO HIS
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste His works. Admitted once to His embrace, Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before : Thine eye shall be instructed ; and thine heart, Made pure, shall relish, with divine delight Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.
Inquires what strains were they With which heaven rang, when every star, in haste To gratulate the new-created earth, Sent forth a voice, and all the sons of God Shouted for joy. — “Tell me, ye shining hosts, That navigate a sea that knows no storms, Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud, If from your elevation, whence ye view Distinctly scenes invisible to man, And systems of whose birth no tidings yet Have reached this nether world, ye spy a race Favored as ours ; transgressors from the womb, And basting to a grave, yet doomed to rise, And to possess a brighter heaven than yours ? As one, who, long detained on foreign shores, Pants to return, and when he sees afar His country's weather-bleached and battered rocks, From the green wave emerging, darts an eye Radiant with joy towards the happy land ; So I with animated hopes behold, And many an aching wish, your beamy fires, That show like beacons in the blue abyss, Ordained to guide th' embodied spirit home From toilsome life to never-ending rest. Love kindles as I gaze. I feel desires, That give assurance of their own success, And that, infused from heaven, must thither tend.'
HOW NATURE IS VIEWED BY BRUTES ; BY THE NATURAL MAN ;
BY THE SPIRITUAL MAN.
THE LAMP OF THE WORD, THE GUIDE TO NATURE.
Brutes graze the mountain top, with faces prone, And eyes intent upon the scanty herb It yields them ; or, recumbent on its brow, Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away From inland regions to the distant main. Man views it, and admires ; but rests content With what he views. The landscape has his praise, But not its Author. Unconcerned who formed The paradise he sees, he finds it such ; And, such well-pleased to find it, asks no more. Not so the mind that has been touched from
heaven, And in the school of sacred wisdom taught, To read His wonders, in whose thought the world, Fair as it is, existed ere it was. Not for its own sake merely, but for His Much more, who fashioned it, he gives it praise ; Praise that from earth resulting, as it ought, To earth's acknowledged sovereign, finds at once Its only just proprietor in Him.
So reads he Nature, whom the lamp of truth Illuminates. Thy lamp, mysterious Word ! Which whoso sees no longer wanders lost, With intellects bemazed in endless doubt, But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built, With means that were not till by Thee employed, Worlds, that had never been hadst Thou in strength Been less, or less benevolent than strong. They are thy witnesses, who speak thy power And goodness infinite, but speak in ears That hear not, or receive not their report. In vain thy creatures testify of Thee, Till Thou proclaim Thyself. Theirs is indeed A teaching voice ; but 't is the praise of thine, That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn, And with the boon gives talents for its use.
THE CHRISTIAN SEES GOD IN ALL THINGS.
THE BOOK OF GRACE REVEALS THE BOOK OF NATURB.
The soul that sees Him, or receives sublimed New faculties, or learns at least to employ More worthily the powers she owned before ; Discerns in all things what, with stupid gaze Of ignorance, till then she overlooked, A ray of heavenly light, gilding all forms Terrestrial in the vast and the mi
Till Thou art heard, imaginations vain Possess the heart, and fables false as hell ; Yet, deemed oracular, lure down to death