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The Ode which is here inserted, because of its relation to the subject of the preceding Colloquy, was written in the winter of 1821-2, a few months after his Majesty's visit to Ireland, and some years before that religious movement had manifested itself there, which may in its consequences, through God's blessing, produce more benefit to that country, than could be effected by any act of human legislation.
How long, O Ireland, from thy guilty ground
Shall innocent blood
How long shall Murder there,
Range unrepress'd ?
How long shall Night
In vain art thou by liberal Nature's dower
Shed o'er thy hills and vales
Heaven hath in vain bestowed
Go irreclaimed the while,
In undisturbed descent,
(A sad inheritance!) Their errors, and their crimes.
Green Island of the West !
When thine exultant shores
Rung far and wide of late, And grateful Dublin first beheld her King,
First of thy Sovereigns he Who visited thy shores in peace and joy.
Oh what a joy was there!
And in the intervals alone
Could the deep cannon's voice
In thunder, reach the ear.
From every tower the merry bells rung round,
Peal hurrying upon peal, Till with the still reverberating din The walls and solid pavement seem'd to shake, And every bosom with the tremulous air
Inhaled a dizzy joy.
Age that came forth to gaze,
That memorable day Felt in its quicken'd veins a pulse like youth; And lisping babes were taught to bless their King, And grandsires bade the children treasure up The precious sight; for it would be a tale
The which in their old age Would make their children's children gather round
Intent, all ears to hear.
Were then the feelings of that generous time
Ephemeral as the joy?
Like dreams of infancy,
Which fade, and leave no trace ?
From the good seed then sown
That perfect union may derive its date
From that auspicious day,
Green Island of the West,
While frantic violence delays That happier order, still must thou remain In thine own baleful darkness wrapt ;
As if the Eye divine, That which beholdeth all, from thee alone
In wrath had turn'd away!
But not for ever thus shalt thou endure,
To thy reproach, and ours,
forth To stablish Order, with an arm'd right hand;
And firm Authority With its all-present strength controul the bad,
And with its all-sufficient shield
Protect the innocent: The first great duty this of lawful Power Which holds its delegated right from Heaven.
The first great duty this; but this not all,
More than to watch insidious discontent, Curb, and keep curb’d the treasonable tongue, And quell the madden'd multitude :
Labours of love remain ;...
Remove remediable ills,
Must this redemption come,
This work of faith and hope.
To their deserted hearths
Whose virtuous cogency
And to their glad obedience give
For who but they can knit
In mutual benefit,
So binding heart to heart, It then connecteth Earth with Heaven, from whence
The golden links depend.