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Spirits of the uncoffined slain,
Sudden blasts of triumph swelling, Oft at night in misty train,
Rush around her narrow dwelling ! The exterminating fiend is filed
(Foul her life, and dark her doom) Mighty armies of the dead
Dance, like death-fires, round her tomb!
Departing Year! 'twas on no earthly shore,
My soul beheld thy vision! Where alone,
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, Aye Memory sits: thy robe inscribed with gore, With many an unimaginable groan
Thou storied'st thy sad hours ! Silence ensued,
Deep silence o'er the ethereal multitude,
From the choired gods advancing,
Throughout the blissful throng,
Hushed were harp and song : Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven
(The mystic Words of Heaven)
Permissive signal make: The fervent Spirit bowed, then spread his wings
“ Thou in stormy blackness throning
Love and uncreated Light,
Seize thy terrors, Arm of might!
Masked hate and envying scorn!
By years of havoc yet unborn!
But chief by Afric's wrongs,
Strange, horrible, and foul !
Avenger, rise !
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow ?
And on the darkling foe Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud !
O dart the flash ! O rise and deal the blow ! The Past to thee, to thee the Future cries ! Hark! how wide Nature joins her groans below!
Rise, God of Nature ! rise.”
The voice had ceased, the vision fled;
My ears throb hot; my eye-balls start;
And my thick and struggling breath
The soldier on the war-field spread,
Death-like he dozes among heaps of dead ! (The strife is o'er, the day-light fled,
And the night-wind clamors hoarse ! See! the starting wretch's head
Lies pillowed on a brother's corse !)
Not yet enslaved, not wholly vile,
with sunny showers : Thy grassy upland's gentle swells
Echo to the bleat of flocks ; (Those grassy hills, those glittering dells
Proudly ramparted with rocks) And Ocean, mid his uproar wild, Speaks safety to his island-child.
Hence for many a fearless age
Has social Quiet loved thy shore ; Nor ever proud invader's
rage Or sacked thy towers, or stained thy fields with
Abandoned of Heaven ! mad avarice thy guide,
stood, And joined the wild yelling of famine and blood !
The nations curse thee! They with eager wonder
ing Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream ! Strange-eyed Destruction! who with many a
dream Of central fires through nether seas upthundering
Soothes her fierce solitude; yet as she lies
O Albion ! thy predestined ruins rise,
Away, my soul, away!
Away, my soul, away!
With daily prayer and daily toil
Soliciting for food my scanty soil,
Have wailed my country with a loud Lament. Now I recentre my immortal mind
In the deep sabbath of meek self-content; Cleansed from the vaporous passions that bedim God's Image, sister of the Seraphim.
YE Clouds! that far above me float and pause,
Whose pathless march no mortal may control! Ye Ocean-Waves ! that, wheresoe'er ye roll, Yield homage only to eternal laws ! Ye Woods! that listen to the night-birds singing,
Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined, Save when your own imperious branches swinging,
Have made a solemn music of the wind !
How oft, pursuing fancies holy,
Inspired, beyond the guess of folly, By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound!
loud Waves! and O ye Forests high! And 0 ye Clouds that far above me soared! Thou rising Sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!
Yea, everything that is and will be free!
The spirit of divinest Liberty.
When France in wrath her giant-limbs upreared, And with that oath, which smote air, earth, and
sea, Stamped her strong foot, and said she would be
free, Bear witness for me, how I hoped and feared !