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Spare us yet awhile, Father and God! O! spare us yet awhile, Oh ! let not English women drag their flight Fainting beneath the burden of their babes, Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday Laughed at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands,
all Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms Which
grew up with you round the same fire-side, And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure ! Stand forth! be men ! repel an impious foe, Impious and false, a light yet cruel race, Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth With deeds of murder; and still promising Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free, Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes And all that lifts the spirit! Stand we forth ; Render them back upon the insulted ocean, And let them toss as idly on its waves As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast Swept from our shores! And oh! may we return Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung So fierce a foe to frenzy !
I have told, O Britons ! O my brethren! I have told Most bitter truth, but without bitterness. Nor deem my zeal or factious or mis-timed; For never can true courage dwell with them, Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look At their own vices. We have been too long
Dupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike,
gave them birth and nursed them. Others,
Such have I been deemed
Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
soul Unborrowed from my country. O divine And beauteous island! thou hast been
sole And most magnificent temple, in the which I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs, Loving the God that made me !!
May my fears, My filial fears, be vain ! and
the vaunts And menace of the vengeful enemy Pass like the gust, that roared and died away In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard In this low dell, bowed not the delicate grass.
But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze; The light has left the summit of the hill, Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful, Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell, Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot! On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, Homeward I wind my way; and lo! recalled From bodings that have well nigh wearied me I find myself upon the brow, and pause Startled! And after lonely sojourning In such a quiet and surrounded nook, l'his burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, Dim tinted, there the mighty majesty Of that huge amphitheatre of rich And elmy fields, seems like society Conversing with the mind, and giving it A livelier impulse and a dance of thought!
And now, beloved Stowey! I behold
FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.
A WAR ECLOGUE.
The Scene a desolated Tract in La Vendée. FAMINE is dis
covered lying on the ground; to her enter FIRE and SLAUGHTER. Famine. SISTERS! sisters! who sent you
here? Slaughter. [to Fire.] I will whisper it in her ear.
Fire. No! no! no!
No! no! no!
* Printed at the end of the volmine,
But laughed to hear Hell's burning rafters
No! no! no!
Fam. Whisper it, sister! so and so !
Slau. Letters four do form his name-
The same! the same!
den, And I have drunk the blood since then Of thrice three hundred thousand men.
Both. Who bade you do it ?
The same! the same!
Fam. Thanks, sister, thanks! the men have bled, Their wives and their children faint for bread. I stood in a swampy field of battle; With bones and skulls I made a rattle, To frighten the wolf and carrion-crow And the homeless dog—but they would not go. So off I flew: for how could I bear To see them gorge their dainty fare? I heard a groan and a peevish squall, And through the chink of a cottage-wallCan you guess what I saw there?
Both. Whisper it, sister! in our ear.
Fam. A baby beat it's dying mother:
Both. Who bade you do't ?
The same! the same !