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'Mid thy herds and thy corn-fields secure thou hast The Monarchs march'd in evil day, stood,

And Britain joined the dire array ; And join'd the wild yelling of Famine and Blood ! Though dear her shores and circling ocean, The nations curse thee! They with eager wondering Though many friendships, many youthful loves

Shall hear Destruction, like a Vulture, scream! Had swoln the patriot emotion,

Strange-eyed Destruction! who with many a dream And flung a magic light o'er all her hills and groves. Of central fires through nether seas upthundering Yet still my voice, unalter'd, sang defeat

Soothes her fierce solitude ; yet, as she lies To all that braved the tyrant-quelling lance, By livid fount, or red volcanic stream,

And share too long delay'd and vain retreat! If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes,

For ne'er, O Liberty! with partial aim O Albion! thy predestin'd ruins rise,

I dimm'd thy light or damp'd thy holy flame, The fiend-hag on her perilous couch doth leap, But bless'd the pæans of deliver'd France. Muttering distemper'd triumph in her charmed sleep. And hung my head and wept at Britain's name.

AN ODE.

IX.

III.
Away, my soul, away!

“ And what,” I said, “ though Blasphemy's loud screen In vain, in vain, the Birds of warning sing- With that sweet music of deliverance strove! And hark! I hear the famish'd brood of prey

Though all the fierce and drunken passions wore Flap their lank pennons on the groaning wind! A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's dream Away, my soul, away!

Ye storms, that round the dawning east assembled I, unpartaking of the evil thing,

The Sun was rising, though he hid his light!
With daily prayer and daily toil

And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and
Soliciting for food my scanty soil,

trembled, Have wail'd my country with a loud lament. The dissonance ceased, and all seem'd calm and Now I recentre my immortal mind

bright;
In the deep sabbath of meek self-content; When France her front deep-scarr'd and gory
Cleans'd from the vaporous passions that bedim Conceal'd with clustering wreaths of glory;
God's Image, sister of the Seraphim.

When, insupportably advancing,
Her arm made mockery of the warrior's tramp;

While timid looks of fury glancing,
Domestic treason, crush'd beneath her fatal stamp,

Writhed like a wounded dragon in his gore;
FRANCE.

Then I reproach'd my fears that would not flee; " And soon," I said, “ shall Wisdom teach her lore In the low huts of them that toil and groan!

And, conquering by her happiness alone, 1.

Shall France compel the nations to be free, Ye Clouds! that far above me float and pause,

Till Love and Joy look round, and call the Earth Whose pathless march no mortal may control!

their own." Ye Ocean-Waves! that, wheresoe'er ye roll, Yield homage only to eternal laws !

IV. Ye Woods! that listen to the night-birds' singing, Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams !

Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined, I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament, Save when your own imperious branches swinging, From bleak Helvetia's icy caverns sent

Have made a solemn music of the wind ! I hear thy groans upon her blood-stain'd streams! Where, like a man beloved of God,

Heroes, that for your peaceful country perish'd Through glooms, which never woodman trod, And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain-snows How oft, pursuing fancies holy,

With bleeding wounds; forgive me that I cherishid My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds I wound, One thought that ever bless'd your cruel foes! Inspired, beyond the guess of folly,

To scatter rage, and traitorous guilt,
By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound! Where Peace her jealous home had built,
Oye loud Waves! and Oye Forests high!

A patriot race to disinherit
And O) ye Clouds that far above me soar'd! of all that made their stormy wilds so dear;
Thou rising Sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!

And with inexpiable spirit
Yea, every thing that is and will be free! To trint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer-
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be,

O France, that mockest Heaven, adulterous, blind, With what deep worship I have still ador'd And patriot only in pernicious toils ! The spirit of divinest Liberty.

Are these thy boasts, Champion of human-kind ?

To mix with Kings in the low lust of sway,

Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey; When France in wrath her giant-limbs upreard,

To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils And with that oath, which smote air, earth and sea,

From Freemen torn; to tempt and to betray? Stamp'd her strong foot and said she would be free, Bear witness for me, how I hoped and seard !

V. With what a joy my lofty gratulation

The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain Unaw'd I sang, amid a slavish band :

Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad game And when to whelm the disenchanted nation, They burst their manacles and wear the name Like fiends embattled by a wizard's wand,

Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain !

II.

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O Liberty! with profitless endeavor

And all the crash of onset; fear and rage,
Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour;

And undetermined conflict-even now,
But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever Even now, perchance, and in his native isle ;
Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power. Carnage and groans beneath this blessed Sun!
Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee

We have offended, Oh! my countrymen! (Not prayer nor boastful name delays thee), We have offended very grievously,

Alike from Priestcraft's harpy minions, And been most tyrannous. From east to west
And factious Blasphemy's obscener ves, A groan of accusation pierces Heaven!
Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions,

The wretched plead against us; multitudes The guide of homeless winds, and playmates of the Countless and vehement, the Sons of God, waves !

Our Brethren! Like a cloud that travels on, And there I felt thee !-on that sea-cliff's verge, Steam'd up from Cairo'a swamps of pestilence,

Whose pines, scarce travell’d by the breeze above, Even so, my countrymen! have we gone forth Had made one murmur with the distant surge! And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs, Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint And shot my being through earth, sea, and air, With slow perdition murders the whole man, Possessing all things with intensest love, His body and his soul! Meanwhile, at home, O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.

All individual dignity and power
February, 1797.

Ingulf'd in Courts, Committees, Institutions,
Associations and Societies,
A vain, speech-mouthing, speech-reporting Guild,
One Benefit-Club for mutual Nattery,
We have drunk up, demure as at a grace,

Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth ;
FEARS IN SOLITUDE.

Contemptuous of all honorable rule,

Yet bartering freedom and the poor man's life WRITTEN IN APRIL, 1798, DURING THE ALARM OF For gold, as at a market! The sweet words

or Christian promise, words that even yet AN INVASION

Might stem destruction were they wisely preach'd, A GREEN and silent spot, amid the hills,

Are mutler'd o'er by men, whose tones proclaim A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place

How flat and wearisome they feel their trade: No sinking sky-lark ever poised himself.

Rank scoflers some, but most too indolent The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope,

To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth. Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on,

Oh! blasphemous! the book of life is made All golden with the never-bloomless furze,

A superstitious instrument, on which Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell,

We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break; Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate

For all must swear-all and in every place, As vernal corn-field, or the unripe Nax,

College and wharf, council and justice-court; When, through its half-transparent stalks, at eve,

All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed, The level Sunshine glimmers with green light.

Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest, Oh! 'tis a quiet spirit-healing nook!

The rich, the poor, the old man and the young ; Which all, methinks, would love; but chiefly he,

All, all make up one scheme of perjury, The humble man, who, in his youthful years,

That faith doth reel ; the very name of God Knew just so much of folly, as had made

Sounds like a juggler's charm; and, bold with joy His early manhood more securely wise!

Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place, Here he might lie on fern or wither'd heath,

(Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism, While from the singing-lark (that sings unseen

Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon, The minstrelsy that solitude loves best),

Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close, And from the Sun, and from the breezy Air,

And hooting at the glorious Sun in Heaven,
Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame;

Cries out, “ Where is it?"
And he, with many feelings, many thoughts,
Made up a meditative joy, and found

Thankless too for peace
Religious meanings in the forms of nature ! (Peace long preserved by fleets and perilous seas),
And so, his senses gradually wrapt

Secure from actual warfare, we have loved
In a half-sleep, he dreams of better worlds, To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war!
And dreaming hears thee still, O singing-lark! Alas! for ages ignorant of all
That singest like an angel in the clouds !

Its ghastlier workings (famine or blue plague,
Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry snows),

We, this whole people, have been clamorous
My God! it is a melancholy thing

For war and bloodshed; animating sports,
For such a man, who would full fain preserve The which we pay for as a thing to talk of,
His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel Spectators and not combatants ? No guess
For all his human brethren-O my God!

Anticipative of a wrong unfelt,
It weighs upon the heart, that he must think No speculation or contingency,
What uproar and what strife may now be stirring However dim and vague, too vague and dim
This way or that way o'er these silent hills To yield a justifying cause; and forth
Invasion and the thunder and the shout,

(Stuff'd out with big preamble, holy names.

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And adjurations of the God in Heaven),

On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd We send our mandates for the certain death Like fancy points and fringes, with the robe Of thousands and ten thousands! Boys and girls, Pullid off at pleasure. Fondly these attach And women, that would groan to see a child A radical causation to a few Pull off an insect's leg, all read of war,

Poor drudges of chastising Providence, The best amusement for our morning-meal! Who borrow all their hues and qualities The poor wretch, who has learnt his only prayers From our own folly and rank wickedness, From curses, who knows scarcely words enough Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others, To ask a blessing from his Heavenly Father,

meanwhile, Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute

Dote with a mad idolatry; and all And technical in victories and defeats,

Who will not fall before their images,
And all our dainty terms for fratricide ;

And yield them worship, they are enemies
Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongues Even of their country!
Like mere abstractions, empty sounds, to which
We join no feeling and attach no form!
As if the soldier died without a wound;

Such have I been deem'd As if the fibres of this godlike frame

But, О dear Britain! O my Mother Isle ! Were gored without a pang; as if the wretch,

Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds,

To me, a son, a brother, and a friend, Pass'd off to Heaven, translated and not kill'd:

A husband, and a father! who revere As though he had no wife to pine for him,

All bonds of natural love, and find them all No God to judge him! Therefore, evil days

Within the limits of thy rocky shores. Are coming on us, O my countrymen!

O native Britain! O my Mother Isle ! And what if all-avenging Providence,

How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and Strong and retributive, should make us know

holy The meaning of our words, force us to feel

To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills, The desolation and the agony

Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, Of our fierce doings !

Have drunk in all my intellectual life,

All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts,

All adoration of the God in nature,
Spare us yet awhile,

All lovely and all honorable things,
Father and God! O! spare us yet awhile!

Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel Oh! let not English women drag their flight

The joy and greatness of its future being ? Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes,

There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday

Unborrow'd from my country. O divine Laugh'd at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands, all And beauteous island! thou hast been my sole Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms

And most magnificent temple, in the which
Which grew up with you round the same fire-side, I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs,
And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells

Loving the God that made me !
Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure!
Stand forth : be men! repel an impious foe,

May my fears,
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race,

My filial fears, be vain! and may the vaunts
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth

And menace of the vengeful enemy
With deeds of murder; and still promising Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free,

In the distant tree: which heard, and only heard Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart

In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
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,

But now the gentle dow-fall sends abroad
And let them toss as idly on its waves

The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze :
As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast The light has left the summit of the hill,
Swept from our shores! And oh! may we return Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful,
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell,
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot!
So fierce a foe to frenzy!

On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill,
Homeward I wind my way; and lo! recallid

From bodings that have well-nigh wearied me,
I have told,

I find myself upon the brow, and pause O Britons! O my brethren! I have told

Startled! And after lonely sojourning Most bitter truth, but without bitterness.

In such a quiet and surrounding nook, Nor deem my zeal or factious or mistimed; This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, * For never can true courage dwell with them, Dim-tinted, there the mighty majesty Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look of that huge amphitheatre of rich At their own vices. We have been too long And elmy fields, seems like societyDupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike,

Conversing with the mind, and giving it
Groaning with restless enmity, expect

A livelier impulse and a dance of thought!
All change from change of constituted power; And now, beloved Stowey! I behold
As if a Government had been a robe,

Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge elma

35

D2

Letters four do form his name. He let me loose, and cried Halloo! To him alone the praise is due.

Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend,
And close behind them, hidden from my view,
Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe
And my babe's mother dwell ir peace! With light
And quicken'd footsteps thitherward I tend,
Remembering thee, O green and silent dell !
And grateful, that, by nature's quietness
And solitary musings, all my heart
Is soften'd, and made worthy to indulge
Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human-kind.

Nether Slowey, April 28th, 1798.

FAMINE. 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 sculls I made a rattle, To frighten the wolf and carrion crow, And the homeless dog—but they would not go. So off I few; 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?

FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.

A WAR ECLOGUE.

WITH AN APOLOGETIC PREFACE.

BOTH.

Whisper it, sister! in our ear.

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FAMINE.

The same! the same! Letters four do form his name. He let me loose, and cried Halloo! To him alone the praise is due.

FIRE.

FIRE.
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell :
"Twill make a holiday in Hell.

No! no! no!
Myself, I named him once below,
And all the souls, that damned be,
Leap'd up at once in anarchy,
Clapp'd their hands and danced for glee.
The; -o longer heeded me;
But laugh'd to hear Hell's burning rafters
Unwillingly re-echo laughters !

No! no! no! Spirits hear what spirits tell! 'T will make a holiday in Hell !

Sisters! I from Ireland came!
Hedge and corn-fields all on flame,
I triumph'd o'er the setting sun!
And all the while the work was done
On as I strode with my huge strides,

I Aung back my head and I held my sides, It was so rare a piece of fun

To see the swelter'd cattle run With uncouth gallop through the night, Scared by the red and noisy light! By the light of his own blazing cot Was many a naked rebel shot: The house-stream met the flame and hiss'd, While crash! fell in the roof, I wist, On some of those old bedrid nurses, That deal in discontent and curses.

FAMINE. Whisper it, sister! so and so! La a dark hint, soft and slow.

SLAUGHTER. Letters four do form his nameAnd who sent you ?

BOTH.

Who bade you do't?

BOTH. The same! the same!

SLAUGHTER. He came by stealth, and unlock'd my den, And I have drunk the blood since then Of thrice three hundred thousand men.

FIRE.

The same! the same! Letters four do form his name. He let me loose, and cried Halloo! To him alone the praise is due.

ALL.

BOTH.
Who bade you do it?

SLAUGHTER.
The same! the same!

He let us loose, and cried Halloo!
How shall we yield him honor due?

* See Appendix to " Sibylline Leaves."

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* One of the many fine words which the most uneducated According to the superstition of the West Countries, if you had about this time a constant opportunity of acquiring from meet the Devil, you may either cut him in half with a straw, or the sermons in the pulpit, and the proclamations on the you may cause him instantly to disappear by spilung over his sorners.

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