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The Plow-man, following sad his meagre team,
Turn'd up fresh sculls unstartled, and the bones
Of fierce hate-breathing combatants, who there
All mingled lay beneath the common earth,
Death's gloomy reconcilement! O'er the Fields
Stept a fair form, repairing all she might,
Her temples olive-wreathed; and where she trod
Fresh flowerets rose, and many a foodful herb.
But wan her cheek, her footsteps insecure,
And anxious pleasure beam'd in her faint eye,
As she had newly left a couch of pain,
Pale Convalescent! (yet some time to rule
With power exclusive o'er the willing world,
That bless'd prophetic mandate then fulfill'd,
Peace be on Earth!) A happy while, but brief,
She seem'd to wander with assiduous feet,
And heal'd the recent harm of chill and blight,
And nursed each plant that fair and virtuous grew.

But soon a deep precursive sound moan'd hollow: Black rose the clouds, and now (as in a dream)

(Victims at once and Executioners),
The congregated Husbandmen lay waste
The Vineyard and the Harvest. As long
The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line,
Though hush'd the Winds and cloudless the high

Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease,

In sports unwieldy toss his Island-bulk,
Ocean behind him billows, and before

A storm of waves breaks foamy on the strand.
And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark,
Short Peace shall skin the wounds of causeless War
And War, his strained sinews knit anew,

Still violate the unfinish'd works of Peace.
But yonder look! for more demands thy view!"
He said and straightway from the opposite Isle
A Vapor sailed, as when a cloud, exhaled
From Egypt's fields that steam hot pestilence,
Travels the sky for many a trackless league,
Till o'er some Death-doom'd land, distant in vain,
It broods incumbent. Forthwith from the Plain,

Their reddening shapes, transformed to Warrior-Facing the Isle, a brighter cloud arose,


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The power of Justice, like a name all Light,
Shone from thy brow; but all they, who unblamed
Dwelt in thy dwellings, call thee Happiness.
Ah! why, uninjured and unprofited,
Should multitudes against their brethren rush?
Why sow they guilt, still reaping Misery?
Lenient of care, thy songs, O Peace! are sweet,
As after showers the perfumed gale of eve,
That flings the cool drops on a feverous cheek:
And gay the grassy altar piled with fruits.
But boasts the shrine of Dæmon War one charm,
Save that with many an orgie strange and foul,
Dancing around with interwoven arms,
The Maniac Suicide and Giant Murder

Exult in their fierce union? I am sad,
And know not why the simple Peasants crowd
Beneath the Chieftains' standard!" Thus the Maid.

To her the tutelary Spirit replied:
"When Luxury and Lust's exhausted stores
No more can rouse the appetites of Kings;
When the low flattery of their reptile Lords
Falls flat and heavy on the accustom'd ear;
When Eunuchs sing, and Fools buffoonery make,
And Dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain;
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant Hearts;
Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats,
Insipid Royalty's keen condiment !
Therefore uninjured and unprofited

And steer'd its course which way the Vapor went.
The Maiden paused, musing what this might mean.
But long time pass'd not, ere that brighter cloud
Return'd more bright; along the plain it swept;
And soon from forth its bursting sides emerged
A dazzling form, broad-bosom'd, bold of eye,
And wild her hair, save where with laurels bound.
Not more majestic stood the healing God,
When from his bow the arrow sped that slew
Huge Python. Shriek'd Ambition's giant throng,
And with them hiss'd the Locust-fiends that crawl'd
And glitter'd in Corruption's slimy track.

Great was their wrath, for short they knew their

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The slaves in the West-Indies consider death as a passport to their native country. This sentiment is thus expressed in the introduction to a Greek Prize-Ode on the Slave-Trade, of which the ideas are better than the language in which they are conveyed.

Ω σκότου πύλας, Θάνατε, προλείπων
Ες γενος σπευδοις υποζευχθεν Ατα
Ου ξενισθη σῃ γεννών σπαραγμοι;
Ουδ' ολολυγμω,

Αλλα και κυκλοισι χοροιτυποισι
Κλασματων χαρᾳ· φοβερος μεν εσσι
Αλλ' όμως Ελευθερια συνοικεῖς,
Στυγνε Τυραννε!

Δασκίοις έπει πτερύγεσσι σησι
Α! Θαλασσιον καθορώντες οίδμα
Αιθεροπλαγτοις υπο ποσσ' άνεισι
Πατριδ ἐπ' αιαν.

Ενθα μαν Ερασαι Ερωμένησιν
Αμφι πηγησιν κιτρινων υπ' αλσών,
Οσσ'υπο βροτοις επαθον βροτσι, τα
Δεινα λεγοναι.


Leaving the Gates of Darkness, O Death! hasten thou to a Race yoked with Misery! Thou wilt not be received with

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Thus saying, from the answering Maid he pass'd,
And with him disappear'd the Heavenly Vision.

"Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven!
All-conscious Presence of the Universe!
Nature's vast Ever-acting Energy!
In Will, in Deed, Impulse of All to All!
Whether thy love with unrefracted ray
Beam on the Prophet's purged eye, or if
Diseasing realms the enthusiast, wild of thought,
Scatter new frenzies on the infected throng,
Thou both inspiring and predooming both,
Fit instruments and best, of perfect end:
Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven!"

And first a landscape rose,
More wild and waste and desolate than where
The white bear, drifting on a field of ice,
Howls to her sunder'd cubs with piteous rage
And savage agony.

Sibylline Leaves.

I. POEMS OCCASIONED BY POLITICAL may appear to mortals. The second Strophe calls EVENTS OR FEELINGS CONNECTED on men to suspend their private joys and sorrows, and devote them for a while to the cause of human WITH THEM. nature in general. The first Epode speaks of the Empress of Russia, who died of an apoplexy on the 17th of November, 1796; having just concluded a subsidiary treaty with the Kings combined against France. The first and second Antistrophe describe the Image of the Departing Year, etc. as in a vision. The second Epode prophesies, in anguish of spirit, the downfall of this country.

When I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
When men change swords for legers, and desert
The student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, my country! Am I to be blamed?
But, when I think of Thee, and what Thou art,
Verily, in the bottom of my heart,

Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
But dearly must we prize thee; we who find
In thee a bulwark of the cause of men;
And I by my affection was beguiled.
What wonder if a poet, now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
Felt for thee as a Lover or a Child.



Ιου, τοὺ, ὦ ὢ κακά.

Υπ ̓ αὖ με δεινὸς ὀρθομαντείας πόνος

Στροβεῖ, ταράσσων φροιμίοις ἐφημίοις.


Το μέλλον ἥξει. Καὶ σὺ μην πάχει παρὼν

̓Αγαν γ' ἀληθόμαντιν μ' ἐρεῖς.

ESCHYL. Agam. 1225.


The Ode commences with an Address to the Divine Providence, that regulates into one vast harmony all the events of time, however calamitous some of them

This Ode was composed on the 24th, 25th, and 26th days of December, 1796: and was first published on the last day of that year.


SPIRIT who sweepest the wild Harp of Time!
It is most hard, with an untroubled ear
Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear!
Yet, mine eye fix'd on Heaven's unchanging clime,
Long when I listen'd, free from mortal fear,

With inward stillness, and submitted mind;
When lo! its folds far waving on the wind,

I saw the train of the DEPARTING YEAR!
Starting from my silent sadness,

Then with no unholy madness,

Ere yet the enter'd cloud foreclosed my sight,

I raised the impetuous song, and solemnized his

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By Time's wild harp, and by the hand
Whose indefatigable sweep

Raises its fateful strings from sleep,
I bid you haste, a mix'd tumultuous band!
From every private bower,

And each domestic hearth,
Haste for one solemn hour;

And with a loud and yet a louder voice,
O'er Nature struggling in portentous birth
Weep and rejoice!

Still echoes the dread Name that o'er the earth
Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of Hell:
And now advance in saintly Jubilee
Justice and Truth! They too have heard thy spell,
They too obey thy name, Divinest Liberty!


I mark'd Ambition in his war-array!

I heard the mailed Monarch's troublous cry-
"Ah! wherefore does the Northern Conqueress stay!
Groans not her chariot on its onward way?"
Fly, mailed Monarch, fly!
Stunn'd by Death's twice mortal mace,
No more on Murder's lurid face

The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye!
Manes of the unnumber'd slain!

Ye that gasp'd on Warsaw's plain!
Ye that erst at Ismail's tower,
When human ruin choked the streams,

Fell in conquest's glutted hour,

'Mid women's shricks and infants' screams! Spirits of the uncoffin'd slain,

Sudden blasts of triumph swelling, Oft, at night, in misty train,

Rush around her narrow dwelling! The exterminating fiend is fled

(Foul her life, and dark her doom) Mighty armies of the dead

Dance like death-fires round her tomb!
Then with prophetic song relate,
Each some tyrant-murderer's fate!

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"Thou in stormy blackness throning
Love and uncreated Light,
By the Earth's unsolaced groaning,
Seize thy terrors, Arm of might!
By Peace with proffer'd insult sacred,

Masked Hate and envying Scorn!
By Years of Havoc yet unborn!
And Hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared!
But chief by Afric's wrongs,

Strange, horrible, and foul!

By what deep guilt belongs

To the deaf Synod, full of gifts and lies!' By Wealth's insensate laugh! by Torture's howl! Avenger, rise!

For ever shall the thankless Island scowl,
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow?
Speak! from thy storm-black Heaven, O speak aloud!
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 blow !
Rise, God of Nature! rise."


The voice had ceased, the vision fled;
Yet still I gasp'd and reel'd with dread.
And ever, when the dream of night
Renews the phantom to my sight,
Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs;

My ears throb hot; my eye-balls start;
My brain with horrid tumult swims;
Wild is the tempest of my heart;
And my thick and struggling breath
Imitates the toil of Death!
No stronger agony confounds

The Soldier on the war-field spread,
When all foredone with toil and wounds,
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 pillow'd on a brother's corse!)


Not yet enslaved, not wholly vile,
O Albion! O my mother Isle !
Thy valleys, fair as Eden's bowers,
Glitter green with sunny showers;
Thy grassy uplands' 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 sack'd thy towers, or stain'd thy fields with gore


The fervent Spirit bow'd, then spread his wings and Abandon'd of Heaven! mad Avarice thy guide,


At cowardly distance, yet kindling with pride

'Mid thy herds and thy corn-fields secure thou hast

And join'd the wild yelling of Famine and Blood!
The nations curse thee! They with eager wondering
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
By livid fount, or red volcanic stream,

If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes,
O Albion! thy predestin'd ruins rise,

The fiend-hag on her perilous couch doth leap,
Muttering distemper'd triumph in her charmed sleep.

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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!
Where, like a man beloved of God,
Through glooms, which never woodman trod,

How oft, pursuing fancies holy,

My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds I wound,
Inspired, beyond the guess of folly,

By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound!
O ye loud Waves! and O ye Forests high!

And O ye Clouds that far above me soar'd!
Thou rising Sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!
Yea, every thing that is and will be free!
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still ador'd
The spirit of divinest Liberty.


When France in wrath her giant-limbs uprear'd,
And with that oath, which smote air, earth and sea,
Stamp'd her strong foot and said she would be free,
Bear witness for me, how I hoped and fear'd!
With what a joy my lofty gratulation

Unaw'd I sang, amid a slavish band:
And when to whelm the disenchanted nation,
Like fiends embattled by a wizard's wand,

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"And what," I said, "though Blasphemy's loud scream
With that sweet music of deliverance strove!
Though all the fierce and drunken passions wove
A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's dream!
Ye storms, that round the dawning east assembled,
The Sun was rising, though he hid his light!

And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and

The dissonance ceased, and all seem'd calm and

When France her front deep-scarr'd and gory
Conceal'd with clustering wreaths of glory;

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;

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,

Shall France compel the nations to be free,
Till Love and Joy look round, and call the Earth
their own."


Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams!
I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament,
From bleak Helvetia's icy caverns sent-

I hear thy groans upon her blood-stain'd streams!
Heroes, that for your peaceful country perish'd
And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain-snows
With bleeding wounds; forgive me that I cherish'd
One thought that ever bless'd your cruel foes!
To scatter rage, and traitorous guilt,
Where Peace her jealous home had built;
A patriot race to disinherit

Of all that made their stormy wilds so dear;

And with inexpiable spirit

To taint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer-
O France, that mockest Heaven, adulterous, blind,
And patriot only in pernicious toils!
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;
To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils

From Freemen torn; to tempt and to betray?


The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain,
Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad game
They burst their manacles and wear the name
Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain!

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And all the crash of onset; fear and rage,
And undetermined conflict-even now,
Even now, perchance, and in his native isle;
Carnage and groans beneath this blessed Sun!
We have offended, Oh! my countrymen !
We have offended very grievously,
And been most tyrannous. From east to west
A groan of accusation pierces Heaven!
The wretched plead against us; multitudes
Countless and vehement, the Sons of God,
Our Brethren! Like a cloud that travels on,
Steam'd up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence,
Even so, my countrymen! have we gone forth
And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs,
And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint
With slow perdition murders the whole man,
His body and his soul! Meanwhile, at home,
All individual dignity and power
Ingulf'd in Courts, Committees, Institutions,
Associations and Societies,

A vain, speech-mouthing, speech-reporting Guild,
One Benefit-Club for mutual flattery,
We have drunk up, demure as at a grace,
Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth;
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


A GREEN and silent spot, amid the hills,
A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place
No sinking sky-lark ever poised himself.
The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope,
Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on,
All golden with the never-bloomless furze,
Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell,
Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate
As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax,
When, through its half-transparent stalks, at eve,
The level Sunshine glimmers with green light.
Oh! 'tis a quiet spirit-healing nook!
Which all, methinks, would love; but chiefly he,
The humble man, who, in his youthful years,
Knew just so much of folly, as had made
His early manhood more securely wise!
Here he might lie on fern or wither'd heath,
While from the singing-lark (that sings unseen
The minstrelsy that solitude loves best),
And from the Sun, and from the breezy Air,
Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame;
And he, with many feelings, many thoughts,
Made up a meditative joy, and found
Religious meanings in the forms of nature!
And so, his senses gradually wrapt

In a half-sleep, he dreams of better worlds,
And dreaming hears thee still, O singing-lark!
That singest like an angel in the clouds!

My God! it is a melancholy thing

For such a man, who would full fain preserve
His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel
For all his human brethren-O my God!
It weighs upon the heart, that he must think
What uproar and what strife may now be stirring
This way or that way o'er these silent hills-
Invasion, and the thunder and the shout,

Of Christian promise, words that even yet
Might stem destruction were they wisely preach'd,
Are mutter'd o'er by men, whose tones proclaim
How flat and wearisome they feel their trade:
Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent
To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth.
Oh! blasphemous! the book of life is made
A superstitious instrument, on which
We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break;
For all must swear-all and in every place,
College and wharf, council and justice-court;
All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed,
Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest,
The rich, the poor, the old man and the young;
All, all make up one scheme of perjury,
That faith doth reel; the very name of God
Sounds like a juggler's charm; and, bold with joy,
Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place,
(Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism,
Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,
Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close,
And hooting at the glorious Sun in Heaven,
Cries out," Where is it?"

Thankless too for peace

(Peace long preserved by fleets and perilous seas),
Secure from actual warfare, we have loved
To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war!
Alas! for ages ignorant of all

Its ghastlier workings (famine or blue plague,
Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry snows),
We, this whole people, have been clamorous
For war and bloodshed; animating sports,
The which we pay for as a thing to talk of,
Spectators and not combatants? No guess
Anticipative of a wrong unfelt,
No speculation or contingency,

However dim and vague, too vague and dim
To yield a justifying cause; and forth
(Stuff'd out with big preamble, holy names.

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