Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

I.

YE
E 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-bird's 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 Oye Forests high !

And 0 ye Clouds that far above me soard !
Thou rising Sun ! thou blue rejoicing sky!

Yea, everything that is and will be free!
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still adored

The spirit of divinest Liberty.

11. When France in wrath her giant limbs upreard, And with that oath, which Ismote air, earth, and Stamp'd her strong foot and said she would be

sea,

present title, in the same quarto pamphlet with Fears in Solitude. Reprinted in The Morning Post, Oct. 14, 1802, with the addition of an Argument.

* Veering your pathless march without control.-1802. of Steep.-1798. # Shook.—1802.

free,
Bear witness for me, how I hoped and fear'd !
With what a joy my lofty gratulation*

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

The Monarchs march’dt in evil day,

And Britain join'd the dire array;
Though dear her shores and circling ocean,
Though many friendships, many youthful loves

Had swoln the patriot emotion
And flung I a magic light o'er all her hills and

groves;
Yet still my voice, unalter'd, sang defeat

To all that braved the tyrant-quelling lance,
And shame too long delay'd and vain retreat !
For ne'er, O Liberty! with partial aim
I dimm'd thy light or damp'd thy holy flame;
But bless'd the pæans of deliver'd France,
And hung my head and wept at Britain's name.

III.

“And what," I said, "though Blasphemy's loud

scream

With that sweet musicg of deliverance strove !

Though all the fierce and drunken passions wove A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's dream !

* Eager gratulation.-1802. + Moved.-11.
# Spread.-16. ş. Those sweet pæans.-Il..

Ye storms, that round the dawning east assembled, The Sun was rising, though ye hid his light !” And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and trembled,

[bright; 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 ramp;

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.”

IV.

Forgive me, Freedom ! O forgive those dreams !

I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament,

From bleak Helvetia's icy caverns sentI 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 cheOne thought that ever bless'd your cruel foes !

rish'd

* Irresistibly.-1802.

f Rebuked.-11.

# Persuade.-16.

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 ? +

V.

The sensual and the dark rebel in vain, Slaves by their own compulsion ! In mad game

* Native wilds.--1802.

† After the fourth Stanza the original version in The Morning Post thus continues :

[The Fifth Stanza, which alluded to the African Slave-trade, as conducted by this country, and to the present Ministry and their supporters, has been omitted ; and would have been omitted without any remark, if the commencing lines of the Sixth Stanza had not referred to it.]

VI.

Shall I with these my patriot zeal combine ?

No, Afric, no! They stand before my ken,

Loathed as th' Hyænas, that in murky den
Whine o'er their prey, and mangle while they whine !
Divinest Liberty! with vain endeavour, &c.

1798.

They burst their manacles and wear the name

Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain !
O Liberty! with profitless endeavour
Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour;

But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power.

Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee,
(Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee)

Alike from Priestcraft's* harpy minions,
And factious Blasphemy's obscener slaves,

Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions, The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the

waves !t And there I felt thee !on that sea-cliff's verge, Whose pines, scarce travell’d by the breeze

above,
Had made one murmur with the distant surge !
Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare,
And shot my being through earth, sea and air,
Possessing all things with intensest love,

O Liberty ! my spirit felt thee there.
February, 1798.

* Priesthood's.-1798. + To live amid the winds, and move upon the waves.-Ib. # To live among the winds, and brood upon the waves.--1802.

« ForrigeFortsæt »