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SIBYLLINE LEAVES.

I.-POEMS OCCASIONED BY POLITICAL EVENTS OR

FEELINGS CONNECTED WITH THEM.

WHEN I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
When men change swords for ledgers, and desert
The student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, my country! Am I to be blamed?
Now, when I think of thee, and what thou art,
Verily, in the bottom of my heart,
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
For dearly must we prize thee; we who find
In thee a bulwark for 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 !

WORDSWORTH.

ODE TO THE DEPARTING YEAR.*

Ιου, ιού, ώώ κακά.
Υπ' αυ με δεινός ορθομαντείας πόνος
Στροβεί, ταράσσων φροιμίοις εφημίοις.

Το μέλλον ήξει. Και συ μ' εν τάχει παρών
"Αγαν γ' αληθόμαντιν οικτείρας έρείς.

Æschyl Agam. 1225.

ARGUMENT.

THE Ode commences with an address to the Divine Provi. dence, that regulates into one vast harmony all the events of time, however calamitous some of them may appear to mortals. The second Strophe calls on men to suspend their private joys and sorrows, and devote them for a while to the cause of human 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, &c. as in a vision. The second Epode prophesies, in anguish of spirit, the downfall of this country.

I.

SPIRIT who sweepest the wild harp of Time!

It is most hard, with an untroubled ear
Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear !

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.

Yet, mine eye fixed on Heaven's unchanging

clime, Long had I listened, free from mortal fear,

With inward stillness, and a bowed 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 entered cloud foreclosed my sight, I raised the impetuous song, and solemnized his

flight.

II.

Hither, from the recent tomb,

From the prison's direr gloom,

From distemper's midnight anguish;
And thence, where poverty doth waste and

languish!
Or where, his two bright torches blending,

Love illumines manhood's maze ;
Or where o'er cradled infants bending

Hope has fixed her wistful gaze;

Hither, in perplexed dance,
Ye Woes ! ye young-eyed Joys! advance!

By Time's wild harp, and by the hand

Whose indefatigable sweep

Raises its fateful strings from sleep,
I bid you haste, a mixed 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!

III.

I marked 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!
Stunned by Death's twice mortal mace,

No more on murder's lurid face
The insatiate bag shall gloat with drunken eye!

Manes of the unnumbered slain !

Ye that gasped 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 shrieks and infants' screams!
Spirits of the uncoffined slain,

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

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