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ye loud Waves! and O ye Forests high!
And 0 ye clouds that far above me soared !
Yea, every thing that is and will be free!
The spirit of divinest Liberty.
When France in wrath her giant-limbs upreared, And with that oath, which smote air, earth, and
sea, Stamped her strong foot and said she would be
Unawed I sang, amid a slavish band :
The Monarchs marched in evil day,
And Britain joined the dire array ; Though dear her shores and circling ocean, Though many friendships, many youthful loves
Had swoln the patriot emotion And flung a magic light o'er all her hills and
I dimmed thy light or damped thy holy flame ;
But blessed the pæans of delivered France, And hung my head and wept at Britain's name.
“ 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 as
sembled, The Sun was rising, though ye hid his light !” And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and
trembled, The dissonance ceased, and all seemed calm and
bright; When France her front deep-scarr'd and gory Concealed 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, crushed beneath her fatal
stamp, Writhed like a wounded dragon in his gore ; Then I reproached 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,
Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams!
I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament,
From bleak Helvetia's icy cavern sent-
Heroes, that for your peaceful country perished,
cruel foes !
A patriot-race to disinherit
And with inexpiable spirit
To mix with Kings in the low lust of sway,
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 !
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 ! And there I felt thee !— on that sea-cliff's verge Whose pines, scarce travelled 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.
FEARS IN SOLITUDE,
WRITTEN IN APRIL, 1798, DURING THE ALARM OP
A GREEN and silent spot, amid the hills, A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place No singing skylark 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 withered heath, While from the singing-lark, (that sings unseen The minstrelsy that solitude loves best,) And from the sun, and from the breezy air,