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I Love Thee, O my native Isle!
Dear as my mother's earliest smile,
Sweet as my father's voice to me,
Is all I hear, and all I see,
When, glancing o'er thy beauteous land,
In view thy public virtues stand,
The guardian-angels of thy coast,
Who watch the dear domestic host,
The heart's affections, pleased to roam
Around the quiet heaven of home.
I love Thee,—when I mark thy soil
Flourish beneath the peasant's toil,
And from its lap of verdure throw
Treasures which neither Indies know.
I love Thee,—when I hear around Thy looms, and wheels, and anvils sound, Thine engines heaving all their force, Thy waters labouring on their course, And arts, and industry, and wealth, Exulting in the joys of health.
I love Thee,—when I trace thy tale To the dim point where records fail; Thy deeds of old renown inspire My bosom with our fathers' fire; A proud inheritance I claim In all their sufferings, all their fame. Nor less delighted, when I stray Down History's lengthening, widening way, And hail thee in thy present hour, From the meridian arch of power, • Shedding the lustre of thy reign, Like sunshine, over land and main.
Of British bards in elder days,
Till, rapt on visionary wings,
High o'er thy cliffs my spirit sings;
For I, amidst thy living choir—
I, too, can touch the sacred lyre.
I love Thee,—when I contemplate
The full-orb'd grandeur of thy state;
Thy laws and liberties, that rise,
Man's noblest works beneath the skies,
To which the Pyramids are tame,
And Grecian temples bow their fame!
These, thine immortal sages wrought
Out of the deepest mines of thought;
These, on the scaffold, in the field,
Thy warriors won, thy patriots seal'd;
These, at the parricidal pyre,
Thy martyrs sanctified in fire,
And, with the generous blood they spilt,
Wash'd from thy soil their murderers' guilt,
Cancell'd the curse which Vengeance sped,
And left a blessing in its stead.
Can words, can numbers, count the price
Paid for this little paradise!
Never, oh! never be it lost;
The land is worth the price it cost.
I love Thee,—when thy Sabbath dawns
O'er woods and mountains, dales and lawns,
And streams that sparkle while they run,
As if their fountain were the sun:
When, hand in hand, thy tribes repair,
Each to their chosen house of prayer,
And all in peace and freedom call
On Him, who is the Lord of all.
I love Thee,—when my soul can feel
The seraph-ardours of thy zeal:
Thy charities, to none confined,
Bless, like the sun. the rain, the wind;
Thy schools the human brute shall raise,
Guide erring youth in wisdom's ways,
And leave, when we are turn'd to dust,
A generation of the just.
I love Thee,—when I see thee stand
The hope of every other land;
A sea-mark in the tide of time,
Bearing to heaven thy brow sublime;
Whence beams of Gospel-splendour shed
A sacred halo round thine head;
And Gentiles from afar behold
(Not as on Sinai's rocks of old)
God,—from eternity conceal'd,
In His own light, on thee reveal'd.
I love Thee,—when I hear thy voice
Bid a despairing world rejoice,
And loud from shore to shore proclaim,
In every tongue, Messiah's name;
That name, at which, from sea to sea,
All nations yet shall bow the knee.
I love Thee:—next to heaven above,
Land of my fathers! thee I love;
And, rail thy slanderers as they will,
"With all thy faults I love thee" still:
For faults thou hast of heinous size;
Bepent, renounce them, ere they rise
In judgment; lest thine ocean-wall
With boundless ruin round thee fall,
And that, which was thy mightiest stay,
Sweep all thy rocks like sand away.
Yes, thou hast faults of heinous size,
From which I turn with weeping eyes;
On these let them that hate Thee dwell;
Yet one I spare not—one I tell,
Tell with a whisper in thine ear;
Oh! might it wring thy heart with fear!
Oh! that my weakest word might roll,
Like heaven's own thunder through thy soul!
There is a lie in thy right hand;
A bribe, corrupting all the land;
There is within thy gate a pest,—
Gold and a Babylonish vest;
Not hid in shame-concealing shade,
But broad against the sun display'd.
These,—tell it not—it must be told,—
These, by thy Lottery Wheels are sold;
And these, thy children, taught to sin,
Venture two worlds at once to win;
Nay, thy deluded statesmen stake
Thyself,—and lose thee for their sake !—
Lose thee !—They shall not; He, whose will
Is Nature's law, preserves thee still;
And while the uplifted bolt impends,
One Warning More His mercy sends.
O Britain! O my country! bring
Forth from thy camp the accursed thing;
Consign it to remorseless fire,
Watch till the latest spark expire,
Then cast the ashes on the wind,
Nor leave one atom-wreck behind.
So may thy wealth and power increase;
So may thy people dwell in peace;
On thee the Almighty's glory rest,
And all the world in thee be blest!
RICHARD REYNOLDS OF BRISTOL.
The Author has nothing to say in favour of the following
Verses, except that they are the sincere tribute of his affec-
tions, as well as his mind, to the Christian virtues of the
Eichard Reynolds was one of the Society of Friends, but,
as far as human judgment can extend, he was one of those
who also are Christians, not in word only, but in deed. To
his memory the inhabitants of Bristol have already insti-
tuted—and may their posterity perpetuate it!—the noblest
monument, perhaps, that man ever raised in honour of his
fellow-man. This will be sufficiently explained by the
"At a general meeting of the inhabitants of Bristol, held in the Guildhall of that city on Wednesday, the 2d October 1818—the Right Worshipful the Mayor in the chair—it was unanimously resolved, That, in consequence of the severe loss which society has sustained by the death of the venerable Richard Reynolds, and in order to perpetuate, as far as may be, the great and important benefits he has conferred upon the city of Bristol and its vicinity, and to excite others to imitate the example of the departed philanthropist, an Association be formed under the designation of 'Reynolds's Commemoration Society.'
"That the members of the Society do consist of life subscribers of ten guineas or upwards, and annual subscribers of one guinea or upwards; and that the object of this Society be to grant relief to persons in necessitous circumstances, and also occasional assistance to other benevolent institutions in or near the city, to enable them to continue o;