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The root of thine Oak, O my country ! that stands
Rock-planted and flourishing free;
Its branches are stretch'd o'er the uttermost lands,
And its shadow eclipses the sea:
The blood of our ancestors nourish'd the tree;
From their tombs, from their ashes it sprung;
Its boughs with their trophies are hung;
Their spirit dwells in it:—and hark ! for it spoke;
The voice of our fathers ascends from their oak :—
"Ye Britons, who dwell where we conquer'd of old,
Who inherit our battle-field graves;
Though poor were your fathers,—gigantic and bold,
We were not, we would not be, slaves;
But firm as our rocks, and as free as our waves,
The spears of the Romans we broke,
We never stoop'd under their yoke;
In the shipwreck of nations we stood up alone,—
The world was great Caesar's—but Britain our own.
"For ages and ages, with barbarous foes,
The Saxon, Norwegian, and Gaul,
We wrestled, were foil'd, were cast down, but we rose
With new vigour, new life from each fall;
By all we were conquer'd:—We conquer'd them all!
The cruel, the cannibal mind,
We soften'd, subdued, and refined;
Bears, wolves, and sea-monsters, they rush'd from their den
We taught them, we tamed them, we turn'd them to men!
"Love led the wild hordes in his flower-woven bands,—
The tenderest, strongest of chains!
Love married our hearts, he united our hands,
And mingled the blood in our veins.
One race we became :—on the mountains and plains,
Where the wounds of our country were closed,
The ark of religion reposed,
The unquenchable altar of liberty blazed,
And the temple of justice in mercy was raised,
"Ark, altar, and temple, we left with our breath
To our children, a sacred bequest!
O guard them, O keep them, in life and in death;
So the shades of your fathers shall rest,
And your spirits with ours be in Paradise blest:
—Let ambition, the sin of the brave,
And avarice, the soul of a slave,
No longer seduce your affections to roam
From liberty, justice, religion, at home!"
THE COMMON LOT.
Once in the flight of ages past,
Unknown the region of his birth,
That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
He suffer'd—but his pangs are o'er;
MONTGOMERY S POEMS.
Of long, long years of future care,
And endless ages of despair,
The weeping Minstrel sings,
And while her numbers flow,
Responsive to the notes of woe.
Would gladness move a sprightlier strain,
The chords, impatient to complain,
And yet to soothe the mind
With luxury of grief,
In Sorrow's music feels relief.
Thus o'er the light iEolian lyre
Touch the quick nerve of every wire,
Till all the air around,
Mysterious murmurs till,
Most heavenly sweet,—yet mournful still.
O! snatch the Harp from Sorrow's hand,
0! strike it with sublime command,
Of vanish'd troubles sing,
O1 flowers that hear the voice of Spring,
Of home, contentment, health, repose,
And weary life's triumphant close
Of bliss that reigns above,
Celestial May of youth,
And everlasting as His truth :—
Sing, heavenly Hope !—and dart thine hand
That harp shall breathe, at thy command,
Ah! then this gloom control,
And at thy voice shall start
A native Eden in my heart!
Verses written for an Urn made out of the trunk of the Weeping Willow
Ere Pope resign'd his tuneful breath,
And made the turf his pillow,
Upon the drooping willow;
Long, as revolving seasons flew,
From youth to age it flourish'd,
By showers and sunbeams nourish'd;