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Fire in each eye, and force in ev'ry arm,
With hope exulting, and with ardour warm;
Saw to the gale their streaming ensigns play,
Their armour flashing to the beam of day;
Their gen'rous chargers panting, spurn the ground,
Roused by the trumpet's animating sound;
And heard in air their warlike music float,
The martial pipe, the drum's inspiring note!
Pale set the sun — the shades of evening fell,
The mournful night-wind rung their funeral knell;
And the same day beheld their warriors dead,
Their sovereign captive, and their glories filed!
Fled, like the lightning's evanescent fire,
Bright, blazing, dreadful-only to expire !
Then, then, while prostrate Gaul confessd her might
Iberia's planet shed meridian light!
Nor less, on famed St. Quintin's deathful day,
Castilian spirit bore the prize away;
Laurels that still their verdure shall retain,
And trophies beaming high in glory's fane !
And lo! her heroes, warm with kindred flame,
Still proudly emulate their fathers' fame;
Still with the soul of patriot-valour glow,
Still rush impetuous to repel the foe;
Wave the bright faulchion, lift the beamy spear,
And bid oppressive Gallia learn to sear!
Be theiis, be theirs, unfading honour's crown,
The living amaranths of bright renown!
Be theirs th' inspiring tribute of applause,
Due to the champions of their country's cause !
Be theirs the purest bliss that virtue loves,
The joy when conscience whispers and approves !
When ev'ry heart is fired, each pulse beats high,
To fight, to bleed, to fall, for liberty;
When ev'ry hand is dauntless and prepared,
The sacred charter of mankind to guard;
When Britain's valiant sons their aid unite,
Fervent and glowing still for freedom's right,
Bid ancient enmities for ever cease,
And ancient wrongs forgotten sleep in peace;
When, firmly leagued, they join the patriot band,
Can venal slaves their conquering arms withstand ?
Can fame refuse their gallant deeds to bless ?
Can victory fail to crown them with success ?
Look down, oh, Heaven! the righteous cause main-
Defend the injured, and avenge the slain !
Despot of France! destroyer of mankind !
Oh! if at midnight round thy regal bed,
When soothing visions fly thine aching head;
When sleep denies thy anxious cares to calm,
And lull thy senses in his opiate balm;
Invoked by guilt, if airy phantoms rise,
And murder'd victims bleed before thine eyes;
Loud let them thunder in thy troubled ear,
“ Tyrant! the hour, th' avenging hour is near!”
It is, it is! thy star withdraws its ray,
Soon will its parting lustre fade away;
Soon will Cimmerian shades obscure its light,
And veil thy splendours in eternal night!
Oh! when accusing conscience wakes thy soul,
With awful terrors, and with dread control,
VOL. I. – 29
Bids threat’ning forms, appalling, round thee stand,
And summons all her visionary band;
Calls up the parted shadows of the dead,
And whispers, peace and happiness are fled;
E’en at the time of silence and of rest,
Paints the dire poniard menacing thy breast;
Is then thy cheek with guilt and horror pale?
Then dost thou tremble, does thy spirit fail ?
And wouldst thou yet by added crimes provoke
The bolt of heaven to lanch the fatal stroke?
Bereave a nation of its rights revered,
Of all to mortals sacred and endear'd ?
And shall they tamely liberty resign,
The soul of life, the source of bliss divine ?
Can'st thou, supreme destroyer ! hope to bind,
In chains of adamant, the noble mind ?
Go, bid the rolling orbs thy mandate hear,
Go, stay the lightning in its wing'd career!
No, tyrant! no, thy utmost force is vain,
The patriot-arm of freedom to restrain :
Then bid thy subject-bands in armour shine,
Then bid thy legions all their power combine!
Yet could'st thou summon myriads at command,
Did boundless realms obey thy scepter'd hand,
E'en then her soul thy lawless might would spurn,
E’en then, with kindling fire, with indignation burn!
Ye sons of Albion ! first in danger's field, The sword of Britain and of truth to wield! Still prompt the injured to defend and save, Appal the despot, and assist the brave;
Who now intrepid lift the gen'rous blade,
The cause of Justice and Castile to aid !
Ye sons of Albion ! by your country's name,
Her crown of glory, her unsullied fame;
Oh! by the shades of Cressy's martial dead,
By warrior-bands, at Agincourt who bled;
By honours gain'd on Blenheim's fatal plain,
By those in Victory's arms at Minden slain ;
By the bright laurels Wolfe immortal won,
Undaunted spirit! valour's fav’rite son!
By Albion's thousand, thousand deeds sublime,
Renown'd from zone to zone, from clime to clime;
Ye British heroes! may your trophies raise
A deathless monument to future days!
Oh! may your courage still triumphant rise,
Exalt the “lion banner" to the skies !
Transcend the fairest names in histry's page,
The brightest actions of a former age ;
The reign of Freedom let your arms restore,
And bid oppression fall—to rise no more !
Then soon returning to your native isle,
May love and beauty hail you with their smile;
For you may conquest weave th' undying wreath,
And fame and glory's voice the song of rapture
Ah! when shall mad ambition cease to rage?
Ah! when shall war his demon-wrath assuage?
When, when, supplanting discord's iron reign,
Shall mercy wave her olive-wand again?
Not till the despot's dread career is closed,
And might restrain’d and tyranny deposed !
Return, sweet Peace, ethereal form benign! Fair blue-ey'd seraph! balmy power divine ! Descend once more! thy hallow'd blessings bring, Wave thy bright locks, and spread thy downy wing! Luxuriant plenty laughing in thy train, Shall crown with glowing stores the desert-plain ; Young smiling Hope, attendant on thy way, Shall gild thy path with mild celestial ray. Descend once more, thou daughter of the sky! Cheer ev'ry heart, and brighten ev'ry eye; Justice, thy harbinger, before thee send, Thy myrtle-sceptre o'er the globe extend: Thy cherub-look again shall soothe mankind; Thy cherub-hand the wounds of discord bind; Thy smile of heaven shall ev'ry muse inspire, To thee the bard shall strike the silver lyre. Descend once more! to bid the world rejoiceLet nations hail thee with exulting voice; Around thy shrine with purest incense throng, Weave the fresh palm, and swell the choral song! Then shall the shepherd's flute, the woodland reed, The martial clarion and the drum succeed; Again shall bloom Arcadia's fairest flowers, And music warble in Idalian bowers. Where war and carnage blew the blast of death, The gale shall whisper with Favonian breath ; And golden Ceres bless the festive swain, Where the wild combat redden'd o'er the plain. These are thy blessings, fair benignant maid ! Return, return, in vest of light array'd ! Let angel-forms and floating sylphids bear Thy car of sapphire through the realms of air,