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Make every vessel stoop, make every state
At once their welfare and their duty know.
This is your glory ; this your wisdom; this
The native pow'r for which you were design'd
By Fate, when Fate design’d the firmest state
That e'er was seated on the subject sea ;
A state alone where Liberty should live,
In these late times, this evening of mankind,
When Athens, Rome, and Carthage are no more,
The world almost in slavish sloth dissolv'd.
For this, these rocks around your coast were thrown;
For this, your oaks, peculiar harden'd, shoot
Strong into sturdy growth ; for this, your hearts
Swell with a sullen courage, growing still
As danger grows; and strength and toil for this
Are liberal pour'd o'er all the fervent land.
Then cherish this, this unexpensive pow'r,
Undangerous to the Public, ever prompt,
By lavish Nature thrust into your hand :
And, unencumber'd with the bulk immense
Of conquest, whence huge empires rose, and fell
Self-crush’d, extend your reign from shore to shore,
Where'er the wind your high behests can blow;
And fix it deep on this eternal base.
For, should the sliding fabric once give way,
Soon slacken'd quite, and past recov’ry broke,
It gathers ruin as it rolls along,
Steep-rushing down to that devouring gulf,
Where many a mighty empire buried lies.
And should the big redundant flood of trade,
In which ten thousand thousand labours join
Their several currents, till the boundless tide
Rolls in a radiant deluge o'er the land, -
Should this bright stream, the least inflected, point
Its course another way,—o'er other lands
The various treasure would resistless pour,
Ne'er to be won again ; its ancient tract
Left a vile channel, desolate and dead,
With all around a miserable waste.
Not Egypt, were her better heav’n, the Nile,
Turn'd in the pride of flow, when o'er his rocks
And roaring cataracts, beyond the reach
Of dizzy vision pil'd, in one wide flash
An Ethiopian deluge foams amain ;
(Whence wond'ring Fable trac'd him from the sky),–
Ev’n not that prime of earth, where harvests crowd
On untilld harvests, all the teeming year,
If of the fat o'erflowing culture robb’d,
Were then a more uncomfortable wild,
Sterile and void, than, of her trade depriv’d,
Britons, your boasted isle ;—her princes sunk;
Her high-built honour moulder'd to the dust;
Unnery'd her force ; her spirit vanish'd quite;
With rapid wing her riches fled away ;
Her unfrequented ports alone the sign
Of what she was; her merchants scatter'd wide ;
Her hollow shops shut up; and in her streets,
Her fields, woods, markets, villages, and roads,
The cheerful voice of Labour heard no more.
“ Oh, let not then waste Luxury impair
That manly soul of toil which strings your nerves,
And your own proper happiness creates!
Oh, let not the soft, penetrating plague
Creep on the free-born mind; and, working there,
With the sharp tooth of many a new-form'd want,
Endless, and idle all, eat out the heart
Of Liberty ; the high conception blast ;
The noble sentiment, th' impatient scorn
Of base subjection, and the swelling wish
For general good, erazing from the mind :
While naught save narrow selfishness succeeds,
And low design, the sneaking passions all
Let loose, and reigning in the rankled breast.
Induc'd at last by scarce-perceiv’d degrees,
Sapping the very frame of government
And life, a total dissolution comes ;-
Sloth, ignorance, dejection, flattery, fear;
Oppression raging o'er the waste he makes;
The human being almost quite extinct ;
And the whole state in broad corruption sinks.
Oh, shun that gulf! that gaping ruin shun!
And countless ages roll it far away
From you, ye Heav'n-beloved! May Liberty,
The light of life ! the sun of human-kind !
Whence heroes, bards, and patriots borrow flame,
Ev’n where the keen depressive North descends,
Still spread, exalt, and actuate your pow
While slavish southern climates beam in vain !
And may a public spirit from the throne,
Where every virtue sits, go copious forth,
Live o'er the land, the finer Arts inspire,
Make thoughtful Science raise her pensive head,
Blow the fresh bay, bid Industry rejoice,
And the rough sons of lowest Labour smile :
As when, profuse of spring, the loosen'd West
Lifts up the pining year, and balmy breathes
Youth, life, and love, and beauty o'er the world.
“ But haste we from these melancholy shores,
Nor to deaf winds and waves our fruitless plaint
Pour weak; the country claims our active aid ;
That let us roam, and, where we find a spark
Of public virtue, blow it into flame.
Lo! now my sons, the sons of Freedom ! meet
In awful senate; thither let us fly,
Burn in the patriot's thought, flow from his tongue
In fearless truth ; myself, transform’d, preside,
And shed the spirit of BRITANNIA round.”
This said, her fleeting form and airy train
Sunk in the gale ; and naught but ragged rocks
Rush'd on the broken eye; and naught was heard
But the rough cadence of the dashing wave.
LATE CHANCELLOR OF GREAT BRITAIN ;
WHILE, with the public, you, my Lord, lament
A friend and father lost ; permit the Muse, -
The Muse assign’d of old a double theme :
To praise dead worth and humble living pride,
Whose generous task begins where interest ends ;-
Permit her on a Talbot's tomb to lay
This cordial verse sincere, by Truth inspir’d,
Which means not to bestow, but borrow, fame.
Yes, she may sing his matchless virtues now-
Unhappy that she may!—But where begin?
How from the diamond single out each ray,
Where all, though trembling with ten thousand hues,
Effuse one dazzling undivided light?
Let the low-minded of these narrow days
No more presume to deem the lofty tale
Of ancient times, in pity to their own,
Romance. In Talbot, we united saw
The piercing eye, the quick enlighten'd soul,
The graceful ease, the flowing tongue of Greece,
Join'd to the virtues and the force of Rome.
Eternal Wisdom, that all-quick’ning Sun,