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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,

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"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!"


Once in the flight of ages past,
There lived a man :—and who was he?
—Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,
That man resembled thee.

Unknown the region of his birth,
The land in which he died unknown:
His name hath perish'd from the earth,
This truth survives alone :—

That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
Alternate triumph'd in his breast;
His, bliss and woe,—a smile, a tear!
Oblivion hides the rest.

The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits' rise and fall;
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.

He suffer'd—but his pangs are o'er;
Enjoy"d—but his delights are fled;
Had friends—his friends are now no mere
And foes—his foes are dead.

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Of long, long years of future care,
Till lingering Nature yields her breath,

And endless ages of despair,
Beyond the judgment-day of death :—

The weeping Minstrel sings,

And while her numbers flow,
My spirit trembles with the strings,

Responsive to the notes of woe.

Would gladness move a sprightlier strain,
And wake this wild harp's clearest tones,

The chords, impatient to complain,
Are dumb, or only utter moans.

And yet to soothe the mind

With luxury of grief,
The soul to suffering all resign'd

In Sorrow's music feels relief.

Thus o'er the light iEolian lyre
The winds of dark November stray,

Touch the quick nerve of every wire,
And on its magic pulses play;—

Till all the air around,

Mysterious murmurs till,
A strange bewildering dream of sound,

Most heavenly sweet,—yet mournful still.

O! snatch the Harp from Sorrow's hand,
Hope! who has been a stranger long;

0! strike it with sublime command,
And be the Poet's life thy song.

Of vanish'd troubles sing,
Of fears for ever fled,

O1 flowers that hear the voice of Spring,
And hurst and blossom from the dead ; -

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Of home, contentment, health, repose,
Serene delights, while years increase;

And weary life's triumphant close
In some calm sunset hour of peace ;.

Of bliss that reigns above,

Celestial May of youth,
Unchanging as Jehovah's love,

And everlasting as His truth :—

Sing, heavenly Hope !—and dart thine hand
O'er my frail harp, untuned so long:

That harp shall breathe, at thy command,
Immortal sweetness through thy song.

Ah! then this gloom control,

And at thy voice shall start
A new creation in my soul,

A native Eden in my heart!


Verses written for an Urn made out of the trunk of the Weeping Willow
imported from (he East, and planted by Pope in his grounds at Twicken-
ham, where it flourished many years; but, falling into decay, it was
lately cut down.

Ere Pope resign'd his tuneful breath,

And made the turf his pillow,
The Minstrel hung his harp in death

Upon the drooping willow;
That Willow, from Euphrates' strand,
Had sprung beneath his training hand.

Long, as revolving seasons flew,

From youth to age it flourish'd,
By vernal winds and star-light dew,

By showers and sunbeams nourish'd;
And while in dust the Poet slept,
The Willow o'er his ashes wept.

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