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And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute
And technical in victories and deceit,
Terms which we trundle smoothly o’er our tongues Engulph'd in courts, comınittees, institutions, Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which Associations and societies,
We join no feeling and attach no form! A vain, speech-mouthing, speech-reporting guild, As if the soldier died without a wound; One benefit-club for mutual flattery,
As if the fibres of this godlike frame We have drunk up, denure as at a grace,
Were gor’d without a pang ; as if the wretch, Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth ; Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds, Contemptuous of all honorable rule,
Pass'd off to Heaven, translated and not kill'd;Yet bartering freedom and the poor man's life As though he had no wife to pine for him, For gold, as at a market! The sweet words
No God to judge him! therefore, evil'days Of christian promise, words that even yet
Are coming on us, O my countrymen! Might stem destruction, were they wisely preach'd, And what if all-avenging Providence, Are mutter'd o'er by men, whose tones proclaim Strong and retributive, should make us know How flat and wearisome they feel their trade: The meaning of our words, force us to feel Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent
The desolation and the agony To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth.
Of our fierce doings? Oh ! blasphemous! the book of life is made
Spare us yet awhile, A superstitious instrument, on which We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break;
Father and God! Oh! spare us yet awhile! For all must swear-all and in every place,
Oh! let not English women drag their flight
Fainting beneath the burden of their babes, College and wharf, council and justice-court;
Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed,
Laugh'd at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands, all Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest,
Who ever gaz'd with fondness on the forms The rich, the poor, the old man and the young;
Which grew up with you round the same fire-side, All, all make up one scheme of perjury,
And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells That faith doth reel; the very name of God
Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure ! Sounds like a juggler's charm; and, bold with joy, Stand forth! be men ! repel an impious foe, Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place,
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race, (Portentous sight!) the owlet, Atheism,
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,
With deeds of murder; and still promising Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close,
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free, And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven,
Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart Cries out, “ Where is it?"
Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes
And all that lifts the spirit! Stand we forth;
Render them back upon the insulted ocean, (Peace long preserv'd by fleets and perilous seas)
And let them toss as idly on it's waves Secure from actual warfare, we have lov'd
As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war!
Swept from our shores! and oh! may we return Alas! for ages ignorant of all
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, It's ghastlier workings, (famine or blue plague,
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry snows,)
So fierce a foe to frenzy!
I have told,
O Britons! O my brethren! I have told Spectators and not combatants! No guess
Most bitter truth, but without bitterness. Anticipative of a wrong unfelt,
Nor deem my zeal or factious or mis-tim'd; No speculation on contingency,
For never can true courage dwell with them, However dim and vague, too vague and dim
Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look To yield a justifying cause; and forth,
At their own vices. We have been too long (Stuffed out with big preamble, holy names,
Dupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike, And adjurations of the God in Heaven,)
Groaning with restless enmity, expect We send our mandates for the certain death All change from change of constituted power; Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls, As if a government had been a robe, And women, that would groan to see a child On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd Pull off an insect's leg, all read of war,
Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe
Pullid off at pleasure. Fondly these attach
I stood ic
A WAR ECLOGUE,
He let To bice
From our own folly and rank wickedness,
And grateful, that by Nature's quietness
Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human kiad.
FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.
The Scene, a desolated Tract in La Vendee. FAMINE
is discovered lying on the ground; lo her enter A husband, and a father! who revere
FIRE and SLAUGHTER.
Sisters! sisters! who sent you here?
SLAUGHTER (to Fire.)
I will whisper it in her ear.
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell: Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
'Twill make an holiday in Hell. The joy and greatness of its future being?
No! no! no! There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul
Myself, I nam'd him once below,
And all the souls, that damned be,
They no longer beeded me;
But laugh'd to hear Hell's burning rafters
Unwillingly re-echo laughters!
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell: And menace of the vengeful enemy
”Twill make an holiday in Hell! Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away In the distant tree; which heard, and only heard
FAMINE. In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
Whisper it, sister! so and so!
In a dark hint, soft and slow.
Letters four do form his name-
And who sent you?
The same! the same!
He came by stealth, and unlock'd my den,
And I have drunk the blood since then Dim tinted, there the mighty majesty
Of thrice three hundred thousand men.
Who bade you do't?
The same! the same!
Letters four do form his name. And close behind them, hidden from my view,
He let me loose, and cried, Halloo! Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe
To him alone the praise is due.
Thanks, sister, thanks! the men have bled,
Itriuc And a
They shall tear him limb from limb!
O thankless beldames and untrue!
And is this all that you can do
For him, who did so much for you?
Ninety months he, by my troth!
Hath richly cater'd for you both;
And in an hour would you repay
An eight years' work ?--Away! away!
I alone am faithful! I
Cling to him everlastingly.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
Are all but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve!
She leant against the armed man,
The statue of the armed knight;
She stood and listen’d to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best, whene'er I sing
that make her grieve.
I play'd a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen’d with a fitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace,
For well she knew, I could not chuse
gaze upon her face.
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he woo'd
The Lady of the Land.
I told her how he pin’d; and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love,
Interpreted my own.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face!
But when I told the cruel scorn
All impulses of soul and sense That craz'd that bold and lovely Knight,
Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve; And that he cross'd the mountain-woods,
The music, and the doleful tale, Nor rested day nor night;
The rich and balmy eve; That sometimes from the savage den,
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope, And sometimes fro the darksome shade,
An undistinguishable throng, And sometimes starting up at once
And gentle wishes long subdued, In green and sunny glade,
Subdued and cherish'd long! There came and look'd him in the face
She wept with pity and delight, An angel beautiful and bright;
She blush'd with love, and virgin-shame; And that he knew it was a fiend,
And like the murmur of a dream, This miserable Knight!
I heard her breathe my name. And that unknowing what he did,
Her bosom heav'd-she stept aside, He leap'd amid a murderous band,
As conscious of my look she steptAnd sav'd from outrage worse than death
Then suddenly, with timorous eye The Lady of the Land !
She fled to me and wept. And how she wept, and claspt his knees;
She half enclosed me with her arms, And how she tended him in vain
She press'd me with a meek embrace; And ever strove to expiate
And bending back her head, look'd up, The scorn that crazed his brain.
And gazed upon my face. And that she nursed him in a cave;
'Twas partly Love, and partly Fear, And how his madness went away,
And partly 'twas a bashful art, When on the yellow forest-leaves
That I might rather feel, than see, A dying man he lay.
The swelling of her heart. His dying words—but when I reach'd
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm, That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
And told her love with virgin-pride. My faultering voice and pausing harp
And so I won my Genevieve, Disturb'd her soul with pity!
My bright and beauteous bride.
The first that died was little Jane;
So in the church-yard she was laid; And all the summer dry, Together round her grave we played, My brother John and I. And when the ground was white with snow, And I could run and slide, My brother John was forced to go, And he lies by her side." “ How many are you then," said I, “ If they two are in Heaven?” The little maiden did reply, “ O master! we are seven.' “ But they are dead; those two are dead! Their spirits are in Heaven!" 'Twas throwing words away: for still The little maid would have her will, And said, “ Nay, we are Seven !”
WE ARE SEVEN.
A simple child That lightly draws its breath, And feels its life in every limb, What should it know of death? I met a little cottage girl: She was eight years old, she said; Her hair was thick with many a curl That clustered round her head. She had a rustic, woodland air, And she was wildly clad; Her eyes were fair, and very fair; - Her beauty made me glad. “ Sisters and brothers, little maid, How many may you be?" “How many? Seven in all,” she said, And wondering looked at me. “ And where are they? I pray you tell." She answered, “ Seven are we; And two of us at Conway dwell, And two are gone to sea. Two of us in the church-yard lie, My sister and my brother; And, in the church-yard cottage, I Dwell near them with my mother." “ You say that two at Conway dwell, And two are gone to sea, Yet ye are seven !-I pray you tell, Sweet maid, how this may be?" Then did the little maid reply, “ Seven boys and girls are we; Two of us in the church-yard lie, Beneath the church-yard tree." “ You run about, my little maid, Your limbs they are alive; If two are in the church-yard laid, Then ye are only five." “ Their graves are green, they may be seen,” The little maid replied, “ Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, And they are side by side. My stockings there I often knit, My kerchief there I hem; And there upon the ground I sitI sit and sing to them. And often after sun-set, sir, When it is light and fair, I take my little porringer, And eat my supper
'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare!
(pair. I watched them with delight; they were a lovely Now with her empty can the maiden turned away; But, ere ten yards were gone, her footsteps did she