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Yes ; in that generous cause, for ever strong,
The patriot's virtue and the poet's song,
Still, as the tide of ages rolls away,
Shall charm the world, unconscious of decay !
Yes! there are hearts, prophetic Hope may trust,
That slumber yet in uncreated dust,
Ordain'd to fire th' adoring sons of earth
charm of wisdom and of worth;
Ordain'd to light, with intellectual day,
The mazy wheels of Nature as they play,
Or, warm with Fancy's energy, to glow,
And rival all but Shakspeare's name below!
And say, supernal Powers! who deeply scan
Heaven's dark decrees, unfathom'd yet by man,
When shall the world call down, to cleanseher shame,
That embryo spirit, yet without a name,
That friend of Nature, whose avenging hands
Shall burst the Libyan's adamantine bands ?
Who, sternly marking on his native soil
The blood, the tears, the anguish, and the toil,
Shall bid each righteous heart exult, to see
Peace to the slave, and vengeance on the free!
Yet, yet, degraded men! th' expected day
Trade, wealth, and fashion, ask you still to bleed,
And holy men give scripture for the deed ;
Scourg'd and debased, no Briton stoops to save
A wretch, a coward; yes, because a slave !
Eternal Nature! when thy giant hand
Had heaved the floods, and fix'd the trembling land,
When life sprung startling at thy plastic call,
Endless her forms, and man the lord of all !
Say, was that lordly form inspired by thee,
To wear eternal chains and bow the knee?
Was man ordain'd the slave of man to toil,
Yoked with the brutes, and fetter'd to the soil ;
Weigh'd in a tyrant's balance with his gold?
No!-Nature stamp'd us in a heavenly mould !
She bade no wretch his thankless labour urge,
Nor, trembling, take the pittance and the scourge!
No homeless Libyan, on the stormy deep,
To call upon his country's name, and weep!
Lo! once in triumph, on his boundless plain,
The quiver'd chief of Congo loved to reign;
With fires proportion'd to his native sky,
Strength in his arm, and lightning in his eye;
Scour'd with wild feet his sun-illumined zone,
The spear, the lion, and the woods, his own;
Or led the combat, bold without a plan,
An artless savage, but a fearless man!
The plunderer came !-alas! no glory smiles
For Congo's chief on yonder Indian isles;
For ever fallen! no son of Nature now,
With freedom charter'd on his manly brow!
Faint, bleeding, bound, he weeps the night away,
And when the sea-wind wafts the dewless day,
Starts, with a bursting heart, for ever more
To curse the sun that lights their guilty shore !
The shrill horn blew ;t at that alarum knell
His guardian angel took a last farewel !
That funeral dirge to darkness hath resign'd
The fiery grandeur of a generous mind !
Poor fetter'd man! I hear thee whispering low
Unhallow'd vows to Guilt, the child of Woe!
Friendless thy heart; and canst thou harbour there
A wish but death—a passion but despair ?
The widow'd Indian, when her lord expires,
Mounts the dread pile, and braves the funeral fires !
So falls the heart at Thraldom's bitter sigh!
So Virtue dies, the spouse of Liberty!