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Thou, unto whom the injured nations bow,
And bless the meteor justice of thy brow;
Thou haven, unto whom the merchant ships
Flee from the terrors of the dark eclipse ;
Thou talisman, within whose charmed ring
Exists no evil —no accursed thing;
Thou tower of strength, which tempests ne'er can shake,
Thou slumbering giantess, awake! awake!
O! saw'st thou not the breach in Warsaw's wall ?
O! heard'st thou not the warrior's battle call ?
Leapt not thy lifeblood with indignant thrill,
Throbb’d not thy brain, and wilt thou yet be still?
Thy King is one whose very name alone
Hath rear'd within his subjects' hearts a throne.
Another Alfred, come to lead us back
Unto our ancient and deserted track;
To bring again those unforgotten days,
When virtue only won the meed of praise;
A lion-hearted prince, in whom we see
How bright beyond compare a crown may be,
When worn by him who never will disdain
His people's love to glorify his reign.
Nay, nay, thou wilt not sleep: this sacred spark
From Freedom's torch shall die not in the dark ;
Be thou a refuge to the lost again,
Fling out thy battle like a cloud of rain,
Raise thy proud voice till quailing tyrants shrink,
And stand and tremble when they dare not think;
Be thou God's great and just avenger still,
And He will bless the, as all nations will ;
Be thou His scourge to drive this wolf away,
And break the fangs that marr'd that gallant prey.
Do this and prosper-Kings shall come to thee,
And do high homage on their bended knee;
The day will laugh upon thee with such smiles
As morning sheds upon the Cyclad isles ;
Ne'er shalt thou feel the envious tread of time,
Unscared by treason, and unstain'd by crime;
Youth shall be thine, that hath no wintry age;
And thou shalt keep, within a woven cage,
Calm'd into boldness, Peace, that fearful dove;
Thou shalt have gift for gift, and love for love ;
Mightiest among the mighty, thou shalt be
The star of nightly worship to the free,
And men of every clime, on every shore,
Shall praise thee, bless thee, and almost adore !' pp. 14-17. The dreams that are supposed to haunt the slumbers of the Destroyer of Poland, are finely conceived and vividly described ; although it will be thought that the Poet has exceeded the bounds of his prerogative in denouncing the Czar as a patricide. Amon
those dreams, the ravages of the pestilence in the Russian army are forcibly depicted. Then succeeds another vision.
-- Within the deepened blue
Faintly looked out a pensive star or two;
The moon was down; the wind, like one in pain,
Drove its long sigh across the snowy plain.
These are dark stains upon that purest page,
Stern marks of man's accursed sacrilege;
Footsteps deep dented, and a trampled targe,
Where broke the thunder of the squadron-charge.
It is a battle-field: The watch fire's light
Gleams from a distant camp into the night-
What mighty power is centred in a breath!
There moveth life, here lieth silent death.
That day, upon a field of no renown,
Freedom and Murder sat together down;
The stakes were armies, warring all around,
And struggling sternly for the vantage ground;
Freedom was faint, and on her forehead pale
The mantling fears wrote down a crimson tale;
But Murder's eye was fix'd, her hand threw fast,
Like one whose life was set upon a cast:
And when the latest, deepest die was flung,
She clapp'd her hands with joy, and then upsprung,
And shriek’d,—'Tis mine!-'tis mine! this field shall be
Named of my name—the tomb of Liberty!”
• The wolf hath stolen from his mountain cave,
And glideth down like one who robs a grave;
His eye is red, his throat is parch'd and dumb,
Scarce can you hear his footsteps as they come;
He springs, with savage haste and grim delight,
Upon the first dead corse that meets his sight,
And tears, and feeds, and scowls with jealous eye
Upon the pamper'd vulture fitting by
Czar! there are vaults wherein thy fathers sleep,
Round which the marble statues bend and weep;
O, fitting truth! no tears but those are shed
Above the cold and marble-hearted dead.
Yet it were nobler far, if they had died
In such a cause, with none to mourn beside;
Yea, had they found, like these, a living tomb
Within that lean and loathsome creature's womb,
It had been better far. Then Fame had sung
Their righteous deeds with her immortal tongue;
Then had their names been register'd indeed
Within the Book which none but freemen read.
What is their memory? What will be thine own?
The idle record of a lying stone!-
A worthless parasite's regret; or worse,
A purchased prayer!-Will it efface a curse?
There, with thy kindred, shalt thou lie and rot;
Hope thou thy name at least may be forgot!
Seest thou that dying soldier on the ground,
Whose life is ebbing from a ghastly wound ?
He hath no bed except the frozen snow,
No friend to wipe the death-damp from his brow;
His eye is struggling through the mist afar
To catch the glimmer of that feeble star;
Why doth he seek its light so faint and dim?
It is no star of hope, alas, to him!
Ay—but it shineth on his quiet home,
That nest of peace, where war hath never come;
Within his fancy, even now he sees
The old thatch'd roof beneath the linden trees,
The cradle, where his youngest infant sleeps,
Rock'd by his widow'd wife, who bends and weeps ;
He sees his children that around her kneel,
And try to calm the grief they cannot feel.
Say, doth he weep? No tear is in his eye:
Tyrant! It is no ghastly thing to die!
He fears it not, he hath no damning sin
To lime the soul, or cage it fluttering in.
His part is done- it was a glorious part !
He shielded freedom even with his heart,
Till it was pierced, and now into the air
He breathes for her a blessing and a prayer,
Shuts with a holy smile his heavy eyes,
Commends his country to his God, and dies !'
pp. 35—39. These last lines are not the less touching and beautiful for reminding us so strongly of the exquisite original :
- et dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos.' One more extract, and we have done. It occurs in a second address to this country.
• Have we forgot how Scotland's patriots rose
To fight the war of God with banded foes ?
Far up the hills, amidst some lonely glen,
They met, the brave and persecuted men !
A holy remnant of the just and true,
Sworn to that faith which tyrants never knew:
Hunted from house and home, they gather'd there
To offer up to Heaven their spotless prayer;
They knelt around, while one, with lifted hand,
Invoked a blessing on that martyr band,
From Him, who never yet hath heard in vain,
The righteous murmur, or the good complain :
Then rose they up, and sang with one accord,
Their sweet and simple anthem to the Lord;
Till the far shepherd on the mountain's brow,
Who heard the notes arise so faint and low,
Might deem in such a place, that holy hymn
Was raised and chanted by the seraphim!
They went to battle-not as armies go,
Who blindly smite an unoffending foe;
Forth to a glorious field they march'd unaw'd,
The chosen champions of the living God :
They fought and triumph’d, as the good and just,
Who fight in such a cause, for ever must.
We are their children ! Have we then no pride
To rise and combat on our fathers' side ?
Are we not sworn unto the sacred fight,
To crush the guilty, and defend the right?
The very blood that runs within our veins
Throbs at the name of prison, or of chains :
The cup of liberty is not so small
That we can drain it-it was filld for all.
Britain, arise ! O, yet while it is time,
In such a cause delay is worse than crime:
Speak! that the tyrant's soul may shrink with fear;
Speak ! with a voice, that all the world may hear;
Thy wrath as with a herald's trump proclaim ;
For where is he who quails not at thy name?
O sleep not, wait not, do not tarry long-
Be just, be brave, be good as thou art strong ;
Come, thou fair Queen ; for, as the traveller eyes
The first grey streaks upon the eastern skies,
So earth has fix'd her anxious gaze on thee:
Come forth—come forth--thou idol of the free!'
pp. 50-52. And now, is it necessary for us to say, that we have dealed with this volume as poetry, not as politics ?. That we are not for plunging into war with Russia; that we entertain a better opi. nion of King Philip than our Author avows; and that we do not share in all the sentiments and feelings which have inspired this brilliant performance? Surely, all this we need not say, nor are we in a temper to enter into such grave discussions with the re. quisite coolness. Poetry like this warms the blood, and seduces the judgement; and we feel it necessary to act as Burke did, when Sheridan's oratory had produced so powerful and dangerous an impression, as he deemed, upon the minds of the august judicial tribunal before which he pleaded,-move an adjournment, for the interests of justice. The other poems in the volume possess high merit. A ‘Lament for Percy Bysshe Shelley' betrays the school from which our Poet has sprung, but which he already so far transcends, that we hope he will shake off its fatal trammels. The most extraordinary attribute of Shelley's mind, though unquestionably a man of high and original genius, was
the fascination he seems to have exerted over minds superior to his own, and the passionate admiration with which he inspired his votaries, rather than his companions. The • Ode to the Past,' in the present volume, is a finer poem, in our humble judgement, than any of Shelley's compositions that we have seen; and we have only to regret that it is slightly tinctured with his melancholy and cheerless philosophy.
Art. VI. 1. The Bible Society Question, in its Principle and ils
Details, considered in a Series of Letters addressed (by permis-
sion) to the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Salisbury. By the
Rev. Samuel Charles Wilks, M.A. Reprinted from the Christian
Observer for March and April, 1832. 8vo. pp. 144. Price 3s.
London, 1832. 2. An Appeal on Behalf of the British and Foreign Bible Society, to
those who are disposed to secede from it. By the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, Minister of St. John's, Bedford Row. 8vo. pp. 18.
Price 1s. London, 1832. 3. Terms of Union. Remarks addressed to the Members of the Bri
tish and Foreign Bible Society. By Joseph John Gurney. 8vo.
pp. 46. Price 1s. London, 1832. 4. A Call lo Union, addressed chiefly to the Members of the British
and Foreign Bible Society. By the Rev. Thomas Dikes, LL.D, Incumbent Minister of St. John's, Hull. 8vo. pp. 18. Hull, 1832.
W E really hope that these are the last publications, relative
to the Bible Society Question,' which we shall be called upon to notice; but these we could not pass over. It is indeed, imposible to say anything upon such a subject, that has not been repeatedly urged before, in different shapes of argument; but when those against whom we contend, have bad memories, and persist in reiterating assertions again and again disproved, and though oft confuted, will argue still, there is no help for it: they must be answered according to their folly,' lest they be ó wise in
their own conceit. Such pertinacity can be successfully combated only by an exercise of patience, and by the self-denying repetition of calm statements and plain reasonings; since the men we speak of are always apt to mistake the last word for victory.
Yet we should hope that Mr. Wilks's Letters, which are really a formidable battery, will have at least a temporary effect in silencing the enemy's guns. He has spoken out plainly and boldly with a freedom and explicitness upon some points that we Eclectic Reviewers should hardly have ventured or been permitted to use, but not more plainly or boldly than the occasion demanded.