THE NEW WORLD.
From freedom born to Time, transcendant birth!
Colossus destined to bestride the earth,
While heaved old empires with unwonted throes,
Man's sanctuary, America, arose.
Dull Europe, startled by thy first wild tones,
Propped up thy cradle with her crumbling thrones;
And France, sad nurse of thy rude infant days,
Lulled thy first slumber with her "Marseillaise."
Nations have passed, and kingdoms flown away—
But history bids thee hope a longer day,
Wise witness of an ancient world's decay:
No common guards before thy barriers stand—
The elements themselves defend thy land.
Eternal frost thy northern frontiers meet;
Around thy south is rolled eternal heat;
O'er east and west twin-oceans watch afar:
To thee a pathway—to thy foes a bar.
The noblest rivers thro' thy valleys flow;
The balmiest skies above thy myriads glow;
The richest field of earth is spread below:
And these surround—oh, blessing past increase!—
A race of heroes in a land of peace.
Not thine the trials that the Past has known:
Blaspheming altar, crime-cemented throne;
Not thine to wash, when wincing at the strain,
With thine own blood, the rust from off thy chain;
Not thine to struggle painful stages thro',
Of old oppressions, and ambitious new;
Of priestly bigotry, and feudal pride,
That—even in ruin—still corruption hide;
Young Nation-Hercules! whose infant-grasp
Kingcraft and churchcraft slew, the twinborn asp!
What glorious visions for thy manhood rise,
When thy full stature swells upon our eyes!
A crown of northern light shall bind thy head,
The south pole at thy feet its billows spread,
With island-gems thy flowing robe be graced,
And Tyrian cameos glitter at thy waist.
Warm as its skies, and spotless as its snow,
Thy mighty heart shall beat at Mexico;
And on that mystic site of unknown Eld,
A city rise, as mortal ne'er beheld;
Till Europe sees thy sovereign flag unfurled
Where'er the waters wash the western world.
Swords carve out titles; but, their seal to set,
The last fine touch of empire's wanting yet:
One speech, one law, one God, alone efface
From conquered lands the frontier's lingering trace
Thus Hellas bound the east, 'mid war's alarms,
More with her army's language than her arms;
And thus, tho' rent Rome's military rule,
Her colonies are senate, bar, and school.
Thus, when the Saxon tongue shall sound confessed
By all the bold young utterance of the West,
One kindred thought enkindling thro' the whole,
The proud, imperial form shall feel a soul.
Ah! that the wisdom here so dearly bought
Would sanctify thy wild, luxuriant thought,
And righteously efface the stripes of slaves
From that proud flag where heaven's high splendour
But not the black alone the wrong shall feel,
The white man sinks the prey of gold and steel;
For Victory carries Glory in her train,
Who dark behind her trails a lengthening chain.
The hordes, ambition taught afar to roam,
Soon rivet links on misery's limbs at home;
The taste of conquest brings the thirst for more,
And death fraught navies leave the saddened shore.
But when, thy natural limits once possessed,
Thou, too, shalt seek to colonise a West;
Round coral-girt Japan thy ships shall fly,
And China's plains behold thine armies die:—
Unequal burdens press the exhausted land,
Till richer states petition, rise, withstand.
(The poor are still most liberal for their means,
But wealth the greedier grows, the more it gleans.)
In Mexico the spurring couriers tell
Proud senates, distant provinces rebel:—
Then call your legions home, new levies raise;—
The more you arm, the more the evil preys;
The long-spared classes feel the drain at last;
They join the mass, and Mammon's hour is past.—
Then where the South sits throned in flame, above
The hearts as fervid as the land they love,
Swift sinks the white, and towering o'er the rest
The hot mulatto rears his fiery crest:—
Awhile the jarring elements contend,
Till mingling lines with softening passions blend:
Thus wrong's avenged, and Afric's burning stain
Darkens her torturer's brow, and floods his vein,
And, in the children, brands the father-Cain.
The giant fragments slowly break away,—
Ripe fruit of ages men misname decay;
But from the change no rival powers shall soar,
And freedom's friendly union fight no more.
When erst the West its warrior-march began,
The eyes of earth were drawn to Hindostan:
Long time the clouds stood gathering, tier on tier,
And thickening thunders, muttering, growled more
Thro' plain and valley pressed uneasy heat,
That burnt volcanic under English feet.
Fierce and more fierce from Himmalayah's height
Fresh flash on flash keeps heralding the fight,—
The border-feuds a deeper hue assume,
And all the northern skies are wrapt in gloom.
A host's defeated!—and the succour sped
With doubtful fortune makes uncertain head.
Sudden, the rising South new force demands,
But Affghan swords recal distracted bands.
The generals see their scanty legions yield,
But dare not bring the Sepoy to the field.
The Council multiply the camp's alarms
By timid treaties in the face of arms:
They tremble lest the nations freed from fear,
Should ask "Why came ye thence?"—"What do ye
And in their seas of blood the answer view :
"We murdered millions to enrich the few."—
Last hope, to England turn their anxious eyes,
And weary Parliament with ceaseless cries,
There, Moloch calls, tho' gorged beyond his fill,
For "fleets and armies! fleets and armies!" still;
And pleads, as aye his wont, unblushing shame!
Oppression's cause beneath Religion's name:
"'Twere selfishness," he chides, "'twere gross neglect,"
"Their suit, and duty's service to reject;
"To leave them lost in anarchy and night,
"And, worse, without the blessed Gospel-light! "
"Upbraided oft for India's conquering scheme,
"You urged— 'We civilise, reform, redeem!'
"In proof of which"—a smile escaped his lips,
"You sent out bishops in your battle-ships;
"Excused each deed of death, each lack of ruth,
"By boasting, 'How we spread the Gospel-truth!'
"Let not earth say, 'The blood you never weighed
"While gold was plentiful and profit made:
"But now the cost absorbs the larger share,
"Truth, Arts, and Faith may of themselves take care!'
"Think not of flag disgraced, and humble pride:
"Behold your churches burnt, your God denied!
"Think not of vengeance for your murdered bands!
"Save! save the living from the murderer's hands!
"Think of the souls entrusted to your care!
"Think of the earthly hell awaits them there!
"Of curst Suttee—of Almeh's shameless trade!
"And venerable Heber's sainted shade!
Rang down the senate-hall responsive cheers,—
For senates judge too often by their ears.
While they debate, in louring Hindostan,
Rose, like its destiny, the fated man:
The scattered wars receive an altered form,
And heaven's full signs foretell the final storm.
Then wary Britain, all her forces massed,
Arrayed her greatest army, and her last;
The towns were fortified, as if to show
They felt how weak themselves, how strong the foe:
That very preparation and display
Took half the chance of victory away.
Dismayed before the fearful risk incurred,
With wavering step the aged giant stirred;
Since all was to be perilled, nought was gained,
And fortune's favouring hour unused remained.
But the bold Hindoo, with ascendant star,
Dared every venture of enthusiast war:
Should black misfortune overtake the plain,—
The mountain, river, and the wood remain;
Should British bayonets break a forward band,
Fresh waves will beat upon their steely strand:
Fatal to them the first disaster's breath,
And victory's self must weary them to death.
This Britain felt, till pride of wealth and birth
Were forced by danger to give way to worth:
A veteran soldier for her leader chose,
By public service worn, and private woes;
But, where one, quick, strong will alone could save,
A timid council's guiding thraldom gave.
No orders decked his breast, or stretched his name:
He was too upright for their cringing fame.
He rose—tho' slowly; since, when peril pressed,
He counselled wisest, and he battled best.
By flippant meanness of the merchant-born
His stiff old honesty was laughed to scorn;
And carpet-generals, skilled in courtly pranks,
Sneered at their chief promoted front the ranks.
They used him like some sword, in need oft tried,
Then cast soon afterwards to rust aside.
O'ershadowed by an empty titled name,
He gained the field while others got the fame,
And flowed the prize in proud oppression's store,
For those who work most hard are kept most
Thus had he lived to see his hopes fleet by,
Ambitions wither, and affections die.
Still, unsubdued by age, unchilled by care,
The blasts of sixty years had left him there,
With brow of silver and time-wrinkled skin,—
A wreck without, a citadel within!
They drew him now, that good old trusty blade,
From the dark sheath neglect and want had made.
But his no host to face the glorious might
Of hearts that liberty inspires to fight.
What gain they, save they, by the deathful strife?
What meed have they to balance risk of life?
They conquer empires: not a single rood
Is their's—not even the ground whereon they stood,
When victory drenched it with their gallant
Think ye that men will still the patriot play,
Bleed, starve, and murder for four pence per day—
And when the live machine is worn to nought,
Be left to rot as things unworth a thought?
Or earn for crippled limbs and years of pain
Less than the liveried lacqueys in your train?
Go forth for others vile designs to fight,
And be themselves denied each civic right?
'Mid your seraglios, be content to spread
In crowded barrack-rooms the nuptial bed?
Be told that merit is assured to rise,
While rank is bought before their very eyes,
And, placed at once above their veteran band,
The titled schoolboy takes unfledged command?
Read false gazettes their leaders' deeds proclaim,
And not one line transmit the soldier's name?
Behold, tho' peer should but by peer be tried,
The private's cause the officer decide?
Grow grey in arms, and unrewarded yet?
For them the stripe, for you the epaulette?
For them, while honours load each stripling chief,
The lash that dare not even touch a thief?
And, numbered victims! to death's shambles led,
Leave starving families to beg their bread?
Marched against men, God never made their foes
They think of this, and strike unwilling blows.
His generals too,—tent loungers! scheming still
Of contract, stock, bond, bargain, bale, and bill!
Some, who had joined with separate command;
Some, who had pledges in the adverse hand:
(That wily race fledges well their power to wield,
And seized the hostage ere they took the field;)
Those, envious;—these, who will persist to make
Treaties obtain what swords alone can take;
Retreating, treating, cheating, still intent
On loitering legions sued from parliament:
And, tho' he shelved them no true peace can be
Where one means freedom one means slavery;
And poor the captain, and the council vain,
Who guide by babbling senates the campaign;
And, tho' he told them—to regain a right,
That victory is a better means than flight,—
God struck them blind upon the brink of fate,
And fear long wavering closed the cold debate.
"Then India's lost!" scarce breathed the vet'ran
And bowed his aged head in martial grief:—
Denied the last kind chance that fortune sends,
By foes unconquered, to be foiled by friends,
The rearward drums their dastard marches beat,
And shouting India rushed on the retreat.
Back press the frontiers, once the example given,
In part by force, but more by panic driven.
Victorious deluge! from a hundred heights
Rolls the fierce torrent of a people's rights,
And Sepoy soldiers, waking, band by band,
At last remember they've a fatherland!
Then flies the huxtering judge, the pandering
The English pauper, grown a nabob here!
Counting house tyranny, and pedlar-pride,
While blasts of freedom sweep the country wide!
At length, when inward borne from post to post,
Without one field, but every 'vantage lost,
And, most, the spirit in the soldier's heart,
That arm of arms, the victory's better part!
The mighty struggle came, so oft withheld.
On troops discouraged, and a chief compelled.
Upon a plain by mountains belted round,
Immortal guardians of the fated ground,
That bail, as tho' with kindred rage possessed,
Each clangor with an echo from their breast,
The powers engage:—but far from me to tell
Ambition's madness, and contention's hell!
Or revel o'er the scenes of bloody joy,
Where brute-force learns from science to destroy:
Suffice it that they fought, as best became
A People's freedom and an army's fame;
Here rushed the glittering charge thro' volumed
There, like thin glass, the brittle bayonet broke;
Here crashed the shot—there swept the Indian
And death won grandeur from an English cheer:
Devotion vain! vain science deadliest pride!
God, hope, and history take the Hindhû side!
Here, but a host in misused courage strong:
A nation there, with centuries of wrong!
Then carnage closed beneath its cloudy screen ;
Oft paused the guns—but terror shrieked bet-
And grimly smiled, the sulphury curtain thro',
The gleaming form of chivalrous Tippoo,
Plucking with airy hand the tattered rag,
Where still his death-fight filled the British flag.
Old Aurungzebe, from buried treasure flown,
Modelled above the field a shadowy throne,
And discrowned phantoms, an appealing train,
Pressed burning memories on the Hindhû brain.
There ceased the leader's task, so long sustained,
And sad the last alternative remained,
Meanly to fly, or manfully to fall:
Courageous died that white-haired general!
But History's muse forgot, ungenerous cheat!
His many victories in his one defeat.
Straight slink the three Sea-Sodoms in their pride;
Starts each imperial thief from counter-side,
And leaves the untotalled ledger's long amount
For Hindhû hands to close the dark account.
Each jaundiced knave, forgetful of his pelf,
Seeks but to shield that viler dross, himself:
Save two,—and these, red Mammon's favorite twins,
The Priest and Lawyer hug their golden sins.
See where in turn accused the Judge appears,
While wrath from vengeance claims the dread
Law's lying forms no more his sway secure:
No laws are valid that oppress the poor.
No craven pleas a tyrant's sentence stay
When Victory sounds oppression's judgment day.
Your suffering slaves oft soothed your cruel hate,
Oft prayed for mercy, often warned with fate :
There comes a time when nations say "TOO LATE!"
Now, treasure-cumbered on his panting flight,
The Bishop kneels before his proselyte,
In ransom pledges future worlds of bliss:
"Yes, Bishop! yes ! But why so curst in this?"
Calls Christian Love to stay the impending knife :
"Yes, Bishop! yes! But where's my brother's life?"
Down spine the gurgling priest beneath the blow,
And on! and on! the fierce avengers go!
Deserted garrisons at dead of night
Glide from the foe they lack the force to fight,
And sound the dangerous woods with hurrying feet,
Till numbers steady rout into retreat.
With some young chief, not buoyed by purchased
But raised by valour's choice in danger's hour,
The crest-fallen armies, scattered and worn down,
Give one last rally for their old renown;
And where the blue sea meets their longing eyes,
Turn yet again to face their enemies.
Once more the famous flags parading see:
Poor war-worn banners 'mid sulphureous gloom,
Like ghosts of victories round an empire's tomb.
The thunder died to calm—the day was done—
And England conquered 'neath a setting sun!
At break of dawn the leader left his tent,
And walked the mountain's craggy battlement.
Far stretched the inland—not a foe seemed there—
Lorn lay the Ghaut beneath the untroubled air,
And, close in shore the strong, obedient fleet,
Arrived, alike for succour or retreat,—
The electric thought like lightning kindling came:
"Renew the war, and dare the glorious game!
"Swoop on each straggling band, that singly hies
"To hoped-for havoc of a host that flies!"—
Hark! thrilling cheers from rock to harbour run:
Alas they shout but for their safety won!
A mighty shadow, deep, and stern, and still.
Threw o'er the fleet and flood each Indian hill;
The encampment's flag just reached the rising light,
Like lingering glory of the evening's fight:
One hour its last farewell majestic waved
Old England's pride, unchallenged and unbraved;
But a soft wind at sunrise, like God's hand,
Quietly bent it homeward from that land!—
Sad wound the weary numbers to the sea,
The signal's up, and Hindostan is free!
Then spread as grand an empire to the view
As History, time's untiring scribe, e'er knew;
At simpler faith its purer worship aims,
And Vishnu yields in part what knowledge claims.
Then Chivalry his proudest flag unrolled,
And Superstition crowned her kings with gold.
Then solemn priests through awful temples past,
Whose now God excommunicates the last.
Then bannered towers with wild romances rung,
And bards their harps to love and glory strung;
Like moonlight's magic upon sculptures rare,
They showed the true, but made it seem too fair.
While thus rude health the growing body warms,
It strikes the earth with fratricidal arms.
Nations, like men, too oft are given to roam,
And seek abroad what they could find at home.
They send their armies out on ventures far;
Their halt is—havoc, and their journey—war;
Destruction's traders! who, to start their trade,
Steal, for the bayonet, metal from the spade.
The interest's—blood; the capital is—life;
The debt—is vengeance; the instalment—strife;
The payment's—death; and wounds are the re-
The market's—battle; and the whole—a cheat.
As tho' ambition baffled nature's laws,
A consequence without apparent cause !
When Seric bounds the Hindhû ranks invade,
America must hurl a mad crusade,
And in that hour the seed began to sow,
Which ripened to the Union's overthrow.
Encountering hosts, in plains of rich Cathay,
At once their quarrel, battle-field, and prey,
Gallantly burn, heroically slay!
But each, of course, would help the poor Chinese:
Those kill to civilise—to save them, these.
The Hindhû masters of the land remain,
In battle vanquished, victors in campaign.
Spread east and west their vast dominion wide,
From broad Amoo to Tigris' arrowy tide:
But valour's early impulse dies away
In easy, loitering, somnolent Cathay.
Most empires have their Capua:—bold endeavour
Retrieves a Cannae, but a Capua never.
Thro' that huge frame the times their signs impart:
Inert extremities, and fevered heart,
Diluted laws with weakened pulses act
Thro' province nominal, but realm in fact;
The sword of state escapes a feeble hand,
Nor dares to punish those, who may withstand;
Power, reft of substance, makes amends in show;
Courts fear their generals, generals fear the foe;
Around the expiring realm the vultures wait;
The North knocks loudly at its Alpine gate;
Siberian tribes and Tahta nations come,—
The Goths and Huns of Oriental Rome,—
And westward, rising like the unruly Frank,
Impatient Persia presses at its flank:
While in the capital, with dangerous beat,
Sedition's flames against the palace beat;
And bold, ambitious nobles, brooding ill
Pass faction's mutiny as people's will.
Full long on mischief and rebellion bent,
Those faithless lords had harboured discontent.
Once, brittle baubles of a monarch's sport,
In fields they battled, and they bowed at court;
But when their kings, as ancient ardours fail,
Exchange for robe of silk the shirt of mail,
All for themselves the right of rapine seek;
And peers grow stronger as the prince grows weak.
With crime's hot ravage, times more dull decay,
A great, old line, far lingering, droops away,
And leaves its race, more fallen from age to age,
Departed grandeur's mournful heritage.
With brothers, brothers—sons with sires contend:
Short, troubled reigns the bleeding country rend,
Till one long life exceeds in sin and years—
The palace laughs amid a land of tears,
As if that house, down hastening to the dust,
Took one last, deepest draught of power and lust,
While reverence' rotten thread, so thin and sere,
Habit still holds, tho' dropt by Love and Fear.
Might mocks at Right, and Wrong's without redress;
The burdens multiply; the taxes press;
Sharp famine scourges; work and wage are scant;
And that the rich may waste, the poor may want.
The crowded prisons stifle woes untold,
For priest and king renew their treason old;
That, who the last resists, blasphemer brand;
This strikes as traitor, who the first withstands.
Thus churchcraft guards pollution's foulest shrine,
O'er Hell's wide gate engraves "By Right Divine;"
And, tho' His prophets die, His Christ expire,
At God's own angels launches God's own fire.
A tearless funeral marks a regal death:
The chain is raised-the nations draw their breath,
As tho' the curious crowd's ungrieved array
That cold black pomp rolls its slow weight away.
From sickly, studious seclusion led,
Ere time could dry the tears that duty shed;
In saddened youth, front childhood without joy,
Stepped to a throne a gentle-hearted boy.
Nature denied him health and strength, but gave
A generous spirit, and a patience brave.
Such is the mould of martyrs—and what more
Must meet to make one, fortune had in store.
Alas! for him, who's doomed to face her rage
With thoughts too large to fit a narrow age.
Indignant 'neath his Baron's haughty thrall,
He moves a captive in his father's hall.
The mass, with whom to reason is to feel,
Ascribe to him the wounds he cannot heal.
One path alone remains their bonds to rend:
He dares pursue, and dreams he sees the end;
Evokes from ancient slavery's spectral night
The slumbering people's yet unconscious might;
Throughout the realm bids servile tenure cease,
In hope bestowing happiness and peace,
And as a rocket on a mine is hurled,
Gives Liberty's great watchword to the world.
Mistaken hope! for, since the world began,
A law ne'er yet has made a slave a man.
No golden bridge expected freedom brings;
Her Jordan flows along the veins of kings.
Oh! earthly foretaste of celestial joy!
Rings cannot give thee—swords cannot destroy;
Gold cannot buy thee; prayers can never gain;
Cowards cannot win thee; sluggards not retain.
At first, all, prospering, fairly bade to last:
The cowering peers bent low before the blast.
While yet new joy the people's thought inspired,
Love for their monarch every bosom fired.
But freedom feeds not ; hungry hearts grow cold;
Friends turn more faint and traitors wax more bold.
The mass are roused:—but Anarchy's blind reign,
Wounds the kind hand that tries to break their chain:
Through centuries bent to slavery, want, and toil,
Past their own reason shoots their mad recoil.
The nobles see, the throne or they must fall;
They feel their danger, and they stake their all;
Throughout the land their wily agents spread,
From house to house insidious poison shed.
'Tis whispered, soon 'tis clamoured, that men owe
To fear, not love, concession's specious show.
Daring and skilled, alike their game to play,
They urge the people on their headlong way;
Suggest demands the king can ne'er concede,
Then swell the treason and the movement lead:
"If burdens crush ye, and if bread is high,
"It is the King—the King's to blame!" they cry.
"If famine threats, work lacks, and wages fall,
"The King, the, King alone, is cause of all!"
Thus prejudice allots their several shares,—
Whatever's wrong is his, what's right is theirs.
Hard fate of those who overstep the times!
His very virtues are imputed crimes.
In that foul age but few the prince obeyed,
Who would not screen their guilt, or buy their aid;
Yet long he strove, and dulled their sharp-edged
With the soft sadness of his gentle smile.
Thus one last column left to ruined halls,
Strong in symmetric grace, majestic falls,
He stoops to sue the doubtful aid of those,
Whom open war had not yet proved his foes,
Lords of far provinces, who neutral kept,
To shift their helm which way the current swept;
Whose haughty envoys trail in wanton sport,
Their full-blown pride before his meagre court;
Waste time's last saving sands with cruel hate,
Gloat o'er his fall, and leave him to his fate.
That sight decides the rest; the gaudy flies,
That kissed the sunflower at its fortune's rise,
Grow cold and languid with the westering sun,
Spread their false wings, and drop off one by one.
Then the keen falchion of that civil strife,
Laid bare the gold, the veins, the clay of life:
Then forms are seen, unknown in happier hour,
Great-hearted courtiers of a sinking power,
Who saved the sire, neglected or undone,
Stake all he left—their lives, to save the son.
Brave gentlemen, whose unavailing lance
Throws round his fall their gallantry's romance;
Uncoroneted peers, who own, and claim
No title, but their old, illustrious name,
Thro' swarming foes devotedly draw nigh,
And, high-born, come to claim a death as high.
Then, touched with grandeur in his lowlier state,
Rose the poor peasant to as proud a fate.
Less polished, yet as precious, honour's gem
No history e'er shall set in gold for them!
Toil's chivalry, they sink by myriads down,
Victors—unlaurelled; martyrs—without crown!
They craved no guerdon, and they 'hoped no fame—
Wrong triumphed—duty called them, and—they came.
The hapless monarch with this faithful few
From the full city unassailed withdrew.
Throughout the capital, that solemn day,
A strange, unwonted silence, brooding lay—
A kind of sorrowing awe, a half-regret,
Love's lingering halo, not extinguished yet:
But fast his footsteps stir, as they retire,
The smouldering insurrection into fire.
A few short months must see the struggle end,
Little but life remaining to defend,
And where some last high mountain-barrier rose,
The shield that God o'er fallen freedom throws,
Then, equal to his doom, the monarch bade
That great, but useless, sacrifice be staid.
While hovering victory promised conquered, right,
He deemed it fitting for a man, to fight;
But when in vain he saw his subjects bleed,
He held it sinful in a prince, to lead.
Nor loth the haughty Barons proved to treat:
The blood-stained ground grew slippery to their
Re-action followed as excitement passed,
For they soon walk too slow, who run too fast.
Home to the King the tide returning set—
One brief delay—and he may triumph yet
Some precious days—to bring the ripening aid—
Ah ! had he known!—but Providence forbade!
Man piles up brazen walls in man's defence;—
Fate, with a silken thread, will draw him thence.
'Twas in a valley, near the capital,
The peers and monarch met, at evening's fall.
The dim old mountains stretched on either side,
As prince and people separated wide!
On eastern heights a dense heaped throng appears
Like the vast shadow of the coming years;
Sweeps to the valley's deep, sepulchral shade
Down western hills the royal cavalcade.
Beneath that setting sun's subliming rays
The Past and Future on each other gaze.
That sinking prince, that rising power between,
Spear, helm, and hauberk, left their iron screen,
And war-clad nobles range their solemn might,
As eve and morn are parted by the night.
Then grimly smiled those traitors, to behold
The glittering vestures and the burnished gold,
The pampered chargers, and the riders proud—
And pressed the contrast on the famished crowd:
For they had culled, that fateful hour to meet,
The poorest outcast of the sordid street—
Want's chosen army, whose keen soldiers wear
The uniform of hunger and despair.
Yet, had these marked some gallant form advance,
And dash, confiding, to their foremost lance,
Upgathering loyalty with beckoning arm,
Waved to some well-timed words electric charm,
It might have won them still; or had they seen
Some white-haired monarch's venerable mien,
Telling of glory flown in days of yore,
It might have roused the olden awe once more:
But, borne on soft luxurious litter came
The gentle scion of a hated name.
What knew they, reeked they of the wasted frame,
The wounded spirit and the pangs untold,
Making that couch a rack of silk and gold?
They saw alone—a tyrant lapped in sloth;
They felt—their misery; and they coupled both.
From some hired tongue their thought completed fell,
Leapt into voice, and rung an empire's knell.
Albeit, when first the peasant-guard appear,
Burst from the kindred crowd a sudden cheer:
Straight, o'er the ground their jealous caution kept,
The sullen nobles' silent phalanx swept.
Beyond, a wavering tumult swayed the mass!
Ah! Hate is adamant, and Love is glass!
While they discuss, debate, dispute, delay,
The prompter Barons drag their prize away.
In vain his gallant few their utmost dare:
His farewell sign commands them to forbear.
In sad submission droops each fated head,
They sheathe their swords, and die by law instead.
A glozing speech and an address well penned
Disarmed the foe and reattached the friend,
And faction's rampant malice well nigh grudged
A trial's mockery for a case prejudged.
Then Freedom passed her Jordan's parted flood:
The cruel scaffold drank a hero's blood,
While Justice' verdict in the book of Time,
That found him King, records no other crime ;
And eager crowds their joyous clamours send
Above the ashes of their only friend.
But blame the People not—blame those instead,
Who, rich and great, the poor and weak mislead;
To selfish ends their ready passions use—
Who prompt the deed, and then the act accuse!
The murderer might as well, with pleading vain
His heart exculpate and his hand arraign.
And from the event be this great moral traced:
Virtue on thrones is like a pearl misplaced.
Break, sceptres! break, beneath the almighty rod,
For every King's a rebel to his God.
Atonement for the sins of ages past,
The tarrying stream ran purest at its last:
Thus olden Superstition's altars bring
The lamb, and not the wolf, as offering.
Still with the millions shall the right abide,
The living interest on the victim's side—
Strange balance, that, 'twixt sympathy and fate,
Atones in pity what it wronged in hate!
The self-same king, in different times of men,
Had been, their martyr now, their idol then;
And History, as the record sad she keeps,
Traces the mournful truth, and writing weeps.
For o'er Time's dial, as the hours sweep by,
'Tis thro' the shadow that she notes them fly.
And yet that shadow, be it dark as night,
Serves but to prove the progress of the light.
Then not in vain that gallant life has flown;
A glorious seed that gentle hand has sown:
Bread on those troubled waters, dark and dim,
Fruit for long years—tho' not returned to him.
The long-expected sacrifice is past.
The people hope their Paradise at last.
The huge, armed masses all uncertain stand,
And joyous tumult riots through the land.
The nobles hid them now, with hooded heart,
Depose their arms, and to their homes depart;
In peace and confidence the future wait,
And hope the best, for—they'll deliberate.
Time passes, and their wrongs are unredressed:
Still crushed by burdens—still by taxes pressed;—
Still labour lacks—and still are wages scant—
Still, that the rich may waste, the poor may want.
No more for royal lust their blood is shed,
But petty lords demand the drain instead:
No more one lion-mouth their vitals tears—
But thousand wolves dispute their mangled shares
Wondering they wake to find in trust betrayed,
'Tis but a change of tyrants they have made.
Indignant fury drives the half-armed throng—
The hour has passed—the nobles prove too
Their steel-clad phalanx rides the peasant down,
And haughty lords restore a tinsel crown.
For once their feudal pride mistook its course:
Kings find in cunning what they lose in force,
And, liberal grown, their ounce of freedom sell
To all who can—afford to pay them well:
On golden stilts above the trampled mass
From royal weakness ruse THE MIDDLE-CLASS.
But, courage, People! well that task was done:
The harvest ripens as the seasons run:
Of that three-headed hydra one head slain—
Dream, suffer, wake, and learn that two remain!
In lapse of time old habits were estranged;
The feudal robber to the landlord changed;
But misery changed not—and the discontent
Found a new organ, and the self-same vent.
Between the hydra-heads contention rose,
And landed idlers feared their monied foes.
Each strikes at each—but every blow that parts
Is aimed with poor men's arms thro' poor men's
Those claim protection from their ill-won store;
These seek full liberty to plunder more;
Those drive up rents and bread, while these fore-
And pare the wages when the markets fall.
Those throw down cottages, and clear a space
For grazing-farm, and pleasure-park, and chase;
These to the rattling mill the throng entice,
And labour's surfeit brings down labour's price.
Those hold rich princedoms in secluded ease;
On crowded misery thrive and fatten these.
Again the murmuring populace ferment:
This time the TRADERS stir the discontent.
As yet their titled rivals share the spoil:
To us—to us alone—the mines of toil!
"If burdens crush. ye, and if bread is high,
"The landlords—landlords are to blame!" they
"Their vile monopolies, that feudal wreck!
"Restrict our trade, and thus your labour check."
The suffering mass, unreasoning in their grief,
Grasp at each straw that promises relief;
They hear the dangerous half-truth,—pause, and
And an old system tumbles in the dust.
Then burst anew the deeply-rankling hate:—
The smiling traders watch their game, and wait.
Down sinks the noble!—down the scutcheons fall!
Death strikes the castle—ruin wraps the hall!
Stout labour sweeps the gilded dross away,
And holds its saturnalia of—a day!
The renovated sacrifice is o'er:
The People hope their paradise once more.
From town to town resounds the enlivening cheer—
The danger past—the middleclass appear.
Still flood the masses—but they lull the storm:
"Disarm!—go home!—and wait—while we re-
"To us your hopes and griefs alike are known;
"And we will guard your interests—as our own!"
Time passes—and the wrongs are unredressed—
Still crushed by burdens—still by taxes pressed—
Still bread is high—and still are wages scant—
Still that the rich may waste, the poor may want.
True 'tis no more the nobles' lazy pride,—
But heavier still the bloated burghers ride.
The name is altered—lives the substance still,—
And what escaped the mansion meets the mill.
Wondering, they wake to find, once more betrayed,
'Tis but a change of tyrants they have made.
Again the whispers float, the murmurs rise,
And angry plaints are met with ready lies:
"The wrongs so many centuries saw endure,
"A few short months of change can hardly cure."
And "give us time!"—and "give us time!" they
Another generation starved and died.
Yet fast-accumulating wrong remains,
And slavery wakes—so loudly clank her chains;
While careless all, and in their mischief blind,
Those gold-kings flout the anguish of mankind.
Prosperity, in their hands, turns to ill:
A curse disguised is Moloch's blessing still:—
If bread is cheap, "hard times!" their merchants cry,
And wages, falling too, forbid to buy.
If trade is brisk, "'tis since they undersell!
"Could they compete, unless the wages fell?"
Disasters even serve as an excuse
For new oppression, and for old abuse:
If fresh expenses ask increased supplies,
Still fall the wages, more than taxes rise.
A harvest fails—it is the traders' gain,
Who feed on famine—speculate on pain.
The starving mass petition for relief:
Mock sympathy but aggravates their grief;
For feast and ball, insulting common-sense,
Are held more free, in charity's pretence.
In gilded halls the tears of—laughter glance,
And gaily twirls the patriotic dance!
The Queen draws bounteous on—her subject's
And builds a palace, to—employ the poor!
Whilst ministers, lest misery should increase,
Soothe their distress, by—doubling the police!
Within the mansion, banquet, rouse, and rout;
Rags and starvation in the street without:
There, wanton waltzes float in laces drest:
Here, dies the infant on its mother's breast.
There, sins unchecked amuse the rich man's time,
Here, rags, despair, and hunger urge to crime.
There, pleasure's ransacked till inventions fail;
Here, foul-faced minions drag the poor to jail,
Of slavery's cup to drain that latest dreg:
Denied to work, yet not allowed to beg.
Indignant voices then the rich accuse—
False stewards of the fortunes they abuse!
The pliant laws unbending victims hold,
In thought too truthful, and in speech too bold.
Then brazen faction's never-blushing mask,
The public prosecutor plies his task;
For, when the pard has struck his murderous
The jackal comes and tears his mangled foe.
In him is centred all that perfects knaves—
The heart of tyrants, and the soul of slaves;
A bishop's sophistry, a bigot's ire,
A lawyer's conscience, and a brain for hire.
The judge decides, from high judicial seat,
The right to speak, petition, and to meet:
"To meet—in every public space, no doubt!
"If the police don't choose to keep you out.
"If at such meeting you may chance to be,
"And some one something says to somebody,
"Tho' not one syllable you may have heard,
"You're guilty, all the same, of every word!
"You may petition, if you like, the Throne—
"But then the ministers decide alone;
"Or Parliament—and, if they won't attend,
"What would you more?—the matter's at an end!
"Processions can in no case be allowed—
"Except for civic feast, or courtly crowd;
"Hunts, too, may sweep the fields with battering
"But men not bear petitions thro' the street.
"If you associate in your common cause,—
"That is conspiracy, by Statute-laws!
"If Cabinet, or Commons, you decry,—
"That is sedition, rout, and felony!
"If you suppose the crown can do amiss,
"That's treason!—see our last new Act for this!—
"And if against the holy church you rail,—
"That's blasphemy!—to jail, you knaves! to jail!
"You have a right to meet petitioning still,—
"Just when we choose,—and say—just what we will."
Yet came their blows so hard, so home their hits,
On cushioned seat the judge uneasy sits;
With ignorant glibness, refutation tries:
Like Sin, that reasons with its guilt—he lies!
From shallow premise inference false would wrench,
And spouts Economy from solemn bench:
"I drink champagne—that gives the poor man bread—
"The grower takes our calico instead.
"I keep my hunter—why that brow of gloom?
"Does not my hunter also keep his groom?
"I roll my carriage—well! that's good for trade!
"Look at the fortunes coach-makers have made."
Then his last argument when others fail;
"TO JAIL! TO JAIL! you wicked men! to jail!"
Now bring your fine blood-hunters to the plough,
And o'er the spade your liveried lacqueys bow!
If they must eat, 'tis right they should produce,
And, if you covet pomp, repay in use.
'Twere almost vain to those dark knaves to shew
So many hands but so much food can grow;
That so much land but so much produce bears,
And that our wheat is better than their tares.
That idle luxury turns, in evil hour,
To unproductive toil productive power;
And coachmaker and lacquey, horse and groom,
Impair production while they still consume:
But deep the People drink the precious lore,
And discontent speaks louder than before,
Which nearer and nearer yet, with every year,
Claim the dread creditors their long arrear.
Then cried those subtle gold kings, one and all;
"The cure is found! THE COUNTRY is too small!
"Here's not enough your greedy maws to sate:
"'TO SHIP! TO SHIP! you Paupers: emigrate!
"We'll grant free passage! aye! We'll even pay!
"So that you'll but be still—and go away!"
Deep groan the reeling decks, obscurely massed;
On plague-curst shores the human offal's cast;
In maddening seas the rotten timbers split,
Like rubbish shot in Mammon's boundless pit:
If here for land the poor mechanic ask,
They say his strength's unfitted for the task,
And send him there, to fell those forests' pride,
Whose barbarous life six thousand years defied!
Away! away! the streams of misery flow!
What matters where? The object's gained—they go!
But childhood's memory is a household thing;
Home's weeping fairies round the wanderer cling:
The sod grows dear, that's turned beneath the hand—
And tears of suffering sanctify the land.
Hard is the voyage, and bitter is the wave,
That parts affliction from a kindred grave;
The plot explodes, and, warned by others' fate,
They want, starve, die,—but will not emigrate!
"If needs we must redundant branches lop,
"We little care how high—begin at top!
"The labouring vessel of the commonweal
"Can spare the figure head—but not the keel.
"And if, beshoaled, the straightened rations fail,
"Men keep the bread, but cast the silken bale.
"And if, too fast, the dangerous leakage gain,
"The cattle are thrown out, the crew remain.
"Cities besieged, that fear the leaguer's length,
"Eject their idlers, not their working strength."
Thus honest feeling baffles wealth's intrigue,
And rich conspiracy fronts pauper-league.
Then rapine reeks in treachery its ally,
And wolfish prowls the smooth, lamb-visaged spy;
Too mischievous to earn an honest bread,
He'd be a thief, but turned police instead.
The wary gold-kings hold, with cautious fear,
Their army, splendid phantom! in the rear:
Desirous still to keep their slaves apart,
Lest "hand to hand" should carry heart to heart!
In knaves well chosen place a trust more sure,
And pay their tools, to keep their victims poor.
Their power is girt by no preventive show;
They seek to strike the terror and the blow.
No bristling legions cause a timely fear;
No frowning forts their warning turrets rear;
As in their mills machines their hands expel,
Artillery here shall do the work of hell!
With humble names their strongholds they conceal:
Jail, prison, work house, barrack, and bastile.
Beggar and vagrant there they hold secure,
Thro' that long battle of the rich and poor;
Struck down by Want, and marked by Hunger's scar,
PAUPERS they call those Prisoners of War!
In Ceylon's neighbouring isle a million died!
Unburied corpses choked the charnel-side.
One year's death-harvest, reaped by Famine's scythe,
While Mamnon laughed, and Moloch's heart was
For once their very murderers stand aghast!
They die too openly, and fall too fast.
As vultures round the quivering carcase draw,
More thick they pour the carrion-birds of war:
Then turned that gallant island in its pride;
Then bent the broken reed against the tide;
Then from its shattered harp, so sweetly skilled!
One tone of anger and of anguish thrilled;
Then in its wounded breast, with dying heat,
One pulse of chivalry sublimely beat,
And grandly gathering its expiring might,
Struck one last blow for country, God, and right!
With Calculation cold, the lords of trade
The weights of Want and Plenty nicely weighed;
Their stalwart few, well-armed, and better trained,
Crushed the emaciate million that remained.
The Sword may finish what the Plague began,
While Ceylon's landlords dance in Hindostan.
From land to land prophetically sent,
Crept o'er the shuddering earth a low lament.
Then those dark traders, with a cunning vain,
Tried from their brows to wipe the brand of Cain:
The nobles vanquished, monarch but a shade,
They scarce know where the burden can be laid,
And, half in shame, and half in mockery cast,
Throw down their proudest challenge, and their last:
If famine scourges, and if bread is high,
"'Tis God! 'tis God Himself's the cause!" they cry.
"Made we the land too little, or too bare?"
"Did we create you, or confine you there?
"Did we the harvest blight? the increase stay?
"To church! to church! you sinners ! fast and
On that dread eve, ere God His deluge hurled,
Unnatural stillness wrapped the wondering world.
The Almighty threat could take no fuller form;
Unearthly calm foretold unearthly storm.
Some wait the event as tho' of life bereft,
Nor use the hour of grace that yet is left.
Some, desperately brave, flaunt forth their crime,—
Assured of hell, and near the brink of time.
Some with mad mirth to stifle terror try,
And some would stay the torrent with a lie.
Thus thro' the realm an awful calmness crept,
And vengeance ripened while affliction wept.
The very nation breathed with bated breath:
'Twas silent—as became a house of death.
No noisy plaint—no threat—no idle cry,
Disgraced, that hour, a People's agony!
Unnatural stillness! save, prophetic tones!
When came the sullen sound of falling thrones.
Then reckless Mammon, on the verge of fate,
Displayed his maddest lust, and proudest state;
And heedless revelled on, for still we find
That those who live most guilty prove most blind,
He cried: "Ha! ha!" he said: the cowards are tame!
"Men are machines, and Freedom's but a name!"
Some, with their alms the people's wrath would
As if those rich men thought the poor would eat
Crumbs from their table, grateful at their door,
When their whole feast's a robbery from the poor!
The Priest, more timid, pours fresh floods of lies,
And doubly liberal grows,—of Paradise!
"In pain and poverty contented rest!
"Whom God chastises most, he loves the best.
"Nor envy those to worldly treasures given:
"Leave earth to them, and take your share—in
"'Tis true, the Scriptures of the poor man speak—
"Of lands, goods, freedom, ravished from the
"Of tyrants crushed—and peoples' fetters rent—
"But all that's only spiritually meant !
"Thank God! that, worthy found His cross to bear,
"The more you suffer here, you triumph there!
"And now to Him, as is most justly due........."
Peace, knave! for thou art false, and He is true!
At last, when least expected friends and foes,
Grandly and silently the People rose!
None gave the word!—they came, together brought
By full maturity of ripened thought.
Truth sought expression:—there the masses stood,
In living characters of flesh and blood!
Each foot at once the destined pathway trod;—
An army raised and generalled of God!
Then erst was shown how vain embattled might,
Whene'er the People will—and will the Right!
They marched unarmed—yet no one dared resist:
Camps, Courts, and Councils melted like a mist,
And when amid their multitudes were seen
The saddening bands of Ceylon's island green,
Then from those kings of gold the courage fled,
Like murder's when it thinks it meets the dead!
"Have spectres risen from the grave?" they cried,
"A nation comes—and yet a nation died!"
Nor cheered, nor shouted that majestic force;
It moved, it acted, like a thing of course;
No blood, no clamour, no tumultuous hate;
As death invincible, and calm as fate!
While prostrate mercy raised her drooping head,
Thus came the People, thus the gold-kings fled;
None fought for them—none spoke: they slunk away,
Like guilty shadows at appearing day;
They were not persecuted—but forgot;
Their place was vacant, and men missed them not.
And Royalty, that dull and outworn tool!
Bedizened doll upon a gilded stool—
The seal that Party used to stamp an Act,
Vanished in form, as it had long in fact.
All wondered 'twas so easy, when 'twas o'er,—
And marvelled it had not been done before.
Free Europe, placid in her later day,
While changing empires round her fleet away,
Marks these enact, in sober pity's mood,
The same career of folly site pursued.
Nations buy wisdom with the coin of years,
And write the book of history with their tears.
Smarting no more from olden error's stings,
That worse than Egypt's plagues, the plague of kings,
Now had she dwelt for aye. secure from ill,
But an old curse was cleaving to her still:
Deep in the burning south a cloud appears,
The smouldering wrath of full four thousand years,
Whatever name caprice of history gave,
Moor, Afrit, Ethiop, Negro, still meant slave!
But from the gathering evil springs redress,
And sin is punished by its own excess.
Algeria's Frank, and boor of Table-rock,—
The grafts of science on the savage stock
The ravished slave of Egypt's Nubian host;
And fierce bloodtraders of the golden coast,
In East and West that thirst for vengeance wake,
Which North and South instruct them how to slake;
Their barbarous strength with Europe's lore recruit,
The seed of future power, and fatal fruit.
Marvel no more that mercy pleads in vain:
He soon grows pitiless, who wears a chain!
At ruthless heart, and unrelenting mind:—
Ask of your lash—it made them what you find ;
Thro' mine, and field, and factory, dragged by turns,—
Misfortune's colleges where misery learns—
They but apply the lesson that you gave
You sought a treasure and you gain a grave.
At last, the trumpet sounds, the nations wake:
From every side the swarthy torrents break.
Like weird fulfilment of the runic rhyme,
Black Surtur comes from fiery Muspelheim.
Pale rose an anxious face from Niger's wave,
And murdered Park one groan of anguish gave;
While distant ocean, starting at the knell,
Washed from its sands, the letters L. E. L.
That human hemisphere, so long in night,
Now turns to Freedom, as the Earth to Light.
Claim Touarick bold—claim martial Ashantee—
Their mortgage on mankind's prosperity.
The wandering Arab first, detested name!
Meets, shrivels, dies before the desert flame!
Along Algeria beats the French tambour:
Behind Morocco cowers the trembling Moor:
Alike beneath that darkness disappear
Morocco's pride, and glories of Algier.
Mark ruin wrapt the tomb of Egypt's king,
And Memnon cease his granite-song to sing.
The Sphynx, outrivalled, hides her conquered
More strange than her's, Man's sable riddle read.
Still flows the Nubian deluge past the Nile:
O'er Tyrian dust the foes of Carthage smile;
Or frown, where Sidon scarcely shades their path,
To find revenge beforehand with their wrath;
And onward still their furious passage break,
From either end of Rome's imperial lake.
Daira's thousand skeletons advance,
With calcined fingers pointing guilty France;
And, dire allies! to make their vengeance sure,
Behind them tower Ogé, and L'Ouverture.
Now, dreadful ravage! from the bubbling main
Bursts the black horror on the coasts of Spain.
Laugh Mexico! and clap thy hands, Peru!
Old Montezuma! break thy charnel through.
Relight your lamps, poor Vestals of the Sun!
That you may see Pizarro's work outdone!
Upsurges Europe in Iberia's aid—
Rebounds from swarthy ranks the white crusade.
Near and more near, and fiercer and more fierce,
East, West, and South, the sable legions pierce;
Drive thro' Justinian's capital the steel,
And spurn Mahomet's dust with haughty heel;
"Tunis!" "Algier!" and "Tripoli!" they cry,
Prone at the sound, behold a nation die!
On! to the site, where ancient Rome once rose,
And modern towns in meaner dust repose.
Up, Ennus! tip! and Spartacus! awake!
Now, if you still can feel, your vengeance slake!
What bleeding form around yon column crawls?
The Gladiator looks, and smiles, and falls.
See! where in doubt sublime yon wrecks remain,
If Coliseum once, or Peter's fane,
With shrieking laugh a kingly phantom soar;
''Old venal City! worth a price no more!"
White Europe gasps before the o'erwhelming blaze,
But guiltless Germany the torrent stays,
Compelled beneath the Eternal will Divine,
To spend its force at Danube, Alps, and Rhine.
As some volcano's once o'erflowing fires,
Mid inward turbalence their wrath expires;
On Afric's altered shores the thunders cease,
For freedom, Heaven's firstborn, still heralds peace.
And where, o'er boundless waste, the Almighty hand
Spread, like a guardian sheath, protecting sand,
That fallows long might nurse the exhausted soil
For unborn generations' distant toil
The thick branched waters, beating from below,
Throb to the surface, and resume their flow.
Bound thro' Saharan sand creative springs,
The sheltering palm its fruitful shadow flings,
Teems with green life the rich luxuriant sod,
And happy millions hymn the grace of God.
Now to the seat of David's royal muse
Traditionary instinct drawns the Jews.
Two thousand years recal the exiles home,
From each new Egypt, Babylon, and Rome.
Needs but a march—Jerusalem is won!
Bequeathed by History to Misfortune's son.
No prior owners claim the invader's sword,
The bride awaits her long-expected lord.
No crimes revolting now their reign prepare—
A heritage, and not a spoil, to share.
No prophet host, with borrowed jewels left,
Learn from their priest that God Commands a theft
No wonder-works surpassing sorcerers' tricks,
A barbarous tribe's untamed obedience fix.
No Moses, with tired arms, and bated breath,
Sits praying to his God for blood and death.
No tarrying sun prolongs unnatural stay,
That murders work may win in added day.
Gladly and calmly comes, in solemn mirth,
The great procession from the ends of earth.
From town to town still swells the gathering mass,
And wondering nations bless them as they pass.
They leave—they leave—a God-collected band!
Their homeless houses in the stranger's land.
You scarce would deem that risen race the same—
Thus one great thought trausfigurates the frame:
Greed spurns its gold—Affliction dries her tears—
Youth scorns its follies—Age forgets its years:
The faint old man, uprising on his bed,
Leans on his shrunken arm his silvery head.
Around him stand, half-sandalled to depart,
His stalwart sons, the pillars of his heart.
What splendors kindle in that faded sight?
He sees—he sees—Judea's far-off light!
Why bends he as one listening? Hush! He hears
The cedars whispering of their thousand years!
A sudden ardour nerves his frame—he cries
"My cloak and staff!—Hosannah!........" sinks,
Low bend those mariners of life's loud wave
Around the barque safe-anchored in the grave.
Tho' young, and strong, and eager for the way,
That old man won the promised land ere they.
The blushing maid the lover scarce can chide,
Whose heart admits an image by her side,
But smiles well-pleased;—for nigh the day has come,
When country signifies a larger home;
And when the strong the weak no more o'erbears,
But equal rights with Man sweet Woman shares.
E'en sparkling childhood longs with vague delight
For broad Esdraelon's flowery pastures bright.
On to THE PLEASANT LAND those pilgrims go—
Time's great nobility of Hope and Woe;
And, where Messiah's fainting spirit fell,
The thirst of ages slake at Jacob's well.
Again resounds the psalm, so like in tone
Who can believe those thrice ten centuries flown?
But different spirits now the strain prolong:
Triumph the theme, white Mercy swells the song.
Vengeance no more, and wrath, and blood, and fire,
That strained the strings of David's angry lyre;
Through their ecstatic chant this descant ran:
"Glory to God!" and " Peace!"—"Good will to man!"
See Israel then its greatest Temple raise,
And noblest worship in its Maker's praise;
Man is the Temple, Truth the corner-stone,
Freedom the worship, worthy God alone.
Rent is the veil, Deception's darkling art,
Holy of holies is the human heart.
In sunny clime behold an Empire rise,
Fair as its ocean, glorious as its skies!
'Mid seas serene of mild Pacific smiles—
Republic vast of federated isles.
Sleepy Tradition, lingering, loves to rest,
Confiding child, on calm Tahiti's breast;
But Science gathers, with gigantic arms,
In one embrace, the South's diffusive charms.
Nor there alone she rears the bright domain—
Throughout the world expands her hallowing
Then, bold aspiring as immortal thought,
Launched in the boundless, mounts the aeronaut;
While o'er the earth they drive the cloudy team,
Electric messenger, and car of steam;
And guide and govern on innocuous course.
The explosive mineral's propelling force;
Or, mocking distance, send, on rays of light,
Love's homeborn smiles to cheer the wanderer's
Mechanic power then ministers to health,
And lengthening leisure gladdens greatening
Brave alchemy, the baffled hope of old,
Then forms the diamond and concretes the gold;
No fevered lands with burning plagues expire,
But draw the rain as Franklin drew the fire;
Or far to mountains guide the floating hail,
And whirl on barren rocks its harmless flail.
Then the weird magnet, bowed by mightier
Robbed of its secret, yields its power as well;
With steely fingers on twin dials placed,
The thoughts of farthest friends are instant
And those fine sympathies that, like a flame,
Fibre to fibre draw, and frame to frame,
That superstition, in its glamour-pride,
At once misunderstood, and misapplied,
As virtue ripens, shall be all revealed,
When man deserves the trust-such arms to
Then shall be known, what fairy-lore mistaught
When Fancy troubled Truth's instinctive thought,
Then He who filled with life each rolling wave,
And denizens to every dewdrop gave,
Left not this hollow globe's in caverned apace
The only void, unpeopled dwelling-place.
Then shall the eye, with wide extended sight,
Translate the starry gospel of the night;
And not as now, when narrower bounds are set,
See, but not read the shining alphabet.
Unheeded knowledge then shall freely scan
That Mighty world of breathing wonders—man!
How act and will are one, shall stand defined;
How heart is feeling, and how brain is mind.
Then each disease shall quit the lightened breast:
By pain tormented while by vice oppressed;
And Life's faint step to Death's cool threshold
The gentle passing of a pleasant dream.
Those halcyon days shall witness discord cease,
And one great family abide in peace;
While ball and bayonet but remain to tell
That lofty race how low their fathers fell.
One language then endearingly extends:
Shall tongues be strangers still, when hearts are
With Babels curse war, wrong, and slavery came—
Their end was shadowed in the cloven flame.
No parchment deed shall qualify the soil:
God gave to man his title in his toil;
No vile destinctions mar his great design,
And designate a theft as "mine and thine."
No perjured code shall make His bounty vain,
And say: "for thee, the stubble—me, the grain!"
But, 'twixt this dust, and heaven's o'er-arching
Man own no nobler name than that of MAN—
No holier law than CHRIST'S great law of Love,
His guide within him, and his Judge above:—
Freed evermore from soldiers, nobles, kings,
Priests, lawyers, hangmen, and all worthless things.
For, matchless harmony pervading earth,
With evil passions dies each evil birth;
And, all her stubborn elements subdued,
Nature and man forget their ancient feud.
Thus, regions civilised the cold forsakes;
Unkind Miasma shuns the brightening lakes;
And, banished thence, as by enchanter's wand,
The very earthquake leaves the lulling land—
To exiled Art Euganean hills resigns,
And stern, old Etna spares his clambering vines:
But whore harsh ignorance maintains the van,
And brutes are scarce less civilised than man,
There forms uncouth, and fearful portents dwell,—
The lingering vestige of invading Hell.
Peace blest the groves of Antioch's classic age,
Where rude Antakia shakes with sulphury rage.
Thro' thousand cones of France the plague expires
In granite cenotaphs of former fires:
Tho' red volcanoes blast old Gondar's wade,
And with their Puma down the Andes rave.
The rocks of Rhine, of Leman, and Vaucluse,
Are silent, that mankind may hear the muse
But still, from Ural's lip to Himlah's ear,
Crude chaos pours its messages of fear;
O'er Sweden's Scaldic oak, and Norway's pine,
In quiet grandeur wintry glories shine:
Pet Hecla strives in Thule, with neighbouring toil,
To thaw its snows, and Make its Geysers boil.
Thick-peopled streams in leisure wend their way
Thro' smiling banks of civilised Cathay:
While mighty mountains, 'mid confusion placed,
Still groan across Kamtschatka's barbarous waste.
But, in that happier age, from zone to zone,
One bloom shall brighten, and one joy be known
Earth's angel then, at God's supreme command,
Waving to north and south an emerald hand,
Their golden keys receiving from the sun,
Unlocks the crystal portals one by one.
Again on polar isles the stately palm
Beckons the barque along the rippling calm;
And frostsmokes, fleeting from each icy cape,
To Greenland yield once more the clustering grape.
The beasts of prey an extirpated race,
Vanish on barbarism's dusky trace;
No lamb and lion bound in friendship view—
Nature is never to herself untrue—
But, as the gentlest still the longest last,
The lamb shall flourish when the lion's past.
Then, as the waifs of sin are swept away,
Mayhap the world may meet its destined day:
A day of change and consummation bright,
After its long Aurora, and old night.
No millions shrieking in a fiery flood;
No blasphemies of vengeance and of blood,—
Making the end of God's great work of joy,
And of Almighty wisdom—to destroy!
No kindling comet—and no fading sun:
But Heaven and Earth uniting melt in one.
The voyage is o'er.—The adventurous flag is furled.
The Pilot, Thought, has won the fair NEW WORLD.
The Sailor's task is done.—The end remains.
Must he, too, expiate his work in chains?
But, tho' old Prejudice the path opposed,
Tho' weeds corrupt around the vessel closed,
Tho' discord crept among the jealous crew—
His heart his compass,—and it told him true!