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A. Patriots, alas ! the few that have been found, Where most they flourish, upon English ground, The country's need have scantily supplied, And the last left the scene when Chatham died.
B. Not so—the virtue still adorns our age,
Though the chief actor died upon the stage.
In him Demosthenes was heard again ;
Liberty taught him her Athenian strain ;
She cloth'd him with authority and awe,
Spoke from his lips, and in his looks gave law.
His speech, his form, his action, full of grace,
And all his country beaning in his face,
He stood, as some inimitable hand
Would strive to make a Paul or Tully stand.
No sycophant or slave, that dar'd oppose
Her sacred cause, but trembled when he rose;
And every venal stickler for the yoke
Felt himself crush'd at the first word he spoke.
Such men are rais'd to station and command,
When Providence means mercy to a land.
He speaks, and they appear; to him they owe
Skill to direct, and strength to strike the blow
To manage with address, to seize with power,
The crisis of a dark, decisive hour.
So Gideon earn'd a victory not his own ; Subserviency bis praise, and that alone.
Poor England I thou art a devoted deer,
Beset with every ill but that of fear.
The nations hunt ; all mark thee for a prey ;
They swarm around thee, and thou stand'st at bay.
Undaunted still though wearied and perplex'd,
Once Chatham sar'd thee; but who saves thee next!
Alas! the tide of pleasure sweeps along
All that should be the boast of British song.
'Tis not the wreath that once adorn’d thy brow,
The prize of happier times, will serve thee now.
Our ancestry ; a gallant Christian race,
Patterns of every virtue, every grace,
Confess'd a God; they kneel'd before they fought,
And prais'd him in the victories he wrought.
Now, from the dust of ancient days, bring forth
Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth ;
Courage, ungrac'd by these, affronts the skies,
Is but the fire without the sacrifice.
The stream that feeds the well-spring of the heart
Not more invigorates life's noblest part,
Than virtue quickens, with a warmth divine,
The powers that sin has brought to a decline.
A. Th' inestimable estimate of Brown
Rose like a paper-kite, and charm’d the town;
But measures, plano'd and executed well,
Shifted the wind that rais'd it, and it fell.
He trod the very self-same ground you tread,
And victory refuted all he said.
B. And yet his judgment was not fram'd amiss ;
Its error, if it err’d, was merely this
He thought the dying hour already come,
And a complete recovery struck him dumb.
But, that effeminacy, folly, lust, Enervate and enfeeble, and needs must ; And that a nation, shamefully debas'd, Will be despis'd and trampled on at last, Unless sweet penitence her powers renew, Is truth, if history itself be true. There is a time, and justice marks the date, For long forbearing clemency to wait ; That hour elaps'd, th' incurable revolt Is punish'd, and down comes the thunder-bolt. If mercy then put by the threatening blow, Must she perform the same kind office now? May she ! and, if offended Heaven be still Accessible, and prayer prevail, she will. 'Tis not however insolence and noise, The tempest of tumultuary joys, Nor is it, yet, despondence and dismay, Will win her visits or engage her stay ; Prayer only, and the penitential tear, Can call her smiling down and fix her here.
But, when a country (one that I could name) In prostitution sinks the sense of shame; When infamous venality, grown bold, Writes on his bosom-To be let or sold; When perjury, that heaven-defying vice, Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price ; Stamps God's own name upon a lie just made, To turn a penny in the way of trade; When avarice starves (and never hides his face) Two or three millions of the human race,
And not a tongue inquires, how, where, or when,
Though conscience will have twinges now and then ;
When profanation of the sacred cause,
In all its parts, times, ministry and laws,
Bespeaks a land, once Christian, fallen and lost
In all that wars against that title most ;
What follows next, let cities of great name,
And regions, long since desolate, proclaim.
Nineveh, Babylon, and ancient Rome,
Speak to the present times, and times to come ;
They cry aloud in every careless ear,
Stop, while you may ; suspend your mad career :
O learn from our example and our fate,
Learn wisdom and repentance ere too late.
Not only vice disposes and prepares
The mind, that slumbers sweetly in her snares,
To stoop to tyranny's usurp'd command,
And bend her polish'd neck beneath his hand,
(A dire effect, by one of nature's laws
Unchangeably connected with its cause ;)
But Providence himself will intervene,
To throw his dark displeasure o'er the scene.
All are his instruments ; each form of war,
What burns at home or threatens from afar,
Nature in arms, her elements at strife,
The storms that overset the joys of life,
Are but his rods to scourge a guilty land,
And waste it at the bidding of his hand.
He gives the word, and mutiny soon roars
In all her gates, and shakes her distant shores;
The standards of all nations are unfurl'd;
She has one foe, and that one foe the world.
And, if he doom that people with a frown,
And mark them with a seal of wrath press’d down,
Obduracy takes place : callous and tough,
The reprobated race grows judgment proof :
Earth shakes beneath them and heaven roars above ;
But nothing scares them from the course they love :
To the lascivious pipe and wanton song,
That charm down fear, they frolic it along,
With mad rapidity and unconcern,
Down to the gulf from which is no return.
They trust in navies, and their navies fail -
God's curse can cast away ten thousand sail !
They trust in armies, and their courage dies ;
In wisdom, wealth, in fortune, and in lies ;
But all they trust in withers, as it must,
When he commands, in whom they place no trust.
Vengeance, at last, pours down upon their coast
A long despis’d, but now victorious, host ;
Tyranny sends the chain that must abridge
The noble sweep of all their privilege ;
Gives liberty the last, the mortal shock,
Slips the slave's collar on, and snaps the lock.
A. Such lofty strains embellish what you teach, Mean you to prophesy, or but to preach ?
B. I know the mind that feels, indeed, the fire The muse imparts, and can command the lyre,