« הקודםהמשך »
Thy monarchs arbitrary, fierce, unjust,
sea, That clips thy shores, had no such charms for thee; When other nations flew from coast to coast, And thou hadst neither fleet nor flag to boast.
Kneel now, and lay thy forehead in the dust; Blush if thou canst; not petrified, thou must; Act but an honest and a faithful part; Compare what then thou wast with what thou art; And God's disposing providence confess'd, Obduracy itself must yield the rest Then thou art bound to serve him, and to prove, Hour after hour, thy gratitude and love.
Has he not hid thee, and thy favour'd land, For ages safe beneath his sheltering hand, Given thee his blessing on the clearest proof, Bid nations leagued against thee stand aloof, And charged Hostility and Hate to roar, Where else they would, but not upon thy shore? His power secured thee,when presumptuous Spain Baptized her fleet Invincible in vain; Her gloomy monarch, doubtful and resign'd To every pang that racks an anxious mind, Ask'd of the waves, that broke upon
his coast, What tidings? and the surge replied—All lost! And when the Stuart leaning on the Scot, Then too much feared, and now too much forgot, Pierced to the very centre of the realm, And hoped to seize his abdicated helm, 'Twas but to prove, how quickly with a frown He that had raised thee could have pluck'd thee Peculiar is the grace by thee possess’d, [down. Thy foes implacable, thy land at rest; Thy thunders travel over earth and seas, And all at home is pleasure, wealth, and ease. 'Tis thus, extending his tempestuous arm, Thy Maker fills the nations with alarm, [scene, While his own Heaven surveys the troubled And feels no change, unshaken and serene. Freedom, in other lands scarce known to shine, Pours out a flood of splendour upon thine; Thou hast as bright an interest in her rays As ever Roman had in Rome's best days. True freedom is where no restraint is known, That Scripture, Justice, and good Sense disown, Where only Vice and Injury are tied, And all from shore to shore is free beside.
Such freedom is—and Windsor's hoáry towers
Now think, if Pleasure have a thought to spare;
grace, Seem to reflection of a different race, Meek, modest, venerable, wise, sincere, In such a cause they could not dare to fear; They could not purchase earth with such a prize, Or spare a life too short to reach the skies. From them to thee convey'd along the tide, Their streaming hearts pour'd freely when they
Allading to the grant of Magna Charta, wbich was extorted from king John by the barons, at Runnymede, near Windsor.
Those truths which neither use nor years impair,
How shall a verse impress thee; by what name
Their names, alas ! in vain reproach an age, Whom all the vanities they scorn'd engage; And his, that seraphs trembled at, is hung Disgracefully on every trifler's tongue, Or serves the champion in forensic war To flourish and parade with at the bar. Pleasure herself perhaps suggests a plea, If interest move thee, to persuade e’en thee; By every charm that smiles upon her face, By joys possess'd, and joys still held in chase, If dear society be worth a thought, And if the feast of freedom cloy thee not, Reflect that these, and all that seems thine own, Held by the tenure of his will alone, Like angels in the service of their Lord, Remain with thee, or leave thee at his word; That gratitude and temperance in our use Of what he gives unsparing and profuse, Secure the favour, and enhance the joy, That thankless waste and wild abuse destroy. But above all reflect, how cheap soe'er Those rights, that millions envy thee, appear, And though resolved to risk them, and swim down The tide of pleasure heedless of His frown, That blessings truly sacred, and, when given, Mark'd with the signature and stamp of Heaven, The word of prophecy, those truths divine, Which make that Heaven, if thou desire it, thine, (Awful alternative! believed, beloved, Thy glory; and thy shame if unimproved) Are never long vouchsafed, if push'd aside With cold disgust or philosophic pride; And that judicially withdrawn, disgrace, Error, and darkness, occupy their place.