Page images

Gushing from Freedom's fountains-when the crowd,
Madden'd with centuries of draught, are loud,
And trample on each other to obtain

The cup which brings oblivion of a chain

Heavy and sore, in which long yoked they plough'd The sand, or if there sprung the yellow grain,


'Twas not for them, their necks were too much bow'd,
And their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain :-
Yes! the few spirits—who, despite of deeds
Which they abhor, confound not with the cause
Those momentary starts from Nature's laws,
Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth
With all her seasons to repair the blight
With a few summers, and again put forth
Cities and generations-fair, when free-
For, Tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee!


Glory and Empire! once upon these towers

With Freedom-godlike Triad! how ye sate! The league of mightiest nations, in those hours When Venice was an envy, might abate, But did not quench, her spirit— in her fate All were enwrapp'd: the feasted monarchs knew And loved their hostess, nor could learn to hate, Although they humbled--with the kingly few The many felt, for from all days and climes

She was the voyager's worship ;


-even her crimes

Were of the softer order-born of Love,

She drank no blood, nor fatten'd on the dead,

But gladden'd where her harmless conquests spread;


For these restored the Cross, that from above
Hallow'd her sheltering banners, which incessant
Flew between earth and the unholy Crescent,
Which, if it waned and dwindled, Earth may
The city it has clothed in chains, which clank
Now, creaking in the ears of those who owe
The name of Freedom to her glorious struggles;
Yet she but shares with them a common woe,
And call'd the "kingdom" of a conquering foe,
But knows what all-and, most of all, we know -
With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles!



[ocr errors]

The name of Commonwealth is past and gone
O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe;
Venice is crush'd, and Holland deigns to own
A sceptre, and endures the purple robe;
If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone
His chainless mountains, 'tis but for a time,
For tyranny of late is cunning grown,
And in its own good season tramples down
The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime,
Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean
Are kept apart and nursed in the devotion
Of Freedom, which their fathers fought for, and
Bequeath'd-a heritage of heart and hand,

And proud distinction from each other land,
Whose sons must bow them at a monarch's motion,
As if his senseless sceptre were a wand

Full of the magic of exploded science

Still one great clime, in full and free defiance,

Yet rears her crest, unconquer'd and sublime,

Above the far Atlantic!-She has taught
Her Esau-brethren that the haughty flag,
The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag,

May strike to those whose red right hands have bought

Rights cheaply earn'd with blood.—Still, still, for ever
Better, though each man's life-blood were a river,
That it should flow, and overflow, than creep
Through thousand lazy channels in our veins,
Damm'd like the dull canal with locks and chains,
And moving, as a sick man in his sleep,
Three paces, and then faltering:-better be
Where the extinguish'd Spartans still are free,
In their proud charnel of Thermopylæ,
Than stagnate in our marsh,—or o'er the deep
Fly, and one current to the ocean add,
One spirit to the souls our fathers had,
One freeman more, America, to thee!




« PreviousContinue »