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XIV.
LONDON,

1802.

Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; Oh! raise us up, return to us again;And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on itself did lay.

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GitEAT Men have been among us; hands that penn'd

And tongues that uttered wisdom, better none:

The later Sydney, Marvel, Harrington,

Young Vane, and others who called Milton Friend.

These Moralists could act and comprehend:

They knew how genuine glory was put on;

Taught us how rightfully a nation shone

In splendor: what strength was, that would not bend

But in magnanimous meekness. France, 'tis strange

Hath brought forth no such souls as we had then.

Perpetual emptiness ! unceasing change!

No single Volume paramount, no code,

No master spirit, no determined road;

But equally a want of Books and Men J v

XVI.

It is not to-be thought of that the Flood
Of British freedom, which to the open Sea
Of the world's praise from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, " with pomp of waters, unwithstood,"
Road by which all might come and go that would,
And bear out freights of worth to foreign lands;
That this most famous Stream in Bogs and Sands
Should perish; and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our Halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.—In every thing we are sprung
Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.

xvir.

When I have borne in memory what has tamed

Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts depart

When men change Swords for Ledgers, and desert

The Student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed

I had, my Country! am I to be blamed?

But, when I think of Thee, and what Thou art,

Verily, in the bottom of my heart,

Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.

But dearly must we prize thee; we who find

In thee a bulwark of the cause of men;

And I by my affection was beguiled.

What wonder, if a Poet, now and then,

Among the many movements of his mind,

Felt for thee as a Lover or a Child.

XVIII.

October, 1803.

One might believe that natural miseries
Had blasted France, and made of it a land
Unfit for Men; and that in one great Band
Her Sons were bursting forth, to dwell nt ease.
But 'tis a chosen soil, where sun and breeze
Shed gentle favors; rural works are there;
And ordinary business without care;
Spot rich in all things that can soothe and please!
How piteous then that there should be such dearth
Of knowledge; that whole myriads should unite
To work against themselves such fell despite:
Should come in phrenzy and in drunken mirth,
Impatient to put out the only light
Of Liberty that yet remains on Earth!

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