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Fair boding hopes inured their hands to toil,
Stay, Pharaoh, stay, that impious hand forbear, Nor tempt the genius of our souls too far; How oft, ungracious! in thy thankless stead, 'Mid scenes of death, our generous youth have bled ; When the proud Gaul thy
mightiest powers repellid, And drove your legions trembling from the field, We rent the laurel from the victor's brow, And round your temples taught the wreath to grow, Say, when thy slaughter'd bands the desert dyed, Where lone Ohio rolls her gloomy tide, Whose dreary banks their wasting bones inshrine, What arm avenged them ?-thankless ! was it thiné ? But generous valor scorns a boasting word, And conscious virtue reaps her own reward, Yet conscious virtue bids thee now to speak, Though guilty blushes kindle o'er thy cheek:
If wasting wars, and painful toils at length,
the murders of that guilty day.
But why to future periods look so far, What force e'er faced us, that we fear'd to dare ? Then, canst thou think, e’en on this early day, Proud force shall bend us to a tyrant's sway? A foreign foe opposed our sword in vain, And thine own troops we've rallied on the plain, If then our lives thy lawless sword invade, Think'st thou, enslaved, we'd kiss the pointed blade ? Nay, let experience speak-be this the test, "T is from experience that we reason best. When first thy mandate show'd the shameless plan, To rank our race beneath the class of man, Low as the brute to sink the human line, Our toil our portion, and the harvest thine, Modest but firm, we plead the sacred cause, On nature based, and sanction'd by the laws; But your deaf ear the conscious plea denied, Some demon counsel'd—and the sword replied ; Your navy then our haven cover'd o'er, And arm'd battalions trespass'd on our shore. Through the prime streets, they march'd in war's array, At noon's full blaze, and in the face of day : With dumb contempt we pass’d the servile show, While scorn's proud spirit scowld on every brow ; Day after day successive wrongs we bore, Till patience, wearied, could support no more,
Till slaughter'd lives our native streets profaned,
furious urged the impassion'd fray, Nor clamorous tumult dinn’d the solemn day. In full convene the city senate sate, Our fathers' spirit ruled the firm debate;The freeborn soul no reptile tyrant checks, 'Tis heaven dictates when the people speaks ; Loud from their tongues the awful mandate broke, And thus inspired, the sacred senate spoke ; “ Ye miscreant troops, begone! Our presence fly, Stay, if ye dare, but if ye dare, ye die! “Ah! too severe,” the fearful chief replies, "Permit one half-the other instant flies." “No parle, avaunt, or by our fathers' shades, Your reeking lives shall glut our vengeful blades, Ere morning's light begone, -or else we swear, Each slaughter'd corse shall feed the birds of air!" Ere morning's light had streak’d the skies with red, The chieftain yielded, and the soldier fled. "T is thus experience speaks—the test forbear, Nor show these states your feeble front of war, But still your navies lord it o'er the main, Their keels are natives of our oaken plain; E’en the proud mast that bears your flag on high, Grew on our soil, and ripen'd in our sky: “ Know then thyself, presume not us to scan,” Your power precarious, and your isle a span.
Yet could our wrongs in just oblivion sleep, And on each neck revived affection weep, The brave are generous, and the good forgive, Then say you've wrong'd us, and our parent live; But face not fate, oppose not heaven's decree, Let not that curse, our mother, light on thee.
HER warlike sons the palm of victory bore, Where hoary Neptune's utmost billows roar, More far than Rome who ruled unnumber'd kings, Where Cæsar's eagles never stretch'd their wings,
From Polar climes where daylight scarcely gleams,
Barbarian ravage hung the pagan car, The spoils of empires, and the waste of war, In fields of death did Cæsar's laurels bloom, And shamed the triumphs of imperial Rome, Whose wreath renown'd to mightier Timur yields, Famed for the feats of more illustrious fields. He, half the world in one great day withstood, And bid the rising crescent set in blood. From tyrant power preserved the realms of Greece, And o'er Byzantium stretched the palm of peace. Yet conquer'd kings in chains inglorious led, And captive queens with sordid offal fed. Not so the Briton gleans the field of war, Nor such the trophies of a Brunswick's car; No frown of danger daunts his fearless eye, Where the fight storms, and where the bravest die. But when the thunder of the battle's o'er, And adverse legions tempt their fate no more, His heart humane regrets a hero's deeds, And for the foe his generous bosom bleeds! A sanguine spirit fires the soldier slave, But manly pity ever warms the brave. Say! round the circuit of this spacious earth, What barbarous act degrades the warrior's worth? Through the vast regions stretch'd from either pole, What aching bosom, or what anguish'd soul ? Doth hoary age a single solace mourn, Or from whose breasts are tender nurslings torn ?
What spouse bewails the bridal bed profaned,
Her hallow'd courts no vulgar trophy soils, No rapined gold, nor unillustrious spoils ; Great Brunswick's eye dejected Bourborn waits, And India's monarchs throng Augusta's gates, Whole maps of conquest all the war reveal, And at her side the vanquish'd princes kneel, Till peace, fair goddess, spreads her balmy wings, And grace benignly lifts the prostrate kings : The kings arise, the gates of Janus close, And Britain gives the weary world repose ; Now casts her eye through every various zone, And counts a hundred different climes her own. Here, right of conquest pleads a boon to fame, And here, the sword prescribes the sovereign's claim. Not so, endear'd by nature's kindly tie, Beloved Columbia meets her parent's eye, Pleased she surveys her darling's fair domains, Her fleecy mountains, and her bearded plains, Where peace and plenty rule with union sway, Where Britain's genius beams politic day.
Ah! seats of Eden, nature's care in vain !