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May exercise amiss his proper pow'rs,
Or covet more than freemen choose to grant !
Beyond that mark is treason. He is ours,
T'administer, to guard, t' adorn the state,
But not to warp or change it.
We are his,
To serve hiin nobly in the common canse,
True to the death ; but not to be his slaves.
Mark now the diff'rence, ye that boast your love
Of kings, between your loyalty and ours.
We love the man; the paltry pageant, you:
We the chief patron of the commonwealth ;
Yon, the regardless author of its woes :
We, for the sake of liberty, a king;
You, chains and bondage for a tyrant's sake :
Our love is principle, and has its root
In reason; is judicious, manly, free ;
Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod,
And licks the foot that treads it in the dust.
Were kingship as true treasure as it seems,
Sterling, and worthy of a wise man's wish,
I would not be a king to be belov'd
Causeless, and daub'd with undiscerning praise,
Where love is mere attachment to the throne,
Not to the man who fills it as he ought.
Whose freedom is by suff'rance, and at will of a superiour, he is never free. Who lives, and is not weary of a life Expos'd to manacles, deserves them well. The state that strives for liberty, though foil'd, And forc'd to abandon what she bravely sought, Deserves at least applause for her attempt, And pity for her loss. But that's a cause Not often unsuccessful : pow'r usurp'd Is weakness when oppos’d; conscious of wrong, 'Tis pusillanimous and prone to flight. But slaves, that once conceive the glowing thought
or freedom, in that hope itself possess
All that the contest calls for ; spirit, strength,
The scorn of danger, and united hearts;
The surest presage of the good they seek.*
Then shame to manhood, and opprobrious more
To France than all her losses and defeats,
Old or of later date, by sea or land,
Her house of bondage, worse than that of old
Which God aveng'd on Pharaoh-the Bastile
Ye horrid tow'rs, th' abode of broken hearts :
Ye dungeons, and ye cages of despair,
That monarchs have supplied from age to age
With musick, such as suits their sov'reign earn-
The sighs and groans of miserable men!
There's not an English heart that would not leap
To hear that ye were fall’n at last ; to know
That e'en our enemies, so oft employ'd
In forging chains for us, themselves were free.
For he who values Liberty, confines
His zeal for her predominance within
No narrow bounds; her cause engages him
Wherever pleaded.' 'Tis the cause of man.
There dwell the most forlorn of human mind,
Inmur'd though unaccus'd, condemnd untried,
Cruelly spar'd, and hopeless of escape.
There, like the visionary emblem seen
By him of Babylon, life stands a stump,
And, filleted about with hoops of brass,
0 Still lives, though all his pleasant boughs are gone. To count the hour-bell and expect no change ;
en The author hopes that he shall not be censured for unnecessary warmth upon so interesting a subject. He in is aware, that it is become almost fashionable, to stigmatize such sentiments as no better than empty de. clamation ; but it is an ill symptom, and peculiar to Lodern tiines.
And ever as the sullen sound is heard, Still to reflect, that, though a joyless note To him whose moments all have one dull pace, l'en thousand rovers in the world at large Account it musick ; that it summons some To theatre, or jocund feast, or ball; The wearied hireling finds it a release From labour; and the lover, who has chid Its long delay, feels ev'ry welcome stroke Upon his heart-strings, trembling with delight To fly for refuge from distracting thought To such amusements as ingenious wo Contrives, hard shifting, and without her toolsTo read engraven on the mouldy walls, In stagg'ring types, his predecessor's tale, A sad memorial, and subjoin his ownTo turn purveyor to an overgorg'd And bloated spider, till the pamper'd pest Is made familiar, watches his approach, Comes at his call, and serves him for a friendTo wear out time in numb'ring to and fro. The studs that thick emboss his iron door; Then downward and then upward, then aslant, And then alternate ; with a sickly hope By dint of change to give his tasteless task Some relish ; till the sum, exactly found In all directions, he begins againO comfortless existence! hemm'd around With woes, which who that suffers would not knee i And beg for exile, or the pangs of death? That man should thus encroach on fellow man, Abridge him of his just and native rights, Eradicate him, tear him from his hold Upon th' endearments of domestick life And social, nip his fruitfulness and use, And doom him for perhaps a heedless word,
To barrenness, and solitude, and tears,
Moves indignation, makes the name of king,
(of king whom such prerogative can please)
As dreadful as the Manichean god,
Ador'd through fear, strong only to destroy.
'Tis liberty alone, that gives the flow'r
of fleeting life its lustre and perfume;
And we are weeds without it. All constraint,
Except what wisdom Jays on evil men,
Is evil! hurts the faculties, impedes
Their progress in the road of science ; blinds
The eyesight of Discovery ; and begets,
in those that suffer it, a sordid mind,
Bestial, a meager intellect, unfit
To be the tenant of wan's noble form.
Thee therefore still, blameworthy as thou art,
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeez'd
By publick exigence, ull annual food
Fails for the craving hunger of the state,
Thee l account still happy, and the chief
Among the nations, seeing thou art free ;
My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude,
Replete with vapours, and disposes much
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine :
Thine unadulterate manners are less soft
And plausible than social life requires,
And thou hast need of discipline and art,
To give thee what politer France receives
From Nature's bounty-that huinane address
And sweetness, without which no pleasure is
In converse, either starv'd by cold reserve,
Or Mush'd by fierce dispute, a senseless brawl,
Yet, being free I love ihee: for the sake
Of that one feature can be well content,
Disgrac'd as thou hast been, poor as thou art,
To seek no sublanary rest' beside.
But once enslav'd, farewell! I could endure
Chains no where patiently ; and chains at home,
Where I am free by birthright, not at all.
Then what were left of roughness in the grain
Of British natures, wanting its excuse
That it belongs to freemen, would disgust
And shock me. I should then with double pain
Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime ;
And, if I must bewail the blessing lost,
For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled,
I would at least bewail it under skies
Milder, among a people less austere ;
In scenes, which having never known me free,
Would not reproach me with the loss I felt.
Do I forbode impossible events,
And tremble at vain dreams? Heav'n grant I may !
But th' age of virtuous politicks is past,
And we are deep in that of cold pretence.
Patriots are grown too shrewd to be sincere,
And we too wise to trust them. He that takes
Deep in his soft credulity the stamp
Design'd by loud declaimiers on the part
Of liberty, (themselves the slaves of lust,)
Incurs derision for his easy faith
And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough ;
For when was publick virtue to be found,
Where private was not? Can he love the whole,
Who loves no part? He he a nation's friend,
who is in truth the friend of no man there?
Can he be strenuous in his country's cause,
Who slights the charities, for whose dear sake
That country, if at all, must be belov'd ?
'Tis therefore sober and good men are sad
For England's glory, seeing it wax pale
And sickly, while her champions wear their hearts
So loose lo private duty, that ne brain