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TO A FRIEND.
COMPOSED NEAR CALAIS, ON THE ROAD LEADING TO AHDRE5, AUGUST 7th, 1807.
Jones! while from Calais southward you and I
Urged our accordant steps, this public Way
Streamed with the pomp of a too-credulous day, *
When faith was pledged to new-born Liberty:
A homeless sound of joy was in the Sky;
The antiquated Earth, as one might say,
Beat like the heart of Man: songs, garlands, play,
Banners, and happy faces, far and nigh!
And now, sole register that these things were,
Two solitary greetings have I heard,
"Good morrow, Citizen!" a hollow word,
As if a dead Man spake it! Yet despair
I feel not: jocund as a warbling Bird;
Fair seasons yet will come, and hopes as fair.
• 14th July, 1790.
I Grieved for Buonaparte, with a vain
CALAIS, AUGUST Isth, 1802.
Festivals have I seen that were not names:
ON THE EXTINCTION Or THE VENETIAN REPUBLIC.
Once did She hold the gorgeous East in fee;
And was the safeguard of the West: the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.
She was a Maiden City, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And, when She took unto herself a Mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
When her long life hath reached its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
Of that which once was great, is passed away.
THE XING OF SWEDEN.
The Voice of Song from distant lands shall call
To that great King; shall hail the crowned Youth
Who, taking counsel of unbending Truth,
By one example hath set forth to all
How they with dignity may stand; or fall,
If fall they must. Now, whither doth it tend?
And what to him and his shall be the end?
That thought is one which neither can appal
Nor cheer him; for the illustrious Swede hath done
The thing which ought to be: He stands above
All consequences: work he hath begun
Of fortitude, and piety, and love,
Which all his glorious Ancestors approve:
The Heroes bless him, him their rightful Son.