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When lo! far onwards waving on the wind I saw the skirts of the DePARTING YEAR!

Starting from my silent sadness

Then with no unholy madness, Ere yet the enter'd cloud forbade my sight, I rais'd th’impetuous song, and solemniz'd his flight.


Hither from the recent tomb,
From the prison's direr gloom,
From poverty's heart-wasting languish,
From distemper's midnight anguish;
Or where his two bright torches blending,

Love illumines manhood's maze;
Or where o'er cradled infants bending

Hope has fixed her wishful gaze:
Hither, in perplexed dance,
Ye Woes, and young-eyed Joys advance !
By Time's wild harp, and by the hand

Whose indefatigable sweep

Forbids its fateful strings to sleep,
I bid you haste, a mix'd tumultuous band;
From every private bower,

And each domestic hearth,
Haste for one solemn hour;
And with a loud and yet a louder voice,
O'er Nature struggling in portentous birth,

Weep and rejoice!
Still echoes the dread name that o'er the earth
Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of Hell;

And now advance in saintly jubilee
Justice and Truth! They, too, have heard the spell,

They, too, obey thy name, divinest Liberty !


I mark'd Ambition in his war-array!

I heard the mailed Monarch's troublous cry“Ah! wherefore does the Northern Conqueress stay! Groans not her chariot o'er its onward way?" Fly; mailed monarch fly! Stunn'd by Death's “ twice mortal

mace, No more on murder's lurid face The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye!

Manes of the unnumber'd slain !

Ye that gasp'd on Warsaw's plain! Ye that erst at Ismail's tower,

When human ruin chok'd the streams,
Fell in conquest's glutted hour,

Mid women's shrieks and infant's screams!
Whose shrieks, whose screams were vain to stir
Loud-laughing, red-eyed Massacre !
Spirits of th' uncoffin'd slain,

Sudden blasts of triumph swelling,
Oft, at night, in misty train,

Rush around her narrow dwelling! Th'exterminating fiend is fled

(Foul her life, and dark her doom) Mighty army of the dead

Dance, like death-fires, round her tomb!
Then with prophetic song relate,
Each some sceptred murderer's fate!


Departing Year! 'twas on no earthly shore

My soul beheld thy vision! Where alone,

Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, Aye Memory sits; there, garmented with gore, With many an unimaginable groan

Thou stored'st thy sad hours! Silence ensued,

Deep silence o'er th'ethereal multitude, Whose wreathed locks with snow-white glories shone.

Then, his eye wild ardours glancing,

From the choired gods advancing,
The Spirit of the Earth made reverence meet,
And stood up beautiful before the cloudy seat!


On every harp, on every tongue,
While the mute enchantment hung ;
Like midnight from a thunder-cloud,
Spake the sudden Spirit loud-
“Thou in stormy blackness throning

Love and uncreated light,
By the Earth's unsolac'd groaning,
Seize thy terrors, Arm of might!

By Belgium's corse impeded flood ! *

By Vendée's steaming brother's blood! By Peace with proffer*d insult scar'i,

Masked hate and envying scorn!

By years of havoc yet unborn!
And hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bard!
But chief by Afric's wrongs,

Strange, horrible, and foul !
By what deep guilt belongs
To the deaf Senate, ‘full of gifts and lies!'
By wealth's insensate laugh! by torture's how!!

Avenger, rise!

For ever shall the bloody Island scowl? For aye, unbroken, shall her cruel bow

Shoot famine's arrows o'er thy ravag'd world ? Hark! how wide Nature joins her groans below! Rise, God of Nature, rise! Ah why those bolts unhurl'd?"

* The Rhine.


The voice had ceas'd, the phantoms fled;
Yet still I gasp'd and reel'd with dread,
And ever, when the dream of night
Renews the vision to my sight,
Cold sweat-damps gather on my limbs;

My ears throb hot; my eye-balls start;
My brain with horrid tumult swims;
Wild is the tempest of my heart;

And my thick and struggling breath

Imitates the toil of death!
No stranger agony confounds

The soldier on the war-field spread,
When all foredone with toils and wounds,

Death-like he dozes among heaps of dead ! (The strife is o'er, the day-light fled,

And the night wind clamours hoarse !
See! the startful wretch's head

Lies pillowed on a brother's corse!)

O doom'd to fall, enslav'd and vile,
O Albion ! O my mother Isle !
Thy valleys, fair as Eden's bowers,
Glitter green with sunny showers;
Thy grassy uplands gentle swells

Echo to the bleat of flocks ;
(Those grassy hills, those glitt'ring dells
Proudly ramparted with rocks)

And Ocean mid his uproar wild

Speaks safety to his island-child. Hence for many a fearless age

Has social quiet lov'd thy shore; Nor ever sworded foeman's rage

Orsack'd thy towers, or stain’d thy fields with gore.

Disclaim'd of heaven ! * mad av’rice at thy side
At coward distance, yet with kindling pride-
Safe 'mid thy herds and corn-fields thou hast stood,
And join'd the yell of famine and of blood !

All nations curse thee: and with eager wond'ring Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream ! Strange-eyed Destruction, who with many a dream

Of central fires thro' nether seas upthund'ring Soothes her fierce solitude; yet, as she lies

By livid fount, or roar of blazing stream,
If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes,
O Albion ! thy predestin'd ruins rise,

* The Poet from having considered the peculiar advantages which this country has enjoyed, passes in rapid transition to the uses which we have made of these advantages. We have been preserved by our insular situation, from suffering the actual horrors of war ourselves, and we have shown our gratitude to Providence, for this immunity by our eagerness to spread those horrors over nations less happily situated. In the midst of plenty and safety we have raised or joined the yell for famine and blood. Of the one hundred and seven last years, fifty have been years of war. Such wickedness cannot pass unpunished. We have been proud and confident in our alliances and our fleets—but God has prepared the canker-worm, and will smite the gourds of our pride. “ Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about whose rampart was the sea ? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubin were her helpers. Yet she was carried away,

she went into captivity; and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains. Thou also shalt be drunken; all thy strong-holds shall be like fig trees with the first ripe figs; if they be shaken, they shall ever fall into the mouth of the eater. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven. Thy cowned are as the locusts; and thy captains as the great grasshoppers which camp in the hedges in the cool-day ; but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous; all that hear the report of thee, shall clap the hands over thee; for upon who hath not thy wickedness passed continually?" -NAHUM, CHAP. 111.


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