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Beyond the measure vast of thought,
The works, the wizard Time has wrought !

The Gaul, 'tis held of antique story,
Saw Britain link'd to his now adverse strand,

No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary,
He pass'd with unwet feet through all our land.

To the blown Baltic then, they say,

The wild waves found another way,
Where Orcas howls, his wolfish mountains rounding;

Till all the banded west at once 'gan rise,
A wide wild storm even Nature's self confounding,

Withering her giant sons with strange uncouth surprise.
This pillar'd earth so firm and wide,

By winds and inward labours torn, In thunders dread was push'd aside,

And down the shouldering billows borne.
And see, like gems, her laughing train,

The little isles on every side,
Mona, 2 once hid from those who search the main,

Where thousand elfin shapes abide,
And Wight, who checks the westering tide,

For thee consenting Heaven has each bestow'd,


1. Strand:' this tradition is mentioned by several of our old historians. Some naturalists, too, have endeavoured to support the probability of the fact, by arguments drawn from the correspondent disposition of the two opposite coasts. I don't remember that any poetical use has been hitherto made of it.—2 Mona :' There is a tradition in the Isle of Man, that a mermaid, becoming enamoured of a young man of extraordinary beauty, took an opportunity of meeting him one day as he walked on the shore, and opened her passion to him, but was received with a coldness, occasioned by his horror and surprise at her appearance. This, however, was so misconstrued by the sea-lady, that, in revenge for his treatment of her, she punished the whole island, by covering it with a mist, so that all who attempted to carry on any commerce with it, either never arrived at it, but wandered up and down the sea, or were on a sudden wrecked upon its cliffs.


A fair attendant on her sovereign pride

To thee this blest divorce she owed, For thou hast made her vales thy loved, thy last abode !



Then too, 'tis said, an hoary pile,
'Midst the green navel of our isle,
Thy shrine in some religious wood,
O soul-enforcing goddess, stood !
There oft the painted native's feet
Were wont thy form celestial meet :
Though now with hopeless toil we trace
Time's backward rolls, to find its place;
Whether the fiery-tressed Dane,
Or Roman's self o'erturn'd the fane,
Or in what heaven-left age it fell,
'Twere hard for modern song to tell.
Yet still, if truth those beams infuse,
Which guide at once, and charm the Muse,
Beyond yon braided clouds that lie,
Paving the light-embroider'd sky,
Amidst the bright pavilion'd plains,
The beauteous model still remains.
There happier than in islands blest,
Or bowers by Spring or Hebe drest,
The chiefs who fill our Albion's story,
In warlike weeds, retired in glory,
Hear their consorted Druids sing
Their triumphs to th' immortal string.

How may the poet now unfold,
What never tongue nor numbers told?
How learn, delighted and amazed,
What hands unknown that fabric raised ?

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Even now, before his favour'd eyes,
In Gothic pride it seems to rise !
Yet Græcia's graceful orders join,
Majestic through the mix'd design :
The secret builder knew to choose,
Each sphere-found gem of richest hues ;
Whate'er heaven's purer mould contains,
When nearer suns emblaze its veins ;
There on the walls the patriot's sight
May ever hang with fresh delight,
And, graved with some prophetic rage,
Read Albion's fame through every age.

Ye forms divine, ye laureate band,
That near her inmost altar stand!
Now soothe her, to her blissful train
Blithe Concord's social form to gain :
Concord, whose myrtle wand can steep
Even Anger's bloodshot eyes in sleep :
Before whose breathing bosom's balm,
Rage drops his steel, and storms grow calm :
Her let our sires and matrons hoar
Welcome to Britain's ravaged shore;
Our youths, enamour'd of the fair,
Play with the tangles of her hair ;
Till, in one loud applauding sound,
The nations shout to her around,
O how supremely art thou blest !
Thou, lady, thou shalt rule the west !





Written, May 1745. 1 While, lost to all his former mirth, Britannia's genius bends to earth,

And mourns the fatal day :
While stain'd with blood he strives to tear
Unseemly from his sea-green hair

The wreaths of cheerful May :

2 The thoughts which musing pity pays,
And fond remembrance loves to raise,

Your faithful hours attend :
Still Fancy, to herself unkind,
Awakes to grief the soften'd mind,

And points the bleeding friend.

3 By rapid Scheld's descending wave
His country's vows shall bless the grave,

Where'er the youth is laid :
That sacred spot the village hind
With every sweetest turf shall bind,

And Peace protect the shade.

4 O’er him, whose doom thy virtues grieve,
Aerial forms shall sit at eve,

And bend the pensive head;
And, fallen to save his injured land,
Imperial Honour's awful hand

Shall point his lonely bed !

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5 The warlike dead of every age,
Who fill the fair recording page,

Shall leave their sainted rest;
And, half-reclining on his spear,
Each wondering chief by turns appear,

To hail the blooming guest.

6 Old Edward's sons, unknown to yield, Shall crowd from Cressy's laurell’d field,

And gaze with fix'd delight:
Again for Britain's wrongs they feel,
Again they snatch the gleamy steel,

And wish th' avenging fight.

7 But lo! where, sunk in deep despair,
Her garments torn, her bosom bare,

Impatient Freedom lies!
Her matted tresses madly spread,
To every sod, which wraps the dead,

She turns her joyless eyes.

8 Ne'er shall she leave that lowly ground, Till notes of triumph bursting round

Proclaim her reign restored :
Till William seek the sad retreat,
And, bleeding at her sacred feet,

Present the sated sword.

9 If, weak to soothe so soft a heart,
These pictured glories nought impart,

To dry thy constant tear :
If yet, in Sorrow's distant eye,
Exposed and pale thou seest him lie,

Wild war insulting near :


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