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Or in gross shades they drown the visual ray, To stoop, retir'd ; and to their keen effort
Yielding at last, recoil'd the Roman power.
From sea to sea desponding legions rais'd
The last remains of empire, I was recall'd Yet there we sometimes send a searching ray. The weary Roman, and the Briton lay As, at the sacred opening of the morn,
Unnerv'd, exhausted, spiritless, and sunk. The prowling race retire ; so, pierc'd severe, Great proof! how men enfeeble into slaves. Before our potent blaze these demons fly,
The sword behind him flash'd; before him roard, And all their works dissolve.-- The whisper'd tale, Deaf to his woes, the deep.S Forlorn, around That, like the fabling Nile, no fountain knows; He rollid his eye, not sparkling ardent flame, Fair-fac'd deceit, whose wily conscious eye As when Caractacus || to battle led Ne'er looks direct. The tongue that licks the dust, Silurian swains, and Boadiceas taught But, when it safely dares, as prompt to sting : Her raging troops the miseries of slaves. Smooth crocodile destruction, whose fell tears
“ Then, (sad relief!) from the bleak coast that Ensnare. The Janus face of courtly pride;
hears One to superiors heaves submissive eyes,
The German ocean roar, deep-blooming, strong, On hapless worth the other scowls disdain. And yellow-hair'd, the blue-ey'd Saxon came. Cheeks that for some weak tenderness, alone, He came implor’d, but came with other aim Some virtuous slip, can wear a blush. The laugh Than to protect. For conquest and defence Profane, when midnight bowls disclose the heart, Suffices the same arm. With the fierce race At starving virtue, and at virtue's fools.
Pour'd in a fresh invigorating stream; Determin'd to be broke, the plighted faith : Blood, where unquell'd a mighty spirit glow'd. Nay more, the godless oath that knows no ties. Rash war, and perilous battle their delight; Soft-buzzing slander; silky moths, that eat
And immature, and red with glorious wounds, An honest name. The harpy hand, and maw, Unpeaceful death their choice ;** deriving thence Of avaricious Luxury; who makes The throne his shelter, venal laws his fort, And, by his service, who betrays his king. “ Now turn your view, and mark from Celtic* which ran for eighty miles quite across the country,
* The wall of Severus, built upon Adrian's rampart, night
from the mouth of the Tyne to Solway Frith. To present grandeur how my Britain rose. « Bold were those Britons, who, the careless sons
| Irruptions of the Scots and Picts. Of Nature, roam'd the forest-bounds, at once
| The Roman empire being miserably torn by the Their verdant city, high-embowering fane,
northern nations, Britain was for ever abandoned by the And the gay circle of their woodland wars :
Romans, in the year 426 or 427. For by the Druidt taught, that death but shifts $ The Britons applying to Ætius, the Roman general, The vital scene, they that prime fear despis'd ; for assistance, thus expressed their miserable condition: And, prone to rush on steel, disdain'd to spare
“ We know not which way to turn us. The barbarians An ill-sav'd life that must again return.
drive us to the sea, and the sea forces us back to the bar. Erect from Nature's hand, by tyrant force,
barians; between which we have only the choice of two And still more tyrant custom, unsubdued,
deaths, either to be swallowed up by the waves, or butch Man knows no master save creating Heaven,
ered by the sword.” Or such as choice or common good ordain.
| King of the Silures, famous for his great exploits, and This general sense, with which the nations I
accounted the best general Great Britain had ever pro. Promiscuous fire, in Britons burn'd intense,
duced. The Silures were esteemed the bravest and most Of future times prophetic. Witness, Rome,
powerful of all the Britons: they inhabited Herefordshire, Who saw'st thy Cæsar, from the naked land,
Radnorshire, Brecknockshire, Monmouthshire, and Gla. Whose only fort was British hearts, repell’d,
morganshire. To seek Pharsalian wreaths. Witness, the toil,
| Queen of the Iceni: her story is well known. The blood of ages, bootless to secure,
** It is certain, that an opinion was fixed and general Beneath an empire's i yoke, a stubborn isle, among them (the Goths) that death was but the entrance Disputed hard, and never quite subdued.
into another life; that all men who lived lazy and inacThe North ý remain'd untouch'd, where those who tive lives, and died natural deaths, by sickness or by age, scorn'd
went into vast caves under ground, all dark and miry, full of noisome creatures usual to such places, and there for ever grovelled in endless stench and misery. On the
contrary, all who gave themselves to warlike actions and * Great Britain was peopled by the Celtæ, or Gauls.
enterprises, to the conquest of their neighbors and the f The Druids, & nong the ancient Gauls and Britons, slaughter of their enemies, and died in battle, or of violent had the care and tirection of all religious matters. deaths upon bold adventures or resolutions, went imme. | The Roman empire.
diately to the vast hall or palace of Odin, their god of § Caledonia, inhabited by the Scots and Picts; whither war, who eternally kept open house for all such guests. a great many Britons, who would not submit to the Ro- where they were entertained at infinite tables, in permans, retired
petual feasts and mirth, carousing in bowls made of the A right to feast, and drain immortal bowls
Thus cruel ages passid ; and rare appear'd In Odin's ball ; whose blazing roof resounds White-mantled Peace, exulting o'er the vale, The genial uproar of those shades, who fall As when with Alfred,* from the wilds she came In desperate fight, or by some brave attempt ; To polic'd cities and protected plains. And though more polish'd times the martial creed Thus by degrees the Saxon empire sunk, Disown, yet still the fearless habit lives.
Then set entire in Hastings't bloody field.
“ Compendious war! (on Britain's glory bent,
From which, through many a century, in vain,
Of Gothic nations this the final burst;
Here the rich tide of English blood grew full.
Affrighted, droop'd beneath despotic rage.
All prostrate lay; and, in the secret shade, Prevail'd their general-king, and chieftain-thanes. Deep-stung, but fearful, Indignation gnash'd "In many a field, by civil fury stain'd,
His teeth. Of freedom, property, despoild, Bled the discordant heptarchy;* and long And of their bulwark, arms; with castles crush'd, (Educing good from ill) the battle groan'd; With ruffians quarter'd o'er the bridled land; Ere, blood-cemented, Anglo-Saxons saw
The shivering wretches, at the curfew sound Egbertt and Peace on one united throne.
Dejected shrunk into their sordid beds, “No sooner dawn'd the fair disclosing calm And, through the mournful gloom, of ancient times Of brighter days, when, lo! the North anew, Mus'd sad, or dreamt of better. Ev'n to feed With stormy nations black, on England pour'd A tyrant's idle sport the peasant starv'd: Woes the severest e'er a people felt.
To the wild herd, the pasture of the tame, The Danish raven, lur'd by annual prey,
The cheerful hamlet, spiry town, was given, Hung o'er the land incessant. Fleet on fleet
And the brown forest || roughen'd wide around. of barbarous pirates unremitting tore
“But this so dead, so vile submission, long The miserable coast. Before them stalk'd, Endur'd not. Gathering force, my gradual flame Far-seen, the demon of devouring flame;' Shook off the mountain of tyrannic sway. Rapine, and murder, all with blood besmear'd, Unus'd to bend, impatient of control, Without or ear, or eye, or feeling heart;
Tyrants themselves the common tyrant check'd. While close behind them march'd the sallow power The church, by kings intractable and fierce, of desolating famine, who delights
Denied her portion of the plunder'd state, In grass-grown cities, and in desert fields ;
Or, tempted, by the timorous and weak, And purple-spotted pestilence, by whom
To gain new ground, first taught their rapine law. Ev'n friendship scar’d, in sickening horror sinks The barons next a nobler league began, Each social sense and tenderness of life.
Both those of English and of Norman race, Fixing at last, the sanguinary race
In one fraternal nation blended now, Spread, from the Humber's loud-resounding shore, The nation of the free !T press'd by a band To where the Thames devolves his gentle maze, Of patriots, ardent as the Summer's noon And with superior arm the Saxon aw'd.
That looks delighted on, the tyrant see! But superstition first, and monkish dreams,
Mark! how with feign'd alacrity he bears
His strong reluctance down, his dark revenge,
Alfred the Great, renowned in war, and no less faOf conquering freedom, which he once respir'd.
mous in peace for his many excellent institutions, par. ticularly that of juries.
The battle of Hastings, in which Harold II., the last skulls of their enemies they had slain; according to the of the Saxon kings, was slain, and William the Connumber of whom, every one in these mansions of plea. queror made himself master of England. sure was the most honored and best entertained.
| Edward III. the Confessor, who reduced the WestSir William Temple's Essay on Heroic Virtue.
Saxon, Mercian, and Danish laws, into one body, which
from that time became common to all England, under the * The seven kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, considered
name of the Laws of Edward. as being united into one common government, under a general in chief, or monarch, and by the means of an
$ The curfew bell (from the French couvrefeu,) which assembly general, or Wittenagemot.
was rung every night at eight of the clock, to warn the | Egbert, king of Wessex, who, after having reduced alty of a severe fine.
English to put out their fires and candles, under the penall the other kingdoms of the heptarchy under his domin. ion, was the first king of England.
|| The New Forest, in Hampshire, t . make which the
country for above thirty miles in compass was laid I A famous Danish standard, called reafan, or raven.-waste. The Danes imagined that, before a battle, the raven wrought upon this standard clapt its wings or hung ons on Runnemede, signed the great charter of liberties,
11 On the 5th of June, 1215, King John, met by the bar. down its head, in token of victory or defeat.
or Magna Charta.
And gives the charter, by which life indeed By counsels weak and wicked, easy rous'd
To paltry schemes of absolute command, Through this and through succeeding reigns To seek their splendor in their sure disgrace, affirm'd
And in a broken ruin'd people wealth : These long-contested rights, the wholesome winds When such o'ercast the state, no bond of love, Of opposition* hence began to blow,
No heart, no soul, no unity, no nerve, And often since have lent the country life.
Combin'd the loose disjointed public, lost Before their breath corruption's insect blights, To fame abroad, to happiness at home. The darkening clouds of evil counsel, fly;
But when an Edward and an Henry* breath'd Or, should they sounding swell, a putrid court, Through the charm'd whole one all-exerting soul : A pestilential ministry, they purge,
Drawn sympathetic from his dark retreat, And ventilated states renew their bloom.
When wide-attracted merit round them glow'd : “ Though with the temper'd monarchy here mix'd When counsels just, extensive, generous, firm, Aristocratic sway, the people still,
Amid the maze of state, determind kept
When legal state, pre-eminence of place,
The busy hive : as in distinction, power,
Superior rank; with equal hand, prepar'd To Libyan deserts, swarm protruding swarm, To guard the subject, and to quell the foe : And pour'd new spirit through a slavish world. When such with me their vital influence shed, Yet, o'er these Gothic states, the king and chiefs No mutter'd grievance, hopeless sigh, was heard ; Retain'd the high prerogative of war,
No foul distrust through wary senates ran, And with enormous property engross'd
Confind their bounty, and their ardor quench'd :The mingled power. But on Britannia's shore On aid, unquestion'd, liberal aid was given: Now present, to raise my reign began
Safe in their conduct, by their valor fir'd, By raising the democracy, the third disclos'd Fond where they led victorious armies rushd ; And broadest bulwark of the guarded state. And Cressy, Poitiers, Agincourtt proclaim. Then was the full, the perfect plan disclos'd What kings supported by almighty love, Of Britain's matchless constitution, mixt
And people fir'd with liberty, can do. Of mutual checking and supporting powers,
" Be veil'd the savage reigns, when kindred rage King, lords, and commons ; nor the name of free The numerous once Plantagenets devour'd, Deserving, while the vassal-many droop'd :
A race to vengeance vow'd! and when, oppressid For since the moment of the whole they form, By private feuds, almost extinguish'd lay So, as depressid or rais'd, the balance they
My quivering flame. But, in the next, behold! Of public welfare and of glory cast.
A cautious lyranty lent it oil anew. Mark from this period the continual proof.
Proud, dark, suspicious, brooding o'er his gold When kings of narrow genius, minion-rid, As how to fix his throne he jealous cast Neglecting faithful worth for lawning slaves; His crafty views around; pierc'd with a ray, Proudly regardless of their people's plaints, Which on his timid mind I darted full, And poorly passive of insulting foes;
He mark'd the barons of excessive sway, Double, not prudent, obstinate, not firm,
At pleasure making and unmaking kings ;ll Their mercy fear, necessity their faith;
And hence, to crush these petty tyrants, plann'd Instead of generous fire, presumptuous, hot, A law, that let them, by the silent waste Rash to resolve, and slothful to perform ;
Of luxury, their landed wealth diffuse, Tyrants at once, and slaves, imperious, mean,
And with that wealth their implicated power. To want rapacious joining shameful waste; By soft degrees a mighty change ensued,
Ev'n working to this day. With streams, deduc'd
From these diminish'd floods, the country smil'd. * The league formed by the barons, during the reign of As when impetuous from the snow-heap'd Alps, John, in the year 1213, was the first confederacy made in To vernal suns relenting, pours the Rhine ; England in defence of the nation's interest against the While undivided, oft, with wasteful sweep, king.
He foams along ; but, through Batavian meads, † The Commons are generally thought to have been first represented in parliament towards the end of llenry the Third's reign. To a parliament called in the year
* Edward III. and Henry V.
† Three famous battles, gained by the English over the 1264, each county was ordered to send four knights, as
French. representatives of their respective shires; and to a parlia. ment called in the year following, each county was or. I During the civil wars betwixt the families of York dered to send, as their representatives, two knights, and and Lancaster. each city and borough as many citizens and burgesses. $ Henry VII. Till then, history makes no mention of them; whence a | The famous Earl of Warwick, during the reigns of very strong argument may be drawn, to fix the original Henry VI and Edward IV., was called the King-maker. of the House of Commons to that era,
| Permitting the barons to alienate their lands. 63
Branch'd into fair canals, indulgent flows;
Meantime, peace, plenty, justice, science, arts, Waters a thousand fields ; and culture, trade, With softer laurels crown'd her happy reign. Towns, meadows, gliding ships, and villas mix'd, “ As yet uncircumscrib'd, the regal power, A rich, a wondrous landscape rises round.
And wild and vague prerogative remain'd, “ His furious son* the soul-enslaving chain,t A wide voracious gulf, where swallow'd oft Which many a doting venerable age
The helpless subject lay. This to reduce Had link by link strong-twisted round the land, To the just limit was my great effort. Shook off. No longer could be borne a power, “ By means that evil seem to narrow man, From Heaven pretended, to deceive, to void Superior beings work their mystic will: Each solemn tie, to plunder without bounds, From storm and trouble thus a settled calm, To curb the generous soul, to fool mankind; At last, effulgent, o'er Britannia smild. And, wild at last, to plunge into a sea
“ The gathering tempest, Heaven-commission'd Of blood, and horror. The returning light,
came, That first through Wickliffs streak'd the priestly Came in the prince,* who, drunk with flattery, dreamt, gloom,
His vain pacific counsels rul’d the world; Now burst in open day. Bar'd to the blaze, Though scorn'd abroad, bewilder'd in a maze Forth from the haunts of superstition ♡ crawl'd of fruitless treaties; while at home enslav'd, Her motley sons, fantastic figures all ;
And by a worthless crew insatiate drain d, And, wide-dispers'd, their useless fetid wealth He lost his people's confidence and love ; In graceful labor bloom'd, and fruits of peace. Irreparable loss! whence crowns become
• Trade, join'd to these, on every sea display'd An anxious burden. Years inglorious passid : A daring canvas, pour'd with every tide
Triumphant Spain the vengeful draught enjoy'd A golden flood. From other worlds || were rollid Abandon'd Frederickt pin'd, and Raleigh bled. The guilty glittering stores, whose fatal charms, But nothing that to these internal broils, By the plain Indian happily despis'd,
That rancor, he began; while lawless sway Yet work d his woe; and to the blissful groves,
lle, with his slavish doctors, tried to rear Where Nature liv'd herself among her sons, On metaphysic, on enchanted ground, And innocence and joy for ever dwelt,
And all the mazy quibbles of the schools : Drew rage unknown to Pagan climes before, As if for one, and sometimes for the worst, The worst the zeal-inflam'd barbarian drew. Heaven had mankind in vengeance only made. Be no such horrid commerce, Britain, thine! Vain the pretence! not so the dire effect, But want for want, with mutual aid, supply. The fierce, the foolish discord thence deriv'd,
“ The commons thus enrich’d, and powerful grown, That tears the country still, by party-rage Against the barons weighd. Eliza then,
And ministerial clamor kept alive. Amid these doubtful motions, steady, gave
In action weak, and for the wordy war The beam to fix. She! like the secret eye Best fitted, faint this prince pursu'd his claim : That never closes on a guarded world,
Content to teach the subject herd, how great, So sought, so mark'd, so seiz'd the public good, How sacred he! how despicable they! That self-supported, without one ally,
“But his unyielding son || these doctrines drank, She aw'd her inward, quell'd her circling foes. With all a bigot's rage (who never damps Inspir'd by me, beneath her sheltering arm, By reasoning his fire ;) and what they taught In spite of raging universal sway,
Warm and tenacious, into practice push'd. And raging seas repress'd, the Belgic states, Senates, in vain, their kind restraint applied: My bulwark on the Continent, arose.
The more they struggled to support the laws, Matchless in all the spirit of her days !
His justice-dreading ministers the more With confidence, unbounded, fearless love
Drove him beyond their bounds. Tir'd with the Elate, her fervent people waited gay,
Free, cordial, large, of never-failing source,
Of the worst ruffians, those of tyrant power.
Oppression walk'd at large, and pour d abroad * Henry VIII.
f of papal dominion. 1 John Wickliff, doctor of divinity, who, towards the * James I. close of the fourteenth century, published doctrines very † Elector Palatine, and who had been chosen King of contrary to those of the church of Rome, and particular. Bohemia, but was stript of all his dominions and digni ly denying the papal authority. His followers grew very ties by the Emperor Ferdinand, while James the First numerous, and were called Lollards.
his father-in-law, being amused from time to time, en $ Suppression of monasteries.
deavored to mediate a peace. | The Spanish West Indies.
1 The monstrous, and till then unheard-of docrines of T The dominion of the House of Austria.
divine indefeasible hereditary right, passive obedience. ** The Spanish Armada.
Rapin says, that after proper measures had been taken, the enemy was expected § The parties of Whig and Tory. with uncommon alacrity,
| Charles I.
Her unrelenting train : informers, spies,
This wild delusive cant; the rash cabal Blood-hounds, that sturdy freedom to the grove Of hungry courtiers, ravenous for prey; Pursue; projectors of aggrieving schemes The bigot, restless in a double chain Commerce to load for unprotected seas,*
To bind anew the land ; the constant need To sell the starving many to the few,t
Of finding faithless means, of shifting forms, And drain a thousand ways th' exhausted land. And flattering senates, to supply his waste; Ev'n from that healing place, whence peace should These tore some moments from the careless prince, flow,
And in his breast awak'd the kindred plan. And gospel truth, inhuman bigots shed
By dangerous softness long he min'd his way ; Their poison round;t and on the venal bench, By subtle arts, dissimulation deep; Instead of justice, party held the scale,
By sharing what corruption shower'd, profuse ; And violence the sword. Afflicted years,
By breathing wide the gay licentious plague,
“ At last subsided the delirious joy,
Against his country brib'd by Gallic gold;
And fell Charybdis of the British seas;
Beneath its wing Freedom attack'd abroad,t with surer blow
The millions, by a generous people given,
Or squander'd vile, or to corrupt, disgrace, Strung every nerve, and Alam'd in every eye, And awe the land with forces not their own,ll Had e'er beheld such light and heat combin'd! Employ'd ; the darling church herself betray'd; Such heads and hearts ! such dreadful zeal, led on All these, broad-glaring, op'd the general eye, By calm majestic wisdom, taught its course And wak'd my spirit, the resisting soul. What nuisance to devour; such wisdom fir'd
“ Mild was, at first, and half asham'd, the check With unabating zeal, and aim'd sincere
Of senates, shook from the fantastic dream To clear the weedy state, restore the laws,
Of absolute submission, tenets vile! And for the future to secure their sway.
Which slaves would blush to own, and which, reduc'd " This then the purpose of my mildest sons. To practice, always honest Nature shock. But man is blind. A nation once inflam'd
Not ev'n the mask remoy'd, and the fierce front (Chief, should the breath of factious fury blow of tyranny disclos'd ; nor trampled laws; With the wild rage of mad enthusiasts swell’d) Nor seiz'd each badge of freedom through the Not easy cools again. From breast to breast,
land ;T From eye to eye, the kindling passions mix Nor Sidney bleeding for the unpublish'd page ; In heighten'd blaze; and, ever wise and just, Nor on the bench avow'd corruption plac'd, High Heaven to gracious ends directs the storm. And murderous rage itself, in Jeffries' form ; Thus, in one conflagration Britain wrapt,
Nor endless acts of arbitrary power, And by confusion's lawless sons despoil'd,
Cruel and false, could raise the public arm. King, lords, and commons, thundering to the ground, Distrustful, scatter'd, of combining chiefs Successive rush'd-Lo! from their ashes rose, Devoid, and dreading blind rapacious war, Gay-beaming radiant youth, the Phønix-state.$ The patient public turns not, till impellid
“ The grievous yoke of vassalage, the yoke To the near verge of ruin. Hence I rousd Of private life, lay by those flames dissolv'd; The bigot king, ** and hurried faled on And, from the wasteful, the luxurious king.//
His measures immature. But chief his zeal, Was purchas'd that which taught the young to Out-faming Rome herself, portentous scar’d bend. I
The troubled nation : Mary's horrid days Stronger restor’d, the commons tax'd the whole, To fancy bleeding rose, and the dire glare And built on that eternal rock their power. Of Smithfield lighten'd in his eyes anew. The crown, of its hereditary wealth
Yet silence reign'd. Each on another scowl'd Despoild, on senates more dependent grew, Rueful amazement, pressing down his rage : And they more frequent, more assur'd. Yet liv'd, As, mustering vengeance, the deep thunder frowns, And in full vigor spread that bitter root,
Awfully still, waiting the high command The passive doctrines, by their patrons first To spring. Straight from his country, Europe sav'd, Oppos'd ferocious, when they touch themselves.
* Dunkirk. Ship-money.
† The war, in conjunction with France, against the The raging high-church sermons of these times, in-Dutch. spiring at once a spirit of slavish submission to the court, The triple alliance. and of bitter persecution against those whom they call & Under Lewis XIV. Church and State Puritans.
| A standing army, raised without the consent of par $ At the Restoration.
liament. I Charles II.
| The charters of corporations. T Court of wards.
** James II.