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Oh! may the Will, of essence free as air,
Yield to impressions though sublime and fair,
If Pleasure soothe not its wild liberty,
And make its choice delightful as 'tis free?
Yet, as its sensibility improves,
The soul, confess we, loathes as well as loves.
Her pleasures oft to agony attain,
And joy too exquisite expires in pain :
But pain ne'er rises into ecstasy;
The soul rejects it, and the senses die.
Exile from Eden, Man went forth to strive
With Nature, or inert or sensitive:
The force of pleasure and the love of ease
Incited his inventive energies ;
Then Jabal built his tents, and Jubal made
Organ and harp, bestowing music's aid
To solace life; and, when 'twas worth defence,
The art of arms did Tubal-Cain dispense.
These are thy works, O Genius! Lo, I see
The city rise in prospect fair and free ;
The cultured field, the winding river's line,
The holy bounds of Property define.
But the Barbarian envies all that can
Give life to life, humanity to man ;
With savage inroad rush th' untutored horde-
Well know the social tribes to wield the sword !
For Freedom-not the freedom of the wild-
But Freedom civil, equitable, mild-
Their hearths—their altars—and their country's love-
In arms they rise ; . . ingenious, on they move,
Opposing skill to courage fierce as rude,
And Few, by art, repulse a Multitude;
Or if they fall, win graves upon the soil,
How dear, how precious, made by Skill and Toil !
So thy brave Few, “sublime Leonidas !”.
Defeated Xerxes in that " guardian Pass,”
When Asia came in vengeance for her slain,
Left on the eternal Marathonian plain;
And Fame for ever, from that hour to this,
Still haunts “ the gulf, the rock of Salamis !"
How keen thy Pleasures, Genius! to impel
Man 'gainst consociate comforts to rebel,
And proud of conquest, and with spoils increased,
Go forth to battle, glad as to a feast.
From Egypt thus, with arts and science blest,
- What wild Ambition panting in his breast !-
Sesostris went to sway the world by war,
And harnest kings to his triumphal car!
Behold thy son, great Ammon! lends his ear
To science high, profound, abstract, severe;
Roused by the Stagyrite, his mind awakes
To grasp infinity,-in thought, partakes ;
From worlds ideal, which no bounds confine,
Returns to earth, to cease to be divine,
O'erruns it all, and weeps he may no more
Compelled, Ambition paused - but not before.
Ambition! glorious fault! from heaven she came;
And what has earth to satisfy her aim?
Proud Spirit! wherefore take incarnate thrall,
And, for an Avatar, deign so to fall ?
To reign-although in hell! and to impress
Thy genius on the nations—curse or bless!
Go, slay or shackle all who would debel,
And mould the mind, or, if not, even compel.
At nobler quarry should Ambition fly,
And build within the temple of the Sky-
As nests the Swallow in the holy dome,
Or in the rock the Eagle makes her home.
Soar, Flame of Genius! even to heaven aspire,
Whence thou descendedst, a prophetic fire.
There thou art greeted by the immortal Three,
Faith, Hope, and chief, supernal Charity;
And bear'st in charge, at thy departure thence,
From them the message of benevolence-
Go, teach mankind, adoring him above,
To pray-with understanding and with love!
Ere haggard Superstition had a name, Reason and Revelation were the same. Conscious of Being from on high bestowed, From God each thought as from its fountain flowed, To God returned, as rivers seek their source, And thus with Heaven maintained an intercourse. God in man's spirit spake his Will divine, And Reason bowed and worshipt at his shrine ; Till the proud priest, degenerate from his sires, Banished the seraph from its hallowed fires : Then in the groves, where cherub Wisdom strayed, It dwelt with sages—but no longer prayed; Till HE, o'er whom heaven hovered with delight, Bade Reason and Religion re-unite; Eternal Reason, that with God of old, With God unerring dwelt, one-manifold.
- Art thou ambitious ? In his holy Name, Take thou his cross, and emulate his aim!
Cradled on Fortune's bosom, others may
Learn to be wise, and teach the mind its play;
He, nursed by Poverty, in Labour reared,
Supreme in genius, taught of God, appeared.
From his new lips precocious Wisdom ran,
And Truth divine enlarged the heart of man.
'Twas his the soul to awaken and exalt,
Cleanse from all stain, and purify from fault;
In doing well, laborious days to spend,
Of human kind the Lover and the Friend,
And hail, O Death! thy terrors; pledge sublime
Of Faith that shall survive the wreck of Time.
Brightest and purest He, of all that e'er
Reflected Light from heaven's harmonious sphere.
In him Law ruled supreme, and walked before
The Man divine whom nations now adore.
Ah! that they would in clearer mirror shew,
Peoples and rulers, what through him they know-
That both by precept and example too,
In man embodied, Truth the world might woo,
Woo to be wise, and blandish to be blest,
And find even here a Paradise of rest.
Yet not in vain hath Time oracular Pronounced the things that have been or that are. The historic page unfolds the plan divine; States rise and fall in aid of heaven's design. Genius to Nations ! in barbaric lands, Man felt the fervour of thy plastic hands; Nature herself the Child of Nature taught, Inspired with Feeling, and possessed with Thought ; And ancient Greece, with reverence and with awe, From them received Philosophy and Law, O Greece! in thee the youth of mind we trace, The rising manhood of the human race. By Providence directed in her aim, From thee to Rome transmitted, Learning came, And found at length what she had sought so long ; Truth, to support the weak, subdue the strongTruth, Saviour of the world, awhile disowned, But now above the eternal heavens enthroned.
Ah! thither should the flame of Genius soar ; But earth, Ambition ! earth thou lovest more ! - Thine was a Cyrus—thine a Cæsar, too; Thine, too, the people from whose pride he grew. The queen of Cities, born of Fable's womb, Thou wert the Genius to gigantic Rome I Her, Freedom nursed, and Valour watched beside, Till Glory came and wooed her for his bride. Heroic Virtue, through eld's twilight mists Enlarged to vision, all her foes resists. Let Pyrrhus, and let Italy subdued, Let Carthage, by two Scipios well withstood, Let Syria humbled, Macedon o'erthrown, Attest the courage which surpassed their own ; Whilst Spain and Sicily, and Gaul and Greece, The praise and honour of her arms increase, Till solemn History, from age to age, Names but one people on her crowded page.
Her Cæsar rose upon the wings of war, Till Freedom feared his coming from afarThe Rubicon he past, there doomed to die, From the She-Wolf's offended Majesty- .
Himself majestic : so his spirit still
Survived thy work, Ambition ! to fulfil-
Genius to Rome! who looked with scornful eyes
On petty warfare, left to her allies,
While she, reserved for more sublime an end,
Disdained for less than empires to contend.
Glorious her eagles blazed o'er flood and field !
Glorious her warriors, bright with spear and shield !
Their march how rapid, and their aim how sure !
How skilful each! how powerful to endure !
How fitted for their work! how firm to do!
Without a rival-save the unconquered Jew.
Land of his fathers I thou indeed wert free!
How great thy Law ! how glad thy Jubilee !
How brave thy sons ! thy daughters passing fair!
Gentle to love, and vehement to dare !
Methinks I hear this song proceed from them,
A song of sorrow for Jerusalem
" What patriot ever strove with equal zeal,
Or for his country might so deeply feel ?
People of God! although at last ye fell,
With Rome's your better genius struggled well :
Nor had ye fallen, if not on high decreed,
Had Heaven fought not against the chosen seed.
Lo! in the air celestial armies fought,
And doomed the desolation Titus wrought!
“ See now the Jew, how abject for august !
His glory changed and dwindled into dust !
But, О respect his sorrows, fear to wrong,
If that ye would your country's weal prolong ;
For never yet did nation wreak him woe,
And Heaven its vengeance for the crime forego.
Long wait it may ... but will at length strike home!
Where now is Babylon ? What now is Rome?"
Genius to Nations ! thine the historian's skill,
Nor he his task without thee may fulfil.
While great Herodotus his volume read,
Thy tears, O Genius! by the boy were shed:
Olorus' son, astonished, rapt, inspired,
Wept, .. and achieved the greatness he admired.
Important task! on nations to confer
The wisdom taught through Time, truth-utterer !
Enormous guilt ! the nations to deceive
With lies, that sceptics only can believe.
Let future Gibbons tremble while they write,
And shed o'er History's page Religion's light,
The Humes and Mitfords of another age
Develope facts in reason, not in rage,
Nor give to party what was meant for man-
And rival Truth and Turner, if they can.
Truth! What art thou ? A voice bade Des Cartes still
“ Pursue the search of Truth !" He said, “I will !" N. $.-TOL. I.
And e'er the Vision haunted his rapt mind,
And urged him forward-forward. Did he find ?
Alas 1 he lost by Doubt what Faith had found,
Yet saw all things in Deity abound-
Region of Truth, where Man, of heavenly grace,
May seek and prove her, in her dwelling-place.
Mind-mind-most glorious of all gifts to man,-
'Tis his at once to cultivate and scan-
His special privilege, himself to know,
Soar to the heights above, the depths below,'
Give nature laws, the universe control,
On matter stamp the impress of the soul.
With what delight, through dim-discovered tracts,
Science explores all essences and acts;
And Wonder worships what the Arts design,
While Colour speaks, and Form becomes divine!
How have I hung enamoured o'er the page
Of Locke and Berkeley and the German sage ;
Or loved with Bacon, as his earth I trod,
To trace God's fingers in the works of God;
Or soar with Newton to the starry sky,
And learn what Power supports the orbs on high,
And in the mighty Whole the Mythos see,
Of that which was, and is, and is to be.
Here Reason reigns; yet Genius loves as well
Bright Fancy listening pleased to ocean's shell,
Dreaming of music o'er the waves afar,
While Tritons clarion round the Sea-god's car.
With her the Loves and Graces still disport,
And Fable worships in her elfin court,
Where Scott and Southey bear the golden key,
Once Ariosto's, bard of Chivalry.
But chief, Imagination, godlike power
Receives from Genius her majestic dower.
Together the still horror they invite,
And shed the tear of rapture and delight;
And in that blissful trance, such shapes descry
As haunt the magic land of poesy.
Severely statuesque, and sternly grand,
The Forms which her religious soul command;
Such as sage Dante saw, by Virgil led,
In worlds to come, the Living in the Dead.
So, by the Sculptor's art, the marble shews
Passion in stone, and Beauty in repose.
-Laocoon conquers in his soul the pain,
Which to remit he pleads to heaven in vain ;.
Feels for his boys clasped in the serpents' coil,
Yet triumphs o'er the agony and toil.
-Lo, Niobe, into a statue wept,
Would save the daughter to her bosom crept;
Heroic Mother, self-devoted,—she,
Thou trembling One! would ward the bolt from thee;