Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Behold a various motley race !
Th’unwelcome son, with alien face,

His mother's crime betrays.
No kindred Love's instinctive fire,
No social charities conspire

To light the patriot's blaze.

Hence sage Authority despis’d,
And savage Licence, ill disguis’d

In Freedom's injur'd name;
Bold Orat'ry with brazen din,
While skulking Selfishness within

Directs Ambition's aim.

In barter vile each parent sold,
The sordid progeny of gold

Will own no other sway ;
To wealth the virgin yields her charms;
For pay the soldier flies to arms,

Peers vote, and prelates pray..

Not such those lights (which pierc'd the gloona
Thick cast o'er earth by barb'rous Rome)

Pure as the faith they own’d.
Nor such th' unpension'd nobles' zeal :
In bosoms warm for public weal,

Their country sat enthron’d.

The statesman plann'd, the hero fought,
Their service like their love unbought;

Yet both were well repaid :
Their Country's glory, then, was wealth;
Youth, Beauty, Innocence, and Health

Endow'd the wedded maid.

No hireling friends did Britain drain,
No base Contractor's pilfering train

Aveng'd the vanquish'd foe:
While the land groans beneath her debt,
And hard-tax'd peasants murm’ring sweat,

In victory and woe.

Yet blest the hind whose shelter'd head,
Secure beneath his lowly shed,

Forgets the slow-worn day;
His darling child and faithful wife,
Best comforts of the happiest life,

His suff'rings all repay.

But seel th' unpeopl'd village falls:
Drear devastation rais'd the walls.

Say, if some tyrant reigns ?
Or dar'd the bold invader's hand,
In vengeance, hurl the flaming brand

O’er Britains ravag'd plains ?

Our coast no bold invader dares;
And George benign, with lib'ral cares,

Each cherish'd art improves.
Yet Britain views a houseless band;
Sad outcast in his native land,

The wand'ring exile roves,

Shall Luxury, diffusive spread,
Envy the wretch his pain-earn’d bread,

His cot and homely joys?
Are those the means that must replace
The strength of an exhausted race,

Decrepid sires and boys?

Tho' borne on Glory's tow'ring wings, Fame her triumphant paean sings

Far as the billows foam : Yet dearly were our triumphs bought; And hardly paid the victors fought,

Whom Misery waits at home.

But, lo! the nations from afar
Crowd to repair the waste of war,

With numbers, skill, and toil. Myriads, alas ! would crowd in vain, Whilst laws the marriage-rite restrain,

And lordlings thin the soil.

ODES.

CLASS THE THIRD.

« VorigeDoorgaan »