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Their prince, as justly seated on his throne
As vain imperial Philip on his own,
Tricked out of all his royalty by art,
That stripped him bare, and broke his honest heart,
Died by the sentence of a shaven priest,
For scorning what they taught him to detest.
How dark the veil that intercepts the blaze
Of Heaven's mysterious purposes and ways;
God stood not, though he seemed to stand, aloof,
And at this hour the conqueror feels the proof;
The wreath he won drew down an instant curse,
The fretting plague is in the public purse,
The cankered spoil corrodes the pining state,
Starved by that indolence their mines create.
Oh! could their ancient Incas rise again,
How would they take up Israel's taunting strain !
‘Art thou too fallen, Iberia ? Do we see
The robber and the murderer weak as we?
Thou that hast wasted earth, and dared despise
Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies,
Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid
Low in the pits thine avarice has made.
We come with joy. from our eternal rest,
To see the oppressor in his turn oppressed.
Art thou the god, the thunder of whose hand
Rolled over all our desolated land,
Shook principalities and kingdoms down,
And made the mountains tremble at his frown?
The sword shall light upon thy boasted powers,
And waste them, as thy sword has wasted ours.'
'Tis thus Omnipotence his law fulfils,
And Vengeance executes what Justice wills.
Again--the band of commerce was designed
To associate all the branches of mankind;
And if a boundless plenty be the robe,
Trade is the golden girdle of the globe.
Wise to promote whatever end he means,
God opens fruitful Nature's various scenes;
Each climate needs what other climes produce,
And offers something to the general use,
No land but listens to the common call,
And in return receives supply from all.
This genial intercourse, and mutual aid,
Cheers what were else a universal shade,
Calls Nature from her ivy-mantled den,
And softens human rock-work into men.
Ingenious Art, with her expressive face,
Steps forth to fashion and refine the race,
Not only fills Necessity's demand,
But overcharges her capacious hand :
Capricious Taste itself can crave no more
Than she supplies from her abounding store:
She strikes out all that Luxury can ask,
And gains new vigour at her endless task.
Hers is the spacious arch, the shapely spire,
The painter's pencil, and the poet's lyre;
From her the canvass borrows light and shade,
And verse, more lasting, hues that never fade;
She guides the finger o'er the dancing keys,
Gives difficulty all the grace of ease,
And pours a torrent of sweet notes around,
Fast as the thirsting ear can drink the sound.
These are the gifts of Art; and Art thrives most
Where Commerce has enriched the busy coast;
He catches all improvements in his flight,
Spreads foreign wonders in his country's sight,
Imports what others have invented well.
And stirs his own to match them, or excel.
''Tis thus, reciprocating each with each,
Alternately the nations learn and teach,
While Providence enjoins to every soul
A union with the vast terraqueous whole.
Heaven speed the canvass, gallantly unfurled
To furnish and accommodate a world,
To give the pole the produce of the sun,
And knit the unsocial climates into one.
Soft airs and gentle heavings of the wave
Impel the fleet whose errand is to save,
To succour wasted regions, and replace
The smile of opulence in sorrow's face.
Let nothing adverse, nothing unforseen,
Impede the bark that ploughs the deep serene,
Charged with a freight transcending in its worth
The gems of India, Nature's rarest birth,
That flies, like Gabriel on his Lord's commands,
A herald of God's love to pagan lands.
But ah! what wish can prosper, or what prayer,
For merchants rich in cargoes of despair,
Who drive a loathsome traffic, gauge and span
And buy the muscles and the bones of man?
The tender ties of father, husband, friend,
All bonds of nature, in that moment end,
And each endures, while yet he draws his breath,
A stroke as fatal as the scythe of Death.
The sable warrior, frantic with regret
Of her he loves, and never can forget,
Loses in tears the far receding shore,
But not the thought that they must meet no more;
Deprived of her and freedom at a blow,
What has he left that he can yet forego ?
Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resigned,
He feels his body's bondage in his mind,
Puts off his generous nature, and, to suit
His manners with his fate, puts on the brute.
O most degrading of all ills that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate !
All other sorrows virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure;
Grief is itself a medicine, and bestowed
To improve the fortitude that bears the load,
To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase,
The path of wisdom, all whose paths are peace;
But slavery !–Virtue dreads it as her grave;
Patience itself is meanness in a slave :
Or if the will and sovereignty of God
Bid suffer it awhile, and kiss the rod,
Wait for the dawning of a brighter day,
And snap the chain the moment when you may.
Nature imprints upon whate'er we see,
That has a heart and life in it, ‘Be free!'
The beasts are chartered-neither age nor force
Can quell the love of freedom in a horse:
He breaks the cord that held him at the rack,
And conscious of an unincumbered back,
Snuffs up the morning air, forgets the rein,
Loose fly his forelock and his ample mane,
Responsive to the distant neigh he neighs,
Nor stops, till, overleaping all delays,
He finds the pasture where his fellows graze.
Canst thou, and honoured with a Christian name,
Buy what is woman-born, and feel no shame
Trade in the blood of innocence, and plead
Expedience as a warrant for the deed ?
So may the wolf, whom famine has made bold
To quit the forest and invade the fold;
So may the ruffian, who with ghostly glide,
Dagger in hand, steals close to your bedside;
Not he, but his emergence, forced the door,
He found it inconvenient to be poor.
Has God then given its sweetness to the cane,
Unless his laws be trampled on,-in in ?
Built a brave world, which cannot yet subsist,
Unless his right to rule it be dismissed ?
Impudent blasphemy! So Folly pleads,
And, Avarice being judge, with ease succeeds.
But grant the plea, and let it stand for just,
That man make man his prey, because he must;
Still there is room for pity to abate
And soothe the sorrows of so sad a state.
A Briton, knows, or if he knows it not,
The Scripture placed within his reach, he ought,
That souls have no discriminating hue,
Alike important in their Maker's view;
That none are free from blemish since the fall,
And Love Divine has paid one price for all.
The wretch that works and weeps without relief
Has one that notices his silent grief.
He from whose hands alone all power proceeds,
Ranks its abuse among the foulest deeds,
Considers all injustice with a frown,
But marks the man that treads his fellow down.
Begone! the whip and bell in that hard hand
Are hateful ensigns of usurped command;
Not Mexico could purchase kings a claim
To scourge him, weariness his only blame.
Remember, Heaven has an avenging rod;
To smite the poor is treason against God.
Trouble is grudgingly and hardly brooked
While life's sublimest joys are overlooked ;
We wander o'er a sunburnt thirsty soil,
Murmuring and weary of our daily toil,
Forget to enjoy the palm-tree's offered shade,
Or taste the fountain in the neighbouring glade;
Else who would lose, that had the power to improve,
The occasion of transmuting fear to love?
Oh! 'tis a godlike privilege to save,
And he that scorns it is himself a slave.-
Inform his mind; one flash of heavenly day
Would heal his heart, and melt his chains away.
* Beauty for ashes' is a gift indeed,
And slaves, by truth enlarged, are doubly freed.
Then would he say, submissive at thy feet,
While Gratitude and Love made service sweet,
“My dear deliverer out of hopeless night,
Whose bounty bought me but to give me light,
I was a bondman on my native plain,
Sin forged, and Ignorance made fast, the chain;
Thy lips have shed instruction as the dew,
Taught me at path to shun, and what pursue ;
Farewell, my former joys! I sigh no more