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I thank thee, I thank thee, Hodeirah's son!
Then from his head she wrench'd
A lock of his raven hair,
And cast it in the fire,
The thread is spun,
The work is done,
O force of faith! O strength of virtuous will ! Behold him in his endless martyrdom,
Triumphant still! The Curse still burning in his heart and brain,
And yet doth he remain
A second nature, to exist in pain
Such strength the will reveald had given
They brought the peace of Heaven.
Nor thought of evil ever enter'd here. A charm was on the Leopard when he came
Within the circle of that mystic glade ; Submiss he crouch'd before the heavenly maid,
And offer'd to her touch his speckled side ; Or with arch'd back erect, and bending head, And eyes half-closed for pleasure, would he stand
Courting the pressure of her gentle hand.
Trampling his path through wood and brake, And canes which crackling fall before his way, And tassel-grass, whose silvery feathers play
O'ertopping the young trees,
On comes the Elephant, to slake
The grateful shower; and now
Plucking the broad-leaved bough
Fanning the languid air,
He moves it to and fro. But when that form of beauty meets his sight,
The trunk its undulating motion stops, From his forgetful hold the plane-branch drops, Reverent he kneels, and lifts his rational eyes
To her as if in prayer ; And when she pours her angel voice in song
Entranced he listens to the thrilling notes, Till his strong temples, bathed with sudden dews,
Their fragrance of delight and love diffuse.
Lo! as the voice melodious floats around,
The Antelope draws near, The Tigress leaves her toothless cubs to hear ; The Snake comes gliding from the secret brake,
Himself in fascination forced along
By that enchanting song ;
Hang on the cluster'd tree.
Only at times the Nightingale is heard,
Her rival strain would try, A mighty songster, with the Maid to vie ; She only bore her part in powerful sympathy.
Well might they thus adore that heavenly Maid !
For never Nymph of Mountain,
Or Grove, or Lake, or Fountain,
No idle ornaments deface
Her natural grace,
Nor trinketry on front, or neck, or breast,
Of early nature undefiled,
Beside the glassy pool, the fish, that flies
Quick as an arrow from all other eyes,
When Kailyal's step she heard,
To meet and welcome her benignant eye.
ODE, WRITTEN DURING THE NEGOCIATIONS WITH
BUONAPARTE, IN JANUARY, 1814.
Who counsels peace at this momentous hour, When God hath given deliverance to the oppressid,
And to the injured power ?
When innocent blood
For justice upon one accursed head;
Over all nations, now in one just cause
Europe throws off the yoke abhorr’d,
Follow the avenging sword!
Woe, woe to England ! woe and endless shame,
If this heroic land,
Be suffer'd still to stand!
What new and courtly phrases must we feign For Falsehood, Murder, and all monstrous crimes, If that perfidious Corsican maintain
Still his detested reign, And France, who yearns even now to break her chain,
Beneath his iron rule be left to groan ?
No! by the innumerable dead Whose blood hath for his lust of power been shed,
Death only can for his foul deeds atone ; That peace which Death and Judgment can bestow,
That peace be Buonaparte's . . that alone!
For sooner shall the Ethiop change his skin,
Have ye not seen him in the balance weighed,
Foremost the resolute adventurer stood ;
And when, by many a battle won,
He placed upon his brow the crown,
Then, like Octavius in old time,
Effacing many a stain of former crime.
Fool! the redemption proffer'd should he lose ! When Heaven such grace vouchsafed him that the way
To Good and Evil lay
Bold man and bad,
Himself in Hell's whole panoply he clad; No law but his own headstrong will he knew,
No counsellor but his own wicked heart.
5. O France ! beneath this fierce Barbarian's sway
Disgraced thou art to all succeeding times; Rapine, and blood, and fire have mark'd thy way,
All loathsome, all unutterable crimes. A curse is on thee, France ! from far and wide It hath gone up to Heaven; all lands have cried
For vengeance upon thy detested head; All nations curse thee, France ! for wheresoe'er In peace or war thy banner hath been spread, All forms of human woe have follow'd there :
The Living and the Dead Cry out alike against thee! They who bear, Crouching beneath its weight, thine iron yoke,
Join in the bitterness of secret prayer
The voice of that innumerable throng Whose slaughtered spirits day and night invoke
The everlasting Judge of right and wrong, How long, O Lord! Holy and Just, how long!
6. A merciless oppressor hast thou been, Thyself remorselessly oppress'd meantime; Greedy of war, when all that thou couldst gain Was but to dye thy soul with deeper crime,
And rivet faster round thyself the chain.