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In bitter bonds a people to oppress,
Who stepped between thee and death's bitterness;
Would that the Turk were at thy walls again! .
That Kara Mustapha once more were raging on the
Ahl this were needless, for the time has flown
When the great Gallic warrior trod thee down,
Humbled thy pride, and shook thy lofty crown.
Oh! in that day of thy degraded state,
Had Sobieski glittered at thy gate,
Thy haughty nobles might have dared his power,
And never seen humiliating hour.
Thy broad lands desolate, thine armies slain,
Thy princess wedded to the Corsican,
And thy black eagle trampled on the plain.
And deem not Poland weak,-Poland can boast
As long a list of glorious names as most;
Can shew Jaghellon, Batory, can tell
The Czartoryskis loved her passing well,
Clear-headed statesmen these, Zamoyski joined,
Furnish a clan of no inferior mind.
Look at her warriors,-Sobieski stands
Not solitary in his country's bands;
That noble patriot, Kosciusko, shines
A stem triumphant 'mid her forest pines;
And though their glories ended with their lives,
Their dauntless spirit in their land survives.
Sometimes the sea heaves gently, as a child
Breathes softly, in its wicker cradle laid,
And its long, shiny undulations roll,
Just like a sea of glittering quicksilver;
And every now and then some flying fish
Leaves the translucent bosom of the wave,
To shoot away, like to a silver dart,
Sped swiftly from his bow whom Homer sung,
Phæbus Apollo, fair Latona's son, -
Until, exhausted with its airy flight,
It seeks again the bosom of the deep.
And ever and anon a sudden change
Comes over sea and sky, which makes to shrink
The stoutest mariner. The firmament
Darkens, contracts; the sea turns black as ink;
The teeming clouds, descending quick, pervade
The murky arch of heaven with array
Of whirling masses; but no glancing flash,
Nor one refreshing drop, relieves the gloom.
The windows of th' aerial vault are sealed By Him who said unto the raging storm, “Peace, be thou still !” and straight it sank to rest.
Then the fierce Spirit of the Hurricane,
In storm and darkness, rushes booming on,
With stunning force and vigour tearing off
The snowy scalps of Ocean's tortured waves,
And crushing down, with sheer tremendous power,
Beneath his all-subduing chariot wheels,
The dashing, howling ridges of the deep,
Into one level plain of foaming sea.
Thus those proud powers, beneath whose subtle wiles
Poor Poland groans in piteous misery,
Though now they bask beneath the sunny smiles
Of Fortune in her sportive revelry,
And rear a proud, unblushing front on high,
And blazon forth their guilt without remorse,
Shall meet the hour, that even now is nigh
To burst upon them with appalling force.
Oh! there's a cup of woe
Which guilty nations all must know.
See! th’avenging Azrael stands,
Jehovah's thunders in his hands;
Then Poland's wrongs must meet their due,
Be expiated with the world to view.
Thus spake the Spirit of the Stream,
And with these words dissolved my dream;
Nor yet did waking scenes expel
From out my mind this wondrous spell;
And, as I pondered on the sight
My wond’ring fancy saw that night,
Should nations ponder, and devise
Some remedy, ere Poland dies.
But would the Muse impartial view the scene,
And to no side with doubtful candour lean,
She must recount, in numbering Poland's woes,
How partly these from Poland's faults arose.
'Twas Discord's hateful sway That shook her
power, And left her a defenceless prey
To those who, in her fatal hour, Seized on her ancient realms, and swept them all
O Anarchy, thou desolating power,
Sapping the very vitals of a state,
And, as some proud but undermined tower,
Making its own foundations cause its fate,– Thou fliest like some wintry biting wind,
Congealing men's hearts into solid ice, Where no humanity remains behind,
Enthralled, diseased, ay, petrified, by vice. And thou, the spring and flow of civil strife,
Involvest brothers in thy hellish broils; And when thy plots and stratagems are rife,
Encirclest all within thy deadly coils; And, having snared and crushed and torn thy prey,
Thou laugh’st to see the mangled carcase lie; Then spread'st thy scaly wings, and soar'st away,
To seek fresh victims ’neath another sky.
In the glittring seas of the western main,
Where the southern Cross the sailor sees
Usurping the place of the northern Wain;
Where the spice groves sweetly surcharge the
Where " the vexed Bermoothes” frown among
Cærulean isles, a resplendent throng;
Where the glorious planet Venus gleams
With all her most enchanting beams,