To embellish his guilt, or to soften its shade,
The Arts mournful captives she kept;
And the plund’rer and plunder of Europe display’d
To the wand’rer, who wonder’d and wept.
To support this apostate imperial shade,
This impious mock’ry of good,
She rais’d a banditti, to whom she convey’d
His spirit for plunder and blood.
The chiefs of the earth in a panic beheld
The flash of his sabre afar;
They enter’d, but pensively mov’d from the field,
And bow’d to this idol of war.
Till, fum’d with the incense of slavish applause,
O’er the globe’s fairest portion he trod;
And, spurning its liberty, spirit, and laws,
Conceiv’d himself rais’d to a god.
But England disdain’d to the Tyrant to bend;
Still erect, undismay’d, she was found;
Infuriate, he swore that “his bolt should descend,”
And her temples should fall to the ground.
Yes, here, if his banner is destin’d to wave,
It shall float o’er her temples laid low,
O’er piles of her children, who, loyal and brave,
Such a victory never will know.
Oh! banish the thought; for, learn ’tis in vain,
Thus, thou maniac Tyrant, to boast;
As soon shall her base be remov’d by the main,
As her empire by thee and thy host.
The sound is gone forth, ’tis recorded above,
To the mountain it spread from the vale;
“Our God, and our King, and our Country, we love,
And for them we will die or prevail.”
Then hasten the day, if thy threat be sincere,
Let the winds blow thy myriads along;
Then soon may thy boasted armada appear,
And our rocks catch thy death-breathing song.
Thy guardian, foul deity! hideous with crime,
Shall view, as she moves to our shore,
The Genius of Britain, mild, brave, and sublime,
And shall boast her achievements no more.
Oh! direful and strange will the contest appear,
Big with freedom to nations afar;
The good, who confide, and the guilty, who fear,
Shall join in the conflict of war.
In Heaven, with smiles, shall the happy and blest
Lean over its bright-beaming walls,
To guide and support to the regions of rest
The soul of the patriot who falls.
Britannia! thy Muse, on a rock high and steep,
The fate of the fight shall proclaim;
The strings of her lyre Inspiration shall sweep,
Recording each hero by name.
The world to its centre shall shake with delight,
As thus she announces their fall;
“They sink! our invaders submit to our might,
The ocean has buried them all!”
Canst thou, Annette, thy lover see?
His trembling love unfolded hear?
And mark the while th’ impassion’d tear,
Th’ impassion’d tear of agony?