Oh say, of Him now rests there but a name;
Wont, as He was, to breathe ethereal flame?
Friend of the Absent! Guardian of the Dead! [Footnote 4]
Who but would here their sacred sorrows shed?
(Such as He shed on NELSON’S closing grave;
How soon to claim the sympathy He gave!)
In Him, resentful of another’s wrong,
The dumb were eloquent, the feeble strong.
Truth from his lips a charm celestial drew—
Ah, who so mighty and so gentle too?
What tho’ with War the madding Nations rung,
‘Peace,’ when He spoke, dwelt ever on his tongue!
Amidst the frowns of Power, the tricks of State,
Fearless, resolv’d, and negligently great!
In vain malignant vapours gather’d round;
He walk’d, erect, on consecrated ground.
The clouds, that rise to quench the Orb of day,
Reflect its splendour, and dissolve away!
When in retreat He laid his thunder by,
For letter’d ease and calm Philosophy,
Blest were his hours within the silent grove,
Where still his god-like Spirit deigns to rove;
Blest by the orphan’s smile, the widow’s prayer,
For many a deed, long done in secret there.
There shone his lamp on Homer’s hallow’d page.
There, listening, sate the hero and the sage;
And they, by virtue and by blood allied,
Whom most He lov’d, and in whose arms He died.
Friend of all Human-kind! not here alone
(The voice, that speaks, was not to Thee unknown)
Wilt Thou be miss’d,—O’er every land and sea
Long, long shall England be rever’d in Thee!
And, when the Storm is hush’d—in distant years—
Foes on thy grave shall meet, and mingle tears!
[Footnote 1: After the Funeral of the Right Hon. CHARLES JAMES FOX on Friday, October 10,1806.]
[Footnote 2: Venez voir le peu qui nous reste de tant de grandeur, &c. Bossuet. Oraison funebre de Louis de Bourbon.]
[Footnote 3: Et rien enfin ne manque dans tons ces honneurs, que celui a qui on les rend.—Ibid.]
[Footnote 4: Alluding particularly to his speech on moving a new writ for the borough of Tavistock, March 16,1802.]
THE VOYAGE OF COLUMBUS.
CHI SE’ TU, CHE
DA ME STESSO NON VEGNO.
I have seen the day,
That I have worn a visor, and could tell
The following Poem (or, to speak more properly, what remains of it [Footnote]) has here and there a lyrical turn of thought and expression. It is sudden in its transitions, and full of historical allusions; leaving much to be imagined by the reader.
The subject is a voyage the most memorable in the annals of mankind. Columbus was a person of extraordinary virtue and piety, acting under the sense of a divine impulse; and his achievement the discovery of a New World, the inhabitants of which were shut out from the light of Revelation, and given up, as they believed, to the dominion of malignant spirits.