Author: Anna Laetitia Barbauld
Release Date: November 19, 2004 [EBook #14100]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK eighteen Hundred and eleven ***
Produced by David Starner.
Eighteen Hundred and eleven,
By Anna LÆTITIA Barbauld.
Printed for J. Johnson and Co.,
St. Paul’s churchyard.
Richard Taylor and Co., Shoe Lane.
Still the loud death drum, thundering from afar,
O’er the vext nations pours the storm of war:
To the stern call still Britain bends her ear,
Feeds the fierce strife, the alternate hope and fear;
Bravely, though vainly, dares to strive with Fate,
And seeks by turns to prop each sinking state.
Colossal Power with overwhelming force 
Bears down each fort of Freedom in its course;
Prostrate she lies beneath the Despot’s sway,
While the hushed nations curse him—and obey,
Bounteous in vain, with frantic man at strife,
Glad Nature pours the means—the joys of life;
In vain with orange blossoms scents the gale,
The hills with olives clothes, with corn the vale;
Man calls to Famine, nor invokes in vain,
Disease and Rapine follow in her train;
The tramp of marching hosts disturbs the plough,
The sword, not sickle, reaps the harvest now,
And where the Soldier gleans the scant supply.
The helpless Peasant but retires to die;
No laws his hut from licensed outrage shield, 
And war’s least horror is the ensanguined field.
Fruitful in vain, the matron counts with pride
The blooming youths that grace her honoured side;
No son returns to press her widow’d hand,
Her fallen blossoms strew a foreign strand.
—Fruitful in vain, she boasts her virgin race,
Whom cultured arts adorn and gentlest grace;
Defrauded of its homage, Beauty mourns,
And the rose withers on its virgin thorns.
Frequent, some stream obscure, some uncouth name
By deeds of blood is lifted into fame;
Oft o’er the daily page some soft-one bends
To learn the fate of husband, brothers, friends,
Or the spread map with anxious eye explores, 
Its dotted boundaries and penciled shores,
Asks where the spot that wrecked her bliss is found,
And learns its name but to detest the sound.