Rebellion’s oracle?—You, catiff, you!”
He spoke, and standing stretch’d his mighty arm,
And fix’d the Man of Words, as by a charm.
“How raved that railer! Sure some hellish power
Restrain’d my tongue in that delirious hour,
Or I had hurl’d the shame and vengeance due
On him, the guide of that infuriate crew;
But to mine eyes, such dreadful looks appear’d,
Such mingled yell of lying words I heard,
That I conceived around were demons all,
And till I fled the house, I fear’d its fall.
“Oh! could our country from our coasts expel
Such foes! to nourish those who wish her well:
This her mild laws forbid, but we may still
From us eject them by our sovereign will;
This let us do.”—He said, and then began
A gentler feeling for the silent man;
E’en in our hero’s mighty soul arose
A touch of pity for experienced woes;
But this was transient, and with angry eye
He sternly look’d, and paused for a reply.
’Twas then the Man of many Words would speak —
But, in his trial, had them all to seek:
To find a friend he look’d the circle round,
But joy or scorn in every feature found;
He sipp’d his wine, but in those times of dread
Wine only adds confusion to the head;
In doubt he reason’d with himself—“And how
Harangue at night, if I be silent now?”
From pride and praise received, he sought to draw
Courage to speak, but still remain’d the awe;
One moment rose he with a forced disdain,
And then, abash’d, sunk sadly down again;
While in our hero’s glance he seem’d to read,
“Slave and insurgent! what hast thou to plead?”
By desperation urged, he now began:
“I seek no favour—I—the rights of man!
Claim; and I—nay!—but give me leave—and I
Insist—a man—that is—and in reply,
I speak,”—Alas! each new attempt was vain:
Confused he stood, he sate, he rose again;
At length he growl’d defiance, sought the door,
Cursed the whole synod, and was seen no more.
“Laud we,” said Justice Bolt, “the Powers above:
Thus could our speech the sturdiest foe remove.”
Exulting now, he gain’d new strength of fame,
And lost all feelings of defeat and shame.
“He dared not strive, you witness’d—dared not lift
His voice, nor drive at his accursed drift:
So all shall tremble, wretches who oppose
Our Church or State—thus be it to our foes.”
He spoke, and, seated with his former air,
Look’d his full self, and fill’d his ample chair;
Took one full bumper to each favourite cause,
And dwelt all night on politics and laws,
With high applauding voice, that gain’d him high applause.
THE PARTING HOUR.
. . . . I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him
How I would think of him, at certain hours
Such thoughts and such;—or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss, which I had set
Betwixt two charming words—comes in my father.