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Of provocation giv'n, or wrong sustain'd, 315
And force the beggarly last doit by means
That his own humour dictates, from the clutch
Of Poverty, that thus he may procure
His thousands, weary of penurious life,
A splendid opportunity to die?

320
Say ye, who (with less prudence than of old
Jotham ascrib'd to his assembled trees
In politick convention) put your trust
I'th' shadow of a bramble, and, reclin’d

a In fancied peace beneath his dang’rous branch, 325 Rejoice in him, and celebrate his sway, Where find ye passive fortitude ? Whence springs Your self-denying zeal, that holds it good To stroke the prickly grievance, and to hang His thorns with streamers of continual praise ?

330 We too are friends to loyalty. We love The king who loves the law, respects his bounds, And reigns content within them : him we serve Freely and with delight, who leaves us free : But recollecting still that he is man,

335 We trust him not too far. King though he be, And king in England too, he may be weak And vain enough to be ambitious still; May exercise amiss his proper pow'rs, Or covet more than freemen choose to grant ! 340 Beyond that mark is treason. He is ours, T'administer, to guard, t'adorn the state, But not to warp or change it. We are his, To serve him nobly in the common cause, True to the death; but not to be his slaves. 345 Mark now the diff'rence, ye that boast your love Of kings, between your loyalty and ours. We love the man ; the paltry pageant, you : We the chief patron of the commonwealth ; You, the regardless author of its woes:

350 We, for the sake of liberty, a king; You, chains and bondage for a tyrant's sake :

Our love is principle, and has its root
In reason ; is judicious, manly, free;
· Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod, 355
And licks the foot that treads it in the dust.
Were kingship as true treasure as it seems,
Sterling, and worthy of a wise man's wish,
I would not be a king to be belov'd
Causeless, and daub’d with undiscerning praise, 360
Where love is mere attachment to the throne,
Not to the man who fills it as he ought.

Whose freedom is by suffrance, and at will
Of a superiour, he is never free.
Who lives, and is not weary of a life

365
Expos’d to manacles, deserves them well.
The state that strives for liberty, though foild,
And forc'd to abandon what she bravely sought,
Deserves at least applause for her attempt,
And pity for her loss. But that's a cause

370 Not often unsuccessful: pow'r usurp'd Is weakness when oppos’d; conscious of wrong, 'Tis pusillanimous and prone to flight. But slaves, that once conceive the glowing thought Of freedom, in that hope itself possess

375 All that the contest calls for ; spirit, strength, The scorn of danger, and united hearts ; The surest presage of the good they seek.*

Then shame to manhood, and opprobrious more To France than all her losses and defeats,

380 Old or of later date, by sea or land, Her house of bondage, worse than that of old Which God aveng'd on Pharaoh-the Bastile Ye horrid tow'rs, th' abode of broken hearts : Ye dungeons, and ye cages of despair,

385 That monarchs have supplied from age to age

* The author hopes that he shall not be censured for unnecessary

warmth upon so interesting a subject. He is aware, that it is become almost fashionable, to stigmatize such sentiments as no better than empty declamation ; but it is an ill symptom, and peculiar to modern times.

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With musick, such as suits their soy'reign ears
The sighs and groans of miserable men !
There's not an English heart that would not leap
To hear that ye were fall’n at last ; to know 390
That e'en our enemies, so oft employ'd
In forging chains for us, themselves were free.
For he who values Liberty, confines
His zeal for her predominance within
No narrow bounds; her cause engages him

395
Wherever pleaded. "Tis the cause of man.
There dwell the most forlorn of human kind,
Immur'd though unaccus'd, condemn'd untried,
Cruelly spar'd, and hopeless of escape.
There, like the visionary emblem seen

400 By him of Babylon, life stands a stump, And, filleted about with hoops of brass, Still lives, though all his pleasant boughs are gone. To count the hour-bell and expect no change ; And ever as the sullen sound is heard,

405 Still to reflect, that, though a joyless note To him whose moments all have one dull pace, Ten thousand rovers in the world at large Account it musick; that it summons some To theatre, or jocund feast, or ball;

410 The wearied hireling finds it a release From labour ; and the lover, who has chid Its long delay, foels ev'ry welcome stroke Upon his heart-strings, trembling with delightTo fly for refuge from distracting thought

415 To such amusements as ingenious wo Contrives, hard shifting, and without her tools-To read engraven on the mouldy walls, In stagg'ring types, his predecessor's tale, A sad memorial, and subjoin his own

420 To turn purveyor to an overgorg'd And bloated spider, till the pamper'd pest Is made familiar, watches his approach, Comes at his call, and serves hin for a friend. VOL. II.

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To wear out time in numb'ring to and fro 425
The studs that thick emboss his iron door ;
Then downward and then upward, then aslant,
And then alternate ; with a sickly hope
By dint of change to give his tasteless task
Some relish; till the sum, exactly found

430
In all directions, he begins again--.
O comfortless existence! hemm'd around
With woes, which who that suffers would not kneel
And beg for exile, or the pangs of death?
That man should thus encroach on fellow man,

435 Abridge him of his just and native rights, Eradicate him, tear him from his hold Upon th' endearments of domestick life And social, nip his fruitfulness and use, And doom him for perhaps a heedless word

440 To barrenness, and solitude, and tears, Moves indignation, makes the name of king, (Of king whom such prerogative can please) As dreadful as the Manichean god, Ador'd through fear, strong only to destroy.

445 'Tis liberty alone, that gives the flow'r Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume ; And we are weeds without it. All constraint, Except what wisdom lays on evil men, Is evil : hurts the faculties, impedes

450 Their progress in the road of science; blinds The eyesight of Discovery; and begets, In those that suffer it, a sordid mind, Bestial, a meager intellect, unfit To be the tenant of man's noble form.

455 Thee therefore still, blameworthy as thou art, With all thy loss of empire, and though squeez'd By publick exigence, till annual food Fails for the craving hunger of the state, Thee I account still happy, and the chief

460 Among the nations, seeing thou art free; My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude,

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Replete with vapours, and disposes much
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine :
Thine unadulterate manners are less soft

465
And plausible than social life requires,
And thou hast need of discipline and art,
To give thee what politer Fránce receives
From Nature's bounty--that humane address
And sweetness, without which no pleasure is 470
In converse, either starv'd by cold reserve,
Or flush'd by fierce dispute, a senseless brawl.
Yet, being free, I love thee: for the sake
Of that one feature can be well content,
Disgrac'd as thou hast been, poor as thou art,

475 To seek no sublunary rest beside. But once enslav'd, farewell! I could endure Chains no where patiently; and chains at home, Where I am free by birthright, not at all. Then what were left of roughness in the grain

480 Of British natures, wanting its excuse That it belongs to freemen, would disgust And shock me. I should then with double pain Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime; And, if I must bewail the blessing lost,

485 For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled, I would at least bewail it under skies Milder, among a people less austere ; In scenes, which having never known me free, Would not reproach me with the loss I felt. 490 Do I forebode impossible events, And tremble at vain dreams ? Heav'n grant I may! But th' age of virtuous politicks is past, And we are deep in that of cold pretence. Patriots are grown too shrewd to be sincere, 495 And we too wise to trust them. He that takes Deep in his soft credulity the stamp Design'd by loud declaimers on the part Of liberty, (themselves the slaves of lust,) Incurs derision for his easy faith

500

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