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The Columbiad
by Joel Barlow
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Greene views the tempest with collected soul, Arid fates of empires in his bosom roll; So small his force, where shall he lift the steel? (Superior hosts o'er every canton wheel) Or how behold their wanton carnage spread, Himself stand idle and his country bleed? Fixt in a moment's pause the general stood, And held his warriors from the field of blood; Then points the British legions where to steer, Marks to their chief a rapid wild career, Wide o'er Virginia lets him foeless roam, To search for pillage and to find his doom, With short-lived glory feeds his sateless flame, But leaves the victory to a nobler name, Gives to great Washington to meet his way, Nor claims the honors of so bright a day.

Now to the conquer'd south he turns his force, Renerves the nation by his rapid course; Forts fall around him, hosts before him fly, And captive bands his growing train supply; A hundred leagues of coast, in one campaign, Return reconquer'd to their lords again. At last Britannia's vanguard, near the strand, Veers on her foe to make one vigorous stand. Her gallant Stuart here amass'd from far The veteran legions of the Georgian war, To aid her hard-pusht powers, and quick restore The British name to that extended shore. He checks their flight, and chooses well their field, Flank'd with a marsh, by lofty woods concealed; Where Eutaw's fountains, tinged of old with gore, Still murmuring swell'd amid the bones they bore, Destined again to foul their pebbly stream, The mournful monuments of human fame; There Albion's columns, ranged in order bright, Stand like a fiery wall and wait the shock of fight.

Swift on the neighboring hill as Greene arose, He view'd, with rapid glance, the glittering foes, Disposed for combat all his ardent train, To charge, change front, each echelon sustain; Roused well their rage, superior force to prove, Waved his bright blade and bade the onset move. As hovering clouds, when morning beams arise, Hang their red curtains round our eastern skies, Unfold a space to hail the promised sun, And catch their splendors from his rising throne; Thus glow'd the opposing fronts, whose steely glare Glanced o'er the shuddering interval of war.

From Albion's left the cannonade began, And pour'd thick thunders on Hesperia's van, Forced in her dexter guards, that skirmisht wide To prove what powers the forest hills might hide; They break, fall back, with measured quickstep tread, Form close, and flank the solid squares they led. Now roll, with kindling haste, the long stark lines, From wing to wing the sounding battle joins; Batteries and field-parks and platoons of fire, In mingled shocks their roaring blasts exspire. Each front approaching fast, with equal pace, Devours undaunted their dividing space; Till, dark beneath the smoke, the meeting ranks Slope their strong bayonets, with short firm shanks Protruded from their tubes; each bristling van, Steel fronting steel, and man encountering man, In dreadful silence tread. As, wrapt from sight, The nightly ambush moves to secret fight; So rush the raging files, and sightless close In plunging thrust with fierce conflicting foes. They reach, they strike, they stagger o'er the slain, Deal doubtful blows, or closing clench their man, Intwine their twisting limbs, the gun forgo, Wrench off the bayonet and dirk the foe; Then struggling back, reseize the musket bare, Club the broad breech, and headlong whirl to war Ranks crush on ranks with equal slaughter gored; Warm dripping streams from every lifted sword Stain the thin carnaged corps who still maintain, With mutual shocks, the vengeance of the plain. At last where Williams fought and Campbell fell, Unwonted strokes the British line repel. The rout begins; the shattered wings afar Roll back in haste and scatter from the war; They drop their arms, they scour the marshy field, Whole squadrons fall and faint battalions yield.

The great Observer, fixt in his midsky, View'd the whole combat, saw them fall and fly: He mark'd where Greene with every onset drove, Saw death and victory with his presence move, Beneath his arm saw Marion, Sumter, Gaine, Pickens and Sumner shake the astonish'd plain; He saw young Washington, the child of fame, Preserve in fight the honors of his name. Lee, Jackson, Hampton, Pinckney, matcht in might, Roll'd on the storm and hurried fast the flight: While numerous chiefs, that equal trophies raise, Wrought, not unseen, the deeds of deathless praise.

As Europe now the newborn states beheld The shock sustain of many a hard-fought field; Swift o'er the main, with high-spread sails, advance Our brave auxiliars from the coast of France. On the tall decks their curious chiefs explore, With optic tube, our camp-encumber'd shore; And, as the lessening wave behind them flies, Wide scenes of conflict open on their eyes. Rochambeau foremost with his gleamy brand Points to each field and singles every band, Sees Washington the power of nations guide, And longs to toil and conquer by his side. Two brother chiefs, Viominil the name, Brothers in birth but twins in generous fame, Behold with steadfast eye the plains disclose, Uncase their arms and claim the promised foes. Biron, beneath his sail, in armor bright, Frown'd o'er the wave impatient for the fight; A fiery steed beside the hero stood, And his blue blade waved forward o'er the crowd.

With eager haste descending on the coast, Thro the glad states they march their veteran host, From sea-nursed Newport file o'er western roads, Pitch many a camp, and bridge a hundred floods, Pass the full towns, where joyful crowds admire Their foreign speech, gay mien and gilt attire, Applaud their generous deeds, the zeal that draws Their swords untried in freedom's doubtful cause. Thro Hartford plains, on Litchfield hills they gleam, Wave their white flags o'er Hudson's loaded stream, Band after band with Delaware's current pour, Shade Schuylkill's wave and Elk's indented shore, Join their new friends, where allied banners lead, Demand the foe and bid the war proceed.

Again Columbus turn'd his anxious eye Where Britain's banner waved along the sky; And, graced with spoils of many fields of blood, Cornwallis boastful on a bulwark stood. Where York and Gloster's rocky towers bestride Their parent stream, Virginia's midmost tide, He camp'd his hundred nations, to regain Their force, exhausted in the long campaign; Paused for a moment on a scene so vast, To plan the future and review the past. Thro vanquisht provinces and towns in flame He mark'd his recent monuments of fame, His checker'd marches, long and various toils, And camp well stored with wide collected spoils.

High glittering to the sun his hands unfold A map new drafted on a sheet of gold; There in delusive haste his burin graved A country conquer'd and a race enslaved. Its middle realm, by fairer figures known And rich with fruits, lay bounded for his own; Deep thro the centre spreads a branching bay, Full sails ascend and golden rivers stray; Bright palaces arise relieved in gold, And gates and streets the crossing lines unfold. James furrows o'er the plate with turgid tide, Young Richmond roughens on his masted side; Reviving Norfolk from her ashes springs, A golden phoenix on refulgent wings; Potowmak's yellow waves reluctant spread, And Vernon rears his rich and radiant head, Tis here the chief his pointed graver stays, The bank to burnish with a purer blaze, Gives all his art, on this bright hill to trace His future seat and glory of his race; Deems his long line of lords the realm shall own, The kings predestined to Columbia's throne.

But while his mind thus quafft its airy food, And gazing thousands round the rampart stood, Whom future ease and golden dreams employ, The songs of triumph and the feast of joy; Sudden great Washington arose in view, And allied flags his stately steps pursue; Gaul's veteran host and young Hesperia's pride Bend the long march concentring at his side, Stream over Chesapeak, like sheets of flame, And drive tempestuous to the field of fame.

Far on the wild expanse, where ocean lies, And scorns all confines but incumbent skies, Scorns to retain the imprinted paths of men To guide their wanderings or direct their ken; Where warring vagrants, raging as they go, Ask of the stars their way to find the foe, Columbus saw two hovering fleets advance, And rival ensigns o'er their pinions dance. Graves, on the north, with Albion's flag unfurl'd, Waves proud defiance to the watery world; Degrasse, from southern isles, conducts his train, And shades with Gallic sheets the moving main.

Now Morn, unconscious of the coming fray That soon shall storm the crystal cope of day, Glows o'er the heavens, and with her orient breeze Fans her fair face and curls the summer seas. The swelling sails, as far as eye can sweep, Look thro the skies and awe the shadowy deep, Lead their long bending lines; and, ere they close, To count, recognise, circumvent their foes, Each hauls his wind, the weathergage to gain And master all the movements of the plain; Or bears before the breeze with loftier gait, And, beam to beam, begins the work of fate.

As when the warring winds, from each far pole, Their adverse storms across the concave roll, Thin fleecy vapors thro the expansion run, Veil the blue vault and tremble o'er the sun, Till the dark folding wings together drive, And, ridged with fire and rock'd with thunder, strive; So, hazing thro the void, at first appear White clouds of canvass floating on the air, Then frown the broad black decks, the sails are stay'd, The gaping portholes cast a frightful shade, Flames, triple tier'd, and tides of smoke, arise. And fulminations rock the seas and skies.

From van to rear the roaring deluge runs, The storm disgorging from a thousand guns, Each like a vast volcano, spouting wide His hissing hell-dogs o'er the shuddering tide, Whirls high his chainshot, cleaves the mast and strews The shiver'd fragments on the staggering foes; Whose gunwale sides with iron globes are gored, And a wild storm of splinters sweeps the board. Husht are the winds of heaven; no more the gale Breaks the red rolls of smoke nor flaps the sail; A dark dead calm continuous cloaks the glare, And holds the clouds of sulphur on the war, Convolving o'er the space that yawns and shines, With frequent flash, between the laboring lines. Nor sun nor sea nor skyborn lightning gleams, But flaming Phlegethon's asphaltic steams Streak the long gaping gulph; where varying glow Carbonic curls above, blue flakes of fire below.

Hither two hostile ships to contact run, Both grappling, board to board and gun to gun; Each thro the adverse ports their contents pour, Rake the lower decks, the interior timbers bore, Drive into chinks the illumined wads unseen, Whose flames approach the unguarded magazine. Above, with shrouds afoul and gunwales mann'd, Thick halberds clash; and, closing hand to hand, The huddling troops, infuriate from despair, Tug at the toils of death, and perish there; Grenados, carcasses their fragments spread, And pikes and pistols strow the decks with dead. Now on the Gallic board the Britons rush, The intrepid Gauls the rash adventurers crush; And now, to vengeance Stung, with frantic air, Back on the British maindeck roll the war. There swells the carnage; all the tar-beat floor Is clogg'd with spatter'd brains and glued with gore; And down the ship's black waist fresh brooks of blood Course o'er their clots, and tinge the sable flood. Till War, impatient of the lingering strife That tires and slackens with the waste of life, Opes with engulphing gape the astonish'd wave, And whelms the combat whole, in one vast grave. For now the imprison'd powder caught the flames, And into atoms whirl'd the monstrous frames Of both the entangled ships; the vortex wide Roars like an AEtna thro the belching tide, And blazing into heaven, and bursting high, Shells, carriages and guns obstruct the sky; Cords, timbers, trunks of men the welkin sweep, And fall on distant ships, or shower along the deep.

The matcht armadas still the fight maintain, But cautious, distant; lest the staggering main Drive their whole lines afoul, and one dark day Glut the proud ocean with too rich a prey. At last, where scattering fires the cloud disclose, Hulls heave in sight and blood the decks o'erflows; Here from the field tost navies rise to view, Drive hack to vengeance and the roar renew, There shatter'd ships commence their flight afar, Tow'd thro the smoke, hard struggling from the war; And some, half seen amid the gaping wave, Plunge in the whirl they make, and gorge their grave.

Soon the dark smoky volumes roll'd away, And a long line ascended into day; The pinions swell'd, Britannia's cross arose And flew the terrors of triumphing foes; When to Virginia's bay, new shocks to brave, The Gallic powers their conquering banners wave. Glad Chesapeak unfolds his bosom wide, And leads their prows to York's contracting tide; Where still dread Washington directs his way, And seas and continents his voice obey; While brave Cornwallis, mid the gathering host, Perceives his glories gone, his promised empire lost.

Columbus here with silent joy beheld His favorite sons the fates of nations wield. Here joyous Lincoln rose in arms again, Nelson and Knox moved ardent o'er the plain; Scammel alert with force unusual trod, Prepared to seal their victory with his blood; Cobb, Dearborn, Laurens, Tilghman, green in years But ripe in glory, tower'd amid their peers; Death-daring Hamilton with splendor shone, And claim'd each post of danger for his own, Skill'd every arm in war's whole hell to wield, An Ithacus in camp, an Ajax in the field.

Their Gallic friends an equal ardor fires; Brisk emulation every troop inspires: Where Tarleton turns, with hopes of flight elate, Brave Biron moves and drives him back to fate, Hems in his host, to wait, on Gloster plains, Their finish'd labors and their destined chains.

Two British forts the growing siege outflank, Rake its wide works and awe the tide-beat bank; Swift from the lines two chosen bands advance, Our light-arm'd scouts, the grenadiers of France; These young Viominil conducts to fame, And those Fayette's unerring guidance claim. No cramm'd cartouch their belted back attires, No grains of sleeping thunder wait their fires; The flint, the ramrod spurn'd, away they cast; The strong bright bayonet, imbeaded fast, Stands beaming from the bore; with this they tread, Nor heed from high-wall'd foes their showers of lead. Each rival band, tho wide and distant far, Springs simultaneous to this task of war; For here a twofold force each hero draws, His own proud country and the general cause; And each with twofold energy contends, His foes to vanquish and outstrip his friends. They summon all their zeal, and wild and warm O'er flaming ramparts pour the maddening storm, The mounted cannons crush, and lead the foe Two trains of captives to the plain below; An equal prize each gallant troop ameeds, Alike their numbers and alike their deeds.

A strong high citadel still thundering stood, And stream'd her standard o'er the field of blood, Check'd long the siege with fulminating blare, Scorn'd all the steel and every globe of war, Defied fell famine, heapt her growing store, And housed in bombproof all the host she bore. No rude assault can stretch the scale so high, In vain the battering siege-guns round her ply; Mortars well poized their deafening deluge rain, Load the red skies and shake the shores in vain; Her huge rock battlements rebound the blow, And roll their loose crags on the men below.

But while the fusing fireballs scorch the sky, Their mining arts the staunch besiegers ply, Delve from the bank of York, and gallery far, Deep subterranean, to the mount of war; Beneath the ditch, thro rocks and fens they go, Scoop the dark chamber plumb beneath the foe; There lodge their tons of powder and retire, Mure the dread passage, wave the fatal fire, Send a swift messenger to warn the foe To seek his safety and the post forgo. A taunting answer comes; he dares defy To spring the mine and all its AEtnas try; When a black miner seized the sulphur'd brand, Shriek'd high for joy, and with untrembling hand Touch'd quick the insidious train; lest here the chief Should change his counsel and afford relief: For hard the general's task, to speak the doom That sends a thousand heroes to the tomb; Heroes who know no wrong; who thoughtless speed Where kings command or where their captains lead, —Burst with the blast, the reeling mountain roars, Heaves, labors, boils, and thro the concave pours His flaming contents high; he chokes the air With all his warriors and their works of war; Guns, bastions, magazines confounded fly, Vault wide their fresh explosions o'er the sky, Encumber each far camp, and plough profound With their rude fragments every neighboring ground.

Britain's brave leader, where he sought repose, And deem'd his hill-fort still repulsed the foes, Starts at the astounding earthquake, and descries His chosen veterans whirling down the skies. Their mangled members round his balcon fall, Scorch'd in the flames, and dasht on every wall: Sad field of contemplation! Here, ye great, Kings, priests of God, and ministers of state, Review your system here! behold and scan Your own fair deeds, your benefits to man! You will not leave him to his natural toil, To tame these elements and till the soil. To reap, share, tithe you what his hand has sown, Enjoy his treasures and increase your own, Build up his virtues on the base design'd, The well-toned harmonies of humankind. You choose to check his toil, and band his eyes To all that's honest and to all that's wise; Lure with false fame, false morals and false lore, To barter fields of corn for fields of gore, To take by bands what single thieves would spare, And methodise his murders into war.

Now the prest garrison fresh danger warms; They rush impetuous to each post of arms, Man the long trench, each embrasure sustain, And pour their langrage on the allied train; Whose swift approaches, crowding on the line, Each wing envelop and each front confine. O'er all sage Washington his arm extends, Points every movement, every work defends, Bids closer quarters, bloodier strokes proceed, New batteries blaze and heavier squadrons bleed. Line within line fresh parallels enclose; Here runs a zigzag, there a mantlet grows, Round the pent foe approaching breastworks rise, And bombs, like meteors, vault the flaming skies. Night, with her hovering wings, asserts in vain The shades, the silence of her rightful reign; High roars her canopy with fiery flakes, And War stalks wilder thro the glare he makes.

With dire dismay the British chief beheld The foe advance, his veterans shun the field, Despair and slaughter where he turns his eye, No hope in combat and no power to fly; Degrasse victorious shakes the shadowy tide, Imbodied nations all the champaign hide, Fosses and batteries, growing on the sight, Still pour new thunders and increase the fight; Shells rain before him, rending every mound, Crags, gunstones, balls o'erturn the tented ground, From post to post his driven ranks retire, The earth in crimson and the skies on fire.

Death wantons proud in this decisive round, For here his hand its favorite victim found; Brave Scammel perisht here. Ah! short, my friend, Thy bright career, but glorious to its end. Go join thy Warren's ghost, your fates compare, His that commenced, with thine that closed the war; Freedom, with laurel'd brow but tearful eyes, Bewails her first and last, her twinlike sacrifice.

Now grateful truce suspends the burning war, And groans and shouts promiscuous load the air; When the tired Britons, where the smokes decay, Quit their strong station and resign the day. Slow files along the immeasurable train, Thousands on thousands redden all the plain, Furl their torn bandrols, all their plunder yield. And pile their muskets on the battle field. Their wide auxiliar nations swell the crowd, And the coop'd navies, from the neighboring flood, Repeat surrendering signals, and obey The landmen's fate on this concluding day.

Cornwallis first, their late all-conquering lord, Bears to the victor chief his conquer'd sword, Presents the burnisht hilt, and yields with pain The gift of kings, here brandisht long in vain. Then bow their hundred banners, trailing far Their wearied wings from all the skirts of war. Battalion'd infantry and squadron'd horse Dash the silk tassel and the golden torse; Flags from the forts and ensigns from the fleet Roll in the dust, and at Columbia's feet Prostrate the pride of thrones; they firm the base Of Freedom's temple, while her arms they grace. Here Albion's crimson Cross the soil o'erspreads, Her Lion crouches and her Thistle fades; Indignant Erin rues her trampled Lyre, Brunswick's pale Steed forgets his foamy fire, Proud Hessia's Castle lies in dust o'erthrown, And venal Anspach quits her broken Crown.

Long trains of wheel'd artillery shade the shore, Quench their blue matches and forget to roar; Along the encumber'd plain, thick planted rise High stacks of muskets glittering to the skies, Numerous and vast. As when the toiling swains Heap their whole harvest on the stubbly plains, Gerb after gerb the bearded shock expands, Shocks, ranged in rows, hill high the burden'd lands; The joyous master numbers all the piles, And o'er his well-earn'd crop complacent smiles: Such growing heaps this iron harvest yield, So tread the victors this their final field.

Triumphant Washington, with brow serene, Regards unmoved the exhilarating scene, Weighs in his balanced thought the silent grief That sinks the bosom of the fallen chief. With all the joy that laurel crowns bestow, A world reconquer'd and a vanquished foe. Thus thro extremes of life, in every state, Shines the clear soul, beyond all fortune great; While smaller minds, the dupes of fickle chance, Slight woes o'erwhelm and sudden joys entrance. So the full sun, thro all the changing sky, Nor blasts nor overpowers the naked eye; Tho transient splendors, borrowed from his light, Glance on the mirror and destroy the sight.

He bids brave Lincoln guide with modest air The last glad triumph of the finish'd war; Who sees, once more, two armies shade one plain, The mighty victors and the captive train.



Book VIII.



Argument.



Hymn to Peace. Eulogy on the heroes slain in the war; in which the Author finds occasion to mention his Brother. Address to the patriots who have survived the conflict; exhorting them to preserve liberty they have established. The danger of losing it by inattention illustrated in the rape of the Golden Fleece. Freedom succeeding to Despotism in the moral world, like Order succeeding to Chaos in the physical world. Atlas, the guardian Genius of Africa, denounces to Hesper the crimes of his people in the slavery of the Afripans. The Author addresses his countrymen on that subject, and on the principles of their government.

Hesper, recurring to his object of showing Columbus the importance of his discoveries, reverses the order of time, and exhibits the continent again in its savage state. He then displays the progress of arts in America. Fur-trade. Fisheries. Productions. Commerce. Education. Philosophical discoveries. Painting. Poetry.

Hail, holy Peace, from thy sublime abode Mid circling saints that grace the throne of God! Before his arm around our embryon earth Stretch'd the dim void, and gave to nature birth. Ere morning stars his glowing chambers hung, Or songs of gladness woke an angel's tongue, Veil'd in the splendors of his beamful mind, In blest repose thy placid form reclined, Lived in his life, his inward sapience caught, And traced and toned his universe of thought. Borne thro the expanse with his creating voice Thy presence bade the unfolding worlds rejoice, Led forth the systems on their bright career, Shaped all their curves and fashion'd every sphere, Spaced out their suns, and round each radiant goal, Orb over orb, compell'd their train to roll, Bade heaven's own harmony their force combine. Taught all their host symphonious strains to join, Gave to seraphic harps their sounding lays, Their joys to angels, and to men their praise.

From scenes of blood, these verdant shores that stain, From numerous friends in recent battle slain, From blazing towns that scorch the purple sky, From houseless hordes their smoking walls that fly, From the black prison ships, those groaning graves, From warring fleets that vex the gory waves, From a storm'd world, long taught thy flight to mourn, I rise, delightful Peace, and greet thy glad return.

For now the untuneful trump shall grate no more; Ye silver streams, no longer swell with gore, Bear from your war-beat banks the guilty stain With yon retiring navies to the main. While other views, unfolding on my eyes, And happier themes bid bolder numbers rise; Bring, bounteous Peace, in thy celestial throng. Life to my soul, and rapture to my song; Give me to trace, with pure unclouded ray, The arts and virtues that attend thy sway, To see thy blissful charms, that here descend, Thro distant realms and endless years extend.

Too long the groans of death and battle's bray Have rung discordant thro my turgid lay: The drum's rude clang, the war wolfs hideous howl Convulsed my nerves and agonized my soul, Untuned the harp for all but misery's pains, And chased the Muse from corse-encumber'd plains. Let memory's balm its pious fragrance shed On heroes' wounds and patriot warriors dead; Accept, departed Shades, these grateful sighs, Your fond attendants thro your homeward skies.

And thou, my earliest friend, my Brother dear, Thy fall untimely still renews my tear. In youthful sports, in toils, in taste allied, My kind companion and my faithful guide, When death's dread summons, from our infant eyes, Had call'd our last loved parent to the skies. Tho young in arms, and still obscure thy name, Thy bosom panted for the deeds of fame; Beneath Montgomery's eye, when by thy steel In northern wilds the frequent savage fell. Fired by his voice, and foremost at his call, To mount the breach or scale the flamy wall, Thy daring hand had many a laurel gain'd, If years had ripen'd what thy fancy feign'd. Lamented Youth! when thy great leader bled, Thro the same wound thy parting spirit fled, Join'd the long train, the self-devoted band, The gods, the saviors of their native land.

On fame's high pinnacle their names shall shine, Unending ages greet the group divine, Whose holy hands our banners first unfurl'd, And conquer'd freedom for the grateful world.

And you, their peers, whose steel avenged their blood, Whose breasts with theirs our sacred rampart stood, Illustrious relics of a thousand fields! To you at last the foe reluctant yields. But tho the Muse, too prodigal of praise, Dares with the dead your living worth to raise, Think not, my friends, the patriot's task is done, Or Freedom safe, because the battle's won. Unnumber'd foes, far different arms that wield, Wait the weak moment when she quits her shield, To plunge in her bold breast the insidious dart, Or pour keen poison round her thoughtless heart. Perhaps they'll strive her votaries to divide, From their own veins to draw the vital tide; Perhaps, by cooler calculation shown, Create materials to construct a throne, Dazzle her guardians with the glare of state, Corrupt with power, with borrowed pomp inflate, Bid thro the land the soft infection creep, Whelm all her sons in one lethargic sleep, Crush her vast empire in its brilliant birth, And chase the goddess from the ravaged earth.

The Dragon thus, that watch'd the Colchian fleece, Foil'd the fierce warriors of wide-plundering Greece; Warriors of matchless might and wondrous birth, Jove's sceptred sons and demigods of earth. High on the sacred tree, the glittering prize Hangs o'er its guard, and tires the warriors' eyes; First their hurl'd spears his spiral folds assail, Their spears fall pointless from his flaky mail; Onward with dauntless swords they plunge amain; He shuns their blows, recoils his twisting train, Darts forth his forky tongue, heaves high in air His fiery crest, and sheds a hideous glare, Champs, churns his poisonous juice, and hissing loud Spouts thick the stifling tempest o'er the crowd; Then, with one sweep of convoluted train, Rolls back all Greece, and besoms wide the plain, O'erturns the sons of gods, dispersing far The pirate horde, and closes quick the war. From his red jaws tremendous triumph roars, Dark Euxine trembles to its distant shores, Proud Jason starts, confounded in his might, Leads back his peers, and dares no more the fight. But the sly Priestess brings her opiate spell, Soft charms that hush the triple hound of hell, Bids Orpheus tune his all-enchanting lyre, And join to calm the guardian's sleepless ire. Soon from the tepid ground blue vapors rise, And sounds melodious move along the skies; A settling tremor thro his folds extends, His crest contracts, his rainbow heck unbends, O'er all his hundred hoops the languor crawls, Each curve develops, every volute falls, His broad back flattens as he spreads the plain, And sleep consigns him to his lifeless reign. Flusht at the sight the pirates seize the spoil, And ravaged Colchis rues the insidious toil.

Yes! fellow freemen, sons of high renown, Chant your loud peans, weave your civic crown; But know, the goddess you've so long adored, Tho now she scabbards your avenging sword, Calls you to vigil ance, to manlier cares, To prove in peace the men she proved in wars: Superior task! severer test of soul! Tis here bold virtue plays her noblest role And merits most of praise. The warrior's name, Tho peal'd and chimed on all the tongues of fame, Sounds less harmonious to the grateful mind Than his who fashions and improves mankind.

And what high meed your new vocation waits! Freedom, parturient with a hundred states, Confides them to your hand; the nascent prize Claims all your care, your soundest wisdom tries. Ah nurture, temper, train your infant charge, Its force develop and its life enlarge, Unfold each day some adolescent grace, Some right recognise or some duty trace; Mould a fair model for the realms of earth, Call moral nature to a second birth, Reach, renovate the world's great social plan, And here commence the sober sense of man,

For lo, in other climes and elder states, What strange inversion all his works awaits! From age to age, on every peopled shore, Stalks the fell Demon of despotic power, Sweeps in his march the mounds of art away. Blots with his breath the trembling disk of day, Treads down whole nations every stride he takes, And wraps their labors in his fiery flakes.

As Anarch erst around his regions hurl'd The wrecks, long crush'd, of time's anterior world; While nature mourn'd, in wild confusion tost, Her suns extinguisht and her systems lost; Light, life and instinct shared the dreary trance, And gravitation fled the field of chance; No laws remain'd of matter, motion, space; Time lost his count, the universe his place; Till Order came, in her cerulean robes, And launch'd and rein'd the renovated globes, Stock'd with harmonious worlds the vast Inane, Archt her new heaven and fixt her boundless reign: So kings convulse the moral frame, the base Of all the codes that can accord the race; And so from their broad grasp, their deadly ban, Tis yours to snatch this earth, to raise regenerateman.

My friends, I love your fame, I joy to raise The high-toned anthem of my country's praise; To sing her victories, virtues, wisdom, weal, Boast with loud voice the patriot pride I feel; Warm wild I sing; and, to her failings blind, Mislead myself, perhaps mislead mankind. Land that I love! is this the whole we owe? Thy pride to pamper, thy fair face to show; Dwells there no blemish where such glories shine? And lurks no spot in that bright sun of thine? Hark! a dread voice, with heaven-astounding strain, Swells Wee a thousand thunders o'er the main, Rolls and reverberates around thy hills, And Hesper's heart with pangs paternal fills. Thou hearst him not; tis Atlas, throned sublime. Great brother guardian of old Afric's clime; High o'er his coast he rears his frowning form, Overlooks and calms his sky-borne fields of storm, Flings off the clouds that round his shoulders hung, And breaks from clogs of ice his trembling tongue; While far thro space with rage and grief he glares, Heaves his hoar head and shakes the heaven he bears: —Son of my sire! O latest brightest birth That sprang from his fair spouse, prolific earth! Great Hesper, say what sordid ceaseless hate Impels thee thus to mar my elder state. Our sire assign'd thee thy more glorious reign, Secured and bounded by our laboring main; That main (tho still my birthright name it bear) Thy sails o'ershadow, thy brave children share; I grant it thus; while air surrounds the ball, Let breezes blow, let oceans roll for all. But thy proud sons, a strange ungenerous race, Enslave my tribes, and each fair world disgrace, Provoke wide vengeance on their lawless land, The bolt ill placed in thy forbearing hand.— Enslave my tribes! then boast their cantons free, Preach faith and justice, bend the sainted knee, Invite all men their liberty to share, Seek public peace, defy the assaults of war, Plant, reap, consume, enjoy their fearless toil, Tame their wild floods, to fatten still their soil, Enrich all nations with their nurturing store, And rake with venturous fluke each wondering shore.—

Enslave my tribes! what, half mankind imban, Then read, expound, enforce the rights of man! Prove plain and clear how nature's hand of old Cast all men equal in her human mould! Their fibres, feelings, reasoning powers the same, Like wants await them, like desires inflame. Thro former times with learned book they tread, Revise past ages and rejudge the dead, Write, speak, avenge, for ancient sufferings feel, Impale each tyrant on their pens of steel, Declare how freemen can a world create, And slaves and masters ruin every state.— Enslave my tribes! and think, with dumb disdain, To scape this arm and prove my vengeance vain! But look! methinks beneath my foot I ken A few chain'd things that seem no longer men; Thy sons perchance! whom Barbary's coast can tell The sweets of that loved scourge they wield so well. Link'd in a line, beneath the driver's goad, See how they stagger with their lifted load; The shoulder'd rock, just wrencht from off my hill And wet with drops their straining orbs distil, Galls, grinds them sore, along the rarnpart led, And the chain clanking counts the steps they tread.

By night close bolted in the bagnio's gloom, Think how they ponder on their dreadful doom, Recal the tender sire, the weeping bride, The home, far sunder'd by a waste of tide, Brood all the ties that once endear'd them there, But now, strung stronger, edge their keen despair. Till here a fouler fiend arrests their pace: Plague, with his burning breath and bloated face, With saffron eyes that thro the dungeon shine, And the black tumors bursting from the groin, Stalks o'er the slave; who, cowering on the sod, Shrinks from the Demon and invokes his God, Sucks hot contagion with his quivering breath, And, rack'd with rending torture, sinks in death.

Nor shall these pangs atone the nation's crime; Far heavier vengeance, in the march of time, Attends them still; if still they dare debase And hold inthrall'd the millions of my race; A vengeance that shall shake the world's deep frame, That heaven abhors, and hell might shrink to name. Nature, long outraged, delves the crusted sphere, And moulds the mining mischief dark and drear; Europa too the penal shock shall find, The rude soul-selling monsters of mankind:

Where Alps and Andes at their bases meet, In earth's mid caves to lock their granite feet, Heave their broad spines, expand each breathing lobe, And with their massy members rib the globe, Her cauldron'd floods of fire their blast prepare; Her wallowing womb of subterranean war Waits but the fissure that my wave shall find, To force the foldings of the rocky rind, Crash your curst continent, and whirl on high The vast avulsion vaulting thro the sky, Fling far the bursting fragments, scattering wide Rocks, mountains, nations o'er the swallowing tide. Plunging and surging with alternate sweep, They storm the day-vault and lay bare the deep, Toss, tumble, plough their place, then slow subside, And swell each ocean as their bulk they hide; Two oceans dasht in one! that climbs and roars, And seeks in vain the exterminated shores, The deep drencht hemisphere. Far sunk from day, It crumbles, rolls, it churns the settling sea, Turns up each prominence, heaves every side, To pierce once more the landless length of tide; Till some poized Pambamarca looms at last A dim lone island in the watery waste, Mourns all his minor mountains wreck'd and hurl'd, Stands the sad relic of a ruin'd world, Attests the wrath our mother kept in store, And rues her judgments on the race she bore. No saving Ark around him rides the main, Nor Dove weak-wing'd her footing finds again; His own bald Eagle skims alone the sky, Darts from all points of heaven her searching eye, Kens, thro the gloom, her ancient rock of rest, And finds her cavern'd crag, her solitary nest.

Thus toned the Titan his tremendous knell, And lash'd his ocean to a loftier swell; Earth groans responsive, and with laboring woes Leans o'er the surge and stills the storm he throws.

Fathers and friends, I know the boding fears Of angry genii and of rending spheres Assail not souls like yours; whom Science bright Thro shadowy nature leads with surer light; For whom she strips the heavens of love and hate, Strikes from Jove's hand the brandisht bolt of fate, Gives each effect its own indubious cause, Divides her moral from her physic laws, Shows where the virtues find their nurturing food, And men their motives to be just and good.

You scorn the Titan's threat; nor shall I strain The powers of pathos in a task so vain As Afric's wrongs to sing; for what avails To harp for you these known familiar tales? To tongue mute misery, and re-rack the soul With crimes oft copied from that bloody scroll Where Slavery pens her woes; tho tis but there We learn the weight that mortal life can be. The tale might startle still the accustom'd ear, Still shake the nerve that pumps the pearly tear, Melt every heart, and thro the nation gain Full many a voice to break the barbarous chain. But why to sympathy for guidance fly, (Her aids uncertain and of scant supply) When your own self-excited sense affords A guide more sure, and every sense accords? Where strong self-interest, join'd with duty, lies, Where doing right demands no sacrifice, Where profit, pleasure, life-expanding fame League their allurements to support the claim, Tis safest there the impleaded cause to trust; Men well instructed will be always just.

From slavery then your rising realms to save, Regard the master, notice not the slave; Consult alone for freemen, and bestow Your best, your only cares, to keep them so. Tyrants are never free; and, small and great, All masters must be tyrants soon or late; So nature works; and oft the lordling knave Turns out at once a tyrant and a slave, Struts, cringes, bullies, begs, as courtiers must, Makes one a god, another treads in dust, Fears all alike, and filches whom he can, But knows no equal, finds no friend in man.

Ah! would you not be slaves, with lords and kings, Then be not masters; there the danger springs. The whole crude system that torments this earth, Of rank, privation, privilege of birth, False honor, fraud, corruption, civil jars, The rage of conquest and the curse of wars, Pandora's total shower, all ills combined That erst o'erwhelm'd and still distress mankind, Box'd up secure in your deliberate hand, Wait your behest, to fix or fly this land.

Equality of Right is nature's plan; And following nature is the march of man. Whene'er he deviates in the least degree, When, free himself, he would be more than free, The baseless column, rear'd to bear his bust, Falls as he mounts, and whelms him in the dust.

See Rome's rude sires, with autocratic gait, Tread down their tyrant and erect their state; Their state secured, they deem it wise and brave That every freeman should command a slave, And, flusht with franchise of his camp and town, Rove thro the world and hunt the nations down; Master and man the same vile spirit gains, Rome chains the world, and wears herself the chains.

Mark modern Europe with her feudal codes, Serfs, villains, vassals, nobles, kings and gods, All slaves of different grades, corrupt and curst With high and low, for senseless rank athirst, Wage endless wars; not fighting to be free, But cujum pecus, whose base herd they'll be.

Too much of Europe, here transplanted o'er, Nursed feudal feelings on your tented shore, Brought sable serfs from Afric, call'd it gain, And urged your sires to forge the fatal chain. But now, the tents o'erturn'd, the war dogs fled, Now fearless Freedom rears at last her head Matcht with celestial Peace,—my friends, beware To shade the splendors of so bright a pair; Complete their triumph, fix their firm abode, Purge all privations from your liberal code, Restore their souls to men, give earth repose, And save your sons from slavery, wars and woes.

Based on its rock of Right your empire lies, On walls of wisdom let the fabric rise; Preserve your principles, their force unfold, Let nations prove them and let kings behold. EQUALITY, your first firm-grounded stand; Then FREE ELECTION; then your FEDERAL BAND; This holy Triad should forever shine The great compendium of all rights divine, Creed of all schools, whence youths by millions draw Their themes of right, their decalogues of law; Till men shall wonder (in these codes inured) How wars were made, how tyrants were endured.

Then shall your works of art superior rise, Your fruits perfume a larger length of skies, Canals careering climb your sunbright hills, Vein the green slopes and strow their nurturing rills, Thro tunnel'd heights and sundering ridges glide, Rob the rich west of half Kenhawa's tide, Mix your wide climates, all their stores confound, And plant new ports in every midland mound. Your lawless Missisippi, now who slimes And drowns and desolates his waste of climes, Ribb'd with your dikes, his torrent shall restrain, And ask your leave to travel to the main; Won from his wave while rising cantons smile, Rear their glad nations and reward their toil.

Thus Nile's proud flood to human hands of yore Raised and resign'd his tide-created shore, Call'd from his Ethiop hills their hardy swains, And waved their harvests o'er his newborn plains; Earth's richest realm from his tamed current sprung; There nascent science toned her infant tongue, Taught the young arts their tender force to try, To state the seasons and unfold the sky; Till o'er the world extended and refined, They rule the destinies of humankind.

Now had Columbus well enjoy'd the sight Of armies vanquisht and of fleets in flight, From all Hesperia's heaven the darkness flown, And colon crowds to sovereign sages grown. To cast new glories o'er the changing clime, The guardian Power reversed the flight of time, Roll'd back the years that led their course before, Stretch'd out immense the wild uncultured shore; Then shifts the total scene, and rears to view Arts and the men that useful arts pursue. As o'er the canvass when the painter's mind Glows with a future landscape well design'd, While Panorama's wondrous aid he calls, To crowd whole realms within his circling walls, Lakes, fields and forests, ports and navies rise, A new creation to his kindling eyes; He smiles o'er all; sand in delightful strife The pencil moves and Calls the whole to life. So while Columbia's patriarch stood sublime, And saw rude nature clothe the trackless clime; The green banks heave, the winding currents pour, The bays and harbors cleave the yielding shore, The champaigns spread, the solemn groves arise, And the rough mountains lengthen round the skies; Thro all their bounds he traced, with skilful ken, The unform'd seats and future walks of men; Mark'd where the field should bloom, the pennon play, Great cities grow and empires claim their sway; When, sudden waked by Hesper's waving hand, They rose obedient round the cultured land.

In western tracts, where still the wildmen tread, From sea to sea an inland commerce spread; On the dim streams and thro the gloomy grove The trading bauds their cumbrous burdens move; Furs, peltry, drugs, and all the native store Of midland realms descended to the shore.

Where summer suns, along the northern coast, With feeble force dissolve the chains of frost, Prolific waves the scaly nations trace, And tempt the toils of man's laborious race. Tho rich Brazilian strands, beneath the tide, Their shells of pearl and sparkling pebbles hide, While for the gaudy prize a venturous train Plunge the dark deep and brave the surging main, Drag forth the shining gewgaws into air, To stud a sceptre or emblaze a star; Far wealthier stores these genial tides display, And works less dangerous with their spoils repay. The Hero saw the hardy crews advance, Cast the long line and aim the barbed lance; Load the deep floating barks, and bear abroad To every land the life-sustaining food; Renascent swarms by nature's care supplied, Repeople still the shoals and fin the fruitful tide.

Where southern streams thro broad savannas bend, The rice-clad vales their verdant rounds extend; Tobago's plant its leaf expanding yields, The maize luxuriant clothes a thousand fields; Steeds, herds and flocks o'er northern regions rove, Embrown the hill and wanton thro the grove. The woodlands wide their sturdy honors bend, The pines, the liveoaks to the shores descend, There couch the keels, the crooked ribs arise, Hulls heave aloft and mastheads mount the skies; Launcht on the deep o'er every wave they Feed tropic isles and Europe's looms supply.

To nurse the arts and fashion freedom's lore Young schools of science rise along the shore; Great without pomp their modest walls expand, Harvard and Yale and Princeton grace the land, Penn's student halls his youths with gladness greet, On James's bank Virginian Muses meet, Manhattan's mart collegiate domes command, Bosom'd in groves, see growing Dartmouth stand; Bright o'er its realm reflecting solar fires, On yon tall hill Rhode Island's seat aspires.

Thousands of humbler name around them rise, Where homebred freemen seize the solid prize; Fixt in small spheres, with safer beams to shine, They reach the useful and refuse the fine, Found, on its proper base, the social plan, The broad plain truths, the common sense of man, His obvious wants, his mutual aids discern, His rights familiarize, his duties learn, Feel moral fitness all its force dilate, Embrace the village and comprise the state. Each rustic here who turns the furrow'd soil, The maid, the youth that ply mechanic toil, In equal rights, in useful arts inured, Know their just claims, and see their claims secured; They watch their delegates, each law revise, Its faults designate and its merits prize, Obey, but scrutinize; and let the test Of sage experience prove and fix the best.

Here, fired by virtue's animating flame, The preacher's task persuasive sages claim, To mould religion to the moral mind, In bands of peace to harmonize mankind, To life, to light, to promised joys above The soften'd soul with ardent hope to move. No dark intolerance blinds the zealous throng, No arm of power attendant on their tongue; Vext Inquisition, with her flaming brand, Shuns their mild march, nor dares approach the land. Tho different creeds their priestly robes denote, Their orders various and their rites remote, Yet one their voice, their labors all combined, Lights of the world and friends of humankind. So the bright galaxy o'er heaven displays Of various stars the same unbounded blaze; Where great and small their mingling rays unite, And earth and skies exchange the friendly light.

And lo, my son that other sapient band, The torch of science flamiflg in their hand! Thro nature's range their searching souls aspire, Or wake to life the canvass and the lyre. Fixt in sublimest thought, behold them rise World after world unfolding to their eyes, Lead, light, allure them thro the total plan, And give new guidance to the paths of man.

Yon meteor-mantled hill see Franklin tread, Heaven's awful thunders tolling o'er his head, Convolving clouds the billowy skies deform, And forky flames emblaze the blackening storm, See the descending streams around him burn, Glance on his rod and with his finger turn; He bids conflicting fulminants expire The guided blast, and holds the imprison'd fire. No more, when doubling storms the vault o'erspread, The livid glare shall strike thy race with dread, Nor towers nor temples, shuddering with the sound, Sink in the flames and shake the sheeted ground. His well tried wires, that every tempest wait, Shall teach mankind to ward the bolts of fate, With pointed steel o'ertop the trembling spire, And lead from untouch'd walls the harmless flre; Fill'd with his fame while distant climes rejoice, Wherever lightning shines or thunder rears its voice.

And see sage Rittenhouse, with ardent eye, Lift the long tube and pierce the starry sky; Clear in his view the circling planets roll, And suns and satellites their course control. He marks what laws the widest wanderers bind, Copies creation in his forming mind, Sees in his hall the total semblance rise, And mimics there the labors of the skies. There student youths without their tubes behold The spangled heavens their mystic maze unfold, And crowded schools their cheerful chambers grace With all the spheres that cleave the vast of space.

To guide the sailor in his wandering way, See Godfrey's glass reverse the beams of day. His lifted quadrant to the eye displays From adverse skies the counteracting rays; And marks, as devious sails bewilder'd roll, Each nice gradation from the steadfast pole.

West with his own great soul the canvass warms, Creates, inspires, impassions human forms, Spurns critic rules, and seizing safe the heart, Breaks down the former frightful bounds of Art; Where ancient manners, with exclusive reign, From half mankind withheld her fair domain. He calls to life each patriot, chief or sage, Garb'd in the dress and drapery of his age. Again bold Regulus to death returns, Again her falling Wolfe Britannia mourns; Lahogue, Boyne, Cressy, Nevilcross demand And gain fresh lustre from his copious hand; His Lear stalks wild with woes, the gods defies, Insults the tempest and outstorms the skies; Edward in arms to frowning combat moves, Or, won to pity by the queen he loves, Spares the devoted Six, whose deathless deed Preserves the town his vengeance doom'd to bleed.

With rival force, see Copley's pencil trace The air of action and the charms of face. Fair in his tints unfold the scenes of state, The senate listens and the peers debate; Pale consternation every heart appals, In act to speak, when death-struck Chatham fails. He bids dread Calpe cease to shake the waves, While Elliott's arm the host of Bourbon saves; O'er sail-wing'd batteries sinking in the flood, Mid flames and darkness, drench'd in hostile blood, Britannia's sons extend their generous hand To rescue foes from death, and bear them to the land.

Fired with the martial deeds that bathed in gore His brave companions on his native shore, Trumbull with daring hand their fame recals; He shades with night Quebec's beleagured walls, Thro flashing flames, that midnight war supplies, The assailants yield, their great Montgomery dies. On Bunker height, thro floods of hostile fire, His Putnam toils till all the troops retire, His Warren, pierced with balls, at last lies low, And leaves a victory to the wasted foe. Britannia too his glowing tint shall claim, To pour new splendor on her Calpean fame; He leads her bold sortie, and from their towers O'erturns the Gallic and Iberian powers.

See rural seats of innocence and ease, High tufted towers and walks of waving trees, The white wates dashing on the Craggy shores, Meandring streams and meads of mingled flowers, Where nature's sons their wild excursions tread, In just design from Taylor's pencil spread.

Stuart and Brown the moving portrait raise, Each rival stroke the force of life conveys; Heroes and beauties round their tablets stand, And rise unfading from their plastic hand; Each breathing form preserves its wonted grace, And all the Soul stands speaking in the face.

Two kindred arts the swelling statue heave, Wake the dead wax, and teach the stone to live. While the bold chissel claims the rugged strife, To rouse the sceptred marble into life,

See Wright's fair hands the livelier fire control, In waxen forms she breathes impassion'd soul; The pencil'd tint o'er moulded substance glows, And different powers the peerless art compose. Grief, rage and fear beneath her fingers start, Roll the wild eye and pour the bursting heart; The world's dead fathers wait her wakening call; And distant ages fill the storied hall.

To equal fame ascends thy tuneful throng, The boast of genius and the pride of song; Caught from the cast of every age and clime, Their lays shall triumph o'er the lapse of time.

With lynx-eyed glance thro nature far to pierce, With all the powers and every charm of verse, Each science opening in his ample mind, His fancy glowing and his taste refined, See Trumbull lead the train. His skilful hand Hurls the keen darts of satire round the land. Pride, knavery, dullness feel his mortal stings, And listening virtue triumphs while he sings; Britain's foil'd sons, victorious now no more, In guilt retiring from the wasted shore, Strive their curst cruelties to hide in vain; The world resounds them in his deathless strain.

On wings of faith to elevate the soul Beyond the bourn of earth's benighted pole, For Dwight's high harp the epic Muse sublime Hails her new empire in the western clime. Tuned from the tones by seers seraphic sung, Heaven in his eye and rapture on his tongue, His voice revives old Canaan's promised land, The long-fought fields of Jacob's chosen band. In Hanniel's fate, proud faction finds its doom, Ai's midnight flames light nations to their tomb, In visions bright supernal joys are given, And all the dark futurities of heaven.

While freedom's cause his patriot bosom warms, In counsel sage, nor inexpert in arms, See Humphreys glorious from the field retire, Sheathe the glad sword and string the soothing lyre; That lyre which erst, in hours of dark despair, Roused the sad realms to finish well the war. O'er fallen friends, with all the strength of woe, Fraternal sighs in his strong numbers flow; His country's wrongs, her duties, dangers, praise, Fire his full soul and animate his lays: Wisdom and War with equal joy shall own So fond a votary and so brave a son.



Book IX.



Argument.

Vision suspended. Night scene, as contemplated from the mount of vision. Columbus inquires the reason of the slow progress of science, and its frequent interruptions. Hesper answers, that all things in the physical as well as the moral and intellectual world are progressive in like manner. He traces their progress from the birth of the universe to the present state of the earth and its inhabitants; asserts the future advancement of society, till perpetual peace shall be established. Columbus proposes his doubts; alleges in support of them the successive rise and downfal of ancient nations; and infers future and periodical convulsions. Hesper, in answer, exhibits the great distinction between the ancient and modern state of the arts and of society. Crusades. Commerce. Hanseatic League. Copernicus. Kepler. Newton, Galileo. Herschel. Descartes. Bacon. Printing Press. Magnetic Needle. Geographical discoveries. Federal system in America. A similar system to be extended over the whole earth. Columbus desires a view of this.

But now had Hesper from the Hero's sight Veil'd the vast world with sudden shades of night. Earth, sea and heaven, where'er he turns his eye, Arch out immense, like one surrounding sky Lamp'd with reverberant fires. The starry train Paint their fresh forms beneath the placid main; Fair Cynthia here her face reflected laves, Bright Venus gilds again her natal waves, The Bear redoubling foams with fiery joles, And two dire dragons twine two arctic poles. Lights o'er the land, from cities lost in shade, New constellations, new galaxies spread, And each high pharos double flames provides, One from its fires, one fainter from the tides.

Centred sublime in this bivaulted sphere, On all sides void, unbounded, calm and clear, Soft o'er the Pair a lambent lustre plays, Their seat still cheering with concentred rays; To converse grave the soothing shades invite. And on his Guide Columbus fixt his sight: Kind messenger of heaven, he thus began, Why this progressive laboring search of man? If men by slow degrees have power to reach These opening truths that long dim ages teach, If, school'd in woes and tortured on to thought, Passion absorbing what experience taught, Still thro the devious painful paths they wind, And to sound wisdom lead at last the mind, Why did not bounteous nature, at their birth, Give all their science to these sons of earth, Pour on their reasoning powers pellucid day, Their arts, their interests clear as light display? That error, madness and sectarian strife Might find no place to havock human life.

To whom the guardian Power: To thee is given To hold high converse and inquire of heaven, To mark untraversed ages, and to trace Whate'er improves and what impedes thy race. Know then, progressive are the paths we go In worlds above thee, as in thine below Nature herself (whose grasp of time and place Deals out duration and impalms all space) Moves in progressive march; but where to tend, What course to compass, how the march must end, Her sons decide not; yet her works we greet Imperfect in their parts, but in their whole complete.

When erst her hand the crust of Chaos thirl'd, And forced from his black breast the bursting world, High swell'd the huge existence crude and crass, A formless dark impermeated mass; No light nor heat nor cold nor moist nor dry, But all concocting in their causes lie. Millions of periods, such as these her spheres Learn since to measure and to call their years, She broods the mass; then into motion brings And seeks and sorts the principles of things, Pours in the attractive and repulsive force, Whirls forth her globes in cosmogyral course, By myriads and by millions, scaled sublime, To scoop their skies, and curve the rounds of time.

She groups their systems, lots to each his place, Strow'd thro immensity, and drown'd in space, All yet unseen; till light at last begun, And every system found a centred sun, Call'd to his neighbor and exchanged from far His infant gleams with every social star; Rays thwarting rays and skies o'erarching skies Robed their dim planets with commingling dyes, Hung o'er each heaven their living lamps serene, And tinged with blue the frore expanse between: Then joyous Nature hail'd the golden morn, Drank the young beam, beheld her empire born.

Lo the majestic movement! there they trace Their blank infinitudes of time and space, Vault with careering curves her central goal, Pour forth her day and stud her evening stole, Heedless of count; their numbers still unknown, Unmeasured still their progress round her throne; For none of all her firstborn sons, endow'd With heavenly sapience and pretensions proud, No seraph bright, whose keen considering eye And sunbeam speed ascend from sky to sky, Has yet explored or counted all their spheres, Or fixt or found their past record of years. Nor can a ray from her remotest sun, Shot forth when first their splendid morn begun, Borne straight, continuous thro the void of space, Doubling each thousand years its rapid pace And hither posting, yet have reach'd this earth, To bring the tidings of its master's birth.

And mark thy native orb! tho later born, Tho still unstored with light her silver horn, As seen from sister planets, who repay Far more than she their borrow'd streams of day, Yet what an age her shell-rock ribs attest! Her sparry spines, her coal-encumber'd breast! Millions of generations toil'd and died To crust with coral and to salt her tide, And millions more, ere yet her soil began, Ere yet she form'd or could have nursed her man.

Then rose the proud phenomenon, the birth Most richly wrought, the favorite child of earth; But frail at first his frame, with nerves ill strung, Unform'd his footsteps, long untoned his tongue, Unhappy, unassociate, unrefined, Unfledged the pinions of his lofty mind, He wander'd wild, to every beast a prey, More prest with wrants, and feebler far than they; For countless ages forced from place to place, Just reproduced but scarce preserved his race. At last, a soil more fixt and streams more sweet Inform the wretched migrant where to seat; Euphrates' flowery banks begin to smile, Fruits fringe the Ganges, gardens grace the Nile; Nile, ribb'd with dikes, a length of coast creates, And giant Thebes begins her hundred gates, Mammoth of human works! her grandeur known These thousand lustres by its wrecks alone; Wrecks that humiliate still all modern states, Press the poized earth with their enormous weights, Refuse to quit their place, dissolve their frame And trust, like Ilion, to the bards their fame. Memphis amass'd her piles, that still o'erclimb The clouds of heaven, and task the tooth of time; Belus and Brama tame their vagrant throngs, And Homer, with his monumental songs, Builds far more durable his splendid throne Than all the Pharaohs with their hills of stone.

High roll'd the round of years that hung sublime These wondrous beacons in the night of time; Studs of renown! that to thine eyes attest The waste of ages that beyond them rest; Ages how fill'd with toils! how gloom'd with woes! Trod with all steps that man's long march compose, Dim drear disastrous; ere his foot could gain A height so brilliant o'er the bestial train.

In those blank periods, where no man can trace The gleams of thought that first illumed his race, His errors, twined with science, took their birth, And forged their fetters for this child of earth. And when, as oft, he dared expand his view, And work with nature on the line she drew, Some monster, gender'd in his fears, unmann'd His opening soul, and marr'd the works he plann'd. Fear, the first passion of his helpless state, Redoubles all the woes that round him wait, Blocks nature's path and sends him wandering wide, Without a guardian and without a guide.

Beat by the storm, refresht by gentle rain, By sunbeams cheer'd or founder'd in the main, He bows to every force he can't control, Indows them all with intellect and soul, With passions various, turbulent and strong, Rewarding virtue and avenging wrong, Gives heaven and earth to their supernal doom, And swells their sway beyond the closing tomb. Hence rose his gods, that mystic monstrous lore Of blood-stain'd altars and of priestly power, Hence blind credulity on all dark things, False morals hence, and hence the yoke of kings.

Yon starry vault that round him rolls the spheres, And gives to earth her seasons, days and years, The source designates and the clue imparts Of all his errors and of all his arts. There spreads the system that his ardent thought First into emblems, then to spirits wrought; Spirits that ruled all matter and all mind, Nourish'd or famish'd, kill'd or cured mankind, Bade him neglect the soil whereon he fed, Work with hard hand for that which was not bread, Erect the temple, darken deep the shrine, Yield the full hecatomb with awe divine, Despise this earth, and claim with lifted eyes His health and harvest from the meteor'd skies.

Accustom'd thus to bow the suppliant head, And reverence powers that shake his heart with dread, His pliant faith extends with easy ken From heavenly hosts to heaven-anointed men; The sword, the tripod join their mutual aids, To film his eyes with more impervious shades, Create a sceptred idol, and enshrine The Robber Chief in attributes divine, Arm the new phantom with the nation's rod, And hail the dreadful delegate of God. Two settled slaveries thus the race control, Engross their labors and debase their soul; Till creeds and crimes and feuds and fears compose The seeds of war and all its kindred woes.

Unfold, thou Memphian dungeon! there began The lore of Mystery, the mask of man; There Fraud with Science leagued, in early times, Plann'd a resplendent course of holy crimes, Stalk'd o'er the nations with gigantic pace, With sacred symbols charm'd the cheated race, Taught them new grades of ignorance to gain, And punish truth with more than mortal pain,— Unfold at last thy cope! that man may see The mines of mischief he has drawn from thee. —Wide gapes the porch with hieroglyphics hung, And mimic zodiacs o'er its arches flung; Close labyrinth'd here the feign'd Omniscient dwells, Dupes from all nations seek the sacred cells; Inquiring strangers, with astonish'd eyes, Dive deep to read these subterranean skies, To taste that holiness which faith bestows, And fear promulgates thro its world of woes. The bold Initiate takes his awful stand, A thin pale taper trembling in his hand; Thro hells of howling monsters lies the road, To season souls and teach the ways of God.

Down the crampt corridor, far sunk from day, On hands and bended knees he gropes his way, Swims roaring streams, thro dens of serpents crawls, Descends deep wells and clambers flaming walls; Now thwart his lane a lake of sulphur gleams, With fiery waves and suffocating steams; He dares not shun the ford; for full in view Fierce lions rush behind and force him thro. Long ladders heaved on end, with banded eyes He mounts, and mounts, and seems to gain the skies; Then backward falling, tranced with deadly fright, Finds his own feet and stands restored to light. Here all dread sights of torture round him rise; Lash'd on a wheel, a whirling felon flies; A wretch, with members chain'd and liver bare, Writhes and disturbs the vulture feasting there: One strains to roll his rock, recoiling still; One, stretch'd recumbent o'er a limpid rill, Burns with devouring thirst; his starting eyes, Swell'd veins and frothy lips and piercing cries Accuse the faithless eddies, as they shrink And keep him panting still, still bending o'er the brink.

At last Elysium to his ravisht eyes Spreads flowery fields and opens golden skies; Breathes Orphean music thro the dancing groves, Trains the gay troops of Beauties, Graces, Loves, Lures his delirious sense with sweet decoys, Fine fancied foretaste of eternal joys, Fastidious pomp or proud imperial state,— Illusions all, that pass the Ivory Gate!

Various and vast the fraudful drama grows, Feign'd are the pleasures, as unfelt the woes; Where sainted hierophants, with well taught mimes, Play'd first the role for all succeeding times; Which, vamp'd and varied as the clime required, More trist or splendid, open or retired, Forms local creeds, with multifarious lore, Creates the God and bids the world adore.

Lo at the Lama's feet, as lord of all, Age following age in dumb devotion fall; The youthful god, mid suppliant kings enshrined, Dispensing fate and ruling half mankind, Sits with contorted limbs, a silent slave, An early victim of a secret grave; His priests by myriads famish every clime And sell salvation in the tones they chime.

See India's Triad frame their blood-penn'd codes, Old Ganges change his gardens for his gods, Ask his own waves from their celestial hands, And choke his channel with their sainted sands. Mad with the mandates of their scriptured word, And prompt to snatch from hell her dear dead lord, The wife, still blooming, decks her sacred urns, Mounts the gay pyre, and with his body burns.

Shrined in his golden fane the Delphian stands, Shakes distant thrones and taxes unknown lands. Kings, consuls, khans from earth's whole regions come, Pour in their wealth, and then inquire their doom; Furious and wild the priestess rends her veil, Sucks, thro the sacred stool, the maddening gale, Starts reddens foams and screams and mutters loud, Like a fell fiend, her oracles of God. The dark enigma, by the pontiff scroll'd In broken phrase, and close in parchment roll'd, From his proud pulpit to the suppliant hurl'd, Shall rive an empire and distract the world.

And where the mosque's dim arches bend on high, Mecca's dead prophet mounts the mimic sky; Pilgrims, imbanded strong for mutual aid, Thro dangerous deserts that their faith has made, Train their long caravans, and famish'd come To kiss the shrine and trembling touch the tomb, By fire and sword the same fell faith extend, And howl their homilies to earth's far end.

Phenician altars reek with human gore, Gods hiss from caverns or in cages roar, Nile pours from heaven a tutelary flood, And gardens grow the vegetable god. Two rival powers the magian faith inspire, Primeval Darkness and immortal Fire; Evil and good in these contending rise, And each by turns the sovereign of the skies. Sun, stars and planets round the earth behold Their fanes of marble and their shrines of gold; The sea, the grove, the harvest and the vine Spring from their gods and claim a birth divine; While heroes, kings and sages of their times, Those gods on earth, are gods in happier climes; Minos in judgment sits, and Jove in power, And Odin's friends are feasted there with gore.

Man is an infant still; and slow and late Must form and fix his adolescent state, Mature his manhood, and at last behold His reason ripen and his force unfold. From that bright eminence he then shall cast A look of wonder on his wanderings past, Congratulate himself, and o'er the earth Firm the full reign of peace predestined at his birth.

So Hesper taught; and farther had pursued A theme so grateful as a world renew'd; But dubious thoughts disturb'd the Hero's breast, Who thus with modest mien the Seer addrest: Say, friend of man, in this unbounded range, Where error vagrates and illusions change, What hopes to see his baleful blunders cease, And earth commence that promised age of peace? Like a loose pendulum his mind is hung, From wrong to wrong by ponderous passion swung, It vibrates wide, and with unceasing flight Sweeps all extremes and scorns the mean of right. Tho in the times you trace he seems to gain A steadier movement and a path more plain, And tho experience will have taught him then To mark some dangers, some delusions ken, Yet who can tell what future shocks may spread New shades of darkness round his lofty head, Plunge him again in some broad gulph of woes, Where long and oft he struggled, wreck'd and rose?

What strides he took in those gigantic times That sow'd with cities all his orient climes! When earth's proud floods he tamed, made many a shore, And talk'd with heaven from Babel's glittering tower! Did not his Babylon exulting say, I sit a queen, for ever stands my sway? Thebes, Memphis, Nineveh, a countless throng, Caught the same splendor and return'd the song; Each boasted, promised o'er the world to rise, Spouse of the sun, eternal as the skies. Where shall we find them now? the very shore Where Ninus rear'd his empire is no more: The dikes decay'd, a putrid marsh regains The sunken walls, the tomb-encumber'd plains, Pursues the dwindling nations where they shrink, And skirts with slime its deleterious brink. The fox himself has fled his gilded den, Nor holds the heritage he won from men; Lapwing and reptile shun the curst abode, And the foul dragon, now no more a god, Trails off his train; the sickly raven flies; A wide strong-stencht Avernus chokes the skies. So pride and ignorance fall a certain prey To the stanch bloodhound of despotic sway.

Then past a long drear night, with here and there A doubtful glimmering from a single star; Tyre, Carthage, Syracuse the gleam increase, Till dawns at last the effulgent morn of Greece, Here all his Muses meet, all arts combine To nerve his genius and his works refine; Morals and laws and arms, and every grace That e'er adorn'd or could exalt the race, Wrought into science and arranged in rules, Swell the proud splendor of her cluster'd schools, Build and sustain the state with loud acclaim, And work those deathless miracles of fame That stand unrivall'd still; for who shall dare Another field with Marathon compare? Who speaks of eloquence or sacred song, But calls on Greece to modulate his tongue? And where has man's fine form so perfect shone In tint or mould, in canvass or in stone?

Yet from that splendid height o'erturn'd once more, He dasht in dust the living lamp he bore. Dazzled with her own glare, decoy'd and sold For homebred faction and barbaric gold, Greece treads on Greece, subduing and subdued, New crimes inventing, all the old renew'd, Canton o'er canton climbs; till, crush'd and broke, All yield the sceptre and resume the yoke.

Where shall we trace him next, the migrant man, To try once more his meliorating plan? Shall not the Macedonian, where he strides O'er Asian worlds and Nile's neglected tides, Prepare new seats of glory, to repay The transient shadows with perpetual day? His heirs erect their empires, and expand The beams of Greece thro each benighted land; Seleucia spreads o'er ten broad realms her sway, And turns on eastern climes the western ray; Palmyra brightens earth's commercial zone, And sits an emblem of her god the sun; While fond returning to that favorite shore Where Ammon ruled and Hermes taught of yore, All arts concentrate, force and grace combine To rear and blend the useful with the fine, Restore the Egyptian glories, and retain, Where science dawn'd, her great resurgent reign.

From Egypt chased again, he seeks his home, More firmly fixt in sage considerate Rome. Here all the virtues long resplendent shone All that was Greek, barbarian and her own; She school'd him sound, and boasted to extend Thro time's long course and earth's remotest end His glorious reign of reason; soon to cease The clang of arms, and rule the world in peace. Great was the sense he gain'd, and well defined The various functions of his tutor'd mind; Could but his sober sense have proved his guide, And kind experience pruned the shoots of pride.

A field magnificent before him lay; Land after land received the spreading ray; Franchise and friendship travell'd in his train, Bandits of earth and pirates of the main Rose into citizens, their rage resign'd. And hail'd the great republic of mankind. If ever then state slaughter was to pause, And man from nature learn to frame his laws. This was the moment; here the sunbeam rose To hush the human storm and let the world repose.

But drunk with pomp and sickening at the light, He stagger d wild on this delirious height; Forgot the plainest truths he learnt before, And barter'd moral for material power. From Calpe's rock to India's ardent skies, O'er shuddering earth his talon'd Eagle flies, To justice blind, and heedless where she drove, As when she bore the brandisht bolt of Jove.

Rome loads herself with chains, seals fast her eyes, And tells the insulted nations when to rise; And rise they do, like sweeping tempests driven, Swarm following swarm, o'ershading earth and heaven, Roll back her outrage, and indignant shed The world's wide vengeance on her sevenfold head. Then dwindling back to littleness and shade Man soon forgets the gorgeous glare he made, Sinks to a savage serf or monkish drone, Roves in rude hordes or counts his beads alone, Wars with his arts, obliterates his lore, And burns the books that rear'd his race before.

Shrouded in deeper darkness now he veers The vast gyration of a thousand years, Strikes out each lamp that would illume his way, Disputes his food with every beast of prey; Imbands his force to fence his trist abodes, A wretched robber with his feudal codes.

At length, it seems, some parsimonious rays Collect from each far heaven a feeble blaze, Dance o'er his Europe, and again excite His numerous nations to receive the light. But faint and slow the niggard dawn expands, Diffused o'er various far dissunder'd lands, Dreading, as well it may, to prove once more The same sad chance so often proved before.

And why not lapse again? Celestial Seer, Forgive my doubts, and ah remove my fear! Man is my brother; strong I feel the ties, From strong solicitude my doubts arise; My heart, while opening with the boundless scope That swells before him and expands his hope, Forebodes another fall; and tho at last Thy world is planted and with light o'ercast, Tho two broad continents their beams combine Round his whole globe to stream his day divine, Perchance some folly, yet uncured, may spread A storm proportion'd to the lights they shed, Veil both his continents, and leave again Between them stretch'd the impermeable main; All science buried, sails and cities lost, Their lands uncultured, as their seas uncrost. Till on thy coast, some thousand ages hence, New pilots rise, bold enterprise commence, Some new Columbus (happier let him be, More wise and great and virtuous far than me) Launch on the wave, and tow'rd the rising day Like a strong eaglet steer his untaught way, Gird half the globe, and to his age unfold A strange new world, the world we call the old. From Finland's glade to Calpe's storm-beat head He'll find some tribes of scattering wildmen spread; But one vast wilderness will shade the soil, No wreck of art, no sign of ancient toil Tell where a city stood; nor leave one trace Of all that honors now, and all that shames the race.

If such the round we run, what hope, my friend, To see our madness and our miseries end?— Here paused the Patriarch: mild the Saint return'd, And as he spoke, fresh glories round him burn'd: My son, I blame not but applaud thy grief; Inquiries deep should lead to slow belief. So small the portion of the range of man His written stories reach or views can span, That wild confusion seems to clog his march, And the dull progress made illudes thy search. But broad beyond compare, with steadier hand Traced o'er his earth, his present paths expand. In sober majesty and matron grace Sage Science now conducts her filial race; And if, while all their arts around them shine, They culture more the solid than the fine, Tis to correct their fatal faults of old, When, caught by tinsel, they forgot the gold; When their strong brilliant imitative lines Traced nature only in her gay designs, Rear'd the proud column, toned her chanting lyre, Warm'd the full senate with her words of fire, Pour'd on the canvass every pulse of life, And bade the marble rage with human strife.

These were the arts that nursed unequal sway, That priests would pamper and that kings would pay, That spoke to vulgar sense, and often stole The sense of right and freedom from the soul. While, circumscribed in some concentred clime, They reach'd but one small nation at a time, Dazzled that nation, pufft her local pride, Proclaim'd her hatred to the world beside, Drew back returning hatred from afar, And sunk themselves beneath the storms of war.

As, when the sun moves o'er the flaming zone, Collecting clouds attend his fervid throne, Superior splendors, in his morn display'd, Prepare for noontide but a heavier shade; Thus where the brilliant arts alone prevail'd, Their shining course succeeding storms assail'd; Pride, wrong and insult hemm'd their scanty reign, A Nile their stream, a Hellespont their main, Content with Tiber's narrow shores to wind, They fledged their Eagle but to fang mankind; Ere great inventions found a tardy birth, And with their new creations blest the earth.

Now sober'd man a steadier gait assumes, Broad is the beam that breaks the Gothic glooms. At once consenting nations lift their eyes, And hail the holy dawn that streaks the skies; Arabian caliphs rear the spires of Spain, The Lombards keel their Adriatic main, Great Charles, invading and reviving all, Plants o'er with schools his numerous states of Gaul; And Alfred opes the mines whence Albion draws The ore of all her wealth,—her liberty and laws.

Ausonian cities interchange and spread The lights of learning on the wings of trade; Bologna's student walls arise to fame, Germania, thine their rival honors claim; Halle, Gottinge, Upsal, Kiel and Leyden smile, Oxonia, Cambridge cheer Britannia's isle; Where, like her lark, gay Chaucer leads the lay, The matin carol of his country's day.

Blind War himself, that erst opposed all good, And whelm'd meek Science in her votaries' blood, Now smooths, by means unseen, her modest way, Extends her limits and secures her sway. From Europe's world his mad crusaders pour Their banded myriads on the Asian shore; The mystic Cross, thro famine toil and blood, Leads their long marches to the tomb of God. Thro realms of industry their passage lies, And labor'd affluence feasts their curious eyes; Till fields of slaughter whelm the broken host, Their pride appall'd, their warmest zealots lost, The wise remains to their own shores return, Transplant all arts that Hagar's race adorn, Learn from long intercourse their mutual ties, And find in commerce where their interest lies.

From Drave's long course to Biscay's bending shores, Where Adria sleeps, to where the Bothnian roars, In one great Hanse, for earth's whole trafic known, Free cities rise, and in their golden zone Bind all the interior states; nor princes dare Infringe their franchise with voracious war. All shield them safe, and joy to share the gain That spreads o'er land from each surrounding main, Makes Indian stuffs, Arabian gums their own, Plants Persian gems on every Celtic crown, Pours thro their opening woodlands milder day, And gives to genius his expansive play.

This blessed moment, from the towers of Thorn New splendor rises; there the sage is born! The sage who starts these planetary spheres, Deals out their task to wind their own bright years, Restores his station to the parent Sun, And leads his duteous daughters round his throne. Each mounts obedient on her wheels of fire, Whirls round her sisters, and salutes the sire, Guides her new car, her youthful coursers tries, Curves careful paths along her alter'd skies, Learns all her mazes thro the host of even, And hails and joins the harmony of heaven. —Fear not, Copernicus! let loose the rein, Launch from their goals, and mark the moving train; Fix at their sun thy calculating eye, Compare and count their courses round their sky. Fear no disaster from the slanting force That warps them staggering in elliptic course; Thy sons with steadier ken shall aid the search, And firm and fashion their majestic march, Kepler prescribe the laws no stars can shun, And Newton tie them to the eternal sun.

By thee inspired, his tube the Tuscan plies, And sends new colonies to stock the skies, Gives Jove his satellites, and first adorns Effulgent Phosphor with his silver horns. Herschel ascends himself with venturous wain, And joins and flanks thy planetary train, Perceives his distance from their elder spheres, And guards with numerous moons the lonely round he steers.

Yes, bright Copernicus, thy beams, far hurl'd, Shall startle well this intellectual world, Break the delusive dreams of ancient lore, New floods of light on every subject pour, Thro Physic Nature many a winding trace, And seat the Moral on her sister's base. Descartes with force gigantic toils alone, Unshrines old errors and propounds his own; Like a blind Samson, gropes their strong abodes, Whelms deep in dust their temples and their gods, Buries himself with those false codes they drew, And makes his followers frame and fix the true.

Bacon, with every power of genius fraught, Spreads over worlds his mantling wings of thought, Draws in firm lines, and tells in nervous tone All that is yet and all that shall be known, Withes Proteus Matter in his arms of might, And drags her tortuous secrets forth to light, Bids men their unproved systems all forgo, Informs them what to learn, and how to know, Waves the first flambeau thro the night that veils Egyptian fables and Phenician tales, Strips from all-plundering Greece the cloak she wore, And shows the blunders of her borrow'd lore.

One vast creation, lately borne abroad, Cheers the young nations like a nurturing God, Breathes thro them all the same wide-searching soul. Forms, feeds, refines and animates the whole, Guards every ground they gain, and forward brings Glad Science soaring on cerulean wings, Trims her gay plumes, directs her upward course, Props her light pinions and sustains her force, Instructs all men her golden gifts to prize, And catch new glories from her beamful eyes,— Tis the prolific Press; whose tablet, fraught By graphic Genius with his painted thought, Flings forth by millions the prodigious birth, And in a moment stocks the astonish'd earth.

Genius, enamor'd of his fruitful bride, Assumes new force and elevates his pride. No more, recumbent o'er his finger'd style, He plods whole years each copy to compile, Leaves to ludibrious winds the priceless page, Or to chance fires the treasure of an age; But bold and buoyant, with his sister Fame, He strides o'er earth, holds high his ardent flame, Calls up Discovery with her tube and scroll, And points the trembling magnet to the pole. Hence the brave Lusitanians stretch the sail, Scorn guiding stars, and tame the midsea gale; And hence thy prow deprest the boreal wain, Rear'd adverse heavens, a second earth to gain, Ran down old Night, her western curtain thirl'd, And snatch'd from swaddling shades an infant world.

Rome, Athens, Memphis, Tyre! had you butknown This glorious triad, now familiar grown, The Press, the Magnet faithful to its pole, And earth's own Movement round her steadfast goal, Ne'er had your science, from that splendid height, Sunk in her strength, nor seen succeeding night. Her own utility had forced her sway, All nations caught the fast-extending ray, Nature thro all her kingdoms oped the road, Resign'd her secrets and her wealth bestow'd; Her moral codes a like dominion rear'd, Freedom been born and folly disappear'd, War and his monsters sunk beneath her ban, And left the world to reason and to man.

But now behold him bend his broader way, Lift keener eyes and drink diviner day, All systems scrutinize, their truths unfold, Prove well the recent, well revise the old, Reject all mystery, and define with force The point he aims at in his laboring course,— To know these elements, learn how they wind Their wondrous webs of matter and of mind, What springs, what guides organic life requires, To move, rule, rein its ever-changing gyres, Improve and utilise each opening birth, And aid the labors of this nurturing earth.

But chief their moral soul he learns to trace, That stronger chain which links and leads the race; Which forms and sanctions every social tie, And blinds or clears their intellectual eye. He strips that soul from every filmy shade That schools had caught, that oracles had made, Relumes her visual nerve, develops strong The rules of right, the subtle shifts of wrong; Of civil power draws clear the sacred line, Gives to just government its right divine, Forms, varies, fashions, as his lights increase, Till earth is fill'd with happiness and peace.

Already taught, thou know'st the fame that waits His rising seat in thy confederate states. There stands the model, thence he long shall draw His forms of policy, his traits of law; Each land shall imitate, each nation join The well-based brotherhood, the league divine, Extend its empire with the circling sun, And band the peopled globe beneath its federal zone.

As thus he spoke, returning tears of joy Suffused the Hero's cheek and pearl'd his eye: Unveil, said he, my friend, and stretch once more Beneath my view that heaven-illumined shore; Let me behold her silver beams expand, To lead all nations, lighten every land, Instruct the total race, and teach at last Their toils to lessen and their chains to cast, Trace and attain the purpose of their birth, And hold in peace this heritage of earth. The Seraph smiled consent, the Hero's eye Watch'd for the daybeam round the changing sky.



Book X.



Argument

The vision resumed, and extended over the whole earth. Present character of different nations. Future progress of society with respect to commerce; discoveries; inland navigation; philosophical, med and political knowledge. Science of government. Assimilation and final union of all languages. Its effect on education, and on the advancement of physical and moral science. The physical precedes the moral, as Phosphor precedes the Sun. View of a general Congress from all nations, assembled to establish the political harmony of mankind. Conclusion.

Hesper again his heavenly power display'd, And shook the yielding canopy of shade. Sudden the stars their trembling fires withdrew. Returning splendors burst upon the view, Floods of unfolding light the skies adorn, And more than midday glories grace the morn. So shone the earth, as if the sideral train, Broad as full suns, had sail'd the ethereal plain; When no distinguisht orb could strike the sight, But one clear blaze of all-surrounding light O'erflow'd the vault of heaven. For now in view Remoter climes and future ages drew; Whose deeds of happier fame, in long array, Call'd into vision, fill the newborn day.

Far as seraphic power could lift the eye, Or earth or ocean bend the yielding sky, Or circling sutis awake the breathing gale, Drake lead the way, or Cook extend the sail; Where Behren sever'd, with adventurous prow, Hesperia's headland from Tartaria's brow; Where sage Vancouvre's patient leads were hurl'd, Where Deimen stretch'd his solitary world; All lands, all seas that boast a present name, And all that unborn time shall give to fame, Around the Pair in bright expansion rise, And earth, in one vast level, bounds the skies.

They saw the nations tread their different shores, Ply their own toils and wield their local powers, Their present state in all its views disclose, Their gleams of happiness, their shades of woes, Plodding in various stages thro the range Of man's unheeded but unceasing change. Columbus traced them with experienced eye, And class'd and counted all the flags that fly; He mark'd what tribes still rove the savage waste, What cultured realms the sweets of plenty taste; Where arts and virtues fix their golden reign, Or peace adorns, or slaughter dyes the plain.

He saw the restless Tartar, proud to roam, Move with his herds and pitch a transient home; Tibet's long tracts and China's fixt domain, Dull as their despots, yield their cultured grain; Cambodia, Siam, Asia's myriad isles And old Indostan, with their wealthy spoils Attract adventures masters, and o'ershade Their sunbright ocean with the wings of trade. Arabian robbers, Syrian Kurds combined, Create their deserts and infest mankind; The Turk's dim Crescent, like a day-struck star, As Russia's Eagle shades their haunts of war, Shrinks from insulted Europe, who divide The shatter'd empire to the Pontic tide. He mark'd impervious Afric, where alone She lies encircled with the verdant zone That lines her endless coast, and still sustains Her northern pirates and her eastern swains, Mourns her interior tribes purloined away, And chain'd and sold beyond Atlantic day. Brazilla's wilds, Mackensie's savage lands With bickering strife inflame their furious bands; Atlantic isles and Europe's cultured shores Heap their vast wealth, exchange their growing stores, All arts inculcate, new discoveries plan, Tease and torment but school the race of man. While his own federal states, extending far, Calm their brave sons now breathing from the war, Unfold their harbors, spread their genial soil, And welcome freemen to the cheerful toil.

A sight so solemn, as it varied sound, Fill'd his fond heart with reveries profound; He felt the infinitude of thoughts that pass And guide and govern that enormous mass. The cares that agitate, the creeds that blind, The woes that waste the many-master'd kind, The distance great that still remains to trace, Ere sober sense can harmonize the race, Held him suspense, imprest with reverence meek, And choked his utterance as he wish'd to speak: When Hesper thus: The paths they here pursue, Wide as they seem unfolding to thy view, Show but a point in that long circling course Which cures their weakness and confirms their force, Lends that experience which alone can close The scenes of strife, and give the world repose. Yet here thou seest the same progressive plan That draws for mutual succour man to man, From twain to tribe, from tribe to realm dilates, In federal union groups a hundred states, Thro all their turns with gradual scale ascends, Their powers; their passions and their interest blends; While growing arts their social virtues spread, Enlarge their compacts and unlock their trade; Till each remotest clan, by commerce join'd, Links in the chain that binds all humankind, Their bloody banners sink in darkness furl'd, And one white flag of peace triumphant walks the world.

As infant streams, from oozing earth at first With feeble force and lonely murmurs burst, From myriad unseen fountains draw the rills And curl contentious round their hundred hills, Meet, froth and foam, their dashing currents swell, O'er crags and rocks their furious course impel, Impetuous plunging plough the mounds of earth, And tear the fostering flanks that gave them birth; Mad with the strength they gain, they thicken deep Their muddy waves and slow and sullen creep, O'erspread whole regions in their lawless pride, Then stagnate long, then shrink and curb their tide; Anon more tranquil grown, with steadier sway, Thro broader banks they shape their seaward way, From different climes converging, join and spread Their mingled waters in one widening bed, Profound, transparent; till the liquid zone Bands half the globe and drinks the golden sun, Sweeps onward still the still expanding plain, And moves majestic to the boundless main. Tis thus Society's small sources rise; Thro passions wild her infant progress lies; Fear, with its host of follies, errors, woes, Creates her obstacles and forms her foes; Misguided interest, local pride withstand, Till long-tried ills her growing views expand, Till tribes and states and empires find their place, Whose mutual wants her widest walks embrace; Enlightened interest, moral sense at length Combine their aids to elevate her strength, Lead o'er the world her peace-commanding sway. And light her steps with everlasting day.

From that mark'd stage of man we now behold, More rapid strides his coming paths unfold; His continents are traced, his islands found, His well-taught sails on all his billows bound, His varying wants their new discoveries ply, And seek in earth's whole range their sure supply.

First of his future stages, thou shalt see His trade unfetter'd and his ocean free. From thy young states the code consoling springs, To strip from vulture War his naval wings; In views so just all Europe's powers combine, And earth's full voice approves the vast design. Tho still her inland realms the combat wage And hold in lingering broils the unsettled age, Yet no rude shocks that shake the crimson plain Shall more disturb the labors of the main; The main that spread so wide his travell'd way, Liberal as air, impartial as the day, That all thy race the common wealth might share, Exchange their fruits and fill their treasures there, Their speech assimilate, their counsels blend, Till mutual interest fix the mutual friend. Now see, my son, the destined hour advance; Safe in their leagues commercial navies dance, Leave their curst cannon on the quay-built strand, And like the stars of heaven a fearless course command.

The Hero look'd; beneath his wondering eyes Gay streamers lengthen round the seas and skies; The countless nations open all their stores, Load every wave and crowd the lively shores; Bright sails in mingling mazes streak the air, And commerce triumphs o'er the rage of war.

From Baltic streams, from Elba's opening side, From Rhine's long course and Texel's laboring tide, From Gaul, from Albion, tired of fruitless fight, From green Hibernia, clothed in recent light, Hispania's strand that two broad oceans lave, From Senegal and Gambia's golden wave, Tago the rich, and Douro's viny shores, The sweet Canaries and the soft Azores, Commingling barks their mutual banners hail, And drink by turns the same distending gale. Thro Calpe's strait that leads the Midland main, From Adria, Pontus, Nile's resurgent reign, The sails look forth and wave their bandrols high And ask their breezes from a broader sky. Where Asia's isles and utmost shorelands bend, Like rising suns the sheeted masts ascend; Coast after coast their flowing flags unrol, From Deimen's rocks to Zembla's ice-propt pole, Where Behren's pass collapsing worlds divides, Where California breaks the billowy tides, Peruvian streams their golden margins boast, Or Chili bluffs or Plata flats the coast. Where, clothed in splendor, his Atlantic way Spreads the blue borders of Hesperian day, From all his havens, with majestic sweep, The swiftest boldest daughters of the deep Swarm forth before him; till the cloudlike train From pole to pole o'ersheet the whitening main.

So some primeval seraph, placed on high, From heaven's sublimest point o'erlooke'd the sky, When space unfolding heard the voice of God, And suns and stars and systems roll'd abroad, Caught their first splendors from his beamful eye, Began their years and vaulted round their sky; Their social spheres in bright confusion play, Exchange their beams and fill the newborn day.

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