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Beneath the vizor of their country's love,
Ambition burn'd, with overweening pride,
And keen exterminating rage unquench'd
With less than seas of blood, tho' unincens'd
By any wrongs, but dire necessity
of war alone. Their clear, enlighten'd heads,
And hearts, with hatred fir'd, a spectacle
Of hideous contrast to the loathing eye
Of heaven presented. In less ample bound,
And still less ample, (in her love to man)
Heaven gave her rage to range. In vain she strove
To subjugate the oriental powers;
When virtue left her shores, her sway had been
No blessing, but a curse. In vain she tryed
Her freedom to preserve, when justice fled
And moderation was no more. What then
Was freedom to a madding multitude
Unprincipled, by every demagogue
That knew the Syren spell, calm’d, or enflam'd
At will ?-What was it but the ruffian law
Which Æol gives the winds. When Corus storms,
“ BOREAS, and CÆCIAS, and ARGESTES loud ?”

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Such was the fam'd Athenian Liberty, When * the mild sun of ARISTIDES set And left her dark, at random to direct The steerage of the state, and such must be For ever the result, when popular pride Or popular frenzy by the soothing charm Of artful demagogue, or bard enflam’d Soars to a moon-struck height. We still must own That oft conspicuous, every mental charm Blooms in the genial soil: fair intellect

* When the influence of his counsels was lost.

And fancy there their golden fruits display
In wild luxuriance to the charmed gaze,
There talents were not lost. No merit pin'd
Unknown. Emerging on the buoyant flood
Of wide fermenting freedom up they soar
And wanton in the tempest; but with them
Ascend the passions too and give the scene
A double tint of horror. There the claims
Of man, in his extravagance of pride
Or drunk with rage, in wildest conflict meet;
And all are heard in turn, and all in turn
Prevail. The milder offices of love
The fruits of social compact, which adorn
And dignify the man, are all contemn'd,
Postpon’d, or quite forgot Yet heaven forefend
The Muse should taint with blame those heavenly

Given to her parent Freedom, tho' disgrac'd
By wild excess, for oft the noblest things
Degenerate to the worst. Heaven meant, perhaps,
By proud Ambition's splendid scenes, (her claims
Tho' heightened by vindictive rage) to rouse
The dormant thought, the vapid mind to wake
Its fires, to bid the mental engine play,
And give it that unwearied spring, design'd
The grandest movements to support. The Bard
And Demagogue with potent breath combin'd
Her vital energies preserv'd. But here
Had moderation given her cooling drop
Too soon, to check the process, had the state
Sunk in the dead calm of domestic bliss,
And, listening to the lore of virtue, furl'd
Her banner, and her civic garland flung

* See Postscript to the Poem,


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Away, perhaps the disappointed world
Had never heard the animating call
Of eloquence; had ne'er enjoy'd the strain
Of Sophocles, or his, whom. Pella nurst,
Orthis, whose javelin pierced the Tyrant's lines
At Marathon. Fair science and the arts,
Perhaps had languish'd in their favourite clime.
They love to lift their proud heads in the storm,
And wave sublime amid the windy war
Of popular fury and contending states.
From the conflicting clouds that, justling seem
To brew destruction to the subject world,
They drink the nimble lightning, and return
Th' electric bounty with ambrosial fruits,
Beyond whatever bent Hesperia's boughs.
HENCE bright examples to the following times
Hold out their animating lamp, and light
The spark of Emulation. Hence the tribes
Of Thule catch the academic glow,
In viewless wafture, o'er opposing climes.
Yet, what avails each intellectual charm,
The fervid emanations of the soul
Met all in bright assemblage, all sublim'd,
Ay art and nature all intensely bent,
To some grand purpose ?--All is vanity-
An idiots breath, that labours to exalt
A bubble in the sun, when virtue fails
To give the grand consolidating charm
On pure RELIGION rais’d, her firmest base.

Oh Pallas, worshipp'd by Cecropian swains,
Patron of independence, arts and arms,
All hail! the touch of thy celestial spear
Gave to the Attic mind expansion due

• Euripides,

1. Æschylus

Thy bright associations to receive,
And in one comprehensive view to blend
Far distant things. No vulgar images
Play'd on their kindling fancies, and enlarg’d,
(Not with a gradual slow ambiguous hand)
Their apprehensions, but with plastic touch
From grandest objects group'd with happiest skill,
Sublim'd their mental faculties, and rais'd
To Demigods, these favourites of the skies.
Caught for a moment in the tyrant's net
They spurn’d th' insidious wile, and broke away,
Like the young lion from the silken snare.
The mighty image of their brethren's wrongs
Came in the visions of the night, unbid,
And troubled their repuse. In contrast bright
With them the pictur'd scenes of glory came
Conquest and wide dominion, and the spoils
Of Persia, borne above the swelling surge,
With most triumphant wafture. Thence the glow
Of moral indignation, with the hopes
Of wild ambition mingling in the mind,
Due fermentation gave, the noblest fund
For gen’rous deeds or glories; mix'd indeed
With baser lees. But these terrestrial dregs,
Gave colour and consistence to the whole;
Due byas and direction; else debas'd
Within the nameless verge of savage life,
Or broken down in spirit, they had quak'd
Before some homebred tyrant. Ye who tend
The first disclosures of th' ingenuous mind,
With cautious hand the noble germs unfold!
Warm them with all that opes the mental powers,
Fair prospects, noble claims, examples bright,
Like spring inspiring vegetable life,
Benignant breathing o'er a waste of blooms !

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Stern precept, still with unrelenting hand
Apply'd, perhaps would chill the noble growth,
And close the blossoms, like the cutting gale
Which dries the virgin tears of gentle May,
And leaves the soft-ey'd Goddess of the Spring
A spectre of despair. A skilful hand
It needs, to give the infant passions play,
To cherish hope, to bid ambition rise;
The baleful look of envy to illume,
With emulation's ardent glance; to rouse
And keep them in due government, like him
Who curbs the wild winds in their mid career.
By the judicious glimpse of distant claims
The little sage and champion are inspir'd
With hope to generous and heroic deeds;
Their various duties from their various claims,
Are best unfolded. What from them is due
They soonest learn by opening their young minds
To noblest expectations, fairly formed
From their original and destin'd end.

We sung before the noble lessons taught
To the Athenians by their gifted bards,
Till Clio turn'd a Parasite and fir'd
Their minds, by flattery's spell, to proud demands
And ruthless deeds. We sung the demagogue,
The friend of public virtue first, but soon
The minister of vengeance and of pride
Soothing the lawless crowd, for sordid ends
Of self. * Ye bloody and disastrous scenes,
Each day disclos'd, while thro' his annual range
Full thirty times yon star diurnal roll’d,
Ye shew the triumphs of inflated pride
Without the sense of duty ! Not the bands.


• The Peloponnesian war.

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