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Beneath her clear discerning eye
THY spirit, Independence, let me share,
Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky. Deep in the frozen regions of the north, A goddess violated brought thee forth, Immortal Liberty! whose look sublime [clime. Hath bleach'd the tyrant's cheek in every varying What time the iron-hearted Gaul,
With frantic Superstition for his guide, Arm'd with the dagger and the pall,
The sons of Woden to the field defied; The ruthless hag, by Weser's flood,
In Heaven's name urged th' infernal blow;
Charlemagne obliged four thousand Saxon prisoners to embrace the Christian religion, and immediately after they were baptized, ordered their throats to be cut. Their prince Vitikind fled for shelter to Gotrick, king of Denmark.
The Saxon prince in horror fled
Lull'd by the hoarse-resounding main;
Impell'd by destiny, his name Disdain. Of ample front the portly chief appear'd:
The hunted bear supplied a shaggy vest; The drifted snow hung on his yellow beard;
And his broad shoulders brav'd the furious blast. He stopp'd; he gaz'd; his bosom glow'd,
And deeply felt the impression of her charms: He seiz'd the advantage Fate allow'd;
And straight compress'd her in his vigorous arms.
The curlew scream'd, the tritons blew
Their shells to celebrate the ravish'd rite; Old Time exulted as he flew;
And Independence saw the light.
The light he saw in Albion's happy plains,
Where, under cover of a flowering thorn, While Philomel renew'd her warbled strains,
Th' auspicious fruit of stolen embrace was bornThe mountain dryads seiz'd with joy
The smiling infant to their charge consign'd: The Doric Muse caress'd the favourite boy;
The hermit Wisdom stor'd his opening mind.
As rolling years matur'd his age,
He flourish'd bold and sinewy as his sire; While the mild passions in his breast assuage The fiercer flames of his maternal sire.
Accomplish'd thus, he wing'd his way,
And zealous rov'd from pole to pole, The rolls of right eternal to display,
And warm with patriot thoughts th' aspiring soul. On desert isles 'twas he that rais'd
Those spires that gild the Adriatic wave, Where Tyranny beheld amaz'd
[grave. Fair Freedom's temple, where he mark'd her He steel'd the blunt Batavian's arms
To burst th' Iberian's double chain; And cities rear'd, and planted farms,
Won from the skirts of Neptune's wide domain. He, with the generous rustics sate On Uri's rocks in close divan;
And wing'd that arrow, sure as fate,
Which ascertained the sacred rights of man.
Arabia's scorching sands he cross'd,
To Freedom's adamantine shrine;
He snatch'd from under fell Oppression's wing; And taught amidst the dreary waste
Th' all-cheering hymns of Liberty to sing. 3*
He virtue finds, like precious ore,
Ne'er paid that homage which the heart denies.
Those sculptur'd halls my feet shall never tread, Where varnish'd Vice and Vanity combin'd, To dazzle and seduce, their banners spread;
And forge vile shackles for the free-born mind. Where Insolence his wrinkled front uprears,
And all the flowers of spurious Fancy blow; And Title his ill-woven chaplet wears,
Full often wreath'd around the miscreant's brow; Where ever-dimpling Falsehood, pert and vain,
Presents her cup of stale Profession's froth; And pale Disease, with all his bloated train, Torments the sons of Gluttony and Sloth.
In fortune's car behold that minion ride,
With either India's glittering spoils oppress'd: So moves the sumpter-nule, in arness'd pride,
That bears the treasure which he cannot taste. For him let venal bards disgrace the bay,
And hireling minstrels wake the tinkling string; Her sensual snares let faithless Pleasure lay;
And all her jingling bells fantastic Folly ring;
Disquiet, Doubt, and Dread shall intervene ;
Nature I'll court in her sequester'd haunts,
By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell, Where the pois'd lark his evening ditty chaunts,
And Health,and Peace, and Contemplation dwell. There, Study shall with Solitude recline ;
And Friendship pledge me to his fellow-swains; And Toil and Temperance sedately twine
The slender cord that fluttering Life sustains; And fearless Poverty shall guard the door;
And Taste unspoil'd, the frugal table spread; And Industry supply the humble store;
And Sleep unbrib'd his dews refreshing shed: White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite,
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night; And Independence o'er the day preside, Propitious power! my patron and my pride.
O SOLITUDE, romantic maid!