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Yet it is music in the language spoken
Of thine own land; and on her herald roll; As bravely fought for, and as proud a token As Cœur de Lion's of a warrior's soul.
Thy garb-though Austria's bosom-star would frighten
Yet 'tis a brave one, scorning wind and weather,
Is strength a monarch's merit, like a whaler's?
Is beauty? Thine has with thy youth departed;
Is eloquence?-Her spell is thine that reaches
The heart, and makes the wisest head its sport; And there's one rare, strange virtue in thy speeches, The secret of their mastery-they are short.
The monarch mind, the mystery of commanding,
Thou hast it. At thy bidding men have crowded
And minstrels, at their sepulchres, have shrouded
Who will believe? Not I-for in deceiving
That all things beautiful are what they seem;
Who will believe that, with a smile whose blessing Would, like the Patriarch's, soothe a dying hour, With voice as low, as gentle, and caressing,
As e'er won maiden's lip in moonlit bower;
With look, like patient Job's, eschewing evil;
That e'er clenched fingers in a captive's hair!
That in thy breast there springs a poison fountain, Deadlier than that where bathes the Upas-tree; And in thy wrath, a nursing cat-o'-mountain
Is calm as her babe's sleep compared with thee!
And underneath that face, like summer ocean's,
Its lip as moveless, and its cheek as clear, Slumbers a whirlwind of the heart's emotions,
Love, hatred, pride, hope, sorrow-all save fear.
Love for thy land, as if she were thy daughter,
Pride-in thy rifle-trophies and thy scars;
Hope that thy wrongs may be, by the Great Spirit, Remembered and revenged when thou art gone; Sorrow-that none are left thee to inherit
Thy name, thy fame, thy passions, and thy throne!
still her gray rocks tower above the sea That crouches at their feet, a conquered wave; "Tis a rough land of earth, and stone, and tree,
Where breathes no castled lord or cabined slave;
Where thoughts, and tongues, and hands are bold and free, And friends will find a welcome, foes a grave;
And where none kneel, save when to heaven they pray, Nor even then, unless in their own way.
Theirs is a pure republic, wild, yet strong,
A "fierce democracie," where all are true
(If red, they might to Draco's code belong ;)
A vestal state, which power could not subdue, Nor promise win-like her own eagle's nest, Sacred-the San Marino of the West.
A justice of the peace, for the time being,
In price or creed, dismiss him without fear;
They have a natural talent for foreseeing
And knowing all things; and should Park appear
From his long tour in Africa, to show
The Niger's source, they'd meet him with "We know."
They love their land, because it is their own,
A stubborn race, fearing and flattering none.
Such are they nurtured, such they live and die: All-but a few apostates, who are meddling
With merchandise, pounds, shillings, pence, and peddling;
Or wandering through the southern countries, teaching
Gallant and godly, making love and preaching,
A decent living. The Virginians look
Upon them with as favourable eyes
But these are but their outcasts. View them near
At home, where all their worth and pride is placed; And there their hospitable fires burn clear,
And there the lowliest farmhouse hearth is graced
With manly hearts, in piety sincere,
Faithful in love, in honour stern and chaste, In friendship warm and true, in danger brave, Beloved in life, and sainted in the grave.
And minds have there been nurtured, whose control
Men who swayed senates with a statesman's soul,
Whose leaves contain their country's history,
Of the Green-Mountaineer-the Stark of Bennington.
When on that field his band the Hessians fought,
For four pounds eight and sevenpence per man,
Hers are not Tempe's nor Arcadia's spring,
Of Florence and the Arno; yet the wing
Of life's best angel, Health, is on her gales Through sun and snow; and in the autumn time Earth has no purer and no lovelier clime.