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Earthward it glided with a swift descent:
Saint George himself this Visitant may be;
And, ere a thought could ask on what intent
He sought the regions of humanity,
A thrilling voice was heard, that vivified
My patriotic heart;-aloud it cried,


"I, the Guardian of this Land,

"Speak not now of toilsome duty —
"Well obeyed was that command,

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Days are come of festive beauty; “Haste, Virgins, haste!—the flowers which summer

"Have perished in the field;

"But the green thickets plenteously shall yield
"Fit garlands for the Brave,

"That will be welcome, if by you entwined! “Haste, Virgins, haste; - and you, ye Matrons grave,

"Go forth with rival youthfulness of mind, "And gather what ye find

"Of hardy laurel and wild holly boughs,

"To deck your stern defenders' modest brows!



"Such simple gifts prepare,

Though they have gained a worthier meed ; "And in due time shall share

"Those palms and amaranthine wreaths,
"Unto their martyred Countrymen decreed,

"In realms where everlasting freshness breathes!"


And lo! with crimson banners proudly streaming, And upright weapons innocently gleaming,

Along the surface of a spacious plain,

Advance in order the redoubted bands,

And there receive green chaplets from the hands Of a fair female train,

Maids and Matrons


In robes of purest white, –

While from the crowd burst forth a rapturous noise

By the cloud-capt hills retorted,


And a throng of rosy boys

In loose fashion told their joys, —

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And grey-haired Sires, on staffs supported,

Looked round- and by their smiling seemed to say, Thus strives a grateful Country to display

The mighty debt which nothing can repay!


Anon, I saw, beneath a dome of state,
The feast dealt forth with bounty unconfined;
And, while the vaulted roof did emulate

The starry heavens through splendour of the show,
with music, and methought the wind
It rang with music,
Scattered the tuneful largess far and near,

That they, who asked not, might partake the cheer,
Who listened not, could hear;

Where'er the wild winds were allowed to blow!
That work reposing, on the verge
Of busiest exultation hung a dirge,


Breathed from a soft and lonely instrument,

That kindled recollections

Of agonized affections;

And, though some tears the strain attended,
The mournful passion ended


peace of spirit, and sublime content!


-But garlands wither, -festal shows depart, Like dreams themselves; and sweetest sound,

Albeit of effect profound,

It was and it is gone!

Victorious England! bid the silent Art

Reflect, in glowing hues that shall not fade,

These high achievements, even as she arrayed With second life the deed of Marathon,

Upon Athenian walls:


may she labour for thy civic halls;
And be the guardian spaces
Of consecrated places,

Graced with such gifts as Sculpture can bestow,
When inspiration guides her patient toil;
And let imperishable trophies grow
Fixed in the depths of this courageous soil;
Expressive records of a glorious strife,
And competent to shed a spark divine
Into the torpid breast of daily life;
Trophies on which the morning sun may shine,
As changeful ages flow,

With gratulation thoroughly benign!



And ye, Pierian sisters, sprung from Jove And sage Mnemosyne, full long debarred From first mansions, exiled all too long From many a consecrated stream and grove, Dear native regions where ye wont to rove, Chaunting for patriot heroes the reward

Now (for, though truth descending from above
The Olympian summit hath destroyed for aye
Your kindred deities, ye live and move,
And exercise unblamed a generous sway)
Now, on the margin of some spotless fountain,
Or top serene of unmolested mountain,
Strike audibly the noblest of your lyres,

And for a moment meet my soul's desires!

That I, or some more favoured Bard, may hear
What celestial Maids! have often sung
Of Britain's acts, - may catch it with rapt ear,
And give the treasure to our British tongue!
So shall the characters of that proud page
Support their mighty theme from age to age;
And, in the desart places of the earth,
When they to future empires have given birth,
So shall the people gather and believe
The bold report, transferred to every clime;
And the whole world, not envious but admiring,
And to the like aspiring,

Own that the progeny of this fair Isle
Had power as lofty actions to achieve
As were performed in Man's heroic prime

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