Page images


B. Barton.

In the proud Forum's central space
Earth yawned—a gulf profound!

And there, with awe on every face,
Rome's bravest gathered round;

Each seeming, yet with startled ear,

The Oracle's dread voice to hear.

Young Curtius on his war-horse sprung
'Mid plaudits deep—not loud,

For admiration checked each tongue
In all the circling crowd :—

He gave his noble steed the rein!

Earth's closing gulf entombed the twain!

Grant that the deed, if ever done,

Was chivalrous and bold;
A loftier and a nobler one

Our history can unfold;
Nor shall our heroine, meekly calm,
To Rome's proud hero yield the palm.

The Russell stood beside her lord
When evil tongues were rife;

And perjury, with voice abhorred,
Assailed his fame and life :—

She stood there in the darkest hour

Of Tyranny's and Faction's power.

No stern oracular behest

Her gentle courage gave;
No plaudits, uttered or suppressed,

Could she expect or crave;
Duty, alone, her Delphic shrine,
The only praise she sought—divine.

She sate at Guilt's tribunal bar

In virtue's noblest guise:
Like a sweet, brightly shining star

In night's o'erclouded skies:
Still, in that scene of hopeless strife,
Southampton's daughter, Russell's wife!

Fearless in love, in goodness great,
She rose—her lord to aid;

And well might he entrust his fate

To one so undismayed,
Asking, with fond and grateful pride,
No help but that her love applied.

Her's was no briefly daring mood,
Spent on one fearful deed!
. The gentle courage of the good
More lasting worth can plead;
And her's made bright in after years
The mother's toils, the widow's tears.

Woman of meek, yet fearless soul!

Thy memory aye shall live;
Nor soon shall history's varied scroll

A name more glorious give :—
What English heart but feels its claim,

Far, far beyond the Roman's fame?


The state of man in the most unfettered republics of the ancient world was slavery, compared with the magnanimous and secure establishment of the Jewish commonwealth. During the three hundred golden years from Moses to Samuel,—before, for our sins, we were given over to the madness of innovation, and the demand of an earthly diadem,— the Jew was free, in the loftiest sense of freedom; free to do all good; restricted only from evil; every man pursuing the unobstructed course pointed out by his genius or his fortune; every man protected by laws inviolable, or whose violation was instantly visited with punishment, by the Eternal Sovereign alike of ruler and people.

Freedom! twin-sister of Virtue, thou brightest of all the spirits that descended in the train of Religion from the throne of God; thou, that leadest up man again to the early glories of his being; angel, from the circle of whose presence happiness spreads like the sun-light over the darkness of the land! at the waving of whose sceptre, knowledge, and peace, and fortitude, and wisdom, stoop upon the wing; at the voice of whose trumpet the more than grave is broken, and slavery gives up her dead; when shall I see thy coming? When shall I hear thy summons upon the mountains of my country, and rejoice in the regeneration and glory of the sons of Judah?

I have traversed nations; and as T set my foot upon their boundary, I have said, Freedom is not here! I saw the naked hill, the morass steaming with death, the field covered with weedy fallow, the silky thicket encumbering the land; —I saw the still more infallible signs, the downcast visage, the form degraded at once by loathsome indolence and desperate poverty; the peasant cheerless and feeble in his field, the wolfish robber, the population of the cities crowded into huts and cells, with pestilence for their fellow ;—I saw the contumely of man to man, the furious vindictiveness of pop? ular rage; and I pronounced at the moment, This people is not free.

In the republics of heathen antiquity, the helot, the client sold for the extortion of the patron, and the born bondsman lingering out life in thankless toil, at once put to flight all conceptions of freedom. In the midst of altars fuming to liberty, of harangues glowing with the most pompous protestations of scorn for servitude, of crowds inflated with the presumption that they disdained a master, the eye was insulted with the perpetual chain. The temple of Liberty was built upon the dungeon.—Rome came, and unconsciously avenged the insulted name of freedom; the master and the slave were bowed together; the dungeon was made the common dwelling of all.



The breeze has swelled the whitening sail,
The blue waves curl beneath the gale,
And, bounding with the wave and wind,
We leave old England's shores behind:—
Leave behind our native shore,
Homes, and all we loved before.

The deep may dash, the winds may blow,
The storm spread out its wings of wo,
Till sailors' eyes can see a shroud
Hung in the folds of every cloud;

Still, as long as life shall last,
From that shore we 'll speed us fast.

For we would rather never be,
Than dwell where mind cannot be free,
But bows beneath a despot's rod,
Even where it seeks to worship God.

Blasts of heaven, onward sweep!

Bear us o'er the troubled deep!

O, see what wonders meet our eyes!

Another land, and other skies!

Columbian hills have met our view!

Adieu! Old England's shores, adieu!
Here, at length, our feet shall rest,
Hearts be free, and homes be blest.

As long as yonder firs shall spread
Their green arms o'er the mountain's head—
As long as yonder cliffs shall stand,
Where join the ocean and the land,—

Shall those cliffs and mountains be

Proud retreats for liberty.


Extract from an Oration delivered at Cambridge, July 4, 182G, by

E. Everett.

Let Us not forget, on the return of this eventful day, the men, who, when the conflict of counsel was over, stood forward in that of arms. Yet let me not, by faintly endeavouring to sketch, do deep injustice to the story of their exploits. The efforts of a life would scarce suffice to paint out this picture, in all its astonishing incidents, in all its mingled colours of sublimity and wo, of agony and triumph.

But the age of commemoration is at hand. The voice of our fathers' blood begins to cry to us, from beneath the soil which it moistened. Time is bringing forward, in their proper relief, the men and the deeds of that highsouled day. The generation of contemporary worthies is gone; the crowd of the unsignalized great and good disappears; and the leaders in war as well as council, are seen, in Fancy's eye, to take their stations on the mount of Remembrance.

They come from the embattled cliffs of Abraham; they start from the heaving sods of Bunker's Hill; they gather from the blazing lines of Saratoga and Yorktown, from the blood-dyed waters of the Brandywine, from the dreary snows of Valley Forge, and all the hard-fought fields of the war. With all their wounds and all their honours, they rise and plead with us, for their brethren who survive; and bid us, if indeed we cherish the memory of those who bled in our cause, to show our gratitude, not by sounding words, but by stretching out the strong arm of the country's prosperity, to help the veteran survivors gently down to their graves.



On, on, to the just and glorious strife!

With your swords your freedom shielding:
Nay, resign, if it must be so, even life;

But die, at least, unyielding.

On to the strife! for 'twere far more meet
To sink with the foes who bay you,

Than crouch, like dogs, at your tyrants' feet,
And smile on the swords that slay you.

Shall the pagan slaves be masters, then,
Of the land which your fathers gave you?

Shall the Infidel lord it o'er Christian men,
When your own good swords may save you?

No! let him feel that their arms are strong,—
That their courage will fail them never,—

Who strike to repay long years of wrong,
And bury past shame forever.

« PreviousContinue »