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ALAS! what boots the long, laborious quest
Of moral prudence, sought through good and ill,
Or pains abstruse, to elevate the will,
And lead us on to that transcendant rest
Where every passion shall the sway attest
Of Reason seated on her sovereign hill; -
What is it but a vain and curious skill,
If sapient Germany must lie deprest,
Beneath the brutal sword?- Her haughty Schools
Shall blush ; and may not we with sorrow say,
A few strong instincts and a few plain rules,
Among the herdsmen of the Alps, have wrought
More for mankind at this unhappy day
Than all the pride of intellect and thought.
And is it among rude untutored Dales,
There, and there only, that the heart is true?
And, rising to repel or to subdue,
Is it by rocks and woods that man prevails ?
Ah, no!though Nature's dread protection fails
There is a bulwark in the soul. - This knew
Iberian Burghers when the sword they drew
In Zaragoza, naked to the gales
Of fiercely-breathing war. The truth was felt
By Palafox, and many a brave Compeer,
Like him of noble birth and noble mind;
By Ladies, meek-eyed Women without fear;
And Wanderers of the street, to whom is dealt
The bread which without industry they find.
O'ER the wide earth, on mountain and on plain,
Dwells in the affections and the soul of man
A Godhead, like the universal PAN,
But more exalted, with a brighter train.
And shall his bounty be dispensed in vain,
Showered equally on City and on Field,
And neither hope nor steadfast promise yield
In these usurping times of fear and pain ?
Such doom awaits us. — Nay, forbid it Heaven !
We know the arduous strife, the eternal laws
To which the triumph of all good is given,
High sacrifice, and labour without pause,
Even to the death: else wherefore should the eye
Of man converse with immortality?
ON THE FINAL SUBMISSION OF THE TYROLESE.
It was a moral end for which they fought;
Else how, when mighty Thrones were put to shame,
Could they, poor Shepherds, have preserved an aim,
A resolution, or enlivening thought?
Nor hath that moral good been vainly sought;
For in their magnanimity and fame
Powers have they left an impulse — and a claim
Which neither can be overturned nor bought.
Sleep, Warriors, sleep! among your hills repose !
We know that ye, beneath the stern controul
Of awful prudence, keep the unvanquished soul.
And when, impatient of her guilt and woes
Europe breaks forth; then, Shepherds ! shall ye rise
For perfect triumph o'er your Enemies.
Hail, Zaragoza ! If with unwet eye
We can approach, thy sorrow to behold,
Yet is the heart not pitiless nor cold;
Such spectacle demands not tear or sigh.
These desolate Remains are trophies high
Of more than martial courage in the breast
Of peaceful civic virtue: they attest
Thy matchless worth to all posterity.
Blood flowed before thy sight without remorse;
Disease consumed thy vitals; War upheaved
The ground beneath thee with volcanic force;
Dread trials! yet encountered and sustained
Till not a wreck of help or hope remained,
And Law was from necessity received.