ODE VIII. On leaving HOLLAND.
1 ADIEU to LEYDEN'S lonely bound,
2 The BELGIAN muse's sober seat;
3 Where shedding frugal gifts around
4 On all the fav'rites at her feet,
5 She feeds the body's bulky frame
6 For passive, persevering toils;
7 And left, for some ambitious aim,
8 The daring mind should scorn her homely spoils,
9 She breathes maternal foggs to damp its restless flame.
10 Adieu the grave, pacific air,
11 Safe from the flitting mountain-breeze;
12 The marshy levels lank and bare,
13 Sacred from furrows hills or trees:[Page 40]
14 Adieu each mantling, fragrant flood,
15 Untaughto to murmur or to flow:
16 Adieu the†
† The Frogs. music of the mud,
17 That sooths at eve the patient lover's woe,
18 And wakes to sprightlier thoughts the painful poet's blood.
19 With looks so frosty, and with steps so tame,
20 Ye careful nymphs, ye household things, adieu;
21 Not once ye taught me love's or friendship's flame,
22 And where is he that ever taught it you?
23 And ye, the slow-ey'd fathers of the land,
24 With whom dominion lurks from hand to hand,
25 Unown'd, undignified by public choice,
26 I go where freedom in the streets is known,
27 And tells a monarch on his throne,
28 Tells him he reigns, he lives but by her voice.
29 O native ALBION, when to thee
30 Shall I return to part no more?
31 Far from this pale, discolour'd sea,
32 That sleeps upon the reedy shore,[Page 41]
33 When shall I plow thy azure tides,
34 And, as thy fleece-white hills aspire,
35 Bless the fair shade that on their sides
36 Imbow'rs the village and the sacred spire,
37 While the green hedge, below, the golden slope divides?
38 Ye nymphs that guard the pathless grove,
39 Ye blue-ey'd sisters of the streams,
40 With whom I wont at morn to rove,
41 With whom at noon I talk'd in dreams;
42 O take me to your haunts again,
43 The rocky spring, the greenwood glade;
44 To prompt my slumbers in the murm'ring shade,
45 And sooth my vacant ear with many an airy strain.
46 And thou, my faithful harp, no longer mourn
47 Thy drooping master's unpropitious hand;
48 Now brighter skies and fresher gales return,
49 Now fairer maids thy melody demand.
50 Daughters of ALBION, guard your votive lyre!
51 O blooming god of Thespia's laurell'd quire,[Page 42]
52 Why sounds not mine harmonious as thy own,
53 When all the virgin-deities above
54 With Venus and with Juno move
55 In concert round thy list'ming father's throne?
56 Thee too, protectress of my lays,
57 Elate with whose majestic call
58 Above the soft Italian's praise,
59 Above the slavish wreaths of Gaul,
60 I dare from impious thrones reclaim,
61 And wanton sloth's luxurious charms,
62 The honours of a poet's name
† The Earl of SHAFTSBURY. ASHLEY'S wisdom, or to HAMDEN'S arms.
64 Thee, freedom, I rejoin, and bless thy genuine flame.
65 Great citizen of Albion! Thee
66 Heroic Valour still attends,
67 And useful Science pleas'd to see
68 How Art her studious toil extends. [Page 43]
69 While Truth, diffusing from on high
70 A lustre unconfin'd as day,
71 Fills and commands the public eye,
72 Till pierc'd and sinking by her pow'ful ray,
73 Tame Sloth and monkish Awe, like nightly Daemons, fly.
74 Hence all the land the Patriot's ardour shares;
75 Hence dread Religion smiles with social joy;
76 Hence the free bosom's softest, loveliest cares,
77 Each graceful scene of private life imploy.
78 O fair BRITANNIA, hail! — With partial love
79 The tribes of men their native seats approve,
80 Unjust and hostile to a foreign fame;
81 But when from gen'rous minds and manly laws
82 A nation holds her prime applause,
83 There public zeal defies the test of blame.