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O could I burst these fetters which restrain
My struggling limbs, and waft thee o'er the main
To some far-distant shore, where ocean roars
In horrid tempests round the gloomy shores;
To some wild mountain's solitary shade,
Where never European faith betray'd;
How joyful could I, of thy love secure,
Meet every danger, every toil endure !
For thee I'd climb the rock, explore the flood,
And tame the famish'd savage of the wood.
When scorching summer drinks the shrinking streams,
My care should screen thee from its sultry beams;
At noon I'd crown thee with the fairest flowers,
At eve I'd lead thee to the safest bowers;
And when bleak winter howl'd around the cave,
For thee his horrors and his storms I'd brave;
Nor snows nor raging winds should damp my soul,
Nor such a night as shrouds the dusky pole:
O'er the dark waves my bounding skiff I'd guide,
To pierce each mightier monster of the tide;
Through frozen forests force my dreadful way,
In their own dens to rouse the beasts of prey;
Nor other blessing ask, if this might prove
How fix'd my passion, and how fond my love.
Then should vain fortune to my sight display
All that her anger now has snatch'd away;
Treasures more vast than Avarice è'er design'd
In midnight visions to a Christian's mind;
The monarch's diadem, the conqueror's meed,
That empty prize for which the valiant bleed;
All that ambition strives to snatch from fate,
All that the gods e'er lavish'd in their hate;
Not these should win thy lover from thy arms,
Or tempt a moment's absence from thy charms;
Indignant would I fly these guilty climes,
And scorn their glories as I hate their crimes!
'But whither does my wandering fancy rove?
Hence, ye wild wishes of desponding love!
Ah! where is now that voice which lull'd my woes;
That angel-face, which sooth'd me to repose?
By Nature tempted, and with passion blind,
Are these the joys hope whisper'd to my mind?
Is this the end of constancy like thine?
Are these the transports of a love like mine?
My hopes, my joys are vanish'd into air,
And now of all that once engag'd my care,
These chains alone remain, this weapon and despair!
So be thy life's gay prospects all o'ercast,
All thy fond hopes dire disappointment blast!
Thus end thy golden visions, son of pride!
Whose ruthless ruffians tore me from my bride;
That beauteous prize Heav'n had reserv'd at last,
Sweet recompense for all my sorrows past.
O may thy harden'd bosom never prove
The tender joys of friendship or of love!
Yet may'st thou, doom'd to hopeless flames a prey,
In unrequited passion pine away!
May every transport violate thy rest,
Which tears the jealous lover's gloomy breast!
May secret anguish gnaw thy cruel heart,
Till death in all his terrors wing the dart:
Then, to complete the horror of thy doom,
A favour'd rival smile upon thy tomb!
'Why does my lingering soul her flight delay?
Come, lovely maid, and gild the dreary way!
Come, wildly rushing with disorder'd charms,
And clasp thy bleeding lover in thy arms;
Close his sad eyes, receive his parting breath,
And sooth him sinking to the shades of death!
O come-thy presence can my pangs beguile,
And bid the inexorable tyrant smile;
Transported will I languish on thy breast,
And sink enraptur'd to eternal rest:
The hate of men, the wrongs of fate forgive,
Forget my woes, and almost wish to live.
Ah! rather fly, lest aught of doubt control
The dreadful purpose labouring in my soul;
Tears must not bend me, nor thy beauties move,
This hour I triumph over fate and love!
"Again with tenfold rage my bosom burns,
And all the tempest of my soul returns;
Again the furies fire my madding brain,
And death extends his sheltering arms in vain;
For unreveng'd I fall, unpitied die ;
And with my blood glut Pride's insatiate eye!
"Thou Christian God! to whom so late I bow'd,
To whom my soul its new allegiance vow'd,
When crimes like these thy injur'd power profane,
O God of Nature! art thou call'd in vain?
Didst thou for this sustain a mortal wound,
While Heav'n, and Earth, and Hell, hung trembling round?
That these vile fetters might my body bind,
And agony like this distract my mind?
On thee I call'd with reverential awe,
Ador'd thy wisdom, and embrac'd thy law;
Yet mark thy destin'd convert as he lies,
His groans of anguish, and his livid eyes,
These galling chains, polluted with his blood,
Then bid his tongue proclaim thee-just and good!
But if too weak thy vaunted power to spare,
Or sufferings move thee not, O hear despair!
Thy hopes and blessings I alike resign,
But let revenge, let swift revenge be mine!
Be this proud bark, which now triumphant rides,
Toss'd by the winds, and shatter'd by the tides!
And may these fiends, who now exulting view
The horrors of my fortune, feel them too!
Be theirs the torment of a lingering fate,
Slow as thy justice, dreadful as my hate;
Condemn'd to grasp the riven plank in vain,
And chas'd by all the monsters of the main;
And while they spread their sinking arms to thee,
Then let their fainting souls remember me!
'Thanks, righteous God!--Revenge shall yet be
Yon flashing lightning gave the dreadful sign.
I see the flames of heavenly anger hurl'd,
I hear your thunders shake a guilty world.
The time shall come, the fated hour is nigh,
When guiltless blood shall penetrate the sky,
Amid these horrors, and involving night,
Prophetic visions flash before my sight;
Eternal Justice wakes, and in their turn
The vanquish'd triumph, and the victors mourn;
Lo! Discord, fiercest of th' infernal band,
Fires all her snakes, and waves her flaming brand;
No more proud Commerce courts the western gales,
But marks the lurid skies, and furls her sails;
War mounts his iron car, and at his wheels
In vain soft Pity weeps, and Mercy kneels ;
He breathes a savage rage through all the host,
And stains with kindred blood the impious coast;
Then while with horror sickening Nature groans,
And earth and Heaven the monstrous race disowns,
Then the stern Genius of my native land,
With delegated vengeance in his hand,
Shall raging cross the troubled seas, and pour
The plagues of hell on yon devoted shore.
What tides of ruin mark his ruthless way!
How shriek the fiends exulting o'er their prey!
I see their warriors gasping on the ground,
I hear their flaming cities crash around.—
In vain with trembling heart the coward turns,
In vain with generous rage the valiant burns;
One common ruin, one promiscuous grave,
O'erwhelms the dastard, and receives the brave-
For Afric triumphs!-his avenging rage
No tears can soften, and no blood assuage.
He smites the trembling waves, and at the shock
Their fleets are dash'd upon the pointed rock.
He waves his flaming dart, and o'er their plains,
In mournful silence, Desolation reigns-