i π1r ii π1v iii π2r

The
Emigrants,

A
Poem,
in
Two Books.


By Charlotte Smith.


London:
Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand.
17931793.

iv π2v v a1r

To William Cowper, Esq.

Dear Sir,

There is, I hope, ſome propriety in my addreſſing a Compoſition to you, which would never perhaps have exiſted, had I not, amid the heavy preſſure of many ſorrows, derived infinite conſolation from your Poetry, and ſome degree of animation and of confidence from your eſteem.

The following performance is far from aſpiring to be conſidered as an imitation of your inimitable Poem, The Task; I am perfectly ſenſible, that it belongs not to a feeble and feminine hand to draw the Bow of Ulyſſes.

The force, clearneſs, and ſublimity of your admirable Poem; the felicity, almoſt peculiar to your genius, of giving to the moſt familiar objects dignity and effect, I could never hope to a vi a2v [vi] reach reach; yet, having read The Taſk almoſt inceſſantly from its firſt publication to the preſent time, I felt that kind of enchantment deſcribed by Milton, when he ſays, The Angel ended, and in Adam’s earSo charming left his voice, that he awhileThought him ſtill ſpeaking.

And from the force of this impreſſion, I was gradually led to attempt, in Blank Verſe, a delineation of thoſe intereſting objects which happened to excite my attention, and which even preſſed upon an heart, that has learned, perhaps from its own ſufferings, to feel with acute, though unavailing compaſſion, the calamity of others.

A Dedication uſually conſiſts of praiſes and of apologies; my praiſe can add nothing to the unanimous and loud applauſe of your country. She regards you with pride, as one of the few, who, at the preſent period, reſcue her from the imputation of having degenerated in Poetical talents; but in the form of Apology, I ſhould have much to ſay, if I again dared to plead the preſſure of evils, aggravated by their long continuance, as an excuſe for the defects of this attempt. Whatever vii a2r [vii]

Whatever may be the faults of its execution, let me vindicate myſelf from thoſe, that may be imputed to the deſign.— In ſpeaking of the Emigrant Clergy, I beg to be underſtood as feeling the utmoſt reſpect for the integrity of their principles; and it is with pleaſure I add my ſuffrage to that of thoſe, who have had a ſimilar opportunity of witneſſing the conduct of the Emigrants of all deſcriptions during their exile in England; which has been ſuch as does honour to their nation, and ought to ſecure to them in ours the eſteem of every liberal mind.

Your philanthropy, dear Sir, will induce you, I am perſuaded, to join with me in hoping, that this painful exile may finally lead to the extirpation of that reciprocal hatred ſo unworthy of great and enlightened nations; that it may tend to humanize both countries, by convincing each, that good qualities exiſt in the other; and at length annihilate the prejudices that have ſo long exiſted to the injury of both.

Yet it is unfortunately but too true, that with the body of the Engliſh, this national averſion has acquired new force by the dreadful ſcenes which have been acted in France during a2 the viii a2v [viii] the laſt ſummer—even thoſe who are the victims of the Revolution, have not eſcaped the odium, which the undiſtinguiſhing multitude annex to all the natives of a country where ſuch horrors have been acted: nor is this the worſt effect thoſe events have had on the minds of the Engliſh; by confounding the original cauſe with the wretched cataſtrophes that have followed its ill management; the attempts of public virtue, with the outrages that guilt and folly have committed in its diſguiſe, the very name of Liberty has not only loſt the charm it uſed to have in Britiſh ears, but many, who have written, or ſpoken, in its defence, have been ſtigmatized as promoters of Anarchy, and enemies to the proſperity of their country. Perhaps even the Author of The Taſk, with all his goodneſs and tenderneſs of heart, is in the catalogue of thoſe, who are reckoned to have been too warm in a cauſe, which it was once the glory of Engliſhmen to avow and defend— The exquiſite Poem, indeed, in which you have honoured Liberty, by a tribute highly gratifying to her ſincereſt friends, was publiſhed ſome years before the demolition of regal deſpotiſm in France, which, in the fifth book, it ſeems to ix a3r [ix] to foretell—All the truth and energy of the paſſage to which I allude, muſt have been ſtrongly felt, when, in the Parliament of England, the greateſt Orator of our time quoted the ſublimeſt of our Poets—when the eloquence of Fox did juſtice to the genius of Cowper.

I am, dear Sir, With the moſt perfect eſteem, Your obliged and obedient ſervant, Charlotte Smith. Brighthelmſtone, 1793-05-10May 10, 1793.
x a3v

Lately Publiſhed, By the same author, printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand,

  • Elegiac Sonnets, 5th Edition, with additional Sonnets and other Poems; adorned with Plates. 6s. in Boards.
  • Emmeline, the Orphan of the Caſtle,4 vols. 3d Edition. 12s. in Boards.
  • Ethelinde; or, The Recluſe of the Lake, 5 vols. 2d Edition. 15s. in Boards.
  • Celestina, 4 Vols. 2d Edition. 12s. in Boards.
  • The Romance of Real Life, 3 Vols. 9s. in Boards.
xi a4r

The Emigrants.

Book the First.

xii a4v 1 B1r

Book I.

Scene, on the Cliffs to the Eaſtward of the Town of Brighthelmſtone in Suſſex.

Time, a Morning in 1792-11November, 1792.

Slow in the Wintry Morn, the ſtruggling light

Throws a faint gleam upon the troubled waves;

Their foaming tops, as they approach the ſhore

And the broad ſurf that never ceaſing breaks

On the innumerous pebbles, catch the beams

Of the pale Sun, that with reluctance gives

To this cold northern Iſle, its ſhorten’d day.

Alas! how few the morning wakes to joy!

How many murmur at oblivious night

For leaving them ſo ſoon; for bearing thus

B Their 2 B1v [2]

Their fancied bliſs (the only bliſs they taſte!),

On her black wings away!—Changing the dreams

That ſooth’d their ſorrows, for calamities

(And every day brings its own ſad proportion)

For doubts, diſeaſes, abject dread of Death,

And faithleſs friends, and fame and fortune loſt;

Fancied or real wants; and wounded pride,

That views the day ſtar, but to curſe his beams.

Yet He, whoſe Spirit into being call’d

This wond’rous World of Waters; He who bids

The wild wind lift them till they daſh the clouds,

And ſpeaks to them in thunder; or whoſe breath,

Low murmuring o’er the gently heaving tides,

When the fair Moon, in ſummer night ſerene,

Irradiates with long trembling lines of light

Their undulating ſurface; that great Power,

Who 3 B2r [3]

Who, governing the Planets, alſo knows

If but a Sea-Mew falls, whoſe neſt is hid

In theſe incumbent cliffs; He ſurely means

To us, his reaſoning Creatures, whom He bids

Acknowledge and revere his awful hand,

Nothing but good: Yet Man, miſguided Man,

Mars the fair work that he was bid enjoy,

And makes himſelf the evil he deplores.

How often, when my weary ſoul recoils

From proud oppreſſion, and from legal crimes

(For ſuch are in this Land, where the vain boaſt

Of equal Law is mockery, while the coſt

Of ſeeking for redreſs is ſure to plunge

Th’ already injur’d to more certain ruin

And the wretch ſtarves, before his Counſel pleads)

How often do I half abjure Society,

B2 And 4 B2v [4]

And ſigh for ſome lone Cottage, deep embower’d

In the green woods, that theſe ſteep chalky Hills

Guard from the ſtrong South Weſt; where round their baſe

The Beach wide flouriſhes, and the light Aſh

With ſlender leaf half hides the thymy turf!—

There do I wiſh to hide me; well content

If on the ſhort graſs, ſtrewn with fairy flowers,

I might repoſe thus ſhelter’d; or when Eve

In Orient crimſon lingers in the weſt,

Gain the high mound, and mark theſe waves remote

(Lucid tho’ diſtant), bluſhing with the rays

Of the far-flaming Orb, that ſinks beneath them;

For I have thought, that I ſhould then behold

The beauteous works of God, unſpoil’d by Man

And leſs affected then, by human woes

I witneſs’d not; might better learn to bear

Thoſe 5 B3r [5]

Thoſe that injuſtice, and duplicity

And faithleſſneſs and folly, fix on me:

For never yet could I derive relief,

When my ſwol’n heart was burſting with its ſorrows,

From the ſad thought, that others like myſelf

Live but to ſwell affliction’s countleſs tribes!

—Tranquil ſecluſion I have vainly ſought;

Peace, who delights in ſolitary ſhade,

No more will ſpread for me her downy wings,

But, like the fabled Danaïds—or the wretch,

Who ceaſeleſs, up the ſteep acclivity,

Was doom’d to heave the ſtill rebounding rock,

Onward I labour; as the baffled wave,

Which yon rough beach repulſes, that returns

With the next breath of wind, to fail again.—

Ah! Mourner—ceaſe theſe wailings: ceaſe and learn,

That 6 B3v [6]

That not the Cot ſequeſter’d, where the briar

And wood-bine wild, embrace the moſſy thatch,

(Scarce ſeen amid the foreſt gloom obſcure!)

Or more ſubſtantial farm, well fenced and warm,

Where the full barn, and cattle fodder’d round

Speak ruſtic plenty; nor the ſtatelier dome

By dark firs ſhaded, or the aſpiring pine,

Cloſe by the village Church (with care conceal’d

By verdant foliage, leſt the poor man’s grave

Should mar the ſmiling proſpect of his Lord),

Where offices well rang’d, or dove-cote ſtock’d,

Declare manorial reſidence; not theſe

Or any of the buildings, new and trim

With windows circling towards the reſtleſs Sea,

Which ranged in rows, now terminate my walk,

Can ſhut out for an hour the ſpectre Care,

That 7 B4r [7]

That from the dawn of reaſon, follows ſtill

Unhappy Mortals, ’till the friendly grave

(Our ſole ſecure aſylum) ends the chace1. 1 Ends the chace. I have a confuſed notion, that this expreſſion, with nearly the ſame application, is to be found in Young: but I cannot refer to it.

Behold, in witneſs of this mournful truth,

A group approach me, whoſe dejected looks,

Sad Heralds of Diſtrſs! proclaim them Men

Baniſh’d for ever and for conſcience ſake

From their diſtracted Country, whence the name

Of Freedom miſapplied, and much abus’d

By lawleſs Anarchy, has driven them far

To wander; with the prejudice they learn’d

From Bigotry (the Tut’reſs of the blind),

Thro’ the wide World unſhelter’d; their ſole hope,

That German ſpoilers , thro’ that pleaſant land

May carry wide the deſolating ſcourge

Of War and Vengeance; yet unhappy Men,

Whate’er 8 B4v [8]

Whate’er your errors, I lament your fate:

And, as diſconſolate and ſad ye hang

Upon the barrier of the rock, and ſeem

To murmur your deſpondence, waiting long

Some fortunate reverſe that never comes;

Methinks in each expreſſive face, I ſee

Diſcriminated anguiſh; there droops one,

Who in a moping cloiſter long conſum’d

This life inactive, to obtain a better,

And thought that meagre abſtinence, to wake

From his hard pallet with the midnight bell,

To live on eleemoſynary bread,

And to renounce God’s works, would pleaſe that God.

And now the poor pale wretch receives, amaz’d,

The pity, ſtrangers give to his diſtreſs,

Becauſe theſe ſtrangers are, by his dark creed,

Condemn’d 9 C1r [179]

Condemn’d as Heretics—and with ſick heart

Regrets 2 Regrets his pious priſon and his beads. Leſt the ſame attempts at miſrepreſentation ſhould now be made, as have been made on former occaſions, it is neceſſary to repeat, that nothing is farther from my thoughts, than to reflect invidiouſly on the Emigrant clergy, whoſe ſteadineſs of principle excites veneration, as much as their ſufferings compaſſion. Adverſity has now taught them the charity and humility they perhaps wanted, when they made it a part of their faith, that ſalvation could be obtained in no other religion than their own. his pious priſon, and his beads.—

Another, of more haughty port, declines

The aid he needs not; while in mute deſpair

His high indignant thoughts go back to France,

Dwelling on all he loſt—the Gothic dome,

That vied with ſplendid palaces; 3 The ſplendid palaces. Let it not be conſidered as an inſult to men in fallen fortune, if theſe luxuries (undoubtedly inconſiſent with their profeſſion) be here enumerated—France is not the only country, where the ſplendour and indulgences of the higher, and the poverty and depreſſion of the inferior Clergy, have alike proved injurious to the cauſe of Religion. the beds

Of ſilk and down, the ſilver chalices,

Veſtments with gold enwrought for blazing altars;

Where, amid clouds of incenſe, he held forth

To kneeling crowds the imaginary bones

Of Saints ſuppos’d, in pearl and gold enchas’d,

And ſtill with more than living Monarchs’ pomp

Surrounded; was believ’d by mumbling bigots

To hold the keys of Heaven, and to admit

Whom he thought good to ſhare it—Now alas!

C He 10 C1v [1810]

He, to whoſe daring ſoul and high ambition

The World ſeem’d circumſcrib’d; who, wont to dream

Of Fleuri, Richelieu, Alberoni, men

Who trod on Empire, and whoſe politics

Were not beyond the graſp of his vaſt mind,

Is, in a Land once hoſtile, ſtill prophan’d

By diſbelief, and rites un-orthodox,

The object of compaſſion—At his ſide,

Lighter of heart than theſe, but heavier far

Than he was wont, another victim comes,

An Abbé—who with leſs contracted brow

Still ſmiles and flatters, and ſtill talks of Hope;

Which, ſanguine as he is, he does not feel,

And ſo he cheats the ſad and weighty preſſure

Of evils preſent;—Still, as Men miſled

By early prejudice (ſo hard to break),

I mourn 11 C2r [1911]

I mourn your ſorrows; for I too have known

Involuntary exile; and while yet

England had charms for me, have felt how ſad

It is to look acroſs the dim cold ſea,

That melancholy rolls its refluent tides

Between us and the dear regretted land

We call our own—as now ye penſive wait

On this bleak morning, gazing on the waves

That ſeem to leave your ſhore; from whence the wind

Is loaded to your ears, with the deep groans

Of martyr’d Saints and ſuffering Royalty,

While to your eyes the avenging power of Heaven

Appears in aweful anger to prepare

The ſtorm of vengeance, fraught with plagues and death.

Even he of milder heart, who was indeed

The ſimple ſhepherd in a ruſtic ſcene,

C2 And 12 C2v [2012]

And, ’mid the vine-clad hills of Languedoc,

Taught to the bare-foot peaſant, whoſe hard hands

Produc’d 4 See the finely deſcriptive Verſes written at Montauban in France in 17501750, by Dr. Joſeph Warton. Printed in Dodſley’s Miſcellanies, Vol. IV. page 203. the nectar he could ſeldom taſte,

Submiſſion to the Lord for whom he toil’d;

He, or his brethren, who to Neuſtria’s ſons

Enforc’d religious patience, when, at times,

On their indignant hearts Power’s iron hand

Too ſtrongly ſtruck; eliciting ſome ſparks

Of the bold ſpirit of their native North;

Even theſe Parochial Prieſts, theſe humbled men,

Whoſe lowly undiſtinguiſh’d cottages

Witneſs’d a life of pureſt piety,

While the meek tenants were, perhaps, unknown

Each to the haughty Lord of his domain,

Who mark’d them not; the Noble ſcorning ſtill

The poor and pious Prieſt, as with ſlow pace

He 13 C3r [2113]

He glided thro’ the dim arch’d avenue

Which to the Caſtle led; hoping to cheer

The laſt ſad hour of ſome laborious life

That haſten’d to its cloſe—even ſuch a Man

Becomes an exile; ſtaying not to try

By temperate zeal to check his madd’ning flock,

Who, at the novel ſound of Liberty

(Ah! moſt intoxicating ſound to ſlaves!),

Start into licence—Lo! dejected now,

The wandering Paſtor mourns, with bleeding heart,

His erring people, weeps and prays for them,

And trembles for the account that he muſt give

To Heaven for ſouls entruſted to his care.—

Where the cliff, hollow’d by the wintry ſtorm,

Affords a ſeat with matted ſea-weed ſtrewn,

A ſofter form reclines; around her run,

On 14 C3v [2214]

On the rough ſhingles, or the chalky bourn,

Her gay unconſcious children, ſoon amus’d;

Who pick the fretted ſtone, or gloſſy ſhell,

Or crimſon plant marine: or they contrive

The fairy veſſel, with its ribband ſail

And gilded paper pennant: in the pool,

Left by the ſalt wave on the yielding ſands,

They launch the mimic navy—Happy age!

Unmindful of the miſeries of Man!—

Alas! too long a victim to diſtreſs,

Their Mother, loſt in melancholy thought,

Lull’d for a moment by the murmurs low

Of ſullen billows, wearied by the taſk

Of having here, with ſwol’n and aching eyes

Fix’d on the grey horizon, ſince the dawn

Solicitouſly watch’d the weekly ſail

From 15 C4r [2315]

From her dear native land, now yields awhile

To kind forgetfulneſs, while Fancy brings,

In waking dreams, that native land again!

Verſailles appears—its painted galleries,

And rooms of regal ſplendour; rich with gold,

Where, by long mirrors multiply’d, the crowd

Paid willing homage—and, united there,

Beauty gave charms to empire—Ah! too ſoon

From the gay viſionary pageant rous’d,

See the ſad mourner ſtart!—and, drooping, look

With tearful eyes and heaving boſom round

On drear reality—where dark’ning waves,

Urg’d by the riſing wind, unheeded foam

Near her cold rugged ſeat:—To call her thence

A fellow-ſufferer comes: dejection deep

Checks, but conceals not quite, the martial air,

And 16 C4v [2416]

And that high conſciouſneſs of noble blood,

Which he has learn’d from infancy to think

Exalts him o’er the race of common men:

Nurs’d in the velvet lap of luxury,

And fed by adulation—could he learn,

That worth alone is true Nobility?

And that the peaſant who, —If even here,

amid 5 “Who amid the ſons “Of Reaſon, Valour, Liberty, and Virtue E2 “Diſplays 28 E2v [3628] Diſplays diſtinguiſhed merit, is a Noble Of Nature’s own creation.” Theſe lines are Thomſon’s, and are among thoſe ſentiments which are now called (when uſed by living writers), not common-place declamation, but ſentiments of dangerous tendency. the ſons

Of Reaſon, Valour, Liberty, and Virtue,

Diſplays diſtinguiſh’d merit is a Noble

Of Nature’s own creation!

If in this land of highly vaunted Freedom,

Even Britons controvert the unwelcome truth,

Can it be reliſh’d by the ſons of France?

Men, who derive their boaſted anceſtry

From the fierce leaders of religious wars,

The firſt in Chivalry’s emblazon’d page;

Who 17 D1r [2517]

Who reckon Gueſlin, Bayard, or De Foix,

Among their brave Progenitors? Their eyes,

Accuſtom’d to regard the ſplendid trophies

Of Heraldry (that with fantaſtic hand

Mingles, like images in feveriſh dreams,

Gorgons and Hydras, and Chimeras dire,

With painted puns, and viſionary ſhapes;),

See not the ſimple dignity of Virtue,

But hold all baſe, whom honours ſuch as theſe

Exalt not from the crowd 6 Exalt not from the crowd. It has been ſaid, and with great appearance of truth, that the contempt in which the Nobility of France held the common people, was remembered, and with all that vindictive aſperity which long endurance of oppreſſion naturally excites, when, by a wonderful concurrence of circumſtances, the people acquired the power of retaliation. Yet let me here add, what ſeems to be in ſome degree inconſiſtent with the former charge, that the French are good maſters to their ſervants, and that in their treatment of their Negro ſlaves, they are allowed to be more mild and merciful than other Europeans. —As one, who long

Has dwelt amid the artificial ſcenes

Of populous City, deems that ſplendid ſhows,

The Theatre, and pageant pomp of Courts,

Are only worth regard; forgets all taſte

For Nature’s genuine beauty; in the lapſe

Of guſhing waters hears no ſoothing ſound,

D Nor 18 D1v [2618]

Nor liſtens with delight to ſighing winds,

That, on their fragrant pinions, waft the notes

Of birds rejoicing in the trangled copſe;

Nor gazes pleas’d on Ocean’s ſilver breaſt,

While lightly o’er it ſails the ſummer clouds

Reflected in the wave, that, hardly heard,

Flows on the yellow ſands: ſo to his mind,

That long has liv’d where Deſpotiſm hides

His features harſh, beneath the diadem

Of worldly grandeur, abject Slavery ſeems,

If by that power impos’d, ſlavery no more:

For luxury wreathes with ſilk the iron bonds,

And hides the ugly rivets with her flowers,

Till the degenerate triflers, while they love

The glitter of the chains, forget their weight.

But more the Men, 7 But more the Men. The Financiers and Fermiers Generaux are here intended. In the preſent moment of clamour againſt all thoſe who have ſpoken or written in favour of the firſt Revolution of France, the declaimers ſeem to have forgotten, that under the reign of a mild and eaſy tempered Monarch, in the moſt voluptuous Court in the world, the abuſes by which men of this deſcription were enriched, had ariſen to ſuch height, that their prodigality exhauſted the immenſe reſources of France: and, unable to ſupply the exigencies of Government, the Miniſtry were compelled to call Le Tiers Etat; a meeting that gave birth to the Revolution, which has ſince been ſo ruinouſly conducted. whoſe ill acquir’d wealth

Was 19 D2r [2719]

Was wrung from plunder’d myriads, by the means

Too often legaliz’d by power abus’d,

Feel all the horrors of the fatal change,

When their ephemeral greatneſs, marr’d at once

(As a vain toy that Fortune’s childiſh hand

Equally joy’d to faſhion or to cruſh),

Leaves them expos’d to univerſal ſcorn

For having nothing elſe; not even the claim

To honour, which reſpect for Heroes paſt

Allows to ancient titles; Men, like theſe,

Sink even beneath the level, whence baſe arts

Alone had rais’d them;—unlamented ſink,

And know that they deſerve the woes they feel.

Poor wand’ring wretches! whoſoe’er ye are,

That hopeleſs, houſeleſs, friendleſs, travel wide

O’er theſe bleak ruſſet downs; where, dimly ſeen,

D2 The 20 D2v [2820]

The ſolitary Shepherd ſhiv’ring tends

His dun diſcolour’d flock (Shepherd, unlike

Him, whom in ſong the Poet’s fancy crowns

With garlands, and his crook with vi’lets binds);

Poor vagrant wretches! outcaſts of the world!

Whom no abode receives, no pariſh owns;

Roving, like Nature’s commoners, the land

That boaſts ſuch general plenty: if the ſight

Of wide-extended miſery ſoftens yours

Awhile, ſuſpend your murmurs!—here behold

The ſtrange viciſſitudes of fate—while thus

The exil’d Nobles, from their country driven,

Whoſe richeſt luxuries were their’s, muſt feel

More poignant anguiſh, than the loweſt poor,

Who, born to indigence, have learn’d to brave

Rigid Adverſity’s depreſſing breath!—

Ah! 21 D3r 2921

Ah! rather Fortune’s worthleſs favourites!

Who feed on England’s vitals—Penſioners

Of baſe corruption, who, in quick aſcent

To opulence unmerited, become

Giddy with pride, and as ye riſe, forgetting

The duſt ye lately left, with ſcorn look down

On thoſe beneath ye (tho’ your equals once

In fortune, and in worth ſuperior ſtill,

They view the eminence, on which ye ſtand,

With wonder, not with envy; for they know

The means, by which ye reach’d it, have been ſuch

As, in all honeſt eyes, degrade ye far

Beneath the poor dependent, whoſe ſad heart

Reluctant pleads for what your pride denies);

Ye venal, worthleſs hirelings of a Court!

Ye pamper’d Paraſites! whom Britons pay

For 22 D3v [3022]

For forging fetters for them; rather here

Study a leſſon that concerns ye much;

And, trembling, learn, that if oppreſs’d too long,

The raging multitude, to madneſs ſtung,

Will turn on their oppreſſors; and, no more

By ſounding titles and parading forms

Bound like tame victims, will redreſs themſelves!

Then ſwept away by the reſiſtleſs torrent,

Not only all your pomp may diſappear,

But, in the tempeſt loſt, fair Order ſink

Her decent head, and lawleſs Anarchy

O’erturn celeſtial Freedom’s radiant throne;—

As now in Gallia; where Confuſion, born

Of party rage and ſelfiſh love of rule,

Sully the nobleſt cauſe that ever warm’d

The heart of Patriot Virtue— 8 The breaſt of Patriot Virtue. This ſentiment will probably renew againſt me the indignation of thoſe, who have an intereſt in aſſerting that no ſuch virtue any where exiſts. There ariſe

The 23 D4r [3123]

The infernal paſſions; Vengeance, ſeeking blood,

And Avarice; and Envy’s harpy fangs

Pollute the immortal ſhrine of Liberty,

Diſmay her votaries, and diſgrace her name.

Reſpect is due to principle; and they,

Who ſuffer for their conſcience, have a claim,

Whate’er that principle may be, to praiſe.

Theſe ill-ſtarr’d Exiles then, who, bound by ties,

To them the bonds of honour; who reſign’d

Their country to preſerve them, and now ſeek

In England an aſylum—well deſerve

To find that (every prejudice forgot,

Which pride and ignorance teaches), we for them

Feel as our brethren; and that Engliſh hearts,

Of juſt compaſſion ever own the ſway,

As truly as our element, the deep,

Obeys 24 D4v [3224]

Obeys the mild dominion of the Moon—

This they have found; and may they find it ſtill!

Thus may’ſt thou, Britain, triumph!—May thy foes,

By Reaſon’s gen’rous potency ſubdued,

Learn, that the God thou worſhippeſt, delights

In acts of pure humanity!—May thine

Be ſtill ſuch bloodleſs laurels! nobler far

Than thoſe acquir’d at Creſſy or Poictiers,

Or of more recent growth, thoſe well beſtow’d

On him who ſtood on Calpe’s blazing height

Amid the thunder of a warring world,

Illuſtrious rather from the crowds he ſav’d

From flood and fire, than from the ranks who fell

Beneath his valour!—Actions ſuch as theſe,

Like incenſe riſing to the Throne of Heaven,

Far better juſtify the pride, that ſwells

In 25 E1r [3325]

In Britiſh boſoms, than the deafening roar

Of Victory from a thouſand brazen throats,

That tell with what ſucceſs wide-waſting War

Has by our brave Compatriots thinned the world.

End of Book I.

E 26 E1v 27 E2r
1 Ends the chace. I have a confuſed notion, that this expreſſion, with nearly the ſame application, is to be found in Young: but I cannot refer to it. 2 Regrets his pious priſon and his beads. Leſt the ſame attempts at miſrepreſentation ſhould now be made, as have been made on former occaſions, it is neceſſary to repeat, that nothing is farther from my thoughts, than to reflect invidiouſly on the Emigrant clergy, whoſe ſteadineſs of principle excites veneration, as much as their ſufferings compaſſion. Adverſity has now taught them the charity and humility they perhaps wanted, when they made it a part of their faith, that ſalvation could be obtained in no other religion than their own. 3 The ſplendid palaces. Let it not be conſidered as an inſult to men in fallen fortune, if theſe luxuries (undoubtedly inconſiſent with their profeſſion) be here enumerated—France is not the only country, where the ſplendour and indulgences of the higher, and the poverty and depreſſion of the inferior Clergy, have alike proved injurious to the cauſe of Religion. 4 See the finely deſcriptive Verſes written at Montauban in France in 17501750, by Dr. Joſeph Warton. Printed in Dodſley’s Miſcellanies, Vol. IV. page 203. 5 “Who amid the ſons “Of Reaſon, Valour, Liberty, and Virtue E2 “Diſplays 28 E2v [3628] Diſplays diſtinguiſhed merit, is a Noble Of Nature’s own creation.” Theſe lines are Thomſon’s, and are among thoſe ſentiments which are now called (when uſed by living writers), not common-place declamation, but ſentiments of dangerous tendency. 6 Exalt not from the crowd. It has been ſaid, and with great appearance of truth, that the contempt in which the Nobility of France held the common people, was remembered, and with all that vindictive aſperity which long endurance of oppreſſion naturally excites, when, by a wonderful concurrence of circumſtances, the people acquired the power of retaliation. Yet let me here add, what ſeems to be in ſome degree inconſiſtent with the former charge, that the French are good maſters to their ſervants, and that in their treatment of their Negro ſlaves, they are allowed to be more mild and merciful than other Europeans. 7 But more the Men. The Financiers and Fermiers Generaux are here intended. In the preſent moment of clamour againſt all thoſe who have ſpoken or written in favour of the firſt Revolution of France, the declaimers ſeem to have forgotten, that under the reign of a mild and eaſy tempered Monarch, in the moſt voluptuous Court in the world, the abuſes by which men of this deſcription were enriched, had ariſen to ſuch height, that their prodigality exhauſted the immenſe reſources of France: and, unable to ſupply the exigencies of Government, the Miniſtry were compelled to call Le Tiers Etat; a meeting that gave birth to the Revolution, which has ſince been ſo ruinouſly conducted. 8 The breaſt of Patriot Virtue. This ſentiment will probably renew againſt me the indignation of thoſe, who have an intereſt in aſſerting that no ſuch virtue any where exiſts.
29 E2v The 30 E3r

The Emigrants.

Book the Second.

Quippe ubi fas verſum atque nefas: tot bella per orbem Tam multæ ſcelerum facies; non ullus aratro Dignus honos: ſqualent abductis arva colonis, Et curva rigidum falces conflantur in enſem Hinc movet Euphrates, illinc Germania bellum Vicinæ ruptis inter ſe legibus urbes Arma ferunt: ſævit toto Mars impius orbe. Geor. lib. i.
31 E3v 32 E4r

Book II.

Scene, on an Eminence on one of thoſe Downs, which afford to the South a View of the Sea; to the North of the Weald of Suſſex. Time, an Afternoon in 1793-04April, 1793.

Long wintry months are paſt; the Moon that now

Lights her pale creſcent even at noon, has made

Four times her revolution; ſince with ſtep,

Mournful and ſlow, along the wave-worn cliff,

Penſive I took my ſolitary way,

Loſt in deſpondence, while contemplating

Not my own wayward deſtiny alone,

(Hard as it is, and difficult to bear!)

But in beholding the unhappy lot

Of 33 E4v [4033]

Of the lorn Exiles; who, amid the ſtorms

Of wild diſaſtrous Anarchy, are thrown,

Like ſhipwreck’d ſufferers, on England’s coaſt,

To ſee, perhaps, no more their native land,

Where Deſolation riots: They, like me,

From fairer hopes and happier proſpects driven,

Shrink from the future, and regret the paſt.

But on this Upland ſcene, while April comes,

With fragrant airs, to fan my throbbing breaſt,

Fain would I ſnatch an interval from Care,

That weighs my wearied ſpirit down to earth;

Courting, once more, the influence of Hope

(For Hope ſtill waits upon the flowery prime)

As here I mark Spring’s humid hand unfold

The early leaves that fear capricious winds,

While, even on ſhelter’d banks, the timid flowers

Give 34 F1r [4134]

Give, half reluctantly, their warmer hues

To mingle with the primroſes’ pale ſtars.

No ſhade the leafleſs copſes yet afford,

Nor hide the moſſy labours of the Thruſh,

That, ſtartled, darts acroſs the narrow path;

But quickly re-aſſur’d, reſumes his taſk,

Or adds his louder notes to thoſe that riſe

From yonder tufted brake; where the white buds

Of the firſt thorn are mingled with the leaves

Of that which bloſſoms on the brow of May.

Ah! ’twill not be:—So many years have paſs’d,

Since, on my native hills, I learn’d to gaze

On theſe delightful landſcapes; and thoſe years

Have taught me ſo much ſorrow, that my ſoul

Feels not the joy reviving Nature brings;

But, in dark retroſpect, dejected dwells

F On 35 F1v [4235]

On human follies, and on human woes.—

What is the promiſe of the infant year,

The lively verdure, or the burſting blooms,

To thoſe, who ſhrink from horrors ſuch as War

Spreads o’er the affrighted world? With ſwimming eye,

Back on the paſt they throw their mournful looks,

And ſee the Temple, which they fondly hop’d

Reaſon would raiſe to Liberty, deſtroy’d

By ruffian hands; while, on the ruin’d maſs,

Fluſh’d with hot blood, the Fiend of Diſcord ſits

In ſavage triumph; mocking every plea

Of policy and juſtice, as ſhe ſhews

The headleſs corſe of one, whoſe only crime

Was being born a Monarch—Mercy turns,

From ſpectacle ſo dire, her ſwol’n eyes;

And Liberty, with calm, unruffled brow

Magnanimous 36 F2r [4336]

Magnanimous, as conſcious of her ſtrength

In Reaſon’s panoply, ſcorns to diſtain

Her righteous cauſe with carnage, and reſigns

To Fraud and Anarchy the infuriate crowd.—

What is the promiſe of the infant year

To thoſe, who (while the poor but peaceful hind

Pens, unmoleſted, the encreaſing flock

Of his rich maſter in this ſea-fenc’d iſle)

Survey, in neighbouring countries, ſcenes that make

The ſick heart ſhudder; and the Man, who thinks,

Bluſh for his ſpecies? There the trumpet’s voice

Drowns the ſoft warbling of the woodland choir;

And violets, lurking in their turfy beds

Beneath the flow’ring thorn, are ſtain’d with blood.

There fall, at once, the ſpoiler and the ſpoil’d;

While War, wide-ravaging, annihilates

F2 The 37 F2v [4437]

The hope of cultivation; gives to Fiends,

The meagre, ghaſtly Fiends of Want and Woe,

The blaſted land—There, taunting in the van

Of vengeance-breathing armies, Inſult ſtalks;

And, in the ranks, 1 Hope waits upon the flower prime.. Famine, and Sword, and Fire, crouch for employment. Shakespeare. Famine, and Sword, and Fire,

Crouch for employment.—Lo! the ſuffering world,

Torn by the fearful conflict, ſhrinks, amaz’d,

From Freedom’s name, uſurp’d and miſapplied,

And, cow’ring to the purple Tyrant’s rod,

Deems that the leſſer ill—Deluded Men!

Ere ye prophane her ever-glorious name,

Or catalogue the thouſands that have bled

Reſiſting her; or thoſe, who greatly died

Martyrs to Liberty—revert awhile

To the black ſcroll, that tells of regal crimes

Committed to deſtroy her; rather count

The 38 F3r [4538]

The hecatombs of victims, who have fallen

Beneath a ſingle deſpot; or who gave

Their waſted lives for ſome diſputed claim

Between anointed robbers: Monſters both! 2 Moſters both! Such was the cauſe of quarrel between the Houſes of York and Lancaſter; and of too many others, with which the page of Hiſtory reproaches the reaſon of man.

Oh! Poliſh’d perturbation—golden care! 3 Oh! polifh’d perturbation!—golden care! Shakſpeare.

So ſtrangely coveted by feeble Man

To lift him o’er his fellows;—Toy, for which

Such ſhowers of blood have drench’d th’affrighted earth—

Unfortunate his lot, whoſe luckleſs head

Thy jewel’d circlet, lin’d with thorns, has bound;

And who, by cuſtom’s laws, obtains from thee

Hereditary right to rule, uncheck’d,

Submiſſive myriads: for untemper’d power,

Like ſteel ill form’d, injures the hand

It promis’d to protect—Unhappy France!

If e’er thy lilies, trampled now in duſt,

And 39 F3v [4639]

And blood-beſpotted, ſhall again revive

In ſilver ſplendour, may the wreath be wov’n

By voluntary hands; and Freemen, ſuch

As England’s ſelf might boaſt, unite to place

The guarded diadem on his fair brow,

Where Loyalty may join with Liberty

To fix it firmly.—In the rugged ſchool

Of ſtern Adverſity ſo early train’d,

His future life, perchance, may emulate

That of the brave Bernois, 4 The brave Bernois. Henry the Fourth of France. It may be ſaid of this monarch, that had all the French ſovereigns reſembled him, deſpotiſm would have loſt its horrors; yet he had conſiderable failings, and his greateſt virtues may be chiefly imputed to his education in the School of Adverſity. ſo juſtly call’d

The darling of his people; who rever’d

The Warrior leſs, than they ador’d the Man!

But ne’er may Party Rage, perverſe and blind,

And baſe Venality, prevail to raiſe

To public truſt, a wretch, whoſe private vice

Makes even the wildeſt profligate recoil;

And 40 F4r [4740]

And who, with hireling ruffians leagu’d, has burſt

The laws of Nature and Humanity!

Wading, beneath the Patriot’s ſpecious maſk,

And in Equality’s illuſive name,

To empire thro’ a ſtream of kindred blood—

Innocent priſoner!—moſt unhappy heir

Of fatal greatneſs, who art ſuffering now

For all the crimes and follies of thy race;

Better for thee, if o’er thy baby brow

The regal miſchief never had been held:

Then, in an humble ſphere, perhaps content,

Thou hadſt been free and joyous on the heights

Of Pyrennean mountains, ſhagg’d with woods

Of cheſnut, pine, and oak: as on theſe hills

Is yonder little thoughtleſs ſhepherd lad,

Who, on the ſlope abrupt of downy turf

Reclin’d 41 F4v [4841]

Reclin’d in playful indolence, ſends off

The chalky ball, quick bounding far below;

While, half forgetful of his ſimple taſk,

Hardly his length’ning ſhadow, or the bells’

Slow tinkling of his flock, that ſupping tend

To the brown fallows in the vale beneath,

Where nightly it is folded, from his ſport

Recal the happy idler.—While I gaze

On his gay vacant countenance, my thoughts

Compare with his obſcure, laborious lot,

Thine, moſt unfortunate, imperial Boy!

Who round thy ſullen priſon daily hear’ſt

The ſavage howl of Murder, as it ſeeks

Thy unoffending life: while ſad within

Thy wretched Mother, petrified with grief,

Views thee with ſtony eyes, and cannot weep!—

Ah! 42 G1r [4942]

Ah! much I mourn thy ſorrows, hapleſs Queen!

And deem thy expiation made to Heaven

For every fault, to which Proſperity

Betray’d thee, when it plac’d thee on a throne

Where boundleſs power was thine, and thou wert rais’d

High (as it ſeem’d) above the envious reach

Of deſtiny! Whate’er thy errors were,

Be they no more remember’d; tho’ the rage

Of Party ſwell’d them to ſuch crimes, as bade

Compaſſion ſtifle every ſigh that roſe

For thy diſaſtrous lot—More than enough

Thou haſt endur’d; and every Engliſh heart,

Ev’n thoſe, that higheſt beat in Freedom’s cauſe,

Diſclaim as baſe, and of that cauſe unworthy,

The Vengeance, or the Fear, that makes thee ſtill

A miſerable priſoner!—Ah! who knows,

G From 43 Gv [5043]

From ſad experience, more than I, to feel

For thy deſponding ſpirit, as it ſinks

Beneath procraſtinated fears for thoſe

More dear to thee than life! But eminence

Of miſery is thine, as once of joy;

And, as we view the ſtrange viciſſitude,

We aſk anew, where happineſs is found?—

Alas! in rural life, where youthful dreams

See the Arcadia that Romance deſcribes,

Not even Content reſides!—In yon low hut

Of clay and thatch, where riſes the grey ſmoke

Of ſmold’ring turf, cut from the adjoining moor,

The labourer, its inhabitant, who toils

From the firſt dawn of twilight, till the Sun

Sinks in the roſy waters of the Weſt,

Finds that with poverty it cannot dwell;

For 44 G2r [5144]

For bread, and ſcanty bread, is all he earns

For him and for his houſehold—Should Diſeaſe,

Born of chill wintry rains, arreſt his arm,

Then, thro’ his patch’d and ſtraw-ſtuff’d caſement, peeps

The ſqualid figure of extremeſt Want;

And from the Pariſh the reluctant dole,

Dealt by th’unfeeling farmer, hardly ſaves

The ling’ring ſpark of life from cold extinction:

Then the bright Sun of Spring, that ſmiling bids

All other animals rejoice, beholds,

Crept from his pallet, the emaciate wretch

Attempt, with feeble effort, to reſume

Some heavy taſk, above his waſted ſtrength,

Turning his wiſtful looks (how much in vain!)

To the deſerted manſion, where no more

The owner (gone to gayer ſcenes) reſides,

G2 Who 45 G2v [5245]

Who made even luxury, Virtue; while he gave

The ſcatter’d crumbs to honeſt Poverty.—

But, tho’ the landſcape be too oft deform’d

By figures ſuch as theſe, yet Peace is here,

And o’er our vallies, cloath’d with ſpringing corn,

No hoſtile hoof ſhall trample, nor fierce flames

Wither the wood’s young verdure, ere it form

Gradual the laughing May’s luxuriant ſhade;

For, by the rude ſea guarded, we are ſafe,

And feel not evils ſuch as with deep ſighs

The Emigrants deplore, as they recal

The Summer paſt, when Nature ſeem’d to loſe

Her courſe in wild diſtemperature, and aid,

With ſeaſons all revers’d, deſtructive War.

Shuddering, I view the pictures they have drawn

Of deſolated countries, where the ground,

Stripp’d 46 G3r [5346]

Stripp’d of its unripe produce, was thick ſtrewn

With various Death—the war-horſe falling there

By famine, and his rider by the ſword.

The moping clouds ſail’d heavy charg’d with rain,

And burſting o’er the mountains miſty brow

Deluged, as with an inland ſea, the vales; 5 Delug’d, as with an inland ſea, the vales. From the heavy and inceſſant rains during the laſt campaign, the armies were often compelled to march for many miles through marſhes overflowed; ſuffering the extremities of cold and fatigue. The peaſants frequently miſled them; and, after having paſſed theſ inundations at the hazard of their lives, they were ſometimes under the neceſſity of croſſing them a ſecond and a third time; their evening quarters after ſuch a day of exertion were often in a wood without ſhelter; and their repaſt, inſtead of bread, unripe corn, without any other preparation than being maſhed into a ſort of paſte.

Where, thro’ the ſullen evening’s lurid gloom,

Riſing, like columns of volcanic fire,

The flames of burning villages illum’d

The waſte of water; and the wind, that howl’d

Along its troubled ſurface, brought the groans

Of plunder’d peaſants, and the frantic ſhrieks

Of mothers for their children; while the brave,

To pity ſtill alive, liſten’d aghaſt

To theſe dire echoes, hopeleſs to prevent

The evils they beheld, or check the rage,

Which 47 G3v [5447]

Which ever, as the people of one land

Meet in contention, fires the human heart

With ſavage thirſt of kindred blood, and makes

Man loſe his nature; rendering him more fierce

Than the gaunt monſters of the howling waſte.

Oft have I heard the melancholy tale,

Which, all their native gaiety forgot,

Theſe Exiles tell—How Hope impell’d them on,

Reckleſs of tempeſt, hunger, or the ſword,

Till order’d to retreat, they know not why,

From all their flattering proſpects, they became

The prey of dark ſuſpicion and regret: 6 The prey of dark ſuſpicion and regret. It is remarkable, that notwithſtanding the exceſſive hardſhips to which the army of the Emigrants was expoſed, very few in it ſuffered from diſeaſe till they began to retreat; then it was that deſpondence conſigned to the moſt miſerable death many brave men who deſerved a better fate; and then deſpair impelled ſome to ſuicide, while others fell by mutual wounds, unable to ſurvive diſappointment and humiliation.

Then, in deſpondence, ſunk the unnerv’d arm

Of gallant Loyalty—At every turn

Shame and diſgrace appear’d, and ſeem’d to mock

Their ſcatter’d ſquadrons; which the warlike youth,

Unable 48 G4r [5548]

Unable to endure7, often implor’d,

As the laſt act of friendſhip, from the hand

Of ſome brave comrade, to receive the blow

That freed the indignant ſpirit from its pain.

To a wild mountain, whoſe bare ſummit hides

Its broken eminence in clouds; whoſe ſteeps

Are dark with woods; where the receding rocks

Are worn by torrents of diſſolving ſnow,

A wretched Woman, pale and breathleſs, flies!

And, gazing round her, liſtens to the ſound

Of hoſtile footſteps—No! it dies away:

Nor noiſe remains, but of the cataract,

Or ſurly breeze of night, that mutters low

Among the thickets, where ſhe trembling ſeeks

A temporary ſhelter—claſping cloſe

To her hard-heaving heart her ſleeping child,

All 49 G4v [5649]

All ſhe could reſcue of the innocent groupe

That yeſterday ſurrounded her—Eſcap’d

Almoſt by miracle! Fear, frantic Fear,

Wing’d her weak feet: yet, half repentant now

Her headlong haſte, ſhe wiſhes ſhe had ſtaid

To die with thoſe affrighted Fancy paints

The lawleſs ſoldier’s victims—Hark! again

The driving tempeſt bears the cry of Death,

And, with deep ſullen thunder, the dread ſound

Of cannon vibrates on the tremulous earth;

While, burſting in the air, the murderous bomb

Glares o’er her manſion. Where the ſplinters fall,

Like ſcatter’d comets, its deſtructive path

Is mark’d by wreaths of flame!—Then, overwhelm’d

Beneath accumulated horror, ſinks

The deſolate mourner; yet, in Death itſelf,

True 50 H1r [5750]

True to maternal tenderneſs, ſhe tries

To ſave the unconſcious infant from the ſtorm

In which ſhe periſhes; and to protect

This laſt dear object of her ruin’d hopes

From prowling monſters, that from other hills,

More inacceſſible, and wilder waſtes,

Lur’d by the ſcent of ſlaughter, follow fierce

Contending hoſts, and to polluted fields

Add dire increaſe of horrors—But alas!

The Mother and the Infant periſh both!—

The feudal Chief, whoſe Gothic battlements

Frown on the plain beneath, returning home

From diſtant lands, alone and in diſguiſe,

Gains at the fall of night his Caſtle walls,

But, at the vacant gate, no Porter ſits

To wait his Lord’s admittance!—In the courts

H All 51 H1v [5851]

All is drear ſilence!—Gueſſing but too well

The fatal truth, he ſhudders as he goes

Thro’ the mute hall; where, by the blunted light

That the dim moon thro’ painted caſements lends,

He ſees that devaſtation has been there:

Then, while each hideous image to his mind

Riſes terrific, o’er a bleeding corſe

Stumbling he falls; another interrupts

His ſtaggering feet—all, all who us’d to ruſh

With joy to meet him—all his family

Lie murder’d in his way!—And the day dawns

On a wild raving Maniac, whom a fate

So ſudden and calamitous has robb’d

Of reaſon; and who round his vacant walls

Screams unregarded, and reproaches Heaven!—

Such are thy dreadful trophies, ſavage War!

And 52 H2r [5952]

And evils ſuch as theſe, or yet more dire,

Which the pain’d mind recoils from, all are thine—

The purple Peſtilence, that to the grave

Sends whom the ſword has ſpar’d, is thine; and thine

The Widow’s anguiſh and the Orphan’s tears!—

Woes ſuch as theſe does Man inflict on Man;

And by the cloſet murderers, whom we ſtyle

Wiſe Politicians, are the ſchemes prepar’d,

Which, to keep Europe’s wavering balance even,

Depopulate her kingdoms, and conſign

To tears and anguiſh half a bleeding world!—

Oh! could the time return, when thoughts like theſe

Spoil’d not that gay delight, which vernal Suns,

Illuminating hills, and woods, and fields,

Gave to my infant ſpirits—Memory come!

And from diſtracting cares, that now deprive

H2 Such 53 H2v [6053]

Such ſcenes of all their beauty, kindly bear

My fancy to thoſe hours of ſimple joy,

When, on the banks of Arun, which I ſee

Make its irriguous courſe thro’ yonder meads,

I play’d; unconſcious then of future ill!

There (where, from hollows fring’d with yellow broom,

The birch with ſilver rind, and fairy leaf,

Aſlant the low ſtream trembles) I have ſtood,

And meditated how to venture beſt

Into the ſhallow current, to procure

The willow herb of glowing purple ſpikes,

Or flags, whoſe ſword-like leaves conceal’d the tide,

Startling the timid reed-bird from her neſt,

As with aquatic flowers I wove the wreath,

Such as, collected by the ſhepherd girls,

Deck in the villages the turfy ſhrine,

And 54 H3r [6154]

And mark the arrival of propitious May.—

How little dream’d I then the time would come,

When the bright Sun of that delicious month

Should, from diſturb’d and artificial ſleep,

Awaken me to never-ending toil,

To terror and to tears!—Attempting ſtill,

With feeble hands and cold deſponding heart,

To ſave my children from the o’erwhelming wrongs,

That have for ten long years been heap’d on me!—

The fearful ſpectres of chicane and fraud

Have, Proteus like, ſtill chang’d their hideous forms

(As the Law lent its plauſible diſguiſe),

Purſuing my faint ſteps; and I have ſeen

Friendſhip’s ſweet bonds (which were ſo early form’d,)

And once I fondly thought of amaranth

Inwove with ſilver ſeven times tried) give way,

And 55 H3v [6255]

And fail; as theſe green fan-like leaves of fern

Will wither at the touch of Autumn’s froſt.

Yet there are thoſe whoſe patient pity ſtill

Hears my long murmurs; who, unwearied, try

With lenient hands to bind up every wound

My wearied ſpirit feels, and bid me go

Right onward— 7 Right onward. Milton, Sonnet 22d. a calm votary of the Nymph,

Who, from her adamantine rock, points out

To conſcious rectitude the rugged path,

That leads at length to Peace!—Ah! yes, my friends

Peace will at laſt be mine; for in the Grave

Is Peace—and paſs a few ſhort years, perchance

A few ſhort months, and all the various pain

I now endure ſhall be forgotten there,

And no memorial ſhall remain of me,

Save in your boſoms; while even your regret

Shall 56 H4r [6356]

Shall loſe its poignancy, as ye reflect

What complicated woes that grave conceals!

But, if the little praiſe, that may await

The Mother’s efforts, ſhould provoke the ſpleen

Of Prieſt or Levite; and they then arraign

The duſt that cannot hear them; be it yours

To vindicate my humble fame; to ſay,

That, not in ſelfiſh ſufferings abſorb’d,

I gave to miſery all I had, my tears. 8 I gave to miſery all I had, my tears. Gray.

And if, where regulated ſanctity

Pours her long oriſons to Heaven, my voice

Was ſeldom heard, that yet my prayer was made

To him who hears even ſilence; not in domes

Of human architecture, fill’d with crowds,

But on theſe hills, where boundleſs, yet diſtinct,

Even as a map, beneath are ſpread the fields

His bounty cloaths; divided here by woods,

And 57 H4v [6457]

And there by commons rude, or winding brooks,

While I might breathe the air perfum’d with flowers,

Or the freſh odours of the mountain turf;

And gaze on clouds above me, as they ſail’d

Majeſtic: or remark the reddening north,

When bickering arrows of electric fire

Flaſh on the evening ſky—I made my prayer

In uniſon with murmuring waves that now

Swell with dark tempeſts, now are mild and blue,

As the bright arch above; for all to me

Declare omniſcient goodneſs; nor need I

Declamatory eſſays to incite

My wonder or my praiſe, when every leaf

That Spring unfolds, and every ſimple bud,

More forcibly impreſſes on my heart

His power and wiſdom—Ah! while I adore

That goodneſs, which deſign’d to all that lives

Some 58 I1r [6558]

Some taſte of happineſs, my ſoul is pain’d

By the variety of woes that Man

For Man creates—his bleſſings often turn’d

To plagues and curſes: Saint-like Piety,

Miſled by Superſtition, has deſtroy’d

More than Ambition; and the ſacred flame

Of Liberty becomes a raging fire,

When Licence and Confuſion bid it blaze.

From thy high throne, above yon radiant ſtars,

O Power Omnipotent! with mercy view

This ſuffering globe, and cauſe thy creatures ceaſe,

With ſavage fangs, to tear her bleeding breaſt:

Reſtrain that rage for power, that bids a Man,

Himſelf a worm, deſire unbounded rule

O’er beings like himſelf: Teach the hard hearts

Of rulers, that the pooreſt hind, who dies

For their unrighteous quarrels, in thy ſight

I Is 59 I1v [6659]

Is equal to the imperious Lord, that leads

His diſciplin’d deſtroyers to the field.—

May lovely Freedom, in her genuine charms,

Aided by ſtern but equal Juſtice, drive

From the enſanguin’d earth the hell-born fiends

Of Pride, Oppreſſion, Avarice, and Revenge,

That ruin what thy mercy made ſo fair!

Then ſhall theſe ill-ſtarr’d wanderers, whoſe ſad fate

Theſe deſultory lines lament, regain

Their native country; private vengeance then

To public virtue yield; and the fierce feuds,

That long have torn their deſolated land,

May (even as ſtorms, that agitate the air,

Drive noxious vapours from the blighted earth)

Serve, all tremendous as they are, to fix

The reign of Reaſon, Liberty, and Peace!

NOTES 60 I2r
1 Hope waits upon the flower prime.. Famine, and Sword, and Fire, crouch for employment. Shakespeare. 2 Moſters both! Such was the cauſe of quarrel between the Houſes of York and Lancaſter; and of too many others, with which the page of Hiſtory reproaches the reaſon of man. 3 Oh! polifh’d perturbation!—golden care! Shakſpeare. 4 The brave Bernois. Henry the Fourth of France. It may be ſaid of this monarch, that had all the French ſovereigns reſembled him, deſpotiſm would have loſt its horrors; yet he had conſiderable failings, and his greateſt virtues may be chiefly imputed to his education in the School of Adverſity. 5 Delug’d, as with an inland ſea, the vales. From the heavy and inceſſant rains during the laſt campaign, the armies were often compelled to march for many miles through marſhes overflowed; ſuffering the extremities of cold and fatigue. The peaſants frequently miſled them; and, after having paſſed theſ inundations at the hazard of their lives, they were ſometimes under the neceſſity of croſſing them a ſecond and a third time; their evening quarters after ſuch a day of exertion were often in a wood without ſhelter; and their repaſt, inſtead of bread, unripe corn, without any other preparation than being maſhed into a ſort of paſte. “The 61 I2v 6 The prey of dark ſuſpicion and regret. It is remarkable, that notwithſtanding the exceſſive hardſhips to which the army of the Emigrants was expoſed, very few in it ſuffered from diſeaſe till they began to retreat; then it was that deſpondence conſigned to the moſt miſerable death many brave men who deſerved a better fate; and then deſpair impelled ſome to ſuicide, while others fell by mutual wounds, unable to ſurvive diſappointment and humiliation. 7 Right onward. Milton, Sonnet 22d. 8 I gave to miſery all I had, my tears. Gray.