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England’s Tears:

A
Poem.

Inscribed to
Britannia.

To Which is Added,
Advice to the Voters of Great-Britain
at the Approaching
General Election.

London;
Printed for G. Kearsly, at No 46, in Fleet-Street. 1774M.DCC.LXXIV.

Price One Shilling and Sixpence.

A1v A2r

To the reader.

The following little poem is the production of an
infant Muse who has hitherto only ambled at the foot of Parnassus;
but who, on the present occasion, was vainly
prompted, by her feelings for the discontented state of affairs
in England and America, to think she could manage
the great horse, and heroically post to their assistance. If
she can, in any respect, be serviceable to them, it will afford
her infinite satisfaction, as she is a sincere well-wisher
to Liberty in every clime; but should her endeavours fail,
she will, at least, have the consolation of knowing that the
attempt arose from a disinterested and virtuous principle; A2 in A2v iiiiv
in which case, if she rates her abilities at too high a standard,
it must be allowed somewhat excusable. The generous
Public, however, it is hoped, if her Pegassus has made
a few false steps, or stumbled on the way,—will impute it to
the true cause—that of his having been but a short time
in training
.


The picture she has drawn of the general depravity of
religious and civil policy, she flatters herself is a true one;
and the advice she offers to the Voters of this kingdom, at
the ensuing General Election, she cannot but think reasonable
and wholesome; for the practice of it is, in her
opinion, the only means to save this country from utter
destruction.

Eng- B1r

England’s Tears.


Inscribed to Britannia.

O Weeping Goddess, when wilt thou have rest?

When hush to peace the tumults of thy breast?

Thy children once were duteous, loving, kind,

And friends and relatives of one firm mind :

But now what feuds, what dismal discords rise?

Discords intestine rend thy clouded skies!

No more thy breasts with god-like ardor beat;

Thy nerves unstrung—thy heart devoid of heat—

Thy pallid, quiv’ring lips, and hollow eye,

(Symptoms consumptive) all declare you die.

B But B1v 2

But if, fair Godess! thou art doom’d to death,

Let not thine own weak arm cut short thy breath!

While France and Spain their treach’rous schemes pursue,

Still,—still, at least, “to thine own self be true.”

If Britain’s sons to suicide are prone,

Let them not find example in thine own!

Oft have you bled in honor of our laws—

The scars are glorious, if in Virtue’s cause.

Thou, who so late was mistress of the world,

To be thus rashly to perdition hurl’d;

Whose fleets and armies kept whole realms in awe,

Whose warlike trumpet check’d the tyrant’s law;

How mourns my muse to see thee thus debas’d,

And all thy trophies, all thy fame effac’d!

Who can behold (and weep not) Fate’s decree,

“A fall from greatness,” verified in thee?

Yet if, like Rome, we must submit to Fate,

Let us, at least, preserve Religion’s state;

Shall superstition grow on Britain’s isle?

Perish the thought!—it suits not with the soil!

Shall B2r 3

Shall it take root in Britain’s wide domain?

O monstrous weed! transplant it not from Spain.

What cursed villainy, yet unexplor’d,

Could e’er induce thy Ministerial Lord

To aim a blow at pure Religion’s fount,

Nor holy Bishops call him to account?

What damned views to spread the Papal lore,

Through Britain’s subjects on Canadia’s shore?

Ye mitred Priests! who with a slavish fear,

Sat silent by, nor dropt one piteous tear;

Shall ye be stil’d the Fathers of the land!

Who saw, unmov’d, Religion trembling stand,

Nor offer’d once your due parental aid,

To soothe the wailings of the spotless maid?

One, only one, had courage to depart,

Or boldly speak the dictates of his heart.

But why of Bishops should I deign to write?

These lawny pastors long have mock’d our fight:

And saints of crape, as well as those of lawn

Rich livings get, and ever after yawn;

Long B2v 4

Long have they left their flocks upon the plain,

To be by wolves and fell hyenas slain.

In turn a weak, enthusiastic band,

Have madly ta’en Religion’s cause in hand;

In ev’ry field presenting to our view

Some cobler canting to a motley crew;

With hell-born fury torturing the minds

Of titled bigots and priest-ridden hinds;

And here some carpenter, by grace decreed,

Expounds our faith, when he himself can’t read.

O shame to piety! O shame to sense!

Will not one Minister the laws dispense?

Must we, by Papacy, be overthrown,

And superstition here erect her throne?

Or else to Bigotry assenting nod,

And yield that reason which we have from God?

Alas, Britannia! how thy laurels fade!

Thy blossoms wither, and thy frame’s decay’d!

Religion, C1r 5

Religion, politics (alike undone)

Are plants that flourish not in England’s sun :

Haste then, my Muse, on eagle’s pinions soar

From Britain’s isle to Boston’s dreary shore,

And view their thrift;—but lo! ’tis here the same,

Scorch’d by the sulph’rous heat of faction’s flame:—

In milder climes a pleasing form they wear,

But ne’er will thrive in such a hot-bed air.

Behold that military man of might

So lordly stalking now before my sight!

’Tis England’s Bravo, sent to do a deed

All Nature shrinks at—“make her children bleed.”

A deed that H—tch—n, with all his boast,

Dar’d not effect, but quickly fled the coast.

And shall such braggarts ev’ry where be found

Committing violence on Freedom’s gound?

Shall bully G—ge succeed to Luttrell’s fame?

And shall he find America quite tame?

C Forbid C1v 6

Forbid it, heav’n!—her sons shall still be free,

When Freedom’s shade alone attends on thee.

While blest Hibernia enjoys the pride

Of framing laws you dare not set aside;

While Scottish boroughs, small howe’er their worth,

With shew of liberty” send members forth;

Shall ye from brave Atlanta’s children wrest

That glorious privilege, by all confest,

Of “being govern’d by the laws they make?”

Ere this befal them, England’s th――e may shake.

To what blest isle is Britain’s genius fled?

Are all our statesmen—all our patriots dead?

Is there no spark of Hampden’s spirit left?

Are we of Pryns and Lilburnes quite bereft?

When Becket’s insolence oppressed this land,

There yet was found one honest, friendly hand,

To do what justice to his country’s wrongs,

Which, when the laws deny, to man belongs.

When C2r 7

When place-proud Buckingham, that haughty peer,

Had gain’d such pow’r as spurn’d at law’s career,

The time produc’d a Felton’s zealous soul,

To curb his might, and all his pride controul:

His scepter’d master too, that meekly sheep,

By pious Cromwell soon was hush’d to sleep.

May titled Culprits punishment await!

“Since lesser criminals must yield to fate;”

And oft our penal statutes, wisely bright,

Condemn a robber to the shades of night,

Whose crimes, if Justice held her balance streight,

Would drop a Lord’s, and scarcely shew their weight.

Hark! the block groans!—the axe too heaves a sigh

At dearth of bus’ness—’tis the gen’ral cry!

For instruments of use are lain aside,

And nought but taste now swells the public tide.

Taste is a word that, ere these graceful times,

Was never known in reason or in rhimes,

To C2v 8

To mean aught else but well-directed sense,

Nor could a blockhead to it claim pretence;

But times are chang’d, and Gallic manners reign;

Now empty coxcombs taste and grace must feign;

Museums, paintings, morning hours employ,

And ev’ry night affords some pretty toy;

Pantheons, Masques, Cornelys’s appear,

With Fête Champetres bringing up the rear.

Ah! how unlike to these were days of yore,

Ere gold, that bane to virtue, curs’d our shore;

Ere the rapacious sons of India’s strand

Had, with opression, beggar’d half the land!

Ere murd’ring Nabobs dealt abroad their wealth,

And bills were fram’d, which pass to laws by stealth;

Or fields enclos’d—monopolies practis’d—

Our honest fathers better were advis’d;

And gladly saw the sons of steady care

Contented look, and thankful smiles to wear;

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Nor farms engross’d—nor dar’d electors bribe;

But to some justice might with truth subscribe.

And oft was seen the hospitable Lord

Inviting strangers to his friendly board;

Then gladden’d tenants knew a bounteous meal—

Such heav’nly joys few modern Lords can feel;

These void of thought, and destitute of sense,

To god-like charity have no pretence.

But soft, ye sons of Mammon! list and hear!

Ye sons of airy pleasure too, draw near!

If ye behold, with unrelenting eyes,

The tears of orphans, and the widow’s cries;

If ye can foster, (tho’ ye gave them birth)

Such direful evils on this wretched earth,

Vengeance awaits! nor shall the future hell

Alone encompass ye with horrid yell!

Already hunger calls aloud, and bleeds,

And hot revenge lights nearly on your heads.

Despair already shakes her gory locks,

And sheperds cease to tend upon your flocks;

D Artists D1v 10

Artists and hinds in famine’s form appear,

And emigrate in shoals the Lord knows where.

And can ye, Great Ones, view with careless eye,

(From Pleasure’s lap) such scenes as these pass by?

Can ye rich draughts from Folly’s pois’nous bowls,

Repeated drink, nor stir they once your souls?

Are ye so senseless grown, as not to know

The sad effects that from such causes flow?

Your lands forsaken, who will till your ground?

Or where the means of luxury be found?

If artists leave ye, who will please your taste,

Who coin new sights your heavy time to waste?

Reverse the case—and grant they still abide

On England’s ground, to bear oppression’s tide,

Compel their stay—the evils will remain:—

Ye ne’er can think to tyrannize again.

The time’s at hand, when my prophetic soul

Forebodes a storm thro’ Albion’s narrow goal;

A storm D2r 11

A storm whose thunderbolts shall quickly spread,

And hurl destruction on each tyrant’s head:

Behold it moves in clouds from Cabot’s shore!

Behold the lightnings flash! the thunders roar!

Soon will it hover o’er this wretched isle!

Soon will it desolate industry’s toil!

Scarce have the ghosts of Bigby, Allen, Clark,

Forsook our land to join their native dark;

On Brentford murders scarce is cast a shade,

Or George’s Fields in memory decay’d;

When lo! a valiant, military band,

With instruments of death in ev’ry hand,

Are sent commission’d to the western main,

To carnage there,—and who shall dare complain?

O harass’d Goddess! nameless are thy woes!

Boast—boast no more the sweetness of thy rose!

See how it droops its pale—its sickly head!

Nor longer blushes with a crimson red!

Thy D2v 12

Thy nerveless sons effeminate are grown,

And prostitution deluges the town;

Those sons so late with matchless valour crown’d,

Those daughters fair for chastity renown’d;

And wretched infants from their sires inherit

Diseases foul, with slavishness of spirit.

But stop, my Muse,—the med’cines are at hand

To heal its wounds, and save this sinking land!

Despair not, Britons!—still your pride maintain,

And Freedom’s flow’rs shall yet adorn your plain;

Religion’s branches still shall wave and bloom,

And fill the land with fragrance and perfume.

Shall we distemper’d be, and know a cure,

And tamely such calamity endure?

Rouze then, for shame!—exert your utmost force,

Probe deep the wounds, and find their pois’nous source.

When the meek Candidate, with proffer’d love

Of honor’d favors, courts ye from above;

When E1r 13

When, serpent-like, your senses to beguile,

He plans your downfal with Corruption’s smile;

When boasted Liberty his vows contain,

And England’s glory triumphs in his strain;

Reflect one moment—keep yourself awake!

Nor suffer once the sly, designing snake,

To twine his body round fair Freedom’s tree,

And fatten on the boughs of Liberty;

Think then in time, and disengage his hold,

Or sev’n long years he grasps ye to his fold.

Know then your consequence, and shun the bait,

However sweet or gilded be its state!

Whether it takes a form of gen’rous hue,

Or wears corruption plainly in its view.

Ye ne’er can be by foreign foes destroy’d,

If ’mongst yourselves blest concord is enjoy’d;

And Britain’s empire—’tis by all agreed,

If e’er it falls, her sons must do the deed.

E On E1v 14

On plain and small-professing men depend—

The man of virtue, he is Freedom’s friend;

Who spends his life without that private guide

You ne’er can trust, nor in his vows confide;

Whate’er he tells ye of the public good,

Believe him not—it cannot be withstood;

Let blessed Freedom in your mem’ry live,

Think what a great commission ’tis ye give.

Whatever evils yet are unredress’d,

Or venal acts ye wish to have repress’d;

Now is the time, exert your utmost pow’r,

This—this alone is Liberty’s free hour;

Impose your terms, and fix on them his seal,

To see full justice done this injur’d weal;

Blot from the Statutes each oppressive law,

Raze from the Journals each recorded flaw.

Let no vile precedent their pages stain,

Nor think a recent one to write of vain:

Mark 15

Mark the resolve that stares ye in the face,

And see base Luttrell fill a Wilkes’s place.

Electors all attend—the period’s near,

Act then uprightly, without dread or fear:

Restore our sully’d and dishonour’d name,

And times remote shall consecrate your fame.

The End.