1834 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Babington Macaulay

Anonymous, "Bab. Macaulay conveyed to India" Fraser's Magazine 9 (March 1834) 372-73.



Thee may the waves in safety bear,
Thee the home-turning needle safely guide;
No wind that brings delay or fear
Insult thy cordage, turn thy prow aside!

Safe to the angry Cape of Hope,
And safe to the sainted Helen's namesake rock,
Unharmed in timber and in rope,
Swift ship! conduct Reform's own bantam-cock.

To thee is trusted Whiggery's Bab;
Take him, and bring him — five years past — again;
For Westminster must have his stab:
Let not Leeds ask her better half in vain.

He must return, to raise his voice
For freedom's triumph; and, with kindling eye
And glowing cheek, bid Bull rejoice
In his dear Jove-like load, democratie.

(For, like the fair Europa, when,
Rough surges past, she knew for worshipful
That four-foot — king of gods and men!
Democratie will sweetly kiss her Bull.)

Hard heart of man, and breast of brass!
That dares, with senseless pride and folly rank,
Over the yesty deep to pass,
Trusting for safety to a two-inch plank!

And must Macaulay look on sharks,
Sea-serpents, tigers, elephants, and whales—
And pine to hear or feed on larks,
And languish for the song of nightingales?

But hearts of triple brass are they,
Mere cyphers, yellow stalks of Indian corn—
Whose follies take from us away
The noblest patriot that was ever born.

Confound them! we our Bab, must want,
Because they will not counsel take from Grey,
Nor follow the advice of Grant,
To rectify the errors of their way.

Great must have been their long misrule,
Their misdeeds many, since, to set them right,
Our dearling Bab, consents to pule,
And for a yellow hide exchange his white!

'Tis not for money that he goes—
The patriot has his path of duty found;
The son of Zachary — he knows
Money can't make a rotten liver sound.

The India House! the India House!
The nabobs there deserve our indignation;
Why won't they let our Whiggery chouse
Them of their rights, their honour, fortune, station?

Thus men in their brute folly work
The very thing their fears do most mistrust;
They for a log will take a stork,
Then have, not what they would, but what they must.