1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Anonymous, "To the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, on the Revolution in France" Bath Chronicle (1 January 1795).



With joy we turn to Albion's happier plain,
Where ancient freedom holds her temperate reign;
Where justice sits majestick on her throne;
Where mercy turns her ear to every groan!
O Albion! fairest isle, whose verdant plain
Springs beauteous from the blue and billowy main;
In peaceful pomp whose glitt'ring cities rise,
And lift their crouded temples to the skies;
Whose navy on the broad brine awful rolls;
Whose commerce glows beneath the distant poles;
Whose streams reflect full many an Attick pile;
Whose velvet lawns in strong luxuriance smile;
Amid whose winding coombs contentment dwells;
Whose vales rejoice to hear the sabbath bells;
Whose humblest shed, that steady laws protect,
The villager with woodbine bow'rs hath deck'd;
Sweet native land! whose every haunt is dear,
Whose every gale is musick to mine ear;
Amidst whose hills one poor retreat I sought,
Where I might sometimes hide a sadd'ning thought,
And having wander'd far, and mark'd mankind
In their vain mask, might rest and safety find:
Oh! still may freedom with majestick mien
Pacing thy rocks and the green vales be seen!
Around thy cliffs, that glitter o'er the main,
May smiling order wind her silver chain;
Whilst from thy calm abodes, and azure skies,
Far off the fiend of discord murmuring flies!

To him who firm thy injur'd cause has fought,
This humble off'ring, lo! the Muse has brought.