1794.1 - "Translation of Hymn for the Feast celebrated at Paris on account of the Re-capture of Toulon."

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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1794.1
Translation of the Hymn for the Feast celebrated at Paris on account of the Re-capture of Toulon.
"G. K. W."
The Cambridge Intelligencer (January 18, 1794)

Toulon[1], restor'd to France again,
No more regards the captive main,
    Whose waters lave her sands;
Her rock, now freed, from barbarous foes,
She deals around her vengeful blows,
    On Albion's flying bands.

Her flames she darts upon their heads,
To recompense their ruthless deeds,
    And answers fire for fire;
Their tyrant squadrons fall beneath
The fury of the tempest's breath,
    Drest in terrific ire.

Victorious in each bloody field,
Frenchmen shall make their rival yield
    The palm she bore so long;
See Britons march with guilty dread!
While Gallia's sons by Virtue led,
    Repeat th' inspiring song.

Th' eternal Power that sits on high,
Guards from his radiant throne the sky,
    A sov'reign people's right:
And furious elements combine,
To baffle tyranny's design,
    Their all-resistless might.

Slaves crouch around their monarch's thrones,
Toulon drives forth her guilty sons,
    A mean, degenerate band:
That men, more true to Freedom's cause,
May hail the reign of equal laws,
    Upon her famous strand.

Leaving the Court, that base defence
Of grandeur's votaries, void of sense,
    They'll cleave the liquid plain.
Prompt in the search of happiness,
Who stands fair Freedom's sons to bless
    On sacred La Montagne.

Britons! whose ships, a servile train,
Ting'd with our blood on Genoa's main,
    Beneath her ramparts high,
Dar'd to pollute a Gallic shore,
As treacherous to our ports they bore
    The chains of slavery.

Our fleet shall bear to Plymouth's Sound,
Equality by freedom crown'd
    To People far and wide:
The sombrous Thames, in slavery's night,
Shall feel the rays of freedom's light,
    And swift his waters glide.

K___,[2] minister, and soldiers bold,
Brave conquerors by dint of gold,
    Who boast of punic faith[3]
No more again assume to reign
With trident—tyrants of the main,
    And rule the ocean's path.

For see! the universe awake,
Bids us the hostile faulchion take,
    Her rights again to claim:
We, a new Roman nation, burn
Another Carthage to o'erturn
    And tyrant princes tame.

Ocean's lov'd daughter! fair Toulon.
Arise and take the laurel crown,
    Around thy temples bind
Olive leaves, and fadeless flowers,
For ev'ry gift that nature pours,
    To deck thee is design'd.

On thy generous bosom bring
All the balmy sweets of spring,
    All bounteous Autumn's stores:
Byzantine treasures, Adria's trade,
From thee in plenteous streams convey'd,
    Shall crowd our happy shores.

Triumphant French! by freedom blest,
By fav'ring fortune still carest,
    The world shall share your fate:
The new-born sun shall shine sublime,
Rejoice and animate each clime,
    And nourish every state.

His presence with each good, shall bless
The poor, and soothe their deep distress,
    Who seek his fav'ring light:
While tyrants burn beneath his rays,
The world shall brighten at the blaze,
    And millions hail the fight.


Notes

1. On December 9, 1793, Toulon was captured by the Republican Army from the British who had held it for five months. It was in this battle that the young artillery officer, Napoleon Bonaparte, first distinguished himself.

2. [king]

3. A reference to the characteristic of treachery and faithlessness to the ancient Carthaginians by the Romans.

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September 2004

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