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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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1796.11
Political Integrity
Anon
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXVI (December 1796), p. 1038

Decipimur specie recti.[1]

O Britain! first in Freedom's train,
    And fairest of her chosen few,
How has Ambition burst the chain
    Of friendship you believ'd so true!

Prussia, with false usurping pride,
    An Empire's rights would overturn;
And, were his wishes gratify'd,
    Vienna would like Warsaw mourn.

Batavia,[2] too, long fam'd for guile,
    And whom no bond of honour awes,
First deep involv'd us in the broil,
    Then, coward like, forsook the cause.

And now, priest-ridden, dastard Spain
    Flies from the solemn vows she made;
And would, perfidious, from the Main
    Sweep all our naval power and trade.

Such were our great and good Allies!
    Just Heav'n! their jealous arms defeat,
The worst of evils ever rise
    From Friendship veil'd in base deceit.


Notes

1. "We are deceived by righteous appearances."

2. France, having conquered the Dutch, created the Batavian Republic (1795-1806).

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Published @ RC

September 2004