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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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1797.1
Ode to Anarchy
"A Jacobin"
The Anti-Jacobin (January 8, 1797)

(Being an Imitation of Horace, Ode 25, Book I.) [1]

Diva, gratum quae regis Antium.[2]

    Goddess, whose dire terrific power
    Spreads, from thy much-lov'd Gallia's Plains,
    Where'er her blood-stain'd Ensigns lower,
Where'er fell Rapine stalks, or barb'rous Discord reigns!

    Thou, who can'st lift to Fortune's height
    The wretch by truth and virtue scorn'd,
    And crush, with insolent delight,
All whom true merit rais'd, or noble birth adorn'd!

    Thee oft the murd'rous Band implores,
    Swift darting on its hapless prey:
    Thee, wafted from fierce Afric's shores,
The Corsair Chief invokes to speed him on his way.

    Thee the wild Indian Tribes revere;
    Thy charms the roving Arab owns;
    Thee Kings, Thee tranquil Nations fear,
The bane of social bliss, the foe to peaceful Thrones!

    For, soon as thy loud trumpet calls
    To deadly rage, to fierce alarms,
    Just Order's goodly fabric falls,
Whilst the mad People cry, "To arms! to arms!"

    With Thee, Proscription, Child of Strife,
    With Death's choice implements, is seen,
    Her Murderer's Gun, Assassin's Knife,
And, "last, not least in love," her darling Guillotine.

    Fond Hope is thine—the hope of Spoil,
    And Faith—such faith as Ruffians keep:
    They prosper thy destructive toil,
That makes the Widow mourn, the helpless Orphan weep.

    Then false and hollow Friends retire,
    Nor yield one sigh to soothe despair;
    Whilst crowds triumphant Vice admire,
Whilst Harlots shine in robes that deck'd the Great and Fair.

    Guard our fam'd Chief to Britain's strand!
    Britain, our last, our deadliest Foe:
    Oh, guard his brave associate Band!
A Band to slaughter train'd, and "nurs'd in scenes of woe."

    What shame, alas! one little Isle
    Should dare its Native Laws maintain?
    At Gallia's threats serenely smile,
And, scorning her dread pow'r, triumphant rule the Main.

    For this have guiltless Victims died
    In crowds at thy ensanguin'd shrine!
    For this has recreant Gallia's pride
O'erturn'd Religion's Fanes, and brav'd the Wrath Divine!

    What Throne, what Altar, have we spared,
    To spread thy power, thy joys impart?
    Ah then, our faithful toils reward,
And let each faulchion pierce some loyal Briton's heart!


Notes

1. Ode 25, Book I is about an aged prostitute abandoned by young men. This poem is not an imitation of the Ode, and the allusion may be used satirically.

2. The first line of Ode 35, Book I: "O Goddess, who reignest o'er thine own loved Antrium."

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Published @ RC

September 2004

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