On the Present State of Spain
The Monthly Magazine, XXXVIII (August, 1814), p. 44
Written at Madrid, June 1, 1814.
[Under the unfortunate issue of the Spanish revolution, the following thoughts, dictated on the spot by actual circumstances—the reestablishment of an unlimited monarchy—of the inquisition—of the religious (rather irreligious) orders—of the convents, &c.—are submitted to the readers of the Monthly Magazine.]
Now the wide-wasting flame unfetter'd rages,
And Virtue, Freedom, and Religion, wasted
By its black ravages, retire in sadness
And weep (not for themselves) but human
Now the heart easing hope that future ages
Would wake to liberty and joy, is blasted;
While Melancholy takes the place of Gladness,
Sickened at the ruins that she leaves
Slavery's slow poison, torturing and degrading,
Begins to work—men, to barbarians sinking,
Bow their mean heads, and wear the fasten'd
Gloom darkening sits on sober Reason's brow,
And man, man's noblest privilege invading,
Wrests that best right of man—the right of
And chains him down to misery!—'twere better
To sleep in dust than be degraded so.
O why did Liberty's delightful beaming
Thus break deceitful on our eager vision?
O why did Heaven allow that Bliss should ever
Thus flatter with its radiance—thus depart?
Was it to leave these eyes in sorrow streaming,
To subject us to Folly's loose derision,
To teach us that fair Freedom's reign shall
Lighten the heavy anguish of our heart?
Fell Superstition from her den now rising,
(Slavery's prime handmaid!) arm'd with knotted
Furious and fierce, for human victims roaming,
Rushes to make devoted man her prey;
New horrors for the sons of Truth devising,
Wild as the whirlwind—restless as the surges,
Fiery as hell, with blood and madness foaming,
Sweeps peace, and hope, and happiness, away.
Sad, sad reverse! O when shall dawn that morrow
Which to-day's gloominess shall chase from nature;
When shall th' inquiring eye of Expectation
See that dread hour when God shall interpose,
When Heaven shall ease the heaving breast of sorrow,
Confound the daring of that sinful creature,
(Usurper, tyrant over His creation,)
Who hurls the thunderbolt at Folly's foes!
Come, blissful period!—for, till then despairing,
Sad sighs will break our rest!—but no!—th' Almighty
Will hear our prayers—his holy arm shall scatter
The vain opposers of His sacred will.
Peace; Peace, my soul! none but th' Almighty fearing,
March nobly on! thy conscience shall requite thee;
Virtue and He thy guardians—'tis no matter!
All shall be well—ye doubts, ye cares, be