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Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

The Bards, To The Soldiers Of Caractacus


VALIANT sons of freedom's land,
Ardent, firm, devoted band,
Rise, at honor's thrilling call:
Warriors, arm! shall Britain fall?
Rush, battle-steed,
Bleed, soldiers! bleed,
For Britain's throne, for glory's meed!

Heroes! to the combat fly,
Proud to struggle, blest to die;
Go! should death your efforts crown,
Mount the pinions of renown;
Go! tell our sires,
Their daring fires,
Glow in our lofty souls, till life expires!

Tell them, ne'er shall Britain yield,
Whilst a hand the sword can wield!
Tell them, we the strife maintain,
Tell them, we defy the chain!
In heart the same,
In patriot-flame
We emulate their brightest fame!

Shades of sainted chiefs! be near,
Frown on Albion's lifted spear!
Point the falchion, guide the car,
Flaming through the ranks of war!
Rise on the field,
With sword and shield,
To British eyes in forms of light reveal'd!

Spark of freedom, blaze on high!
Wilt thou quiver? shalt thou die?
Never, never! holy fire!
Mount, irradiate! beam, aspire!

Our foes consume,
Our swords illume,
And chase the dark horizon's gloom!

Shall the Roman arms invade
Mona's dark and hallow'd shade?
By the dread, mysterious wand,
Waving in the Druid's hand;
By ev'ry rite,
Of Mona's night,
Arm, warriors! arm, in sacred cause unite!

Honor! while thy bands disdain,
Slav'ry's dark, debasing chain;
Britain! while thy sons are free,
Dauntless, faithful, firm, for thee;
Mona! while at thy command,
Ardent, bold, sublime, they stand;
Proud foes in vain,
Prepare the chain,
For Albion unsubdu'd shall reign!

Lo! we see a flame divine
Blaze o'er Mona's awful shrine;
Lo! we hear a voice proclaim,
'Albion, thine, immortal fame!'
Arise, ye brave,
To bleed, to save,
Tho' proud in pomp, yon Roman eagles wave!

Cæsar, come! in ten-fold mail,
Will thine arms like ours avail?
Cæsar! let thy falchions blaze,
Will they dim fair Freedom's rays?
Cæsar! boast thy wide control,
Canst thou chain th' aspiring soul?
What steel can bind,
The soaring mind,
Free as the light, the wave, the wind?

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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