Joanna Baillie

(1762-1851 / Scotland)

Verses Written In February, 1827

LIKE gleam of sunshine on the mountain's side,
Fair, bright and beautiful, while all beside,
Slope, cliff and pinnacle in shadow lie
Beneath the awning of a wintry sky,
Through loop-hole in its cloudy texture beaming
A cataract of light, so softly streaming,--
Shines one blest deed of ruth when war's grim form
O'er a scourged nation guides his passing storm.
Like verdant islet-spots, that softly peer
Through the dull mist, as morning breezes clear
The brooding vapour from the wide-stretched vale,
So in a land where Mammon's cares prevail,
Do frequent deeds of gentle charity
Refresh the moral gazer's mental eye.
Britain, thou art in arms and commerce graced
With many generous acts, that, fairly traced
On thy long annals, give a lustre far
Exceeding those of wealth or trophied war;
And may we not say truthfully of thee,
Thou art a land of mercy?--May it be!
What forms are those with lean galled sides? In vain
Their laxed and ropy sinews sorely strain
Heaped loads to draw with lash and goad urged on.
They were in other days, but lately gone,
The useful servants, dearly prized, of those
Who to their failing age give no repose,--
Of thankless, heartless owners. Then full oft
Their arched graceful necks so sleek and soft
Beneath a master's stroking hand would rear
Right proudly, as they neighed his well-known voice to hear.
But now how changed!--And what marred things are these,
Starved, hooted, scarred, denied or food or ease;
Whose humbled looks their bitter thraldom shew,
Familiar with the kick, the pinch, the blow?
Alas! in this sad fellowship are found
The playful kitten and the faithful hound,
The gallant cock that hailed the morning light,
All now hard-fated mates in woeful plight.
Ah no! a land of mercy is a name
Which thou in all thy glory mayest not claim!
But yet there dwell in thee the good, the bold,
Who in thy streets, courts, senates bravely hold
Contention with thy wayward cruelty,
And shall subdue it ere this age glide by.
Meantime as they their manly power exert,
'God speed ye well!' bursts from each kindly heart.
And they will speed; for this foul blot of shame
Must be washed out from Britain's honoured name,
And she among enlightened nations stand,
A brave, a merciful and generous land.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Verses Written In February, 1827 by Joanna Baillie )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members.. Updates

New Poems

  1. Sooner or later عاجلا ام اجلا, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  2. Trying To Play The Fools Game, Poetic Lilly Emery
  3. Dragons Of The Night, David Harris
  4. Spread Some Love, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
  5. True Romance, Electric Lady
  6. For every smile thus there the stars of .., Raymond Sawyer
  7. he Gift, david kush
  8. I'm always like this, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  9. Soar Where Those Poor Of Faith Reside, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  10. He told the officers, Cyndi K. Gacosta

Poem of the Day

poet George Gordon Byron

It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard;
It is the hour -- when lover's vows
Seem sweet in every whisper'd word;
And gentle winds and waters near,
...... Read complete »


Modern Poem

poet May Swenson


Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. It Is the Hour, George Gordon Byron
  2. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. This is Just to Say, William Carlos Williams

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]