Anna Laetitia Barbauld

(20 June 1743 – 9 March 1825 / Leicestershire, England)

On The Expected General Rising Of The French Nation, In 1792. - Poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Rise, mighty nation, in thy strength,
And deal thy dreadful vengeance round;
Let thy great spirit, roused at length,
Strike hordes of despots to the ground!
Devoted land! thy mangled breast
Eager the royal vultures tear;
By friends betrayed, by foes opprest,—
And Virtue struggles with Despair.
The tocsin sounds! arise, arise!
Stern o'er each breast let Country reign;
Nor virgin's plighted hand nor sighs
Must now the ardent youth detain:

Nor must the hind who tills thy soil
The ripened vintage stay to press,
Till Rapture crown the flowing bowl,
And Freedom boast of full success.
Briareus-like extend thy hands,
That every hand may crush a foe;
In millions pour thy generous bands,
And end a warfare by a blow!
Then wash with sad repentant tears
Each deed that clouds thy glory's page;
Each phrensied start impelled by fears,
Each transient burst of headlong rage:
Then fold in thy relenting arms
Thy wretched outcasts where they roam;
From pining want and war's alarms,
O call the child of misery home!

Then build the tomb—O not alone
Of him who bled in Freedom's cause;
With equal eye the martyr own
Of faith revered and ancient laws.
Then be thy tide of glory staid;
Then be thy conquering banners furled;
Obey the laws thyself hast made,
And rise the model of the world!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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