Felicia Dorothea Hemans
The Call Of Liberty. May 1809 - Poem by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
YE nations of Europe! arising to war,
And scorning submission to tyranny's might
Oh! follow the track of my bright blazing car,
Diffusing a path-way of radiance afar,
Dispelling the shadows of night!
And, hark! the destroyer has summon'd his band,
He waves the proud sceptre, his magical wand;
In legions they rush to the field!
'Tis the voice of destruction that swells in the storm,
The cloud and the tempest envelop his form.
O patriots! O heroes! O chiefs of renown!
Awake in my cause, and contend for my crown,
And vict'ry shall hallow your shield!
Oh! think of your fathers, how nobly they fought!
Disdaining each peril, the combat they sought,
And round me intrepid they stood!
They worshipp'd the beam of my sun-darting eye,
Exalted my banner, all-dreadful, on high;
'Twas their pillar of glory! and kindling with pride,
Around it they conquer'd, around it they died,
And ting'd the bright streamer in blood!
To you is intrusted the fire-flashing sword,
For ages defended, for ages ador'd;
The sword that has slumber'd too long!
'Tis the weapon of Liberty! sacred its aid,
For heav'n, truth, and justice, have hallow'd the blade;
Oh! seize it with ecstacy, wield it, ye brave!
Oh! seize it to punish, to conquer, to save!
Oh, hail it, ye minstrels, in song!
Fair, dazzling, unblemish'd, its lustre is pure,
For martyrs have died to preserve it secure,
And heroes to guard it have bled!
'Twas this that illumin'd the fields of the fight,
When the Chief of Vimeira was matchless in might;
In lightning effulgence at Baylen it stream'd,
At Corunna, the zenith of glory, it beam'd
O'er the warrior, the patriot, the dead!
O Albion! my throne, and my temple of rest,
Fair light of the waves! lovely star of the west!
Ever steady, resplendent, the same;
Thou shrine of my spirit! thou land of my heart!
Where life, inspiration, and hope I impart;
Behold where my cynosure brilliant appears,
And beams thro' the mist-veil of darkness and tears,
To guide thee to conquest and fame!
Oh! thou art my guardian! supreme o'er the sea!
Still foremost, undaunted, to combat for me,
Thou planet! thou empress of isles!
Oh! fearless in danger, awake at my call:
Shall the standard, the altar of Liberty, fall?
No, never, fair queen! while thy sons of the main,
My trophies, my rights, and my banners maintain,
And live in the heav'n of my smiles!
Ye nations of Europe! all rous'd by alarms,
Oh! imitate Albion, the peerless in arms,
Who kindles my torch from afar!
Her children are mine, an invincible band,
My look is the sun-beam that brightens their land!
And never, oh! never, that sun-beam shall cease,
And ne'er shall the light of my presence decrease,
While they follow my bright blazing car!
O Austrian warriors! who rise in my cause,
Ye fight with my falchion, ye fight for my laws!
And your's is the armour of right!
Then rush to the battle-field, scorning a fear,
And Justice and Freedom shall frown on your spear;
In valor, in truth, and in ardor the same,
All kindling with energy, breathing with flame,
Ye shall conquer—a torrent of might!
The slain shall exult in resigning their breath,
They shall smile, they shall burn, they shall triumph in death;
And who might not envy their bier?
The living, victorious, shall strew o'er their tomb
The garlands of conquest, unfading in bloom;
And glory's fair Amaranth proudly shall wave,
In beauty unsullied adorning their grave,
Too bright to be stain'd with a tear!
And you, brave Iberians! oh! ever disdain,
The sword of oppression; and tyranny's chain!
Be free, gallant Spaniards, or die!
For you, when surrounded by darkness and foes,
The day-spring of Freedom in radiance arose:
Tho' shadows and clouds may obscure it awhile,
Oh! yet it may brighten, oh! yet it may smile,
And beam in meridian on high!
But where is the patriot, undaunted and bold,
Whose name is immortal, whose deeds are enroll'd
On adamant, high in my fame?
My Palafox! oft must I weep to recal
Thy trophies, my hero! thy fame, and thy fall!
Thy sabre was lightning! thy spirit was fire!
Thy arm and thy bosom 'twas mine to inspire,
Young martyr to glory and Spain!
O Heav'n! when he fought undismay'd by my side,
Why, why was thine aid, was thine armour deny'd?
Were justice and vengeance no more?
Yet, yet let me hope that the flame of his soul
Will burn in his countrymen, scorning control;
The foes of mankind and religion consume,
The dark'ning horizon of Europe illume,
And the days of her triumph restore!
Ye realms and ye nations, your legions unite!
Oh! righteous and hallow'd your war!
Unfurl the red standard, fair Hope is your light,
And this be your watch-word in danger and fight,
'O Liberty! thou art our star!'
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