An Ode To Britannia, The Arbitress Of Nations.
While pride hath cursed her fairest lands,
In horror and dismay,
That man should man of life deprive,
And brother with his brother strive
In battle’s dread array.
Beneath her banner’s sacred fold,
Ruin riots uncontrolled,
O’er all the wide domain;
Where lately Commerce plied the oar,
Reverberating cannons roar,
Exulting o’er the slain.
In vain she mourns the mighty dead,
Who in the cause of freedom bled,
And now forgotten sleep;
No more she hears the battle cry,
United stand, united die,
Echoing o’er the deep.
The bounds of British freedom lave,
Is heard the din of war,
Its sluggish waters on the Mexique
Outspreading wide and far,
Red fields of carnage mar the scene
Where late prosperity hath been;
And richest harvest stores,
That make the wheel and shuttle fly,
Lie rotting ‘neath a Southern sky,
Or bonded on her shores.
In solemn grandeur to the skies,
Contending armies meet,
And scatter death at every blow,
While desolation, famine, woe,
Tread on their wild retreat.
There Freedom sits, a widow’d bride,
While Pity, weeping at her side,
Keeps mournful watch around,
She sees the nursling of her care,
Her country, struggling in despair,
In chains of slavery bound.
Defiant looks, with high disdain,
And grasps his blood-stained lance,
He hears the impatient thunder sound
Of war’s alarm, on British ground,
O’er ocean’s wide expanse.
A kindred nation deign to save,
Stretch forth thy mighty arm,
Uplift thy truth-protecting shield,
The peace commanding trident wield,
And silence war’s alarm.
Unloose the bands that Commerce bind,
Breath in her sails a happy wind,
And peace again restore,
And all the lands that kiss the sea,
With one loud burst of jubilee,
Shall bless thee evermore.