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Hymn, Imitated from The French

Helen Maria Williams 1761 (London) – 1827

I.
CALM all the tumults that invade
Our souls, and lend Thy pow'rful aid.
O Source of Mercy! soothe our pains,
And break, O break our cruel chains!
To Thee the captive pours his cry,
To Thee the mourner loves to fly;
The incense of our tears receive,
'Tis all the incense we can give.

II.

Eternal Power, our cause defend,
O God! of innocence the friend!
Near Thee for ever she resides,
In Thee for ever she confides;
Thou know'st the secrets of the breast,
Thou know'st th' oppressor and th' opprest;
Do Thou our wrongs with pity see,
Avert a doom offending Thee!

III.

But should the murd'rer's arm prevail,
Should tyranny our lives assail,
Unmov'd, triumphant, scorning death,
We'll bless Thee with our latest breath!-
The hour, the glorious hour will come,
That consecrates the patriot's tomb;
And, with the pang our mem'ry claims,
Our country will avenge our names.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Helen Maria Williams

Helen Maria Williams was a British novelist poet and translator of French-language works A religious dissenter she was a supporter of abolitionism and of the ideals of the French Revolution she was imprisoned in Paris during the Reign of Terror but nonetheless spent much of the rest of her life in France A controversial figure in her own time the young Williams was favorably portrayed in a 1787 poem by William Wordsworth but she was portrayed by other writers as irresponsibly politically radical and even as sexually wanton more…

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