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The Right Honourable Edmund Burke



Why mourns the ingenuous Moralist, whose mind
Science has stored, and Piety refined,
That fading Chivalry displays no more
Her pomp and stately tournaments of yore!
Lo! when Philosophy and Truth advance,
Scared at their frown, she drops her glittering lance;
Round her reft castles the pale ivy crawls,
And sunk and silent are her bannered halls!
As when far off the golden evening sails,
And slowly sink the fancy-painted vales,
With rich pavilions spread in long array;
So rolls the enchanter's radiant realm away;
So on the sight the parting glories fade,
The gorgeous vision sets in endless shade.
But shall the musing mind for this lament,
Or mourn the wizard's Gothic fabric rent!
Shall he, with Fancy's poor and pensive child,
Gaze on his shadowy vales, and prospects wild,
With lingering love, and sighing bid farewell
To the dim pictures of his parting spell!
No, BURKE! thy heart, by juster feelings led,
Mourns for the spirit of high Honour fled;
Mourns that Philosophy, abstract and cold,
Withering should smite life's fancy-flowered mould;
And many a smiling sympathy depart,
That graced the sternness of the manly heart.
Nor shall the wise and virtuous scan severe
These fair illusions, ev'n to nature dear.
Though now no more proud Chivalry recalls
Her tourneys bright, and pealing festivals;
Though now on high her idle spear is hung,
Though Time her mouldering harp has half unstrung;
Her milder influence shall she still impart,
To decorate, but not disguise, the heart;
To nurse the tender sympathies that play
In the short sunshine of life's early way;
For female worth and meekness to inspire
Homage and love, and temper rude desire;
Nor seldom with sweet dreams sad thoughts to cheer,
And half beguile affliction of her tear!
Lo! this her boast; and still, O BURKE! be thine
Her glowing hues that warm, yet tempered shine;
Whilst whispers bland, and fairest dreams, attend
Thy evening path, till the last shade descend!
So may she soothe, with loftier wisdom's aid,
Thy musing leisure in the silent shade,
And bid poor Fancy, her cold pinions wet,
Life's cloudy skies and beating showers forget.
But can her fairest form, her sweetest song,
Soothe thee, assailed by calumny and wrong!
Ev'n now thy foes with louder accents cry:
Champion of unrelenting tyranny,
At Freedom hast thou aimed the deadly blow,
And striven with impious arm to lay her altars low!
No, BURKE! indignant at the voice we start:
We trust thy liberal views, thy generous heart;
We think of those who, naked, pale, and poor,
Relieved and blessed, have wandered from thy door;
We see thee with unwearied step explore
Each track of bloodshed on the farthest shore
Of injured Asia, and thy swelling breast
Harrowing the oppressor, mourning for the oppressed,
No, BURKE! where'er Injustice rears her head,
Where'er with blood her idol grim is fed;
Where'er fell Cruelty, at her command,
With crimson banner marches through the land,
And striding, like a giant, onward hies,
Whilst man, a trodden worm, looks up, and dies;
Where'er pale Murder in her train appears,
With reeking axe, and garments wet with tears;
Or, lowering Jealousy, unmoved as Fate,
Bars fast the prison-cage's iron gate
Upon the buried sorrows and the cries
Of him who there, lost and forgotten, lies;--
When ministers like these, in fearful state,
Upon a bloody tyrant's bidding wait,
Thou too shalt own (and Justice lift her rod)
The cause of Freedom is the cause of GOD!
Fair spirit, who dost rise in beauteous pride,
Where proud Oppression hath thine arm defied!
When led by Virtue thou dost firm advance,
And bathe in Guilt's warm blood thy burning lance;
When all thy form its awful port assumes,
And in the tempest shake thy crimson plumes,
I mark thy lofty mien, thy steady eye,
So fall thy foes! with tears of joy I cry.
But ne'er may Anarchy, with eyes a-flame,
And mien distract, assume thy awful name;
Her pale torch sheds afar its hideous glare,
And shows the blood-drops in her dabbled hair;
The fiends of discord hear her hollow voice,
The spirits of the deathful storm rejoice:
As when the rising blast with muttering sweep
Sounds 'mid the branches of the forest deep,
The sad horizon lowers, the parting sun
Is hid, strange murmurs through the high wood run,
The falcon wheels away his mournful flight,
And leaves the glens to solitude and night;
Till soon the hurricane, in dismal shroud,
Comes fearful forth, and sounds her conch aloud;
The oak majestic bows his hoary head,
And ruin round his ancient reign
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:55 min read
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William Lisle Bowles

William Lisle Bowles was an English poet and critic In 1783 he won the chancellors prize for Latin verse In 1789 he published in a small quarto volume Fourteen Sonnets which were received with extraordinary favour not only by the general public but by such men as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Wordsworth The Sonnets even in form were a revival a return to an older and purer poetic style and by their grace of expression melodious versification tender tone of feeling and vivid appreciation of the life and beauty of nature stood out in strong contrast to the elaborated commonplaces which at that time formed the bulk of English poetry more…

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    "The Right Honourable Edmund Burke" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/40960/the-right-honourable-edmund-burke>.

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