(Thomas Warton)

Verses Written at Montauban, 1750

TARN, how delightful wind thy willowed waves,
But ah! they fructify a land of slaves.
In vain thy barefoot, sunburnt peasants hide
With luscious grapes yon hills romantic side;
No cups nectareous shall their toils repay,
The priests, the soldiers, and the farmers prey.
Vain glows this sun in cloudless glory dressed,
That strikes fresh vigor through the pining breast;
Give me, beneath a colder changeful sky,
My souls best, only pleasure, Liberty!
What millions perished near thy moanful flood
When the red papal tyrant cried out, Blood!
Less fierce the Saracen, and quivered Moor,
That dashed thy infants gainst the stones of yore.
Be warned, ye nations round; and trembling see
Dire superstition quench humanity!
By all the chiefs in Freedoms battles lost;
By wise and virtuous Alfreds awful ghost;
By old Galgacus scythéd, iron car,
That, swiftly whirling through the walks of war,
Dashed Roman blood, and crushed the foreign throngs;
By holy Druids courage-breathing songs;
By fierce Bonducas shield, and foaming steeds;
By the bold peers that met on Thamess meads;
By the fifth Henrys helm, and lightning spear,
O Liberty, my warm petition hear;
Be Albion still thy joy! with her remain,
Long as the surge shall lash her oak-crowned plain!

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