On Poland.

How long, O justice, will my spirit bear ?1
How long shall Poland suffer in despair ?2
Proud Poland ! mother of heroic race3
Land where lov’d freedom had her resting place,4
Sacred to freedom in my history’s page5
Glory hath crowned the warrior and the sage ;6
Land where fair learning had her honoured hall :7
Land where the arts and science—blessings all,8
Were nursed, for Europe, sunk in darkest night9
The fount of learning thou— the land of light.10
But where art thou ?— my, voice, my soul exclaims,11
Famed Poland, ’mongst the nation’s names,12
As with excited eye I read earth’s page,—13
Home of the laurelled warrior and sage14
Thou art not there !— canst be that thou art gone ?15
Tremble each land if Poland sinks unknown.16
Ah ! o’er thy hallowed earth fell tyrants tread,17
Nor shudder as they trample on thy dead.18
In mimic power they stretch their puny hand,19
To crush the spirit of a living land20
To still the ebbings of heroic pride21
To bind the sons of freemen side by side22
With the slave-born and slavery-loving Russ.23
Yes, they may dream it, and may dare it thus24
May crush the hero, or enslave the Pole25
May chain his body till they scathe his soul26
May heap all sorrows on that spot of earth,27
Endeared by father’s tomb and ruined hearth28
Subvert each monument of glory gone,29
Till every tomb of freedom is o’erthrown30
May brand with baseness land and living son,31
Till land of Pole is base as Russ’s own32
Till Heaven’s high gate seems shut to Poland’s prayer,33
And every heart is reared to her despair.34
Mayhap, yet even from the darkest night35
A glorious morn hath burst with beaming light ;36
E’en while the darkness gathered thickest down,37
With shade on shade, and frown still heaped on frown.38
Still fairest morn’s behind the blackest night,39
As though the darkness purified the light.40
So, Poland, though thy sun of hope be set,41
And all is drear and darkness round thee yet ;42
Though all my pray’rs in vain to Heaven ascend,43
And debtor France but prove a heartless friend ;44
Though Britain to thee, fallen, be unkind,45
By debt enslaved, or yet by commerce blind46
Fear not ; the genius of my native land but sleeps ;47
For mark, e’en now, a smile of pleasure creeps48
O’er her pale visage—(whatever now she dreams)49
Like the first rays of Poland’s sun it seems !50
It is, for Europe’s sympathy awakes,51
And now thy tyrant in his glory quakes,52
As well he may; for by that God on high,53
Whose mercy ne’er is sealed to misery’s cry,54
Poland’s prayers are heard. Oh, tyrant Czar,55
Now he hath heard the mighty one of war ;56
And heaven hath echoed, fill up my cup, vain man57
Fill up me sketchings of thy wicked plan.58
Tyrant, give forth decree upon decree,59
And build thy bulwarks to debase the free;60
Point to thy cannon an enslaved race.61
Proclaim thee coward to a nation’s face,62
Till with my fathers, sleeping in their gore,63
Russia may wail a murdered Czar still more.64
Canst bind the mountain torrent, Nicholas ?65
Didst thou e’er tame Heaven’s tempests as they pass ?66
Hast thou e’er bid the ocean wave be still ?67
And has it crouched submissive to thy will ?68
Hath tides been still ?— hath torrents ceased to fall ?69
Or couldst thou brave ev’n justice at her call ?70
But justice listens—Poland’s prayer is heard71
The God of justice uttereth the word ;72
Her blood hath called revenge, and it shall be73
Enslaved Poland shall be Poland free !74