Still e'er that shrine defiance rears its head,
Which rolls in sullen murmurs o'er the dead,
That shrine which conquest, as it stems the flood.
Too often tinges deep with human blood;
Still o'er the land stern devastation reigns,
Its giant mountains, and its spreading plains,
Where the dark pines, their heads all gloomy, wave,
Or rushing cataracts, loud-sounding, lave
The precipice, whose brow with awful pride
Tow'rs high above, and scorns the foaming tide;
The village sweet, the forest stretching far,
Groan undistinguish'd, 'midst the shock of war.
There, the rack'd matron sees her son expire,
There, clasps the infant son his murder'd sire,
While the sad virgin on her lover's face,
Weeps, with the last farewel, the last embrace,
And the lone widow too, with frenzied cries,
Amid the common wreck, unheeded dies.
O Peace, bright Seraph, heaven-lov'd maid, return!
And bid distracted nature cease to mourn!
O, let the ensign drear of war be furl'd,
And pour thy blessings on a bleeding world;
Then social order shall again expand,
It's sovereign good again shall bless the land,
Elate the simple villager shall see,
Contentment's inoffensive revelry;
Then, once again shall o'er the foaming tide,
The swelling sail of commerce fearless ride,
With bounteous hand shall plenty grace our shore,
And cheerless want's complaint be known no more.
Then hear a nation's pray'r, lov'd goddess, hear!
Wipe the wan cheek, deep-lav'd by many a tear;
Nature, the triumph foul of horror o'er,
Shall raise her frame to scenes of blood no more;
Pale recollection shall recall her woes,
Again shall paint her agonizing throes:
These, o'er the earth thine empire firm shall raise,
Unaw'd by war's destructive storms, the bliss of future days.