The Fudge Family In Paris Letter XI. From Phelim Connor To ----.

A poem by Thomas Moore

Yes, 'twas a cause, as noble and as great
As ever hero died to vindicate--
A Nation's right to speak a Nation's voice,
And own no power but of the Nation's choice!
Such was the grand, the glorious cause that now
Hung trembling on NAPOLEON'S single brow;
Such the sublime arbitrament, that poured,
In patriot eyes, a light around his sword,
A hallowing light, which never, since the day
Of his young victories, had illumed its way!

Oh 'twas not then the time for tame debates,
Ye men of Gaul, when chains were at your gates;
When he, who late had fled your Chieftain's eye.
As geese from eagles on Mount Taurus fly,[1]
Denounced against the land, that spurned his chain,
Myriads of swords to bind it fast again--
Myriads of fierce invading swords, to track
Thro' your best blood his path of vengeance back;
When Europe's Kings, that never yet combined
But (like those upper Stars, that, when conjoined,
Shed war and pestilence,) to scourge mankind,
Gathered around, with hosts from every shore,
Hating NAPOLEON much, but Freedom more,
And, in that coming strife, appalled to see
The world yet left one chance for liberty!--
No, 'twas not then the time to weave a net
Of bondage round your Chief; to curb and fret
Your veteran war-horse, pawing for the fight,
When every hope was in his speed and might--
To waste the hour of action in dispute,
And coolly plan how freedom's boughs should shoot,
When your Invader's axe was at the root!
No sacred Liberty! that God, who throws,
Thy light around, like His own sunshine, knows
How well I love thee and how deeply hate
All tyrants, upstart and Legitimate--
Yet, in that hour, were France my native land,
I would have followed, with quick heart and hand,
NAPOLEON, NERO--ay, no matter whom--
To snatch my country from that damning doom,
That deadliest curse that on the conquered waits--
A Conqueror's satrap, throned within her gates!

True, he was false--despotic--all you please--
Had trampled down man's holiest liberties--
Had, by a genius, formed for nobler things
Than lie within the grasp of vulgar Kings,
But raised the hopes of men--as eaglets fly
With tortoises aloft into the sky--
To dash them down again more shatteringly!
All this I own--but still

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