An Invocation

A poem by Walter Savage Landor

We are what suns and winds and waters make us;
The mountains are our sponsors, and the rills
Fashion and win their nursling with their smiles.
But where the land is dim from tyranny,
There tiny pleasures occupy the place
Of glories and of duties; as the feet
Of fabled faeries when the sun goes down
Trip o’er the grass where wrestlers strove by day.
Then Justice, call’d the Eternal One above,
Is more inconstant than the buoyant form
That burst into existence from the froth
Of ever-varying ocean: what is best
Then becomes worst; what loveliest, most deform’d.
The heart is hardest in the softest climes,
The passions flourish, the affections die.
O thou vast tablet of these awful truths,
That fillest all the space between the seas,
Spreading from Venice’s deserted courts
To the Tarentine and Hydruntine mole,
What lifts thee up? what shakes thee? ’t is the breath
Of God. Awake, ye nations! spring to life!
Let the last work of his right hand appear
Fresh with his image, Man.

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