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Alcaics; and if it be long, it will be as apt to generate diffuseness as to check it. Of this we have innumerable instances in Spenser and the Italian poets. The sense required cannot be included in one given stanza, so that another whole stanza is added, not infrequently, for the sake of matter which would naturally include itself in a very few lines.

"If Gray's plan be adopted, there is not time to become acquainted with the arrangement, and to recognise with pleasure the recurrence of the movement.

"Be so good as let me know where you found most difficulty in following me. The passage which I most suspect of being misunderstood is

And thus is missed the sole true glory;

and the passage where I doubt most about the reasonableness of expecting that the reader should follow me in the luxuriance of the imagery and the language, is the one that describes, under so many metaphors, the spreading of the news of the Waterloo victory over the globe."

The last reference in this letter is to the lines in that part of the Ode, which follows

Joyful annunciation !-it went forth

It pierced the caverns of the sluggish North, etc.



Composed 1816.-Published 1816

The first and the fourth stanzas of this Ode formed stanzas ix. and xii. of the Thanksgiving Ode from 1816 to 1842. In 1845 it was printed as number XLV. of the "Poems of the Imagination."-Ed.

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IMAGINATION- -ne'er before content,
But aye ascending, restless in her pride
From all that martial feats could yield
To her desires, or to her hopes present—
Stooped to the Victory, on that Belgic field
Achieved, this closing deed magnificent,1

From all that man's performance could present,
Stoops to that closing deed magnificent,



And with the embrace was satisfied.1

-Fly, ministers of Fame,

With every help that ye from earth and heaven

may claim! 2


Bear through the world these tidings of delight! -Hours, Days, and Months, have borne them in the sight

Of mortals, hurrying like a sudden shower 3

That land-ward stretches from the sea,
The morning's splendours to devour;

But this swift travel scorns the company


Of irksome change, or threats from saddening power.4 The shock is given—the Adversaries bleed— Lo, Justice triumphs! Earth is freed!

Joyful annunciation !-it went forth


It pierced the caverns of the sluggish North-*
It found no barrier on the ridge

1 1845.


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But this appearance scattered extacy,

And heart-sick Europe blessed the healing power. 1816.

to devour,

In summer's loveliest hour;

But this assurance travelled fraught with glee,
And heart-sick Europe blessed its healing power.


to devour,

But this assurance travelled fraught with glee,
And heart-sick Europe blessed its healing power.


5 1837.

Such glad assurance suddenly went forth—


Compare this description of the news of Waterloo spreading over the nations with the effect of the lady's laugh in To Joanna. See "Poems on the Naming of Places" (vol. ii. p. 159).—ED.

Of Andes-frozen gulphs became its bridge-
The vast Pacific gladdens with the freight-
Upon the Lakes of Asia 'tis bestowed—
The Arabian desert shapes a willing road
Across her burning breast,

For this refreshing incense from the West!- *
-Where snakes and lions breed,

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Where towns and cities thick as stars appear,
Wherever fruits are gathered, and where'er

The upturned soil receives the hopeful seed—
While the Sun rules, and cross the shades of night—
The unwearied arrow hath pursued its flight!

The eyes of good men thankfully give heed,
And in its sparkling progress read

Of virtue crowned with glory's deathless meed: 1
Tyrants exult to hear of kingdoms won,




And slaves are pleased to learn that mighty feats are


Even the proud Realm, from whose distracted borders
This messenger of good was launched in air,

France, humbled 2 France, amid her wild disorders,
Feels, and hereafter shall the truth declare,
That she too lacks not reason to rejoice,

And utter England's name with sadly-plausive voice.



O genuine glory, pure renown!

And well might it beseem that mighty Town †
Into whose bosom earth's best treasures flow,3

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3 1845.

-Yet might it well become that City now,
Into whose breast the tides of grandeur flow,

* See note* on preceding page.-ED.


t London.-ED.


To whom all persecuted men retreat;
If a new Temple lift her 1 votive brow

High on 2 the shore of silver Thames--to greet
The peaceful guest advancing from afar.
Bright be the Fabric,3 as a star

Fresh risen, and beautiful within !-there meet
Dependence infinite, proportion just;


A Pile that Grace approves, and Time can trust 55
With his most sacred wealth, heroic dust.4


But if the valiant of this land

In reverential modesty demand,


That all observance, due to them, be paid
Where their serene progenitors are laid;
Kings, warriors, high-souled poets, saint-like sages,
England's illustrious sons of long, long ages;
Be it not unordained that solemn rites,
Within the circuit of those Gothic walls,*
Shall be performed at pregnant intervals;
Commemoration holy that unites

The living generations with the dead;
By the deep soul-moving sense

1 1820.

Of religious eloquence,

By visual pomp, and by the tie

Of sweet and threatening harmony;
Soft notes, awful as the omen



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Of destructive tempests coming,
And escaping from that sadness

Into elevated gladness;

While the white-rob'd choir attendant,
Under mouldering banners pendant,
Provoke all potent symphonies to raise

Songs of victory and praise,

For them who bravely stood unhurt, or bled
With medicable wounds, or found their graves
Upon the battle field, or under ocean's waves
Or were conducted home in single state,
And long procession—there to lie,
Where their sons' sons, and all posterity,
Unheard by them, their deeds shall celebrate!


Nor will the God of peace and love
Such martial service disapprove.
He guides the Pestilence-the cloud
Of locusts travels on his breath;





The region that in hope was ploughed His drought consumes, his mildew taints with death; He springs the hushed Volcano's mine, He puts the Earthquake on her still design,* Darkens the sun, hath bade the forest sink, And, drinking towns and cities, still can drink Cities and towns-'tis Thou-the work is Thine!The fierce Tornado sleeps within thy courts

He hears the word-he flies—

And navies perish in their ports;

For Thou art angry with thine enemies!

For these, and mourning for our errors,1
And sins, that point their terrors,

We bow our heads before Thee, and we laud



1 1845.

and for our errors,

* Compare the Psalter, civ. 32.-ED.


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