Poems from the Protestant Magazine, 1781-82

An Irregular Ode


Thou wond’rous King.,

Fountain of light and life, thou god of Grace,

Whose boundless glories and triumphant praise

Archangels sing,

While white robed saints adore;

Saints who have reach’d the happy shore,

The ransom’d throng,

Tune their bright harps, and join the choral song

With joy extream,

And thine almighty love is all their theme.


Amid the peal

Of Hallelujahs,, which surround thy throne,

Thine ear can listen to the secret moan

Of Zion, dwelling in the wilderness:

Thine heart can feel,

And kindly sympathize with her distress;

And when her foes,

Array’d in terrors, and prepared for war,

Brandish the sword, and lift the glittering spear,

Bent to destroy,

Thou wilt appear;

Thine omnipotent arm shall interpose,

Shall dissipate her fear,

And turn her sighs to sacred songs of joy.


Hope, gentle Hope,

Whispers the consolating word, which stays

Her sinking spirits up:

In these dark days,

When Hell and Rome their pow’rs unite,

To close her in the shades of night,

To chace Religion from her throne,

And claim Britannia as their own;

To pull the sacred building down,

And rear aloft the triple crown;

That sceptre’d high,

The many headed monster once again

May o’er the land of Freedom reign

With sword and fire,

While Truth and Liberty in chains expire.


Must it be so!

Is Zion doom’d to feel this awful woe!

Her fears run high,

And, lo! she lifts her weeping eye,

To see if no deliverer’s nigh.

She looks – and checks the falling tear,

She sees her darling son appear.

Joy kindles in her heart,

And glistens in her eye:

She bids her grief and fears depart,

For, lo! she sees her dear lov’d gordon by,

The object of infernal hate,

Her zealous, noble advocate:

And, oh! she cries, still boldly stand,

Be firm and zealous still, for Heav’n will smile,

And crown with wish’d success thy sacred toil:

Still plead my cause, and own my name,

My faithful sons shall catch the flame,

And, by the bright example, fir’d

With zeal for Truth, by Heav’n inspir’d,

Th’ associated bands,

Uniting hearts and hands,

Shall stand supporters of Religion’s throne,

And brave the pow’rs of Hell to shake it down.


The Hero bows,

And smiles consent, while joy extatick glows

In Zion’s peaceful breast:

She lifts her eyes,

Intreats the awful Monarch of the skies

To smile propitious on her righteous cause,

And save her from the lion’s opening jaws.

O thou, she cries,

On whom my hope relies,

To whom I fly for help, and look for rest;

Thou sun of righteousness divine,

Let thy bright beams long on Britannia shine,

O! hear my prayer,

Still make this isle thy care,

Dispel the gloom, O! drive the clouds away,

And shine with purest beams of evangelick day.


A Picture of Popery.

As late I wander’d o’er the flowery mead,

And listen’d to the musick of the grove,

By meditation led, a hollow sound,

Harsh as the distant thunder, struck my ear,

Disgustful as the groans of dying men;

And such it seem’d. Again the murmer rose

With loud repeat mingled with direful yells,

As bursting from the hapless breasts of some

Strug’ling and torn with agonizing pain.

The clang of rattl’ing chains, and dreadful hiss

Of furious serpents, borne on echo’s wings,

Struck the pale trav’ler with profound dismay,

And fill’d the frighted air with stunning noise.

Aghast I stood; nor I alone; for, lo!

Bright sol withdrew his golden beams, and hid

His radiant head in clouds: the feather’d choir

Broke off their songs, and Nature silent sat,

In expectation of some great event.

When, lo! a gloomy troop came marching on

In long and slow procession – Friars, Monks,

Of various orders, Francis, Dominick,

Augustine, and Ignatiou’s far fam’d sons

Bearing the standards and proud ensigns high,

Of each denomination. After these,

A train of white rob’d Priests, with shaven crowns,

Bore crosses, and with solemn steps advanc’d,

With sable banners waving in the air,

On which inscrib’d, in characters of gold,

Infallibilty, and Holy Church.

Bulls, cannons, and decrees, imblazon’d shone.

The next in order, lo! an hideous form,

March’d stately on; an horrid monster; he

Whom favour’d John, in Patmos once beheld,

Seven headed; from his heads ten horns arise,

Crown’d with imperial diadems, inscrib’d

With titles big with blasphemy and pride,

And on him rode in regal state along,

A potent Queen, mysterious Babylon,

Attir’d in flowing robes of tyrian dye,

With diamonds, gold, and richest gems adorn’d,

Brought from Golconda and the sumpt’ous east.

In her right hand a spacious cup she held,

Flowing with human blood, full oft’ she quaff’d

The precious liquor with such dear delight,

That still her raging thirst was unallay’d,

Though its strong fumes intoxicate her sense.

Close by her side, her sire, Apollyon, stalk’d,

With aspect grim, belching terrific flames;

He spread, and often clapp’d his broad black wings,

Triumphing in his darling daughter’s state

With joy malignant, such as devils feel

When myriads sink to their abhor’d abode.

A num’rous train attended on their Queen;

First, Tyranny; frowns wrinckle o’er his face;

He grasps an heap of scorpions, whose dire hiss

Strikes terror; while his other hand contains

A whip of knotted wire, whose dreadful lash

O’erwhelms his groaning slaves with wounds and death.

See Persecution next, (O fiend abhor’d)

Cover’d with human gore the fury comes;

Fierce fire darts from her eyes; with emel [1] joy

She views a croud of dismal objects, drag’d

From their deep dungeons to behold the day,

To groan and bleed afresh, beneath the weight

Of tort’ring engines, and the hellish art

Of holy Fathers, long innur’d to scenes

Of blood and misery, of death and woe.

Lo! Murder next, his hands (imbrued in blood)

A dagger, and a cup of poison hold.

Treason and foul Conspiracy appear,

Silent as death, and wrapt in shades of night.

Perfidious Treachery, Falshood, nursed in Hell,

And a long train of fiends and sorcerers,

So black, so horrid, to recount their names

Patience would fail, and the bright lamp of day

Revisit Heaven, and disperse the shades,

Which in this silent hour hang o’er the earth,*

’Ere the long tale were told.

Is this then she,

That daughter of the skies, offspring of Heav’n,

Whose gracious office is to crown mankind

With all can make immortal beings blest?

If so, alas! how unlike her fire!

How much unlike that fount of purity,

Whose name is Holy, god of Peace and Love.

O call decrepid winter blooming spring;

Call sickness health, death life, and fire frost;

But call not this abominable fiend

The scarlet whore, Religion – sacred pow’r!

Thou beauteous image of the Heav’nly King,

Thou meek-ey’d gentle fair, whose flowing robe

Is sweet humility. Peace, holy Peace,

Sways thy pure breast; divine philanthropy

Glows in thine heart, and glistens in thine eyes,

Directs they willing feet, and guides thy hand

To noble acts of kind beneficence.

Thy radiant beams, dispelling mental shades,

Sheds the sweet light of Heav’nly day around.

Thy smiles revive the fainting, drooping heart,

And bursts the prison house of sad despair.

Lo! Truth and Mercy love to dwell with thee,

And where thou art, there happiness is found.

O! sound thy trumpet, let the nations hear,

Fly far and wide on Truth’s cœlestial wings,

Enlarge thy empire, stretch thy wide domain

Far as earth’s utmost bounds, ’till error flee

Back to her native hell, the beast expire,

And Angels sing the fall of Babylon.


* Wrote late at night.

An Ode, for the Sixth of February, 1782.

Being the commemoration of the honourable Acquittal

of the Right Honourable Lord George Gordon, President

of the Protestant Association.

Regent of day, bright sol arise,

Shine forth, and gild th’ etherial skies,

With thy refulgent ray;

Let the young daughter of the year,

In smiles, and vernal robes appear,

On this returning day.

Be hush’d, ye storms, and cease your roar;

Let no rude billows lave the shore,

Where Freedom rears her throne:

Freedom and Truth, O! names divine!

Still with their rays, see Britain shine,

She calls them both her own.

When Rome and Hell their pow’rs unite,

To close her in the shades of night,

And forge tyrannic chains:

Lo! Britain’s god, her friend appears,

Rebukes her foes, dispels her fears,

And Truth and Freedom reigns.

Anglia, triumphant, claps her hands,

And Scotia’s noble zealous bands,

Hails that auspicious day,

Which set the Christian hero free,

And bade their anxiouis sorerows flee,

Like wint’ry clouds away.

With chearful voice shall Britons sing,

To god the everlasting king,

Anthems of gerateful praise:

And Gordon’s noble, honor’d name,

Shall swell the lasting trump of fame,

While time his empire sways.

Jan. 24. 1782. Maria.

Texts: Protestant Magazine, 1 (July 1781), 25-26; 1 (August 1781), 62-64; and 2 (January 1782), 36-37.

[1] Appears to be an incorrect word; possibly should be “evil.”