Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LOUISBOURG, by FRANCIS HOPKINSON

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LOUISBOURG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At length 'tis done, the glorious conflict's
Last Line: He guides the conq'ring sword, he governs in the fight.
Variant Title(s): On The Late Successful Expedition
Subject(s): French & Indian Wars; Louisburg, Nova Scotia

AT length 't is done, the glorious conflict's done,
And British valor hath the conquest won:
Success our arms, our heroes, honor crowns,
And Louisbourg an English monarch owns!
Swift, to the scene where late the valiant fought,
Waft me, ye muses, on the wings of thought --
That awful scene where the dread god of war
O'er field of death roll'd his triumphant car:
There yet, with fancy's eye, methinks I view
The pressing throng, the fierce assault renew:
With dauntless front advance, and boldly brave
The cannon's thunder and th' expecting grave.

On yonder cliff, high hanging o'er the deep,
Where trembling joy climbs the darksome steep;
Britannia lonely sitting, from afar
Waits the event, and overlooks the war;
Thence, rolls her eager wand'ring eyes about
In all the dread anxiety of doubt;
Sees her fierce sons, her foes with vengeance smite
Grasp deathless honors, and maintain the fight.
Whilst thus her breast alternate passions sway,
And hope and fear wear the slow hours away.
See! from the realms of everlasting light,
A radiant form wings her aerial flight.
The palm she carries, and the crown she wears,
Plainly denote 't is Victory appears;
Her crimson vestment loosely flows behind,
The clouds her chariot, and the wings her wind:
Trumpets shrill sounding all around her play,
And laurell'd honors gild her azure way --
Now she alights -- the trumpets cease to sound,
Her presence spreads expecting silence round: --
And thus she speaks; whilst from her heav'nly face
Effulgent glories brighten all the place --

"Britannia, hail! thine is at length the day,
And lasting triumphs shall thy cares repay;
Thy godlike sons, by this, their names shall raise,
And tongues remote shall joy to swell their praise.
I to the list'ning world shall soon proclaim
Of Wolfe's brave deeds, the never-dying fame,
And swell with glory Amherst's patriot name.
Such are the heroes that shall ever bring
Wealth to their country, honor to their king:
Opposing foes, in vain attempt to quell
The native fires that in such bosoms dwell.
To thee, with joy, this laurel I resign,
Smile, smile, Britannia! victory is thine.
Long may it flourish on thy sacred brow!
Long may thy foes a forc'd subjection know!
See, see their pow'r, their boasted pow'r decline!
Rejoice, Britannia! victory is thine."

Give your loose canvas to the breezes free,
Ye floating thund'rers, bulwarks of the sea;
Go, bear the joyful tidings to your king,
And, in the voice of war, declare 't is victory you bring:
Let the wild crowd that catch the breath of fame,
In mad huzzas their ruder joy proclaim:
Let their loud thanks to heav'n in flames ascend,
While mingling shouts the azure concave rend.
But let the few, whom reason makes more wise,
With glowing gratitude uplift their eyes:
Oh! let their breasts dilate with sober joy.
Let pious praise their hearts and tongues employ;
To bless our God with me let all unite,
He guides the conq'ring sword, he governs in the fight.

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