Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TENDER HUSBAND: A SONG DESIGNED FOR THE FOURTH ACT, BUT NOT SET, by RICHARD STEELE



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THE TENDER HUSBAND: A SONG DESIGNED FOR THE FOURTH ACT, BUT NOT SET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: See, britons, see, with awful eyes
Last Line: Or perish on as great a day.
Subject(s): Patriotism


I.

SEE, Britons, see, with awful eyes,
Britannia from her seas arise!
Ten thousand billows round me roar,
While winds and waves engage,
That break in froth upon my shore,
And impotently rage.
Such were the terrors which of late
Surrounded my afflicted state;
United fury thus was bent
On my devoted seats,
Till all the mighty force was spent
In feeble swells, and empty threats.

II.

But now, with rising glory crowned,
My joys run high, they know no bound;
Tides of unruly pleasure flow
Through every swelling vein,
New raptures in my bosom glow,
And warm me up to youth again.
Passing pomps my streets adorn;
Captive spoils, in triumph borne,
Standards of Gauls, in fight subdued,
Colours in hostile blood embrued,
Ensigns of tyrannic might,
Foes to equity and right,
In courts of British justice wave on high,
Sacred to law and liberty.
My crowded theatres repeat,
In songs of triumph, the defeat.
Did ever joyful mother see
So bright, so brave a progeny!
Daughters with so much beauty crowned,
Or sons for valour so renowned!

III.

But oh, I gaze and seek in vain
To find, amidst this warlike train,
My absent sons, that used to grace
With decent pride this joyous place:
Unhappy youths! how do my sorrows rise,
Swell my breast, and melt my eyes,
While I your mighty loss deplore?
Wild, and raging with distress
mourn, I mourn my own success,
And boast my victories no more.
Unhappy youths! far from their native sky,
On Danube's banks interred they lie.
Germania, give me back my slain,
Give me my slaughtered sons again.
Was it for this they ranged so far,
To free thee from oppressive war?
Germania, &c.

IV.

Tears of sorrow while I shed
O'er the manes of my dead,
Lasting altars let me raise
To my living heroes' praise;
Heaven give them a longer stay,
As glorious actions to display,
Or perish on as great a day.





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