Montreal Transcript

6 August 1842, page 1


England’s Lament


Britain! Wail for thy living not thy dead,

Thy starving hosts that supplicate for bread;

Pale Want’s terrible shriek ascending high,

Loudly resounds o’er earth, and air, and sky;

            Plenty no more, with favish hand,

            Diffutes blessings through the land-

            O, fellow Britons! Mourn with me

            Our Country’s falling dynasty!

The infant hangs upon its mother’s breast

Voidless of nourishment, by care opprest;

Idly thy gallant sons thy streets parade,

Seeking for death, and yet of death afraid-

            Strangers to peace, aliens at home;

            Haggard and listless see they roam;

            Come, brave Britons! Mourn with me

            Our country’s falling dynasty.

Once martial ardour in their bosoms burn’d,

With laurels crown’d, they victors home return’d

Once to the battle field thy warriors went,

Their expiring breath in shouts triumph spent;

            Alas! How sadly changed the scene!

            How lately ye’ve defeated been!

            Lift up thy voice and weep aloud,

            Low in the dust thy spirits bow’d.

Unmov’d ye hear the transatlantic taunt,

Thy upstart offspring that thou barest vaunt;

Their valorous prowess, and their deeds of old,

Their fancied strength upheld by borrow’d gold

            The echo rises on the breeze,

            These are thy foemen, Britain, these!

            Thy vengeance wilt thou move and wreak?

            Doth not the coward blanch thy cheek?

One simultaneous universal groan

Bursts from the cottage to the state’y throne;

Despondency her notes resumes again-

Mourn for thy living, Britain! Not thy slain!

            For thousands with that life was o’er

            And hunger’s pangs distress’d no more;

            Hark! Albion for her children weeps,

            As want’s black banner o’er her sweeps!

Nobles! In dust and ashes sit ye down!

In sackcloth clothe the regal crown!

My own dear land- my native sea-girt isle-

When shall Hope’s beams once more upon the smile?

            Repent! For this the hand of God

            Afflicts ye with his scourging rod!

            Lift up the penitential cry,

            Heaven’s mercy is for ever nigh.