PROLOGUE TO THE ENGLISHMAN AT BOURDEAUX.
Performed since the conclusion of the peace, with universal applause, at PARIS.
1 TOO long by some fatality misled,
2 From pride resulting, or from folly bred;
3 Each clime to all the virtues lays a claim,
4 And soars, self-flatter'd, to the top of fame;
5 Confines each merit to itself alone,
6 Or thinks no other equal to its own:
7 E'en the pale Russian shiv'ring as he lies,
8 Beneath the horror of his bitterest skies,
9 While the loud tempest rattles o'er his head,
10 Or bursts all dreadful on his tott'ring shed,
11 Hugs a soft something closely to his soul,
12 That soothes the cutting sharpness of the pole,
13 Elates his bosom with a conscious pride,
14 And smiles contempt on all the world beside.
15 'Tis your's, O France, the earliest to unbind
16 This more than Gordian manacle of mind!
17 To-night we bid your justice may be shewn
18 To foreign virtues equal with your own;
19 Think, nobly think, when nature first was born,
20 And fair creation kindled into morn,
21 The world was but one family, one band,
22 Which glow'd all grateful to the heavenly hand;
23 Thro' ev'ry breast a social impulse ran,
24 Link'd beast to beast, and fasten'd man to man,
25 And the sole diff'rence which he heard, or had,
26 Dwelt in the simple phrases, "good or bad."
27 Then scorn to give such partial feelings birth,
28 As claim but one poor competence of earth;
29 Be more than French; on ev'ry country call,
30 And rise, exalted, citizens of all.