Verses Written at Montauban, 1750

Thomas Warton

Tarn, how delightful wind thy willowed waves,
But ah! they fructify a land of slaves.
In vain thy barefoot, sunburnt peasants hide
With luscious grapes yon hill's romantic side;
No cups nectareous shall their toils repay.
The priests', the soldiers', and the farmers' prey.
Vain glows this sun in cloudless glory dressed,
That strikes fresh vigor through the pining breast;
Give me, beneath a colder changeful sky.
My soul's best, only pleasure, Liberty!
What millions perished near thy moanful flood
When the red papal tyrant cried out, "Blood!"
Less fierce the Saracen, and quivered Moor,
That dashed thy infants 'gainst the stones of yore.
Be warned, ye nations round; and trembling see
Dire superstition quench humanity!
By all the chiefs in Freedom's battles lost;
By wise and virtuous Alfred's awful ghost;
By old Galgacus' scythed, iron car.
That, swiftly whirling through the walks of war,
Dashed Roman blood, and crushed the foreign throngs;
By holy Druids' courage-breathing songs;
By fierce Bonduca's shield, and foaming steeds;
By the bold peers that met on Thames's meads;
By the fifth Henry's helm, and lightniug spear,
O Liberty, my warm petition hear;
Be Albion still thy joy! with her remain.
Long as the surge shall lash her oak-crowned plain!

Main Location:

Montauban, France