Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Poland

'O Heaven, he cried, my bleeding country save;
Is there no hand on high to shield the brave?'-
-Campbell
Speak not thus in tones of gladness,
For my soul is steeped in sadness;
Mournful visions haunt my mind-
The wronged, the wrongers of mankind.
Bleeding, bound, and ghastly rise,
The crushed, the wronged, before mine eyes;
The wronger comes, with murderous brand,
Bondsman's chain, and felon hand.
Ah! my spirit burns and bleeds
For thee, O Poland! Ruthless deeds
Of brutal violence, barbarous wrong-
Themes for Campbell's deathless song-
Thou hast borne for sleepless years,
Dyed in blood and steeped in tears.
Now from charnel vault ascending,
From thy form the cerements rending,
From thy limbs the despot's chain-
Righteous Heaven, is this in vain?
When the crown'd unholy alliance
Met for cold ambitious dalliance-
Claims and pleas of right rejecting,
Poland's mangled form dissecting-
A limb was carved for Prussian brother,
Austria coolly grasped another,
While the Russian Bear kept growling
O'er the trunk, his war-wolves howling
In the rear, gaunt, fierce, audacious.
Britain's sympathies were spacious,
But she would do nothing more;
So she signed and sealed and swore.
Still believing she is bound
By that deed of wrong profound,
Still the wronger she will cherish,
Though a noble people perish,
And their country's soil be sodden
With her children's blood down-trodden.
Again will Britain sympathise-
Tears will rain from ladies' eyes
At recital of her wrongs;
Concerts, balls, bazaars, and songs,
Without end, to aid the Poles;
The sympathising current rolls
Strong and deep. 'Tis ever thus
We aid the Poles. With brother Russ
A feeble diplomacy dallies,
Being of the Holy Allies.
Oh! unjust, unwise, and cruel,
Thus to cast such precious jewel
Down before the northern boar-
His horrid tusks, for evermore
Shall they gnash, and grind, and rend?
God of right, the right defend!
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