Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
On the Capture of Rome by the French
By St John Honeywood (1765–1798)
 
ON Rome’s devoted head the bolt descends;
The proud oppressor’s long dominion ends:
Spirits of martyrs pure! if aught ye know,
In the bright realms of bliss, of things below,
Join the glad hymn of triumph, ye who stood        5
Firm for the faith, and seal’d it with your blood.
No more shall Rome disturb the world’s repose,
Quench’d is her torch, and blood no longer flows;
Crush’d is the fell destroyer in her turn,
And the freed world insults her hated urn.        10
  O Truth divine! thou choicest gift of God!
Man’s guide and solace in this drear abode!
Plain was thy garb, and lovely was thy mien,
When usher’d by the spotless Nazarene:
From shouting crowds and pageantry he fled,        15
To the lone desert or the pauper’s shed;
There taught his humble followers to despise
All that the proud affect, or worldlings prize;
Truly he gave to man’s repentant race,
The peerless treasures of his sovereign grace;        20
Yet bade no fires descend, no thunders roll,
To force his bounty on the wayward soul.
Join then, celestial Truth, the glad acclaim;
Crush’d is the proud usurper of thy name;
Who first with blood thy snow-white robes distain’d,        25
And with vain pomp thy holy rites profaned.
 
 
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