Page:Shelley, a poem, with other writings (Thomson, Debell).djvu/127

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109
THE POEMS OF WILLIAM BLAKE.


They landed in firm array upon the rocks
Of Albion; they kissed the rocky shore:
"Be thou our mother and our nurse," they said,
"Our children's mother; and thou shalt be our grave,
The sepulchre of ancient Troy, from whence
Shall rise cities, and thrones, and awful powers."
 * * * * *
Our fathers swarm from the ships. Giant voices
Are heard from out the hills; the enormous sons
Of Ocean run from rocks and caves; wild men,
Naked, and roaring like lions, hurling rocks,
And wielding knotty clubs, like oaks entangled,
Thick as a forest ready for the axe.
 * * * * *
Our fathers move in firm array to battle;
The savage monsters rush like roaring fire,
Like as a forest roars with crackling flames
When the red lightning borne by furious storm
Lights on some woody shore, and the parched heavens
Rain fire into the molten raging sea.
 * * * * *
Our fathers, sweating, lean on their spears and view
The mighty dead: giant bodies streaming blood,
Dread visages frowning in silent death.
Then Brutus speaks, inspired; our fathers sit
Attentive on the melancholy shore.
Hear ye the voice of Brutus: "The flowing waves
Of Time come rolling o'er my breast," he said,
"And my heart labours with futurity.
Our sons shall rule the empire of the sea,
Their mighty wings shall stretch from East to West;
Their nest is in the sea, but they shall roam
Like eagles for their prey. * *
 * * * * *
"Our sons shall rise from thrones in joy, each one
Buckling his armour on; Morning shall be
[1]Prevented by the gleaming of their swords,
And Evening hear their songs of victory.
 * * * * *
"Freedom shall stand upon the cliffs of Albion,

  1. Prevented, I need hardly say, is used here in the old sense of anticipated.