his victory. In 1781 he again sailed for the West
Indies, and reduced the Dutch island of St. Eusta-
tius ; but his greatest triumph was achieved on the
12th of April the following year, when he obtained a
decisive victory over the French fleet under De
Grasse, capturing five, and sinking one of his largest
vessels. A barony, and a pension of two thousand
pounds, were the rewards bestowed on him by his
country for services of such importance ; and on his
decease, in 1792, a monument was voted to his me-
mory at the national expense, which has since been
erected in the north transept of St. Paul's Cathe-
ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA.
TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN PRIZE POEM
RECITED IN THE THEATRE AT OXFORD,
A. D. 1796.
FELLOW OF NEW COLLEGE ;
AFTERWARDS PREBENDARY OF CHICHESTER.
ESTABLISHxMEXT OF COLONIES
WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA.
Defenceless, poor, condemn'd in plight for-
Of tyrant sway to bear th' unceasing scorn,
In servile bonds the Sons of Afric stray'd
'Mid the wild horrors of their native glade,
'Till pitying Britain sought with prompt relief
To heal the bleeding anguish of their grief;
In social ties the savage race to bind.
And purge from Error's mist the darksome mind.
Mark in that squalid form, (disastrous sight !)
The mournful proof of Wisdom's absent light;
94 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
Mark in that sullen brow's unmeaning scowl.
The faithful index of th' untutor'd soul !
How oft, retreating from the spoiler's wrath.
How oft, distrustful of the lion's path,
'Mid reedy marshes, through the night, disraay'd.
His weary limbs the quivering wretch hath laid ;
Or sought, as Heaven with starry lustre glows.
In some rude hut refreshment and repose.
A doubtful refuge there the wanderer meets ;
No social joys endear the wild retreats ;
No faithful natives own the nuptial tie.
View their young babes with fond parental eye.
No hallow'd charms of bliss domestic prove, —
But cold embraces of promiscuous love ;
While endless discord o'er the land afar
Spreads the sad carnage of intestine war.
With grief unfeign'd the shuddering Muse recites
Their magic horrors and mysterious rites, —
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 95
Th' envenom'd bowls with vengeful aim desis;n'd, —
The superstitions of th' unletter'd mind, —
Their idol-forms, — the fabled awe that broods
O'er the dark terrors of their haunted woods.
Unhappy race ! too oft in Error's maze
Your wandering tribes the spoiler's art betrays ;
In deeper mists o'erwhelms the mental ray,
That sordid gain may snatch an easier prey.
Too oft, the purchase of your toils and sighs,
Its bitter cares pernicious Wealth supplies ; —
Unhappy race ! yet Hope for you shall gleam,
And Britain's Sons your mighty wrongs redeem.
No thirst for gold, of fame no base desire,
No mean decrees her welcome aid inspire ;
With virtuous aim the sword for you she draws,
And true philanthropy exalts the cause :
No adverse perils o'er that cause prevail,
No fierce tornado, no distemper'd gale ;
96 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
Yields to no hostile wrath that purpose high.
No hardship daunts th' implanted Colony.
Hail, glorious Britons ! — hail— of all her race,
Illustrious Senator !* the pride, the grace ;
"When Slavery's foes the victim's cause avow.
In virtuous eloquence unequall'd thou !
Not such the fame by Sparta's Sons acquired.
Not such the zeal in earlier Rome admired,
Though boundless sway th' imperial City knew.
And Sparta's laws the wise Lycurgus drew.
What grateful blessings would thine ear delight,
What festal scenes would cheer thy gladden'd sight.
What fervent praises on thy name be shed,
Should e'er thy steps to Afric's coast be led !
Hail, glorious Britons ! lired by you, behold
Columbian states, in rival virtue bold,
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 97
Their equal share in generous deeds proclaim,
And teach their sons the noblest path to fame.
Befriended thus, though Prance again may pour
Her wrathful vengeance on the menaced shore,
Befriended thus shall Afric's Sons survey
The dawning promise of a brighter day.
Lo ! skilful hands, beneath her torrid skies.
Bid the fair town in social order rise;
The sheltering port experienced Art proclaims.
And Wisdom's aid the humble Senate frames.
Not for such fair intent the fortress rose.
Where Gambia's stream with blood empurpled flows,
Where civil strife defiled the placid waves.
And Pity mourn 'd the fetter'd bands of slaves.
But War shall cease : — again o'er yonder seas,
Tlie loathsome ship, polluted with disease.
To sad captivity no more shall bear
The sable victims of unceasing care ;
98 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
No more thy mountains, o'er those seas that rise,
Gigantic Atlas ! echo back their cries.
Torn was the husband from his bride's embrace,
Reft was the parent of his filial race ;
Her cherish'd hopes the fond deserted maid
Mourn'd, on the eve of opening bliss, betray'd,
While tearful eyes through Sorrow's mist discern
The bark departing — never to return.
Base was the wretch, who first, with erring
Upheld the impious traffic to mankind.
And taught that Heaven, when first Creation woke?
For Afric's tribe ordain'd oppression's yoke :
Then perish'd Faith ; from that portentous hour
No sacred ties maintain'd ascendant pow'r :
Then rose, no more by generous thoughts con-
The keen desire, the lawless thirst, for gold :
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 9f)
Accursed crime — oh ! hard of heart, who show
No tender sympathy for human woe,
Think ye, mean tyrants, that your deeds aftord
Approving pleasure to Creation's Lord ?
That mortal beings, who His image bear.
Were doom'd the bonds of servitude to wear ?
Who, ruthless spoiler, to thy fury gave
Despotic licence o'er th' afflicted slave ?
Oh ! should for thee, beneath thy native skies,
Capricious Fortune's adverse hour arise,
Think on thy sons to distant shores convey'd ;
Suppose the partner of thy lot betray'd,
Behold thy parent, worn and weak with age.
The trembling victim of tyrannic rage ;
View all, in thought, beneath Oppression's smart.
And let the sad reflection turn thy heart.
Obdurate wretch ! no fancied ills can move,
No fond remembrance of domestic love ;
100 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
Each gentler feeling of the man repress'd,
Insatiate Avarice hath steel'd his breast.
Their destined port when first the victims reach,
And, wan with misery, tread th' unwelcome beach,
Assembling crowds the captive bands surround,
With clamorous strife the echoing shores resound,
While fetter'd tribes are driven to toil, and sold
For the base lucre of destructive gold :
Oft, with infuriate threats, unknown to spare.
Insulting rulers mock their feeble prayer ;
Beneath the Sun's meridian fervour urge
Incessant labour with uplifted scourge ;
With savage wrath their bitter sway proclaim,
And gaze remorseless on the bleeding frame.
Yet sleeps not Vengeance : — oft tornados rise.
Sweep o'er the land the thunders of the skies ;
Heaven's angry Monarch rides the wind, and pours
O'erwhelming tempests on the cultured shores;
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 101
Incipient harvests, by the storm o'ercast,
And fields of cane lie scatter'd in the blast.
But thou, sad Afric shalt in turn display
The future triumphs of a brighter day ;
Too long neglected hath thy fertile plain
With fruits luxuriant been enrich'd in vain,
Too long thy rivers have their course pursued.
By barks untraversed, to th' Atlantic flood.
\n vain to Rome's victorious bands allied,
Thy Moorish race their warlike aid supplied,
in vain o'er realms by valour won, of yore,
Extended sway Numidian Juba bore.
Yet shall in future years the world admire
Thy tow'ry citadels to Heaven aspire ;
Peace o'er thy land shall spread her cherish'd light.
And holier compacts all thy sons unite.
Then, in serener hours, to strife unknown,
That mercy learn to thee divinely shown.
102 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
Remember still the woes that once were thine,
And in thy deeds to Pity's voice incline !
Nor fail of Luxury the bane to shun ;
So shall the meed of lasting praise be won,
So shalt thou mark, whate'er thy guiltless aim.
Propitious omens of increasing fame !
Oh ! could I view, with generous hope elate.
Each early promise of thy blissful state,
For lowly huts the cloud-capt piles survey.
And mingling vessels harbour'd in thy bay ! —
How fair the scene ! — at length the axe invades
Thy giant forests, and unfruitful shades ;
To nobler use thy prostrate trees applied
Cleave the dark billows of the swelling tide ;
Oft by their aid diffused o'er distant lands
Shall flow the treasures of thy golden sands ;
Oft shall be seen on Earth's remoter coast
The varied wealth thy fields productive boast ;
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 103
Impetuous Niger, of thy floods the pride,
While fertile plains his bounteous streams divide,
Shall waft thy vessels by his waves upborne.
And teeming harvests shall his banks adorn.
Then shall the seaman from thy port unmoor
His fearless bark, and seek Batavia's shore ;
'Mid Eastern seas shall linger as he sails.
To quaff the fragrance of Arabian gales :
Nile's sevenfold channels shall his course detain,
And ye, fair islands of th' Ionian main !
Far o'er the deep his venturous prow shall glide,
And Thames receive him on his silvery tide.
Yes — father Thames ! upon thy margin green
In native garb shall Afric's sons be seen ;
Full oft their sight enraptured shall explore
"J'he sylvan Tempe of thy favour'd shore ;
And as the eye full oft delighted roves
O'er regal palaces, and blooming groves,
104 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
Each eager heart with fond desire shall glow.
That charms like these their Libyan plains may
Hope to their zeal inspiring aid shall yield,
And guide the plough-share o'er th' uncultured
Oh ! happy they, for whom the Fates decree
Such gladsome changes of their lot to see,
Por whom shall flourish, undisturb'd by strife,
The future blessings of contented life.
Oppress'd with thirst for them the reedy plant
Its grateful juice, denied no more, shall grant;
Spontaneous fruits their citron boughs shall bear.
And with ambrosial fragrance fill the air :
Then shall the merchant, with industrious pride.
For various marts the turgent rice provide.
For Britain's fleeces barter o'er the main
The rich amomum of his native plain.
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 105
And thou, fair Maid, of social bliss the friend,
Celestial Liberty ! their steps attend ;
Thy sacred precepts let their laws obey,
And spread afar the bounties of thy sway !
Lo ! joyful Peace with thee delights to reign,
And spotless Chastity adorns thy train ;
Pure 'raid thy homes the vows of passion prove,
And Hymen lights the hallow'd torch of Love.
Deign, heavenly Maid ! to shed thy radiant smile
On Afric's region, as on Britain's isle ;
Nor deem untaught thy precious gifts to prize
The sable natives of her sultry skies.
Oft have I seen, on Britain's welcome shore,
When Slavery's chains degrade and bind no more.
Some faithful African, with vain controul,
Evince the high-born feelings of his soul ;
His master's knees embrace in artless joy,
And every sign of gratitude employ.
106 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
Through storm, through sun-shine, vow without re-
Spontaneous service to his cherish'd lord.
Bear witness thou, in vain beyond thy race,
Unhappy Prince !* endow'd with mental grace ;
Oh ! hadst thou lived, by Heaven's indulgent will,
Through lengthen'd years Naimbanua's throne to
What pious laws had riper wisdom plann'd,
What noble deeds adorn'd thy native land !
Yet not in vain across th' Atlantic wave
Her friendly aid united Britain gave ;
In pillar'd fanes, by holy footsteps trod.
Behold the altars of th' acknowledged God !
Of Stygian shades behold the forms effaced,
And Superstition from her throne debased !
* The son of Naimbanua, King of Sierra Leone.
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 107
Not wholly vain : — what though mistaken fear
Confuse the mind in Error's dark career,
Yet oft hath Reason triuraph'd o'er the gloom.
And told of future joys beyond the tomb :
The time shall come, so Afric's race believe,
When fate no more the funeral wreath shall
When each again, by foes oppress'd no more.
Shall roam uninjured on his native shore.
Again shall meet, beneath the fig-tree shade.
His lost companions, free and undismay'd,
By Gambia's banks in careless sport shall rove
With the fond partner of his early love.
Britons, proceed ! the blameless hope por-
To heavenly mansions point the surer way !
Of worldly pleasure show the Pagan dross.
And teach the vast Redemption of the Cross ;
108 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIES
To Afric's race Heaven's pure rewards explain,
Angelic hosts, and Joy's eternal reign !
Then shall the mind, no more obtusely cold,
By slow degrees sublimer powers unfold,
With deep research shall Nature's laws review.
And paths that lead to virtuous fame pursue :
'J'hen, by fair Science led from shore to shore,
Nile's hidden source shall future tribes explore ;
Advancing far, where Libyan wastes abound.
The spot shall trace by Cato's death renown'd ;
Where Carthage flourish'd, mark the desert plain.
Of horn-crown'd Bacchus view the ruin'd fane.
Gigantic pyramids with awe survey.
And own the spoils of Egypt's ancient sway.
With envious eye shall some the stars admire,
How lunar influence rules the tides inquire.
How orient beams dispense the matin light,
And milder radiance decks the orb of night.
ON THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA. 109
Some, as their charms returning summers yield,
Shall cull the flow'rets of the dewy field ;
With skilful care their healing balm impart.
And seek renown in Esculapiau Art.
And oh ! ye Nine, th' impassion'd lay inspire,
To patriot themes attune the poet's lyre.
There let the Bard, as deeply-rapt he roves
'Mid the pale moon -light of the silent groves.
Of Afric's fame, in tributary verse.
The rising splendour to the world rehearse ;
And as around his gladden'd eye surveys
Her towering cities and extended bays.
Views o'er the deep her countless sails expand,
Let Britain's praise sublimer strains demand ;
On every coast let echoing rocks proclaim,
How grateful Afric loves the Briton's name !
Verse 65. In the month of October, 1794, the
French destroyed the colony of Sierra Leone, with
many circumstances of the most wanton cruelty.
Ver. 90. Las Casas, although so benevolent a pro-
tector of the native Indians, was innocently the author
of the Slave-trade, which has since been carried to so
shocking an extent, by proposing to purchase negroes
from the Portuguese in Africa, to supply the colonial
planters, from the want of labourers of which they
complained, and his plan was unfortunately put into
Ver. 262. Bacchus was represented with horns,
either because he taught the cultivation of the earth
with oxen, or because Jupiter his father appeared to
him in the deserts of Libya under the shape of a ram,
and supplied his thirsty army with water.
TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN PRIZE POEM
RECITED IN THE THEATRE AT OXFORD,
A. D. 1797.
THE HONORABLE WILLIAM HERBERT,
OF CHRIST CHUHCU,
AFTERWARDS FELLOW OF MERTON COLLEGE.
"Ye suardian Pow'rs divine, whose viewless
" Outpour the blast, and guide the headlong
" Ye, whom these rocks obey, and waters hoar,
" Who shake Heaven's concave with the thunder's
*' Gods of my Country ! stay the pride of Rome,
" from your own vales avert th' impending doom !
" Arrest the mad Invader's fierce career,
" And curb his impious rage with holy fear !"
114 THE RHINE.
Thus, startled from his deep and oozy bed,
The Genius of the Rhine uprising said,
As on his banks the radiant host he spied.
And Caesar's burthen cast upon his tide.
Still o'er his troubled flood unceasing glows
The giant labour of Hesperian foes ;
The massive piles unite the level shores ;
Beneath, th' indignant eddy chafes and roars.
Wide spread the panic o'er the menaced coast ;
The war-cry rose through all Germania's host ;
Shrilly it echo'd from her bards afar,
And roused the patriots of her soil to war :
Prompt at the signal of renew'd alarms.
The blue-eyed Suevian seized his deathful arms;
At the known call the wild Sicambrian sprung
To battle, and Helvetia's mountains rung ;
In mystic caves aghast the Augur stood,
While clanging brass peal'd through th' Hercyniau
THE RHINE. 115
Shook as in fear each sacred oak around.
And gathering tribes assembled at the sound.
Rapt into future times the Genius rose,
And breathed a stern defiance to his foes :
' Forbear, proud Chief ! in fortune's gifts elate,
' To vex with war Germania's peaceful state ;
' Nor dare," he cries, " with hostile wrath invade
' The dreaded guardians of her forest shade.
• These holy groves, in gloom unearthly dress'd,
' Pale spectral forms and phantom shapes invest :
' Oft at approaching midnight's silent hour
' The trembling native owns their mystic power ;
' In battle's tempest oft with reckless ire
' Their warrior sons the sylvan Bards inspire ;
• 'Mid the deep wood terrific sounds dismay,
' Where fierce Teuthates seeks his bleeding prey ;
' Where awful Taranis dominion holds,
' And warlike Ilesus all his pomp unfolds.
no THE RHINE.
" Recall thy legions from these blest abodes,
" Nor dare the conflict with my Country's Gods !
" In vain these haunts thy chosen bands invade,
" Where patriot Valour guards the hallow'd
" One sacred impulse every heart excites,
" And, as grim War with matchless charm in-
" Fame's ardent hopes renew the faltering breath,
" And drown the terrors of impending death :
" And still, when Fate the Hero's might subdues,
" No Stygian realms, a wandering ghost, he views ;
*' That form again, in youthful vigour bright,
" Shall rush exulting to the fields of fight,
" With cherish'd love defend its native plain,
" And die in Freedom's holy cause again.
" Infuriate Roman ! would thine eagles fly,
" 'Mid the cold breeze of changeless winter's sky ;
THE RHINE. 117
" These ice- clad hills and snowy realms invade,
" And banish Freedom from her ancient glade?
" Hold, daring Ceesar ! Rome shall oft deplore
" That e'er thy legions trod Germania's shore ;
" Thy vanquish'd race Perdition shall enthrall,
" And Vengeance triumph in Ausonia's fall:
" Barbaric hordes inured to toil shall glow
" With savage hope her brighter charms to know,
" From Northern realms, where icy horrors reign,
" Shall sweep destructive o'er her fertile plain.
" E'en now their march assembling Chiefs pre-
pare ; —
" Hark ! Alpine echoes spread the notes of war;
" Exulting shouts proclaim their wild delight,
" Where cultured fields and golden spoils invite.
'* Nursed in the mountain blast and wintry snow,
" O'er her green meads a glance of joy they
118 THE RHINE.
" Breathe, too forgetful of their stormy gales,
" The balmy zephyrs of Hesperian vales,
" 'Mid rosy bowers in strange delight recline,
" And pluck th' unwonted treasures of the Vine.
" And thou, proud City ! whose imperial sway
" Surrounding realms and distant shores obey,
" Thou, glorying Rome! a mightier power shall
" And mourn the trophies of thy fame o'erthrown,
" Ingulph'd in ruin Caesar's bright abodes,
" And bow'd to dust the temples of thy Gods.
" Far happier realms prophetic Hope surveys,
" And purer scenes benignant Peace displays;
" Her native hills and tranquil shades among,
" Where first to light the mountain Goddess
" Still spotless Liberty her sway maintains,
" And rigid Virtue in Helvetia reigns.
THE RHINE. 119
" No race degenerate, no enfeebled forms
" Shrink from the blast, or dread the gathering-
" There the bold native, fiU'd with patriot zeal,
" 'Mid Alpine rocks a proud delight can feel;
" Aspiring thoughts the pine-clad heights awake,
" And the blue waters of the Leman lake.
" Dear is each spot ; — no holier tie can move
" The brave Helvetian than his Country's love :
" Prompt at her call, his arm, untaught to yield,
" In peril's hour uplifts the Patriot's shield ; —
" Dear is each spot; — though wintry blasts pre-
" Inspiring Music breathes in every gale ;
" Romantic charms adorn the mountain brow,
" Though its sole vesture be th' untrodden snow.
" Wide o'er the land again shall War fulfil
" The dark decrees of Heaven's mysterious will:
120 THE RHINE.
" Renown'd in arms, a brave heroic race,
" The future annals of my fame shall grace,
" In Honour's cause triumphant shall engage,
" And add fresh lustre to th' enlighten'd age.
" Hail ! mighty Warriors of illustrious days,
" By glory led, and thirst for deathless praise ;
" Ennobling conquests shall your sway proclaim,
" And forts subdued bear record of your fame.
" Proud of your deeds, exulting to the shore
" My subject waves a bolder stream shall pour,
" And far around my gladden'd sight shall own
" The pomp victorious of your vast renown.
" These are the triumphs Heaven's decrees or-
" As years proceed, to deck Germania's plain ;
" Nor Thracian groves nor Libyan sands have
" By Mars himself so cherish 'd and beloved.
THE RHINE. 121
" His sceptre here the Warrior-God shall wield,
" His chosen bands array for battle's field,
" Here sound the terrors of his fierce alarms,
" And rouse the subjects of his realm to arms.
" Yet not the same his form, the same his mien,
" As thou, great Caesar ! clad for War hast seen ;
" The spear and shield for deadlier arms resign'd,
" With all the threats of Jove himself combined,
" 'Mid vollied thunders he pursues his path,
" And mows down armies in his dreadful wrath.
" Yet shall not War's continual strife prevail,
" Nor endless carnage taint the mountain gale;
" To nobler aims shall peaceful arts invite,
" And dawning Science shed diviner light :
" 'Mid calm retreats shall Learning's purer aid
" Of Gothic darkness pierce the barren shade;
" On Leyden's walls her brightest smiles shall beam,
" And favour'd Basle be the Muse's theme.
122 THE RHINE.
" Then o'er my fields shall bounteous Plenty reigi7,
" Then golden harvests clothe the fertile plain ;
" Where glooray forests waved in dark array,
•' Their purple charm shall clustering vines dis-
" And, as the vpaves intrepid barks divide,
" Securer skill the Mariner shall guide ;
" Th' unerring Compass shall his course control,
" And the true index of th' attractive Pole.
" Increasing glories open to my sight,
"And cheering scenes again my praise invite.
** Where Ocean, rising o'er the swampy plain,
" Opposing dikes and sandy banks restrain,
" Where adverse nature yields to constant toil,
" Industrious natives drain the marshy soil;
" Deck the low waste with teeming Culture's
" And nobly triumph o'er th' encroaching tide.
THE RHINE. 1*23
" O blest again with Freedom's cherish'd love!
" Spain's haughty pride no more your race shall
" No future Alva's fierce tyrannic sway,
" ]So daring Farnese, shall your sons obey ;
" Admiring realms shall own, in danger's path
" Your stedfast purpose, and unshaken faith.
" Wide o'er the world my gladden'd streams be-
" Propitious Commerce all her charms unfold ;
" Through stormy seas her venturous barks explore
" The unknown region, and the distant shore.
" Here shall in future years from every coast
" Imported stores my crowded havens boast;
" Here from Peruvian mines be wealth reveal'd ;
" Here fair Ceylon her spicy treasures yield ;
" Here oft, from India's burning plains convey'd,
" From Niger's banks, and Gambia's palmy shade,
124 THE RHINE.
" Their varied gifts confederate tribes shall bear,
" And choicest produce for these marts prepare.
" Oft o'er these waves, with costly freight sup-
" The anxious Merchant's homeward bark shall
" Rejoicing throngs the wondrous spoils surround,
" And busy murmurs through the port resound.
" Then as my stream in sinuous course proceeds
" Through fertile pastures, and prolific meads,
" High on each bank, aspiring to the skies,
" Th' embattled tower and princely dome shall
" There shall be seen Religion's holy fane ;
" And smiling Plenty o'er the land shall reign.
" Yet ah! what scenes, on Gallia's shore sur-
" O'er my bright triumphs cast a mournful shade?