Ode for the New Year

written by

« Reload image

When rival Nations first descried,Emerging from the boundless MainThis Land by Tyrants yet untried,On high was sung this lofty strain:Rise Britannia beaming far!Rise bright Freedom's morning star!

To distant Regions unexplor'dExtend the blessings of thy sway;To yon benighted World affordThe light of thy all-chearing ray;Rise Britannia, rise bright star!Spread thy radiance wide and far!

The shoots of Science rich and fair,Transplanted from thy fostering IsleAnd by thy Genius nurtur'd there,Shall teach the Wilderness to smile.Shine, Britannia, rise and shine!To bless Mankind the talk be thine!

Nor shall the Muses now disdainTo find a new Asylum there:And ripe for harvest see the plain,Where lately rov'd the prowling Bear!Plume, Britannia, plume thy wing!Teach the savage Wild to sing!

From thee descended, there the SwainShall arm the Port and spread the Sail,And speed his traffick o'er the MainWith skill to brave the sweeping Gale;Skill, Britannia, taught by thee,Unrivall'd Empress of the Sea!

This high and holy strain how trueHad now from age to age been shown;And to the World's admiring viewRose Freedom's transatlantic throne:Here, Britannia, here thy fameLong did we with joy proclaim.

But ah! what frenzy breaks a bandOf love and union held so dear!Rebellion madly shakes the land,And love is turn'd to hate and fear.Here, Britannia, here at lastWe feel Contagion's deadly blast.

Thus blind, alas! when all is well,Thus blind are Mortals here below:As when apostate Angels fell,Ambition turns our bliss to woe.Now, Britannia, now beware:For other conflicts now prepare!

By thee controul'd for ages past,See now half Europe in array:For wild Ambition hopes at lastTo fix her long projected sway.Rise, Britannia, rise againThe scourge of haughty France and Spain!

The howling tempest fiercely blows,And Ocean races in the storm:'Tis then the Fearless Pilot showsWhat British courage can perform.Rule, Britannia, rule the wavesAnd ruin all intruding slaves!

© Odell Jonathan