A Celebration of Women Writers

"On the Expected General Rising of the French Nation in 1792" by Anna Lætitia Barbauld (1743 - 1825)

First Publication: "To A Great Nation", "Written by a Lady", Cambridge Intelligencer, November 2, 1793.
This Edition: The Works of Anna Lætitia Barbauld, with a Memoir by Lucy Aikin. London: Longman, 1825. pp. 180-182.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

On the Expected General Rising of the French Nation in 1792

Rise mighty nation! in thy strength,
And deal thy dreadful vengeance round;
Let thy great spirit rous'd at length,
Strike hordes of Despots to the ground.

Devoted land! thy mangled breast,
Eager the royal vultures tear:
By friends betray'd, by foes oppress'd,
And virtue struggles with despair.

The tocsin sounds! arise, arise,
Stern o'er each breast let country reign;
Nor virgin's plighted hand, nor sighs
Must now the ardent youth detain.

Nor must the hind who tills thy soil,
The ripen'd vintage stay to press,
Till rapture crown the flowing bowl,
And Freedom boast of full success.

Briareus-like, extend thy hands,
That every hand may crush a foe;
In millions pour thy generous bands,
And end a warfare by a blow.

Then wash with sad repentant tears,
Each deed that clouds thy glory's page;
Each phrensied start impell'd by fears,
Each transient burst of headlong rage.

Then fold in thy relenting arms
Thy wretched outcasts where they roam;
From pining want and war's alarms,
O call the child of Misery home.

Then build the tombO not alone,
Of him who bled in freedom's cause;
With equal eye the martyr own,
Of faith revered and antient laws.

Then be thy tide of glory stay'd,
Then be thy conquering banners furl'd,
Obey the laws thyself hast made,
And risethe model of the world!

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom