Bound For Kamtschatka, Now Lying In The Harbour Of Port
HAIL! Chieftain, from the distant lands
That own the Czar’s imperial reign;
With British hearts and British hands,
We greet you welcome from the main:
Then rest your weary keels awhile,
Embosomed in Australia’s isle.
Hail! Chieftain, from the farthest North,
Where Nova Zembla’s breakers roar,
Heaven speed you in your going forth
To far Kamtschatka’s frozen shore,
On whose bleak cliffs the savage man
Has wandered since the world began!
‘Tis your’s the lofty task, to tame
That savage – your’s the godlike plan
That child of nature to reclaim,
And mould him like his brother man:
Even such a task your greatest Czar*
Held nobler than the work of war.
Go, then, and speed the glorious day
Predicted for the Kamtschadale,
When, commerce cheering every bay,
Religion gladdening every vale,
His bleak and barren land shall be
A land of light and liberty.
So shall the Russ and Briton vie
In friendly strife along the deep,
Where pagan isles unnumbered lie,
And the vast South Sea’s billows sweep;
And each be hailed the friend of man,
From far New Zealand to Japan.
Hail! Russia, hail! Land of the North,
Thine is a destiny sublime;
For Heaven’s decree has issued forth,
And now, behold the appointed time!
“Greece, break thy bands, and Russia’s son,
Go, hurl the Moslem from his throne!”
When Rome’s proud pontiff ruled the world,
And princes owned his high command;
When papal thunders oft were hurled
With deadly aim o’er many a land;
Then, Russia, thou alone wert free:
No pope was feared in Muscovy.*
When Gaul’s Imperial Despot tried
To bind thee with his iron chain,
And myriads heard him in his pride
Vow to enthral thy vast domain;
Thy fire, and sword, and drifting snow
Soon laid the bold intruder low.
Now, soaring high o’er France and Rome,
Thine eagle feels his native might;
He flaps his wings, erects his plume,
And ventures on his distant flight;
The Moslem eyes him from afar,
And summons all his strength of war.
For, hark! from each tall minaret
Peals the shrill Turkish battle-call!
‘Tis vain! The Cossack bursts the gate,
The Russian scales the rampart-wall;
And Mahomet’s polluted line
Quakes for the Prophet’s Arab shrine.
On, Russia, on! The Greek implores
Deliverance, struggling to be free.
On! famed Euboea’s classic shores
Resound with thine artillery!
On! on! ye brave! Each thundering gun
Repeats the tale of Marathon!
Again! again! the crescent droops
On old Byzantium’s* massy walls!
The vanquished Janizzary stoops,
And Othman’s pride for ever falls!
His sceptre and his cymetar
Are broken by the conquering Czar!
O! when the Russian banners fly
On St. Sophia’s lofty dome,
May Russian zeal and piety
Adorn thy pulpit, Chrysostom,
Whose voice of old oft thrilled the soul
Of mightiest chiefs in Istamboul.
So shall the Czar’s mild sway be blest
Like that of Judah’s ancient kings;
And numerous tribes securely rest
Beneath his wide expanded wings;
While Tartar steppes and Grecian isles
Shall bloom with sempiternal smiles.
(John Dunmore Lang)
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Based on Keywords: sophia, nova, erects, byzantium, pontiff, zembla, embosomed, sempiternal, battle-call, muscovy, othman