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LINES , By the late Dr . John Aikin , to Mr . fVakefield on his Liberation from Prison , with Mr . TVakefield * 8 Reply . [ From Memoir of John Aikip , M . D . Ry Lucy Aikirn 2 Vols . 8 vo . 1823 . Vol . 1 . 1 pp . 236—238 . }
TO GILBERT WAKEFIELD , A . B . Pure light of learning-, soul of generous mould , Ardent in Truth ' s great cause , erect and free , Welcome , O welcome 1 from thy prison gloom . To open , air and sunshine , to those boons
Which Nature si eds profuse , while tyrant Man , * ' Drest in his brief authority , " and stern In all the little jealousy of pow ' r , Restricts the bounty of a Father ' s hand , And scants a Brother's bliss . But now 'tis o ' er ,
And social friendship and domestic love Shall pour their healing balm ; while conscious worth With noble scorn repels the slanderous charge , That brands imprudence with the stamp of guilt . Meantime disdain not , learned as thou art , To scan this world ' s great lesson : high-raised hopes Of Justice seated on the throne of Pow ' r ,
Of bright Astrea ' s reign revived , and Peace , With heavenly Truth and Virtue by her side , Uniting nations in a band of love , Have faded all to air ; and nought remains But that dire law of force , whose iron sway The sons of men through every blood-stain'd age Has ruled reluctant . When that sage benign , The Man of Nazareth , preach'd his gentle law , And listening crowds drank honey from his tongue—When Mars , Belldna , and the savage rout Of Gods impure and vengeful , shrunk to shades , And rescued Man adored a common Sire ;
Who could refrain to hail the blessed time Of swords to sickles turn'd , of general good PourM in full streams through all the human tribes , And shared alike by all ? But ah 1 how soon The glorious prospect darkened 1 When the cross Gleara'd direful 'mid the host of Constantine ,
And took the eagle ' s place—when mitred priests Mimick ' d the flamen in his mystic pomp , And proudly bent around a despot ' s throne ; Then , whilst the name , at Antioch first rever ed Ran conquering thro' the world , it lost its sense , And join'd in monstrous league with all the crimes That force , and fraud , and lawless lust of sway
Inspir ed to plague mankind . Then , Gospel-rulea Were held an empty letter - , and the gruve And specious commentator well couW prove That sumx , an holy , humble , peaceful law-Was never meant for empire . Thus reUpa'd , The human brute resumed his native form , And preyM again oa jparnoge *
< 603 Y
POETRY . *
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1823, page 603, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1789/page/43/