The Wish

by Robert Lovell

The Muse who struck to moral strains the lyre,
  Now turns to court a visionary theme,
To frame the wish which flattering hopes inspire,
  When fancy revels in her golden dream.

I ask no lone retreat, no shady grove,
  Nor grove nor bower can boast a charm for me;
I muse on Justice, Liberty, and Love,
  And, need I, Orson! tell my wish to thee?

I bend, great Justice! at thine awful throne,
  Eternal arbiter of good and ill,
The sons of soul shall make thy laws their own,
  And form their dictates by thy sov'reign will.

But oft perverted is thy high behest,
  And oft I'm doom'd oppression's rod to see;
I see wealth triumph, and the poor opprest,
  And, need I, Orson! tell my wish to thee?

How bounds the soul at freedom's sacred call?
  How shrinks from slavery's heart-appalling train?
But still her victims avarice will inthral,
  Afric's sad sons still wear the accursed chain.

Still, power despotic, with ambition join'd,
  Would crush the soul determin'd to be free;
I see debas'd man's dignity of mind,
  And, need I, Orson! tell my wish to thee?

Were justice follow'd, then would man be good,
  Were freedom guarded, then would man be blest;
No generous impulse of the soul subdu'd,
  But love, unfraught with anguish, fill the breast.

I felt the magic of Lucinda's eye,
  I thought her charms were of no mean degree;
Lucinda's name inspir'd the secret sigh,
  And, need I, Orson! tell my wish to thee?

One only wish remain'd! oh! might I find,
  Amid this scene of danger and of strife,
Some kindred spirit, some congenial mind,
  To cheer my journey through the vale of life.

Indulgent heav'n vouchsafed the boon to send,
  A youth I found, and just and mild was he;
My heart sprang mutual to embrace its friend,
  And, need I, Orson! name that friend to thee?

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