Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/35

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WARREN HASTINGS.

1732—1818.

John Company.

From the days of Job Charnock, scarce known on record.
To the triumphs of Plassey's redoubtable Lord,
The Company traffick'd unheeded:
She sent her ships forth, the wide ocean to roam,
With rich cargoes well freighted, and brought richer home
And in all she adventur'd succeeded.

By oppression provok'd, she to arms had recourse,
And soon made her oppressors submit to her force;
From defensive proceeded offender:
And her courage attemper'd with wisdom conspir'd
To aggrandize her pow'r, till at length she acquir'd
Of an empire entire the surrender.

Now the sages in schools of diplomacy bred,
Civil doctors, divines, and state-moralists said—
(And the senate confirm'd their opinion;)
That for her, a mere trader (for what was she more?)
Or her factors and clerks, from her counting-house door,
To pretend to the rights of dominion;

That to give up the pen in exchange for the gun;
To hold rule over nations—no matter how won:—
To make treaties; assume legislature;
Nay worse, of finance to distribute the drains,
To elicit their currents, and pocket the gains;
Was to gospel repugnant and nature.

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