The Song of the Box

Let History boast of her Romans and Spartans,
And tell how they stood against tyranny's shock;
They were all, I confess, in my eye, Betty Martins
Compared to George Grote and his wonderful Box.

Ask, where Liberty now has her seat? —
Oh, it is n't
By Delaware's banks or on Switzerland's rocks; —
Like an imp in some conjuror's bottle imprisoned,
She 's slyly shut up in Grote's wonderful Box.

How snug! — 'stead of floating thro' ether's dominions,
Blown this way and that , by the " populi vox , "
To fold thus in silence her sinecure pinions,
And go fast asleep in Grote's wonderful Box.

Time was, when free speech was the life-breath of freedom —
So thought once the Seldens, the Hampdens, the Lockes;
But mute be our troops, when to ambush we lead 'em,
" For Mum " is the word with us Knights of the Box.

Pure, exquisite Box! no corruption can soil it;
There 's Otto of Rose in each breath it unlocks;
While Grote is the " Betty, " that serves at the toilet,
And breathes all Arabia around from his Box.

'T is a singular fact, that the famed Hugo Grotius
(A namesake of Grote's — being both of Dutch stocks),
Like Grote, too, a genius profound as precocious,
Was also, like him, much renowned for a Box; —

An immortal old clothes-box, in which the great Grotius
When suffering in prison for views heterodox,
Was packt up incog, spite of jailers ferocious,
And sent to his wife, carriage free, in a Box!

But the fame of old Hugo now rests on the shelf,
Since a rival hath risen that all parallel mocks; —
That Grotius ingloriously saved but himself,
While ours saves the whole British realm by a Box!

And oh! when, at last, even this greatest of Grotes
Must bend to the Power that at every door knocks,
May he drop in the urn like his own " silent votes, "
And the tomb of his rest be a large Ballot-Box.

While long at his shrine, both from county and city,
Shall pilgrims triennially gather in flocks,
And sing, while they whimper, the appropriate ditty,
" Oh breathe not his name , let it sleep — in the Box. "
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