If yet your thoughts are loose from state affairs,
Nor feel the burden of a kingdom's cares;
If yet your time and actions are your own;
Receive the present of a Muse unknown:
A Must that, in adventurous numbers, sings
The rout of armies,a nd the fall of Kings,
Britain advanc'd, and Europe's peace restor'd,
By Somers' counsels, and by Nassau's sword.
To you, my Lord, these daring thoughts belong
Who help'd to raise the subject of my song;
To you the hero of my verse reveals
His great designs, to you in council tells
His inmost thoughts, determining the doom
Of towns unstorm'd, and battles yet to come.
And well could you, in your immortal strains,
Describe His conduct, and reward his pains:
But, since the state has all your cares ingross'd
And poetry in higher thoughts is lost,
Attend to what a lesser Muse indites,,
Pardon her faults, and countenance her flights.
On you, my Lord, with anxious fear I wait,
And from your judgment must expect my fate,
Who, free from vulgar passions, are above
Degrading envy, or misguided love:
If you, well pleas'd, shall smile upon my lays,
Secure of fame, my voice I'll boldly raise,
For next to what you write, is what you praise.
More verses by Joseph Addison
- To Mr. Dryden
- An Account Of The Greatest English Poets
- An Ode For St. Cecilia's Day
- Prologue To Steele's Tender Husband
- The Spacious Firmament