The Character And Speech Of Cosroes The Mede: An Improvement Of The Squire's Tale Of Chaucer.
Meanwhile between the princes rose debate,
About the wond'rous steed the Syrian brought,
Algarsife urging not devoid of heat,
The motion some informing genius wrought:
But calm Camballo, with a sceptic air,
Seem'd to believe the secret lay within,
That hid remain'd the wheels of action there,
And mov'd or ceas'd directed by the pin.
Each brings new proofs the other to confute,
Till to the monarch's ear arriv'd the warm dispute.
Silent a while the king reflection made,
And saw the point not easy to decide;
Till kind rememb'rance offer'd to his aid
A hoary Sage, whose skill he oft had try'd,
Of Median birth, but whose enquiring sight
The travell'd regions of the east had known;
Wisdom, sole object of his calm delight.
And every art and science was his own.
Nor read in books alone, his generous mind
Embrac'd with cordial zeal the good of human kind.
The various faiths the peopled world divide
Truly impartial had his thoughts survey'd;
Reason his standard still, and truth his guide,
Nor passion, prejudice, or interest sway'd:
The Magi's antient laws, the Brachmin's lore,
Th' Egyptian character, and Jewish rite,
The christian faith intended to restore,
But now defac'd by superstition quite
With [illeg.] plan: th' Arabian prophet
O'er Ajar now which spread as new religions do!
He saw that nature thro' her wide command
O'er all her works had spread one equal smile;
Nor kept the bounties of her lavish hand,
Conn'd to this or that peculiar soil:
He knew that vain was every art design'd
To curb the native freedom of the will:
That by a thousand motives sway'd, the mind
Stood firm to virtue, or declin'd to ill:
And in th' extended scene of human race,
As different were the thoughts, as varied was the face!
Hence Cosroes (such the reverend sage's Name)
This healing principle reflective drew;
Candid to judge, devoid of selfish aim,
And calm the paths of wisdom to pursue;
Pleas'd with the little nature just requires,
Wealth, honours, pleasures, titles he disdain'd;
Few were his wants, as moderate his desires.
The happy master of himself he reign'd!
A joy to all but purer minds unknown,
Beyond the pride of crowns, or splendors of a throne.
By Oxus' bank, along the winding shore
Inclos'd with wood a little spot he found;
There had he fix'd his rest, and greatly poor,
Liv'd on the fruits of his domestic ground:
Oft had Cambuscan, tir'd with cares of state,
Delighted sought the refuge of his Cave,
There philosophic held the cool debate,
Nor scorn'd the councils which the hermit gave,
Whose life reveal'd the value of his art,
And to the learned head conjoin'd the friendly heart.
For him, immediate then the monarch sends,
His seasonable presence to require.
The honest sage the messenger attends,
And comes obedient to the king's desire:
His head with age's frost was Silver'd o'er,
Yet on his cheek still blush'd the temperate rose.
Decent, tho' plain, a flowing robe he wore,
And manly dignity his person shows:
For such his carriage seem'd and gentle port,
As if his life had been conversant with a court.
The Syrian knight (for so requests the king)
The nature of the caliph's gifts explains;
The horse, the sword, the mirror, and the ring,
And points the qualities which each retains;
When thus the prince — 'It suits thee to declare,
Wise Cosroes, for thy knowledge can impart;
Whence boast these presents their perfections rare!
From nature flows their virtue, or from art?
Or animates the steed some power divine?
Or do mechanic springs direct the bold design?'
To whom the sage — 'Not, mighty prince, I boast
Of such mysterious things to judge the cause!
Least knows the wisest mind in knowing most
Of matter's properties, and motion's laws;
Form'd of two principles distinguish'd quite,
Compos'd we find our own corporeal frame;
We know that spirit and earth in one unite,
Yet search in vain from whence the union came,
Or where subsists invisible the tye?
That Life itself maintains, and failing which, we dye!
'What gives commission to the wintry war,
When the loud storm enchafes the troubled deep?
Or sooths to peace the elemental jar,
And hushes the relenting winds to sleep?
What bids the moon's revolving light
By turns replenish and by turns decay?
Fair as she glides along the face of night,
Shaping through many a cloud her pathless way.
Or whence those clouds themselves unseen arise?
To paint with figur'd robes the ever-changing skies!
'All the phenomena of boundless air,
That strike with wonder the unletter'd eye,
The meteor's flash, the ruddy comet's glare,
Or the loud thunder bursting from the sky!
The dark eclipse, when o'er the lamp of day
Its gloomy blot prevailing darkness bends,
The painted bow, whose variegated ray
O'er the pale cloud its glittering arch distends:
All these, in vain, enquiry would pursue
With narrow schemes of sense, and systems still untrue.
'Yet science sees direct — far as it may,
While ignorance its dubious passage pores;
Safe walks the sage as reason lights the way,
One sovereign cause discovers and adores!
The more in nature's road he thoughtful treads,
He sees eternal wisdom rule the whole:
The more the book of heav'n intent he reads,
He feels that wisdom penetrate his soul.
And what the world beholds with careless eyes,
Silent he contemplates with reverence and surprize!
'Matter he views still struggling to a birth,
Through all her elemental forms aspire;
Earth rise from water, air refine from earth,
To purify itself at last in fire:
Fire! — the fix'd principle whose vital ray,
Heat, motion, action, and sensation breeds,
Which, shed eternal from exhaustless day,
Wakens to life the dull material seeds,
That to itself attractive all invites,
Till in its radiant cause each particle unites.
'Hence would it seem, that this mysterious horse,
Tho' form'd to semblance of material mold,
Is taught by sympathy to guide his course,
And act unerring all the wonders told;
This sure we know, that matter has its Laws,
By which impell'd the stubborn mass obeys;
That this [illeg.] pow'r; and undiscover'd cause,
Can seeming miracles in nature raise:
As the Greek Pegasus, is fam'd to bear
The bold Bellerophon thro' fields of trackless air.
'Hence taught, in matter can the sage infuse
New qualities, as suit his just design;
Can shape the form subservient to his views,
And stamp the workmanship with skill divine.
Thus, in the honour'd caliph's precious sword,
Opposing virtues may their influence shed;
The salutary hilt a balm afford,
To heal the cruel hurt the edge had made;
As the bruis'd scorpion press'd upon the wound,
Extracts his proper gall and leaves the patient sound.
'Thus may the mystick mirror and the ring
The gentle knight's description well maintain,
From planetary signs their virtues spring,
Which only deep-read science can attain.
As o'er affrighted Misraim's fruitful land
The word of Mousa once destruction spread,
Or grac'd the signet Solomon's right hand,
Whose power could wake the slumbers of the dead;
Could from the eye remove the veil of night,
And place the worlds unseen before th' astonish'd sight.
'But whether thou, great king, exalt thy head
In peaceful sway and foreign friendships blest;
Remember heav'n, that all thy grandeur made,
Nor let vain pride pollute thy royal breast!
All that we see in life's deceitful dream,
Like us, the thin beholders, glides away,
Only great Orosmanes shines the same
Unwasting fountain of eternal day!
The centre, where creation fondly tends,
Whence every being springs, in whom all being ends!'
He ceas'd — attentive as the Syrian knight
Heard the soft accents issue from his tongue,
Such mild instructions sweeten the delight,
He had not thought a midnight audience long.
Cambuscan thanks return'd, th' applauding crowd
With common justice spoke the sage's praise.
Sleep now began to spread his gentle shroud,
And summon nature to her wonted ease.
The king arose — the court retire to rest,
And thro' the palace wide — deep silence reigns confess'd.
Albion's Triumph. An Ode.
Immortal Maid, fair Daughter of the Skies!
FREEDOM! thou dearest Blessing of Mankind!
For whom the Captive pines, — the Soldier dies,
And the bold Sailor braves the wintry Wind:
Britannia's Boast! — say Goddess wilt thou deign
Thy Warmth to animate the feeble Muse!
That on the ensanguin'd Banks of distant Maine
With an attentive Eye thy Footsteps views;
And make with joyful Admiration pleas'd
To long succeeding Time, thy deathless Trophies rais'd.
'Twas Heaven and you to GEORGE'S martial Breast
Imparted first the truly great Design,
States to relieve by Perfidy distress'd,
And chase Oppression from the Banks of Rhine.
For this thy Britons at their King's Command;
O'er Snows, thro' Forests urged their chearful Way;
Led by experienc'd STAIR'S conducting Hand,
Southward they march, and gain upon the Day:
Till lo! the Pride of GAUL with hostile Threat
Advancing, seem to warn — that BRITAIN must retreat.
Vain Menace! while new Life to British Hearts
Their Royal Sovereign's happy Presence gave;
New Spirits to the Camp his Smile imparts,
Inspires the timid, and confirms the brave:
Around their KING the faithful Army crowd,
With native Ardour every Bosom glows;
To Heav'n they raise their Acclamations loud,
And burn impatient to engage their Foes:
Eager to vindicate their Country's Fame
And shew that Britons still are worthy of the Name.
Mean Time confounded with the Shouts that rise,
Repeated by the ecchoing River's Shore,
'What means (Noailles demands) this empty Noise?
And is it thus the British Cannons roar?'
Too soon his trembling Spies the Answer bring
That dyes his haughty Cheek with sudden pale,
''Tis at his Camp arriv'd BRITANNIA'S King,
Hence the wild Tumult wafted on the Gale!
And Germans now an alter'd Aspect wear,
As if they joy'd to see — some new Deliverer near!'
Yes — yes GERMANIA may remind the Day,
She prostrate saw on Blenheim's glorious Plain;
Their mutual Foe to Marlboro' Vengeance pay,
For all the Woes she felt — a countless Train!
Nor less she hopes from British Valour now,
Then that the fair Event shall be the same,
That soon all Fears shall vanish from her Brow
And Peace once more diffuse her healing Beam:
Peace, which to violate no Pow'r shall dare,
Establish'd on the Base of Honorable War.
But different Cares the Gallic Chief oppress,
Pensive the dubious Chance of War he weigh'd,
Eastward he views advancing ill Success,
Northward the Storm is gathering round his Head.
He studies then to intercept the Foe,
Ere by the Troops auxiliar fully joyn'd,
At Britain aims the meditated Blow,
And vainly hopes an easy Prey to find:
With early Dawn his Forces pass the Maine,
And shine in rich Array — embattled on the Plain.
Quick the hoarse Drum proclaims the known Alarm;
Quick the shrill Trumpet speaks the Foe is near!
As quick, rejoyc'd, the valiant Britons arm,
And ready at their Leader's Call appear:
Fir'd at their Sov'reign's all enlivening Sight,
Th' auspicious Word of Victory they wait,
Resolv'd to prove in the approaching Fight,
That generous Courage dares the Shafts of Fate:
When Liberty and Justice warm the Brave,
Not arbitrary Pow'r the Tyrant's Head can save!
Now fierce Destruction waves her ruddy Brand,
With Havock to pollute the crimson'd Field;
The Gallic Squadrons rush on every Hand,
In vain they urge the British Ranks to yield;
Repuls'd, — impetuous they recharge again,
Again compell'd inglorious to retreat:
As the firm Rock deep rooted in the Main,
Resists the Waves that threaten round its Feet,
So, STAIR! thy pleas'd attentive Eye beheld
Thrice the proud Foe advance — as oft Shame repell'd.
But, Goddess, say, what British Warrior shines
Distinguish'd by his Motions from afar!
See, how he animates the steady Lines,
And seems the ruling Spirit of the War!
'Tis CLAYTON! — who for lov'd BRITANNIA'S Fame,
Devotes with Pleasure his Remains of Breath;
Too soon shall Fate suppress the Hero's Flame,
Too soon consign thee to the Arms of Death!
Yet midst her Joy — thy Country steals a Tear,
As if thy Loss had made her Conquest seem too dear!
Nor was thy Death less worthy than thy Life,
Nor ought of Boasting yielded to the Gaul;
The Britons urg'd with doubled Force the Strife,
Resolv'd to perish, or revenge thy Fall:
As when the Lyon wounded sees the Blood,
The generous Savage brindles up his Mane,
Issues majestic from his native Wood,
And with resistless Fury scow'rs the Plain;
So rous'd, the Britons now attack the Foe,
Nor fails to follow soon — their total Overthrow!
Yet for a while they shew'd a warlike Mien,
As willing to repair their late Disgrace;
'Till Campbell with his hardy Greys came in,
And taught them to retire with brisker Pace:
Yet here, alas! a second Loss we prov'd,
(Conquest, like Gold, must suffer some Allay)
Here fell the Youth — lamented and belov'd;
Here Honeywood beheld his last of Day!
Yet BRITAIN's rising Glory beam'd a Joy,
That sooth'd the deathfelt Pang, and made him pleas'd to die!
'Tis over now — fair Conquest sheds her Rays!
The flying Gauls with Speed the River gain;
Confusion reigns around — and wild Amaze,
And Death sits silent o'er the Heaps of Slain!
While Maine affrighted in his oozy Bed
The dying with the Dead in Crowds receives,
Hears the mix'd Tumult rolling o'er his Head,
And feels the purple Stream pollute his Waves:
Atoning Blood! — that from his verdant Shore
Shall drive the treacherous Gaul, to vex his Peace no more!
But how, blest Sov'reign! shall th' unpractic'd Muse
These recent Honours of thy Reign rehearse!
How to thy Virtues turn her dazzled Views,
Or consecrate thy Deeds in equal Verse!
Amidst the Field of Horrors wide display'd,
How paint the Calm that smil'd upon thy Brow!
Or speak that Thought which every Part survey'd,
'Directing where the Rage of War should glow':
While watchful Angels hover'd round thy Head,
And Victory on high the Palm of Glory spread.
Nor Royal YOUTH reject the artless Praise,
Which due to Worth like thine the Muse bestows,
Who with prophetic Extasy surveys
These early Wreaths of Fame adorn thy Brows.
Aspire like NASSAU in the glorious Strife,
Keep thy great SIRE'S Examples full in Eye;
But oh for BRITAIN'S Sake consult a Life,
The noblest Triumphs are too mean to buy:
And while you purchase Glory — bear in Mind,
A Prince's truest Fame, is to protect Mankind.
Alike in Arts and Arms acknowledg'd great,
Let STAIR accept the Lays he once could own!
Nor CARTERET, thou the Column of the State!
The Friend of Science! on the Labour frown!
Nor shall, unjust to foreign Worth, the Muse
In Silence Austria's valiant Chiefs conceal;
While AREMBERG'S heroic Line she views,
And NEIPERG'S Conduct strikes even Envy pale:
Names, Gallia yet shall further learn to fear,
And BRITAIN, grateful still, shall treasure up as dear!
Go busy Fame, to Augshourg's Towers convey,
The News of what BRITANNIA's King has done;
And thus to the Imperial Exile say,
'Are such the boasted Honours thou hast won?
Unhappy Prince — the Dupe of faithless Gaul,
What Sorrows have the fatal Union crown'd!
Thrice has devouring War consum'd thy All,
And Desolation spread thy Realms around!
Awake! — unseal thy Eyes! — nor still rely,
On a perfidious Pow'r — no Leagues could ever tye!'
Or if thou bend thy Flight to proud Versailles,
In Lewis's astonish'd Ear relate,
That before Britain's King retires Noailles,
Unwilling to sustain a Tallard's Fate!
Then bid the mighty Monarch timely yet
From Germany his shatter'd Legions call,
His visionary Schemes of Empire quit,
And leave in Quiet the distracted Ball:
E're George, victorious George, from distant Maine,
Chastis'd Ambition drive, behind the Banks of Seine.
And thou fair Queen adorn'd with every Charm,
That Reverence or Affection can inspire,
In whose Defence even savage Nations arm,
And force disarm'd Invasion to retire!
Unshaken Princess! while with graceful Pride
You smile, — as the proud Foe repell'd withdraws,
While Heav'n and BRITAIN combat on thy Side,
And BELGIA arms to aid thy righteous Cause:
A Cause! than which a juster never joyn'd
Nations ally'd in Arms — the Cause of human Kind!
But oh! acknowledg'd Victor in the Field,
What thanks, dread Sovereign, shall thy Toils reward!
Such Honours as deliver'd Nations yield,
Such for thy Virtues justly stand prepar'd:
When 'erst on Oudenarde's decisive Plain,
Before thy Youth, the Gaul defeated fled,
The Eye of Fate, foresaw on distant Maine,
The Laurels now that shine around thy Head:
Oh should entwin'd with these fresh Olives Bloom!
Thy Triumphs then would shame, the Pride of antient ROME.
Mean Time, while from this fair Event we view
That British Valour happily survives,
And cherish'd by the KING'S propitious View,
The rising Plant of Glory sweetly thrives!
Let all domestic Faction learn to cease,
Till humbled, Gaul no more the World alarms,
Till GEORGE procures to Europe solid Peace,
A Peace secur'd by his victorious Arms:
And binds in Iron Fetters to his Car,
Ambition, Rapine, Havock, and Despair,
With all the ghostly Fiends of desolating War.
The Olive: An Ode. In The Stanza Of Spenser.
Long had BELLONA rais'd her furious Hand,
Dispersing Terror to th' affrighted World;
Long had she shook on high her flaming Brand,
And wide promiscuous Devastation hurl'd!
From rapid RHINE to silver-streaming Po,
Opposing Camps deform'd the hostile Plain;
SARMATIA, laid by praedal Rapine low,
Mourn'd the hard Yoke, and sought Relief in vain:
While, proudly mounted on her Iron Car,
The Goddess spread the Marks of desolating War.
Engag'd in Arms, the Austrian CAESAR burn'd
The adverse Force too potent to restrain;
To Britain oft, and oft to Belgia turn'd,
And CHURCHILL wish'd, and AUVERQUERK again!
His languid Eagle droop'd her feeble Wing,
His Hopes scarce found a Shelter from Despair!
Nor knew intent BRITANNIA'S watchful King
Held the depending Scale, and weigh'd the War:
And like deciding Heav'n, whose Place he held,
Knew when to hush the Storm, and bid the Tempest yield!
At length commission'd came the Angel down,
The smiling Messenger of heav'nly Peace!
A while he stopp'd at Britain's Guardian-Throne,
Thence to the World display'd his chearful Face:
His beamy Presence new-born Life restor'd
To Lands too long forbid his healing Ray:
War's grizly Pow'r the Seraph's Flight explor'd,
And sick'ning shrunk in guilty Shades away!
Quiet return'd with all her Halcyon Train,
And Plenty bless'd once more the cultivated Plain.
While Europe thus from Havock breathes releas'd,
Whose Hand too long had laid her Bosom bare;
While the shrill Sounds of Discord die appeas'd,
And the glad Nations feel a milder Air;
WALPOLE! wilt thou, to whose experienc'd Thought
Our Great AUGUSTUS trusts the World's Repose;
Whose Prudence has this Change Pacific wrought,
And triumph'd over thine and Britain's Foes:
Wilt thou, MAECENAS-like, beneath thy Wings
The wand'ring Dove receive, this Olive-Garden brings?
Let Heroes false in Deeds of Prowess shine,
And bold Adventures boast, with Shame atchiev'd:
To bless Mankind, O Royal GEORGE, be thine!
Tyrants to curb, and smile on States reliev'd:
These are the Toils become BRITANNIA'S King,
By these Posterity shall mark thy Name;
These are the noblest Fruits thy Pow'r can bring,
To found on Goodness an unblemish'd Fame;
And to succeeding Times distinguish'd stand
The Greatest Prince that rul'd fair Albion's happy Land!
But whither would the daring Muse aspire,
That aims so high a Pitch her vent'rous Flight?
Misled perhaps by fond Icarian Fire,
She seeks her Ruine in the arduous Height!
While she directs her Eyes to Britain's Throne,
And sees such dazzling Rays of Virtue join'd;
Wisdom and Mercy fairer Looks put on,
In one Imperial Bond of Pow'r combin'd!
With Rev'rence aw'd she makes a sudden Stand,
Dubious to quit the Lyre — and stops her trembling Hand!
Yet when bold Spenser stretch'd the shadowy Wing,
ELIZA could the Poet's Flight regard;
When tuneful Waller touch'd the softer String,
The Notes well pleas'd the good Maria heard:
When deathless Addison and Prior sung
Of prostrate Gaul beneath the British Spear!
As Marlbro's mighty Deeds inspir'd their Tongue,
All-condescending Anna deign'd to hear:
The Triumphs of her Reign their Page relate,
Above Description high, beyond Expression Great!
Tho' all too mean for such a Task I deem
My artless Hand, and yet unpractis'd Voice;
Yet, if to thee th' Attempt shall duteous seem,
If thou, consummate Judge! approve her Choice:
The gen'rous Flame that glows in WALPOLE'S Breast,
Shall swell with Vigour the recording Lyre;
His Love of Britain on the Muse imprest,
Shall aid Imagination's boundless Fire:
In lasting Colours ardent to display
Her present blissful State, her calm Meridian Day!
Down thro' the deep'ning Gloom of distant Time
The Muse looks back with retrospective Eyes;
Curious to mark her much-lov'd Albion's Prime,
When from her ambient Sea she seem'd to rise:
When the Phaenician sought her sunny Shore,
Her harmless Natives, ignorantly good,
Her rev'rend Druids kept her mystick Lore,
Their Rites observing thro' the hallow'd Wood:
Peace then her Joy, and Liberty her Flame,
Nature's and Britain's Laws were equally the same!
At length, when Rome's Imperious Eagles flew
O'er the subjected Earth to fix her Sway;
As now near Gaul's remotest Coast they drew,
Across the wat'ry Bound they ey'd this Prey!
Her JULIUS, then unequall'd Chief in Fight,
In Fancy saw his vast Ambition crown'd;
But to Retreat compell'd — if not to Flight,
Then first his Arms Reverse of Fortune found,
Oblig'd to own, that Foes so nobly brave
Deserv'd to keep the Land indulgent Nature gave.
Unable to retain her Hold by Force
(Such Spirit Freedom gives to valiant Minds)
Rome had to ancient Artifice Recourse,
And from Division surer Footing finds:
The Seeds of Jealousy her Agents spread
Fomenting thro' the brave Allies Debate;
Encroaching thus an easy Conquest made,
And fix'd in Albion first her Sov'reign Seat;
The People learnt her gentle Sway to bear,
The Roman Manners caught, and gain'd their milder Air!
Tho' Albion thus beneath the Yoke resign'd,
She found the Victor no inclement Foe;
Arts she was taught, the Love of Human Kind,
And Civil Rights, and Social Tyes to know!
Then Cities peopled grew, and Temples rose,
Her polish'd Face a fairer Form put on;
And to describe her early Change, she chose
Recording Brass and Monumental Stone:
Then first to distant Lands her dawning Ray
Of Glory rising beam'd o'er her surrounding Sea!
Like some rapacious Wolf inur'd to Blood,
Who long had rang'd the Terror of the Fold,
By Age enfeebled, by the Swains pursu'd,
Betakes for Refuge to his strongest Hold:
So now the Roman Empire over-run,
By Northern Swarms beneath its Weight declin'd,
Britain beheld recall'd her Legions gone,
New Lords to prove of a severer kind:
By long succeeding Trials doom'd to get
Strength from her Falls, and rise more prevalently Great!
Scots now and Picts, a rude and lawless Band,
With rapid Course her boasted Fence destroy'd;
Thence wide Mis-rule, and Rapine o'er the Land,
The wasteful Spoilers spread on ev'ry Side:
BRITAIN! that once a CAESAR'S Arms repell'd,
Enervated too long with servile Ease,
Inglorious now was forc'd to quit the Field,
And cast her Eyes for Help across the Seas;
Where Eastward dwelt a Race in Arms renown'd,
For Legislature fam'd, with Conquest ever crown'd!
To these the pensive Suppliant, press'd with Grief,
At large her Suff'rings, and her Wrongs display'd;
Implor'd the gen'rous SAXON'S kind Relief,
Who fir'd by Glory, hast'ned to her Aid:
By two Illustrious Warring Brothers led,
On Britain's Coast arriv'd their hardy Bands;
The vanquish'd Foe before their Presence fled,
Their Succour paid with Thanet's fruitful Lands:
Where ravish'd with a Soil so richly sweet,
They reap'd their Toils, and fix'd their strongly rooted Seat.
But seldom Cause to wild Ambition fails,
The secret Seeds of Discord quickly grow;
New Strength arrives — the Saxon Sword prevails,
The Britons yield beneath the potent Blow!
Sev'n diff'rent Chiefs the parcell'd Land obey'd,
Who each by Conquest fix'd a regal Throne:
Till, as the stronger on the weaker prey'd,
They, by Degrees, were swallow'd up in One:
When mighty Egbert, with auspicious Reign,
Rul'd the obedient Land, and pacify'd the Main.
Yet, thus beneath the Saxon Pow'r subdu'd,
Her First of Blessings hence Britannia drew;
Worth all the Purchase of her noblest Blood,
Eternal Object of her faithful View!
Freedom! the genial Sun, whose heav'nly Beams
With double Lustre gild her happy Isle!
Freedom! the Spring, whose clear refreshing Streams
Make her glad Vales with endless Plenty smile!
The Privilege with Life her Children claim,
Characteristic dear! each BRITON'S fav'rite Name.
Hence the mild Sweets of temperated Sway,
Princes by just Prerogative confin'd;
The People hence with willing Heart obey
Laws, which to dictate, they themselves have join'd:
Our Constitution hence its Birth receiv'd,
The latent Principles of lasting Life;
Which all Diseases, all Attacks has brav'd,
And secret Wounds defied, and Civil Strife:
By Brunswick's Race secur'd, shall keep its Pow'r,
As Mountains lift their Heads, when Storms can blow no more!
Like some fair Virgin cloath'd in Nature's Dress,
The simple Majesty of artless Charms;
Contending Suitors for her Favour press,
Her Beauty draws new Dangers to her Arms:
So ENGLAND next the lustful DANE survey'd,
Allur'd, the praedal Raven took his Flight,
Her Coasts at first attempting to invade,
And violate her Sweets with rude Delight:
Each Taste renew'd, but fir'd the Robber's Soul,
Nor ceas'd his wild Pursuit, till he enjoy'd the Whole!
Nor long the Ravisher his Prize detain'd,
(Compulsion seldom wins a gentle Heart)
The Saxon soon his plighted Bride regain'd,
The bold Intruder was constrain'd to part:
Short were their Joys — from the Armoric Shore
New Clouds arising threat'ned short Repose;
The Norman came with well-appointed Pow'r,
And cut his Passage to the Throne he rose;
Acknowledg'd King, the Conqu'ror left his Place,
Inheritance devolv'd — his lasting Line to grace.
Yet not of new Advantages devoid,
Britain beheld the Stranger seize her Throne;
New Sanctions hence her former Rights enjoy'd,
The fix'd Estate more safe was handed down:
The Law with higher Rev'rence arm'd her Hand,
To curb wild Riot, and oppressive Sway;
Justice enlarg'd her Course, and thro' the Land
Progressive, shed her more immediate Ray:
And Property and Freedom still ally'd,
In more enduring Bands, their friendly Union ty'd!
Power oft to Mortals spreads bewitching Charms,
Alluring to extend its Bounds too wide;
This to restrain, the Barons oft in Arms,
Embattled strong, the Regal Sword defy'd:
With diff'rent Aspect long the Contest held,
Was often pacify'd, and oft renew'd;
Till on fair Romney's celebrated Field,
Britain her Charter gain'd, unstain'd with Blood:
In which acknowledg'd all her Rights were shewn,
Th' eternal Rule by which her Monarchs held their Crown.
From hence to Warlike EDWARD'S Glorious Reign,
Britannia rose thro' various Turns of Fate;
Then foreign Princes first endur'd her Chain,
And vanquish'd Nations own'd her Fame compleat!
On Crecy's Plain, and Poitier's well-fought Field,
In Air her sanguine Cross victorious flew;
By Arms transplanted to her ampled Shield,
The Gallick Lilies took a fairer Hue:
And, like her matchless King's establish'd Star,
Her Morning Lustre beam'd, and spread its Glory far!
A darker Period next displays its Pow'r,
Scenes the sad Muse in Silence would conceal!
When Social Discord, in ill-omen'd Hour,
Bade Desolation o'er the Land prevail:
When York's and Lancaster's contesting Line,
Aspiring to the Sweets of envied Reign,
In Arms for rolling Years were seen to shine,
And many a bloody Field with Slaughter Stain:
Then faintly dim appear'd Britannia's Beam,
As April Suns thro' Clouds disclose their sickly Gleam!
Then Britain mourn'd for many a noble Life,
In the contending Houses Quarrel lost;
For 'tis the genuine Curse of Civil Strife,
Still to last longest, and to rage the most!
Heav'n smil'd at last — and bade the Tempest cease,
Returning Industry along the Plain
Shed from her Hands the healing Balm of Peace,
The Wounds of War relenting clos'd again;
And gently twin'd round HENRY'S prosp'rous Head,
The Rival-Roses mix'd, increasing Fragrance shed!
Ascending, now the Prospect fairer grows,
As from the Height of some Advantage Ground,
The weary Pilgrim pauses as he goes,
And forward looks on diff'rent Beauties round!
So hence from blameless Edward's placid Ray,
(The short-liv'd Cloud of Mary's Rigour past)
To the bright Splendor of Eliza's Day,
Britain began her new-gain'd Ease to taste;
And conscious felt beneath her equal Reign,
For Forty rolling Years, Tranquillity serene!
Britannia sav'd from Rome's Tyrannic Yoke,
Hibernia civiliz'd, and Belgia freed;
The mighty Pow'r of Spain for Ages broke,
Shall shine to future Days ELIZA'S Deed!
Between contending Kings her steady Hand,
And prudent Eye sustain'd the dubious Scale;
And undisturb'd preserv'd this happy Land,
When War did o'er the Continent prevail:
In her expir'd Plantagenet's high Race,
As sets in liquid Gold the Sun's augmented Face!
Now to the Widow'd Rose, as next ally'd,
Its Branch the Northern Thistle nearer drew;
In closer Bands their kindred Union ty'd,
Engrafted thus more flourishing they grew:
Around the blushing Flow'r its pointed Arms
The hardy Plant defensive fondly spread;
The blushing Flow'r, with ornamental Charms,
And fruitful Sweets, enrich'd its Consort's Bed!
Britain, till then, by diff'ring Int'rests sway'd,
Divided now no more, one rightful Rule obey'd!
Whether too rough to suit so rich a Soil,
Or grown luxuriant from too wild a Shoot:
Not long the Thistle felt the Southern Smile,
Soon Sickness seiz'd, and Storms destroy'd the Root.
Then bled great CHARLES! — o'er Britain's guilty Eyes,
Black Usurpation spred its dreadful Night;
Till Monarchy reviving clear'd the Skies,
As Chaos fled of old the Face of Light:
The Law its ancient Channels re-assum'd,
And with redoubled Grace returning Freedom bloom'd!
Sadly intentive as the Muse surveys
These recent Marks of beauteous Britain's Scars,
With honest Warmth inspir'd she ardent prays,
Heav'n long may shield her from intestine Jars!
Blasted by Fate, detested by the Skies,
By Earth deserted be th' accursed Hand!
That open Force or secret Faction tries,
To plunge in Civil Wars his native Land:
Let WALPOLE'S Care this worst of Ills repell,
And guard that Liberty, he knows and loves so well!
Wisely would Men improve the Ills of Fate,
The Frowns of Heav'n were not bestow'd in vain:
Kings then would learn, the Secret to be GREAT
Was in their Subjects Hearts to fix their Reign!
Had but the Royal Pair this Wisdom known,
Charles had not sacrific'd his darling Ease;
His Brother then had fill'd a peaceful Throne,
Nor in a second Exile clos'd his Days:
Doom'd an eternal Monument to prove,
A Prince's best Defence lyes in his People's Love!
As when the Shore intrusive jetts too far,
Encroaching on the Empire of the Deep;
Th' assembled Waves begin the wat'ry War,
And o'er the weak Barrier impetuous sweep!
So when alarm'd Britannia saw the Crown
Attempt th' establish'd Bars which Freedom laid :
Eager to keep that Blessing still her own,
To Nassau's Virtue she apply'd for Aid:
Timely the Heroe interpos'd to save,
And nobly gain'd the Style the Nation gave!
Then Britain seiz'd the favourable Hour,
To fix the Basis of her future Rest;
To mark the Limits of asserted Pow'r,
The Prince still blessing, and the People bless'd!
Then safe from all the Malice of its Foes,
Time's iron Hand, and War's repeated Rage!
Explain'd, confirm'd, her ancient Charter rose,
And, clear'd from Dust, display'd its sacred Page:
The Guardian Star! whose future Influence bright
Might guide her happy Sons, with ever friendly Light!
Belgia, in Fate's dark Hour, the Hero's Care,
Britain defended, and Hibernia sav'd!
Europe protected from the Gallic Spear,
Shall stand on WILLIAM'S Monument engrav'd!
The studious Eye that runs his Labours o'er,
Shall print his Image on the grateful Mind;
Shall own, how mean the Pride of lawless Pow'r,
Compar'd with his who fights to save Mankind!
And every Briton shall be just to own,
Virtues like his deserv'd their Abdicated Throne.
Nor was to William's Life his Worth confin'd,
To her Deliv'rer Britain still was dear!
That Passion grew, when all the rest declin'd,
In Death her Welfare was his latest Care:
'Twas then his calmly comprehensive Thought,
Intent to future Ages to secure
The Blessings his distinguish'd Arm had wrought;
By one Bequest establish'd Freedom sure:
And, in illustrious BRUNSWICK'S Godlike Race,
Left us the setled Hopes of long-enduring Peace!
From the departing Monarch's dying Hand,
ANNA the delegated Sword receiv'd;
And MARLBRO', mighty Chief! at her Command,
High Deeds perform'd, and matchless Toils atchiev'd!
By Land she triumph'd, triumph'd on the Main,
Period to Britain's Glory ever dear!
Were not the Honours of a Ten Years Reign
Dash'd by the Peace of One inglorious Year;
And veil'd in Darkness set her Ev'ning Hour,
As shooting Stars to fall, and rise again no more!
The Muse now meditates a nobler Strain,
New plumes her Wings, and fondly seeks to rise!
Attentive views Great BRUNSWICK cross the Main,
While Britain's Joys exulting reach the Skies;
Soon as the Monarch reach'd her happy Shore,
Upwards to Heav'n her grateful Eye she cast;
Her Fears, her Doubts, her Dangers now no more!
In present Bliss dissolv'd each Trouble past:
As Men delighted view the Solar Ray
Burst from the dark Eclipse, and kindle into Day!
O could the Muse in equal Lay recite
The Scene which Europe ravish'd once beheld,
When from Vienna's Tow'rs, auspicious Sight!
Fled the fierce Ottoman in Arms repell'd:
Then BRUNSWICK'S maiden Sword in Conquest dy'd,
Gave signal Proofs of his illustrious Birth;
NASSAU well pleas'd the rising Hero spy'd,
And by Adoption own'd his Kindred Worth:
And now his Brow those regal Honours Grace,
His Virtues more than claim'd — familiar to his Race!
Hence a glad Aera takes its fairer Date,
Whose rolling Years in Smiles of Glory dress'd,
Britain with Pleasure sees revolv'd by Fate,
And treasures up her Hopes of lasting Rest;
In GEORGE the Founder of her brightest Line,
Whose royal Veins her ancient Blood contain'd;
This happy Period first was taught to shine,
And in its Course increasing Lustre gain'd!
Till the bless'd Joys the Godlike Sire begun,
Establish'd stood fulfill'd, in his Imperial Son!
Great Prince! whose early Age in Arms excell'd,
Valour confess'd by Britain's constant Foe!
When on fair Oudenarde's distinguish'd Field,
Thy Arm Victorious dealt the deadly Blow:
To the high Laurels which thy Youth acquir'd,
Oh be the peaceful Olive gently join'd!
Let Britain's Hand by faithful Duty fir'd,
Around thy Head the grateful Honours bind!
Whose Goodness drew from Conquest and from War
The nobler Principle to bless Mankind and spare!
While Mercy forms our Monarch's dear Delight,
And gains new Beauties from his royal Smile;
While Truth and Justice in his Rule unite,
And Freedom warms, and Plenty gilds our Isle:
While Peace with guardian Wings protects the Throne,
And o'er the quiet Land, and subject Sea,
Sheds the eternal sweets of Safety down,
Warm as the Sun, and constant as the Day!
What Heart so savage, not the Joy to prove?
What honest Breast but glows with Loyalty and Love!
Thus while BRITANNIA of her Wish possess'd,
Enamour'd gazes on her Sov'reign's Face;
While in each potent Charm of Beauty dress'd,
She looks and moves with still improving Grace:
While from her ambient Main where'er she turns,
She sees her Form reflected strongly bright;
With grateful Transport as her Bosom burns,
Intent she presses to the Royal Sight:
To thank him for the Peace his Presence brings,
And welcome to her Arms — the noblest best of Kings.
Oh let, Great KING! her Pray'rs assume the Pow'r,
With humble Zeal to reach thy gracious Ear!
Let thy BRITANNIA mourn thy Loss no more,
Nor for her Prince's Safety feel a fear:
Since by thy Influence from her Doubts reliev'd,
Europe to thee directs her grateful Eyes!
Here let her Vows, by ours increas'd, receiv'd
Before thy Throne in glad Memorial rise;
And let conspiring Gratulations bless
Thy peaceful Labours crown'd with ever just Success!
Ambitious Gaul shall Nature now confine,
Her boundless Pride shall vex the World no more;
Defended by his old Barrier the Rhine,
The German safe shall dare the hostile Pow'r:
Fair Lusitania, by Britannia freed,
Shall open all her hospitable Shores;
Her grateful Prince shall pay his Thanks decreed,
And pour his golden Urn to swell her Stores!
Proud to confess the Friendship of that Reign,
That calms the Continent, and guards the distant Main.
Transplanted now, the fair Austrasian Line,
To Arno's Banks along the Tuscan Plain,
Shall feel the friendly Warmth, nor more decline
Beneath encroaching Gallia's fatal Chain;
Her eldest Hope with Regal Honours grac'd,
Shall rise adopted to th' Imperial Throne;
Shall reap the high Reward of Sufferings past,
And guard those Rights for which he lost his own:
For which his Ancestors of old have stood
So oft in Arms renown'd, and shed the noblest Blood.
Mean while Britannia from her Cliffs surveys
The distant World its various Off'rings bring;
Receives th' accumulated Heaps, and pays
From thence her willing Homage to the King.
In ev'ry Port her anchor'd Navies ride,
Her canvass'd Navies whiten all the Main;
Wealth to her Bosom flows from ev'ry Tide,
And golden Plenty waves along her Plain!
What Nation can such countless Blessings boast,
From Afric's burning Sands, to Zembla's icy Coast?
Nor is she in her Sov'reign bless'd alone,
Tho' that alone might speak her Glory great!
While Godlike CAROLINA shares the Throne,
Her heav'nly Goodness makes the Bliss complete!
When she revolves with calm attentive Mind,
The greatest Queens her sacred Purple wore;
No Princess on Record her Search can find,
Whose Virtues more deserv'd the sov'reign Pow'r!
Whose Conduct heightens all the Pride of Blood,
Whose truly Royal Heart still flows in Streams of Good!
Angelic Queen! whose unexampled Worth,
Whose spotless Piety, and spousal Love,
Shine out a Pattern to th' admiring Earth,
And Saints regard with Wonder from above!
Whose Royal Wisdom, and Maternal Care,
So oft experienc'd, and so lately found!
Has justly made thy Name to Britain dear,
Has all her highest Expectations crown'd:
Still may thy Brow that semblant Circle boast,
Which for Heav'n's holy Truth Bohemia's Princess lost!
Illustrious Pair! could Virtue Force impart,
O'er a degen'rate Age to shed its Pow'r!
Yours would convey a Beam to ev'ry Heart,
And Peace harmonious here below restore:
Your Britons, while they saw such Union bright,
Would feel of Goodness the prevailing Charms;
Such as the Royal Meeting gave the Sight,
When the King rested in his Consort's Arms:
Oh! when did Love, or sacred Honour shine
Dress'd in such noble Forms, as GEORGE and CAROLINE?
Close by the Throne Britannia views a Pair,
With Royal Looks and Air distinguish'd stand;
Her FRED'RICK with AUGUSTA heav'nly fair,
Whose Virtues long shall bless this happy Land;
While she revolves his Princely, humane Mind,
His Love of Learning, Liberty, and Truth!
With her unblemish'd Faith and Candour join'd,
Her matchless Sweetness, and unspotted Youth!
How does the Royal Hymen charm her Eyes?
From Union so complete, what future Bliss shall rise?
Nor does at Home Britannia's Glory shine,
Confin'd the mighty Blessings to her Breast:
Her Sea-born Sister she invites to join,
And with her Share of Happiness be blest:
Her eldest PRINCESS fix'd on Belgia's Shore,
A free-born People's duteous Love shall claim;
Destin'd a Line of Heroes to restore,
And spread new Honour o'er the lasting Name!
For when her godlike Sire her Hand bestow'd,
He amply paid the Debt to NASSAU Britain ow'd!
Young WILLIAM'S princely Form she pleas'd surveys
With manly Air and Grace peculiar shine;
If early Worth insures a lasting Praise,
Fame's noblest Wreaths shall one great Day be thine.
As Pallas once in Mentor's Shape confess'd,
The Grecian Prince the Love of Virtue taught:
With Fortitude and Patience steel'd his Breast,
And by Degrees the finish'd Heroe wrought:
So, in thy Cares, the Picture, POYNTZ, we see,
And Britain safe confides her Second Hopes to Thee!
Ravish'd she views AMELIA'S Angel-Truth,
Mildness divine! that ev'ry Bosom warms!
With CAROLINA'S bright accomplish'd Youth,
Where Virtue lends to Beauty stronger Charms:
MARIA rises next in blooming Pride,
Oh Name belov'd! to Britain ever dear!
And fair LOUISA by her Sister's Side,
In soft maternal Majesty appear!
Happy the Prince such Consorts shall obtain,
Happier the favour'd Land, where Heaven shall fix their Reign!
Around their Sov'reign, an illustrious Croud
With chearful Smile, and glad Attendance wait!
And Britain of her Prince's Glory proud,
Pours all her Pomp to grace his Regal State.
But oh! to speak each loyal Patriot's Fame,
To paint the Charms of each distinguish'd Fair,
Might Pindar's Fire with Sappho's Softness claim,
The lofty Note, and Heart-dissolving Air!
One Blaze of Light the Galaxy appears,
'Tis Knowledge only tells, the Whole is made of Stars.
But here the Muse suspends her hardy Flight,
Returning Reason bids the Rover pause!
Dazled with Beams of unfrequented Light,
Back to the Earth receding now she draws:
Yet if th' Excursion pleasing seem to thee,
WALPOLE, whose studious Thought the Nation sees,
From Force and Faction guard her Safety free;
And in surrounding Storms preserve her Ease:
At least, she has not aim'd to sing in vain,
Her Labour so receiv'd, the noblest Thanks shall gain!
Now War with all her ghastly Train withdrawn
From beauteous Europe's happy Field is fled;
And screen'd behind the marshy Banks of Don,
Or Neyster's noisy Falls reclines her Head:
O Patriot-Counsellor! the Praise receive,
Return'd with every grateful Briton's Voice;
Thy Country only greater Thanks can give
To GEORGE, to him, who made thy Worth his Choice,
With Royal Confidence thy Virtues grac'd,
And on thy faithful Breast his Social Honours plac'd.
What tho' dark Envy studious to defame,
Which taints all Objects with a jaundic'd Sight,
Wings close its pointless Arrows at thy Name,
For Merit still envenoms Envy's Spite:
As when the Cloud obscures the radiant Sun
Thro' the weak Shroud he marks his golden Way,
So shall its destin'd Course thy Honour run,
And shed to future Times its blameless Ray!
For Virtue with prevailing Lustre glows,
Too bright for all Attempts, its Passage would oppose!
While thus beneath our greater CAESAR'S Sway
Domestic Jars, and foreign Broils supprest,
Britain beholds to gentler Toils give way,
And cultivates the nobler Arts of Rest:
While he, Augustus-like, with God-like Hand,
Bids the unfolded Gates of Janus close!
And makes the Glory of his wide Command,
To give his People and the World Repose:
The Muse, that sees with Joy the Tumult cease,
Hangs up her grateful Lyre to salutary Peace!