Page images

On woven wings,

And won the cherub Health to crown
To where, in orient clime, the grey dawn springs, A nation's prayer, and ease that breast
To where soft evening's ray

Which feels all sorrows but its own,
Sheds its last blush, their course they steer,

And seeks by blessing to be blest.
Meet, or o'ertake, the circling year,

Fled are all the gbastly train,
Led by the lord of day.

Writhing pain, and pale disease;
Whate'er the frozen poles provide,

Joy resumes his wonted reign, Whate'er the torrid regions hide,

The Sun-beams mingle with the breeze, From Sirius' fiercer flames,

And his own month, which Health's gay livery wears, Of herb, or root, or gem, or ore,

On the sweet prospect smiles of long succeeding They grasp them all from shore to shore,

And waft them all to Thames.
When Spain's proud pendants wav'd in western skies,
When Gama's fleet on Indian billows hung,

In either sea did Ocean's genius rise,
And the same truths in the same numbers sung.

“ Daring mortals, whither tend
These vain pursuits ? Forbear, forbear!

Hail to the man, so sings the Hebrew bard,
These sacred waves no keel shall rend,

Whose numerous offspring grace his genial board:

Heaven's fairest gift, Heaven's hest reward, No streamers float on this sequester'd air ! - Yes, yes, proceed, and conquer too;

To those who honour, who obey his word.

What shall he fear, though drooping age
Success be yours: but, mortals, know,

Unnerve his strength, and pointless sink bis spear;

In vain the proad, in vain the mad shall rage ; “ Know, ye rash adventurous bands,

He fears his God, and knows no other fear.
To crush your bigh-blown pride,

Lo! at his call a duteous race
Not for yourselves, or native lands,
You brave the seasons, and you stem the tide. To shield the sire from whom their virtues rose;

Spring eager from his lov'd embrace,
Nor Betis', nor Iberus' stream,

And fiy at each rever'd command,
Nor Tagus with his golden gleam,

Like arrows from the giant's hand,
Shall insolently call their own
The dear-bought treasures of these worlds unknown. So Edward fought on Cressy's bleeding plain,

In vengeance on his foes.
A chosen race to freedom dear,

A blooming hero, great beyond his years.
Untaught to injure, as to fear,

So William fought—but cease the strain, By me conducted, shall exert their claims,

A loss so recent bathes the Muse in tears.
Shall glut my great revenge, and roll them all to

So shall hereafter every son,

Who now with prattling infancy relieves

Those anxious cares which wait upon a throne,
Where, ah ! too oft, amidst the myrtles, weaves

The thorn its pointed anguish-So

Shall every youth his duty know,

To guard the monarch's right, and people's weal;

And thou, great George, with just regard Hail to the rosy morn, whose ray

To Heaven, shalt own the Hebrew bard To lustre wakes th' auspicious day,

But sung the truths you feel.
Which Britain holds so dear!
To this fair month of right belong

Blest be the day which gave thee birth!
The festive dance, the choral song,

Let others tear the ravay'd Earth, And pastimes of the year.

And fell Ambition's powers appear Whate'er the wintry colds prepard,

In storms, which desolate the year. Whate'er the spring but faintly rear'd,

Confess'd thy milder virtues shine, Now wears its brightest bloom ;

Thou rul'st indeed, our hearts are thine. A brighter blue enrobes the skies,

By slender ties our kings of old From laughing fields the zephyrs rise

Their fabled right divine would vainly hold. On wings that breathe perfume.

Thy juster claim ev'n Freedom's sons can love, The lark in air that warbling floats,

The king who bends to Heaven, must Heaven itself The wood-birds with their tuneful throats,

The streams that murmur as they flow,
The flocks that rove the mountain's brow,
The herds that through the meadows play,

Proclaim 't is Nature's holiday!

1767 And shall the British lyre be mute,

When first the rude o'er-peopled North
Nor thrill through all its trembling strings, Pour'd his prolific offspring forth,
With oaten reed, and pastoral flute,

At large in alien climes to roam,
Whilst every vale responsive rings?

And seek a newer, better home, To him we pour the grateful lay,

From the bleak mountain's barren head, Who makes the season doubly gay:

The marshy vale, th' ungrateful plain, For whom, so late, our lifted eyes

From cold and penury they fled With tears besought the pitying skies,

To warmer suns, and Ceres' golden reign.



At every step the breezes blew

Their fostring dews distill’d : Soft and more soft: the lengthen'd view

In vain the wide and teeming Earth Did fairer scenes expand :

Gave all her buried treasures birth, Unconscious of approaching foes,

And crown'd the laughing field : The farm, the town, the city rose,

For lo ! some fiend, in evil hour, To tempt the spoiler's hand.

Assuming Famine's horrid mien,

Diffus'd her petrifying power Not Britain so. For nobler ends

O'er thoughtless Plenty's festive bower, Her willing daring sons she sends,

And blasted every green. Praught like the fabled car of old,

Strong panic terrours shook the land;
Which scatter'd blessings as it rollid.

Th’ obdurate breast, the griping hand
From cultur'd fields, from fleecy downs,

Were almost taught to spare ;
From vales that wear eternal bloom,

For loud misrule, the scourge of crimes, From peopled farms, and busy towns,

Mix'd with the madness of the times,
Where shines the ploughshare, and where sounds And rous'd a rustic war.

To sandy deserts, pathless woods, (the loom, Whilst real Want, with sigh sincere,
Impending steeps, and headlong floods,

At home, in silence, dropp'd a tear,
She sends th' industrious swarm :

Or rais’d th' imploring eye, To where self-strangled Nature lies,

Foul Riot's sons in torrents came, Till social art shall bid her rise

And dar'd usurp thy awful name, From chaos into form.

Thrice sacred Misery ! Thus George and Britain bless mankind.

Then George arose. His feeling heart And lest the parent realm should find

Inspir'd the nation's better part Her numbers shrink, with flag unfurl'a

With virtues like its own: She stands, th' asylum of the world.

His power control'd th' insatiate train, From foreign strands new subjects come, Whose avarice grasp'd at private gain, New arts accede a thousand ways,

Regardless of a people's groan. For here the wretched finds a home,

Like snows beneath th' all-cheering ray, And all her portals Charity displays.

The rebel crowds dissolv'd away: From each proud master's hard command,

And Justice, though the sword she drew, From tyrant Zeal's oppressive hand,

Glanc'd lightly o'er th' offending crew, What eager exiles fly!

And scarce selected, to avenge her woes, “ Give us,” they cry, “'t is Nature's cause, A single victim from a host of foes. O give us liberty and laws,

Yes, Mercy triumph'd; Mercy shone confest Beneath a harsher sky!”

In her own noblest sphere, a monarch's breast.

Forcibly mild did Mercy shine, Thus George and Britain bless mankind.-

Like the sweet month in which we pay Away, ye barks; the favouring wind

Our annual vows at Mercy's shrine, Springs from the east; ye prows, divide

And hail our monarch's natal day. The vast Atlantic's heaving tide!

Britannia from each rocky height
Pursues you with applauding hands :
Afar, impatient for the freight,

See! the whole western world expecting stands !
Already fancy paints each plain,

The deserts nod with golden grain,
The wond'ring vales look gay,

Let the voice of Music breathe,
The woodman's stroke the forests feel,

Hail with song the new-born year! The lakes admit the merchant's keel

Though the frozen Earth beneath
Away, ye barks, away!

Feels not yet his influence near,
Already from his southern goal

The genial god who rules the day

Has bid his glowing axle roll,

And promis'd the return of May.

Yon ruffian blasts, whose pinions sweep

Impetuous o'er our northern deep,
PRIEND to the poor !—for sure, O king,

Shall cease their sounds of war:
That godlike attribute is thine

And, gradual as his power prevails,
Friend to the poor! to thee we sing,

Shall mingle with the softer gales
To thee our annual offerings bring,

That sport around his car.
And bend at Mercy's shrine.
In vain had Nature deign'd to smile

Poets should be prophets too,
Propitious on our fav'rite isle

Plenty in his train attends; Emerging from the main :

Fruits and flowers of various hue In vain the genial source of day

Bloom where'er her step she bends. Selected each indulgent ray

Down the green hill's sloping side, For Britain's fertile plain :

Winding to the vale below, In vain yon bright surrounding skies

See, she pours her golden tide! Bade all their clouds in volumes rise,

Whilst, upon its airy brow,

[ocr errors]

Amidst his flocks, whom Nature leads

To flowery feasts on mountains' heads,

Th’exulting shepherd lies :
And to th' horizon's utmost bound

PATRON of Arts, at length by thee
Rolls his eye with transport round,

Their home is fix'd: thy kind decree Then lifts it to the skies.

Has plac'd their empire here.

No more unheeded shall they waste Let the voice of Music breathe !

Their treasures on the fickle taste Twine, ye swains, the festal wreath!

Of each fantastic year. Britain shall no more complain

Judgment shall frame each chaste design, Of niggard harvests, and a failing year :

Nor e'er from Truth's unerring line No more the miser hoard his grain,

The sportive artist roam : Regardless of the peasant's tear,

Whether the breathing bust he forms, Whose hand laborious till'd the earth,

With Nature's tints the canvass warms, And gave those very treasures birth.

Or swells, like Heaven's high arch, th’imperial dome,

Fancy, the wanderer, shall be taught No more shall George, whose parent breast

To own severer laws : Feels every pang his subjects know,

Spite of her wily wanton play, Behold a faithful land distress'd,

Spite of her lovely errours, which betray Or hear one sigh of real woe:

Th'enchanted soul to fund applause, But grateful' mirth, whose decent bounds

Ev'n she, the wanderer, shall be taught No riot swells, no fear confounds,

That nothing truly great was ever wrought, And heartfelt ease, whose glow within

Where judgment was away. Exalts Contentment's modest mien,

Through osier twigs th’ Acanthus rose: In every face shall smile confess'd,

Th'idea charms, the artist glows:
And in his people's joy, the monarch too be blest. But 't was his skill to please,

Which bade the graceful foliage spread,
To crown the stately columns head

With dignity and ease.

When great Apelles, pride of Greece,

Frown'd on the almost finish'd piece,

Despairing to succeed, FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4,

What though the missile vengeance pass'd

From his rash hand, the random cast
PREPARE, prepare your songs of praise, Might dash the foam, but skill had form'd the steed.
The genial month returns again,

Nor less the Phidian arts approve
Her annual rites when Britain pays

Labour, and patient care,
To her own monarch of the main.

Whate'er the skilful artists trace,
Not on henicia's bending shore,

Laccoon's pangs, or soft Antinous' face.
Whence Commerce first her wings essay'd, By skill, with that diviner air
And dar'd th’ unfathom'd deep explore,

The Delian god does all but move;
Sincerer vows the Tyrian paid

'T was skill gave terrours to the front of Jove, To that imaginary deity,

To Venus every grace.
Who bade him boldly seize the empire of the sea.

--And shall each sacred seat,
What though no victim bull be led,
His front with snow-white fillets bound;

The vales of Arno, and the Tuscan stream,
Nor fable chant the neighing steed;

No more be visited with pi!grim feet?
That issued when he smote the ground;

No more on sweet Hymettus' summits dream

The sons of Albion ? or below,
Our fields a living incense breathe:
Nor Libanus, nor Carmel's brow,

Where Ilyssus' waters flow,

Trace with awe the dear remains
To dress the bower, or form the wreath,
More liberal fragrance could bestow..

Of mould'ring urns, and mutilated fanes ?
We too have herds, and steeds, beside the rills

Far be the thought. Each sacred seat,

Each monument of ancient fame,
That feed and rove, protected, o'er a thousand hills.
Secure, while George the sceptre sways,

Shall still be visited with pilgrim feet, (flame.
(Whom will
, whom int'rest, and whom duty And Albion gladly own from whence she caught the

Still shall her studious youth repair, draws To venerate and patronize the laws)

Beneath their king's protecting care,
Secure her open front does Freedom raise.

To every clime which art has known;
Secure the merchant ploughs the deep,

And rich with spoils from every coast
His wealth his own : secure the swains

Return, till Albion learn to boast

An Athens of her own.
Amidst their rural treasures sleep,
Lords of their little kingdoms of the plains.
Then to his day be honour given !

May every choicest boon of Heaven
His bright, distinguish'd reign adorn!

FOR THE NEW-YEAR. 1770. Till, white as Britain's fleece, old Time shall FORWARD, Janus, turn thine eyes, shed

Future scenes in prospect view, His snows upon his reverend head,

Rising as the moments rise, Commanding filial awe from senates yet unborn, Which form the fleeting year anew,

Fresh beneath the scythe of Time,

He too, when Heaven vouchsafes to smile Could the Muse's voice avail,

Propitious on his favourite isle,
Joys should spring and reach their prime,

With zeal performs the task he loves,
Blooming ere the former fail,

And every gracious boon improves.
And every joy its tribute bring

Blest delegate ! if now there lies To Britain, and to Britain's king.

Ripening in yonder pregnant skies Suns should warm the pregnant soil,

Some great event of more than common good, Health in every breeze should blow;

Though Envy howl with all her brood, Plenty crown the peasant's toil,

Thy wonted power employ;

Usher the mighty moments in
And shine upon his cheerful brow.
Round the throne whilst duty waits,

Sacred to harmony and joy,

And from his era let their course begin!
Duty join'd with filial love,
Peace should triumph in our gates,

And every distant fear remove;
Till gratitude to Heav'n should raise

The speaking eye, the song of praise.
Let the nations round in arms

Stun the world with war's alarms,

Again returns the circling year, But let Britain still be found

Again the festal day, Safe within her wat'ry bound.

Which ushers in its bright career,
Tyrant chiefs may realms destroy ;

Demands the votive lay:
Nobler is our monarch's joy,
Of all that 's truly great possessid,

Again the oft-accustom'd Muse

Her tributary task pursues, And, by blessing, truly blest.

Strikes the preluding lyre again, Though comets rise, and wonder mark their way, And calls the harmonious band to animate her strain. Above the bounds of Nature's sober laws,

Britain is the glowing theme; It is the all-cheering lamp of day,

To Britain sacred be the song : The permanent, the unerring cause,

Whate'er the sages lov'd to dream By whom th' enliven'd world its course maintains,

Lycéan shades among, By whom all Nature smiles, and beauteous order (When raptur'd views their bosoms warm'd reigns.

Of perfect states by fancy form'd)

United here and realiz'd we see,

Thrones, independence, laws, and liberty !

The triple cord, which binds them fast, FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1770.

Like the golden chain of Jove DISCORD hence! the torch resign

Combining all below with all above, Harmony shall rule to day.

Shall bid the sacred union last. Whate'er thy busy fiends design

What though jars intestiné rise, Of future ills, in cruel play,

And discord seems awhile to reign, To torture or alarm mankind,

Britain's sons are brave, are wise, Lead the insidious train away,

The storm subsides, and they embrace again. Some blacker hours for mischief find;

The master-springs which rule the land, Harmony shall rule to day.

Guided by a skilful hand, Distinguish'd from the vulgar year,

Loosening now, and now restraining, And mark'd with Heaven's peculiar white,

Yielding something, something gaining, This day shall grace the rolling sphere,

Preserve inviolate the public frame, And ling'ring end its bright career,

As, though the seasons change, the year is still the Unwilling to be lost in night.

O, should Britain's foes presume, (same. Discord, lead thy fiends away!

Trusting some delusive scene Harmony shall rule to day.

Of transient feuds that rage at home,

And seem to shake the nice machine, Is there, intent on Britain's good,

Should they dare to lift the sword, Some angel hovering in the sky,

Or bid their hostile thunders roar, Whose ample view surveys her circling flood,

Soon their pride would mirth afford, Her guardian rocks, that shine on high,

And break like billows on a shore; Her forests, waving to the gales,

Soon would find her vengeance wake, Her streams, that glide through fertile vales,

Weep in blood the dire mistake, Her lowing pastures, fleecy downs,

And 'gainst their wild attempts united see
Towering cities, busy towns,

Thrones, independence, laws, and liberty!
Is there who views them all with joy serene,
And breathes a blessing on the various scene?
O, if there is, to him 't is given,

(When daring crimes almost demand
The vengeance of the Thunderer's hand)

To soften, or avert, the wrath of Heaven.
O'er ocean's face do tempests sweep?

Long did the churlish East detain
Do civil storms blow loud ?

In icy bonds th' imprison'd spring:
He stills the raging of the deep,

No verdure dropp'd in dewy rain,
And madness of the crowd.

And not a zephyr wav'd its wing.

Even he, th' enlivening source of day,

True to herself if Britain prove, But pour'd an ineffectual ray

What foreign foes has she to dread? On Earth's wild bosom, cold and bare;

Her sacred laws, her sovereign's love, Where not a plant uprear'd its head,

Her virtuous pride by Freedom bred, Or dar'd its infant foliage spread

Secure at once domestic ease, To meet the blasting air.

And awe th' aspiring nations into peace. Nor less did man confess its force:

Did Rome e'er court a tyrant's smiles, Whate'er could damp its genial course,

Till faction wrought the civil frame's decay ? Or o'er the seats of life prevail,

Did Greece submit to Philip's wiles,
Each pale disease that pants for breath,

Till her own faithless sons prepard the way?
Each painful harbinger of death,
Lurk'd in the loaded gale.

True to herself if Britain prove,

The warring world will league in vain, But now th' unfolding year resumes

Her sacred laws, her sovereign's love, Its various hues, its rich array ;

Her empire boundless as the main, And, bursting into bolder blooms,

Will guard at once domestic ease, Repays with strength its long delay.

And awe th' aspiring nations into peace. *T is Nature reigns. The grove unbinds Its tresses to the southern winds,

The birds with music fill its bowers;
The flocks, the herds beneath its shade
Repose, or sport along the glade,

And crop the rising flowers.
Nor less does man rejoice. To him

More mildly sweet the breezes seem,
More fresh the fields, the suns more warm ;

From scenes of death, and deep distress, While health, the animating soul

(Where Britain shar'd her monarch's woe) Of every bliss, inspires the whole,

Which most the feeling mind oppress, And heightens each peculiar charm.

Yet best to bear the virtuous know,

Turn we our eyes—The cypress wreath Loveliest of months, bright Jupe! again

No more the plaintive Muse shall wear; Thy season smiles. With thee return

The blooming flowers which round her breathe, The frolic band of Pleasure's train;

Shall form the chaplet for her hair; With thee Britannia's festal morn,

And the gay month which claims her annual fire, When the glad land her homage pays

Shall raise to sprightlier notes the animated lyre, To George, her monarch, and her friend.

The lark that mounts on morning wings “ May cheerful health, may length of days,

To meet the rising day, And smiling peace his steps attend !

Amidst the clouds exulting sings, May every good" - Cease, cease the strain ;

The dewy clouds, whence Zephyr flings The prayer were impotent and vain:

The fragrance of the May. What greater good can man possess

The day, which gave our monarch birth, Than he, to whom all-bounteous Heaven,

Recalls each noblest theme of ages past; With unremitting hand, has given

Tells us, whate'er we owed to Nassau's worth, The power and will to bless?

The Brunswick race confirm'd, and bade it last :
Tells us, with rapturous joy unblam'd,

And conscious gratitude, to feel

Our laws, our liberties, reclaim'd

From tyrant pride, and bigot zeal;

While each glad voice, that wakes the echoing air, At length the fleeting year is o'er,

In one united wish thus joins the general prayer: And we no longer are deceiv'd;

“ Till Ocean quits his favorite isle, The wars, the tumults are no more

Till, Thames, thy wat'ry train Which fancy form’d, and fear believ'd. No more shall bless its pregnant soil, Each distant object of distress,

May order, peace, and freedom smile
Each phantom of uncertain guess,

Beneath a Brunswick's reign !”
The busy mind of man could raise,
Has taught ev'n folly to beware;
And fleets and armies in the air
The wond'ring crowd has ceas'd to gaze.

And shall the same dull cheats again

Revive, in stale succession roll'd?
Shall sage experience warn in vain,

Nor the new year be wiser than the old ?
Forbid it, ye protecting powers,

Wrapt in the stole of sable grain,
Who guide the months, the days, the hours With storms and tempests in his train,
Which now advance on rapid wing!

Which howl the naked woods among,
May each new spectre of the night

Winter claims the solemn song. Dissolve at their approaching light,

Hark, 't is Nature's last farewell; As fy the wint'ry damps the soft return of spring! Every blast is Nature's kuell !

« PreviousContinue »