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FOR THE NEW-YEAR.
Yet shall glooms oppress the mind,
Happy the land, to whom 't is given So oft by sage experience taught
T' enjoy that choicest boon of Heaven, To feel its present views confin'd,
Where, bound in one illustrious chain,
All that fades again shall live,
Hence is Britannia's weal maintain'd;
Hence are the rights his fathers gain'd Yon Sun, who sails in southern skies,
To every free-born subject known: And faintly gilds th' horizon's bound,
Hence to the throne, in songs of praise, Shall northward still, and northward rise,
A grateful realm its tribute pays,
From the cold Earth's relenting breast,
1774. Has fix'd in temperate climes its stated goal, Far from the burning zone's inclement air,
« Pass but a few short fleeting years," Far from th'eternal frosts which bind the pole. Imperial Xerxes sigh'd and said, Here dewy spring exerts his genial powers ;
Whilst his fond eye, suffus'd with tears, Here summer glows salubrious, not severe;
His numerous hosts survey'd; Here copious autumn spreads his golden stores,
" Pass but a few short fleeting years, And winter strengthens the returning year.
And all that pomp, which now appears
A glorious living scene,
Shall breathe its last; shall fall, shall die,
As they had never been !"
True, tyrant: wherefore then does pride,
And desolate mankind?
If life, alas ! is short, why shake the hasty sand?
Not so do Britain's kings behold
Their floating bulwarks of the main FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1773. Their undulating sails unfold,
And gather all the winds aerial reign. Borx for millions are the kings
Myriads they see, prepar'd to brave Who sit on Britain's guarded throne:
The loudest storm, the wildest wave, From delegated power their glory springs,
To hurl just thunders on insulting foes, Their birth-day is our own!
To guard, and not invade, the world's repose.
Myriads they see, their country's dear delight, In impious pomp let tyrants shine,
Their country's dear defence, and glory in the sight! Assuming attributes divine,
Nor do they idly drop a tear And stretch their unresisted sway
On fated Nature's future bier ; Q'er slaves, who tremble, and obey.
For not the grave can damp Britannia's fires; On lawless pinions let them soar:
Though chang'd the men, the worth is still the Far happier he, whose temperate power,
The sons will emulate their sires,
(same; Acknowledg'd, and avow'd,
And the sons' sons will catch the glorious fame!
FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1774.
HARK !-or does the Muse's ear Who view'd the dazzling scene.
Form the sounds she longs to hear? Though incense blaz'd on flattery's shrine, Hark! from yonder western main Great Titus and the greater Antonine
O'er the white wave echoing far, Felt, and confess'd they were but men.
Vows of duty swell the strain,
And drown the notes of war. But ah! how few, let History speak
The prodigal again returns, With weeping eye, and blushing cheek,
And on his parent's neck reclines; E'er reach'd their mighty mind!
With honest shame his bosom burns, Man, selfish man, in most prevail'd,
And in his eye affection shines; And power roll'd down a curse, entailid
Shines through tears, at once that prove On reason and mankind.
Grief, and joy, and filial love,
FOR THE NEW-YEAR.
Discord, stop that raven voice,
1776. Tell it not on Ebro's stream, Though but transient be the pain,
On the white rocks which guard her coast, Like to some delusive dream:
Observant of the parting day, For soon shall reason, calm, and sage,
Whose orb was half in ocean lost, Detect each vile seducer's wiles,
Reclin'd Britannia lay. Shall soothe to peace mistaken rage,
Wide o'er the wat'ry waste And all be harmony and smiles;
A pensive look she cast ; Smiles repentant, such as prove
And scarce could check the rising sigh, [ber eye. Grief, and joy, and filial love.
And scarce could stop the tear which trembled in O prophetic be the Muse !
“ Sheathe, sheathe the sword which thirsts for May her monitory flame
blood," Wake the soul to noble views,
She cried, “ deceiv'd, mistaken men ! And point the path to genuine fame!
Nor let your parent, o'er the flood, Just subjection, mild commands,
Send forth her voice in vain ! Mutual interest, mutual love,
Alas! no tyrant she, Form indissoluble bands,
She courts you to be free: Like the golden chain of Jove.
Submissive hear her soft command, Closely may they all unite!
Nor force unwilling vengeance from a parent's hand." And see, a gleam of lustre breaks
Hear her, ye wise, to duty true, From the shades of envious night
And teach the rest to feel, And hark, 't is more than fancy speaks
Nor let the madness of a few They bow, they yield, they join the chural lay,
Distress the public weal!
So shall the opening year assume,
The Sun with added lustre shine!
“ To err is human.”—Let us prove ODE XXIX.
“ Forgiveness is divine! FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1775.
Yg powers, who rule o'er states and kings,
Man's erring race from woe,
On all the winds that blow!
Beyond the vast Atlantic tide
Where millions claim your care:
The British oak is there.
Ye western gales, whose genial breath
One verdant livery wears :
And dry the morning's tears.
Though vaguely wild its branches spread,
Wide-waving o'er the plain,
The untainted trunk remaju.
Where mutual interest binds the band,
Ensure perpetual ease,
O'er once united seas?
1 To this ode Mr. Mason has prefixed the fol. lowing advertisement, which, however, has not prevented us, as the reader will perceive, from inserting the regular series of all Mr. Whitehead's new-year and birth-day odes, both previous and subsequent to it.
“ In the Collection of Poems which Mr. Whitehead printed in 1774, he thought proper to select certain of his new-year and birth-day odes for re-publication. Beginning, therefore, from that date, I have reviewed, with the assistance of some friends, whose taste in lyric composition I could depend on, all that he wrote afterwards, and those which we best approved are here inserted. In this review it is to be noted, to the poet's honour, that we found more variety of sentiment and expression, than could well be expected from such an uniformity of subject. If we lamented the necessity he was under, of so frequently adverting to the war with America, we generally admired his delicate manner of treating it. Should, therefore, the odes here reprinted lead any person to read all that he composed, in compliance with the forms of his
No; midst the blaze of wrath divine
And mercy gild the ray;
From this auspicious day.
This is your season, lovely gales,
United, let us all those blessings find, Through ether now your power prevails;
The God of Nature meant mankind, And our dilated breasts shall own
Whate'er of errour, ill redrest; The joys which flow from you alone.
Whate'er of passion, ill represt;
Whate'er the wicked have conceiv'd, Why, therefore, in yon dubious sky,
And folly's heedless sons believ'd, With outspread wing, and eager eye
Let all lie buried in oblivion's flood, On distant scenes intent,
And our great cement be,—the public good.
Suspend some great event?
FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1777. But strives to smooth th' upruly flood, And dreads a conquest stain'd with blood.
DRIVEN out from Heaven's ethereal domes,
On Earth insatiate Discord roams, While yet, ye winds, your breezy balm
And spreads her baleful influence far: Through Nature spreads a general calm,
On wretched man her scorpion stings While yet a pause fell Discord knows;
Around th' insidious fury flings, Catch the soft moment of repose,
Corroding every bliss, and sharp’ning every care. Your genuine powers exert; To pity melt th' obdurate mind,
Hence, demon, hence! in tenfold night Teach every bosom to be kind,
Thy Stygian spells employ, And humanize the heart.
Nor with thy presence blast the light
Of that auspicious day, which Britain gives to joy. Propitious gales, O wing your way! And whilst we hail that rightful sway
But come, thou softer deity, Whence temper'd freedom springs,
Fairest Unanimity! The bliss we feel, to future times
Not more fair the star that leads Extend, and from your native climes
Bright Aurora's glowing steeds,
Or on Hesper's front that shines,
Festive Dance, and choral Song,
Loose-rob'd Sport, from folly free,
And Mirth, chastis'd by decency.
Enough of war the pensive Muse has sung, Bids the earth and air obey ;
Enough of slaughter trembled on her tongue; Throws o'er yon hostile lakes his icy bar,
Fairer prospects let her bring And, for a while, suspends the rage of war.
Than hostile fields and scenes of blood; O may it ne'er revive! _Ye wise,
If happier hours are on the wing, Ye just, ye virtuous, and ye brave,
Wherefore damp the coming good? Leave fell contention to the sons of vice,
If again our tears must flow, And join your powers to save!
Why forestall the future woe?
Bright-ey'd Hope, thy pleasing power Enough of slaughter have ye known,
Gilds at least the present hour, Ye wayward children of a distant clime,
Every anxious thought beguiles, For you we beave the kindred groan,
Dresses every face in smiles, We pity your misfortune, and your crime. Nor lets one transient cloud the bliss destroy Stop, parricides, the blow,
Of that auspicious day, which Britain gives to joy.
When rival nations, great in arms, On Britain's well-mix'd state alone,
Great in power, in glory great, True Liberty has fix'd her throne,
Fill the world with war's alarms, Where law, not man, an equal rule maintains: And breathe a temporary hate, Can freedom e'er be found where many a tyrant The hostile storms but rage a while, reigns ?
And the tired contest ends.
But ah, how hard to reconcile office, (and all are to be found in the Annual Re-, The foes who once were friends! gister printed by Dodsley) I persuade myself he Each hasty word, each look unkind, must agree with me in thinking, that no court Each distant hint, that seems to mean poet ever had fewer courtly stains, and that his page A something lurking in the mind is, at the least, as white as Addison's."
Which almost longs to lurk unseen,
FOR THE NEW-YEAR.
Power despotic rarely knows,
By force it claims, with grasping hand,
Whate'er ambition dares demand :
The ravag'd merchant, plunder'd swain,
Their private sorrows are their own;
A tyrant feels not, though a people groan, How proudly through each martial plain
O happier far the well-mix'd state, Britannia stalks! “ 'T was thus of old,
Which blends the monarch's with the subject's fate, My warlike sons, a gallant train,
And links the sceptre to the spade! Call'd forth their genuine strength, and spread The stroke which wounds the lowliest clown Their banners o'er the tented mead;
Is insult to the British crown, 'T was thus they taught perfidious France to yield.” | And he attacks our rights who dares the throne inShe cries, and shows the lilies on her shield.
One common flame, one active soul, [vade.
Pervades and animates the whole; “ Yes, goddess, yes! 'twas thus of old,”
One heart, one hand, directs the blow,
And hurls the vollied vengeance on the foe.
FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1779.
LET Gallia mourn! th' insulting foe,
When lost, she thought, in deep dismay,
Deems she misfortune e'er can tame
Is Agincourt so little known? And chiefs that rule, because belov'd.
Must fresh conviction curb her pride, 'Tis hence that flash of virtuous pride,
Each age new annals be supply'd,
Of Gallia's shame and our renown?
What though a while the tempest shrouds
Each rock and mountain wears ; And, whilst they own a just control,
Yet soon returns the fitting breeze, But yield a part to guard the whole.
And brighter o'er her subject seas "T is hence they spurn a servile chain,
The queen of isles appears.
Let Gallia mourn! th’ insulting foe,
Who sees, by all the winds that blow, A father-king, and hail the day
Her treasures waited to the coast Which gave such monarchs birth."
She insolently deem'd was lost.
But low in dust her head she bows,
FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1781).
You Sun, that with meridian ray
When Britain breathes her annual vow
Bids the red bolt of vengeance glow :
Saw Britain's banners wave
But tried in vain to save.
Though Britain feels the blows around;
And flourish from the wound.
Still o'er the deep does Britain reign,
Have found their boasted efforts vain;
Undazzled and undaunted turns his eyes,
Prophetic, as the flame that spread
Round the young lulus' head,
Be that blest omen of success.
Catches thence ecstatic views;
Sees new laurels nobly won, To grasp the trident of the main,
As the circling year rolls on ; And hope the astonish'd world should bend
Sees that triumphs of its own To the mock pageantry assum'd in vain?
Each distinguish'd month shall crown; What, though her feets the billows load,
And, ere this festive day again What, though her mimic thunders roar,
Returns to wake the grateful strain, She bears the ensigns of the god,
Sees all that host of foes, But not his delegated power.
Both to her glory and repose, Ev'n from the birth of time 't was Heaven's decree, Bend their proud necks beneath Britannia's yoke, The queen of isles should reign sole empress of the And court that peace which their injustice broke. sea.
Still o'er the deep shall Britain reign, United Bourbon's giant pride
Her monarch still the trident bear; Strains every nerve, each effort tries
The warring world is leagu'd in vain
To conquer those who know not fear.
Grasp'd be the spear by ev'ry hand,
Let every heart united glow, Who bares his red right arm on high
Collected, like the Theban band,
Can Britain dread a foe?
No! o'er the deep she still shall reign,
Her monarch still the trident bear:
The warring world is leagu'd in vain
To conquer those who know not fear.
Ask round the world, from age to age,
Or poet's song have just attention won :
But even the feeblest voice of fame
Has learnt to lisp Britannia's name,
Ask of her inborn worth, and deeds of high renown!
FOR THE NEW-YEAR.