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FOR THE NEW-YEAR.
What power from Lusitania broke
Nature, intent alone to bless,
Bids strife and discord cease;
And all her paths are peace."
Ev'n this auspicious day would wear And rais'd the Austrian eagle's drooping wing?
A brighter face of joy serene; 'T was Britain !- Britain heard the nations groan, And not one ruffling gale of care As jealous of their freedom as her own!
Disturb the halcyon scene; Where'er her valiant troops she led,
On lighter wings would Zephyr move, Check'd and abash’d, and taught to fear,
The Sun with added lustre shine, The Earth's proud tyrants stopp'd their mad career; Did Peace, descending from above, To Britain Gallia bowd; from Britain Julius fied. Here fix her earthly shrine ;
Here to the monarch's fondest prayer Why then, when round her fair protectress' brow
A just attention yield, The dark clouds gather, and the tempests blow,
And let him change the sword of war
For her protecting shield.
O WONDROUS power of inborn worth, That glory in their cause acquir'd, (blaze. When danger calls its spirit forth, That glory burns too bright, they cannot bear the And strong necessity compels
The secret springs to burst their narrow cells ! Then Britain, by experience wise,
Though foes unnumber'd gird her round, Court not an envious or a timid friend;
Though not one friend is faithful found, Firm in thyself undaunted rise,
Though impious scorn derides, On thy own arm and righteous Heaven depend. Yet still unmov'd amidst the band, So as in great Eliza's days,
Like her own rocks, does Britain stand, On self-supported pinions borne,
And braves th' insulting tides. Again shalt thou look down with scorn
A world in arms assaults her reign,
A world in arms assaults in vain.
'T is Britain calls, ye nations, hear! As truly generous as thou 'rt truly brave, (save. Unbrace the corselet, drop the spear, Again shalt crush the proud, again the conquer'd
No more th' insidious toil pursue,
'T is Britain calls: with fatal speed
You urge, by headlong fury led,
Your own impending fate.
'T was for the glory of mankind Still does the rage of war prevail,
That Britain should be great. Still thirsts for blood th' insatiate spear?
In Britain's voice 't is Freedom calls, Waft not, ye winds, th' invidious tale,
For Freedom dies if Britain falls. Nor let th' uptutor'd nations hear, That passion baffles reason's boasted reign, She cannot fall; the same Almighty hand And half the peopled world is civilized in vain. That rais'd her white rocks from the main, What are morals, what are laws,
Does still her arduous cause maintain, What religion's sacred name?
Still grasps the shield that guards her favour'd land. Nor morals soften, nor religion awes : (same. Obedient to his word, Pure though the precepts flow, the actions are the Not to destroy, but to reclaim, Revenge, and pride, and deadly hate,
Th’avenging angel waves the flaming sword: And avarice tainting deep the mind,
Revere his awful name! With all the fury fiends that wait,
Repentant in the dust, As torturing plagues, on human kind,
Confess his judgments just; When shown in their own native light,
Th'avenging sword shall cease to wave,
Like real monsters rise;
FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1762. Then call them glory, and pursue the blaze. O blind to Nature's social plan,
STILL does reluctant Peace refuse, And Heaven's indulgent end !
Though courted by each generous mind, Her kinder laws knit man to man,
To shed her panacean dews, As brother and as friend.
And heal the madness of mankind !
Must this auspicious day again
Ye nations, hear! nor fondly deem Be clouded with one anxious care,
Britannia's ancient spirit fled; And powers malignant render vain
Or glosing weep her setting beam, The monarch's fondest wish, the people's general Whose fierce meridian rays her rivals dread
Her genius slept—her genius wakesO no ! in yonder pregnant sky,
Nor strength deserts her, nor high Heaven forsakes. Whence all our hopes and blessings spring, New bursting scenes of glory lie,
To Heaven she bends, and Heaven alone, And future joys are on the wing:
Who all her wants, her weakness knows, The ling'ring morn, that coyly sheds
And supplicates th' eternal throne On broken clouds and mountain-heads
To spare her crimes, and heal her woes. At first a glimmering ray,
Proud man with vengeance still Now brighter and now brighter glows,
Pursues, and aggravates e'en fancied ill; Wide and more wide the lustre flows,
Par gentler means offended Heaven employs, Till all is future day,
With mercy Heaven corrects-chastises, not deAnd Earth, rejoicing in ethereal light, (night.
stroys. Forgets the dreary damps, and live-long shades of
When hope's last gleam can hardly dare Satiate of war, whose mad excess
To pierce the gloom and soothe despair ; No bound, no kind restriction knows,
When flames th' uplifted bolt on high, But marks its progress with distress,
In act to cleave th' offended sky, The willing world shall seek repose;
Its issuing wrath can Heaven repress, And Belgia waking from her dreams
And win to virtue by success. Of Gallic frauds, illusive schemes,
Then O! to Heaven's protecting hand Shall add new strength to concord's chain,
Be praise, be prayer address'd, And know her ancient friends again.
Whose mercy bids a guilty land While those, whom nearer ties unite,
Be virtuous and be bless'd! Whom all the charities combine,
So shall the rising year regain Shall backward turn their trembling sight,
The erring seasons' wonted chain; And deprecate the wrath divine:
The rolling months that gird the sphero, Midst bleeding heaps of brothers slain,
* Again their wonted liveries wear; Midst desolation's horrid reign,
And health breathe fresh in every gale, And all its complicated woes,
And plenty clothe each smiling vale With wild affright in every face,
With all the blessings Nature yields Shall strain more close the strict embrace,
To temperate suns from fertile fields.
So shall the proud be taught to bow,
Pale envy's fierce contentions cease,
The sea once more its sovereign know, Returning amity, and mutual love!
And glory gild the wreath of Peace. And hark! on yonder western main
Imperious France is taught to know, That Britain reassumes her reign:
ODE XLV. Her thunders only slept to strike the deeper blow.
FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1783. Ye nations, hear! the Gallic star,
Shorn of its beams, th' horizon leaves; That fatal firebrand of the war
Ar length the troubled waters rest, No longer dazzles and deceives.
And, shadowing Ocean's calmer breast,
Exulting Commerce spreads her woven wings: Record it in the fairest light
Free as the winds that waft them o'er, Of faithful History's future page, [fight, Her issuing vessels glide from shore to shore, “ They only triumph'd, whilst they shunn’d the And in the bending shrouds the careless sea-boy sings. We, when we forc'd them to engage.”
Is peace a blessing ?--Ask the mind
That glows with love of human kind,
That knows no guile, no partial weakness knows, ODE XLIV.
Contracted to no narrow sphere,
The world, the world at large is umpire here; 1783.
They feel, and they enjoy, the blessings peace be
stows. Ye nations, hear th' important taleThough armies press, though fleets assail,
Then, oh! what bliss his bosom shares, Though vengeful war's collected stores
Who, conscious of ingenuous worth, At once united Bourbon pours,
Can nobly scorn inferior cares, Uomov'd amidst th' insulting bands,
And send the generous edict forth; Emblem of Britain, Calpe stands
To distant sighs of modest woe Th'all-conquering hosts their baffled efforts mourn, Can lend a pitying list’ning ear, And, though the wreath's prepard, unwreath'd the Nor see the meanest sorrows flow chiefs return.
Without a sympathising tear.
FOR THE NEW-YEAR.
FOR THE NEW-YEAR.
Though Rapine with her fury train
To bleed, to die, in Britain's cause, Rove wide and wild o'er Earth and main,
And guard, from faction nobly free,
True liberty, that loves the laws.
FOR HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, JUNE 4, 1784.
Hail to the day, whose beams, again And dread the man's reproach more than the mon
Returning, claim the choral strain, arch's frown.
And bid us breathe our annual vows
To the first power that Britain knows;
The power which, though itself restrain'd,
And subject to that just control
Which, many an arduous conflict gain'd,
Connects, unites, and animates the whole.
Yon radiant Sun, whose central force
Winds back each planet's vagrant course, The friend of man, the friend of peace. And through the systems holds imperial sway,
Bound by the same inherent laws,
Ev'n whilst it seems the active cause,
Promotes the general good, as much confin'd as they. 1784.
That wondrous plan, through ages sought, Enough of arms—to happier ends
Which elder Egypt never taught, Her forward view Britannia bends;
Nor Greece with all her letter'd lore, The gen'rous hosts, who grasp'd the sword, Nor struggling Rome, could e'er explore, Obedient to her awful word,
Though many a form of rule she tried ; Though martial glory cease,
That wondrous plan has Britain found, Shall now, with equal industry,
Which curbs licentiousness and pride, Like Rome's brave sons, when Rome was free, Yet leaves true liberty without a wound. Resume the arts of peace.
The fierce Plantagenets beheld O come, ye toil-worn wand'rers, come
Its growing strength, and deign’d to yield; To genial hearths, and social home,
Th’imperious Tudors frown'd, and felt aggriev'd; The tender housewife's busy care;
Th' unhappy race, whose faults we mourn, The board with temperate plenty crown'd;
Delay'd awhile its wish'd return, The smiling progeny around,
Till Brunswick perfected what Nassau had achiev'd. That listen to the tale of war. Yet be not war the fav’rite theme,
From that bright era of renown,
Astrea walks the world again, For what has war with bliss to do?
Her fabled form the nations own, Teach them more justly far to deem,
With all th' attendant virtues in her train. And own experience taught it you.
Hark! with what general loud acclaim Teach them, 't is in the will of Fate,
They venerate the British name, Their frugal industry alone
When forms of rule are in the balance weigh'd, Can make their country truly great,
And pour their torrents of applause And in her bliss secure their own.
On the fair isle, whose equal laws
Control the sceptre, and protect the spade.
The triple chain, which binds them fast, When through the loom the shuttle glides,
Like Homer's golden one, descends from Jove; Or shining share the glebe divides,
Long may the sacred union last, Or, bending to the woodman's stroke,
And the mixt powers in mutual concert move, To waft her commerce, falls the British oak
Each tempering each, and listening to the call Be all their songs, that soften these,
Of genuine public good, blest source and end of all! Of calm content and future well-earn'd ease; Nor dread lest inborn spirit die:
One glorious lesson, early taught,
1785. On the young bosom's yielding clay,
Strong be their country's love impress'd, Delusive is the poet's dream,
Tell them 't is theirs to grasp the sword The zeal which prompts the glowing theme,
And animates th' according lyre?
FOR THE NEW-YEAR.
Trust the Muse: her eye commands
Say, can you listen to the artless woes Distant times and distant lands;
Of an old tale, which every school-boy knows? Through bursting clouds, in opening skies, Where to your hearts alone the scenes apply, Sees from discord union rise;
No merit theirs but pure simplicity. And friendship bind unwilling foes
Our bard has play'd a most adventurous part, In firmer ties than duty knows.
And turn'd upon himself the critic's art ;
Stripp'd each luxuriant plume from fancy's wings, Torn rudely from its parent tree,
And torn up similies like vulgar things:
Nay ev'n each moral, sentimental stroke,
Where not the character, but poet spoke, And court again the fostering breast, He lopp'd, as foreign to his chaste design, Whose nurture gave its powers to spread,
Nor spar'd an useless, though a golden line. And feel their force, and lift an alien head.
These are his arts; if these cannot atone
For all those nameless errours yet unknown ; The parent tree, when storms impend, If, shunning faults which nobler bards commit,
Shall own affection's warmth again ; He wants their force to strike th' attentive pit; Again his fostering aid shall lend;
Be just, and tell him so; he asks advice, Nor hear the suppliant plead in vain ; Willing to learn, and would not ask it twice. Shall stretch protecting branches round,
Your kind applause may bid him write-beware! Extend the ter, and forget the wound.
Or kinder censure teach him to forbear.
Two Britains through th' admiring world
TO THE ROMAN FATHER.
SPOKEN BY MRS. PRITCHARD. 1750. When Rome's divided eagles flew;
Ladies, by me our courteous author sends And different thrones her empire knew,
His compliments to all his female friends; The varying language soon disjoin'd
And thanks them from his soul for every bright The boasted masters of mankind :
Indulgent tear, which they have shed to night. But here, no ills like those we fear,
Sorrow in virtue's cause proclaims a mind, No varying language threatens here;
And gives to beauty graces more refin'd. Congenial worth, congenial flame,
O who could bear the loveliest form of art, Their magners and their arts the same, A cherub's face, without a feeling heart! To the same tongue shall glowing themes afford, T is there alone, whatever charms we boast, And British heroes act, and British bards record. Though men may flatter, and though men will toast,
'T is there alone they find the joy sincere; Fly, swift, ye years! ye minutes haste! The wife, the parent, and the friend, are there: And in the future lose the past;
All else, the veriest rakes themselves must own, O'er many a thought-afflicting tale,
Are but the paltry play-things of the town; Oblivion, cast thy friendly veil!
The painted clouds, which glittering tempt the Let not Memory breathe a sigh,
chase, Or backward turn th' indignant eye;
Then melt in air, and mock the vain embrace. Nor the insidious arts of foes
Well then; the private virtues, 't is confest, Enlarge the breach that longs to close, Are the soft inmates of the female breast. But acts of amity alone inspire
But then, they fill so full that crowded space, Firm faith, and cordial love, and wake the willing That the poor public seldom finds a place, lyre.
And I suspect there 's many a fair-one here,
She'd fairly hang the brother, if she could.
Why, ladies, to be sure, if that be all,
You are his judges now, and he must plead.
Like other culprit youths, he wanted grace;
But could bave no self-interest in the case.
Had she been wife, or mistress, or a friend, 1750.
It might have answer'd some convenient end: BRITONS, to night in native pomp we come, But a mere sister, whom he lov'd—to take True heroes all, from virtuous ancient Rome; Her life away-and for his country's sake! In those far distant times when Romans knew Paith, ladies, you may pardon him; indeed The sweets of guarded liberty, like you ;
There 's very little fear the crime should spread. And, safe from ills which force or faction brings, True patriots are but rare among the men, Saw freedom reign beneath the smile of kings. And really might be useful, now and then. Yet from such times, and such plain chiefs as Then do not check, by your disapprobation, these,
A spirit which once rul'd the British nation, What can we frame a polish'd age to please ? And still might rule--would you but set the fashion.
SPOKEN BY MR. BARRY.
In short, these oracles and witching rhymes
Were but the pious frauds of ancient times;
Wisely contriv'd to keep mankind in awe,
When faith was wouder, and religion law!
Thus much premis'd to ev'ry feeling breast,
We leave the scenes themselves to tell the rest. Critics ! your favour is our author's right
-Yet something sure was to the critics said, The well-known scenes we shall present to night, Which I forget--some invocation made ! Are no weak efforts of a modern pen,
Ye critic bands, like jealous guardians, plac'd But the strong touches of immortal Ben;
To watch th' encroachments on the realms of taste, A rough old bard, whose honest pride disdaiu'd From you our author would two boons obtain, Applause itself, unless by merit gain'd
Not wholly diffident, por wholly vain : And would to night your loudest praise disclaim,
Two things he asks; 't is modest, sure, from you Should his great shade perceive the doubtful fame, Who can do all things, to request but two: Not to his labours granted, but his name.
First to his scenes a kind attention pay, Boldly he wrote, and boldly told the age,
Then judge !-with candour judge-and we obey.
SPOKEN BY MISS HAUGOTON, WHO ACTED THE PYTHIA. Thus spoke the bard. -And though the times are
1754. chang'd, Since his free Muse for fools the city rang'd;
Ar length I'm freed from tragical parade, And satire had not then appear'd in state,
No more a Pythian priestess—though a maid; To lash the finer follies of the great;
At once resigning, with my sacred dwelling, Yet let no prejudice infect your mind,
My wreaths, my wand, my arts of fortune-telling. Nor slight the gold, because not quite refind;
Yet superstitious folks, no doubt, are here, With no false niceness this performance view,
Who still regard me with a kind of fear, Nor damn for low, whate'er is just and true:
Lest to their secret thoughts these prying eyes Sure to those scenes some honour should be paid,
Should boldly pass, and take them by surprise. Which Camden patroniz'd, and Shakspeare play'd: And fairly own my science all a cheat,
Nay, though I disavow the whole deceit,
Should I declare, in spite of ears and eyes,
The beaux were handsome, or the critics wise, His pictur'd self-Then favour the deceit-Kindly forget the hundred years between;
Say to themselves at least, Become old Britons, and admire old Ben.
“The girl has taste;" “The wonian's in the right."
Or, should I tell the ladies, so dispos’d,
And, sneering, wonder what the creature meant;
But whisper to their friends, with beating heart,
Suppose there should be something in her art!"
Grave statesmen too would chuckle, should I say, SPOKEN BY MR. ROSS, 1754.
On such a motion, and by such a day, PROLOGUES of old, the learn'd in language say, They would be summon'd from their own affairs Were merely introductions to the play,
To 'tend the nation's more important cares: Spoken by gods, or ghosts, or men who knew “ Well, if I must-howe'er I dread the load, Whate'er was previous to the scenes in view; I 'll undergo it-for my country's good.” And complaisantly came to lay before ye
All men are bubbles; in a skilful hand, The several heads and windings of the story. The ruling passion is the conjurer's wand.
But modern times and British rules are such, Whether we praise, foretell, persuade, advise, Our bards beforehand must not tell too much; 'T is that alone confirms us fools or wise. Nor dare we, like the neighb'ring French, admit The devil without may spread the tempting sin, Ev'n confidants, who might instruct the pit, But the sure conqueror is--the devil within. By asking questions of the leading few, And hearing secrets which before they knew.
Yet what we can to help this antique piece
A SECOND PROLOGUE
SPOKEN BY MRS. PRITCHARD. 1754.
Yet such a lucky thought kind Heaven has sent, Some knew, more doubted, many more believ'd. That if I die for 't, I must give it vent.