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Each lay with brighter green adorn'd my bowers,
And breathed a fresher fragrance on my flowers.
But lo! at once the pealing concerts cease,
And crowded theatres are hush'd in peace.
See, on yon Sage how all attentive stand,
To catch his darting eye and waving hand.
Hark! he begins, with all a Tully's art,
To pour the dictates of a Cato's heart :
Skilld to pronounce what noblest thoughts inspire,
He blends the speaker's with the patriot's fire ;
Bold to conceive, nor timorous to conceal,
What Britons dare to think, he dares to tell.
'Tis his alike the ear and eye to charm,
To win with action, and with sense to warm ;
Untaught in flowery periods to dispense
The lulling sounds of sweet impertinence :
In frowns or smiles he gains an equal prize,
Nor meanly fears to fall, nor creeps to rise ;
Bids happier days to Albion be restored,
Bids ancient Justice rear her radiant sword;
From me, as from my country, claims applause,
And makes an Oxford's a Britannia's cause.
While arms like these
While mine is Truth's impenetrable shield;
Say, shall the Puny Champion fondly dare
To wage with force like this scholastic war?
Still vainly scribble on with pert pretence,
With all the rage of pedant impotence ?
Say, shall I foster this domestic pest,
This Parricide, that wounds a mother's breast?
Thus in some gallant ship, that long has bore
Britain's victorious cross from shore to shore,
By chance, beneath her close sequester'd cells,
Some low-born worm, a lurking mischief dwells ;
Eats his blind way, and saps with secret guile
The deep foundations of the floating pile :
In vain the forest lent its stateliest pride,
Reard her tall mast, and framed her knotty side ;
The martial thunder's rage in vain she stood,
conflict of the stormy flood;
More sure the reptile's little arts devour,
Than wars, or waves, or Eurus' wintry power.
Ye fretted pinnacles, ye fanes sublime,
Ye towers that wear the mossy vest of time;
Ye massy piles of old munificence,
At once the pride of learning and defence;
Ye cloisters pale, that, lengthening to the sight,
To contemplation, step by step, invite ;
Ye high-arch'd walks, where oft the whispers clear
Of harps unseen have swept the poet's ear ;
Ye temples dim, where pious duty pays
Her holy hymns of ever-echoing praise ;
Lo! your loved Isis, from the bordering vale,
With all a mother's fondness bids you hail ! -
Hail, Oxford, hail ! of all that's good and great,
Of all that's fair, the guardian and the seat ;
Nurse of each brave pursuit, each generous aim,
By truth exalted to the throne of fame !
Like Greece in science and in liberty,
As Athens learn'd, as Lacedemon free!
Even now, confess'd to my adoring eyes,
In awful ranks thy gifted sons arise.
Tuning to knightly tale1 his British reeds,
Thy genuine bards immortal Chaucer leads :
His hoary head o'erlooks the gazing quire,
And beams on all around celestial fire.
"Tuning to knightly tale,' &c.: it is upon the authority of Leland, fol. lowed by Speght and Urry in their lives of Chaucer, that Oxford lays claim to a part of Chaucer's education.
With graceful step see Addison 1 advance,
The sweetest child of Attic elegance :
See Chillingworth 2 the depths of Doubt explore,
And Selden3 ope the rolls of ancient lore :
To all but his beloved embrace denied,
See Locke 4 lead Reason his majestic bride
See Hammond 5 pierce Religion's golden mine,
And spread the treasured stores of truth divine. 180
All who to Albion gave the arts of peace,
And best the labours plann'd of letter'd ease;
Who taught with truth, or with persuasion moved ;
Who soothed with numbers, or with sense improved ;
Who ranged the powers of reason, or refined,
All that adorn'd or humanised the mind ;
Each priest of health, that mix'd the balmy bowl,
To rear frail man, and stay the fleeting soul ;
All crowd around, and echoing to the sky,
Hail, Oxford, hail ! with filial transport cry.
And see yon sapient train! with liberal aim,
'Twas theirs new plans of liberty to frame;
And on the Gothic gloom of slavish sway
To shed the dawn of intellectual day.
With mild debate each musing feature glows,
And well-weigh'd counsels mark their meaning brows.
1 Addison :' first of Queen's, and afterwards Demi of Magdalen College, 1689. — ? Chillingworth :' he was born in October 1602, and educated in grammar learning in Oxford; became scholar of Trinity College, June 2, 1618; A.M. in the latter end of 1623; and fellow of the said college, June 10, 1628.
- 3 Selden : 'John Selden, according to Wood (“ Athen. Oxon.' ii. 179), after having been instructed in grammar learning at Chichester, by Mr Hugh Barker, of New College, was by his care and advice sent to Hart Hall in 1600, and committed to the tuition of Mr Anthony Barker, and (according to Wilkins' life of him, prefixed to his works) of Mr Thomas Young, both fellows of the aforesaid college ; under whom he continued about three years, and then went to the Inner Temple. — * "Locke:' he was a member of Christ Church College. — 6 Hammond:' Henry Hammond, born at Chertsey in Surrey, 1605, and educated at Eton; in 1622, became Demi of Magdalen College and A.B. ; in 1625, admitted A.M., and elected fellow of the same college.
“Lo! these1 the leaders of thy patriot line," 197
A Raleigh,2 Hampden,3 and a Somers4 shine.
These from thy source the bold contagion caught,
Their future sons the great example taught :
While in each youth th' hereditary flame
Still blazes, unextinguish'd, and the same !
Nor all the tasks of thoughtful peace engage,
'Tis thine to form the hero as the sage.
I see the sable-suited prince advance
With lilies crown'd, the spoils of bleeding France,
Edward. The Muses, in yon cloister'd shade, 5
Bound on his maiden thigh the martial blade;
Bade him the steel for British freedom draw,
And Oxford taught the deeds that Cressy saw.
And see, great father of the sacred band,
The Patriot King before me seems to stand.
He by the bloom of this gay vale beguiled,
That cheer'd with lively green the shaggy wild,
Hither of yore, forlorn, forgotten maid,
The Muse in prattling infancy convey'd ;
From Vandal rage the helpless virgin bore,
And fix'd her cradle on my friendly shore :
Soon grew the maid beneath his fostering hand,
Soon stream'd her blessings o'er th' enlighten'd land. 220
Though simple was the dome where first to dwell
She deign'd, and rude her early Saxon cell,
I'Lo! these,' &c. : from Mason's Elegy.' — ? • Raleigh :' Sir Walter Raleigh was born in Devonshire in 1552. In 1568, or thereabouts, he became a Commoner of Oriel College. — 3 · Hampden :' John Hampden, that wise statesman, as he was called by his friends, became a Commoner of Magdalen College in the year 1609, aged 15 years. — 4 Somers :' the celebrated Lord Chancellor was a native of Worcester, 1652, and educated at the college-school there ; where he was soon distinguished for the quickness and solidity of his parts, and became afterwards a Gentleman Commoner of Trinity College. — 5 • The Muses, in yon cloister'd shade,' &o. : Edward the Black Prince, as well as Henry V., whom, by the way, there was a good opportunity of mentioning in this place, was a member of Queen's College. — * Patriot King :' Alfred.
Lo! now she holds her state in sculptured bowers, 223
And proudly lifts to heaven her hundred towers.
'Twas Alfred first, with letters and with laws,
Adorn'd, as he advanced, his country's cause :
He bade relent the Briton's stubborn soul,
And soothed to soft society's control
A rough untutor'd age.
With raptured eye
Elate he views his laurell’d progeny:
Serene he smiles to find, that not in vain
He form'd the rudiments of Learning's reign :
Himself he marks in each ingenuous breast,
With all the founder in the race exprest :
Conscious he sees fair Freedom still survive
In yon bright domes, ill-fated fugitive !
(Glorious, as when the goddess pour’d the beam
Unsullied on his ancient diadem ;)
Well pleased, that at his own Pierian springs
She rests her weary feet, and plumes her wings ;
That here at last she takes her destined stand,
Here deigns to linger, ere she leave the land.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF THE LATE
FREDERIC PRINCE OF WALES.
1 O FOR the warblings of the Doric oat,
That wept the youth deep-whelm'd in ocean's tide!
Or Mulla's Muse, who changed her magic note
To chant how dear the laurell’d Sidney died !
Then should my woes in worthy strain be sung,
And with due cypress-crown thy hearse, 0 Frederic, hung.