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Here waked the flame, that still superior braves
The proudest threats of Gaul's ambitious slaves :
Here Chivalry, stern school of valour old,
Her noblest feats of knightly fame enrolld ;
Heroic champions caught the clarion's call,
And throng'd the feast in Edward's banner'd hall;
While chiefs, like George, approved in worth alone,
Unlock'd chaste Beauty's adamantine zone.
Lo! the famed isle, which hails thy chosen sway,
What fertile fields her temperate suns display!
Where Property secures the conscious swain,
And guards, while Plenty gives, the golden grain :
Hence with ripe stores her villages abound,
Her airy downs with scatter'd sheep resound;
Fresh are her pastures with unceasing rills,
And future navies crown her darksome hills.
To bear her formidable glory far,
Behold her opulence of hoarded war!
See, from her ports a thousand banners stream;
On every coast her vengeful lightnings gleam!
Meantime, remote from Ruin's armed hand,
In peaceful majesty her cities stand;
Whose splendid domes, and busy streets, declare,
Their firmest fort, a king's parental care.
And oh! bless'd queen, if e'er the magic powers
Of warbled truth have won thy musing hours ;
Here Poesy, from awful days of yore, ,
Has pour’d her genuine gifts of raptured lore,
Mid oaken bowers, with holy verdure wreathed,
In Druid-songs her solemn spirit breathed :
While cunning bards at ancient banquets sung
Of Paynim foes defied, and trophies hung.
Here Spenser tuned his mystic minstrelsy,
And dress’d in fairy robes a queen like thee.
Here, boldly mark'd with every living hue,
Nature's unbounded portrait Shakspeare drew :
But chief, the dreadful group of human woes
The daring artist's tragic pencil chose;
Explored the pangs that rend the royal breast,
Those wounds that lurk beneath the tissued vest !
Lo! this the land, whence Milton's Muse of fire
High soar'd to steal from heaven a seraph's lyre;
And told the golden ties of wedded love
In sacred Eden's amaranthine grove.
Thine too, majestic bride, the favour'd clime,
Where Science sits enshrined in roofs sublime.
O mark, how green her wood of ancient bays
O'er Isis' marge in many a chaplet strays !
Thither, if haply some distinguish'd flower
Of these mix'd blooms from that ambrosial bower,
Might catch thy glance, and, rich in Nature's hue,
Entwine thy diadem with honour due ;
If seemly gifts the train of Phæbus pay,
To deck imperial Hymen's festive day ;
Thither thyself shall haste, and mildly deign
To tread with nymph-like step the conscious plain ; 70
Pleased in the Muse’s nook, with decent pride,
To throw the scepter'd pall of state aside :
Nor from the shade shall George be long away,
That claims Charlotta's love, and courts her stay.
These are Britannia's praises. Deign to trace With rapt reflection Freedom's favourite race ! But though the generous isle, in arts and arms, Thus stand supreme, in Nature's choicest charms; Though George and Conquest guard her sea-girt throne, One happier blessing still she calls her own; And, proud to cull the fairest wreath of Fame, Crowns her chief honours with a Charlotte's name.
ON THE BIRTH OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.
(WRITTEN AFTER THE INSTALLATION AT WINDSOR.)
IMPERIAL Domel of Edward, wise and brave !
Where warlike Honour's brightest banners wave;
At whose proud tilts, unmatch'd for hardy deeds,
Heroic kings have frown'd on barbed steeds :
Though now no more thy crested chiefs advance
In arm’d array, nor grasp the glittering lance ;
Though Knighthood boasts the martial pomp no more,
That graced its gorgeous festivals of yore;
Say, conscious Dome, if e'er thy marshall’d knights
So nobly deck'd their old majestic rites,
As when, high throned amid thy trophied shrine,
George shone the leader of the garter'd line ?
Yet future triumphs, Windsor, still remain ;
Still may thy bowers receive as brave a train :
For lo ! to Britain and her favour'd Pair,
Heaven's high command has sent a sacred Heir!
Him the bold pattern of his patriot sire
Shall fill with early fame's immortal fire :
In life's fresh spring, ere buds the promised prime,
His thoughts shall mount to virtue's meed sublime : 20
The patriot sire shall catch, with sure presage,
Each liberal omen of his opening age;
Then to thy courts shall lead, with conscious joy,
In stripling beauty's bloom, the princely boy ;
There firmly wreath the braid of heavenly dye,
True valour's badge, around his tender thigh.
Meantime, thy royal piles that rise elate With many an antique tower, in massy state,
* Imperial Dome:' Windsor Castle, built by Edward the Third.
In the young champion's musing mind shall raise
Vast images of Albion's elder days.
While, as around his eager glance explores
Thy chambers, rough with war's constructed stores,
Rude helms, and bruised shields, barbaric spoils
Of ancient chivalry's undaunted toils ;
Amid the dusky trappings, hung on high
Young Edward's sable mail shall strike his eye;
Shall fire the youth, to crown his riper years
With rival Cressys, and a new Poitiers;
On the same wall, the same triumphal base,
His own victorious monuments to place.
Nor can a fairer kindred title move
His emulative age to glory's love
Than Edward, laureate prince. In letter'd truth,
Oxford, sage mother, school'd his studious youth :
Her simple institutes, and rigid lore,
The royal nursling unreluctant bore ;
Nor shunn'd, at pensive eve, with lonesome pace
The cloister's moonlight-chequer'd floor to trace ;
Nor scorn'd to mark the sun, at matins due,
Stream through the storied window's holy hue.
And oh, young Prince, be thine his moral praise ;
Nor seek in fields of blood his warrior bays.
War has its charms terrific. Far and wide
When stands th'embattled host in banner'd pride;
O’er the vex'd plain when the shrill clangours run,
And the long phalanx flashes in the sun ;
When now no dangers of the deathful day
Mar the bright scene, nor break the firm array;
Full oft, too rashly glows with fond delight
The youthful breast, and asks the future fight;
Nor knows that Horror's form, a spectre wan,
Stalks, yet unseen, along the gleamy van.
May no such rage be thine : no dazzling ray
Of specious fame thy steadfast feet betray.
Be thine domestic glory's radiant calm,
Be thine the sceptre wreath'd with many a palm :
Be thine the throne with peaceful emblems hung,
The silver lyre to milder conquest strung!
Instead of glorious feats achieved in arms,
Bid rising arts display their mimic charms !
Just to thy country's fame, in tranquil days,
Record the past, and rouse to future praise :
Before the public eye, in breathing brass,
Bid thy famed father's mighty triumphs pass :
Swell the broad arch with haughty Cuba's fall,
And clothe with Minden's plain th' historic hall.
Then mourn not, Edward's Dome, thine ancient boast,
Thy tournaments, and listed combats lost !
From Arthur's Board, no more, proud castle, mourn
Adventurous Valour's Gothic trophies torn!
Those elfin charms, that held in magic night
Its elder fame, and dimm'd its genuine light,
At length dissolve in Truth's meridian ray,
And the bright Order bursts to perfect day :
The mystic round,1 begirt with bolder peers,
On Virtue's base its rescued glory rears ;
Sees Civil Prowess mightier acts achieve,
Sees meek Humanity distress relieve;
Adopts the Worth that bids the conflict cease,
And claims its honours from the Chiefs of Peace.