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On patriot plans, which ancient freedom drew,
Awhile with fond attention deign to view
This ample wreath, which all th'assembled Nine
With skill united have conspir’d to twine.
Yes, guide and guardian of thy country's cause!
Thy conscious heart shall hail with just applause
The duteous muse, whose haste officious brings
Her blameless off'ring to the shrine of kings:
Thy tongue, well tutor’d in historic lore,
Can speak her office and her use of yore:
For such the tribute of ingenuous praise
ller harp dispens'd in Grecia's golden days;
Such were the palms, in isles of old renown,
She cull'd, to deck the guiltless monarch's crown;
When virtuous Pindar told, with Tuscan gore
How sceptred Iliëro stain'd Sicilia's shore,
Or to mild Theron's raptur'd eye disclos'd
Bright vales, where spirits of the brave repos'd:
Yet still beneath the throne, unbrib’d, she sat
The decent handmaid, not the slave, of state;
Pleas'd in the radiance of the regal name
To blend the lustre of her country's fame:
For, taught like ours, she dar'd with prudent pride
Obedience from dependance to divide:
Though princes claim'd her tributary lays,
With truth severe she temper'd partial praise;
Conscious she kept her native dignity,
Bold as her flights, and as her numbers free.
And sure, if e'er the muse indulg'd her strains, With just regard to grace heroic reigns, Where could her glance a theme of triumph own So dear to fame as George's trophy'd throne ? At whose firm base thy stedfast soul aspires To wake a mighty nation's ancient fires : Aspires to baffle faction's specions claim, Rouse England's page, and give her thunder aim: Once more the main her conqu’ring banners sweep, Again her commerce darkens all the deep. Thy fix'd resolve renews each firm decree That made, that kept of yore, thy country free. Calld by thy voice, nor deaf to war's alarms, Its willing youth the rural empire arms:
Again the lords of Albion's cultur’d plains
March the firm leaders of their faithful swains;
As erst stout archers, from the farm or fold,
Flam'd in the van of many a baron bold.
Nor thine the pomp of indolent debate,
The war of words, the sophistries of state :
Nor frigid caution checks thy free design,
Nor stops thy stream of eloquence diviuc:
For thine the privilege, on few bestow'd,
To feel, to think, to speak, for public good.
In vain corruption calls her venal tribes;
One common cause, one common end prescribes :
Nor fear nor fraud or spares or screens the foe,
But spirit prompts, and valour strikes the blow.
O Pitt, while honour points thy lib'ral plan,
And o'er the 'minister exalts the man,
Isis congenial greets thy faithful sway,
Nor scorns to bid a statesman grace her lay.
For 'tis not hers, by false connections drawn
At splendid slavery's sordid shrine to fawn;
Each native effort of the feeling breast
To friends, to foes, in equal fear, supprest :
'Tis not for her to purchase or pursue
The phantom favours of the cringing crew :
More useful toils her studious hours engage,
And fairer lessons fill her spotless page :
Beneath ambition, but above disgrace,
With nobler arts she forms the rising race:
With happier tasks, and less refin'd pretence,
In elder times, she woo'd munificence
To rear her arched roofs in regal guise,
And lift her temples nearer to the skies;
Princes and prelates stretch'd the social hand
To form, diffuse, and fix, her high command :
From kings she claim'd, yet scorn'd to seek, the prize;
From kings, like George, benignant, just, and wise.
Lo, this her genuine lore.—Nor thou resuse
This humble present of no partial muse
From that calm bow'r, which nurs'd thy thoughful youth
In the pure precepts of Athenian truth:
Where first the form of British liberty
Beam'd in full radiance on thy musing eye;
That form, whose mien sublime, with equal awe,
In the same shade unblemish'd Somers saw :
Where once (for well she lov'd the friendly grove -
Whieh ev'ry classic Grace had learn'd to rove)
Fler whispers wak'd sage Harrington to feign
The blessings of her visionary reigns
That reign, which now, no more an empty themie,
Adorns philosophy's ideal dream,
But crowns at last, beneath a George's smile,
In full reality this favour'd isle.
XXX. Eulogium to Liberty and Mr. Howard.
On could I worship aught beneath the skies
That earth hath seen, or fancy could devise,
Thine altar, sacred Liberty, should stand,
Built by no mercenary, vulgar hand.
With fragrant turf, and flow’rs as wild and fair
As ever dress'd a bank, or scented summer air.
Duly as ever on the mountain's height
The peep of morning shed a dawning light;
Again, when evening in her sober vest
Drew the grey curtain of the fading west;
My soul should yield thee willing thanks and praise
For the chief blessings of my fairest days:
But that were sacrilege praise is not thine,
But his who gave thee,
preserves thee mine :
Else I would say, and as I spake bid fly
A captive bird into the boundless sky,
This triple realm adores thee—thou art come
From Sparta hither, and art here at home;
We feel thy force still active, at this hour
Enjoy immunity from priestly pow'r;
While conscience, happier than in ancient years,
Owns no superior but the God she fears.
Propitious Spirit! yet expunge a wrong
Thy rites have suffer'd, and our land, too long
mercy to ten thousand hearts that share The fears and hopes of a commercial care;
Prisons expect the wicked, and were built
To bind the lawless, and to punish guilt;
But shipwreck, earthquake, battle, tire, and flood,
Are mighty mischiefs, not to be withstood:
And honest merit stands on slipp’ry ground
Where covert guile, and artifice abound:
Let just restraint, for public peace design'd,
Chain up the wolves and tigers of mankind;
The foe of virtue bras no claim to thee,
But let insolvent innocence go free.
Patron of else the most despis'd of men,
Accept the tribute of a stranger's pen;
Verse, like the laurel, its immortal meed,
Should be the guerdon of a noble deed:
I may alarm thee, but I fear the shame
(Charity chosen as my theme and aim)
I must incur, forgetting Howard's name.
Blest with all wealth can give thee-to resign
Joys, doubly sweet to feelings quick as thine;
To quit the bliss thy rural scenes bestow
To seek a nobler, amidst scenes of woe;
To traverse seas, range kingdoms, and bring home,
Not the proud monuments of Greece or Rome,
But knowledge, such as only dungeons teach,
And only sympathy like thine could reach;
That grief, sequester'd from the public stage,
Might smooth her feathers, and enjoy her cage
Speaks a divine ambition, and a zeal
The boldest pátriot might be proud to feel.
Oh that the voice of clamour and debate,
'That pleads for peace till it disturbs the state,
Were hush'd, in favour of thy gen'rous plea,
The poor thy clients, and heaven's smile thy fee!
XXXI. To the Genius of Shakespeare.
Rapt from the glance of mortal eye,
Say, bursts thy genius to the world of light?
Seeks it yon star-bespangled sky?
Or skims its fields with rapid flight?
Or, mid yon plains where fancy strays,
Courts it the balmy breathing gale ?
Or where the violet pale
Droops o'er the green-embroider'd stream ?
Or where young Zephyr stirs the rustling sprays,
Lies all dissolv'd in fairy dream?
O'er yon bleak desert's unfrequented round
Seest thou where nature treads the deep'ning gloom,
Sits on yon hoary tow'r with ivy crown'd,
Or wildly wails o'er thy lamented tomb ?
Hear'st thou the solemn music wind along?
Or thrills the warbling note in thy mellifluous song?
Oft, while on earth, 'twas thine to rove
Where'er the wild-eyed goddess lov'd to roam,
To trace serene the gloomy grove,
Or haunt meek quiet's simple doom;
Still hovering round the Nine appear,
That pour the soul transporting strain;
Join'd to the Loves' gay train,
The loose,rob’d Graces, crown'd with flow'rs,
The light-wing'd gales that lead the vernal year,
And wake the rosy-featur'd hours.
O'er all bright fancy's beamy radiance shone,
How flam'd thy bosom as her charms reveal!
Her fire-clad eye sublime, her starry zone,
Her traces loose, that wanton'd on the gale;
On thee the goddess fix'd her ardent look,
Then from her glowing lips these melting accents broke:
« To thee, my favourite son, belong
“ The lays that steal the listening hour;
« To pour the rapture-darting song,
“ To paint gay hope's Elysian bower.
66 From nature's hand to snatch the dart,
" To cleave with pangs the bleeding heart;
" Or lightly sweep the trembling string,
" And call the Loves with purple wing
“ From the blue deep, where they dwell
66 With Naiads in the pearly cell.
66 Soft on the sea-born goddess gaze;
" Or in the loose robes' floating maze,