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Pleased she beheld aloft portrayed
On many a splendid wall,
Emblems of health, and heavenly aid,
And George the theme of all.
Unlike the enigmatic line,
So difficult to spell,
Which shook Belshazzar at his wine,
The night his city fell.
Soon, watery grew her eyes aftd dim,
But with a joyful tear,
None else, except in prayer for him,
George ever drew from her.
It was a scene in every part
Like those in fable feigned,
And seemed by some magician's art
Created and sustained.
But other magic there, she knew,
Had been exerted none,
To raise such wonders in her ";ew,
Save love of George alone.
That cordial thought her spirits cheered,
And through the cumbrous throng,
Not else unworthy to be feared,
Conveyed her calm along.
So, ancient poets say, serene
The sea-maid rides the waves,
And fearless of the billowy scene
Her peaceful bosom laves.
With more than astronomic eyes
She viewed the sparkling show;
One Georgian star adorns the skies,
She myriads found below.
Yet let the glories of a night
Like that, once seen, suffice;
Heaven grant us no such future sight,
Such previous woe the price!
ANNUS MEMORABILIS. 1789.
WRITTEN IN COMMEMORATION OF HIS MAJESTY'S HAPPY RECOVERY.
I RANSACKED, for a theme of song,
Much ancient chronicle, and long;
I read of bright embattled fields,
Of trophied helmets, spears, and shields,
Of chiefs, whose single arm could boast
Prowess to dissipate a host:
Through tomes of fable and of dream
I sought an eligible theme,
But none I found, or found them shared
Already by some happier bard.
To modern times, with truth to guide
My busy search, I next applied;
Here cities won and fleets dispersed
Urged loud a claim to be rehearsed,
Peeds of unperishing renown,
Our father's triumphs and our own.
Thus as the bee, from bank to bower,
Assiduous sips at every flower,
But rests on none till that be found
Where most nectareous sweets abound,
So I, from theme to theme displayed
In many a page historic strayed,
Siege after siege, fight after fight,
Contemplating with small delight,
(For feats of sanguinary hue
Not always glitter in my view,)
Till, settling on the current year,
I found the far sought treasure near,
A theme for poetry divine,
A theme to ennoble even mine,
In memorable Eighty-nine.
The spring of Eighty-nine shall be
An era cherished long by me,
Which joyful I will oft record,
And thankful at my frugal board;
For then the clouds of Eighty-eight,
That threatened England's trembling state
With loss of what she least could spare,
Her sovereign's tutelary care,
One breath of Heaven, that cried—Restore!
Chased, never to assemble more;
And far the richest crown on earth,
If valued by its wearer's worth,
The symbol of a righteous reign
Sat fast on George's brows again.
Then peace and joy again possessed
Our Queen's long-agitated breast;
Such joy and peace as can be known
By sufferers like herself alone,
Who losing, or supposing lost,
The good on earth they valued most,
For that dear sorrow's sake forego
All hope of happiness below,
Then suddenly regain the prize,
And flash thanksgivings to the skies!
Oh, Queen of Albion, queen of isles! Since all thy tears were changed to smiles, "Tie eyes, that never saw thee, shine
With joy not unallied to thine,
Transports not chargeable with art
Illume the land's remotest part,
And strangers to the air of courts,
Both in their toils and at their sports,
The happiness of answered prayers,
That gilds thy features, show in theirs.
If they who on thy state attend,
Awe-struck, before thy presence bend,
'Tis but the natural effect
Of grandeur that ensures respect;
But she is something more than Queen
Who is beloved where never seen.
THE COCK-FIGHTER'S GARLAND.
Muse—hide his name of whom I sing,
Lest his surviving house thou bring
For his sake into scorn,
Nor speak the school from which he drew
The much or little that he knew,
Nor place where he was born.
That such a man once was, may seem
Worthy of record, (if the theme
Perchance may credit win,)
For proof to man, what man may prove,
If grace depart, and demons move
The source of guilt within.
This man (for since the howling wild
Disclaims him, man he must be styled)
Wanted no good below;
Gentle he was, if gentle birth
Could make him such; and he had worth,
If wealth can worth bestow.
In social talk and ready jest
He shone superior at the feast,
And qualities of mind
Illustrious in the eyes of those
Whose gay society he chose
Possessed of every kind.
Methinks I see him powdered red,
With bushy locks his well-dressed head
Winged broad on either side,
The mossy rose-bud not so sweet;
His steeds superb, his carriage neat
As luxury could provide.
Can such be cruel? Such can be
Cruel as hell, and so was he;
A tyrant entertained
With barbarous sports, whose fell delight
Was to encourage mortal fight
'Twixt birds to battle trained.
One feathered champion he possessed,
His darling far beyond the rest,
Which never knew disgrace,
Nor e'er had fought, but he made flow
The life-blood of his fiercest foe,
The Ca;sar of his race.
It chanced, at last, when, on a day,
He pushed him to the desperate fray,
His courage drooped, he fled.
The master stormed, the prize was lost,
And, instant, frantic at the cost,
He doomed his favourite dead.
He seized him fast, and from the pit
Flew to the kitchen, snatched the spit,
And, bring me cord, he cried;
The cord was brought, and, at his word,
To that dire implement the bird
Alive and struggling, tied.
The horrid sequel asks a veil,
And all the terrors of the tale
That can be, shall be, sunk.—
Led by the sufferer's screams aright,
His shocked companions view the sight,
And him with fury drunk.
All, suppliant, beg a milder fate
For the old warrior at the grate;
He, deaf to pity's call,
Whirled round him rapid as a wheel
His culinary club of steel,
Death menacing on all.
But vengeance hung not far remote,
For while he stretched his clamorous throat
And heaven and earth defied, Big with a curse too closely pent, That struggled vainly for a vent,
He tottered, reeled, and died.
'Tis not for us, with rash surmise,
To point the judgments of the skies;
But judgments plain as this,
That, sent for man's instruction, bring
A written label on their wing
'Tis hard to read amiss.
ON THE BENEFIT RECEIVED BY HIS MAJESTY FROM
IN THE YEAR 1789.
O Sovereign of an isle renowned
For undisputed sway
Wherever o'er yon gulf profound
Her navies wing their way;
With juster claims she builds at length
Her empire on the sea,
And well may boast the waves her strengtn
Which strength restored to thee.
TO MRS. THROCKMORTON, ON HER BEAUTIFUL TRANSCRIPT
OF HORACE'S ODE AD LI BRUM SUUM.
Maria, could Horace have guessed
What honour awaited his ode
To his own little volume addressed,
The honour which you have bestowed,—
Who have traced it in characters here,
So elegant, even, and neat,
He had laughed at the critical sneer
Which he seems to have trembled to meet.
And sneer, if you please, he had said,
A nymph shall hereafter arise
Who shall give me, when you are all dead,
The glory your malice denies;
Shall dignity give to my lay,
Although but a mere bagatelle;
And even a poet shall say,
Nothing ever was written so well.
FOR A STONE ERECTED AT THE SOWING OF A GROVE OF OAKS AT
CHILLINGTON, THE SEAT OF T. GIFFARD, ESQ., I790.
Other stones the era tell,
When some feeble mortal fell;
I stand here to date the birth
Of these hardy sons of earth.
Which shall longest brave the sky,,
Storm and frost—these oaks or I?
Pass an age or two away,
I must moulder and decay; \ r-
But the years that crumble me
Shall invigorate the tree,