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And, grav'd with some prophetic rage,
Read Albion's fame thro' ev'ry age.
Ye forms divine, ye laureat band,
That near her inmost altar stand!
Now sooth her, to her blissful train
Blithe Concord's social form to gain :
Concord, whose myrtle wand can steep
E'en Anger's blood-shot eyes in sleep:
Before whose breathing bosom's balm
Rage drops his steel, and storms grow calm;
Her let our sires and matrons hoar
Welcome to Britain's ravag'd shore;
Our youths, enamour'd of the fair,
Play with the tangles of her hair,
Till, in one loud applauding sound,
The nations shout to her around,
O how supremely art thou blest,
Thou, lady-thou shalt rule the west!
TO A LADY, ON THE DEATH OF COLONEL ROSS, IN THE ACTION OF FONTENOY.
Written in May, 1745.
WHILE, lost to all his former mirth,
Britannia's genius bends to earth,
And mourns the fatal day:
While stain'd with blood he strives to tear
Unseemly from his sea-green hair
The wreaths of cheerful May:
The thoughts which musing Pity pays,
And fond Remembrance loves to raise,
Your faithful hours attend: Still Fancy, to herself unkind, Awakes to grief the soften'd mind, And points the bleeding friend.
By rapid Scheld's descending wave
His country's vows shall bless the grave,
Where'er the youth is laid:
That sacred spot the village hind
With ev'ry sweetest turf shall bind,
And Peace protect the shade,
Blest youth, regardful of thy doom,
Aerial hands shall build thy tomb,
With shadowy trophies crown'd: Whilst Honour bath'd in tears shall rove To sigh thy name through ev'ry grove, And call his heroes round.
The warlike dead of ev'ry age,
Who fill the fair recording page,
Shall leave their sainted rest:
And, half-reclining on his spear,
Each wond'ring chief by turns appear,
To hail the blooming guest.
Old Edward's sons, unknown to yield,
Shall crowd from Cressy's laurel'd field,
And gaze with fix'd delight:
Again for Britain's wrongs they feel,
Again they snatch the gleamy steel,
And wish th' avenging fight.
But, lo! where, sunk in deep despair,
Her garments torn, her bosom bare,,
Impatient Freedom lies!
Her matted tresses madly spread,
To every sod which wraps the dead,
She turns her joyless eyes.
Ne'er shall she leave that lowly ground
Till notes of triumph bursting round
Proclaim her reign restor'd:
Till William seek the sad retreat,
And bleeding at her sacred feet,
Present the sated sword.
If, weak to soothe so soft an heart,
These pictur'd glories nought impart,
To dry thy constant tear:
If yet, in Sorrow's distant eye,
Expos'd and pale thou see'st him lie,
Wild War insulting near:
Where'er from time thou court'st relief,
The Muse shall still, with social grief,
Her gentlest promise keep:
Ev'n humble Harting's cottag'd vale
Shall learn the sad repeated tale,
And bid her shepherds weep.
IF aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, O pensive Eve, to soothe thine ear,
Like thy own brawling springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;
O nymph reserv'd, while now the bright-hair'd sun Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
· O'erhang his wavy bed:
Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-ey'd bat,
With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing,
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
Now teach me, maid compos',
To breathe some soften'd strain,
Whose numbers, stealing through thy dark'ning vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit;
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial lov'd return!
For when thy holding-star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in buds the day,
And many aNymph who wreaths her brows with sedge,
And sheds the fresh'ning dew, and, lovelier still,
The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene;
Or find some ruin, 'midst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.
Or, if chill blust'ring winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,
That, from the mountain's side,
Views wilds, and swelling floods,
And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires;
And hears their simple bell; and marks o'er all
'Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.
While Spring shall pour his show'rs, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy ling'ring light;
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes;
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,
Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy fav'rite name!
THOU, who bad'st thy turtles bear
Swift from his grasp thy golden hair,
And sought'st thy native skies;
When War, by vultures drawn from far,
To Britain bent his iron car,
And bade his storms arise!
Tir'd of his rude tyrannic sway,
Our youth shall fix some festive day,
His sullen shrines to burn:
But thou who hear'st the turning spheres,
What sounds may charm thy partial ears,
And gain thy blest return!