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Curst by the hind, when to the spoil he yields
His year's whole sweat, and vainly ripen'd fields;
Curst by the maid, torn from her lover's side,
When left a widow, though not yet a bride ;
By mothers curst, when floods of tears they shed,
And scatter useless roses on the dead.
Oh, facred Bristol! then, what dangers prove
The arts, thou smil'st on with paternal love?
Then, mix'd with rubbish by the brutal foes,
In vain the marble breathes, the canvas glows;
To shades obscure the glittering sword pursues
The gentle poet, and defenceless Muse.
A voice like thine, alone, might then afswage
The warrior's fury, and control his rage ;
To hear thee speak, might the fierce Vandal stand,
And Aing the brandish'd sabre from his hand.
Far hence be driven to Scythia's stormy shore
The drum's harsh music, and the cannon's roar;
Let grim Bellona haunt the lawless plain,
Where Tartar clans and grizly Cossacks reign;
Let the steel'd Turk be deaf to matrons' cries,
See virgins ravish'd with relentless eyes,
To death gray heads and smiling infants doom,
Nor spare the promise of the pregnant womb,
O'er wasted kingdoms spread his wide commandy
The savage lord of an unpeopled land.
Her guiltless glory just Britannia draws
From pure religion, and impartial laws,
To Europe's wounds a mother's aid she brings,
And holds in equal scales the rival kings:
Her generous fons in choicest gifts abound,
Alike in arms, alike in arts renown'd.
As when sweet Venus (so the fable sings)
Awak'd by Nereids, from the ocean springs,
With smiles she sees the threatening billows rise,
Spreads smooth the surge, and clears the louring skies.
Light, o'er the deep, with fluttering Cupids crown’d,
The pearly conch and silver turtles bound;
Her treffes shed ambrosial odours round,
Amidst the world of waves so stands ferene
Britannia's ille, the ocean's stately queen ;
In vain the nations have conspir'd her fall,
Her trench the sea, and fleets her floating wall:
Defenceless barks, her powerful navy near,
Have only waves and hurricanes to fear,
What bold invader, or what land opprest,
Hath not her anger quell'd, her aid redrest!
Say, where have e'er her union-crosses fail'd,
But much her arms, her justice more prevailid !
Her labours are, to plead th’ Almighty's cause,
Her pride, to teach th' untam'd barbarian laws :
wins by brutal strength the prize;. But 'tis a godlike work to civilize.
Have we forgot how from great Russia's throne The king, whose power half Europe's regions own, Whose fceptre waving, with one shout rush forth In swarms the harness’d millions of the north, Through realms of ice pursued his tedious way To court our friendship, and our fame survey ! Hence the rich prize of useful arts he bore, And round his empire spread the learned store :
(T'adorn old realms is more than new to raise,
His country's parent is a monarch's praise.)
His bands now march in just array to war,
And Caspian gulphs unusual navies bear;
With Runick lays Smolensko's forests ring,
And wondering Volga hears the Muses sing.
Did not the painted kings of India greet
Our queen, and lay their sceptres at her feet?
Chiefs who full bowls of hoftile blood had quaff'd,
Fam'd for the javelin, and invenom'd shaft,
Whose haughty brows made favages adore,
Nor bow'd to less than stars or sun before.
Her pitying smile accepts their suppliant claim,
And adds four monarchs to the Christian name.
Blest use of power ! O vistuous pride in kings !
And like his bounty, whence dominion springs !
Which o'er new worlds makes heaven's indulgence shine,
And ranges myriads under laws divine !
Well bought with all that those sweet regions hold,
groves of spices, and with mines of gold.
Fearless our merchant now pursues his gain,
And roams securely o’er the boundless main.
Now o'er his head the polar bear he spies,
And freezing spangles of the Lapland skies;
Now swells his canvas to the sultry line,
With glittering spoils where Indian grottoes fhine,
Where fumes of incense glad the southern seas,
And wafted citron scents the balmy breeze.
Here nearer suns prepare the ripening gem,
To grace great Anne's imperial diadem,
And here the ore, whose melted mass shall yield
On faithful coins each memorable field,
Which, mix'd with medals of immortal Rome,
May clear disputes, and teach the times to come.
In circling beams shall godlike Anna glow,
And Churchill's sword hang o'er the proftrate foe;
in comely wounds shall bleeding worthies stand,
Webb's firm platoon, and Lumley's faithful band,
Bold Mordaunt in Iberian trophies drest,
And Campbell's dragon on his dauntless breast,
Great Ormond's deeds on Vigo's spoils enrolld,
And Guiscard's knife on Harley's Chili gold.
And if the Muse, O Bristol, might decree,
Here Granville noted by the lyre should be,
The lyre for Granville, and the cross for thee.
Such are the honours grateful Britain pays;
So patriots merit, and so monarchs praise.
O’er distant times such records shall prevail,
When English numbers, antiquated, fail :
A trilling fong the Muse can only yield,
And sooth her foldiers panting from the field.
To sweet retirements see them fafe convey'd,
And raise their battles in the rural shade.
From fields of death to Woodstock’s peaceful glooms,
(The poet's haunt) Britannia's hero comes-
Begin, my Muse, and softly touch the string :
Here Henry lov’d; and Chaucer learn’d to fing.
Hail, fabled grotto ! hail, Elysian foil !
Thou fairest spot of fair Britannia's ise!
Where kings of old, conceal'd, forgot the throne,
And beauty was content to thine unknown;
Where love and war by turns pavilions rear,
And Henry's bowers near Blenheim's dome appear ;
The weary'd champion lull in soft alcoves,
The noblest boast of thy romantic groves.
Oft, if the Muse presage, shall he be seen
By Rosamonda fleeting o'er the green,
In dreams be hail'd hy heroes' mighty shades,
And hear old Chaucer warble through the glades,
O'er the fam'd echoing vaults his name shall bound,
And hill to hill reflect the favourite found.
Here, here at least thy love for arms give o’er,
Nor, one world conquer'd, fondly with for more.
souls alone! O thirst of fame !
The Muse admires it, while she strives to blame.
Thy toils be now to chace the bounding deer,
Or view the coursers stretch in wild career.
This lovely scene shall footh thy soul to rest,
And wear each dreadful image from thy breast..
With pleasure, by thy conquests shalt thou fee
Thy queen triumphant, and all Enrope free.
No cares henceforth shall thy repose destroy,
But what thou giv'st the world, thyself enjoy.
Sweet Solitude! when life's gay hours are past,
Howe'er we range, in thee we fix at last:
Toft through tempestuous feas (the voyage o'cr)
Pale we look back, and bless thy friendly shore.
Our own strict judges our past life we scan,
And ask if glory hath enlarg’d the span :
If bright the prospect, we the grave defy,
Trust future ages, and contented die.