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THE NEW YORK

PUBLIC LIBRARY

388267A

ASTOR, LENOX AND

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

R

1928

L

T

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BRITANNIA.

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A PO E M.

Et tantas audetis tollere moles?

"Quos ego-fed motos præftat componere fluctus. Poft mihi non fimili pœna commiffa luetis. "Maturate fugam, regique hæc dicite veftro: "Non illi imperium pelagi, fævumque tridentem, "Sed mihi forte datum".

S on the fea-beat shore Britannia fat,

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Of her degenerate fons the faded fame,

Deep in her anxious heart, revolving fad :

Bare was her throbbing bosom to the gale,

VIRG.

That hoarse, and hollow, from the bleak surge blew; $ Loose flow'd her treffes; rent her azure robe.

Hung o'er the deep from her majestic brow

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She tore the laurel, and the tore the bay.
Nor ceas'd the copious grief to bathe her cheek;
Nor ceas'd her fobs to murmur to the main.
Peace difcontented nigh, departing, stretch'd
Her dove-like wings. And War, though greatly rouz'd,
Yet mourns his fetter'd hands. While thus the queen
Of nations fpoke; and what she said the Mufe

Recorded, faithful, in unbidden verfe,

VOL. II.

B

Ev n

Ev'n not yon fail, that, from the sky-mixt wave, Dawns on the fight, and wafts the Royal Youth *, A freight of future glory to my shore;

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Ev'n not the flattering view of golden days,
And rifing periods yet of bright renown,
Beneath the Parents, and their endless line
Through late revolving time, can footh my rage;
While, unchaftis'd, th' infulting Spaniard dares
Infeft the trading flood, full of vain war
Despise my navies, and my merchants feize;
As, trusting to falfe peace, they fearless roam
The world of waters wild; made, by the toil,
And liberal blood of glorious ages, mine:
Nor burfts my fleeping thunder on their head.
Whence this unwonted patience? this weak doubt? 30
This tame befeeching of rejected peace ?
This meek forbearance? this unnative fear,
To generous Britons never known before?

And fail'd my fleets for this; on Indian tides

To float, unactive, with the veering winds?

The mockery of war! while hot disease,

And floth distemper'd, fwept off burning crowds,
For action ardent; and amid the deep,

Inglorious, funk them in a watery grave.

There now they lie beneath the rolling flood,
Far from their friends, and country unaveng'd;
And back the drooping war-fhip comes again,
Difpirited, and thin; her fons afham'd

* Frederick.

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Thus

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