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Broke the proud column of thy master's praise,
Which fixty winters had confpir'd to raife?
From the loft field a hundred standards brought
Must be the work of Chance, and Fortune's fault:
Bavaria's ftars must be accus'd, which fhone,
That fatal day the mighty work was done
With rays oblique upon
Some Dæmon, envying France, mifled the fight;
And Mars mistook, though Louis order'd right.
When thy young Muse invok'd the tuneful Nine,
To fay how Louis did not pafs the Rhine;
What work had we with Wageninghen, Arnheim,
Places that could not be reduc'd to rhyme !
And, though the Poet made his laft efforts,
Wurts who could mention in heroic-Wurts
But, tell me, hadft thou reason to complain
Of the rough triumphs of the laft campaign?
The Danube rescued, and the Empire fav'd,
Say, is the majesty of verse retriev'd?
And would it prejudice thy fofter vein,
To fing the princes, Louis and Eugene ?
Is it too hard in happy verfe to place
The Vans and Vanders of the Rhine and Maefe?
Her warriors Anna fends from Tweed and Thames,
That France may fall by more harmonious names?
Canft thou not Hamilton or Lumley bear?
Would Ingold by or Palmes offend thy ear?
*«En vain, pour te louer, &c.” Ep. 4.
And is there not a found in Marlborough's name,
Which thou and all thy brethren ought to claim,
Sacred to verfe, and fure of endless fame?
Cutts is in metre fomething harsh to read;
Place me the valiant Gouran in his ftead :
Let the intention make the number good:
Let generous Sylvius fpeak for honest Wood.
And though rough Churchill scarce in verfe will stand,
So as to have one rhime at his command;
With ease the bard, reciting Blenheim's plain,
May close the verfe, remembering but the Dane.
I grant, old friend, old foe, (for such we are
Alternate as the chance of peace and war,)
That we poetic folks, who must restrain
Our measur'd sayings in an equal chain,
Have troubles utterly unknown to those,
Who let their fancy loose in rambling profe.
For inftance now, how hard is it for me
To make my matter and my verse agree!
"In one great day on Hochftet's fatal plain,
"French and Barvarians twenty thousand flain :
"Push'd through the Danube to the fhores of Styx
Squadrons eighteen, battalions twenty-fix:
"Officers captive made, and private men,
"Of these twelve hundred, of those thousands ten.
"Tents, ammunition, colours, carriages,
"Cannon, and kettle-drums !"-fweet numbers thefe !
But is it thus you English bards compofe?
With Runic lays thus tag infipid profe?
And, when you should your Hero's deeds rehearse,
Give us a commiffary's lift in verse?
Why, faith! Defpreaux, there's fense in what you fay: I told you where my difficulty lay:
So vaft, fo numerous, were great Blenheim's fpoils, They fcorn the bounds of verfe, and mock the Mufe's toils.
To make the rough recital aptly chime,
Or bring the fum of Gallia's lofs to rhime,
"Tis mighty hard: what Poet would essay
To count the ftreamers of my lord mayor's day?
To number all the feveral dishes dreft
honeft Lamb, laft coronation feaft?
Or make Arithmetic and Epic meet,
And Newton's thoughts in Dryden's style repeat ?
O Poet, had it been Apollo's will,
That I had fhar'd a portion of thy skill;
Had this poor breast receiv'd the heavenly beam ;
Or could I hope my verfe might reach my theme;
Yet, Boileau, yet the labouring Muse should strive,
Beneath the fhades of Marlborough's wreaths to live;
Should call afpiring Gods to bless her choice;
And to their favourite ftrains exalt her voice,
Arms and a Queen to fing; who, great and good,
From peaceful Thames to Danube's wondering flood
Sent forth the terror of her high commands,
To fave the nations from invading hands,
To prop fair Liberty's declining cause,
And fix the jarring world with equal laws.
The queen fhould fit in Windfor's facred grove,
Attended by the Gods of War and Love:
Both fhould with equal zeal her fmiles implore,
To fix her joys, or to extend her power.
Sudden, the Nymphs and Tritons should appear;
And, as great Anna's fmiles difpel their fear,
With active dance fhould her obfervance claim
With vocal shell fhould found her happy name;
Their master Thames should leave the neighbouring fhore,
By his ftrong anchor known, and filver oar;
Should lay his enfigns at his fovereign's feet;
And audience mild with humble grace intreat.
To her, his dear defence, he fhould complain,
That, while he bleffes her indulgent reign,
Whilft furtheft feas are by his Acets furvey'd,
And on his happy banks each India laid;
His brethren Maefe, and Waal, and Rhine, and Saar,
Feel the hard burthen of oppreffive war;
That Danube scarce retains his rightful courfe
Against two rebel armies neighbouring force;
And all muft weep fad captives to the Seine,
Unless unchain'd and freed by Britain's queen.
The valiant fovereign calls her general forth;
Neither recites her bounty, nor his worth :
She tells him, he muft Europe's fate redeem,
And by that labour merit her efteem:
She bids him wait her to the facred hall;
Shows him prince Edward, and the conquer'd Gaul; Fixing the bloody cross upon his breaft,
Says, he muft die, or fuccour the distress'd;
Placing the Saint an emblem by his fide,
She tells him, Virtue arm'd must conquer lawless Pride.
The Hero bows obedient, and retires :
The queen's commands exalt the warrior's fires,
His fteps are to the filent woods inclin'd,
The great defign revolving in his mind;
When to his fight a heavenly form appears :
Her hand a palm, her head a laurel wears.
Me, fhe begins, the fairest child of Jove,
Below for ever fought, and blefs'd above;
Me, the bright fource of wealth, and power, and fame,
(Nor need I fay, Victoria is my name ;);
Me the great father down to thee has fent;
He bids me wait at thy diftinguish'd tent,
To execute what Anna's with would have :
Her fubject thou, I only am her slave.
Dare then, thou much belov'd by smiling Fate,
For Anna's fake, and in her name, be great:
Go forth, and be to distant nations known
My future favourite, and my darling fon,
At Schellenbergh I'll manifest sustain
Thy glorious caufe; and fpread my wings again,
Confpicuous o'er thy helm, in Blenheim's plain.
The Goddefs faid, nor would admit reply;
But cut the liquid air, and gain'd the sky.
His high commiffion is through Britain known,
And thronging armies to his ftandard run;
He marches thoughtful, and he speedy fails:
(Blefs him, ye feas! and profper him, ye gales!)