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And thou, propitious star, whose facred power
Presided o'er the monarch's natal hour,
Thy radiant voyages for ever run,
Yielding to none but Cynthia and the Sun;
With thy fair aspect still illustrate Heaven;
Kindly preserve what thou hast greatly given:
Thy influence for thy Anna we implore :
Prolong one life; and Britain asks no more.
For virtue can no ampler power express,
Than to be great in war, and good in peace :
For thought no higher with of bliss can frame,
Than to enjoy that virtue still the same.
Entire and sure the monarch's rule must prove,
Who founds her greatness on her subjects love;
Who does our homage for our good require;
And orders that which we should first desire :
Our vanquish'd wills that pleasing force obey,
Her goodness takes our liberty away,
And haughty Britain yields to arbitrary sway.
Let the young Austrian then her terrors bear,
Great as he is, her delegate in war :
Let him in thunder speak to both his Spains,
That in these dreadful isles a woman reigns :
While the bright queen does on her subjects shower
The gentle blessings of her softer power ;
Gives sacred morals to a vicious age,
To temples zeal, and manners to the stage ;
Bids the chalte Muse without a blush appear ;s
And Wit be that which Heaven and the may hear.-
Minerva thus to Perseus lent her shield; Secure of conqueft, fent him to the field : The hero acted what the queen ordain'd ; So was his fame compleat, and Andromede unchain'd.
Mean time, amidst her native temples fate The Goddess, studious of her Grecian's fate, Taught them in laws and letters to excell, In acting justly, and in writing well. Thus whilst she did her various power dispose, The world was freed from tyrants, wars, and woes: Virtue was taught in verse, and Athens' glory rose.
A L E T T E R,
To Monsieur BOILEAU DESPRE AUX ;
Occasioned by the Victory at BLENHEIM, 1704.
" -- Cupidum, pater optime, vires
“ Deficiunt : neque enim quivis horrentia pilis
Agmina, nec fractâ pereuntes culpide Gallos”.
HOR. 2 Sat. i. SINCE, hir'd for life
, thy servile Mufe must fing
Succeflive conquests, and a glorious king;
Must of a man immortal vainly boast,
And bring him laurels, whatsoe'er they cost :
What turn wilt thou employ, what colours lay
On the event of that superior day,
In which one English subject's prosperous hand
(So Jove did will ; so Anna did command)
Broke the proud column of thy master's praise,
Which fixty winters had confpir'd to raise ?
From the loft field a hundred standards brought
Must be the work of Chance, and Fortune's fault :
Bavaria's stars must be accus'd, which shone,
That fatal day the mighty work was done
With rays oblique upon the Gallic sun :
Some Dæmon, envying France, mifted the fight ;
And Mars mistook, though Louis orderd right.
When thy * young Muse invok'd the tuneful Nine,
To say how Louis did not pass the Rhine ;
What work had we with Wageninghen, Arnheim,
Places that could not be reduc'd to rhyme !
And, though the Poet inade his last efforts,
Wurts—who could mention in heroic-Wurts
But, tell me, hadst thou reason to complain
Of the rough triumphs of the last campaign?
The Danube rescued, and the Empire fav'd,
Say, is the majesty of verse retriev'd ?
And would it prejudice thy softer vein,
To sing the princes, Louis and Eugene ?
Is it too hard in happy verse to place
The Vans and Vanders of the Rhine and Maese?
Her warriors Anna fends from Tweed and Thames,
That France may fall by more harmonious names ?
Canst thou not Hamilton or Lumley bear?
Would Ingoldiby or Palmes offend thy ear?
* " En vain, pour te louer, &c." Ep. 4.
And is there not a sound in Marlborough's name,
Which thou and all thy brethren ought to claim,
Sacred to verse, and sure of endless fame?
Cutts is in metre something harsh to read;
Place me the valiant Gouran in his stead :
Let the intention make the number good
Let generous Sylvius speak for honest Wood.
And though rough Churchill scarce in verse will stand,
So as to have one rhime at his command ;
With ease the bard, reciting Blenheim's plain,
May close the verse, 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 prose.
For instance now, how hard is it for me To make my matter and my verse agree ! “ In one great day on Hochstet's fatal plain, “ French and Barvarians twenty thousand slain : • Push'd through the Danube to the shores 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!”—sweet numbers these ! But is it thus you English bards compose? With Runic lays thus tag insipid prose ?
should your Hero's deeds rehearse;. Give us a commissary's list in verse?
Why, faith! Despreaux, there is sense in what you say: I told you difficulty lay :
a So vast, so numerous, were great Blenheim's spoils, They scorn the bounds of verse, and mock the Muse's
To make the rough recital aptly chime,
Or bring the sum of Gallia's loss to rhime,
"Tis mighty hard: what Poet would essay
To count the streamers of my lord mayor's day?
To number all the several dishes drest
By honest Lamb, last coronation feast?
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 shar'd a portion of thy skill;
Had this poor breast receiv'd the heavenly beam ;
Or could I hope my verse might reach my theme ;
Yet, Boileau, yet the labouring Muse should strive,
Beneath the shades of Marlborough's wreaths to live;
Should call aspiring Gods to bless her choice ;
And to their favourite strains 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 save the nations from invading hands,
To prop fair Liberty's declining cause,
And fix the jarring world with equal laws.