ON THE DEATH OF KING GEORGE THE SECOND, AND ACCESSION OF KING GEORGE THE THIRD.
ADDRESSED TO WILLIAM PITT, ESQ. BEING THE CONCLUDING COPY OF OXFORD VERSES.
1 SO stream the sorrows that embalm the brave,
2 The tears that Science sheds on Glory's grave!
3 So pure the vews which classic duty pays
4 To bless another Brunswick's rising rays! —
5 O Pitt! if chosen strains have power to steal
6 Thy watchful breast awhile from Britain's weal;
7 If votive verse, from sacred Isis sent,
8 Might hope to charm thy manly mind, intent[Page 224]
9 On patriot plans which ancient Freedom drew,
10 Awhile with sond attention deign to view
11 This ample wreath, which all th' assembled Nine
12 With skill united have conspir'd to twine.
13 Yes, guide and guardian of thy country's cause!
14 Thy conscious heart shall hail with just applause
15 The duteous Muse, whose haste officious brings
16 Her blameless offering to the shrine of kings:
17 Thy tongue well tutor'd in historic lore,
18 Can speak her office and her use of yore:
19 For such the tribute of ingenuous praise
20 Her harp dispensed in Graecia's golden days;
21 Such were the palms, in isles of old renown,
22 She cull'd to deck the guiltless monarch's crown;
23 When virtuous Pindar, told with Tuscan gore
24 How scepter'd Hiero stain'd Sicilia's shore,
25 Or to mild Theron's raptur'd eye disclos'd
26 Bright vales where spirits of the brave repos'd:
27 Yet still beneath the throne, unbrib'd she sate,
28 The decent hand-maid, not the slave of state;
29 Pleas'd in the radiance of the regal name
30 To blend the lustre of her country's fame:
31 For, taught like ours, she dar'd with prudent pride,
32 Obedience from dependance to divide:
33 Tho' princes claim'd her tributary lays,
34 With truth severe she temper'd partial praise;
35 Conscious she kept her native dignity,
36 Bold as her flights, and as her numbers free.
37 And sure if e'er the Muse indulg'd her strains,
38 With just regard, to grace heroic reigns,[Page 225]
39 Where could her glance a theme of triumph own
40 So dear to same as George's trophied throne?
41 At whose firm base, thy stedfast soul aspires
42 To wake a mighty nation's ancient fires:
43 Aspires to bassle faction's specious claim,
44 Rouse England's rage, and give her thunder aim:
45 Once more the main her conquering banners sweep,
46 Again her commerce darkens all the deep.
47 Thy fix'd resolve renews each fair decree,
48 That made, that kept of yore, thy country free.
49 Call'd by thy voice, nor deaf to war's alarms,
50 Its willing youth the rural empire arms:
51 Again the lords of Albion's cultur'd plains
52 March the firm leaders of their faithful swains;
53 As erst stout archers from the farm or fold,
54 Flam'd in the van of many a baron bold.
55 Nor thine the pomp of indolent debate,
56 The war of words, the sophistries of state;
57 Nor frigid caution checks thy free design,
58 Nor stops thy stream of eloquence divine:
59 For thine the privilege, on few bestow'd,
60 To feel, to think, to speak for public good.
61 In vain Corruption calls her venal tribes;
62 One common cause, one common end prescribes;
63 Nor fear nor fraud, or spares or screens the foe,
64 But spirit prompts, and valour strikes the blow.
65 O Pitt, while honour points thy liberal plan,
66 And o'er the minister exalts the man,
67 Isis congenial greets thy faithful sway,
68 Nor scorns to bid a statesman grace her lay;[Page 226]
69 For science still is justly fond to blend,
70 With thine, her practice, principles, and end.
71 'Tis not for her, by false connections drawn,
72 At splendid Slavery's fordid shrine to fawn;
73 Each native effort of the feeling breast
74 To friends, to foes, in servile fear, supprest:
75 'Tis not for her to purchase or pursue
76 The phantom favours of the cringing crew;
77 More useful toils her studious hours engage,
78 And fairer lessons fill her spotless page:
79 Beneath ambition, but above disgrace,
80 With nobler arts she forms the rising race:
81 With happier tasks, and less refin'd pretence,
82 In elder times she woo'd Munificence
83 To rear her arched roofs in regal guise,
84 And lift her temples nearer to the skies;
85 Princes and prelates stretch'd the social band,
86 To form, diffuse, and fix her high command:
87 From kings she claim'd, yet scorn'd to seek the prize,
88 From kings, like George, benignant, just, and wise.
89 Lo, this her genuine lore. — Nor thou refuse
90 This humble present of no partial muse
91 From that calm bower, which nurs'd thy thoughtful youth
92 In the pure precepts of Athenian truth:
93 Where first the form of British Liberty
94 Beam'd in full radiance on thy musing eye:
95 That form, whose mien sublime, with equal awe,
96 In the same shade unblemish'd Somers saw:
97 Where once (for well she lov'd the friendly grove
98 Which every classic Grace had learn'd to rove)[Page 227]
99 Her whispers wak'd sage Harrington to feign
100 The blessings of her visionary reign;
101 That reign, which now no more an empty theme,
102 Adorns philosophy's ideal dream,
103 But crowns at last, beneath a George's smile,
104 In full reality this favour'd isle.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): ON THE DEATH OF KING GEORGE THE SECOND, AND ACCESSION OF KING GEORGE THE THIRD. ADDRESSED TO WILLIAM PITT, ESQ. BEING THE CONCLUDING COPY OF OXFORD VERSES.
Author: Thomas Warton
Themes: monarchy (heads of state); patriotism; glory of the British nation
Genres: heroic couplet
References: DMI 28326
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