ON THE PEACE OF AIX LA CHAPELLE, MDCCXLVIII.
1 BE still my fears, suggest no false alarms;
2 The Poet's rapture and the lyric fire
3 Are vain: enough that inclination warms;
4 No foreign influence needs the willing Muse inspire.
5 The willing Muse, adventurous in her flight,
6 To thee, lov'd Peace, shall raise the untaught strain;
7 Her thy fair triumphs and thy arts delight,
8 Thy festive branch she bears and joins thy social train.
9 High on some wave worn cliff she views serene,
10 Safe on the deep, the freighted navies ride;
11 Old Ocean joys to see the peaceful scene,
12 And bids his billows roll with an exulting tide.
13 Or, where Augusta's turrets cleave the skies,
14 She loves to mix with Art's inventive band,
15 Sees Industry in forms unnumber'd rise,
16 To scatter blessings wide, and civilize the land;
17 Or flies, with transport, to her native plain,
18 Sees corn-clad fields, fresh lawns, and pastures fair,
19 Sees Plenty vindicate her ancient reign,
20 And pour forth all her charms to crown the various year.
21 But chief the Muse to Academic groves
22 Her kindred train and best-lov'd arts invite;
23 Thro' Cam's o'ershadowing bowers intranc'd she roves,
24 Whence sacred Science streams, and Genius spreads his light.
25 "Here will I rest, she cry'd; my laurel here
26 " Eternal blooms; here hangs my golden lyre,
27 "Which erst my Spenser tun'd to shepherd's ear,
28 " And lostiest Milton smote with genuine epic fire.
29 "And O! if aught my fond presages shew,
30 " On these lov'd bowers while Peace her influence sheds,
31 "Some hand again shall snatch it from the bough,
32 " Wake each high-sounding string, and charm the echoing glades.
33 "Then shall be sung the glorious deeds of war,
34 " How Virtue strove, where envious Fortune fail'd:
35 "Expecting Fame the conflict view'd from far,
36 " And Britain's valour crown'd, tho' Gallia's host prevail'd.
37 "Yet then, even then [th' indignant verse shall tell]
38 " A surer vengeance rose to whelm the foe;
39 "When hell-born Faction issu'd from her cell,
40 " And on her impious head drew half the destin'd blow.
41 "But, hark! the loud triumphant strains declare,
42 " How Britain's majesty unrivall'd rose,
43 "When all the glories of the naval war
44 " Beam'd round her conquering flag, and circled Anson's brows. "
45 Till thus the Power by Freedom's sons obey'd:
46 "Let blood-stain'd glory swell the tyrant's breast;
47 " Be mine Compassion's healing wing to spread,
48 "To sheath the wasting sword, and give the nations rest:
49 "Then (as the Muse inraptur'd shall display)
50 " War's impious roar, and Faction's murmurs cease;
51 "His gracious eye sheds lustre on the day,
52 " And lends the quickening beam to chear the arts of Peace. "
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): ON THE PEACE OF AIX LA CHAPELLE, MDCCXLVIII.
Author: Richard Hurd
Themes: poetry; literature; writing; war; patriotism; glory of the British nation
Genres: alexandrine; occasional poem
References: DMI 21800
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