ODE to the Genius of ITALY,
occasioned by the Earl of CORKE'S going Abroad.
1 O THOU that, on a pointless spear reclin'd,
2 In dusk of eve oft tak'st thy lonely way
3 Where Tyber's slow, neglected waters stray,
4 And pour'st thy fruitless sorrows to the wind,
5 Grieving to see his shore no more the seat
6 Of arts and arms, and liberty's retreat,
7 Italia's Genius, rear thy drooping head,
8 Shake off thy trance, and weave an olive crown,
9 For see! a noble guest appears, well known
10 To all thy worthies, tho' in Britain bred;
11 Guard well thy charge, for know, our polish'd isle
12 Reluctant spares thee such a son as BOYLE.
13 There, while their sweets thy myrtle groves dispense,
14 Lead to the Sabine or the Tuscan plain,
15 Where playful Horace tun'd his amorous strain,
16 And Tully pour'd the stream of eloquence;
17 Nor fail to crown him with that ivy bloom,
18 Which graceful mantles o'er thy Maro's tomb,[Page 264]
19 At that blest spot, from vulgar cares refin'd,
20 In some soft vision or indulgent dream
21 Inspire his fancy with a glorious theme,
22 And point new subjects to his generous mind,
23 At once to charm his country, and improve
24 The last, the youngest object of his love.
25 But O! mark well his transports in that shade,
26 Where circled by the bay's unfading green,
27 Amidst a rural and sequester'd scene
28 His much-lov'd Pliny rests his honour'd head:
29 There, rapt in silence, will he gaze around,
30 And strew with sweetest flowers the hallow'd grown.
31 But see! the sage, to mortal view confest,
32 Thrice waves the hand, and says, or seems to say,
33 "The debt I owe thee how shall I repay?
34 "Welcome to Latium's shore, illustrious guest!
35 "Long may'st thou live to grace thy native isle,
36 "Humane in thought and elegant in style!
37 "While on thy consort I with rapture gaze
38 "My own Calphurnia rises to my view:
39 "That bliss unknown but to the virtuous few,
40 "Briton! is thine; charm'd with domestic praise
41 "Thine are those heart-felt joys that sweeten life,
42 "The son, the friend, the daughter and the wife. "
43 Content with such approof, when genial Spring
44 Bids the shrill black-bird whistle in the vale,
45 Home may he hasten with a prosperous gale,
46 And Health protect him with her fost'ring wing;
47 So shall Britannia to the wind and sea
48 Entrust no more her fav'rite ORRERY.