ODE on the Duke of YORK's second De parture from England, as REAR ADMIRAL.
1 AGAIN the royal streamers play!
2 To glory Edward hastes away:
3 Adieu ye happy sylvan bowers
4 Where Pleasure's sprightly throng await!
5 Ye domes where regal grandeur towers
6 In purple ornaments of state! [Page 100]
7 Ye scenes where virtue's sacred strain
8 Bids the tragic Muse complain!
9 Where Satire treads the comic stage,
10 To scourge and mend a venal age:
11 Where Music pours the soft, melodious lay,
12 And melting symphonies congenial play!
13 Ye silken sons of ease, who dwell
14 In flowery vales of peace, farewel!
15 In vain the Goddess of the myrtle grove
16 Her charms ineffable displays;
17 In vain she calls to happier realms of love,
18 Which Spring's unfading bloom arrays:
19 In vain her living roses blow,
20 And ever-vernal pleasures grow;
21 The gentle sports of youth no more
22 Allure him to the peaceful shore:
23 Arcadian ease no longer charms,
24 For war and fame alone can please.
25 His glowing bosom beats to arms,
26 To war the hero moves, thro' storms and wint'ry seas.
27 Tho' danger's hostile train appears
28 To thwart the course that honor steers;
29 Despising peril and dismay,
30 Our royal sailor hastes away:
31 His country calls; to guard her laws,
32 Lo! ev'ry joy the gallant youth resigns;
33 Th' avenging naval sword he draws,
34 And o'er the waves conducts her martial lines:
35 Hark! his sprightly clarions play,
36 Follow where he leads the way;[Page 101]
37 The shrill-ton'd fife, the thundering drum,
38 Tell the deeps their master's come.
39 Thus Alcmena's warlike son
40 The thorny course of virtue run,
41 When, taught by her unerring voice,
42 He made the glorious choice:
43 Severe, indeed, th' attempt he knew,
44 Youth's genial ardors to subdue:
45 For Pleasure Cytherea's form assum'd,
46 Her glowing charms divinely bright,
47 In all the pride of beauty bloom'd,
48 And struck his ravish'd sight.
49 Transfix'd, amaz'd,
50 Alcides gaz'd
51 O'er every angel-grace
52 Of that all-lovely face;
53 While deepening blushes soon confest
54 The alternate passions in his breast.
55 Her lips of coral hue,
56 Young Spring embalm'd with nectar-dew:
57 That swelling bosom half-reveal'd,
58 Those eyes that sparkle heavenly light,
59 His breast with tender tumults fill'd,
60 And wak'd his soul to soft delight.
61 Her limbs, that amorous silks enfold,
62 Were cast in nature's finest mould;
63 Persuasion's sweetest language hung
64 In melting accents on her tongue:[Page 102]
65 Deep in his heart, th' inchanting tale
66 Imprest her pleasing power,
67 She points along the daisied vale,
68 And shews th' Elysian bower:
69 Her hand, that trembling ardors move,
70 Conducts him blushing to the blest alcove,
71 That sweet recess of dying love!
72 Ah! see o'erpower'd by beauty's arms,
73 And won by love's resistless charms,
74 The captive youth obeys the strong alarms!
75 And will no guardian power above
76 From ruin save the son of Jove?
77 Ah! shall that soft delicious chain
78 The godlike victim thus enslave;
79 Kind heaven his sinking soul sustain,
80 And from perdition snatch the brave! —
81 By heavenly mandate Virtue came,
82 To wake the slumbering sparks of fame,
83 To kindle and arouse the dying flame.
84 Swift as the quivering needle wheels,
85 Whose point the magnet's influence feels;
86 Imprest with filial awe,
87 The wondering hero saw
88 Her form transcendent shine
89 With majesty divine;
90 And while he view'd the holy maid,
91 His heart a sacred impulse sway'd:
92 His eyes with eager tumult roll,
93 As on each rival-nymph they bend,
94 Whilst love, regret, and hope divide his soul
95 By turns, and with conflicting anguish rend. [Page 103]
96 But soon he felt fair Virtue's voice compose
97 The painful struggle of intestine woes:
98 He felt her balm each pang destroy:
99 And all the numbers of his heart,
100 Retun'd by her celestial art,
101 Now swell'd to strains of nobler joy.
102 Thus tutor'd by her magic lore,
103 His happy steps the realms explore,
104 Where guilt and error are no more:
105 The clouds that veil'd his intellectual ray,
106 Before her breath dispelling, melt away.
107 Broke loose from Pleasure's glittering chain,
108 He scorn'd the soft inglorious reign:
109 Convinc'd, resolv'd, to Virtue then he turn'd,
110 And in his breast paternal glory burn'd.
111 So when on Britain's other hope she shone,
112 Like him the royal youth she won:
113 Thus taught, he flies the peaceful shore,
114 And bids our warlike fleet advance,
115 The hostile squadrons to explore,
116 To curb the powers of Spain and France:
117 Aloft his martial ensigns flow!
118 And hark! his brazen trumpets blow!
119 The watry profound,
120 Awak'd by the sound,
121 All trembles around:
122 While Edward o'er the azure fields
123 Fraternal thunder wields:
124 High on the deck behold he stands,
125 And views around his floating bands[Page 104]
126 In awful order join;
127 They, while the warlike trumpet's strain
128 Deep-sounding, swells along the main,
129 Extend th' embattled line.
130 Now with shouting peals of joy,
131 The ships their horrid tubes display,
132 Tier over tier in terrible array,
133 And wait the signal to destroy.
134 The sailors all burn to engage:
135 Hark! hark! their shouts arise,
136 And shake the vaulted skies!
137 Exulting with Bacchanal rage;
138 While Britain in thunder array'd,
139 Her standard of battle display'd!
140 Then Neptune that standard revere,
141 Whose power is superior to thine!
142 And when her proud squadrons appear,
143 The trident and chariot risign!
144 Albion, wake thy grateful voice!
145 Let thy hills and vales rejoice!
146 O'er remotest hostile regions
147 Thy victorious flags are known;
148 Thy resistless martial legions
149 Dreadful stride from zone to zone:
150 Thy flaming bolts unerring roll,
151 And all the trembling globe controul.
152 Thy seamen, invincibly true,
153 No menace, no fraud can subdue:
154 All dissonant strife they disclaim;
155 And only are rivals in fame. [Page 105]
156 For Edward tune your harps, ye Nine!
157 Triumphant strike each living string!
158 For him in extacy divine,
159 Your choral Io Paeans sing!
160 For him your festal concerts breathe!
161 For him your flowery garlands wreathe!
162 Wake! O wake the joyful song!
163 Ye Fauns of the woods,
164 Ye Nymphs of the floods,
165 The musical current prolong?
166 Ye Sylvans that dance on the plain,
167 To swell the grand chorus accord!
168 Ye Tritons, that sport on the main,
169 Exulting, acknowledge your Lord!
170 Till all the wild numbers combin'd,
171 That floating proclaim
172 Our admiral's name,
173 In symphony roll on the wind!
174 O! while consenting Britons praise,
175 These votive measures deign to hear;
176 For thee, the Muse awakes her artless lays,
177 For thee her harp spontaneous plays
178 The tribute of a soul sincere.
179 Nor thou, illustrious chief refuse
180 The incense of a naval Muse!
181 No happy son of wealth or fame,
182 To court a royal patron came:
183 A hapless youth, whose vital page
184 Was one sad lengthen'd tale of woe,
185 Where ruthless fate, impelling tides of rage,
186 Bade wave on wave in dire succession flow,[Page 106]
187 To glittering stars and titled names unknown,
188 Prefer'd his suit to thee alone.
189 The tragic tale your pity mov'd;
190 You felt, consented, and approv'd.
191 Then touch my strings, ye blest Pierian quire!
192 Exalt to rapture every happy line!
193 My bosom kindle with Promethean fire,
194 And swell each note with energy divine!
195 No more to plaintive sounds of woe
196 Let the vocal numbers flow!
197 But tune to war the nervous strain,
198 Where Horror strides triumphant o'er the main;
199 Where the fell lightning of the battle pours
200 Along the blasted wave in flaming showers.
201 Perhaps some future patriot-lay
202 With this important theme may glow,
203 Where Albion's squadrons crowd in black array,
204 To roll her thunders on th' insulting foe.
205 My bosom feels the strong alarms,
206 My swelling pulses beat to arms;
207 While warm'd to life by Fancy's genial ray,
208 Some great event seems kindling into day;
209 But Time the veil of silence draws between,
210 While Thought behind portrays th' ideal scene.