Page images

Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind;

Yet like the mustering thunder when provok'd, 1475

The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource

Of those that under grim oppression groan.

Thy Sons Of Glory many! Alfred thine;
In whom the splendor of heroic war,
And more heroic peace, when govern'd well, 1480
Combine; whose hallow'd name the virtues saint,
And his own Muses love; the best of Kings!
With him thy Edwards and thy Henrys shine,
Names dear to Fame; the first who deep impress'd
On haughty Gaul the terror of thy arms, 1485

That awes her genius still. In Statesmen thou,
And Patriots, fertile. Thine a steady More,
Who, with a generous tho' mistaken zeal,
Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage,
Like Cato firm, like Aristides just, 1490

Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor;
A dauntless soul erect, who smil'd on death.

Frugal, and wise, a Walsingham is thine;
A Drake, who made thee mistress of the deep,
And bore thy name in thunder round the world. 1495
Then flam'd thy spirit high: but who can speak
The numerous worthies of the Maiden Reign?
In Raleigh mark their every glory mix'd;
Raleigh, the scourge of Spain! whose breast with all
The sage, the patriot, and the hero burn'd. ^5°9


Nor sunk his vigour, when a coward-reign
The warrior fettered; and at last resign'd,
To glut the vengeance of a vanquish'd foe.
Then, active still and unrestrain'd, his mind
Explor'd the vast extent of ages past, 1505

And with his prison-hours enrich'd the world;
Yet found no times, in all the long research,
So glorious, or so base, as those he prov'd,
In which he conquer'd, and in which he bled.

Nor can the Muse the gallant Sidney pass, 1510
The plume of war! with early laurels crown'd,
The Lover's myrtle, and the Poet's bay.
A Hamden too is thine, illustrious land!
Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul;
Who stem'd the torrent of a downward age l5I5

To slavery prone, and bade thee rise again,
In all thy native pomp of freedom bold.
Bright, at his call, thy Age of Men effulg'd,
Of Men on whom late time a kindling eye
Shall turn, and tyrants tremble while they read. 1520
Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew
The grave where Russel lies; whose temper'd blood,
With calmest cheerfulness for thee resign'd,
Stain'd the sad annals of a giddy reign;
Aiming at lawless power, tho' meanly sunk *525

In loose inglorious luxury. With him
His friend, the British Cassius, fearless bled;

Of high determin'd spirit, roughly brave,

By antient learning to th' enlightened love

Of antient freedom warm'd. Fair thy renown 1530

In awful Sages and in noble Bards;

Soon as the light of dawning Science spread

Her orient ray, and wak'd the Muses' song.

Thine is a Bacon; hapless in his choice,
Unfit to stand the civil storm of state, I53S

And thro' the smooth barbarity of courts,
With firm but pliant virtue, forward still
To urge his course; him for the studious shade
Kind Nature form'd; deep, comprehensive, clear,
Exact, and elegant; in one rich soul, 1540

Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully join'd.
The great deliverer he! who from the gloom
Of cloister'd monks, and jargon-teaching schools,
Led forth the true Philosophy, there long
Held in the magic chain of words and forms, 1545
And definitions void: he led her forth,
Daughter of Heaven! that slow-ascending still,
Investigating sure the chain of things,
With radiant finger points to Heaven again. 1549

The generous Ashley thine, the friend of Man;
Who scann'd his Nature with a brother's eye,
His weakness prompt to shade, to raise his aim,
To touch the finer movements of the mind,
And with the moral beauty charm the heart.

p a

Why need I name thy Boyle, whose pious search

Amid the dark recesses of his works, I55^

The great Creator sought? And why thy Locks,

Who made the whole internal world his own?

Let Newton, pure Intelligence! whom God

To mortals lent, to trace his boundless works 1560

From laws sublimely simple, speak thy fame

In all philosophy. For lofty sense,

Creative fancy, and inspection keen

Thro' the deep windings of the human heart, 1564

Is not wild Shakespeare thine and Nature's boast?

Is not each great, each amiable Muse

Of classic ages in thy Milton met?

A genius universal as his theme;

Astonishing as Chaos; as the bloom

Of blowing Eden fair; as Heaven sublime. I57°

Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget, The gentle Spenser, Fancy's pleasing son; Who, like a copious river, pour'd his song O'er all the mazes of enchanted ground: Nor thee, his antient master, laughing sage, 1575 Chaucer, whose native manners-painting verse, Well-moraliz'd, shines thro' the Gothic cloud Of time and language o'er thy genius thrown.

May my song soften, as thy Daughters I, Britannia, hail! for beauty is their own, 1580

The feeling heart, simplicity of life,

And elegance, and taste; the faultless form,
Shap'd by the hand of harmony; the cheek,
Where the live crimson, thro' the native white
Soft-shooting, o'er the face diffuses bloom, 1585

And every nameless grace; the parted lip,
Like the red rose-bud moist with morning-dew,
Breathing delight; and, under flowing jet,
Or sunny ringlets, or of circling brown,
The neck slight-shaded, and the swelling breast; 1590
The look resistless, piercing to the soul,
And by the soul inform'd, when drest in love
She sits high-smiling in the conscious eye.

Island of bliss! amid the subject seas,
That thunder round thy rocky coasts, set up, 1595
At onee the wonder, terror, and delight,
Of distant nations; whose remotest shores
Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm;
Not to be shook thyself; but all assaults
Baffling, as thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave. 1600

O Thou ! by whose almighty Nod the scale
Of empire rises, or alternate falls;
Send forth the saving Virtues round the land,
In bright patrol; white Peace, and social Love;
The tender-looking Charity, intent 1605

On gentle deeds, and shedding tears thro' smiles;
Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind;
Courage compos'd, and keen; sound Temperance,

« PreviousContinue »