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Arrest the fury of his naval war,
When Glory shines the leading star;
Still higher deeds the lay recording claim,
Still rise Britannia's sons to more exalted fame.
The fervid source of heat and light,
Descending through the western skies,
Though veil'd awhile from mortal sight,
Emerging soon with golden beam shall rise,
In orient climes with brighter radiance shine,
And sow th' ethereal plains with flame divine.
So, damp'd by Peace's transient smile,
If Britain's glory seem to fade awhile,
Yet, when occasion's kindling rays
Relumine valour's gen'rous blaze,
Higher the radiant flames aspire,
And shine with clearer light, and glow with fiercer fire.
From Europe's shores th' insidious train,
Eluding Britain's watchful eye,
Rapid across th' Atlantic fly
To Isles that stud the western main ;
There proud their conqu'ring banners seem to rise,
And fann'd by shadowy triumphs, flout the skies :
But, lo! th' avenging Pow'r appears,
His victor flag immortal Nelson rears ;
Swift as the raven's ominous race,
Fly the strong eagle o'er th' ethereal space,
The Gallic barks the billowy deep divide,
Their conquests lost in air, o'erwhelm'd in shame their pride.
The hour of vengeance comes-by Gades' tow'is,
By high Trafalgar's ever-trophied shore,
The godlike warrior on the adverse Pow'rs
Leads his resistless fleet with daring prore.
Terrific as th' electric bolt that flies
With fatal shock athwart the thund'ring skies,
By the mysterious will of Heaven
On man's presuming offspring driven,
Full on the seatter'd foe he hurls his fires,
Performs the dread behest, and in the flash expires
But not his fame-While chiefs who bleed
For sacred duty's holy meed,
With glory's amaranthine wreath,
By weeping Veitory crown'd in death,
In History's awful page shall stand
Foremost amid th' heroic band;
Nelson! so loug thy hallow'd name
Thy country's gratitude shall claim;
And while a people's Paans raise
To thee the choral hymn of praise,
And while a patriot Monarch's tear
Bedews and sanctifies thy bier,
Each youth of martial hopes shall feel
True valour's animating zeal ;
With emulative wish thy trophies see,
And heroes, yet unborn, shall Britain owe to thee.
ODE FOR THE KING'S BIRTH-DAY.
By HENRY JAMES PYE, Esq. Poet-Laureat.
ONG did chill Winter's dreary reign
Usurp the promis'd hours of Spring;
Long Eurus o'er the russct plain
Malignant wav'd his noisome wing.
O'er April's variegated day
The frolic zephyrs fear'd to play;
Th' alternate change of suns and showers
Call'd not to life her silken flowers;
But arm'd with whirlwind, frost, and hail,
Winter's ungenial blasts prevail,
And check her vernal powers.
But o'er the renovated plain
See Maia lead her smiling train
Of halcyon hours along ;
While burst from every echoing grove
Loud strains of harmony and love,
Preluding to the choral song,
Which opening June shall votive pour
To hail with proud acclaim our Monarch's natal hour.
Still must that day, to Britain dear,
To Britons joy impart ;
Cloudy or bright, that day shall wear
The sunshine of the heart.
And as before the fervid ray
That genial glows in summer skies, Each cloud that veil'd the beam of day
Far from the azure welkin flies:
may each cheerless mist that seems Awhile to cloud our prospects fair,
Dispell'd by Hope's enlivening beams,
Our brightening ether fly, and melt away in air.
Awhile though Fortune adverse frown-
By timid friends their cause betray'd,
With bosom firm and undismay'd,
On force depending all their own,
A living rampire round their parent Lord,
The British warriors grasp th' avenging sword ;
While youths of royal hope demand the fight,
To assert a Monarch and a Father's right.
United in one patriot band,
From Albion's, Erin's, Caledonia's land,
Elate in arms indignant shine
The kindred heroes of the Briton line,
To whelm invasion 'neath our circling flood,
Or stain our verdant fields with Gallia's hostile blood.
(From the Lag of the Last Minstrel).
HE way was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel was infirm and old;
His withered cheek, and tresses gray,
Seemed to have known a better day;
The harp his sole remaining joy
Was carried by an orphan boy;
The last of all the Bards was he,
Who sung of Border chivalry.
For well-a-day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he neglected and oppressed,
Wished to be with them, and at rest.
No more, on prancing palfrey borne,
He carolled, light as lark at morn ;
No longer courted and caressed,
High placed in hall, a welcome guest,
He poured, to lord and lady gay,
The unpremeditated lay;
Old times were changed, old manners gone,
A stranger filled the Stuarts' throne ;
The bigots of the iron time
Had called his harmless art a crime.
A wandering Harper, scorned and poor,
He begged his bread from door to door;
And tuned, to please a peasant's ear,
The harp, a king had loved to hear.
He passed where Newark's stately tower
Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower:
The Minstrel gazed with wishful eye-
No humbler resting-place was nigh.
With hesitating step, at last,
The embattled portal-arch he passed,
Whose ponderous grate and massy bar
Had oft rolled back the tide of war,
But never closed the iron door
Against the desolate and poor.
The duchess marked his weary pace,
His timid mein, and reverend face,
And bade her page the menials tell,
That they should tend the old man well :
For she had known adversity,
Though born in such a high degree;
In pride of power, in beauty's bloom,
Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb!
When kindness had his wants supplied,
And the old man was gratified,
Began to rise his minstrel pride :
And he began to talk anon,
Of good earl Francist, dead and gone,
And of earl Walter, rest him God!
A braver ne'er to battle rode :
And how, full many a tale he knew,
Of the old warriors of Buccleuch ;
And, would the noble duchess deign
To listen to an old man's strain,
Though stiff his hand, his voice though weak,
He thought even yet, the sooth to speak,
That, if she loved the harp to hear,
He could make music to her ear.
* Anne, duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, representative of the ancient lords of Buccleuch, and widow of the unfortunate James, duke of Monmouth, whe was beheaded in 1685.
Francis Scott, earl of Buccleuch, father of the duchess.
↑ Walter, earl of Buccleuch, grandfather of the duchess, and a celebrated war
The humble boon was soon obtained;
The aged minstrel audience gained.
But, when he reached the room of state,
Where she, with all her ladies, sate,
Perchance he wished his boon denied :
For, when to tune his harp he tried,
His trembling hand had lost the ease,
Which marks security to please;
And scenes, long past, of joy and pain,
Came wildering o'er his aged brain-
He tried to tune his harp in vain.
The pitying duchess praised its chime,
And gave him heart, and gave him time,
Till every string's according glee
Was blended into harmony.
And then, he said, he would full fain
He could recal an ancient strain,
He never thought to sing again.
It was not framed for village churls,
But for high dames and mighty earls;
He had played it to King Charles the Goods
When he kept court in Holyrood;
And much he wished, yet feared, to try
The long forgotten melody.
Amid the strings his fingers strayed,
And an uncertain warbling made,
And oft he shook his hoary head.
But when he caught the measure wild,
The old man raised his face, and smiled;
And lightened up his faded eye,
With all a poet's extasy!
In varying cadence, soft or strong,
He swept the sounding chords along :
The present scene, the future lot,
His toils, his wants, were all forgot:
Cold diffidence, and age's frost,
In the full tide of song were lost;
Each blank, in faithless memory void,
The poet's glowing thought supplied;
And, while his harp responsive rung,
'Twas thus the Latest Minstrel sung.