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To Thames's banks, which fragrant breezes fill,
Or where ye muses sport on Cooper's hill.
(On Cooper's hill eternal wreaths shall grow,
While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow.)
I seem through consecrated walks to rove;
I hear soft music die along the grove:
Led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade,
By godlike poets venerable made :
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue.
Oh early lost! what tears the river shed,
When the sad pomp along his banks was led !
His drooping swans on every note expire,
And on his willows hung each Muse's lyre.
Since fate relentless stopp'd their heavenly voice,
No more the forests ring, or groves rejoice;
Who now shall charm the shades where Cowley strung
His living harp, and lofty Denham sung?
But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings !
Are these reviv'd, or is it Granville sings ?
'Tis yours, my Lord, to bless our soft retreats,
And call the Muses to their ancient seats;
To paint anew the flowery silvan scenes,
To crown the forests with immortal greens,
Make Windsor-hills in lofty numbers rise,
And lift her turrets nearer to the skies;
To sing those honours you deserve to wear,
And add new lustre to her silver star!
Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage,
Surrey, the Granville of a former age:
Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance,
Bold in the lists, and graceful in the dance :
In the same shades the Cupids tun'd his lyre,
To the same notes, of love, and soft desire:
Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow,
Then fill'd the groves, as heavenly Mira now.
O wouldst thou sing what heroes Windsor bore,
What kings first breath'd upon her winding shore,
Or raise old warriors, whose ador'd remains
In weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains !
With Edward's acts adorn the shining page,
Stretch his long triumphs down through every age,
Draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressi's glorious field,
The lilies blazing on the regal shield:
Then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall,
And leave inanimate the naked wall;
Still in thy song should vanquish'd France appear,
And bleed for ever under Britain's spear.
Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn,
And palms eternal flourish round his urn.
Here o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps,
And, fast beside him, once-fear'd Edward sleeps:
Whom not the' extended Albion could contain,
From old Belerium to the northern main,
The grave unites; where ev'n the great find rest,
And blended lie the' oppressor and the' opprest!
Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known
(Obsure the place, and uninscrib'd the stone ;)
Oh fact accurs'd! what tears has Albion shed,
Heav'ns! what new wounds! and how her old have
She saw her sons with purple deaths expire,
Her sacred domes involv'd in rolling fire,
A dreadful series of intestine wars,
Inglorious triumphs, and dishonest scars.
At length great Anna said, “Let discord cease !"
She said! the world obey'd, and all was peace!
In that blest moment from his oozy bed
Old father Thames advanc'd his reverend head;
His tresses dropp'd with dews, and o'er the stream
His shining horns diffus'd a golden gleam:
Grav'd on his urn appear'd the moon, that guides
His swelling waters, and alternate tides;
The figur'd streams in waves of silver roll'd,
And on her banks Augusta rose in gold.
Around his throne the sea-born brothers stood,
Who swell with tributary urns his flood:
First the fam'd authors of his ancient name,
The winding Isis, and the fruitful Thame;
"wift, for silver eels renown'd;
slow, with verdant alders crown'd; Cole, whose dark streams his flowery islands lave; And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave: The blue, transparent Vandalis appears; The gulfy Lee his sedgy tresses rears; And sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood; And silent Darent, stain'd with Danish blood. High in the midst, upon his urn reclin'd, (His sea-green mantle waving with the wind) The god appear'd: he turn'd his azure eyes Where Windsor-domes and pompous turrets rise; Then bow'd and spoke; the winds forget to roar, And the hush'd waves glide softly to the shore:"Hail, sacred peace! hail, long-expected days, That Thames's glory to the stars shall raise! Though Tyber's streams immortal Rome behold, Though foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold, From Heav'n itself though sevenfold Nilus flows, And harvests on a hundred realms bestows; These now no more shall be the Muse's themes, Lost in my fame, as in the sea their streams. Let Volga's banks, with iron squadrons shine, And groves of lances glitter on the Rhine; Let barbarous Ganges arm a servile train, Be mine the blessings of a peaceful reign. No more my sons shall dye with British blood Red Iber's sands, or Ister's foaming flood: Safe on my shore each unmolested swain Shall tend the flocks, or reap the bearded grain; The shady empire shall retain no trace
Of war or blood, but in the silvan chace;
The trumpet sleep, while cheerful horns are blown,
And arms employ'd on birds and beasts alone.
Behold! the' ascending villas on my side,
Project long shadows o'er the crystal tide;
Behold! Augusta's glittering spires increase,
And temples rise, the beauteous works of peace.
I see, I see, where two fair cities bend
Their ample bow, a new Whitehall ascend!
There mighty nations shall inquire their doom,
The world's great oracle in times to come;
There kings shall sue, and suppliant states be seen,
Once more to bend before a British queen.
Thy trees,fair Windsor! now shall leavetheir woods,
And half thy forests rush into the floods,
Bear Britain's thunder, and her cross display
To the bright regions of the rising day;
Tempt icy seas, where scarce the waters roll,
Where clearer flames glow round the frozen pole;
Or under southern skies exalt their sails,
Led by new stars, and borne by spicy gales!
For me the balm shall bleed, and amber flow,
The coral redden, and the ruby glow,
The pearly sheli its lucid globe infold,
And Phoebus warm the ripening ore to gold.
The time shall come, when, free as seas or wind,
Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind,
Whole nations enter with each swelling tide,
And seas but join the regions they divide;
Earth's distant ends our glory shall behold,
And the new world launch forth to seek the old.
Then ships of uncouth form shall stem the tide,
And feather'd people crowd my wealthy side;
And naked youths and painted chiefs admire
Our speech, our colour, and our strange attire!
O stretch thy reign, fair Peace! from shore to shore,
Till conquest cease, and slavery be no more;
Till the freed Indians in their native groves
Reap their own fruits, and woo their sable loves;
Peru once more a race of kings behold,
And other Mexicos be roof'd with gold.
Exil'd by thee from earth to deepest hell,
In brazen bonds, shall barbarous Discord dwell:
Gigantic Pride, pale Terror, gloomy Care,
And mad Ambition, shall attend her there:
There purple Vengeance, bath'd in gore, retires,
Her weapons blunted, and extinct her fires:
There hated Envy her own snakes shall feel,
And Persecution mourn her broken wheel:
There Faction roar, Rebellion bite her chain,
And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain.”
Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow'd lays,
Touch the fair fame of Albion's golden days:
The thoughts of gods let Granville's verse recite,
And bring the scenes of opening fate to light.
My humble Muse, in unambitious strains,
Paints the green forests and the flowery plains,
Where Peace descending bids her olives spring,
And scatters blessings from her dove-like wing.
Ev'n I more sweetly pass my careless days,
Pleas'd in the silent shade with empty praise;
Enough for me, that to the listening swains
First in these fields I sung the silvan strains.
To Robert Earl of Oxford and Mortimer.
UCH were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung, Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. Oh, just beheld and lost! admir'd and mourn'd! With softest manners, gentlest arts, adorn'd! Bless'd in each science! bless'd in every strain! Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear-in vain!
For him thou oft hast bid the world attend, Fond to forget the statesman in the friend; For Swift and him despis'd the farce of state, The sober follies of the wise and great; Dext'rous the craving, fawning, crowd to quit, And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.
Sent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnell's poems, published by our author after the said Earl's imprisonment in the Tower and retreat into the country, in the year 1721.